The ONLY Anthurium hookeri Care Guide You Need

If you are looking for a rare green leafy plant to add to your garden, Anthurium hookeri (also known as Bird’s Nest Anthurium, Wild Tobacco, and Birdsnest Flamingo) will be a great choice. It has wrinkly green lush leaves, with enthralling flowers in the center.

An authentic Anthurium hookeri grows white berries which are a specific identifying factor. And because of the shape of these berries, they also got the nickname of “birds nest hookeri”. 

Anthurium hookeri is also known as natural air purifiers. This plant is a native of tropical rainforest or wet forest in nature, primarily produced in islands.

In general, the Anthurium hookeri thrives best in well-draining soil, prefers bright indirect sunlight, a humidity of at least 70% and temperatures between 70ºF (21ºC) to 90ºF (32ºC). As a rule of thumb, it only has to be watered when the top 3 inches of the soil are dry.

This plant comes from a rare species and needs some extra care. Therefore, this article will provide a complete care guide of Anthurium hookeri.

Featured images by TheGreenEscape.

Anturium hookeri

Summary:

  • Light: Bright, indirect light
  • Water: When the top 3 inches of the soil are dry
  • Soil: well-draining (a mix of regular potting soil and orchid soil, 1:1)
  • Fertilizer: Once a month, only during the growing season
  • Size: Can grow up to 19 inches (50 cm) tall
  • Size: Can grow up to 20 inches (53 cm) wide
  • Temperature: Between 70ºF (21ºC) to 90ºF (32ºC)
  • Humidity: Best above 70%
  • Cold hardy: Not cold hardy
  • Propagation: Through stem cutting and seeds
  • Toxicity: Toxic to humans and animals

General Care For Anthurium Hookeri

The gorgeous Anthurium hookeri gives a tropical feel with an evergreen perennial foliage property. They are covered by lush green leaves and purple-blue colored stems leading onto a wide oval shape with white berries hanging to it. It just needs the right environment and proper care to bloom perfectly.

Water

Like other Anthurium species, Anthurium hookeri needs moist(unsaturated) soil for good growth. Therefore, they need water once a week in the summer season and once in two weeks in the winter season with enough sunlight (indirect).

Always let the soil of the Anthurium hookeri plant dry between the watering periods. If the soil holds water more than needed, it will lead to root rot. It can cause fungi, poor health, and ultimately, the plant may die.

Try this method to check dryness, put your finger inside the soil, up to the knuckles. If your fingertips feel moisture, avoid watering it. If it feels dry, pour an adequate amount of water into it.

Light

Anthurium hookeri loves to be in bright indirect sunlight throughout the day.

From where they come, i.e. tropical forests, they receive plenty of sunlight. But, there also Anthurium hookeri are never under direct sunlight. They grow beneath larger plants, which saves them from scorching sun rays.

They need plenty of indirect sunlight to complete their photosynthesis process. Proper photosynthesis means good health of the plant and more berries.

However, you should protect them from direct natural and artificial light. It scorches their leaves and causes burned patches that don’t heal.

Therefore, find a good spot, like under a roof, inside your house, or beneath some big plants for these delicate dearlings.

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Soil

Anthurium hookeri needs the perfect balance of water in its soil for optimal growth. Therefore, well-draining soil or moist(unsaturated) soil will work wonderfully.

A well-draining soil helps in maintaining the balance and prevents over or under-watering. Moist soil holds the right amount of water that Anthurium hookeri needs.

These soils are breathable enough to let excess water run through instead of depositing at the bottom of the soil.

If you are wondering which soil will be best, try the combination of half normal potting soil and half orchid soil.

You can also mix some perlite into your soil. It helps in draining the water in a much better way. 

Potting

Use only those pots which have drainage holes at the bottom. This will help you to notice the root length. If it starts to creep out, re-pot your Anthurium hookeri.

Anthurium hookeri are very slow in terms of growth when placed indoors. Therefore, they need repotting every two to three years.

Re-potting ensures the plant gets proper nutrients and maintains good health.

However, re-plotting is pretty straightforward, but you need to be very careful with the roots. Roots are very fragile, and if you unknowingly apply extra force, it might tear them off. So, be cautious while doing this.

Fertilizer

If you recently added Anthurium hookeri to your rare species collection, you need to fertilize it once every month. Generally, growing plants need more nutrients which means regular fertilization is essential. Whereas if you already have a fully grown Anthurium hookeri, you need to fertilize it once every three to four months. 

Matured plants start taking nutrients from the soil and also store them efficiently for the photosynthesis process.

Fertilizers with high phosphate percentages are ideal for Anthurium hookeri. It will ensure high pigment levels in plants and provide lush green leaves.

Moreover, Anthurium hookeri needs mild level fertilizers. Strong fertilizers cause salt buildup in the soil, which damages the roots of the plant.

Humidity

Anthurium hookeri is habitual to high humidity levels (80% or more) as it is a tropical plant. 

If you are wondering, how to make my humidity-free house humid? Simple! Build a home in tropical forests.

Jokes apart, creating a humid environment isn’t a complex mathematical equation. You can artificially create humidity with the help of humidifiers. These electronic machines create humidity pretty easily and have level adjusters that can be adjusted according to need.

If you don’t want to go for this modern solution, try the conventional way. Spray clean water on top of the leaves. This water will slowly evaporate and develop humidity for the plant.

Additionally, if you can’t bother spraying every day, try this method. Collect some clean pebbles, put them in a tray till the very top.

Now, add water to the tray to a level below the pebble’s height. Finally, place your Anthurium hookeri on top of the tray. Slowly the water will evaporate, creating the needed level of moisture in the air for the plant.

Temperature

Anthurium hookeri can withstand hot and humid climates up to 90 Fahrenheit (32 degrees Celsius) in summer. It shall be willing to tolerate a minimum of 55 Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius) in winters.

Like all other tropical plants, Anthurium hookeri can not withstand cold weather. It will help if you place them in warm conditions before winter starts to present any damage.

Further, always make sure that frost doesn’t develop on the leaves of your plant.

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Pruning

Regular pruning of plants is necessary for their optimal growth. Anthurium hookeri also needs pruning at regular intervals to ensure the upright and balanced shape of the plant.

To start the pruning, take a close look at the plant and determine which parts need to be cut down and which ones are not. Then follow the steps.

  • Remove all the old leaves from the plant
  • Cut all the saggy or dead blossoms
  • Remove the suckers from the base but trim the one’s around the stem
  • You can also remove the tangled limbs if you want

Make sure you use good-quality cutting tools like scissors. Don’t use very sharp objects as they can rupture the skin of healthy stems and make them prone to pests. Also, wipe the tools between each cut with alcohol to prevent bacterial infection.

Diseases

Anthurium hookeri are prone to:

  • Bacterial Blight – It can be caused due to many factors like a torn leaf while pruning, tissue punctured by insect or guttation droplet forming on the leaf.
  • Bacterial Wilt – The leaves get yellow due to this disease as the Ralstonia bacteria colonise the soil and weaken the plant.
  • Rhizoctonia Root Rot – Due to overwatering, the soil becomes saggy and causes root rot. At this stage, Rhizoctonia attacks the lower stems and weakens the plant. 

To prevent these diseases, keep your plant clean, pour only clean water, fertilize it on time, and be cautious while pruning.

If the plant has been infected by a disease, remove the infected parts of the plant to make sure the disease does not spread. You also want to care for the plant in the right way, to keep the plants healthy and strong.

Pests

The most common pests that attack Anthurium hookeri are sucking insects. They suck the fluids transported through Xylem tubes of phloem cells.

The crawling insects, known as Aphid, stick their mouth in plants’ skin and suck fluid. Other pests that feed on Anthurium are thrips, mealybugs, and spider mites. Moreover, scale insects can also damage the plant.

You can ensure the removal of pests by using horticulture soap or oil sprays. Check out my shop, where I have listed some natural pesticidal sprays.

You can also use a chemical pesticide that you can buy at any gardenshop. Make sure to always follow the care instructions of the products that you use.

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How To Propagate Anthurium Hookeri

Propagation of Anthurium hookeri is most successful in warm conditions. So it is better to propagate it during summer.

Division

This method of propagation is the easiest and contains 5 simple steps. When dividing the plant, always make sure you use a sterile knife, to prevent any disease or pest from infesting the roots.

  1. Take a healthy stem cutting (at least three inches long) of the Anthurium hookeri plant. Two leaf nodes should be attached to it.
  1. Make a Julienne cut or slice them into 2 inches long sections, let them heal for four to six weeks.
  1. Meanwhile, prepare your pot. Take a pot with a draining hole at the bottom. Fill the pot with draining soil.
  1. Once the stem cutting is cured, place them in the pot. Make a hole in the soil using your fingers. Place the stem cutting and pack it with soil. Ensure the upright position of the stem.
  1. Now, you can leave it to grow. Remember to water it to keep the soil moist. Also, make sure it gets adequate direct sunlight.

Seed

Propagating your Anthurium hookeri through seeds can be quite difficult. The process can take a long time and you have to have a lot of patience.

  1. The white berries of Anthurium hookeri contain lots of seeds. The seeds are covered in a sticky material. Clean that material off the seeds and let them dry for one day.
  1. In the meantime, take a pot with a drainage hole at the bottom and fill it with draining soil.
  1. Once the seeds are completely dry, place only one seed on the soil’s surface and put a glass jar upside down over the pot.
  1. Also, lightly moisten the miracle soil by adding distilled water. It will prevent the seed from getting beneath the surface.
  1. Further, provide warm and humid conditions to the seed but don’t place it in direct sunlight.
  1. Remember to moist the soil regularly while waiting for the seed to germinate. Don’t let the soil dry; it can cause failure.
  1. Once the plant blooms, carefully remove the transparent cover from the top and care properly.

Related Questions:

Are coffee grounds good for Anthurium hookeri?

Generally, coffee grounds should be avoided as they can cause nutrient and acidity imbalances in the soil. Coffee grounds harm the Anthurium’s health. Therefore, it is better to use an appropriate all-purpose plant fertilizer and a low moisture potting mix.

Why is my Anthurium hookeri drooping?

The most common reasons that your Anthurium hookeri is drooping is because of improper humdity, poorly draining soil (which will also lead to the browning of leaves), not watering the plant enough, or by a root disease.

To prevent the leaves of the plant from drooping, make sure you only water the plant when the top 3 inches of the soil are dry and keep the humidity around the plant above 60%. Also make sure the plant is potted in a mixture of potting soil and orchid soil (1:1).

Is the Anthurium hookeri toxic?

Anthurium hookeri is a type of toxic plant that may cause severe digestive problems if eaten. Eating the flower will give you some pretty bad side effects, including blisters and swelling in your mouth, and difficulty swallowing or talking properly. If this happens, don’t panic, licorice, cold liquid, and pain pills can help with these symptoms.

How to revive an Anthurium hookeri?

Anthurium plants are capable of blooming year-round. Therefore, the trick to revive it is:

  1. Ensure that the plant you’re growing in your home has been grown under optimal conditions.
  2. Ensure bright, indirect light, and aim for well-draining soil and never overwatering it either.
  3. Fertilise the plant once every month.
  4. Water them only after checking the dryness level.

Once you have ensured all these factors, your Anthurium hookeri will start to bloom again.

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