Formerly known as Anthurium Dussii and very commonly sold as Anthurium Guildingii, this plant is now officially called Anthurium Balaoanum.
The most important reason as to why I have this plant in my garden is the leathery texture it has and how it feels. With a soft and velvet-like touch, this plant is truly a bliss to have.
Anthurium Balaoanum is an epiphytic plant meaning it grows in the air and absorbs nutrients from a host, be it a tree or another plant.
Known for their versatility, the anthurium species have a plethora of shapes and sizes in their plants. As for the Balaoanum, the leaves are fairly large with an arrow-like shape.
Anthurium Balaoanum can be used as a houseplant conveniently, as it does not require bright light at all times and can tolerate lower humidity levels.
While the soft touch of the leaves makes you feel at peace, the bright green leaves enliven your living space.
Not only that, these plants qualify as one of the best air purifiers amongst all species of Anthurium Plants.
They filter toxic chemicals such as formaldehyde, ammonia, and toluene, which are harmful to inhale or ingest.
Belonging to the Araceae family and Anthurium genus, A. Balaoanum is an epiphytic plant, having the precise feel of a thin tissue paper.
This plant is native to Ecuador and is known to tolerate a diverse range of conditions without requiring to follow any substantial maintenance protocols.
While the leaves are very small in the initial stages of the plant, they grow exponentially as the plant develops into a mature epiphyte.
When grown outdoors as an epiphyte, this plant can reach an outstanding height of 30 meters or more. However, it grows to a length of about 2 meters when kept indoors as a houseplant.
The large surface area of the leaves allows the plant to survive at lower humidity levels and gain nourishment from the indirect light of the sun.
Owing to the great number of benefits this plant has to offer, choosing this one can be an excellent choice if you are passionate about gardening and plants.
To help you even further, this guide looks at all the necessary aspects to take care of this plant and secure it from any diseases.
Anthurium Balaoanum Plant Care
Anthurium Balaoanum thrives well under small amounts of direct sunlight. Use an aroid soil when growing this plant as it ensures good drainage. Water it only when you’re sure that the entire finger you inserted into the soil comes out dry. Keep in an area with 70-90 degrees Fahrenheit (21-32 degrees Celsius) and humidity above 70%.
The best potting mix for growing Anthurium Balaoanum is aroid soil mix.
An aroid soil mix is made of bark chunks and mixed with an adequate quantity of organic material to ensure good drainage.
The soil for this plant must have a good drainage system as the plant is highly vulnerable to rot if it retains water.
Moreover, the soil should be lightweight and airy so that it gives up water easily, and waterlogging problems are kept at a distance.
If you find your soil mix heavy and murky, make sure you repot the plant as soon as possible.
For best results, you can also use black charcoal on the topmost layer of the soil to enhance growth and promote blooming.
With all the Anthuriums you come across, keep one thing in mind and never forget it; water the plant only when the soil is dry to touch.
This may sound convenient, but as a matter of fact, it is quite tricky. Anthuriums may be dry to touch when you simply place a finger on the outer surface of the soil.
It is important to understand that you can only determine if the soil is dry by inserting the finger deep into the soil.
If your whole finger still comes out dry, now is the right time to water your plant. If not, hold until it does.
As Anthuriums love water, they will instantaneously absorb all the water that you pour on the leaves and into the soil.
However, this plant has a tendency to retain water in the middle layer of the soil, which then serves as the primary cause of root rots.
Therefore, it’s extremely crucial to check for wetness in the soil properly before watering the plant again.
While the Anthurium Balaoanum can tolerate small amounts of direct sunlight, keeping it under the scorching sun for a longer period of time will result in discoloration of leaves, and the leathery texture will be burnt.
It is always the best practice to keep your plant away from the scorching sun as the strong rays of the sunlight will rot the leaves and give rise to yellow leaves in no time.
For optimum growth of the plant, always choose the spot which has bright indirect light. You can keep it in a window facing in the eastern direction.
The best temperature for this plant is 70-degree to 90-degree Fahrenheit (21.1 to 32.2 degrees Celsius).
At lower temperatures, this plant has the potential to survive; however, not at its best capacity.
Moreover, in conditions below 15 degrees Celsius, the plant will start experiencing temperature shock. Therefore, it will need artificial heating in winter.
Set your thermostat to the correct temperature in winters so that artificial heating can compensate for the absence of sunlight.
You can also change the place of your plant and put it in the rooms where it can get as much indirect light as possible.
Even though the plant thrives at humidity levels that are above 70 percent, it will do great even in lower humidity levels.
Moreover, to maintain your humidity level inside the house, a budget-friendly way is to fill a saucer with pebbles and water and place it under the pot.
The evaporation resulting from this will maintain the humidity for the plant’s efficient growth. Keep your plant away from heating vents to prevent rapid drying of the water.
Apart from that, misting will also work great for the leaves to retain moisture. A relatively expensive but useful method is to use a humidifier as it helps in keeping the correct humidity level inside your house.
To choose the right fertilizer for your A. Balaoanum, go for the seaweed present in liquid or powder form.
Make sure that you use it in diluted form as strong portions of the fertilizer can cause yellow leaves and root rot instead.
You can also use a diluted fertilizer that is rich in phosphorus to make sure the plant has not lost color and is ready to bloom.
It is further advised to use the fertilizer at least once a week in summer as it is the growing season for the plant.
This will help the plant to quickly gain strength and show an extraordinary increase in length.
However, in winters, you can reduce the frequency to once every month as the growth is relatively stunned in this season.
Anthurium Balaoanum does not require repotting very frequently. Rather, you will need to transfer it in a larger pot once in two years.
Fill the pot with the newly bought potting mix after placing the plant in the larger pot.
Fertilize it once and allow it to grow for a month before fertilizing again. Water it once weekly and mist in regular intervals.
Also, make sure that you repot the plant in the months of active growth (spring till summer) so that the plant has the potential to gain strength in its new pot.
Propagating Anthurium Balaoanum should not take much of your time and effort. All you will need are the seeds you’ll find from your local supermarket.
Simply follow the steps given below to continue:
- Choose a spot in your garden (outdoors) or a place (indoors) where the plant has indirect and moderate access to sunlight, not too much and not too low.
- Prepare the soil mix with a little bit of compost or organic mulch and fill the container to about eight inches.
- Next, place the seeds in the soil with an approximate distance of about 1 inch.
- Cover the seeds with another inch of enriched potting mix.
- The plant should begin to bear leaves after about 6 to 8 weeks.
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Common Problems for Anthurium Balaoanum
Having yellow leaves is a widespread problem you will hear from anyone who is taking care of Anthurium Balaoanum.
The most common reason behind a plant’s yellow leaves is excess water. It can be either due to watering too much and too frequently or else, your pot is to be blamed for not draining water efficiently.
Ensure you’re using a good-sized pot to grow your A. Balaoanums. The pot should have very large drainage holes at the bottom so that no water is allowed to reside in the soil for a long period of time.
Moreover, keep in mind that you do not need to water your plant immediately after you find it dry to touch.
Keep the soil unwatered for about a day or two so that no lumps are formed, and the soil stays light and airy.
After giving the soil ample time to rest without water, it is now time to water your plant.
While the leaves of Anthurium Balaoanum can tolerate the early morning sun or late afternoon sun, it does not guarantee that keeping your plant outdoors under the bright light of the sun at all times will be a good call.
First of all, remember that keeping this plant completely outdoors is never recommended as the plant cannot tolerate sunlight at all times.
However, if you need to move your plant outdoors due to less space inside, there’s a workaround you can do.
For that, you need to gradually build the tolerance of your plant to stay outside through a process called acclimatization.
Under this process, you get your plant to become accustomed to a new surrounding and different conditions by slowly exposing it to desirable weather.
First, you put this plant in the mid-day sunlight for an hour. Once an hour is finished, quickly move your plant indoors. Do this for another six days and then increase the sunlight exposure.
Keep the pot out for two hours for a week and then gradually switch to four hours.
This way, your Anthuriums will be able to build tolerance towards heat without going through a drastic impact on the leaves or rotting the roots.
Despite the fact that Anthurium Balaoanums are fairly resistant to pests such as thrips, spider mites, or mealybugs, they can still be attacked by these harmful insects in circumstances where proper care is not given to the plant.
To avoid these pests, make sure that you clean the leaves with a wet, and soft cloth dipped in a solution of liquid detergent and warm water.
After that, wipe the leaves with a dry cloth. You can also mist the leaves after cleaning them to provide humidity and to brighten up the color of the leaves.
Frequently Asked Questions About Anthurium Balaoanums
What is the most important benefit an Anthurium Balaoanum has to offer?
The greatest benefit of having this plant in your house is that it purifies the air around you and traps harmful substances in its leaves, such as formaldehyde, ammonia, and toluene. Also, keep in mind that since the leaves catch these substances, they are extremely toxic to consume. Moreover, this plant should also be kept at a fair distance from children and pets.
Do Anthuriums like to be misted?
Yes, since the anthuriums thrive in higher levels of humidity, it is the best practice to mist them every once in a while. A pebble tray is also a good way to ensure the right levels of humidity for your plant.
Due to its friendly impact, little attention required, and the amazing look, Anthurium Balaoanum proves to be a great plant, indoors as well as outdoors.
Make sure that it is given the right temperature, humidity, water, and sunlight, and this plant will do wonders for you.
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Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.