The anthurium plant is a versatile house plant that comes in over a thousand different species: the most common being the flamingo flower and the araceae. The most popular variations of the plant have a single, wide flat leaf with red, pink or white blossoms.
Anthuriums are tropical plants that do very well when kept in a pot indoors. They can be grown in a wide variety of climates, while being able to blossom year round. During the warmer months, they can be placed outside. If placed outside, they should be put in a place where they will get lots of light, but it must be an indirect light. When the temperatures start to fall in the winter, move the anthurium back inside.
While the anthurium plant is easy to maintain, they encounter some problems from diseases and pests. When not cared for correctly, some common plant diseases, like gray mold, can begin to set in. And without adequate protection, your plant can become infested with pests like mealy bugs and anthurium thrips.
The anthurium thrip is a common pest that infests greenhouses and garden landscapes in most of the areas where anthuriums thrive. They are found mostly in warmer climates, but can also be found in cooler climates if they have easy access to the plants.
They are most common in young plants, as these pests prefers the fresh flowers and fruits. Their damage can be described as white streaks and scarring on the front and back of the spathe. In most cases, after time, the spathes (leaves of the anthurium plant) will fail to open.
There are two ways to manage pests like the anthurium thrip. You can use chemical and non-chemical processes.
Non-Chemical Pest Protection
If you notice that you may have a problem with the thrips, or other pests, then remove the infected leaves immediately. Control any out of control weeds and old leaves by removing them from the plant so the thrips can not begin to thrive in the area.
Before planting new transplants and cuttings, you can dip them into 120 degree water for 10 minutes. This will disinfect the propagative materials from any thrips that may be there.
Chemical Pest Protection
Before using any type of pesticides on your plant check the local guidelines and specific Anthurium related information. Remove any infected or damaged leaves from the area to give the pesticide a better chance of penetrating into the healthier areas. Spray at the base of young plants and give it a good coverage.
Infestation of pests increases during the summer months so you may have to continue spraying your plants from May to August to give them the best protection. These spray applications should be done 3 or 4 times every 2 weeks.
Wipe with Water
Before any type of pests can gain a foothold on the plant, you can also wipe down the plant leaves with water to keep them clean and free of any type of pest or disease that is starting to form on the plant.
Gray mold is a condition on the plant where spots of gray begin to form in small batches. After awhile, if not caught, it will cover the entire leaf, and progress to the rest of the plant quickly. This mold is mostly caused by overwatering of the plant. You can correct this condition by pruning off the damaged leaves (and stop watering the plant until the soil dries out).