How to Grow and Care for Anthurium Crystallinum

Anthurium crystallinum plant in a patterned pot against a light background

Nora Carol Photography / Getty Images

There are over 1,000 species in the tropical, leafy Anthurium genus. If you're looking for a stand-out specimen, why not search for an Anthurium crystallinum. Unlike some anthuriums, you aren't purchasing this plant for its blooms; the green spathes aren't that eye-catching and rarely flower indoors. Instead, this hard-to-come-by species is prized for its large, long, slightly heart-shaped, deep green foliage with a velvety texture and striking pale green or silvery-white venation. The undersides of the impressive leaves, which can grow to over 18 inches in length, tend to be a coppery-red shade.

Best grown indoors as a houseplant, epiphytic Anthurium crystallinums are known for having excellent air purifying properties, helping to rid your home of harmful toxins.

Just keep these plants out of reach of curious, nibbling members of your household. Like other plants in this genus, they are toxic to people and pets.

Common Name Crystal anthurium, Crystal laceleaf
 Botanical Name Anthurium crystallinum
 Family Araceae
 Plant Type Perennial
 Mature Size Up to 3 feet tall
 Sun Exposure Partial
 Soil Type Well-drained
 Soil pH Acidic, Neutral
 Bloom Time Rarely blooms indoor
 Flower Color N/a
 Hardiness Zones 13+ (USDA)
 Native Area Central and South America
Toxicity Toxic to people and pets

Anthurium Crystallinum Care

While it isn't the most high-maintenance plant, because of its love of tropical conditions, it's best to keep your Anthurium crystallinum as a houseplant. This allows you to offer plenty of bright indirect light, decent humidity, consistent moisture, and a loose, well-draining potting mix. As an epiphytic species with aerial roots, as the large leaves grow, it might appreciate the support of a moss pole that it can attach to and lean against.

And remember to regularly wipe down those large leaves gently with a damp cloth. Leaving a layer of dust to gather can hinder the plant's photosynthesizing ability.


One of the key conditions to help your Anthurium crystallinum thrive is getting it right with light. These plants are lovers of bright but indirect light. This shouldn't come as a surprise when, in their native environment, they are sitting under a dappled rainforest canopy.

Too much direct sunlight will damage your plant's showstopping but sensitive veined foliage, and too little means you won't get to appreciate the size and patternation that you would expect for the Anthurium crystallinum.

An east-facing window is typically a top spot. If you only have a south-facing position, add a sheer curtain to filter some of the light. You could invest in grow lights in north-facing rooms to help your plant thrive.


Don't stick your Anthurium crystallinum in any old, random potting soil you find kicking around your garage. This plant needs an airy and well-draining mix to flourish.

Try mixing up a blend of two parts potting soil with one part perlite and one part peat moss (or more sustainable coconut coir). This helps promote consistent moisture and exposes the roots to enough oxygen while minimizing the chance of waterlogging. If you don't want to make your own mix, opt for high-quality orchid soil and add a little gravel and perlite.


While your Anthurium crystallinum appreciates consistent moisture, that doesn't mean dousing it with loads of water. Root rot is a common cause of demise due to overwatering and soggy soil. Wait until the top couple of inches of potting mix dries out before rewatering. Stick your finger into the soil to check rather than estimating dryness by sight or on a strict schedule.

And watch out for getting water on those large leaves. Wet foliage encourages pests and fungal diseases.

Temperature and Humidity

It shouldn't be surprising that this plant does best in warm, humid environments, given it's a tropical native. If your house blasts out heat or cool air via HVAC systems year-round, it might not be the plant for you.

Humidity levels need to be above 50%, but the most healthy and impressive foliage is likely when levels are above 70%. Grouping similar plants together and adding a tray filled with pebbles and water under the plant can also help. Sometimes, you might need to invest in a humidifier to reach the desired levels.

While the Anthurium crystallinum does best in temperatures between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, it can still survive in rooms that are as mild as 60 degrees Fahrenheit.


While the Anthurium crystallinum isn't a heavy feeder, nourishing during the spring and summer growing months helps promote lush, large, healthy foliage. Feeding with an organic supplement, such as a natural fish emulsion, or a half-diluted balanced houseplant fertilizer monthly should work well.

Always read commercial fertilizer instructions, and avoid fertilizing too frequently, as this can lead to root scorch.

Propagating Anthurium Crystallinum

If you have a healthy, mature Anthurium crystallinum, why not consider propagating from it to gift others with beautiful plant babies? It's relatively easy to do this by division or propagating from stem cuttings. Follow the steps below in spring or summer to give it a whirl.

Propagating by Division

  1. Carefully tease the plant from its pot, trying not to damage the root system.
  2. Shake off loose soil, then rinse off and gently separate the root system, ideally by hand or gently cutting roots away from each other with a sharp, sterile set of scissors.
  3. Make sure each division has at least one leaf, although, ideally, you want multiple leaves for the best success.
  4. Repot the divided plants, ensuring you select appropriately sized pots—too large and you risk overwatering and too small, and they will quickly become rootbound.

Propagating by Stem Cutting

  1. Use a sterile, sharp pair of scissors or pruning shears to take a cutting around 6 inches long and with at least two healthy leaves. Cut below a node (area on a stem where a bud develops). If it also has some aerial roots growing out of it, all the better.
  2. For a better chance of success, allow the cut end to callus over (this usually takes a few days).
  3. Use a fresh, well-drained, loose potting mix to plant the stem cutting in.
  4. Water the soil and keep it evenly moist. Keep the cutting in a warm spot, subject to bright but indirect light.
  5. Propagating is successful if the cutting takes root within one to two months. You can tell the roots have taken if you gently tug the plant and come up against some resistance.

Potting and Repotting Anthurium Crystallinum

One advantage of the Anthurium crystallinum being a pretty slow grower is that you won't have the hassle of repotting regularly. But, to keep your plant healthy, you will need to move it up a pot size or two when it shows signs of being root bound. Look out for the following:

  • The most obvious sign is roots creeping out the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot
  • Water not draining properly or draining too quickly from the soil
  • Damage to the plant pot, like crackling or warping
  • Displaced soil
  • Yellow or wilting foliage
  • Slower than normal growth

Try to repot during the spring or summer growing season and opt for a pot with good drainage and breathability (porous terracotta works well). Don't recycle the old potting soil—this will be stripped of all the beneficial nutrients. Provide a fresh, well-drained, loose mix.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

If you can avoid overwatering and overly humid conditions, your Anthurium crystallinum will hopefully stay pest and disease free. However, it's worth watching for common pests such as spider mitesaphids, and mealybugs. If you see signs of these bugs, get out the insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Common Problems With Anthurium Crystallinum

Watch out for these early signs you might need to tweak your plant's watering schedule, light or humidity levels. Making speedy changes could be the difference between a flourishing or frail Anthurium crystallinum.

Yellowing Leaves

If the glossy green leaves of your Anthurium crystallinum start turning an unsightly yellow shade, it's likely to do with giving it too much water or direct sunlight. Paring back your irrigation schedule or moving your plant to a spot with more filtered sunlight could correct this problem.

Curling or Droopy Leaves

There's nothing worse than the striking large leaves of your Anthurium crystallinum starting to droop, wilt, or curl. The most likely reason for this is getting it wrong with watering. Too much sun and even cold drafts are also culprits for this issue.

Brown Tips

If you don't have high enough humidity or are underwatering your Anthurium crystallinum it can lead to unattractive brown tips or spots on the plant's foliage. Scorching from too much direct sunlight can also lead to brown patches.

  • Does Anthurium crystallinum grow fast?

    You'll need patience if you buy a juvenile plant. The Anthurium crystallinum is a relatively slow grower. You might only see around 1 foot of growth every few years (with a maximum growth of around 3 feet). And don't expect to be blown away by new foliage growth; you are doing well if one new leaf sprouts a month.

  • Is Anthurium crystallinum rare?

    The Anthurium crystallinum is a trendy plant that you'll not likely find in your local garden store. However, it isn't the rarest anthurium species. If you are happy to pay a premium, you should be able to pick one up from a specialist online supplier. Or, if you are lucky, one of your plant-collecting friends may offer you a cutting from their specimen.

  • Can Anthurium crystallinum live in water?

    These moisture-loving, epiphytic species might be able to handle hydroponic growth. However, growing in water isn't their natural environment, so it is a tricky technique, and it won't have guaranteed success. If you want to grow houseplants in water, selecting a water-loving plant like a philodendron species might be a better bet.

Article Sources
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  2. Anthurium. Pet Poison Helpline