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Sunday, July 26, 2020

Anthurium Crystallinum - Basic Care & Maintenance


I must say that this particular Anthurium species are very much highly sought after, so much so these prices range from RM60 - RM300 depending on the size of the plant and the number of the leaves in one plant.

I also realized that there is not much said about the plant rather more on a basic information that you can easily find listed together with the online plant nurseries database. One thing for sure is the heartache one must feel when the few leaves turning yellow and falling off and it is otherwise a too late dead plant to revive with an expensive lesson.

However, I was told that these are the actually an easy plant to care for once you know the basic care and maintenance need for them. Just like any other Anthurium species - their Care & Need are actually very much similar.

I would really recommend to get a common Anthurium andraeanum species from your local nursery which is actually cheap (roughly around RM10-Rm15) and try your hand on it. See where it ticks off or what it loves based on the condition of the garden atmosphere and such. Once mastered as such - then I would recommend you to get these rare & expensive types.


I must say that I was confused at first in actually identifying the actual plant as they all look almost alike and can easily mistaken if they are specifically identified - especially that one minute specific slight difference and even that - you can still miss it if you are not able to detect it.

However, Here are the list of that specific details that I would like to mention here for identification purpose on what makes Anthurium crystallinum different from the rest.

Foliage Anthurium especially this particular type are cultivated for the Foliage Beauty, the inflorescence however are very insignificant and unattractive. This particular plant falls into the Rare Plant Category in the Plant Collection. The Theme : Rare Plants is actually a marketing strategy to create that exclusive plant market niche - these are cultivated carefully in small batches as not to overwhelm the plant market thus protecting the plant market prices.
These are very much sought after as a Tropical Themed Plant and also very popular as an indoor plant.

1) Small to Medium sized Foliage Plant - Usually Clustered Together.

The Basic identity for Anthurium Crystallinum is the size. In most cases - it will appear to have a small to medium plant structure - the main stem doesn't grow to big and when the plant matures - it often branches out to more plant-lets, creating something like a colony based plant rather than a singular plant.


This particular Anthurium have this distinct spade shaped leaf pattern - this pattern is very much in uniform with the A.crystallinum breed. Anthurium clarinervium is however more in a heart shaped pattern and the rest of the other majority types falls in a big sized leaf shapes.
I must say that Anthurium Magnificum does look almost alike with this one when it is still small - the only thing that makes it different is A. Magnificum grows into a giant size in comparison to this one.

Another confusing factor is the easily cross breeding with most of the Anthurium species - hence it can be a mix parentage hybrids in between Anthurium Crystallinum and Anthurium Magnificum - hence it may look exactly like Anthurium Crystallinum but appears much larger in size.



Another slight variation between species are this small feature:
Anthurium Crystallinum has a fine red lining around the leaf perimeter, this appearance only appear when the new leaf is formed - also the new leaf appear almost paper thin and very fragile and so care much be greatly given not to accidentally bruise the new formed leaf.


In comparison to Anthurium Crystallinum - the new formed leaf is very soft - almost like cloth in texture. Anthurium Magnificum however - the new formed leaf is very hard and firm to touch.
This is another specific difference to identify them as both Anthurium Crystallinum and Anthurium Magnificum has the same appearance when they are grown by seedling.


In most cases, there will be a slight formation pattern in appearance for the Magnificum species where there will be an appearance like a bump or a dot in the center - Anthurium Crystallinum however does not have any of this feature.  If in case, if it does have some features - then in most case, it can be a hybrid.


Another Identification Feature for Anthurium Crystallinum has rounded leaf stem, unlike Anthurium Magnificum - it has 4 angled shaped stem and the hybrid has a D shaped stem.

Also the stem has Red colored stem in comparison to other variants.



This particular type is actually an epiphyte which works best as placing them as Vertical Garden Plant - because of this it can tolerate all levels of indirect light, but Anthuriums growing in low light will grow slower. These plants cannot tolerate direct light however, as this can burn the leaves.

It grows best in bright, indirect light.
The balance of both is required as too much bright sunlight may cause the leaves get burned.


These do best in fast draining soil medium: 50% sand and 50% cocopeat.
You may also try with coconut husk cut into chips, perlite and sphagnum moss but making sure that the watering schedule is well adjusted.

However these do require fast draining medium good enough to keep the root ball moist but not soaking wet as it may cause root rot.


Because of the fast draining medium - they can tolerate good watering regime. Normally I water twice a day on a good sunny day and once a day in the morning on rainy days. I often refrain from watering if it rains in the morning.


I find they do well in using foliar fertilizer especially the orchid mix types. Of course, these are much hardier than orchids - I find that they are quite resilient than most flowering plants.


So far I had not encountered any pest for this particular one however sap-sucking pest can find themselves at the back of the leaves so do check in case anything can cause harm to this plant.

This plant is a very slow growing plant - basically putting out a new leaf at about once a month and so a lot of patience is required to see it grow to a magnificent stage.

As I mentioned earlier, these are highly sought after and their price can be expensive and often sold as a small plant-let which may be subject to stress as they not stable yet. Often they will drop of their existing leaves due to stress and one may think that the plant is dead.

Another pointer:
Anthurium species are known to be highly variable and not every leaf of every specimen will always appear the same depending whether they were cultivated using seeds or stem cutting. If they were cultivated using seeds - most like the identification can be very challenging if they happen to be a hybrid between another hybrid of the same species types.

Anthurium Crystallinum is the most common and the cheapest Foliage Anthurium that you can find sold in the plant market - the other different varieties will somehow be more expensive due to it's rarity and slow growing characteristics as some breed may take a month or more just to produce a new leaf which may replacing an old dying leaf.

However challenging it may be - Growing Foliage Anthurium has it's own reward and sense of accomplishment.

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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