This anthurium is a species I didn’t really set out to acquire, but instead, was gifted a berry from a friend of mine to try growing for myself. Since I was already successfully growing Anthurium magnificum from seed, why not give these a go?
To my delight, the same method I used for my magnificum seeds worked beautifully for this pendens – and it’s become my favorite hanging plant since.
Quick Care Overview
|Preferred Temperature Range||70 – 90F; tolerates but is not a fan of 65F at night|
|Preferred Humidity Range||Over 50%|
|Light Exposure||Bright, indirect – does well hanging in a window|
|Fertilizer||Foliage-specific; 9-3-6 works well*|
* I have never had my Anthurium pendens bloom, but my other species bloom regularly with this ratio
Do you need to worry about soil pH?
Probably not, especially if you’re using filtered water and/or fertilizer.
What’s a good soil mix for Anthurium pendens?
I am a major fan of 1/3 quality houseplant soil, 1/3 orchid bark, and 1/3 pumice (for older plants) or 1/3 sphagnum moss (for seedlings). This is to allow for greater aeration and available air for older plant roots, while younger seedlings need more available moisture and consistency to thrive.
Can I grow these with a grow light?
Yep – they make for a stunning highlight hanging on a wall with a growlight used as a spotlight.
I kept my little baby pendens in a small salsa cup with the lid on until it, in my Ikea grow cabinet, for a couple months to allow its tiny leaves to grow and get some size to them.
After the first couple months, I took the lid off, but still kept it in the grow cabinet where the temperatures were warm, the light bright, and the humidity high. As a young seedling, I kept the sphagnum moss it was planted in damp all the time, checking it regularly to make sure it hadn’t dried out and turned into a moss cake.
A time or two, the moss did get pretty dry, but it was easy to get it wet again and keep the plant happy. I regularly used dirty fishtank water for it whenever my betta tank got a water change.
My pendens sprouted in the summer of 2021, sometime between July and August (I didn’t record the exact date). Temperatures in my cabinet were rarely below 78F at night, and typically 84 to 86 during the day. Humidity swung from 40% when the air conditioning kicked on to 80% when everything had been recently watered. I would also mist inside the cabinet once or twice a day to keep the humidity high, as the air conditioning really sucked all the moisture out.
When to repot a seedling?
As shown in the photo above, by November of 2021, the seedling was just barely reaching a size where I thought it should probably have a “real” pot. Part of what I wanted to accomplish by repotting it was to put it in a mix that had some soil in it, allowing the roots to get some nutrition through the soil rather than just fertilizer. This would take some pressure off me to remember a strict fertilization routine, which I was looking forward to!
I repotted it, and less than a month later, I was rewarded with a new leaf, longer than the one before! At this point, each subsequent leaf would start getting longer and longer – and they were looking more like pendens leaves, and less like generic leaves.
I mixed a rich houseplant soil mix with a hefty amount of orchid bark and sphagnum moss – about 1/3 soil, 1/3 bark, and 1/3 sphagnum. After nestling the plant in the mix, I densely pressed a layer of sphagnum on the top, and watered the entire thing thoroughly.
In addition, this was when I began experimenting with humidity. The hanging, freely-draining basket I planted the little pendens in needed more space to hang, and wouldn’t fit in my Ikea cabinet. I chose to hang it on a lamp stand I had next to my cabinet, where I’d replaced the regular bulbs with grow lights. Being out of the cabinet meant lower ambient humidity, though, and even with a humidifier right next to it I wasn’t sure how it’d do.
Part of the care routine for the pendens at this stage was being carted into the shower at least once a week for a thorough dousing and a high-humidity period. While it was still young, I think this was highly beneficial, but as it’s grown larger and more established I scaled way back on the shower aspect.
My Anthurium pendens, like all of my anthuriums and tropical plants, started getting regular feeding with Dyna-Gro Foliage Plus once it was in its own pot. I followed the directions on the package (1/4 tsp per gallon of water) and used it every second or third time I watered the plants.
If I kept up on this routine, I was rewarded with consistent new leaf growth, and each new leaf was longer than the one before it!
Humidity and occasionally getting super dry didn’t seem to phase the pendens starting around this time frame. In the photo at left, from February 2022, you may be able to tell that the moss is actually quite dry in the photo but the anthurium looks fine.
I’ve never really measured the light output for my Anthurium pendens, but have kept it in the brightest indoor light exposures I can manage. That meant directly hanging on a light stand with the light pointed right at it, hanging in a south-facing window, and where I have it currently, it is barely a foot away from a Sol-Tech ceiling-mounted light.
By May of 2022, more new leaves were emerging, although they weren’t as dramatically different in lengths as before. Here is about when my haphazard care regime would have effects: I didn’t water as much or fertilize as consistently with the leaf shown on top above, and so it didn’t get as big or as long as I might have hoped. I had one leaf come out funky, one where I broke the tip – things like that happen.
Carting it to and from the shower was also risky; the leaf length was starting to become problematic. The longer leaves would get damaged from the removable shower head, and the pot was drying out faster and faster each week. The rapid drying of the pot was one sign that the roots had really exploded; the other was visibly seeing them through the mesh!
It didn’t take long for keeping a consistent fertilization routine to resolve the uneven leaf growth I had seen in spring.
By late summer, however, I’d realized the hanging pots and the light stand weren’t great long-term solutions, and didn’t look very nice in my office. Since by this time I was successfully growing Anthurium warocqueanum and Anthurium vietchii as well, I decided to potting up the plants in something that would hold moisture a big longer, give the roots more room to expand, and make it easier to keep them in one place and well watered instead of carrying them all over the house.
I purchased corner shelves made out of acrylic for my grow cabinet, and potted up my hanging Anthuriums!
The repot worked! And none too soon. This winter has been rough on my tropicals, with a lot more cloudy weather and rain than we’ve seen in San Diego for years. Running the heater so much did a number on many of my plants.
In the 5″ round plastic pots, I used a hybrid of the type of airy mix I like for my cacti, and a mix that would hold more moisture. Rather than sphagnum, I used pumice in my mix, along with orchid bark, rich potting soil (Happy Frog this time), and a scoop of regular cactus mix.
Again, the ratio was a very rough 1/3 of each, and I mixed it well before covering the top with orchid bark rather than sphagnum moss this time.
This made for a very well draining mix, and the pumice ensures a nice amount of air is available for the roots without holding on to too much moisture. This is crucial in a pot that isn’t as wide open or airy as the hanging baskets were, and what I like about pumice rather than perlite is that it doesn’t float up to the top of the soil.
And now, we come to present day! You can see that this new leaf got some damage; it didn’t take long for the pendens to happily outgrow the Ikea cabinet. Fortunately, this new spot is high up on our wall, with excellent exposure to grow lights, and it has been thriving in the regular pot. The leaf shown here has actually just finished hardening off, and now a new leaf has begun to emerge. We’ll see how big the next one gets!