Strap in for a botanical adventure as we introduce you to Anthurium vittariifolium, or strap leaf anthurium.
This coveted plant has long green leaves with a leathery look, much like a . . . strap or a tie.
It’s so tropical jungle-esque, you might wonder if Anthurium vittariifolium somehow managed to teleport from its rainforest home right into your living room!
In this definitive care guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about Anthurium vittariifolium care, from lighting to achieving that true rainforest feel. Repotting, propagation, and common issues – we’ll dive into it all.
Read on, fellow plant lovers, and let’s get growing!
Anthurium Vittariifolium Care
History, Habitat, and Characteristics
Anthurium vittariifolium (often misspelled as ‘anthurium vittarifolium,’ missing an ‘i’) is an eye-catching houseplant hailing from the tropical rainforests of South America. Its native habitat spans southeast Colombia to Brazil and Peru.
This plant is an epiphyte species, which means it puts out aerial roots and grows on other things for support — the trunks of trees in the jungle, and possibly on a moss pole in your home.
Anthurium vittariifolium boasts long, leathery narrow leaves featuring a prominent line down the middle and a mix of green shades, depending on the age and size of the leaves (they darken as they grow older).
Its leaves have a pendant shape, earning the plant its nickname as the “necktie Anthurium” or “strap leaf Anthurium.” It’s like the plant is wearing multiple tropical ties . . . clearly the go-to houseplant for those who appreciate fashion. Leaves can grow over four feet long inside, but never get more than two inches across.
While Anthurium vittariifolium is mostly admired for its foliage, mature plants also have light green and cream flowers that can be hidden beneath their leaves. If this plant get lots of the right light inside, it can produce inflorescences (many small flowers), that turn to red berries containing seeds.
While we have come across several pictures of Anthurium vittariifolium ‘Albovariegata,’ or variegated, we’ve never seen those yellow and green markings in person.
First things first, where should you place your Anthurium vittariifolium indoors? Well, this tropical rainforest plant loves medium to bright indirect sunlight, so near a north or west-facing window would be perfect!
But what if it’s not getting enough light? Take a look at the leaves. Dull and dark green? Slow, leggy growth? Your Anthurium vittariifolium is probably craving more sunlight.
To help your plant out, try rotating it every few weeks to ensure even exposure and encourage well-rounded growth. And if natural light is scarce, you can always give it a boost with an LED grow light, especially during those darker winter months.
Too much light? Leaves turning yellow could be a sign. Brown spots? Sounds like some sunburn (these guys can’t handle more than an hour or two of direct sunlight a day). In that case, move your plant to a shadier spot (a few feet away from a window that gets direct light) or use a sheer curtain to filter.
Anthurium vittariifolium loves consistently moist soil . . . but not too wet! Think about slowly saturating the soil, just like you’d prepare a delicious pour-over coffee.
If your plant isn’t getting enough water, you’ll start seeing wilted or curling leaves as if it’s throwing a little tantrum (and who could blame it?). Don’t let that soil go all dry and crumbly – it’s a surefire way to make your Anthurium vittariifolium unhappy.
On the flip side, too much water can cause yellowing leaves and mushy stems . . . kind of like your plant’s way of saying, “Hey, ease up on the H2O, pal!” If you spot these signs, it’s time to cut back on the watering. Makes sure your Anthurium vittariifolium’s roots aren’t rotting, and let the soil dry out at least an inch down before watering again.
Temperature and Humidity
Caring for the gorgeous Anthurium vittariifolium plant means replicating its native habitat (you know, minus the rainforest wildlife).
Anthurium vittarrifolium prefers warm temperatures like those it gets in the tropical rain forests, so aim for a consistent range of about 65-80 degrees Fahrenheit (18-27 degrees Celsius) during the day, with a slightly cooler range of about 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit (15-18 degrees Celsius) at night.
Anthurium vittariifolium can tolerate a wide range of temperatures, but if it starts to wilt or droop, this may be due to excessive heat or cold exposure. Keep your plant away from drafty windows, air conditioning vents, and radiators to avoid sudden temperature fluctuations.
Moving on to humidity, this tropical plant loves a moist atmosphere. To keep your Anthurium vittariifolium happy, aim for a humidity level of around 60-70%, or at least 50%. If you notice the leaves become dry, brown, or curling at the edges, it could be a sign that the humidity level is too low.
If you need to raise the humidity level in your plant’s environment (what, you mean you don’t live in a sauna?), there are some easy ways.
Anthurium vittariifolium humidity tips:
- Place a cool mist humidifier nearby.
- Pop your plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water. This will create a microclimate that provides the extra moisture it needs.
- Group your Anthurium vittariifolium with other humidity-loving tropical plants so they can share humidity (this is called transpiration).
Soil and Planting
Anthurium vittariifolium thrives in a chunky soil mix that drains well but still has the right balance of moisture and air circulation.
To create the ideal soil mix for Anthurium vittariifolium, consider combining:
- 50% high-quality orchid compost
- 25% perlite or pumice for added drainage and aeration
- 25% coco coir or peat moss to help retain moisture
Why does soil matter so much? Well, if it’s too heavy or doesn’t drain well, the roots can become waterlogged, leading to rot and eventual plant death.
Anthurium vittariifoliums shouldn’t need too much pruning other than snipping off dead or dying leaves with a clean pair of shears or scissors. If you did get flowers (lucky you!), you’ll want to prune them off from the base to give your plant more room to grow.
This one is a fast grower, so you’ll need to repot your Anthurium (full guide here) plant every year, or when you see roots poking out of the pot bottom. Spring is the ideal time for repotting, as the plant is actively growing and can recover more then.
Fertilize your Anthurium vittariifolium every 4-6 weeks during the growing season (spring and summer) to give it the essential nutrients it needs. Use a balanced liquid fertilizer at half strength. Avoid fertilizing during winter months when the plant is dormant.
Be careful not to over-fertilize, which can cause leaf burn, yellowing leaves or leaf tips, or leaf tips and slow growth.
If you suspect this is the case, flush the soil with water to remove excess fertilizer salts. Dilute fertilizer more and/or don’t apply it as often in the future.
You can propagate Anthurium vittariifolium in three ways: root division (highest success rate!), stem cuttings, or seed propagation. We’ll cover the first two in our step-by-step guide.
Note that the stem cutting method comes with an exra risk of fungus or rot, since anthurium cuttings take longer than other houseplant cuttings to grow roots (sometimes over six weeks). Many people prefer division.
Propagating Anthurium vittariifolium by division:
- Gently remove the plant from its pot and brush away the soil around its roots (you can also dip them in a some water to make this process easier).
- Carefully pull (or cut with sterilized knife or shears if you’re having issues) your plant into two sections, ensuring each has its own healthy root system growing.
- Replant the sections in their own pots with our suggested soil mix.
- Keep the soil moist but not sopping for a few days while your plants adjust to their new situation.
Propagating Anthurium vittariifolium by stem cutting:
- First things first, look for a section of the mother plant with already-formed aerial roots and at least two nodes (bumps where leaves will form). Grab a sterilized knife and cut a section at a 45-degree angle.
- You have a choice now: you can root the cutting in soil or water. In both cases, it can take over six weeks to see roots growing.
a) If you choose soil, plant your cutting in a small pot with moist potting mix like the one we suggested above. Press it lightly down around the stem and water. Keep the soil moist but not sopping and put the container in indirect bright light.
b) If you choose water, place the stem in a jar filled with filtered or rainwater, making sure not to submerge any leaves. Change out the water every two or three days to prevent fungus from growing. Once roots are two inches long, plant the cuttings in a moist potting soil and treat the plant as you normally would.
Your Anthurium vittariifolium might face a few common problems, but don’t worry, they all have tried and true solutions.
So, you’ve noticed yellowing leaves on your Anthurium vittariifolium. It could be due to a few reasons, but overwatering is often the main troublemaker. When you spot yellow leaves, take a peek at the potting soil and make sure it’s not too soggy. If it is, cut back on watering and keep an eye on your plant for signs of recovery.
If it’s really ailing and doesn’t seem to be improving, at this point, you may want to take a look at its roots (we cover what to do about root rot below).
Oh, and don’t forget about the light! These plants adore bright indirect sunlight, but aren’t fans of direct rays, which can scorch their long leaves. If this is the culprit, move your plant back a few feet from a light source or diffuse it with a curtain.
Is your Anthurium vittariifolium growing at a snail’s pace? It could be crying out for more light, proper watering, or a nutrient boost.
To help it speed up, first make sure it’s basking in enough indirect sunlight. Then, check the soil moisture and adjust your watering accordingly (remember, let the top few inches dry out between waterings). Lastly, give your plant some love with a balanced liquid fertilizer every month during its growing season . . . and watch it flourish!
Pests and diseases
Your Anthurium vittariifolium is usually quite the trooper when it comes to pests and fungus. But it still might face some problems, including spider mites and root rot.
Spider mites are those sneaky little things that can wreak havoc on your plant if you’re not paying close attention. Keep an eye out for fine webbing on the leaves and stems and yellowing or browning leaves (poor things). If you squint really hard, you might just see the teeny-tiny mites themselves . . . although a magnifying glass can come in handy for spotting these minuscule menaces.
Solution: If you’ve identified a spider mite infestation (deep breaths, it’s going to be all right), it’s time to roll up your sleeves and take action. Gently wipe the leaves and stems with a damp cloth to remove as many mites as possible.
Next, apply an insecticidal soap or diluted neem oil all over the plant, making sure you don’t miss any spots. Keep at it, reapplying the treatment every few days or as the product directs, until you’ve got the situation under control.
Prevention: Ensure your Anthurium vittariifolium has enough humidity, since spider mites are big fans of dry environments. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to clean the leaves with a damp cloth now and then to deter any mite reunions.
Anthurium plants suffer from root rot when they soak in wet soil for too long (this can happen from overwatering or poorly draining potting mix). The roots are literally gasping for oxygen, and then . . . rot sets in.
This might be the problem if you’re seeing yellowing leaves, wilting, and just an overall sad-looking plant. If so, carefully remove the plant from its pot and take a good look at the roots. Happy roots will be white or light brown and firm, while rotten roots are dark, mushy, and stink (yuck).
Solution: If root rot is the culprit, time is of the essence. First, trim away the damaged roots with sterilized scissors. Repot the plant in fresh soil that drains well (see the “Soil and planting” section about for our recs), and don’t water it for a few days. In the future, only water when the soil is dry one inch or so down.
And that’s our Anthurium vittariifolium care guide in a nutshell (or an Anthurium leaf). Who knew it could be so easy to bring a touch of the rainforest into your home?
We hope this guide was helpful and that your Anthurium vittariifolium flourishes in your care! If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out on Facebook or Twitter, even if it’s just to tell us how hard it is to spell Anthurium vittarifolium… maybe we’ll just stick with the strap leaf anthurium.
Is Anthurium vittariifolium rare?
While Anthurium vittariifolium isn’t exactly a rare plant, it might be considered uncommon in some parts of the world. You can find it in many specialty nurseries and online plant shops.
What is the difference between Anthurium pallidiflorum and vittariifolium?
Both Anthurium pallidiflorum and vittariifolium belong to the same family, but Anthurium pallidiflorum has a rounder leaf base where it joins the petiole, where vittariifolium’s is more pointed. Their growth habits are also different — vittariifolium tends to sprawl outwards as it grows, while pallidiflorum grows more upright.
Is Anthurium vittariifolium care difficult?
Nope! Caring for Anthurium vittariifolium isn’t particularly difficult, as long as you provide it with the right conditions. This tropical beauty thrives in medium to bright indirect light, consistently moist soil, and high humidity levels.
Can Anthurium vittariifolium flower indoors?
It can! While this plant is primarily admired for its foliage, it does produce subtle flowers that often remain hidden beneath its leaves. They’re not as showy (literally) as some other Anthurium varieties.