Caring for an Anthurium Scherzerianum – Complete Beginners Guide

You can’t look past these beautiful houseplant specimens with their contrasting red flowers, against deep glossy green leaves. It isn’t hard to see why these plants are popular amongst indoor plant enthusiasts.

Keeping Anthurium Scherzerianum plants is a rewarding experience, because they are easy to care for and produce eye-catching flowers. They are a tropical plant, and therefore require tropical-like conditions in order to thrive. However, if you have pets or little children, we do recommend positioning your anthurium scherzerianum away from curious little hands and paws. The leaves and flowers are poisonous and will cause discomfort when consumed.

Anthurium Scherzerianum Care Tips

We are excited to feature this beautiful houseplant at the Garden Bench Top – the Anthurium Scherzerianum. In this beginner’s care guide, you can expect to learn:

  • the origins of this unique plant,
  • the basic husbandry requirements your gorgeous plant requires to flourish,
  • how to propagate your anthurium scherzerianum,
  • other considerations for anthurium scherzerianum like repotting your plant,
  • and more.

So, grab a cup of coffee, because we’re going to become up close and personal with the anthurium scherzerianum.

Anthurium Scherzerianum Quick Care Guide

Getting to Know Anthurium Scherzerianum

Before we get to know the anthurium scherzerianum, we feel we should explain why we are interested in knowing the history and origin of this interesting plant.

By understanding where the anthurium scherzerianum grows naturally, we can form a better picture of the type of conditions that they thrive under. From there, we can gain an understanding of the type of care they require, and how to adjust our husbandry responsibilities accordingly.

Okay, that’s enough of the pep talk – let’s get to know the anthurium scherzerianum plant.

Origin of Anthurium Scherzerianum

Anthurium scherzerianum are tropical plants that originate in the forests of Central and South America, such as the tropical forests of Costa Rica.


They are naturally close to the ground of the forests, shielded from the direct sunlight by the canopies above. Most anthuriums are classified as epiphytes, which means they don’t grow in soil. Rather they grow on the surfaces of other forest plants or hosts.

The climates in the American forests are warm and moist, which means medium to high humidity. This means in order to get your anthurium scherzerianum to survive and thrive, you will need to replicate these conditions as close as possible.


flamingo flower plant

It may be stating the obvious, but by far, the most stunning feature of this beautiful plant are the flowers. Or at least, that’s what we perceive as the flowers. We say ‘perceive’ because the bright red petals are in fact a modified leaf, with a curly orange stem – which is called a spadix. To keep things simple, we’ll still refer to this as the anthurium scherzerianum’s flower.

Besides the main flower feature, anthurium scherzerianum has gorgeous elongated glossy foliage that looks like deep green spears.

Name Guide

Anthurium scherzerianum goes by many names, but the more common names in nurseries are flamingo flower plant and pigtail plant (it isn’t hard to see why people refer to this beauty as the pigtail plant with those elegant blooms). We’ll use the names interchangeably throughout this article.

It is important to note there are two varieties of anthuriums that have similar red flowers, and many people (including retailers) get them confused. They are the anthurium scherzerianum and the A. andraeanum. The main difference is that the anthurium scherzerianum has a smaller flower.

Anthurium Scherzerianum Plant Grow Care Guide

Okay, so we now know a bit about the background of the anthurium scherzerianum. Let’s familiarize ourselves with their care tips requirements.


As we established earlier, in their natural habitat, anthurium scherzerianums grow close to the ground in the undergrowth of the tropical forests.

This means they are rarely exposed to long periods of direct sunlight, maybe only receiving small amounts of dappled sunlight as it filters through the canopy overhead.

What we can draw from this information is that in order to have a thriving anthurium scherzerianum, we need to replicate these conditions in our homes.

Try to give your anthurium scherzerianum 6-8 hours of indirect sunlight a day. As a tropical plant, they will soak up all the light they can get, just not direct sunlight.


If you notice your pigtail plant is not producing flowers, it probably isn’t receiving enough light. Move your plant near a window that receives plenty of light, or to a different room with better aspects throughout the day.


Generally speaking, tropical plants like to have regular access to water when they need it – and the anthurium scherzerianum is no exception.

Keep your growing medium moist during the growing seasons in Spring and Summer. This means regular watering and testing of the soil’s moisture levels each week is recommended.

Try not to let your soil dry out between watering. You can slow down your watering regime during the dormant, colder months.

If you see yellow leaves on your anthurium scherzerianum’s , your plant may be suffering from overwatering.

Maintaining a good level of moisture for indoor tropical plants is always challenging, even for the most experienced indoor owners. One factor that goes a long way to achieving success is the type of soil you use for your houseplants. We’ll explore this further in the next section.

Pigtail Plant in pot


Using a potting soil mix that has good water retaining properties will help maintain the necessary moisture your plant needs to stay strong and healthy. We love using mediums like coco coir because it absorbs water, but at the same time keeps the soil light and airy for optimal drainage.

We also like adding orchid bark into the mix when we are dealing with plants that are epiphytes, like orchids.

If you don’t already, we recommend making your own indoor plant soil. Once you have your core ingredients, it is a simple process of combining and mixing as you need it. What we love about making our own DIY soil is the control you have over the growing mediums and substrate you include. You know exactly what is going into your soil, and you can control the properties of the soil, like pH level and water retention and drainage.

On that note, anthurium scherzerianums like a slightly more acidic soil with a pH level between 5.5 – 6.5.

Temperature & Humidity

When it comes to temperature, flamingo flowers like to grow in conditions around 65-90° Fahrenheit (18-32° Celsius). This isn’t surprising given the warm climate of Central and South America.

If you live in climates that experience sub-zero temperatures at night, we recommend bringing your plants indoors to avoid your plant experiencing damage from frost.

To keep your anthurium scherzerianum happy, you will also need to maintain high humidity levels – anything above 80%. As you can appreciate, the air in tropical forests is saturated with moisture and tropical plants need it in order to function properly. Your anthurium scherzerianum will be able to survive at lower humidity levels; however it will not thrive.

Fertilizer & Supplements

When it comes to feeding your anthurium, using a slow-release fertilizer will help to provide your plant with the necessary minerals and nutrients it requires for optimal growth. Anthurium scherzerianums are not heavy feeders, and will only need to be fed towards the beginning of the growing season.

Other Considerations & Maintenance

Other husbandry responsibilities you should keep in the back of your mind is repotting and pruning your anthurium scherzerianum.

Because pigtail plants aren’t extremely fast-growing tropical plants, they only need to be repotted every 2-3 years. They can become root bound. So regularly pulling your plant out and inspecting the roots is always a good idea. It also gives you an opportunity to spot any parts of the root system that may be developing any diseases, like root rot.

You generally won’t need to actively prune your anthurium scherzerianums. If the odd leaf dies, feel free to trim it back and remove it. Remember to put it in the trash immediately, as the leaves and flowers are toxic to pets and children.

How to Propagate Anthurium Scherzerianum from Cuttings

For us, propagation is one of the most exciting parts of gardening. There is no greater feeling than growing your very own plants from other successful mother plants.

In this section, we’ll be stepping you through the process of growing a pigtail anthurium plant from a cutting.

Before we get started, we do recommend you always wear gloves when dealing with your anthurium scherzerianum. The sap can cause skin irritation, which will cause discomfort. In addition, we recommend thoroughly washing and cleaning any tools you use during the propagation process.

Propagate Anthurium Scherzerianum

Instructions for propagating Anthurium Scherzerianum from Cuttings:

  1. Find the ideal cutting – this step is important if you want to successfully propagate your anthurium scherzerianum. You want to find a stem that has clear nodes – and we are after at least 2 nodes. It is at these positions where roots will appear.
  2. For the best results, we recommend using a rooting hormone to encourage root growth. This isn’t necessary, and rooting can most definitely occur without the hormone. It just increases the chances of a successful outcome.
  3. Moisten your propagating soil mix to ensure there is plenty of water for the cutting to use while it is developing its new root system. We like to use sphagnum moss, because it has wonderful water retaining properties, yet allows all the excess moisture to drain away to avoid your cutting from rotting.
  4. Plant your cutting into your moist growing medium. Cover as many nodes as possible (at least one node must be covered) with the growing medium. We want the roots to develop as quickly as possible to allow the cutting to receive a source of nutrients.
  5. Place your cutting in a humidifier or greenhouse. The essential factor is to maintain a humid environment. If you don’t have access to a greenhouse, try making your own DIY humidifier.
  6. Now it is a waiting game. It can take anywhere between 1-2 months before you will see any signs of new growth. Ensure you maintain the correct moisture levels and humidity during this period.

Check out this short video by Gardening with Johnson Engleng where he walks you through his method of repotting his anthurium.

Frequently Asked Questions for Anthurium Scherzerianum

How Long do Anthurium Scherzerianums Live?

When we adopt an indoor plant, we want them to stay with us forever. However, as with all living things, time is limited. For anthurium scherzerianums, the average life span of a single plant is around 5 years. The good news is you can prolong the lifespan by propagating your houseplant by cuttings.

How Big do Flamingo Flowers Grow?

The average size of the whole plant can reach anywhere between 60-90 cms in height. This will depend on many factors like quality of care, the surrounding environment, and if your plant is receiving enough light and fertilizer for optimal growth.

Are Anthurium Scherzerianum Poisonous to Touch?

A healthy Anthurium Scherzerianum plant is okay to touch. For example, brushing up against a leaf or the flower will not be toxic and you should not have any reactions. However, the sap is a different story. It contains calcium oxylate crystals that can cause irritation and itchiness to your skin. Therefore, we do not recommend playing around with them, such as crushing the leaves.