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Make Your Anthurium Besseae Happy and Healthy [Complete Guide]

Anthurium Besseae is an easy-to-grow plant that rewards you with stunning green venations, but too bad that many growers fail to keep this simple plant happy.

The semi-tropical plant requires an innate tropical climate to thrive, which may be hard to achieve in a regular home environment.

However, that does not mean you cannot grow one at home. All you got to do is prepare a favorable growing environment that mimics most of its native habitat.

Anthurium Besseae requires weekly watering and well-draining organic mix with bright, indirect sunlight, about 80% humidity level, and a moderately warm environment (26-27°C) to grow well.

Anthurium Besseae
Anthurium Besseae (Source: Etsy)

In addition, fertilizing the plant regularly with high-phosphorus plant food will boost signature foliage.

Want to know more? Welcome to the Anthurium Club to learn everything about Besseae care and maintenance.

Overview of Anthurium Besseae

Anthurium Besseae is not your regular houseplant. The semi-evergreen, epiphytic plant only grows in a tropical habitat.

A native to Bolivian coasts in South America, it does pretty well when the weather remains warm round the year with significant humidity.

Anthurium Besseae resembles Anthurium Crystallinum in terms of appearance. Both plants boast deep veiny leaves that are pretty large.

Anthurium Besseae
Anthurium Besseae leaf (Source: Etsy)

Here is a brief overview of the Besseae plant.

Scientific NameAnthurium Besseae
NativeCentral America and South America
FamilyAraceae
GenusAnthurium
Growth ZoneUSDA 10 or higher
Plant TypeSemi-evergreen, epiphyte
Growth Size24” tall and wide
Growth RateSlow to moderate growth
FoliageDark-green, velvety leaves with deep veins
FloweringRed-colored blossoms
ToxicityToxic to Humans and Pets
Common PestsMealybugs, Scales, Aphids, Nematode, and Spider mites
Common DiseasesBacterial blight, Leaf spot, and Bacterial wilt

Anthurium Besseae  are pretty effective in cleaning the indoor air of airborne toxins and preventing mold or virus growths.

However, they are the first to go (wilt, droop and change colors) when the growing environment goes awfully wrong.

It is prone to many pests, diseases, and illnesses found in tropical species. Hence, you need to keep an eye out for visible problems.

Anthurium Besseae Complete Care and Maintenance Guide

It is cool to have a beautiful plant around the house that does well without much care and purifies indoor air of toxins.

However, you should remember to provide optimal care round the year to witness a healthy and disease-free Anthurium Besseae.

(flaticon.com)

8-12 hours of bright indirect light


Once a week in the growing season, every fortnight in fall and winter


Perlite-based potting mix or orchid mix.
Fertilizer icons created by Smashicons - Flaticon

Phosphorus-rich plant food once a month


78-88°F (26-30°C)


About 80% humidity


Repot only when the root ball engulfs the soil


Propagate via Stem cuttings

1. Indirect Sunlight and Warm Location

Do not get me wrong; Anthurium is a sun-loving plant. It is just that it prefers diffused sunlight.

Keep your Anthurium Besseae close to sunny locations like windows, patios, or doors that receive around 8-10 hours of indirect sunlight each day.

However, prevent them from being exposed to direct sunlight, which can burn the foliage and suck the plant dry.

Use curtains to protect your plant from the extreme temperature from sun.
Use curtains to protect your plant from the extreme sunlight (Source: Unsplash)

Similarly, avoid low light or dark places that may affect Photosynthesis and food production.

Both lights stressed and oversaturated plants may exhibit visible signs.

Insufficient LightOverexposed
Stunted growthYellowing and browning foliage
Wilting and curling of leavesCrispy and dry leaves
Drooping and falling young leavesDiscoloration of leaves
Loss of green pigments due to reduced photosynthesisBurned or brown tips

Tips to Maintain Ideal Sunlight

  • An indoor-grown Anthurium would require 70-85% of sunlight, which equates to at least 10 hours of daylight.
  • It would be ideal for keeping them 5-6 feet away from the southeast-facing window or door.
  • Alternatively, you can place them close to the east-facing window to allow basking in the early morning sun (2-3 hours).
  • For plants kept against the wall, turn it at the same spot once in a while to provide an even amount of sunlight.
  • Compensate the missed sunlight by keeping it under LED grow lights for at least 8-12 hours, especially during winter.

A proper LED grow light will offer the correct light intensity and color temperature required to keep the Anthurium blooming even in winter.

2. Regular Watering

Anthurium Besseae needs a regular yet medium amount of watering to thrive in the growing season.

Provide about 700-800ml of water to a 5″ pot once a week every growing season to your Anthurium Besseae.

Water the plant when required.
Water the plant once a week in the growing season (Source: Tenor)

However, the watering schedule may change according to the fluctuation of temperature.

Water the plant twice a week with 500-600 ml water when the temperature exceeds 95°F but cut back to a fortnight when it drops below 55°F, especially during winter.

An epiphyte plant boasts aerial roots that absorb water and oxygen in the soil; hence, avoid overwatering to prevent drowning the roots.

An overwatered plant will exhibit numerous problems, including stunted growth with root rot signs such as decayed lower stems, limped and dying foliage, and slowed growth.

On the other hand, a thirsty plant will exhibit similar signs to a plant exposed to direct sunlight; dry and crispy leaves.

Overwatering the Plant
Overwatering the Plant (Source: tenor.com)

Tips to Maintain Adequate Watering

  • The general rule is to water the Anthurium when the top 2-inches of soil dries out.
  • Use a soil moisture meter or use your fingers to test the soil moistness to determine the watering schedule.
  • The soil in the top few inches should be dry and compact.
  • Water early morning instead of noon to let the soil drain excess water. Empty the saucer immediately.
  • Introduce a self-watering device to maintain the ideal watering technique.
  • Use rain or distilled water kept a room temperature to avoid cold-stress and chemical buildup.

3. High Temperature

Anthurium Besseae ideally thrives in a high-temperature climate, usually found in USDA 10 or above, unlike other Anthurium.

Ensure to provide your Anthurium Besseae anywhere around 78-88°F (26-30°C) temperature during the day and at least 70°F to 75°F (21°C to 24°C) at night.

Placing them ideally at a south-facing window may provide ample warmth required for growth.

However, an arid condition with minimal humidity may cause excessive transpiration (moisture loss) and affect Photosynthesis.

It would likely occur when the temperature regularly exceeds 95°F. Similarly, low temperature, usually below 55°F, may push back the plant growth.

Temperature in relation to plant's growth
The temperature in relation to plant’s growth (Source: ResearchGate)

Tips to Maintain an Ideal Temperature

  • Keep them a few feet away from the south-facing window or door in the growing season, and bring them further inside in winter.
  • Do not compensate for low temperature with an air conditioner or heater, which may leave the plant dry.
  • Regularly check the soil condition for dryness, increase the watering frequency, or occasionally mist the leaves.
  • Use a heating pad or insulation to keep the plant from cold stress, especially in winter.
  • Cover the potting mix with dry mulch and use a frost blanket to ward off the dangers of cold drafts.
  • Alternatively, boost artificial heating by installing one incandescent and two fluorescent bulbs with high wattage.
Plant cover for Plants
Plant cover for Plants (Source: Amazon)

Pro Tip: Aim the lighting fixtures towards the plant. Keep the fluorescent closer to the plant than the incandescent to prevent heat damage.

4. High Humidity Boost

Anthurium Besseae enjoys a high boost of humidity level, usually found in the coastal region of South America.

A high relative humidity level will ensure the lush growth of deep-colored velvety leaves.

Ensure to provide about 80% of humidity to Anthurium Besseae either naturally or by adding an electric humidifier in the room.

Effect of humidity
Effect of Humidity on Plants (Source: North Carolina Climate Office)

You should know the humidity level is relatively lower than required when you witness brown leaf tips, curling or wilting, or crispy leaves.

It is more prevalent in summer when the temperature soars up and reduces humidity.

Tips to Provide High Humidity Boost

  • Find a location close to the kitchen or bathroom that receives warm indirect sunlight.
  • If that may not be possible, consider installing an electric humidifier in the room to boost the humidity level.
  • Huddle the plants together in a single room to naturally boost the humidity.
  • Alternatively, place the container on a pebble tray filled with water.
  • Misting the plant leaves regularly during summer will also assist in increasing the humidity level.
Illustrations of plants under grow light with a humidifier
An electric humidifier will work effectively indoors (Source: Stocklib)

Note: Excessive humid conditions will attract pests and diseases; hence, you should regularly check for unusual signs.

5. Fast Draining, Organic Potting Mix

Anthurium Besseae are epiphytes that grow on other surfaces and retain oxygen through their roots.

They ideally require an equally fast-draining organic potting mix to allow aeration.

An orchid mix or perlite-rich potting mix would be ideal for Anthurium Besseae, as it allows quick draining while holding in some moisture.

Potting Mix
Fast draining potting mix (Source: Pexels)

You can either buy a Miracle-Gro potting mix or Espoma AP8 8-Quart Organic Potting Mix from the store or make your own.

A self-prepared potting mix may be more appropriate as you can adjust the contents.

Prepare a Homemade Potting Mix for Anthurium Besseae

  • Take one part regular soil or orchid mix
  • Add one part perlite or pumice
  • Mix 1/2 part coarse sand and sphagnum moss
  • And fill it with 1/2 part organic compost to boost microbial activity in the soil.

Note: The potting mix should ideally hold a pH level between 6.0 to 7.0.

6. Monthly Fertilization

Anthurium Besseae is a flowering species that enjoys frequent fertilization.

Feed your Anthurium Besseae with Phosphorus rich fertilizer once or twice a month in the growing season; however, immediately cut back in winter.

Remember to dilute the fertilizer to 1/4th strength before applying it when fertilizing twice a month.

Using anything more can choke the plant roots with salt buildup and push back the growth.

Grow more fertilizer
Grow more fertilizer (Source: Amazon)

Overfertilization causes a high amount of salt accumulation in the soil, preventing the roots from taking in water and nutrients.

You would know this by yellowing leaves, burned foliage, and stunted growth.

On the other hand, insufficient plant food may cause slowed growth, limping and drooping of leaves, and immature flower production.

Here are a few commercial fertilizer recommendations for your Anthurium Besseae.

Pro Tip: Alternatively, you can also resort to using organic fertilizers containing high-phosphorus contents.

7. Growth Rate

Anthurium Besseae is a sluggish grower that will hardly manage to reach 18 to 24-inches of height and width in its lifetime.

However, its short height is well compensated by rich green, velvety venations that will enhance the plant’s overall decor.

The Anthurium Besseae’s leaves are much similar to Crystallinum in leaf size, shape, and texture; hence, many growers fail to differentiate between the two plants.

A single leaf may reach 20-30″ in length and develop deep crystal veins running throughout the leaf.

Both young and mature leaves are effective dust trappers and air cleaners, making them a perfect indoor plant.

Similarly, Anthurium Besseae blossoms every summer with a rich red-colored flower with a spadix and spathe.

However, the plant requires phosphorus-rich plant food to produce attractive flowers.

A beautiful Anthurium flower
A beautiful Anthurium flower (Source: Wikimedia)

Pro Tip: You can choose to grow them along or prune them immediately after the flower buds start appearing to transfer nutrients towards the foliage.

8. Repotting Anthurium Besseae

Anthurium Besseae is a sluggish grower that would only require repotting once in two or three years.

Consider repotting your Anthurium Besseae when its roots have significantly outgrown the container, or the potting mix seems compact and nutrient-less.

Woman potting and repotting plants
Repotting Anthurium Plant (Source: Pexels)

It is indicated by roots growing out of the drainage hole. The plant would also stop growing actively, even in spring.

Similarly, you should use the correct container for your plant because it dramatically affects moisture retention.

Ensure your plant gets sufficient space for root development by choosing a right-sized pot and better root development through the right potting mix.

Tips to Repot Anthurium Besseae

  • Get a pot at least 2 inches wider and taller than the earlier pot with 3-4 drainage holes.
  • Start with pebbles and layering the bottom, then half fill it with the potting mix.
  • Gently slide out the plant and clear it off the soil.
  • Next, insert the plant with roots down at the center of the new pot.
  • Fill the sides with the same potting mix; however, avoid filling up to the brim.
  • Moisten the new container by running it under water until all of it comes out into the saucer.
  • Throw the collected water away and place your plant in a warm location with indirect sunlight.

9. Annual Pruning

Anthurium Besseae enjoys yearly pruning, which should strictly be done before the growing season to make room for new foliage growth.

Prune dead, decayed, and browning foliage just before spring, and remove any yellowing foliage that may appear within the growing season.

Similarly, you can cut away the flower buds before they become prominent in summer to redirect the nutrients towards the foliage growth.

Cutting the flowers entirely depends on your preference.

Before Pruning and After Pruning
Before Pruning and After Pruning (Source: uky.edu)

Tips to Properly Prune Anthurium Besseae

  • Start with sterilizing your pruning shear and scissors to prevent infected wounds on the plant.
  • Trim down all the old and decayed leaves and wilted flowers, followed by leggy stem growth.
  • Prune from bottom to top to first rid the most damaged leaves, including yellowed leaves.
  • The bottom to the top method will encourage healthy growth.

Note: All Anthurium plants are toxic; hence, always use gloves, goggles, and masks for additional safety.

Toxicity of Anthurium Besseae

There are over 1,000 species of Anthurium plants that are all toxic.

Anthurium Besseae contains active calcium oxalate contents that are harmful to humans and pets when ingested.

It may invite breathing difficulties with swollen lips and tongue. Nausea, vomiting, and burning sensations will follow later.

The poisoning in pets is indicated by drooling, pawing at the mouth, and vomiting, caused by irritation in the oropharynx region.

According to the University of California, the Anthurium plant is poisonous in the third and fourth classes.

Cat sitting near indoor plants
Cat sitting near indoor plants (Source: Freepik)

Contact the American Association of Poison Control Center at (800) 222-1222 or ASPCA Poison Center at (800) 426-4435 for pets immediately.

Propagating Anthurium Besseae

Whether you want to grow a new plant or gift it to your loved one, propagating is best.

Anthurium Besseae boasts resilient stems that can be rooted to get a new young plant.

It may be harder to grow a new plant from the seed; hence, propagating via stem cutting would be the best choice.

Moreover, you can quickly obtain a genetically identical plant when you grow Anthurium Besseae through the asexual method (propagation),

The best time to propagate your Anthurium Besseae is in early to late spring, when the plant grows actively.

If you are ready, let us get into the propagation method.

Step #1: Get the Cutting

Anthurium Besseae is an epiphyte with aerial roots, usually located at the base of the stem. You should strive to get this.

  • Choose a stem with vivid aerial nodes and about one or two healthy leaves.
  • Inspect the stem for pests and diseases by checking the color and undersides of the leaves.
  • Using a sterilized shear, snip the stem an inch below the node.
  • Make the incision strictly at a 45-degree angle to increase the surface area for rooting.
Stem node diagram
Stem node diagram (Source: Wikimedia.org)

Step #2: Rooting the Cutting

Prepare your fresh cutting for propagation by choosing the potting medium; water or soil.

A. Soil Propagation

Soil propagation is a direct method to root the cutting into a powerful potting medium.

  • Get a small pot or jar and fill it with some potting mix.
  • Apply some fungicide and rooting hormone to the cutting’s end to boost growth and eliminate fungus.
  • Gently insert the cutting into the mix and then moisten it thoroughly.
  • Ensure to bury the nodes in the soil while the leaves stay entirely outside.
  • Place it in a warm location with enough indirect sunlight and a temperature around 70°F (21°C), and wait until a month to check for inch-long feeder roots.

Voila! Your plant is healthy and ready for continuous growth.

B. Water Propagation

Also known as hydroponics, you would be rooting the cutting entirely in a water medium. You will likely see a quicker result.

  • Take a clear glass or small jar filled with distilled water.
  • Submerge the fresh cutting with the bottom node into the water. Let the leaves stay above the surface of the water.
  • Place the cutting in a warm place with sufficient indirect sunlight and replace the water every 5-7 days.
  • The stem cutting will start growing new roots within a few weeks. Wait until you can see at least 1″ long feeder roots.
  • Next, transplant the cutting into a potting mix by following the techniques above.
Rooting Stem cutting in water medium
Rooting Stem cutting in a water medium (Source: Rawpixel)

Read our complete guide about Propagating Anthurium plants.

Common Problems with Anthurium Besseae

Do not be amazed when you begin encountering problems with your Anthurium Besseae.

The tropical plant is prone to many different diseases and conditions that may become vivid when the growing state falters.

While most problems are inflicted by improper watering or moisture, others are acquired from other houseplants.

1. Pest Infestation

Anthurium Besseae is a resilient and robust plant that does not usually attract pests but is prone to wrong growing conditions that invite different pest problems.

Scale, Aphids, Mealybugs, Fungus gnats, and Spider mites are some of the common houseplant pests found in Besseae plants.

The impact of Root-Knot Nematodes on the roots. (Source: Flickr)

Here is a list of common pests and their symptoms.

PestSymptoms
ScalesBrown bumpy lumps on the undersides of the leaves.

Yellow or rust-colored spots can be seen on leaves
MealybugsWaxy bugs that have cotton-like substances wrapped around them on the undersides of the leaves.

Curling, wilting, and drooping of foliage.
Spider mitesYellowish halo in leaf, wilting and dropping of leaves.

The speckled appearance of foliage.
AphidsTiny grey or black-colored insect cover the leaf.
NematodeBurrowing nematodes mostly feed on fleshy roots causing stunted growth and root rot.

The plant becomes smaller and less vigorous.

Solutions

  • Start with inspecting the damage and dispose of the plant that looks sick or over-invested with pests.
  • Otherwise, trim the infected parts to prevent further infestation or spread.
  • Dip a cotton ball into 98% Isopropyl alcohol and gently dab on the infected parts to treat mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, fungus gnats, and eggs.
  • Use a blunt knife or blade to scrape off significant pests like scales.
  • Spray the plant with soap and warm water solution or horticultural oil.
  • Dip a cotton ball on Neem oil and rinse the plant surface to wipe out all visible pests
  • As a last resort, spray appropriate insecticide if the infestation seems severely high.

Preventive Measures

  • Avoid soggy soil to prevent excess moist conditions that invite different pests.
  • Inspect new plants for signs of pests (check undersides of the leaves for pest eggs) before bringing them home.
  • Always buy certified Aphid and nematode-free potting soil mix from the market.
  • Wash the plant leaves with some clean water once a month to offset the risk of pest hatchlings.
  • Alternatively, you can also spray soapy water solution once in a while.

2. Common Diseases

Horticultural diseases may become common in Anthurium exposed to overly wet and moist conditions.

Excess humidity is another reason for the onset of diseases, including root rot, fusarium wilt, leaf spot fungus, and bacterial blight.

Here is a list of common diseases and their symptoms.

DiseaseSymptoms
Root Rot DiseaseIt is caused by Phytophthora and Pythium, leading to browning leaves or black lesions.

Roots become mushy and soft.
Leaf Spot FungusThe causative agents include Alternaria, Cercospora, Colletotrichum, and Myrothecium.

It causes brown or black circular patches along the edges of leaves.
Bacterial BlightYellowed, water-soaked lesions along the leaf margins, causing puncture.

Invading bacteria quickly spread throughout the plant
Fusarium wiltYellowing of leaves along with appearance of brown, bronze color.

Infection causes bacterial ooze (brown slime)

Solutions

  • Begin by pruning affected areas or removing plants with a significant infestation.
  • Slide out the plant and check for infected roots. Cut the mushy, brown, or smelling roots immediately.
  • Apply mild fungicide to the freshly cut roots and transplant them to a fresh potting mix.
  • Apply fungicides containing copper, Benomyl, Mancozeb, or thiophanate methyl to treat fungal infections.
  • The fungicide containing phosphorous acid will help treat bacterial wilt, and Agrimycin will help treat other bacterial infections.

Preventive Measures

  • Avoid misting leaves in the evening or night as it increases the chances of fungal growth.
  • Always inspect the new plant before bringing it inside the home.
  • Follow the correct watering schedule and provide ample indirect sunlight to boost the warmth around the plant.
  • Switch the location from a damp corner to somewhere bright and warm.
  • Spray the plant with mild fungicides once a year to avoid the onset of various fungal diseases.

Anthurium Besseae Vs. Crystallinum

Although Anthurium Besseae and Crystallinum share similar traits in terms of appearance, genus, and growth habits, there are a few distinct differences.

Here is a list of a few such differences.

Anthurium BesseaeAnthurirum Crystallinum
Besseae is more drought tolerant, where it can withstand temperatures above 90°F.Crystallnium will suffer under intense temperature ranging above 80°F.
Besseae is a moderate grower that grows evenly throughout its lifetime.Crystallinum saplings grow fast but will become sluggish once they hit maturity.
Besseae will only grow about 18-24" in height.Crystallinum is a climber that scales 30-60" in height.
Besseae responds well to propagation via stem cutting.Crystallinum can be propagated through both stem and root cuttings.
Besseae requires phosphorus rich fertilizer to bloom flowers.Crystallinum does well with well-balanced fertilizer.

FAQS About Anthurium Besseae

Is my Anthurium Besseae Drought Tolerant?

Luckily, Anthurium Besseae is a drought-tolerant plant that can survive for weeks without water.

It does well in an arid climate with moderately high temperatures.

The thick leaves are pretty effective in storing water needed for the plant; however, continue watering regularly to avoid the problems of a thirsty plant.

Is Growing Anthurium Besseae Beneficial?

Growing Anthurium Besseae comes with many benefits, including health benefits.

Along with enhancing the decor, it also cleanses dust and pollutants indoor air. The large Anthurium leaves work pretty well as dust trappers.

Moreover, they effectively remove cancer-causing pollutants like toluene and formaldehyde from the air.

Why does Besseae Flowers are Short-Lived?

The problem lies in inappropriate growing conditions and insufficient fertilization.

Provide ample indirect sunlight, warm temperature, and moderately higher humidity to see healthy flower growth.

Moreover, you can boost flower production by fertilizing the plant with a phosphorus-rich fertilizer once or twice a month.

Here is our article about How to fix flower loss in Anthurium.

Can I Keep My Anthurium Besseae Outdoors?

Indeed, you can grow Anthurium Besseae outdoors only if you can protect it from the direct sunlight and cold drafts.

Introduce a net-like shade for outdoor plants and immediately bring it inside when the temperature drops below 55-degree Fahrenheit.

Anthurium Besseae
A healthy Anthurium Besseae (Source: Unifolia.EU)

Conclusion

Although Anthurium Besseae is an easy-to-grow and low-maintenance plant, it does require minimal care around the year to stay healthy.

A healthy plant will reward you with gorgeous velvety leaves that work great as indoor decorations and air cleansers.

Moreover, you can keep them in your bedroom to boost oxygen contents to promote healthy and sound sleep.

Related Article: Anthurium Crystallinum -A Complete Care Guide

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