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Anthurium Cutucuense Care Guide- Experts Reveal!

The fact that Anthurium Cutucuense is an endangered species and less in supply makes them slightly expensive to acquire.

I paid $150 to get a tiny plant that now dominates my work desk.

However, growing these Ecuadorian species seems more challenging than other Anthuriums because they require a growing climate similar to their natural habitat.

Anthurium Cutucense grows well in cool temperatures ranging from 60°F to 70°F, low to medium light, 70 to 80% humidity, and evenly moist soil, while only requiring mild plant food once every 3-4 months to eliminate the risk of over nourishment.

Anthurium Cutucuense
Anthurium Cutucuense (Source: Etsy)

Whether you are planning to join the #AnthuriumClub or growing one out of interest, you should be attentive to its needs.

Here is a complete guide to help grow, care for, and multiply your Anthurium Cutucuense at home.

Overview of Anthurium Cutucuense

Anthurium Cutucuense is not your ordinary houseplant, and it definitely does not do well with minimal care.

Did you know most Cutucuense found in the market was initially shipped from its native region, making it an endangered plant species in Ecuador?

It was only known to grow in two locations in Morona-Santiago and Zamora-Chinchipe Provinces.

Keeping its dwindling number in mind, the IUCN already kept it under their Endangered and threatened list.

Therefore, you should only buy a propagated plant from a sustainably grown nursery as a responsible grower.

Here is a brief overview of the Anthurium Cutucuense plant.

Scientific NameAnthurium Cutucuense
NativeEcuador
FamilyAraceae
GenusAnthurium
StatusEndangered species as per IUCN
Growth ZoneUSDA 10 or higher
Plant TypeEvergreen
Growth Size1-2 feet tall and 2-3 feet wide
Growth habitSlow to moderate
FoliageTrisect leaves with bullate texture
FloweringNone
ToxicityToxic to Humans and Pets
Common PestsMealybugs, Scales, Aphids, and Spider mites
Horticultural DiseasesBacterial blight, Leaf Spot, and Root rot

Being a tropical plant requires a conducive environment when grown at home and is quite susceptible to pests and diseases.

However, you will be rewarded with a 2-feet tall plant that boasts amazingly bizarre trisect leaves with a bullate texture (covered with rounded swellings like blisters) with proper care and maintenance.

They would closely resemble snake plants at first glance, but snake plant leaves grow up while Cutucuense grows downwards.

Anthurium Cutucuense Care Guide- Experts Reveal!

Maintaining the tropics-like climate at home is the first step to keeping your Cutucuense happy.

The second and most crucial step includes keeping it away from common pests, diseases, direct sunlight, and low humid conditions.

Remember to provide optimal care throughout the year to keep it looking healthy.

(flaticon.com)

8-10 hours of bright, indirect sunlight


When the top two inches of soil dry out


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

Phosphorus-rich plant food once in 3-months in the growing season


A combination of cool temperatures between 60 to 70°F (15-21°C)


70% to 80% Humidity


Repot only when the root ball engulfs the soil


Propagate via Stem cuttings

1. Moderate Indirect Sunlight

One big mistake every grower makes is keeping their Anthurium close to the light source.

A shade-loving plant, Anthurium Cutucuense thrives in a location with moderate, indirect, or diffused sunlight for at least 8 hours a day.

Light Location in Plants
Light Location in Plants (Source: Tonkadale)

Exposing them to full sunlight will quickly burn the leaves. Similarly, placing them in low-lit conditions will affect their growth.

A spot that receives ample sunlight for a significant amount each day would be excellent.

Otherwise, your Anthurium will begin exhibiting unusual signs that tell whether it is light deprived or light-saturated.

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 Cutucuense would require about 75% light, which equates to at least 8 hours of sunlight.
  • Place them in the north-facing or west-facing window to avoid direct sunlight exposure.
  • Alternatively, you can keep them in the south-facing window if other directions fail to provide ample sunlight.
  • When placing them in the south-facing window, keep them 5-6 feet away to prevent exposure to direct sunlight.
  • Turn the plant at the same spot once to provide an even amount of sunlight.

In case of lack of sunlight, move them under the appropriate grow lights for at least 8-12 hours a day, especially in fall and winter.

Note: SANSI 15W LED Bulb may be the best choice for indoor Anthurium that requires the correct intensity and color temperature.

2. Weekly Watering

Anthurium Cutucuense tolerates water and thrives in evenly moist soil; however, it does not need watering daily.

Deepwater 5″ pot Anthurium Cutucuense once a week in spring and summer with 800 ml of water to ensure the soil remains moist.

You can slightly raise the watering frequency to 5 days when the temperature regularly soars above 85°F, especially in summer.

Watering anthurium cutucuense
Watering Anthurium Cutucuense (Source: Dribbble)

However, it would not need the same amount of water during dormancy. Cut back on watering to 14-20 days in fall and winter.

Overwatered PlantUnderwatered Plant
Yellowing, limping, and droopy foliageWilted and crispy leaves
Decayed lower rootsBrown leaf edges
Slowed plant growthCurled and browned leaves
Root RotStunted foliage growth

Tips to Provide Adequate Watering

  • The rule of thumb is to wait until the top 2-inches of the soil dry out before watering.
  • Use a soil moisture meter to assess soil moisture; anything above six on the scale indicates a dried plant.
  • Alternatively, insert your finger to check whether the top few inches of soil feel dry and crumbled.
  • Check for visible signs: Brown or dark soil indicates moist condition, while light-colored soil indicates a severely dehydrated plant.
  • Cut back on watering for a severely overwatered plant until it seems to revive. Otherwise, check for root rot by sliding out the plant and trimming the affected parts before transplanting it into a new pot.
  • Immediately deepwater the plant to moisten the soil or let it sit on a pebble tray filled with water for a dry plant.
Pebble Tray
Pebble Tray filled with water (Source: Unsplash)
  • Avoid overhead watering as these aroids tend to absorb water from their roots but leaves.
  • Use distilled or rainwater water kept at room temperature to avoid chemical build-up.
  • Use containers with enough drainage holes to let out excess water.

3. Combination of Cool Temperature

Anthurium Cutucuense is one tropical species that do not do well in overly warm conditions.

The Anthurium Cutucuense ideally requires a cool temperature between 60 to 70°F (15-21°C) during the day and not less than 50°F at night.

It can reasonably tolerate the day temperature ranging from 70°F (21°C) to 80°F (26°C), but you must ensure frequent watering or mist the leaves to prevent the dry condition.

It is originally found on the bottom of Andes Mountain gets, a combination of warm and cool temperatures.

Andes Mountain, South America
Andes Mountain, South America (Source: Britannica)

Therefore, you must mimic the same environment at home to ensure a healthy and thriving plant.

Make sure the temperature does not drop below 50°F; otherwise, move them inside in a warmer environment.

The cold stress can push back the plant growth and even cause its death.

Similarly, too much heat can invite evaporation, excess transpiration of water from the leaves, leaving dry, curled foliage.

Tips to Provide Optimum Temperature

  • Place your plant in a brightly lit location with enough indirect sunlight.
  • Check the soil regularly and increase the watering frequency if the temperature rises above 85°F.
  • Misting can help offset the risk of high temperatures but keep it to early morning.
  • Move the plant away from the window when the temperature drops, especially in fall or winter.
  • Cover it with a frost blanket or a plastic bag to prevent cold stress. Otherwise, place a heating pad under the plant pot.
  • Covering the soil with pine mulch may also help retain the warmth.
  • Also, avoid low light places, draft corners, and right in front of the air conditioner or heater.

4. High Humidity Level

Anthurium Cutucuense, like any Anthurium plant, thrives in ideally high humid conditions innate to Central America.

Provide you Anthurium Cutucuense, anywhere from 70-80% of humidity, humidity below 70% can dry out the plant, encouraging excess transpiration.

A combination of cool temperatures and high humidity helps provide your Anthurium with a long life.

Effect of Humidity on Plant's Humidity
Effect of Humidity on Plant’s Humidity (Source: Wikimedia)

Anthurium Cutucuense suffering from low humidity may begin exhibiting multiple problems.

  • Brown leaf tips or edges
  • Curling and wilting
  • Stunted growth due to increased water loss from the leaves

These problems are somewhat similar to a plant suffering from scorching temperatures.

Tips to Provide Optimum Humidity

  • Always keep an eye on the indoor humidity level. Assess the current status using a digital hygrometer.
  • Huddle the houseplants together to boost humid conditions at home naturally.
  • Otherwise, place the plant close to bathroom or kitchen areas that are naturally humid.
  • Alternatively, consider adding an electric humidifier to maintain the humidity to the desired level.
  • Mist the plant leaves in the early hours of the day in summer may help with increasing humidity levels.
  • Placing the plant over a tray filled with water and pebble may also help increase humidity around the plant.

Pro Tip: Beware of high humid conditions as anything over 70% may create a conducive environment for fungal growth.

5. Well-draining Potting Mix

Anthurium Cutucuense ideally grows well in a combination of potting mix that retains moisture and is well-draining.

It may sound like a tricky combination, but you can easily prepare it at home using various materials.

An orchid mix blended with part perlite and peat makes a perfect potting mix for Anthurium Cutucuense.

Espoma OR4 Organic Orchid Mix Potting Soil
Espoma OR4 Organic Orchid Mix Potting Soil (Source: Amazon)

Alternatively, you can resort to using equal parts of peat, perlite, and pink bark.

These mixes perfectly retain a slightly acidic level (5.5-6.5) required by Anthurium Cutucuense.

However, avoid making the potting mix too compact to prevent excess water retention and possible root rot condition.

Prepare an Ideal Potting Mix at Home

The idea is to make it slightly moist and aerated but never too soggy.

  • Two parts orchid mix
  • One part of activated charcoal
  • One part perlite
  • Another part peat

Cover the top with a fine layer of pine mulch to help retain warmth.

Quick Tip: Consider buying a commercial Anthurium potting mix.

6. Occasional Fertilization

Like any other houseplant, Anthurium Cutucuense needs to be nourished, but unlike other Anthurium, it does not require frequent fertilization.

You heard it right!

Fertilize your Anthurium Cutucuense once every 3 to 4 months in the growing season to witness a healthy set of leaves.

Similarly, use a mild plant food or dilute the solution to 1/4 strength by mixing with water before applying.

Grow more fertilizer
Grow more fertilizer (Source: Amazon)

It does not do well with excess fertilization, where harmful salt buildup in the soil will choke the plant roots, preventing air supply.

You would know it by visible changes to your plant, from yellowing leaves to stunted growth, drooping foliage, and compact soil.

Some over-fertilized Anthuriums may also exhibit browning foliage or burn spots.

Tips to Fertilizer Anthurium Cutucuense

  • Stick with one type of fertilizer; slow-release granular or Grow More fertilizer.
  • Apply slow-release plant food rich in Phosphorus every 3-4 months.
  • Alternatively, use diluted liquid fertilizer once every three months.
  • Ensure the fertilizer does not touch parts of the stem and leaves to prevent burns.
  • Cut back on fertilizing in early fall until late winter when the plant becomes dormant.

7. Growth Rate and Foliage

This variety of Anthurium does not grow any blossom, so the focus is entirely on foliage growth.

Although a slow grower, a healthy Anthurium Cutucuense will manage to grow up to a height of 1-2 feet and 2-3 feet wide in its lifetime.

Thanks to its slow-growth rate, it equally enjoys a long life of 10-15 years.

Mature Cutucuense plant
Mature Cutucuense plant (Source: NSE Tropicals)

The Ecuadorian plant is known for its signature foliage, where a single node can grow out three different leaves boasting bullate texture.

Moreover, each leaf could grow up to 2-3 feet. The downward sloping leaf may resemble the snake plant slightly without its upward arching appearance.

It is limited to a few mountainous areas where it grows, climbing through cool forests; hence, many growers complain of poor foliage growth.

This anthurium cultivar does not produce flowers.

8. Rare Pruning

Due to the lack of bushy foliage, Anthurium Cutucuense does not require occasional pruning.

However, remove dead and decayed leaves and stems annually to prevent attracting pests or diseases.

Note: Do not attempt to make Cutucuense bushier by trimming excess leaves as they are naturally wispy plants.

9. Repotting Anthurium Cutucuense

Anthurium Cutucuense needs repotting as it grows; however, a slow grower may not require frequent repotting.

Repot your Anthurium Cutucuense to once in two or three years, depending on its growth and soil condition.

Otherwise, slide out the plant and check for root bulbs size in early spring.

Woman repotting the plant
Repotting the plant (Source: Pexels)

It may be time to repot it when the roots engulf the soil or begin poking out the drainage holes.

How to Repot an Anthurium Cutucuense?

Here is a step-by-step guide to repotting the plant.

Step #1: Choose a New Pot

  • Start with getting a pot 2-inches larger than the previous one
  • Choose a pot made from any appropriate material such as clay, ceramic, or terracotta.
  • Consider plastic pots with 5-6 drainage holes.

Here are a few recommendations.

ContainerSpecification
Classic Planter, 8" (Plastic)They are durable and lightweight. The drainage holes lie at the bottom
LE TAUCI Ceramic Plant Pots (Ceramic)4+5+6 inch, Set of 3, Planters with holes in the bottom
Plastic Planter, HOMENOTE (Plastic)Comes in five different sizes 7/6/5.5/4.8/4.5 Inch

Step #2: Prepare the Potting Medium

  • Follow the potting mix guide given above to prepare an ideal potting medium.
  • Otherwise, consider buying a commercial orchid potting mix
  • Fill the new pot to on-third.

Step #3: Transplant Your Anthurium Cutucuense

  • Gently slide out the plant from its pot and remove the soil from the roots.
  • Inspect for visible signs of root rot (black, mushy, or dark roots).
  • Trim the infected parts using a pruning shear and apply fungicide to the end to prevent infection.
  • Gently place the plant into a new pot with roots facing down.
  • Add the remaining two-thirds of the potting mix to the pot.
  • Water it thoroughly until all the water comes out of the drainage holes.
  • Now, set it aside in a warm location with enough indirect sunlight and wait for it to rebloom.

Repot your Anthurium in early spring to inspect for new, healthy growths and prevent cold stress and damage.

Toxicity of Anthurium Cutucuense

Anthurium Cutucuense is considered a toxic plant to both humans and pets.

Every Anthurium plant contains calcium oxalate crystals that are harmful when ingested or exposed to bare skin.

It would trouble the oropharynx of the animals, causing oral irritation, drooling and vomiting, and pawing at the mouth.

It may cause swollen lips or tongues in humans and breathing difficulty when ingested.

Cat with Plants
Cat with Plants (Source: Tenor)

The University of California puts the Anthurium plant in third and fourth-class toxicity.

In case of emergency, 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 Cutucuense

As you know, Anthurium Cutucuense in the wild are considered endangered; hence propagating them would be a good idea to obtain a new plant sustainably.

Propagate your Anthurium Cutucuense by rooting a healthy stem cutting in a soil or water medium.

However, It does not respond well to the root division method because cutting through the aroid bulb can leave it under stress.

Similarly, growing them from the seeds will be unachievable because finding seeds is impossible.

Read our article about propagating Anthurium plants at home.

Here is a quick stem-cutting propagation method for home growers.

Step 1: Take the Cutting

  • Wait until spring or summer to take fresh cuttings, as you will likely get healthy stems.
  • Select a healthy-looking, green stem with at least two nodes (leaf node).
  • Cut the stem horizontally a few inches below the bottom node using a sterilized pruning shear.
  • Leave only a little stem (1/2 inches) below the bottom node to spare.

Step 2: Prepare the Cutting

  • Remove any leaf-like husks from the stem (Stipules that appear when new leaves are growing).
  • The larger the stems are, the better your Anthurium Cutucuense will grow.
  • However, do not remove the mature leaves from the stem as they are a part of healthy stem cutting.

Step 3: Choose a Potting medium

Rooting in a soil mix vs. water will result in slightly different times.

a. Rooting in Potting Mix

For rotting in potting mix, consider applying fungicide and rooting hormone to the cut end to boost the growth rate.

  • For powder rooting hormone, dip the end into the powder.
  • Alternatively, apply some cinnamon powder to the cut end to protect from fungal infections.
  • Prepare a new pot with the appropriate potting mix and insert the stem cutting into it.
  • Ensure at least one of the two nodes remains outside the medium.
  • Thoroughly water the mix and set it aside in an area with a warm environment.

Do not forget to cover the plant with a plastic bag to induce a high humid environment.

Voila! Your stem cutting will begin growing and producing new shoots in 5-6 weeks.

Young Cutucuense
Young Cutucuense rooted in soil medium (Source: Carousell)

b. Rooting in Water Medium

  • Take a glass or clear jar filled with distilled water.
  • Apply liquid rooting hormone to the cut end or mix the rooting hormone in the water.
  • Insert the cutting into the medium and set it aside in a warm location with bright indirect sunlight.
  • Change water every 4-5 days or when it starts becoming darker.
  • Within a few weeks, the stem will begin sprouting feeder roots.
  • Let it sit and wait for 2-3 weeks to begin seeing new shoots appearing from the stem.
Water propagation of a plant
Water propagation of a plant (Source: Unsplash)

It is now time to transplant it to a potting medium.

Common Problems with Anthurium Cutucuense

Anthurium Cutucuense grown as an indoor plant is prone to many problems, including pests, diseases, and stressful conditions.

Here is the list of common problems you may encounter with your Anthurium

1. Common Anthurium Pests

Anthurium Cutucuense is prone to common pests that attack Anthurium and other tropical plants.

Scales, mealybugs, spider mites, nematodes, and aphids are some of the common enemies of Anthurium Cutucuense.

Mealybugs on the leaf of Anthurium. (Source: Flickr)

Check out the list of pests and their symptoms

Common Pests Symptoms
Scale1. Brown bumpy and white cottony lumps can be seen on the undersides of the leaves
2. The leaves start Wilting or drooping
3. Discoloration of leaves along with brown/white spots.
Aphids1. Curling and falling off leaves
2. Stunted growth
Mealybugs1. White cotton-like structure forms on the undersides of the leaves
2. Curling, wilting and falling off leaves
Fungus Gnats1. Discoloration of leaves.
2. Wilting, drooping and falling off leaves
3. Stunted growth
Spider Mites1. Discoloration of leaves
2. Stippled and yellowed leaves
3. Fine webbing on leaves might appear on the leaves.
Thrips1. Silver patches develops on the leaves and flowers
2. Sooty spots, brown and black patches appear on the leaves

Solutions

  • To prevent spreading, start with trimming the infected parts, such as leaves and stems.
  • Solarize the potting mix or heat small batches to 140°F in the oven to kill nematodes.
  • Treat your plant with 98% Isopropyl alcohol. Dip a cotton ball in the solution to wipe the infected parts.
  • Use a blunt knife to scrape off scales on the stems, the leaves’ undersides, and hollow sections.
  • Spray it with soap and warm water solution as both treatment and preventive measures.
  • Alternative methods include applying horticultural oil or Neem oil on the plant surface to wipe out all visible pests

Pro Tip: Spray Pyrethrin insecticide to effectively treat the pests, but not without following the user manual to prevent excess usage.

Preventive Measures

  • Quarantine new plants before bringing them inside the home or adding them to your collection.
  • Avoid overwatering to prevent soggy soil conditions.
  • Pay attention to visible signs of problems when raising the humidity level to +70% by inspecting pests and eggs (check the undersides of the leaves).
  • Always buy certified Aphid and nematode-free potting soil.
  • Wipe the plant with clean water once a month to avoid the risk of pest hatchlings.
  • Alternatively, spray your plant with a soapy water solution every once in a while.

2. Horticultural Diseases

Your Anthurium plant is predisposed to a few horticultural diseases common in tropical houseplants.

Check out fungal and bacterial diseases such as root rot, bacterial blight, bacterial wilt, and leaf spot diseases.

Spots due to Fungal Leaf Spot Disease
Spots due to Fungal Leaf Spot Disease. (Source: Flickr)

The list of horticultural diseases and 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

  • Immediately dispose of the plant that looks severely sick from root rot (smelly soil, wilted stems, dead leaves) to stop the disease from spreading to other plants.
  • Preliminary root rot can be treated by trimming the infected parts, including leaves, stems, and feeder roots.
  • Ensure to use sterilized pruning shear to make cuts, apply fungicide to prevent infection, and repot the plant in a fresh potting mix.
  • Apply fungicides containing copper, Benomyl, or Mancozeb onto the soil directly.
  • Fungicides containing phosphorous acid can be helpful to treat bacterial wilt. (follow the user manual before applying)
  • Treating bacterial infections may need an all-purpose Agrimycin.

Preventive Measures

  • Quarantine the new plant for at least two weeks before bringing it inside the home.
  • Keep the watering schedule in mind and provide ample indirect sunlight to prevent damp and we conditions.
  • Avoid overhead watering technique to prevent excessively moistened leaves.
  • Use an electric humidifier to control the humidity level as per your need.
  • Always use certified, disease-free propagation material and sterilized tools to prevent bacterial spread.

FAQs About Anthurium Cutucuense

Will Anthurium Cutucuense Run Out of Supply?

Not really! With sustainable sources that rely on healthy propagation methods still in place, Anthurium Cutucuense will likely thrive to grow in numbers as houseplants.

However, because many plants were uprooted from their native habitat to a level of extinction, they will remain an endangered species.

Can Anthurium Cutucuense Grow Taller?

Almost every Anthurium plant is a small grower; hence, they hardly reach over 3-4 feet in height.

With proper care and environment, the best chances are that your Cutucuense will grow at most 2 feet tall and survive five to ten years or more.

Should Your Mist Anthurium Cutucuese Regularly?

Although they enjoy a humid environment and love to be misted, especially in the warm season, you should not mist them frequently.

Excess misting will wet the leaves, causing the formation of bacterial blight.

Keep misting to once in a few days and only in the morning.

Is a Leggy Anthurium Cutucuense a Problem?

A leggy Cutucuense indicates a problem, especially when fertilizing them too often.

Ensure to fertilizer them once in 3-4 months with a mild solution. Lack of adequate light may also cause leggy growth.

Beautiful foliage of Anthurium Cutucuense
Beautiful foliage of Anthurium Cutucuense (Source: Pinterest)

Conclusion

Growing these endangered Anthurium species can be a rewarding experience because most growers fail to develop one to maturity.

Your regular home environment may not be appropriate for these plants as they require a combination of cool temperatures and usually higher humidity levels.

Remember their basic requirements and consult this guide to grow, manage, and propagate Anthurium Cutucuense successfully.

Related Article: How to Care for Anthurium Pallidiflorum?

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