How to Propagate Anthurium in Water: A Simple Guide

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Anthuriums are popular tropical houseplants, known for their vibrant, heart-shaped flowers and waxy, glossy leaves. These adaptable plants add a touch of color and elegance to any indoor space, making them a favorite choice for both experienced and novice gardeners. Although anthuriums are traditionally grown in soil, an interesting and simple propagation method involves using water.

Propagating anthurium in water offers a fun and effective way to create new plants from existing ones. This method is particularly appealing because it’s easy, requires minimal equipment, and offers the chance to observe the development of new roots in the process. Before you know it, you’ll have a thriving collection of anthuriums without the need for soil or complex techniques.

By following a few simple steps and providing the right conditions, your anthurium cuttings can develop healthy roots in just 4-6 weeks. As long as the cuttings receive adequate warmth, humidity, and indirect sunlight, they’ll be well on their way to becoming established, beautiful plants. Propagating anthuriums in water offers a low-maintenance, accessible approach suitable for gardeners at any experience level.

Anthurium Propagation Basics

Anthuriums are tropical plants known for their vibrant and colorful flowers. Propagating anthuriums in water is not very difficult, but understanding the basics will help increase your chances of success.

Types of Anthurium

Anthuriums belong to the Araceae family and have over 1,000 different species. These plants can be found in various shapes, sizes, and colors. Some popular types include:

  • Anthurium andraeanum: Known for its heart-shaped leaves and bright red spathes.
  • Anthurium scherzerianum: Recognizable by its curled spadix and elongated leaves.
  • Anthurium crystallinum: Features velvety leaves with silvery-white veins.

Propagation Methods

There are a few methods available for propagating anthuriums, such as stem cuttings, division, and water propagation. We’ll focus on water propagation in this guide.

  1. Prepare the tools: Before starting the process, ensure you have the necessary tools, like a sharp sterilized knife, a clean jar or container with fresh water, and gardening gloves to protect your hands from possible irritation caused by calcium oxalate crystals in the plant.
  2. Select a healthy stem: Choose a robust and healthy stem from the mother plant with at least one leaf attached to it. Make sure there are one or two aerial roots on the stem cutting.
  3. Cut the stem: Carefully make a 45-degree angle cut around 0.5 to 1 inch below a node, where the roots will originate.
  4. Place the stem in water: Place the cut end in the container filled with water, ensuring the aerial roots are submerged, but the leaf is not touching the water.
  5. Provide proper conditions: Position the container in a warm and humid area with indirect sunlight. Change the water regularly, preferably every few days, to avoid bacterial growth and ensure oxygenation for root development.
  6. Monitor root growth: Wait for a few weeks, and observe the roots forming at the bottom of the stem cutting. Once the roots are around 2 inches long, you can transfer the cutting to a pot filled with well-draining soil.

By following these steps, you’ll increase the likelihood of successfully propagating your anthurium in water, allowing you to enjoy and share the vibrancy of these tropical plants.

How to Propagate Anthurium in Water

Choosing the Right Cutting

When propagating anthurium in water, it’s essential to select a healthy stem cutting. Look for a stem with at least one or two leaves attached to it, as this indicates a higher chance of successful propagation. The cutting should also be free from any signs of disease, pests, or damage.

Preparing the Cutting

Before placing the stem cutting in water, carefully remove the bottom two to three leaves, leaving only one or two leaves at the top. This enables the cutting to focus its energy on root development rather than maintaining excess foliage. Additionally, it helps prevent leaves from touching the water and rotting.

Water Preparation and Maintenance

To propagate anthurium in water, fill a clean glass or jar with room temperature water, ensuring the water covers at least half of the stem cutting link. Place the prepared cutting in the water, making sure that the leaves are not submerged to prevent rotting.

For optimal growth, keep the container with the cutting in a warm and humid area away from direct sunlight link. Change the water every week to avoid the growth of algae and bacteria, which can harm the developing roots. Monitor the water level and maintain it by topping it up whenever necessary to keep the stem continuously submerged.

During the propagation process, it’s essential to be patient, as roots can take 4-6 weeks to develop link. Once the cutting has successfully developed roots, consider transferring the rooted plant to a larger vase or a container filled with soil link. This allows the plant to absorb more nutrients and continue its healthy growth.

Remember to maintain a proper balance between your cutting’s care and its natural growth progress while adopting these measures. This way, you help ensure that your anthurium thrives in its new environment.

Transitioning to Soil

Signs of Root Growth

Before you move your anthurium cutting from water to soil, it’s essential to ensure that the roots have grown enough. Keep an eye on the cutting, and observe the formation of new roots. The ideal length for these roots should be around an inch long, which indicates that the cutting is ready to be transplanted into soil 1. Another sign of root growth is the appearance of new leaves, which demonstrate that the plant is successfully absorbing nutrients and water.

Potting Procedure

Transferring a thriving cutting to soil is a crucial step in the propagation process. To ensure your anthurium continues healthy growth, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the right potting mix: Select a well-draining potting mix, as anthuriums prefer soil that doesn’t retain too much moisture. The mixture should be rich in organic matter and have adequate aeration to promote root growth 2.
  2. Prepare the plant container: Opt for a container with drainage holes to avoid waterlogging. Fill the container with the prepared potting mix, leaving around 2 inches of space at the top.
  3. Plant the cutting: Carefully take the cutting out of water, making sure not to damage the new roots. Position it in the soil, burying the roots but ensuring the leaves are above the soil line. Gently press down on the soil around the cutting to provide stability and eliminate any air pockets.
  4. Water the plant: After planting the cutting, water it thoroughly. This helps to settle the soil and provide initial moisture to the plant. Maintain a consistent watering schedule in the following weeks, but avoid overwatering, as this may cause rot 3.
  5. Find a suitable location: Place your newly potted anthurium in an area that receives bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as this can cause the leaves to burn. Ensure that the temperature and humidity levels are favorable for anthurium growth. A warm and humid environment is ideal 4.

By following these steps, you’ll successfully transition your anthurium cutting from water to soil, promoting healthy and continuous growth.

Caring for Your New Anthurium Plant

Once you’ve successfully propagated your anthurium in water, it’s crucial to provide proper care to ensure a healthy and thriving plant. In this section, we will cover important aspects such as watering requirements, light and temperature, fertilizing, and pruning.

Watering Requirements

Anthurium plants require a delicate balance in terms of watering. Overwatering can lead to root rot, whereas underwatering may cause the plant to dry out. To ensure optimum moisture levels, wait until the top inch of soil feels dry before watering your plant. Additionally, use a well-draining potting mix to avoid waterlogging. Humidity is essential for anthuriums, so consider placing a humidifier nearby or a pebble-filled tray with water under the pot to maintain a humid environment.

Light and Temperature

Anthuriums thrive in bright, indirect light. Their leaves can be damaged by direct sunlight, which is why it is important to advisable to place them near a window with filtered light or a shaded spot with access to ample sunlight. The ideal temperature range for anthurium plants is between 70°F to 85°F (21°C to 29°C). Avoid exposing your plant to temperatures below 55°F (13°C) as it can harm the plant’s growth.


Anthurium plants benefit from regular fertilization to support their growth. Applying a balanced water-soluble fertilizer every six weeks can help keep your plant healthy and encourage blooming. It’s important to dilute the fertilizer to half the recommended strength to avoid over-fertilizing, which could lead to root burn.


Regular pruning is essential for maintaining an attractive and healthy anthurium plant. Remove any yellowing or damaged leaves, and pinch off spent flowers to encourage new growth. Pruning not only helps maintain the plant’s appearance but also allows air circulation and provides better access to sunlight for the inner leaves. Remember to use clean, sharp scissors or pruning shears to make clean cuts and minimize the risk of diseases.

By carefully managing these key aspects of anthurium care, your new plant will have the best chance to grow healthy and strong, gracing your space with its vibrant blooms and lush, green foliage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Best propagation method?

The easiest method for anthurium propagation is through division. This involves taking the plant out of its pot, removing the soil, and gently separating plantlets from the main plant, making sure that they have a healthy root system.

Rooting in water duration?

When rooting anthurium cuttings in water, it generally takes 4-6 weeks for roots to develop. Make sure the cutting is placed in a warm and humid area and away from direct sun, which will provide optimal conditions for root growth.

Taking cuttings from the plant?

To take cuttings from an anthurium plant, select a healthy mother plant with no signs of stress or disease. Choose a stem cutting with at least one healthy leaf, making a diagonal cut just below a leaf node.

Anthurium seed propagation?

Although less common than stem cuttings or division, anthurium can be propagated by seeds. However, this method can be time-consuming and may not yield consistent results. It’s best to consider this method if you’re experienced with plant propagation.

Can broken leaves grow?

Generally, broken leaves will not regenerate or grow on their own. However, as long as the rest of the plant is healthy, and proper care is provided, the plant should continue to grow new leaves and flowers.

Using stem cuttings?

Anthurium can be propagated using stem cuttings once they have been taken from the healthy mother plant. Simply place the cutting in water or soil, and wait for roots to develop. This process usually takes 4-6 weeks, and it is important to provide proper environmental conditions for successful root development.


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