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Anthurium Debilis – Pebbled-Leaf Anthurium

by gardeningit
Anthurium Debilis

Anthurium Debilis is a rare variety of the Anthurium genus. It has incredible foliage that changes its color with time. The large, pebble-textured leaves turn from bronze to deep-green and then to bronze again as they mature. This stunning plant also produces beautiful flowers that perfectly adorn the indoor space.

Although it is an exotic species, it is grown in many parts of the world. It is grown as a houseplant due to the unmatched beauty of its foliage. Let us tell you some more interesting facts about this plant.

Anthurium Debilis Classification

  • Family: Araceae
  • Subfamily: Pothoideae
  • Genus: Anthurium

Origin and Distribution

This plant is native to western Colombia (Valle del Cauca). This plant is found in tropical wet forests, Pluvial forests, and in the zone between Pluvial and Premontane forests.

Anthurium Debilis Appearance

Foliage

It has unusual foliage that changes the shade of its leaves as the plant matures. The leaves are arrowhead-shaped and emerge with a bronze shade. Their color changes to dark green with purple-tinged veins. As the leaf grows old, the green color changes to bronze again, now in a dull shade.

Blooms

This plant blooms in the growing season and produces long-lasting flowers. Its inflorescence consists of a spathe and spadix. The spathe is lanceolate, long, and green to pink in color. The spadix is green-colored that changes to glossy yellow upon maturing. It also produces shield-shaped flowers that have four lobes.

Size

This plant can get as tall as 20 inches. The plant that grows in its native habitat gets taller than a plant that is grown indoors.

Anthurium Debilis Care

Quick Guide 

  • Watering: Once every two days.
  • Soil type: Wet clay soil.
  • Sunlight: Medium indirect light.
  • Temperature: 20°C to 28°C.
  • Humidity: Above 60%
  • Fertilizer: Balanced fertilizer, once every month.
  • Hardiness: 11 to 12.

For further guidance, read this detailed guide.

Anthurium Debilis Watering

You should water this plant on alternate days. This means 3-4 times watering every week is enough for its proper growth. This watering schedule applies to the months of active growth. During these days, You should also mist the foliage regularly. This plant does not need much watering in winters because the soil stays moist for more days. Once-a-week watering in winters would be enough.

Some experts suggest that this plant should be watered with cold water, while others believe it to do more harm than good. In our opinion, you should first water your plant with cold water for a week and then with lukewarm water and see the results. Your plant will tell you about its preference itself by showing happy signs.

Soil Requirements

Anthurium Debilis should be grown in a well-draining potting mix. A well-draining potting mix ensures that your plant does not get root rot by overwatering as it drips away all the excess water. This plant also grows well in wet clay. Clay holds more moisture than other potting mixes, so it also increases the chances of root rot if the drainage is not good. It is why you should also add pine bark, compost, and composted leaves into it to increase its drainage. Clay soil is also beneficial for this plant because it has more nutrients than the regular potting mix. If you use clay as a growing medium, you will have to fertilize the plant less.

Sunlight

It is an adaptable plant that can be grown in medium to low indirect sunlight. Low light is not preferable, but this can somehow survive in it. It would be best if you place it in moderate sunlight. If you have windows in your home, this plant will grow perfectly in a spot that is 6 feet away from these windows. Some days, you should place this plant under the direct morning sun. Morning sunlight is not too intense, so it will not scorch your plant’s leaves.

Anthurium Debilis Temperature Requirements

The optimum temperature range for Anthurium Debilis is almost similar to other Anthurium species from the same family, such as Anthurium Pallidiflorum and Anthurium Magnificum. These plants grow properly in a temperature range of 20°C to 28°C.

Temperature extremes kill this plant faster than anything, so keep it in a room with average room temperature in summers or winters.

Humidity

If you grow houseplants in your home, you might already have been practicing any ways to increase indoor humidity. If you have a humidifier, it would be well and good as it keeps all the plants happy and fresh at the same time. Anthurium Debilis also needs a particular humidity level for its proper growth. It requires above 60% humidity to thrive. If you have a humidifier, you do not need to make any arrangements for this plant. If not, there is some work to do. Either place this plant on a pebble tray or group it with other plants to increase the moisture level around it.

Fertilizer

This plant will not bother you much for fertilization; it just needs once-a-month feeding. Every month, fertilize its soil with a regular houseplant fertilizer that has a balanced N-P-K value. Monthly fertilization will replenish all the used-up nutrients that the plant has absorbed over the month.

The process of fertilization is quick and simple.

  • Mix 1 tablespoon of the particular fertilizer in a gallon of water. This is how the fertilizer is diluted, and its strength is reduced.
  • Water the plant to moist its soil.
  • Pour the diluted fertilizer into the soil.

And that is it.

Grooming and Pruning

Removing all the dead and yellow leaves at the beginning of each spring is necessary. It relieves the plant from the burden of saving already dead foliage. Pruning also encourages more growth and healthy blooms. So, at the beginning of every spring, take out your gardening shears, disinfect them and use them to trim your plant. For more leaf growth, pinch the branches near the nodes.

How to Propagate Anthurium Debilis

This gorgeous plant can be propagated through stem cuttings and division methods. You should take the cuttings at the beginning of spring when you prune the plant. Propagation by division should also be carried out in spring, as spring is an active growth season.

Propagation by Stem Cuttings

  1. Using disinfected scissors, cut a healthy stem part that is several inches long.
  2. The cut must be made just below the node.
  3. The stem cutting must have at least one leaf at its end.
  4. Dip the cutting in rooting hormone to encourage faster growth.
  5. Plant this stem cutting in a fresh potting mix in a new container.

Propagation through Division Method

  1. Take out your Anthurium Debilis from its pot and shake off excess soil.
  2. Place it on a board, and by using a sharp knife, cut it in two halves.
  3. Before cutting the plant, untangle all the roots using a thin stick or your fingers.
  4. You can also divide the plant by pulling opposite sides apart using your hands.
  5. Plant both these baby Anthurium plants in separate pots.
  6. Water them and place them in medium to bright, indirect sunlight.

Anthurium Debilis Basic Features

Anthurium Debilis Growth Rate

Being a slow-growing plant, Anthurium Debilis produces only 1 to 2 leaves in several months. This plant also takes at least two years to attain its mature height. Grow this plant in ideal conditions to increase its growth rate.

Air Purification

This plant is also loved and grown by indoor gardeners because it is a natural air purifier. It actively removes pollutants and adds oxygen to the air to increase the air quality. It is a great plant to add to the bedroom due to its air-purifying property.

Anthurium Debilis Toxicity

Let us warn you; this houseplant is toxic to cats and dogs. So keep an eye on your nibbling pets. Because if they consume any of the leaves by mistake, the calcium oxalate crystals present in those leaves will cause severe health problems, such as irritation of the mouth and esophagus.

Drought Tolerance

It is a drought-tolerant species that save water in its foliage for future use. So if by any chance it does not get watered on time, it uses its stored water to save its life. In severe droughts, this plant goes dormant and is brought back to life by regulating its watering schedule.

Maintenance

This beautiful Anthurium species does not fuss about anything. It stays happy with minimal care and attention, and it also forgives you for a fair amount of neglect. It is a low-maintenance plant, perfect for beginners and those who do not have a green thumb.

Dormancy

As the temperature, light intensity, and duration decrease in winters, this plant goes into dormancy. Dormancy is the days of rest when this plant is not actively growing, so it does not require much care. Its watering needs are reduced, and so are its nutrient requirements. During these days, avoid fertilizing this plant at all.

Common Problems and Their Solutions

Diseases

Just like other Anthurium species, Anthurium Debilis is also prone to certain diseases. The plant does not get these diseases unless grown in unfavorable conditions. If you overwater this plant, it might get root rot due to fungal growth in its roots. And, if the bacteria overgrows on certain parts of the foliage, the plant can get bacterial blight. Both these diseases are preventable and treatable.

Pests

In high humidity, many pests inhabit the leaves of this pretty plant, such as mealybugs, scales, spider mites, and aphids. These pests are dangerous for the plant’s health as they suck sap and essential nutrients from the stem. These common pests are treated by rubbing the foliage with a cotton swab dipped in neem oil or rubbing alcohol. Spraying an insecticide on the foliage also helps in forcing the pests to go away.

Frequently Asked Questions about Anthurium Debilis

Should I Mist My Anthurium Debilis?

As long as the moist leaves of your Anthurium do not attract any unnecessary pests, you can mist the plant. In fact, regular misting is beneficial for this plant as it increases humidity and keeps the leaves fresh.

How Long Do Its Flowers Last?

The plucked flowers are kept in vases for decorative purposes and these last for at least 2 to 3 weeks. You should mist these flowers as well.

Can I Grow My Plant Outdoors?

If you are sure that the temperature outside is at the correct levels for this plant, you can grow it outdoors. But, make sure you cover it with shade cloth or place it in a shady place. This way, the plant will not get burnt by the direct sun.

Conclusion

Anthurium Debilis is an easy-maintenance plant with beautiful foliage. It is also a natural air purifier that cleanses the surrounding air. As it is a medium-sized plant, it can be grown in various places at home, from coffee tables to window sills, from nightstands to bookshelves, and from living room corners to bedside tables. Who won’t want to keep this amazingly pleasing species indoors?

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