All Hail the Queen
Anthurium warocqueanum is called the “Queen Anthurium” and it’s easy to see why. Its elegant, patterned leaves can grow to be three feet long. There’s a breathtaking example in the Conservatory of Flowers, but I couldn’t get close enough for a good photo, so here’s a smaller (but still lovely) example.
Last year when I first noticed it at the Conservatory, I sought one out online. The small specimen I received wasn’t much to look at when it first arrived, and unfortunately, it has only gotten worse.
In the seven months since that photo was taken, the poor little Queen lost two leaves and the third just waned. Everything I’d learned about the plant said she should be happy: she had medium indirect light, was moist but not wet, never below 60 degrees, and had no sign of bugs. But, clearly, she was not happy. So it was time for a Hail Mary pass.
The only thing I couldn’t account for was the soil. I’d repotted her into my usual mix of potting mix with a little extra bark that my jungle plants enjoy. Perhaps there was something about it she didn’t like?
So today I removed her from her soil and washer her roots. They were white and firm – a good sign. I then placed her on a piece of driftwood I’d collected at the beach a while back (I cleaned it and made sure it had no bugs beforehand, of course). Then I placed some damp Sphagnum moss around the roots and bound it all together with fishing line.
In the wild, Queen Anthurium grow as epiphytes – plants that grow on other plants. Epiphytic plants typically take root in the damp moss that grows on trees. By mounting it this way, I’m mimicking the plant’s natural environment (at least, as much as I can in San Francisco).
The plant’s obviously already stressed, and I’m sure this move will stress her more, so chances are this won’t end well. But at least no one can say I didn’t serve the Queen as best I could.