anthurium cubense-can I cut it back and get an offset

sfhellwig(6a SE Kansas)January 5, 2010

I have posted here long ago to find information about this interesting plant. Alas it has become quite large and I'm afraid it may get evicted from it's position at the office. It has never put off a sucker or provided seed, even after attempting to pollinate by brush. It is in desperate need of an up-potting/re-potting, and maybe this is a good opportunity. If this plant can produce a sucker and is in good soil conditions, can I just cut the large leaves back, repot and wait for it to recoup? In comparison I know you can do this with bananas all day long. I know that as long as the corm is never destroyed or rotted I will always get a banana plant back. Will an anthurium, particularly this one, react this way? I don't want to lose it as this is actually my oldest plant at nearly 6 years, but something different must be done.

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If this is Anthurium cubense and old it should be showing a large number of aerial roots at the base of the stem. This is not terribly easy but you could cut the stem at a point where there are plenty of roots still attached to the stem and still have a portion of the stem with roots in the soil.

This top cutting can then be re potted in fast draining soil and you should be able to grow another plant while the remaining root and stem system in the pot will also grow new petioles and leaves.

Some of the previous posts on GardenWeb were showing photos of plants which were identified as Anthurium cubense which were not in fact the species.

The link below may help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Anthurium cubense

    Bookmark   January 6, 2010 at 5:59PM
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sfhellwig(6a SE Kansas)

I had seen that site before (one of the few out there talking about this plant). I just never sat down and pursued figuring out if mine was true or hybridized. I will have to post pictures as it is extremely similar in many of it's qualities but it's shape and number of veins is a little off. Long petioles too. I just figured the plant was stretched.

So you are suggesting separating and creating two plants. Like a ground layer but the plant has done much of the work for me. I am not sure if the top could survive without cutting much of the leaves back. My main goal is to keep one living plant but reduce what I have for the time. It's a shame I don't have room to propagate this right now. I think I will wait till Spring if I can anyway. Maybe by then I will know someone who can accept a large plant.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 12:55AM
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If it has long petioles the plant isn't Anthurium cubense but there are many Anthurium from section Pachyneurium (Bird's nest forms) that have long petioles so it may be another species or a hybrid. The structure and arrangement of the veins, petiole length and other features are very important to determining the species.

Make sure you have visible aerial roots above the point you plan to cut the stem to ensure repotting the top cutting goes easily. The stem segment left in the soil should recover fairly quickly but it may take quite a long time to produce another full set of leaf blades.

If you can post good photos of the leaves showing the veins, the stem, and the petioles I may be able to help you determine if this is a species. You can also email them to me since my email address is at th bottom of the site homepage.

Cutting in the spring would be advisable.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Exotic Rainforest

    Bookmark   January 8, 2010 at 10:31AM
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sfhellwig(6a SE Kansas)

Finally getting back with pics. Of all the things I have going on I guess this is the one I can put off the longest.

In the pictures the leaves and petioles are very long and stretched. If you look toward the bottom you may be able to see that the first petioles were quite a bit shorter and that the leaves were more ovate and ruffled. The last few years have given very long, obovate leaves on extremely long petioles. I assume from being an office plant with a bright array of windows to one side. While cutting and getting a second plant would be nice, I am honestly trying to reduce the plant that exists. Give it a chance to regrow, perhaps in better form. Since it is so deep in the pot I believe I will lift it and clean the roots. Remove old and rotted pieces. Then pot back into the same pot but using an even looser bark chip and raised toward the rim. We'll see how it goes. Hopefully it stays with me, it has always been tolerant so far.

As for being Cubense or not, I think it related to the number of ribs on the leaves. So this would have too many? Any input as to species would be greatly appreciated.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2010 at 4:25PM
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A botanist would consider the petioles to be short.

The petiole is the portion beneath the geniculum connecting with the stem. I can also see the petiole is canaliculate (contains a canal) which is correct for Anthurium cubense.

I'm not certain of you are referring to the mid rib as the petiole but I see no petiole that would be long as are those found on Anthurium schlechtendalii.

For those reading that didn't get what I just tried to explain, Anthurium have a geniculum right at the point where the petiole inserts into the blade. The geniculum allows the blade to rotate to some degree in order to allow the light to be better collected.

I enlarged your photos about 500% and the venation (vein structure) appears right as well. The shape of the leaf is not terribly important due to the natural variation of the species.

For others reading this that don't understand variation this will hopefully help:

The only thing I didn't see clearly that would all but wrap up an ID is pubescence (air) at the base of the stem (central axis of the plant).

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 1:41PM
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Sorry about the typos above, I have no idea where the underline came from but I did leave out a word or two making it difficult to understand.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 1:43PM
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sfhellwig(6a SE Kansas)

That was a beautiful description. I am not the best about using proper terminology, but tend to understand it well. By saying that the petioles are long I mean the current compared to how they grew years ago. And the natural variation is good to know. All the pictures I find look close, but a little different. I don't particularly see pubescence anywhere around the base. At least not any fuzzy type hair like I am used to seeing on woody plants. There are many "threads" from spent leaves and such being removed. I don't remove spent parts until they have dryed enough to come away easily but still manage to leave some fiberous material.

Thank you very much for your assistance in verifying ID and suggestion what to do. A new leaf is swelling and soon to unfurl. I need to do my work quickly and let it commence it's growth. Hopefully it will return to vigorous growth. I have become accustomed to one leaf and a flower each year. We will see what come.

    Bookmark   March 12, 2010 at 3:52PM
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Give it good fast draining soil, lots of light, a little magnesium (Epsom's salt) and fertilizer. They can outgrow any scientific description. The books say Anthurium cubense doesn't grow really large but there is one at the Silver Krome Nursery in Homestead, FL that stands at least 8 or 9 feet tall, The pubescence around the base of the stem is at least a foot deep!

Dr. Croat says all the time there is no real maximum size. It just depends on how well they are grown.

Good luck with it!

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 11:29AM
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