Plant of the Month – Anthurium Otazu

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Anthurium-OTAZUKnown commonly as the Flamingo Flower, Anthurium ‘Otazu’ is native to Colombia and Ecuador, the newest cultivar of the Anthurium andraeanum family.  What makes this elegant gem a stand out plant is it’s almost black, dark burgundy flowers that command attention with their tall petioles rising above their leaves.  These naturally glossy flowers have a white spadix with yellow tip that contrasts with the deepening flower color as they age.

Anthurium flowers are often used in tropical bouquets as cut flowers because of their long lasting color, but until I started maintaining interior plants, I hadn’t realized what an easy plant they can be to grow in containers.  To care for these evergreen perennials, they need little care other than giving them high indirect light indoors, a warm environment, and a well draining soil with moderate moisture.  Since they thrive in a tropical environment and actually live as epiphytes in the wild, I treat them as I would an Orchid (see our Tips for Easy Orchid Care).  But, if you are reading this and thinking, “Orchids are not that easy to grow.”  Well, I agree and disagree….I think Orchids are easy to grown given the proper environment, what’s hard is making them re-bloom!  Anthuriums however seem to re-bloom on their own during the warm months and in Southern California we have a lot of those….so imagine that, a plant with gorgeous glossy leaves and long lasting flowers most of the year!!  You can’t get much better.

You can find Anthurium andraeanums in a variety of colors such as, Purple, White, Pink, Orange-Red, Red, Green, Peach and now Black-Red or Blood-Red if you want to sound dramatic.