All About Anthurium clarinervium, a Great Beginner Velvet Leaf Anthurium

Velvetleaf Anthuriums are coveted in the houseplant community because of their gorgeous velvety appearance, sparkling veins, and challenging nature.

If you’ve found success with common houseplants and are ready to try something at a more intermediate to advanced level, Anthurium clarinervium might be a good choice for you!

In today’s article, you’ll find out whether Anthurium clarinervium is a good houseplant, where it grows in the wild, how to care for it successfully, and more,.

Table of Contents

Why is Anthurium clarinervium a good beginner velvetleaf anthurium?

anthurium clarinervium with roots
My Anthurium clarinervium showing off its chunky roots

Anthurium clarinervium is a good first choice for plant lovers who are new to caring for a velvetleaf anthurium.

It is more forgiving about watering inconsistencies and lower humidity.

This plant can’t tolerate regular drought and dry air for the long haul, but it can tolerate a little bit of inconsistency as you learn how to care for it.

For example, if you forget to refill a humidifier for a couple of days, Anthurium clarinervium will probably be fine.

If you let Anthurium clarinervium completely dry out once or twice, it will probably be fine.

If these become regular issues, however, the plant will slowly decline.

Is Anthurium clarinervium easy to care for? No. It’s not. It is nowhere near as resilient as the more common houseplants like pothos or snake plants AND it has a lot more specific needs than common houseplants do.

BUT! Anthurium clarinervium is easier to care for than a lot of the other velvetleaf anthuriums.

So, who is this plant a good match for? People who have had success with common houseplants and are ready to try something at a more intermediate or advanced level.

Anthurium clarinervium’s Plant Profile

A plant profile is kind of like a dating profile, but for plants! You can see pictures of the plant in nature and in homes, find out more about it and where it comes from, learn whether it likes long walks on the beach, etcetera. 🙂

Spoiler alert: Anthurium clarinervium does not like long walks on the beach.

Anthurium clarinervium’s physical description

anthurium clarinervium in white pot
Anthurium clarinervium in white pot

Anthurium clarinervium has thick, cardboard-like leaves that take the shape of a nearly perfect heart. It sports beautiful, sparkling white veins against a deep green, velvety background. Truly a gorgeous combination.

It has round petioles (the “stem” that holds the leaf up) and can grow leaves up to a foot in length.

The plant itself can grow to be about 2 feet tall and 2 or 3 feet wide, making it a large houseplant, but more compact than many other velvet Anthuriums.

Where is Anthurium clarinervium found in nature?

Anthurium clarinervium is native to Chiapas, Mexico.

You can find it happily clung to rocks, like in the photo below! As you might imagine, this means its roots are completely exposed, providing a huge amount of airflow around the roots.

Growing in a tropical area, these plants receive lots of humidity and frequent rainfall, so even though their roots are exposed they remain well-hydrated.

Photo by: Héctor-Gómez, iNaturalist, Source

What is the difference between Anthurium clarinervium, Anthurium crystallinum, and Anthurium magnificum?

Anthurium clarinervium is often confused with Anthurium crystallinum. And, A. crystallinum is often confused with Anthurium magnificum.

So, this section aims to help you tell the three apart to be sure that you are purchasing the plant you desire!

A. clarinervium A. crystallinum A. magnificum
Dark green foliageLight green foliageDark green foliage
Perfect heart shape, broad leafNarrow, stretched heart-shaped leafNarrow, stretched heart-shaped leaf
Round petiolesRound petiolesSquare petioles
Thick, cardboard-like leafThinner leafThick leaf
Thick, white veinsThick, white veinsThinner, less prominent veins

The most difficult part of identification is the fact that there are also many velvetleaf Anthurium hybrids out there, including a cross between A. crystallinum and A. magnificum.

If in doubt, I recommend joining a Facebook or online group that can help you to identify a plant. My personal recommendation is the International Aroid Society’s Facebook page.

How do you care for Anthurium clarinervium?

anthurium clarinervium new leaf
My Anthurium clarinervium with its newest leaf

Anthurium clarinervium Care Summary

In-depth care is below this chart

Humidity:At least 40%
Light:Low to bright indirect light
Pot:Any pot with a drainage hole
Potting Mix:A well-draining, chunky mix
Water:Keep plant evenly moist
Fertilizer:Fertilize at half strength during active growth

Humidity Requirements for Anthurium clarinervium

Anthurium clarinervium needs humidity in order to thrive.

Many of the houseplants we grow prefer high humidity, but they don’t require it. Anthurium clarinervium, on the other hand, requires it.

How much humidity does Anthurium clarinervium need? At least 40%, but the more you can provide the happier your plant will be.

As someone who lives in Michigan where humidity is hard to come by in the cold, dry Winter, I aim to never let my humidity drop below 40 percent.

When it does get too low, Anthuriums and other humidity-loving plants begin to crisp around the edges and become more susceptible to pests due to stress.

How do you maintain at least 40% humidity?

The 2 most common ways to provide humidity for high maintenance houseplants are to:

  1. Buy a humidifier and have it running constantly near the plant
  2. Buy a plastic or glass greenhouse or cabinet to have the plants live in where humidity can be controlled more easily. You may still need a humidifier. It depends on how air tight the greenhouse is and how many plants you have in there.

How do you know what your humidity is?

You can buy an inexpensive hygrometer off of Amazon to monitor the temperature and humidity near your plants.

I’ve used the hygrometers linked below for years now with success.

Here is a link to the Hygrometer pictured below on Amazon.*

*This link is an affiliate link, meaning that if you purchase the product using this link, I may get a small commission. There is no cost to you if you choose to purchase using the link. Any and all proceeds go toward helping this blog to grow.

Important side notes: Be careful to also provide your plant with enough airflow. High humidity and stale air is a perfect breeding ground for fungal infections.

This is probably not an issue if you are using a humidifier in an open room with plants that have a little bit of space between them. It can become an issue in a closed greenhouse or in an open area where plants are very close together.

You can remedy this by adding small fans or by having a space/panel of a greenhouse that remains open to provide airflow/exchange.

Light Requirements for Anthurium clarinervium

Anthurium clarinervium grows in dappled light, shaded by trees and other plants/shrubs.

The broad, dark green leaves are packed with chlorophyll and surface area for collecting light in dim areas.

This means that A. clarinervium doesn’t want or like a lot of light, but still needs some.

Natural light from a North or East window (if in the Northern hemisphere) could work well.

Grow lights can also work well, but beware of placing the plant too close to the light.

If placing the plant in a West or South facing window, pull it back some or use blinds / sheer curtains to weaken the harsh light a little.

Signs your Anthurium is receiving too much light:

  • It’s color is fading or yellowing
  • It wilts quickly
  • It has white or brown crispy patches (from sunburn)

Signs your Anthurium is receiving too little light:

  • It is staying wet for a very long time
  • It is developing fungal issues
  • It isn’t growing
  • It’s stretching for light
  • It has root rot
  • The potting mix smells musty

Most of these signs can also be other issues so observing more about the plant is recommended when trying to figure out what is wrong.

Pot and Potting Mix for Anthurium clarinervium

“If you could visit a rain forest you would quickly learn the soil is composed of leaf litter, decaying wood, compost and the charcoal left behind when a part of the forest burns. If we’ll just listen to Mother Nature we can all make our plants grow as they should in nature. That is precisely what I attempt to explain when I recommend mixing soil, not just buying a bag at the store.”

Steve Lucas, Growing the Tropical Anthurium, Exotic Rainforest, Source

Potting Mix

Like the quote above explains, Anthuriums like a chunky, well-draining mix with bark pieces, charcoal, some peat or sphagnum moss, and some pumice or perlite.

This is one of the few plants that I’ve written about which isn’t as likely to survive in a premade houseplant mix without adding some kind of amendment. At the very least I would recommend using 50/50 houseplant potting mix and perlite.

My personal favorite mix is equal parts orchid bark, pumice, charcoal, and peat moss/standard houseplant mix.

Here are my favorite products for each, linked to Amazon through the affiliate program:

Pot Type

You can grow A. clarinervium in any type of pot that doesn’t provide too much room beyond the root ball. If the pot is too large and there is too much room to grow, the plant will remain wet for too long and possibly develop root rot.

Can you use terracotta? Yes, but most people won’t recommend it because Anthuriums can cling their roots to the clay pot. Then, when it is time to repot, the roots get damaged because you have to (even if gently) rip them off.

I personally like using clear plastic so I can see the roots, observe growth, and ensure health and moisture levels.

Here’s an example of some 4 inch clear pots I like to use, linked for purchase on Amazon.*

*This link is an affiliate link, meaning that if you purchase the product using this link, I may get a small commission. There is no cost to you if you choose to purchase using the link. Any and all proceeds go toward helping this blog to grow.

Water Requirements for Anthurium clarinervium

Anthurium clarinervium likes to stay evenly moist, but not wet or dry.

This usually looks like watering the plant when the top of the potting mix is dry, but not waiting for the plant to dry completely.

If Anthurium clarinervium is kept too dry, it will fail to grow and thrive and may begin to lose leaves.

If Anthurium clarinervium is kept too wet, it will develop root rot and fungal issues.

Also, many people recommend using distilled or reverse osmosis water for rare Anthuriums, as they can be very sensitive to the salts and nutrients in our tap water.

For a long time, I only used reverse osmosis water, but then I decided to just try tap water with a couple of my sensitive plants and see what happens. So far, 6 months later, the plants are doing well and have not developed brown spots from tap water.

I am not necessarily recommending you do this (as it all depends on the quality of your local water and it is a bit of a gamble with the health of your plant), just saying that it is an option for those who want to experiment.

Fertilizer Needs for Anthurium clarinervium

Anthurium clarinervium benefits from fertilization when actively growing and/or in the growing season.

I use an organic fertilizer diluted to half-strength every other week. The Anthuriums seem to be very happy with it so far!

Do you have velvetleaf Anthuriums? Which one is your favorite? Which one would you recommend to anyone new to velvetleaf Anthuriums?

Happy growing!

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