How to Grow and Care for Anthurium Crystallinum (Crystal Anthurium)

Anthurium crystallinum plant

Anthurium crystallinum is a perennial shrub from the Araceae (Arum) family. Anthurium crystallinum , best known for its large, veined leaves.

Like many tropical plants, it thrives in warm, humid conditions under bright but indirect sunlight with seasonal doses of a balanced liquid fertilizer. However, unlike other showy species in the genus, this anthurium rarely blooms.

You’ll likely need to have Anthurium crystallinum shipped from a nursery since growth from seed isn’t a common option, though.

What Are Anthurium Crystallinum Plants?

The Anthurium crystallinum come from the Aracea family is an evergreen plant.

It’s native to Central and South America. However, it’s now gaining popularity in North America as an ornamental plant. In fact, this epiphyte makes for a great indoor plant not only because it’s low-maintenance but also because of its eye-catching foliage.

While the official name is Anthurium crystallinum, you might find the plant labeled “crystal anthurium” or “crystal laceleaf” in a nursery. Don’t worry if the pot is labeled as A. killipianum; it’s just a heterotypic synonym of the official botanical name.

You shouldn’t confuse the full-sized crystal anthurium with the dwarf crystal anthurium (A. clarinervium), though. Both are humidity-loving indoor plants with veined leaves, but we’ll be focusing on growing and caring for the A. crystallinum in this guide.

Speaking of the venation, the pattern could be pale green or silvery white. Either way, it creates a stark contrast with the deep green, velvety foliage. Flip any of those leaves over, and you’ll find a surprising coppery hue (slightly reddish if the plant is still young).

On average, the heart-shaped leaves measure 15–18 inches long and 8–9 inches wide. The diameter of the stem, however, is only about an inch. All in all, you can expect the plant to grow to 1–3 feet tall.

If you decide to get one for your home, keep it out of your pets’ reach—it’s toxic!

The Anthurium Crystallinum at a Glance

Here’s an overview of the crystal anthurium:

  • Scientific Name:

Anthurium crystallinum (or A. killipianum)

  • Common Names:

Crystal anthurium, crystal laceleaf

  • Light:


  • Watering:


  • Temperature:


  • Hardiness Zone:

13+ USDA

  • Soil pH:

Neutral or acidic

  • Soil Type:

Loose and well-drained

  • Repotting:

Spring or summer

  • Pruning:

For aesthetic purposes only

  • Size:

Up to 3 feet tall

  • Bloom Time:

Year-round (rare)

  • Propagation:

Division or stem cuttings

How to Care for Anthurium Crystallinum Plants?

Caring for an Anthurium crystallinum plant is simple. All the plant really needs is indirect light, decent drainage, and a warm, humid spot. Occasional fertilization won’t hurt, either!

Provide Bright but Indirect Sunlight

In their natural habitat, crystal anthuriums thrive under dappled rainforest canopies.

To match the Anthurium crystallinum’s light requirements, your best bet would be to put the pot near an east-facing window that gets plenty of morning light but not much afternoon sun.

If that’s not possible, a sheer curtain could help soften the light intensity from a south-facing window a bit. Otherwise, the direct sunlight will scorch the leaves.

Just don’t forget to wipe up the large anthurium crystallinum leaves every once and a while. Too much dust could get in the way of proper light absorption.

Use a Well-Drained Soil Mixture

Unfortunately, the Anthurium crystallinum is prone to root rot. One way to prevent the infection from taking over is to make sure the soil is airy and drains well.

Your standard potting mixture alone won’t cut it here. Instead, you want to blend it with some perlite and peat moss to keep the texture airy without compromising the water-retention capacity.

A 2:1:1 ratio of potting soil, perlite, and peat moss is a good place to start. It’s okay to swap the peat moss for coconut coir, but you’ll still need a bit of perlite in your mix. Perlite (volcanic glass) does a great job of adding spaces to the soil, reducing the chances of waterlogging.

If mixing your own soil feels like a hassle, you could get away with using orchid soil. After all, some commercially sold orchid potting mixes contain perlite and peat moss.

But no matter which way you go, you’ll need a pot with drainage holes.

Balance the Watering Frequency

The crystal laceleaf loves consistent moisture but can get waterlogged easily.

It would be hard to set a strict watering schedule that works for everyone because there are a lot of factors at play here—light intensity (dries out the soil faster), pot size, water dose, and so on.

However, the golden rule for many indoor plants, Anthurium crystallinum included, is to water only when the top soil layer is dry. Just dip your finger 1–2 inches and feel the soil.

Is it damp? Hold the water. Is it dry? Go for a slow but deep watering around the base and try to avoid getting the foliage too wet.

Don’t forget to empty out the drip tray regularly.

Control the Temperature and Keep the Air Humid

Warm, humid environments are ideal for the crystal anthurium. 

The houseplant isn’t finicky, though. It can survive at 50°F. But if you want it to thrive, you should aim for a humidity level above 50%. 

Now, this might be tricky if you live somewhere with dry air or like setting your HVAC’s humidity parameter low. Occasion misting will raise the humidity a bit around the plant, but grouping the anthurium with other tropical plants is often easier.

In fact, the grouping tactic might also help anchor the anthurium. It’ll be easier for the plant to find nearby support and grip onto it with its aerial roots. That’s as long as you group the tropicals when the anthurium is still growing.

Fertilize the Anthurium Seasonally

Crystal anthuriums like their soil fertile from the get-go, and they also appreciate a nutrient top-up every now and then.

It’s worth noting that the fertilizer won’t do much for the blooms. However, it’ll help the plant grow lush and healthy foliage, which is probably why you choose this particular anthurium as an indoor plant in the first place.

Using a slow-releasing, balanced houseplant fertilizer a few times a year will do the trick. Just pick a water-soluble one and dilute it first (check the instructions on the label) to avoid scorching the roots.

How to Grow Crystal Anthurium Plants From Seed?

Growing anthuriums from seed is possible but not common.

The plants just don’t flower and produce fruit reliably enough. Plus, their stigmas and stamens aren’t active at the same time, so you need to have plants growing at different stages in order for this to work.

However, if you already have a seed, you can grow it in a flat with moistened vermiculite. To boost your odds, cover the container (until it germinates) and place the container at 70°F.

A 4-inch nursery pot will work fine when it’s time to transplant.

How to Repot the Anthurium Crystallinum Plants?

Crystal anthuriums are slow growers. So, repotting to a new terracotta pot (one or two sizes up) once every couple of years is usually enough.

When you do repot, it’s often better to aim for spring or summer. We’d also recommend doing the process quickly. You don’t want to leave the roots exposed to air for long and risk transplant shock.

How to Care for the Crystal Laceleaf Year-Round?

Winters can be harsh on your anthurium. The combination of cold and dry air can hit the plant hard if you’re not careful.

Ideally, you’ll check your thermometer regularly, keep the pot away from cold drafts, and add a humidifier to the room.

Summer and spring, however, are ideal for fertilizing and repotting.

Generally speaking, early spring is a good time to prune houseplants, too. But this anthurium doesn’t need regular/seasonal pruning at all. You’ll only need to prune for aesthetic reasons or to get rid of the occasional yellow leaf.

How to Propagate Anthurium Crystallinum Plants?

Since growing from seeds is unreliable, root division and stem cutting are the best two options for propagating crystal anthurium plants.

For the decision method, you should pop anthurium out of its pot, shake off the loose soil, and gently separate the root system before splitting it with sharp, sterile shears.

Of course, to propagate plants successfully, you should make sure each root section has at least a couple of healthy leaves.

Choosing healthy foliage will also come in handy for the stem-cutting method because you need to snip off a 6-inch section with two viable leaves and maybe some aerial roots as well. You should cut the stem below a node, though.

In both methods, you’ll plant the new section into a smaller pot with the same soil mix as the parent crystal anthurium.

What Family Does the Anthurium Crystallinum Belong to?

The evergreen crystal anthurium is just one of many Araceae types out there—the family includes 100+ genra and 3,000+ species.

It’s not the only anthurium pretty enough to play the role of the ornamental plant, either. There’s also the showy red flamingo flower (A. scherzerianum), the pleated-looking king anthurium (A. veitchii), and the strap-leafed vittarifolium.

How Long Do Anthurium Crystallinum Plants Live?

There’s no estimated lifespan for the crystal laceleaf.

However, it’s a low-maintenance perennial. So, it’s fair to assume that it will thrive for years in your household unless something goes terribly wrong with the growing conditions (extremely low humidity, pests, or intense light).

That said, even in ideal conditions, anthurium will take its sweet time maturing.

What Are the Common Pests and Diseases for Anthurium Crystallinum?

Anthuriums are vulnerable to scale, aphids, mealy bugs, and spider mites.

Insecticidal soap (commercial or homemade) and neem oil will help you get rid of most infestations.

But insecticidal soap works best for killing the scale in the crawler stage and won’t be as effective once the scale develops a shell-like coating. If you caught up with the infestation too late, you’ll need multiple applications.

Pests aside, there are a few infections and diseases that can hit the crystal anthurium.

Root rot is a common one, and it results from poor drainage and overwatering. The plant will show you warning signs (like yellow leaves) before the situation gets unsalvageable, though.

Blight (a bacterial infection) is common among the genus in general and shows up as necrotic leaf margins.

How Can You Tell That Your Crystal Anthurium Isn’t Growing as It Should?

Under normal conditions, the crystal anthurium grows a new leaf sprout per month. Heightwise, it’ll take a few years just to grow a foot, and then it maxes out at 3 feet.

So, don’t worry about the slow growth too much. It doesn’t mean you’re doing something wrong in your care routine.

If, however, the plant’s growth rate seems even slower than usual, you might need to go for a fertilizing top-up. Stunting is typically among the first symptoms of nutrient (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium) deficiencies in anthuriums.

Keep in mind that underwatering can stunt leaf growth as well.

Are Anthurium Crystallinum Plants Poisonous?

Yes, the crystal anthurium, much like many other plants in the Araceae family, contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals.

If your pets chew these crystals, they can suffer from irritation of the tissues in the mouth and along the gastrointestinal tract. In this case, you can expect symptoms like:

  • Excessive drooling
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Pawing at the face
  • Swelling in the mouth, tongue, lips, or upper airways (rare)

But even without ingestion, the plant can be harmful.

Skin contact with the crystals (from the sap) can be uncomfortable for both pets and humans. So, we’d highly recommend wearing gloves when you’re pruning, propagating, or repotting your anthurium.

Does the Anthurium Crystallinum Plant Flower?

No, the crystal laceleaf rarely flowers. 

If your plant does produce inflorescences, it’s likely going to do so when it’s relatively old. For reference, the spathe might not appear until the plant is four years old. Surprisingly, it only lasts for 6 weeks or so before dying back.

This spathe ends up green with a reddish hue, measuring around 3 inches long. The spadix, however, is yellow and thin, which is in line with the genus name (roughly translates to tail-flower).

The whole Anthurium crystallinum flower is supposed to be in an auxiliary position, too.

On the rare occasion that the flower germinates, the plant produces an infructescence around 4–5 inches long with purple berries. If you plan to plant the seeds, you’ll need to remove the seeds from the berries first because they’ll inhibit germination.

How Can I Help an Anthurium Crystallinum in Bad Shape Grow and Thrive?

Wilting, off-colored, or drooping leaves are all warning signs to take seriously.

Drooping and curling in particular indicate that the problem has something to do with the water intake. Make sure you don’t leave your houseplant thirsty. But also don’t go overboard and drench the roots. Checking the top soil layer should help you out here.

Brown leaves, on the other hand, can indicate that the plant is receiving too much sunlight. It can also mean that you’ve neglected the humidity aspect.

While the plant is low-maintenance, it’s not invincible. So, if you notice any red flags, refer to the Anthurium crystallinum care guide again to find out what went wrong.