Anthurium (Flamingo Flower) can be a tricky plant to grow successfully. The first time I brought one home, I promptly killed it in record time. But I’ve since learned how to keep this demanding plant alive – and how to revive it when it’s dying.
So, how do you bring anthurium back to life? It depends on what’s wrong. In this post, I’ll show you five different anthurium plant problems, how to tell which is the causing your plant to die, and what to do about them to bring it back.
How Do You Bring Anthurium Back to Life?
Keep in mind that if your plant is completely dead, it will be impossible to bring it back. If ALL the leaves and flowers are totally brown and crispy or your anthurium lost ALL leaves, it might be too far gone.
If you just have a wilting or drooping plant, or if your anthurium has brown spots on the leaves, you can likely still save it. Yellowing, dropping leaves, flowers not blooming – these are all problems you can fix if you treat them soon enough.
Let’s look at some common problems that cause anthurium plants to decline and how you can fix them to bring your plant back!
Provide Enough Water (But Not Too Much)
First, determine if your plant is dying due to too much or too little water. (See my post on how to tell if a plant is overwatered or underwatered for more information.) For the sake of completeness, I’ll give you a brief description here.
Signs of Overwatered Plants:
- Pot feels heavy or standing water is present, but plant still droops
- Roots are dark-colored and mushy
Signs of Underwatered Plants:
- Soil is very dry and pulling away from the sides of the pot
- AND leaves are yellowing, dropping, or wilting
How to Fix an Overwatered Anthurium
If you think your flamingo flower is declining due to too much water, here’s what to do:
- Gently remove the entire plant from its container.
- Remove as much of the soil from around the roots as you can using your fingers.
- Place the roots on a few layers of newspaper, and let it dry overnight.
- Snip off any dark or mushy roots with a clean pair of scissors or gardening shears.
- Re-pot in fresh potting soil in a clean container. Resume proper flamingo flower care.
See my post on how to fix overwatered plants for more information on this topic. At the least, you need to allow the roots to dry out, remove damaged roots, and then re-pot the plant. If you’re lucky, this will bring it back to life after a few days.
How to Fix an Underwatered Anthurium
If you think your flamingo flower is declining due to being underwatered, here’s what to do:
- Submerge the entire pot in a basin or sink full of lukewarm water (not the entire plant, just the pot).
- Allow it to remain for 15 – 20 minutes to re-hydrate. If the plant floats, ladle water over the top until it absorbs enough to sink.
- Remove the pot and allow it to drain thoroughly, before placing it in a location that receives bright, indirect light.
- Resume proper care of your flamingo flower. Keep the soil slightly moist at all times, but never wet.
Use a container that has drainage holes on the bottom to prevent standing water and root rot from developing. If the damage is not too severe, you can bring an underwatered anthurium back to life using this method.
Adjust Humidity Levels
Anthurium is a demanding plant when it comes to moisture. Since it’s a tropical plant, it needs high humidity levels at all times. This is one of the major reason your plant might die – if you fail to keep humidity high enough.
If you have brown leaves, brown leaf edges, or crispy leaves and flowers, this is probably due to too little moisture. How do you bring anthurium back to life by increasing humidity? Follow these three steps:
- Mist the plant regularly (at least once a day) with lukewarm water, avoiding the flowers as much as you can.
- Place your anthurium on a humidity tray (a shallow tray filled with pebbles and water).
- Place a high quality houseplant humidifier in the room near your flamingo flower.
If you still have some green leaves left, increasing humidity can bring your anthurium back to life. In my experience, lack of moisture is the number one reason why flamingo flower dies in a household environment.
Get the Light Right
Here’s another important answer to the question, how do you bring anthurium back to life?
You must provide enough light for the plant to grow, and this is especially true if you want flowers. Anthurium can handle some low light conditions, but it may grow pale and spindly. And too much light will cause leaf tips to turn brown.
So, how much light does an anthurium need? A moderate amount. For the best results, place the plant in an east- or west-facing window. It will also thrive within 3 feet of a south-facing window. It can tolerate a north-facing window in winter, but will probably not flower.
If you suspect your anthurium plant is declining due to too much or too little light, move it to a location that receives moderate light year round, and it should recover. If you don’t have a bright enough area, consider using indoor plant lights.
Another common reason that anthurium dies or fails to thrive is improper temperature. This tropical flower needs warm, humid conditions at all times. Temperatures of 61 – 75 degrees F (16 – 24 degrees C) are best.
The plant can tolerate temperatures as high as 80 degrees F (26 degrees C), but any higher than that may kill it. If you have left your plant in an area with too low or too high temperatures, you may still be able to save it.
Immediately move the plant to an area with temperatures in the proper range and resume recommended care. If your plant is not too damaged, it should recover in a few days.
Remove Dead and Dying Leaves
If your anthurium has dead brown leaves (or flowers), remove them by snipping them off at the base of the stem. If your plant has leaves that are wilting or yellowing, you can also remove these. Leave behind only the healthiest leaves.
Use a clean pair of scissors or small pruning shears to clip off the dying leaves. For more information, read my post “Should You Cut Off Dying Leaves From Your House Plants?”
How Long Do Anthurium Plants Live?
Anthurium plants can live 5 years or more when grown indoors as houseplants. You can propagate them to make them last even longer. But the lifespan of a single flamingo flower plant is around 5 years.
Of course, there will always be outliers that live much longer. However, if your plant is reaching the end of its life, it may not be possible to bring it back to life. Nature may have run its course.
If you have a declining plant that’s around or older than 5 years, and you have not made any changes to its care, the most likely explanation is that the plant is dying of old age.
How to Bring Anthurium Back to Life
In conclusion, it is possible to save a dying anthurium as long as the damage is not too extensive and the plant is not dying of old age. If your flamingo flower still shows signs of life and is not too old, don’t give up hope!
How do you bring anthurium back to life? Here are five easy ways summarized:
- Provide Enough Water (But Not Too Much) – Make sure you are not over- or under-watering the plant. Keep soil moist at all times, but never wet or soggy. Fix waterlogged or dehydrated plants using the instructions above.
- Adjust Humidity Levels – Increase humidity by misting regularly, placing the plant on a humidity tray, and placing a high quality humidifier in the room. You may not need all three of these unless you live in a very dry area. Otherwise, one or two may be enough.
- Get the Light Right – Move your anthurium to a place that receives bright, indirect light for most of the day or supplement with indoor plant lights. An east- or west-facing window is the ideal location for flamingo flower. Avoid direct sun and low light.
- Adjust Temperatures – Move the plant to an area where temperatures stay between 61 – 75 degrees F (16 – 24 degrees C) year round (or adjust the temperature in your home as needed). Average temperatures of around 70 degrees F (21 degrees C) are best.
- Remove Dead and Dying Leaves – No matter what’s caused your plant to die, you should remove any dead or dying leaves. This frees up resources for new growth and can help revive your plant – as long as ALL the leaves are not dead.