Are you ready to meet the King of Spades? No, we’re not talking about a deck of cards – we’re talking about the Anthurium King of Spades plant! This regal plant boasts large, velvety leaves that change color as they mature, making it a stunning addition to any plant collection.
And don’t let its royal status fool you – the King of Spades is easy to care for, with just a few simple steps to keep it happy and healthy. So, let’s bow down to the Anthurium King of Spades and get ready to add some majesty to your home!
Today, we’ll show you everything you need to know about this beautiful plant to keep it healthy and bright!
About Anthurium King of Spades
Let’s start by having a quick look at the origin of this rare plant and what makes it special among other anthurium species.
Anthurium is a large genus of flowering plants that belong to the “Araceae” family with over 800 to 1,000 species and man-developed variants.
The epiphytic perennial plant is originally native to the tropical rainforests of South America, particularly southwestern Colombia, and Ecuador. However, the beauty of the plant allowed it to spread to various parts of the world.
The “King of Spades” variant is actually a hybrid species that was developed in Indonesia by an Indonesian plant breeder called “Haji Uli”, although the parent percentages remain unknown.
The word “Anthurium” is derived from the Latin words “Anthos” and “Oura”, which stands for “Flowering tail”. This is because these plants have a characteristic spadix that emerges from a leathery spathe like a tail.
While this appearance feature is characteristic of all anthurium species, the “King of Spades” is specifically known for its special foliage.
The leaves of the plant are larger and darker with a velvety texture and contrasting bright veins across the entire leaf.
It has no particular scent or fragrance, although it may give some sweet hints from up close. The plant typically grows in USDA zones 11 and 12.
How Fast Does Anthurium King of Spades Grow?
The King of Spades typically grows to around 2 – 2.5 ft tall while each leaf extends to around 2 ft. This makes it ideal for those looking for an attractive yet compact houseplant.
Despite the plant’s overall small size, it’s a relatively fast grower. Like other Anthurium species, the King of Spades grows leaves from the last developed ones, and it takes around 1 to 3 weeks for the leaf to reach its full size.
When Does Anthurium King of Spades Flowers Bloom?
The flowers of the Anthurium species bloom in 3-month intervals. They bloom in the form of tiny inflorescence on the spadix.
However, most people consider the spadix and spathe formation of the Anthurium its true bloom, and luckily, these parts remain almost all year round, which is another reason people adore this plant!
Anthurium King of Spades Care and Requirements Guide
Caring for the Anthurium King of Spades has a remarkable impact on its foliage quality and growth speed. The plant is generally undemanding and can tolerate indoor conditions easily.
Here’s a brief overview of the most essential aspects to maintain a healthy Anthurium King of Spades:
Ideally, most anthurium plants prefer well-drained soil mixes with coarse textures to allow water and air to circulate freely, and the King of Spades is no exception here.
A good suggestion for an Anthurium King of Spades would be a light orchid potting mix with some additions to make it more coarse and less compacted, such as:
- Pine bark
- Peat moss
The soil pH is also critical for the plant. Ideally, you need to keep the soil mildly acidic with a pH range between 6.1 and 7.3.
You can use a soil tester to check the pH periodically and add a safe soil acidifier whenever necessary. The previous additions can be enough to keep the soil acidic.
The Anthurium King of Spades may need fertilization to sustain healthy growth, but that mainly depends on the richness of the organic matter in the soil you use.
Luckily, you can use standard balanced NPK fertilizers to feed the plant, such as 10-10-10 or 14-14-14 fertilizers. You may need a fertilizer with a higher phosphorus ratio if your soil mix lacks it.
Avoid overfertilizing the plant or fertilization during non-growth periods because they can cause fertilizer burns.
As a tropical plant, the King of Spades thrives in relatively warm and stable temperatures that range between 65 °F to 80 °F throughout the year.
The variegated plant can survive slight dips in temperature and will tolerate temperatures as little as 50 °F.
The plant is at serious risk of dying if the surrounding temperature falls below 40 °F so you should keep it away from windows in winter.
However, keeping the plant outside its ideal temperature range may slow down its growth. This causes the plant to become weaker and vulnerable to diseases, but more about that later.
Water is a very sensitive topic when it comes to the Anthurium King of Spades. On one hand, the tropical plant thrives in rainforests so it needs plenty of water and prefers slightly damp soil.
On the other hand, excessive moisture in the soil can be a real problem for the plant, so it shouldn’t sit in soggy soil.
To strike this fine balance, you’ll need to water the plant depending on its moisture level rather than sticking to a constant schedule.
For example, instead of watering the plant once or twice a week regardless of climate conditions, you should only water the plant when the top 1 inch of soil is dry.
Humidity and Air Circulation
When it comes to tropical plants, a lot of people pay extra attention to soil moisture but end up overlooking the air moisture. However, it’s also a critical aspect that you should always keep in mind.
The Anthurium King of Spades typically thrives in relatively high moisture levels of 60% to 80%, which is typically higher than the average room humidity level of 30% to 40%.
You can use various methods to increase humidity around the plant. The easiest methods are using a small humidifier or adding a pebble tray with some water beneath the plant.
Remember to also maintain a healthy air circulation in the room to prevent condensation on the leaves, which develops white fungus spots.
You can install a digital hygrometer/thermometer near the plant to keep track of the humidity and temperature around it.
Anthurium King of Spades thrives in bright indirect light. Partial sunlight and light through sheer curtains can also work as a suitable option for the plant.
Like other anthuriums, the King of Spades typically needs 6 to 10 hours of daily exposure to indirect sunlight for healthier and more vibrant colors.
Ideally, you should place the plant near a west or east-facing window, which allows it to get mild morning or afternoon light while avoiding harsh midday light.
You can also place the plant in a south-facing window but you have to ensure that it’s properly shaded to avoid scorching the leaves.
Since Anthurium King of Spades is typically a small to medium-sized indoor plant, you don’t have to worry about overgrowth problems.
For that reason, pruning the plant isn’t necessary unless you’re trimming some wilted or damaged leaves. In other words, there shouldn’t be a particular schedule for pruning Anthurium King of Spades.
Repotting is also rare among Anthurium King of Spades. Ideally, you’ll only need to transport the plant to a new pot every 2 to 3 years.
If the plant’s pot is already large enough, the plant will take much longer to outgrow it, which extends the repotting schedule to 4 years or more.
However, you still need to check the roots, as they might outgrow the soil and appear from drainage holes even when the plant itself looks small enough for the pot. In that case, you’ll still need to transport the plant to a bigger one.
Diving the plant to obtain an identical new King of Spades is an excellent alternative to buying a new plant, and luckily, it’s a relatively simple process.
The most convenient method of Anthurium propagation is through root division or stem cutting. However, propagating the plant in water or soil may take up to 6 weeks, so it needs patience and some experience.
What Are the Common Health Issues of Anthurium King of Spades?
Anthurium is a fairly healthy plant, and you shouldn’t worry about serious diseases if you keep the plant in optimal growth conditions. Here’s a quick look at the diseases and their causes:
This happens due to overwatering. It’s characterized by dark black roots and plumb yet withering leaves.
You can save the plant in the early stages by removing dead leaves, repotting the plant in new healthy soil, and avoiding watering it until the symptoms go away.
Spider Mites and Mealybugs
Among the few pests that can infect Anthurium King of Spades are spider mites. These tiny bugs create silky woven webs between foliage with yellowish spots on leaves.
Mealybugs also cause stunted growth and yellowing leaves because they feed on the plant’s sap.
Luckily, you can treat them by rubbing the plant with a soft cloth soaked in neem oil and lukewarm water.
Fungal and Bacterial Infections
Anthurium King of Spades is somewhat resistant to microscopic infection, especially in optimal conditions. The good news is that they’re treatable in most cases!
Professionals may recommend certain fungicides, bactericides, and other treatments depending on the infection symptoms.
Is Anthurium King of Spades Toxic?
Like other species of the Anthurium genus, the King of Spades is considered toxic to both humans and pets, so you have to keep the plant out of children’s and pets’ reach.
The reason behind the plant’s toxicity is its high content of calcium oxalate crystals, which exist in all parts of the plant, including its roots, leaves, and flowers.
Calcium oxalate crystals can cause redness, swelling, and irritation when it comes in contact with the skin.
Even worth, chewing on the leaves and introducing the crystals into the digestive tract can cause some serious side effects, such as:
- Swelling of the oral cavity and the throat
- Inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract
- Severe diarrhea and vomiting with abdominal pain
If any human or pet ingests the plant leaves in large quantities, you must seek immediate emergency treatment, as it could be fatal.
Is Anthurium King of Spades Suitable for Beginners?
The topical plant thrives in stable room temperatures and isn’t demanding when it comes to watering, soil, and fertilization.
Additionally, it’s quite attractive, long-lasting, and doesn’t have overgrowing problems, which makes it a perfect choice for a first-timer.
This wraps it up for today’s guide that shows you how to take care of Anthurium King of Spade plants!
As you can see, this tropical plant is an incredible addition to your indoor garden and adds a unique touch to your collection.
Besides being a beautiful plant with attractive year-round blooms, the plant’s requirements are easy to meet, which makes it a decent choice for beginners!