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A plant with the name ace of spade can only mean good luck. Consequently, the plant is a sought-after species among rare plants in the tropical collector’s group.
We will help you care for this heart-shaped leaved plant with a twist. These flowering plants are low maintenance and sure to bring you some luck sitting in your home.
What are These Rare Plants
The Anthurium is an evergreen with picturesque heart-shaped leaves. The vegetation is dark with a velvety touch on the leaves. It is one of the beautiful Anthurium plants to have as a houseplant.
When new leaves pop, you notice silver-white venation against the deep green foliage. The interior lobes look sealed, making the leaf look more oval, while the underside has a copper tint. With a healthy Anthurium plant, it will flower.
But our gardening friends love the foliage display more than the fragrance and look of the narrow spathe with purplish-brown shade. The Anthurium ace of spades is a hybrid with the origin unknown with its dark green color.
Anthurium Ace of Spades Plant Care
These tropical plants you can grow indoors without much effort, even if you are not an expert grower.
Species: Anthurium crystallinum
Common Name: Ace of spades
Plant Type: Perennial epiphyte
Maximum Size: 2-feet wide to 2.5-feet long
Watering Requirements: Moderate to high watering needs
Light Requirements: Bright shade
Preferred Humidity: High humidity
Preferred Temperature: Warm environment
Potting Medium: Well draining potting soil
Fertilizer: Needs little feeding with an organic-rich matter in the soil
Propagation Method: Separate plantlets from the roots
Vulnerability: Leaf spots
Toxicity: Toxic to pets and humans
One thing is for sure the tropical plant will win your heart with its stunning appearance and leaves.
Ideal Potting Mix for Flowering Plants Moist Soil
While the origin of the Anthurium ace of spades is unknown, most Anthurium plants come from Central and South America. Hence, you can grow your evergreen tropical plant in different soil types.
We recommend a DIY potting mix using sterile garden compost with broken walnut shells, coconuts, almonds, or pistachios. You can add a lot of brick bits of charcoal to provide enough air pockets for the roots to breathe.
Or, you can purchase quality Orchid soil mixed with perlite and gravel. Another fantastic thing is to place your beautiful plant in a terracotta pot to provide added drainage or the relatively moist soil.
Lighting Condition For The Dark Green Variation
The fantastic thing is growing your young plant at the window in bright shade. When exposing the leaves to direct sunlight, they burn. If you grow them as an outdoor plant, it helps to keep them under a 40% shaded cloth or a tree.
Still, it is a slow-growing plant if grown in low light conditions. Standing at a window helps if you have some sheer curtains, allowing this plant to grow velvety leaves.
Now, gardeners, you need to remember that the velvet Anthurium grows in the tropical rainforest where it is wet. But they grow with exposed roots and dry out fast as the roots get wet.
Even when placed in the dappled shade, the low-maintenance houseplant needs more watering in summer with a well-draining potting mix. A chunky potting mix provides excellent drainage, and watering twice or thrice is ideal in the growing season.
You can refrain from watering in winter but use lukewarm water or rainwater instead. Even better, if you have a fish tank, the manure in the stagnant water is like ambrosia for your plant.
Temperature & Humidity
While the plant is a warmth lover and grows well if the temperature stays warm from 65 to 75°F (15 to 24°C), if you live in the northern parts, it is best to bring your Anthurium species inside as it is not cold hardy.
In winter, you can place your new plant in a well-ventilated room but avoid draughty spaces or extreme cold or temperature fluctuations.
Furthermore, these beautiful plants love high humidity and work well with other plants with a similar humid-loving nature.
Fertilizer For a Plant Enthusiast to Grow Anthurium Plants
As with any houseplant, your ace of spades needs nutrition for new growth. If your potting mix has organic matter, the care needs are minimal using fertilizers.
You can use a well-balanced feed such as fish emulsion diluted with water once a month. Yet, we prefer organic feeds for epiphytes because it provides a slow-release feed.
But you can use an orchid fertilizer bi-monthly to prevent the salt build-up of the chemical fertilizers that can destroy your flowering Anthurium.
To remove salt development, you can flush the root ball using deep watering. Still, ensure that the water runs through to prevent the plant’s roots from sitting in water, leading to root rot.
Propagation of Anthurium Plant Quickly
You can replicate your Anthurium plant through plantlets or root division. But when using plantlet propagation, you are at the mercy of Mother Nature. On the mature plant, you can find young root development or plantlets.
You find them attached to the bottom stem during the growing season. You can separate the plantlet similarly as described in the division method. We also recommend the procedure when your plant in its natural environment outgrows the pot or notices roots emerging from the holes.
A more reliable method is doing as follow:
- First, wait until summer arrives and remove the whole plant from the planter.
- Then, clear the soil until you see the stem in the middle.
- Now, do a stem cutting by dividing them into two halves. You will have a top half with roots and leaves, with the bottom half stumped with the remaining roots.
- The important thing is that both halves need to have a root system.
- Leave them for a day and cut the callous before planting them into a separate container.
- Keep the stump visible above the substrate surface when planting the bottom half.
- Keep moist soil while maintaining high humidity by placing plastic bags with holes over the individual plants.
- You can feed them with diluted fertilizer until they stabilize.
Growth Zone for Anthurium Ace
You can grow the tropical plant in USDA hardiness zones 11 and 12. We recommend moving your plant indoors in partial sunlight when grown in colder regions.
Potting and Pruning Ace of Spades
Your plant is a slow grower and produces new leaves every four weeks, and they are self-headings that can take up lateral space. So neither does your plant need a lot of pruning, only periodic deadheading of the inflorescences and leaves.
Even potting your plant is straightforward: layering a small pot with organic matter and placing it inside with a slightly acidic chunky mixture to help the roots. Or you can grow them root bound without the need of transplanting until you see the roots looking suffocated and not drying out well.
All you do is take it from one planter and place it in the next by arranging the roots widely and supplementing the ground with organic material.
Anthurium Ace of Spades Varieties
Anthurium Ace of Spades Black
Compared to another ace of spades plants, this one has black leaves compared to the dark green found, and the foliage looks heart-shaped but also like the spade on the playing card. We cannot speak highly enough of this equatorial plant.
The houseplant has a variegated display with creamy white venations with dark green velvety leaves.
This Anthurium plant is different from the Anthurium ace of spades and grown for its unique leaves, as you can see in the image.
Anthurium Ace of Spades Diseases & Pests
While your plant has magnificent leaves, it still is prone to pests and diseases.
Burn Marks and Leaf Spots
The thick leaves can become diseases with a bacterial infection caused by wet leaves or overwater. The problem is that it goes unnoticed and can spread fast. To prevent the infection from spreading, it helps to remove the leaves.
Yellow Lesions Along The Leaf Margins
If you notice your larger plants have a vegetative stage of water-soaked lesions developing into a brown color, it results from leaf blight, and you will need to remove the infected leaves.
Sudden Wilting and Yellowing of Leaves
Here the crucial thing is to check the roots, and if they die back, it can be from Pythium fungal infection due to waterlogging in the ground as your plant does not have well-draining soil.
When you look at the above diseases, the University of Florida explains that most Anthurium plants get it due to excess humidity or overwatering. So when the substrate surface dries out, you can water your plant.
Your Anthurium ace is resistant to most pests, but you can find them bothered by spider mites, mealybugs, or aphids sucking all the nutrients out of the plant. You can treat your plant with insecticidal soap or dab the insects using a cotton ball with isopropyl alcohol. Alternatively, you can use neem oil and give your plant leaves a regular cleaning with a damp cloth.
Frequently Asked Questions
When you look at both these plants, you can easily mistake yourself when buying them as both come from tropical regions and look similar.
The main difference is that the ace of spades has velvety leaves and is highly veined. The leaves are dark green with a tint of red-purple or black. In addition, you can find them with white veins.
When you look at the clarinervium, it’s a lithophyte and not an epiphyte. The leaves look pale green with concentric silver-toned veins and a light green underside.
The ace of spades is an evergreen, and the plant grows with heart-shaped foliage and looks like the spade on playing cards. The foliage has a dark venation with velvety leaves.
The ace of spades is a hybrid, and yes, the origin and parentage are unknown.
Whether you want to buy, sell or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!