What is a Flamingo Flower Plant?
This spectacular tropical is native to the South American regions and produces shiny, dark green, heart-shaped leaves. Flamingo Flowers are complemented with a continuous display of bright waxy, red heart-shaped spathes with yellow spadices. On average, the flower lasts for a full two to three months. In their native rainforest environment, these houseplants flourish best in indirect, high light sources such as a southern exposure. They need this amount of light to produce blossoms. While this medium care plant requires a bit more attention, the overall rewards are worth the effort for how gorgeous it is.
Bright waxy, red heart-shaped spathes with yellow spadices delight the overall display of this indoor plant. The red spathes are so shiny that they often are said to look like plastic. While most commonly seen as red, they can also be seen in pretty pinks and rich purples. Some choose to snip off the central yellow flower to prolong the life of the red spathe. This also avoids the pollen that might fall on floors and tabletops. If put in the perfect conditions, Flamingo Flowers will bloom up to six times a year!
Keep away from pets because all parts of the plant are poisonous. If broken open, the plant will ooze a milky sap. This sap contains a toxin called calcium oxalate. Calcium oxalate is found in tiny crystals, which, when coming in contact with skin, cause itching, and burning. The plant’s sap also contains proteolytic enzymes that can produce histamines, causing a severe allergic reaction in some individuals.
This plant is excellent at absorbing airborne chemicals released by common cleaning products and general pollutants. The Flamingo Flower is particularly good at absorbing harmful chemicals like ammonia and formaldehyde from the air, and can help keep your house feeling fresh!
Great for People:
- Who need a hobby and like challenges.
- Who nurture their plants like children.
- Who don’t have pets at home
- Who like their homes warm.
- Who love the tropical vibe.
Great for Spaces:
- With high humidity environments or climates
- That have low to high indirect light
- That need an exotic touch to their green corners
How to Care for a Flamingo Flower Plant
Flamingo Flowers prefer medium to bright indirect light. If the light is too low, they may start to struggle and become straggly, which also can slow their growth and prevent them from blooming. With that being said, these plants can’t handle direct sunlight, it will burn their leaves and can cause permanent damage to them.
Flamingo Flowers enjoy high humidity, they feel most at home in 80% humidity or higher. Spritz daily to keep this plant happy or set up a humidifier to mimic its natural environment. Spray the aerial roots with water to ensure they stay moist as well (the roots that may be above the ground). You can also set up a pebble tray with water and set them on to create adequate humidity levels.
Flamingo Flowers like medium moisture and to dry out a little between watering but not standing in water or soggy soil. Make sure that when you do water, it drips out from the holes in the bottom of your pot to ensure that the roots are watered completely. Water with rainwater, filtered, or bottled water at room temperature when they are partially dry (they don’t like hard water.) Check around the plant for moisture levels, pressing your finger into the soil to see if it is completely dry two inches down which means it is time to re-water. Implementing a moisture meter may be helpful too. Water more frequently in the summer and less in the winter months.
If the leaves start to turn yellow, it may be getting overwatered and could develop root rot. On the other hand, if the leaves are turning brown and crunchy, it may not be watered enough.
Mimic the rain forest and keep the indoor temperatures between 60-85°F for best results. Ideally, they prefer temperatures above 70°F and below 85°F. Be careful not to put these plants too close to radiators or near areas where drafts may get very chilly. These temperature preferences mean that this plant can often live outside in the milder summer months in some areas. If you do this, just ensure that the nighttime temperature stays above 60°F, or your plant may die.
Fertilize with a slow-release fertilizer for blossoming plants at a 25% amount recommended on the packaging once a month for optimum growth and plant health. Lower the frequency in the fall and winter months.
These indoor plants will want to be repotted during spring on a two-year cycle or when they become pot-bound. Like most plants, giving the roots space to grow is vital for the plant to continue growing strong. Always remember that your pots should have drainage holes to prevent molding or root rot!
Propagation can take place then by merely dividing the plant’s root system and replanting in a soil mix with equal parts potting soil and perlite or orchid soil mix. Make sure there are at least a couple of leaves on each division. You also can cut a stem with at least a couple of leaves and root the cutting yourself! Rooting a cutting can be assisted by rooting hormone, then place the plant in a jar full of water or a high-drainage potting mix. Keep the plant in high humidity, and keep checking it for roots after four weeks.
To dust or clean the leaves, put the plant in a shower every couple months, and fill a watering can with filtered water. Then, gently rinse the leaves. Groom this house plant regularly by removing any discolored or dying leaves or fading flowers. Remove the old blooms, all the way down to the base to encourage new blooms. Spritz both sides of the leaves to ensure it gets adequate humidity all over to keep this plant looking bright, happy, and healthy!
Common Issues of the Flamingo Flower Plant
- Excess light will bleach the leaves and may produce browning tips.
- Overfertilization will develop browning tips and yellow leaves on the lower leaves.
- Lack of flowers may indicate it needs repotting, or it’s not getting enough light or phosphorous in the fertilizer.
Complimentary Plants with your Flamingo Flower plant:
Another beautiful bloomer is the Peace Lily plant that shows off its creamy white flower and long-lasting blooms similar to the Flamingo Flower. Its care is similar to the Flamingo Flower requirements so that it could be on the same maintenance schedule. This one also makes a lovely gift to family and friends, or anyone you might need to make a truce-making deal with since it’s white flower symbolizes peace or ceasefire!
To increase another plant that loves moisture and high humidity, add this Split Leaf Philodendron to the mix. It brings an added presence to the room as it takes up horizontal space and offers a conversation piece with its split and swiss cheese-like leaf structure.
For more information on caring for your new indoor plant, check out our comprehensive care guide here.