Want to add variety to your houseplants? Take a look at aroids

Monstera deliciosa in Williamsville NY
Monstera ‘Deliciosa’. Photo courtesy Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses
anthurium at Mischler's in Williamsville NY
Anthurium. Photo courtesy Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses

by Connie Oswald Stofko

“Aroids are great for collectors,” said Luke Schiavone, houseplant specialist at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses in Williamsville. “It’s a big family with lots of variety for a plant connoisseur.”

Get a glimpse of that variety with just a few examples of aroids in this article.

You can see aroids in personand get a discount on houseplantsduring Houseplant Week at Mischler’s from Friday, Jan. 28 to Saturday, Feb. 5.

Find out more about aroids during a talk at 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29 and make a moss pole to support your aroids in a workshop at 2 p.m. the same day.

See more details about the events in Houseplant Week below or here.

Examples of aroids

Monstera

Monstera ‘Deliciosa’ is sometimes called the Swiss cheese plant, Schiavone said, because of the holes and slits in the leaves.

As you can see in the photo, under good conditions, the leaves can grow to be about a foot in diameter. Under poor light conditions, such as an office with no windows, monstera can survive on just the electric lights, but the leaves will be smaller, perhaps just four inches. With poor lighting, the leaves will also be solid rather than having deep slits.

You can use a moss pole for support.

syngonium at Mischler's in Williamsville NY
Neon green syngonium. Photo courtesy Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses

Anthurium

Also called flamingo flower, anthurium catches your eye with its red flower.

Mischler’s anthuriums are all fully in bloom right now, Schiavone said. The flowers last awhile; you should enjoy them for a month or so. The flowers all appear at the same time, then flower again next year around the same time.

What we think of as the flower isn’t an actual flower; technically, it’s an inflorescence, made up of a spathe and spadix. The red part that seems like a petal is the spathe, a kind of leaf. The spikey part is the spadix, which is covered with the flowers.

While many aroids trail, the anthurium is more compact.

Syngonium

Also called the arrowhead plant, syngonium is nice because it comes in many different colors of foliage including pink, dark brown, white and neon green.

Syngonium likes a little more light than other aroids, Schiavone said. In poor light, it tends to get kind of leggy.

A moss pole is helpful.

Aglaonema

Aglaonema at Mischler's in Williamsville NY
Aglaonema. Photo courtesy Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses

Commonly called Chinese evergreen, aglaonema can have leaves that are green with gray or green with pink.

They are slow to grow, Schiavone said, so if you don’t have a lot of room, this plant would be a good choice. Although it will keep growing as long as it is alive, it will take years for the plant you buy at six inches or a foot tall to eventually reach two or three feet.

Aglaonema gets an upright stem like a tree.

It can tolerate medium-low light to bright light.

Philodendron

Philodendron ‘Brasil’ is relatively fast growing.

It has green leaves with a yellow stripe down center, and each leaf is different.

“It’s kind of fun to see what the next leaf will look like,” he said.

Philodendron vines and trails, or you can have it climb up a moss pole.

Philodendron Brasil at Mischler's in Williamsville NY
Philodendron ‘Brasil’. Photo courtesy Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses

Pothos

Pothos is one of the most popular houseplants right now, Schiavone said.

The foliage comes in different colors. Mischler’s has four varieties:

  • Pothos ‘Jade’ is all green
  • Pothos ‘NJoy’ is green in the center with white on the edges
  • Pothos ‘Marble Queen’ is green with white speckles
  • Pothos ‘Golden’ is green with splatters of creamy yellow

Pothos is also easy to grow. It can tolerate drying out and can tolerate low levels of light as well.

It can use a moss pole.

Caring for aroids

Aroids like bright indirect light. They can take direct sun, but don’t need it if they are in a well lit room. Most aroids can survive with lower light.

They don’t like wet feet, Schiavone said, so use porous soil to prevent the soil from staying wet for too long. Water thoroughly, then allow the soil to dry between waterings.

Look for a houseplant fertilizer, such as Jack’s Classic Houseplant Special Fertilizer, or any fertilizer that has directions for houseplants. Then follow the instructions on your container. You don’t have to fertilize as much in the autumn and winter.

Aroids prefer a more humid environment than we have inside our homes, but they tolerate most household conditions.

Enjoy your plants outside in the summer shade; plants can benefit from some time outside. They can be safely placed outdoors when the temps are above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Repot your aroids once a year into a slightly bigger pot sometime in spring. Then they will have all spring and summer to fill out the pot.

Pothos 'Golden' at Mischler's in Williamsville NY
Pothos ‘Golden’. Photo courtesy Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses

Houseplant Week at Mischler’s

Houseplant Week, which includes a sale and other events, will be held from Friday, Jan. 28 – Saturday, Feb. 5 at Mischler’s Florist and Greenhouses, 118 South Forest Rd., Williamsville.

Sale on houseplants

Houseplants will be 20 percent off during Houseplant Week.

Friday, Jan. 28 – Saturday, Feb. 5. Hours are  8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday.

DIY Planting Station

Pot up the houseplants you buy at Mischler’s as well as plants you already own– for free!– at the DIY Planting Station at Mischler’s. You provide the labor and Mischler’s will provide a potting bench and soil, then clean up for you afterward!

10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Jan. 28 and 29 and Feb. 4 and 5

Plant Prognosis

Take your houseplants and concerns to Mischler’s and their professional staff will offer advice. Free.

9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29

Aroid Talk

Luke Schiavone, houseplant specialist, will discuss the background, care and future of aroid plants. Aroid is the name for a big family of houseplants with that offers lots of variety. Free.

1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29

Moss Pole Workshop

Go to Mischler’s and make your own moss pole for your houseplants, especially aroids, to climb. Free.

In nature, many aroids grow up tree, rooting directly into the tree. In your house, a moss pole (a flat piece of wood or bamboo that is wrapped with sphagnum moss) takes the place of a tree. Not only does a moss pole keep your aroid from trailing all over, it can help your plant grow a thicker stem and bigger leaves.

2 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 29

Dish Garden Demo

Come in and watch how to make a dish garden from scratch using foliage/houseplants and a basket. Free.

If you like, afterward you can buy a container and plants and create your own dish garden on the spot.

1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 5

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