What is an Aroid Plant?
Aroid is the common name for any plant in the family Araceae, also known as arums. You know these plants more commonly as Monsteras, Philodendrons, and Anthuriums, among others.
Most aroids are from the tropical regions of the Americas or west Africa. Aroid house plants share the characteristics of rather small flowers occurring in clusters called an inflorescence and all located together on a stick-shaped growth called a spadix.
The spadix is often enclosed or tended by a spathe, which is sort of like a big fleshy leaf surrounding the spadix. Spathes are often brightly colored. It sounds scientific, but think of a candle in a wall sconce, and you’ll get the idea.
Types of Aroid Plants
There are well over 3,000 species in the aroid plant family, and quite a few have become popular as houseplants. Aroids or arums are usually grown for their unique foliage and not for their flowers.
Familiar members of the aroid family include popular houseplants like Philodendrons and Monsteras, as well as Alocasias, Calla lilies, pothos, peace lilies, and Anthuriums.
The popular Monstera deliciosa is an aroid known for the holes in its leaves.
The famous and easy-to-grow ZZ plant (Zamioculcas zamiifolia) is also an aroid. Known for its glossy leaves and tolerance of less-than-perfect plant parenting, ZZ plants can tolerate lower light levels. They will grow well under fluorescent lighting, making them a good choice for those without office windows who need a little green in their lives.
Examples of aroids that grow in the wild include Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) and Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus).
Aroid Plant Care
Most aroids are subtropical or tropical and live in the dappled, indirect light of the forest floor or the mid-canopy. They enjoy bright but indirect light. Full sunshine will often cause scorched leaves. A well-lit location near a window that does not get direct sunlight exposure is perfect.
Aroids also need pots with excellent drainage. While they are humidity-loving plants, they do not like their roots to sit in water. Make sure the container has holes in the bottom. Overwatering is one of the leading causes of death for houseplants.
Aroids should be watered thoroughly but allowed to dry out a bit between waterings. Imagine taking a full and quenching drink of water and not needing any more for a while. Check the soil by sticking your finger in the pot and feeling the moisture. If the top one to two inches is dry, it is time to water.
Philodendrons especially will enjoy a moss pole to climb up and will root into the pole. Since roots are already present in the moss, a new plant can be grown when the old one gets too large by simply trimming off a piece of the pole and plant–leaving them attached to each other.
Some aroids can grow quite large over time, even when kept indoors. Repot in the late winter or early spring, before the main growing season.
The occasional addition of a general, balanced fertilizer will also benefit your indoor aroid. Fertilizing can be postponed in the winter months when growth is slower. Once a year, flush the soil in your pot by placing it in the sink and allowing the water to gently run until the water runs out the drainage holes for a few minutes. Please don’t overdo it and wash out all your potting mix.
Aroid Plant Soil Mix
Some aroids are epiphytes, meaning that they don’t need soil for their roots. They are found in nature, growing up in the tree canopy, rooting into moss and bark on tree limbs, or just out into the air. Others grow on the forest canopy, and a few have adapted to drier conditions.
In a family of over three thousand species, no one rule applies to every case. Generally, aroids are happy with potting soil that has excellent drainage. Adding perlite and orchid bark will increase the aeration and drainage of your potting soil mix and is highly recommended. Pre-mixed Philodendron potting mixes are available.
Shop our collection of aroid plants for sale today!