Here is a little homage to these beloved plants and our recommendations for how to grow and care for indoor aroids. Take it from us – we know once you adopt one, your space will soon be filled to the brim with these beauties.
What is an Aroid?
An aroid is flowering plant in the family Araceae. This plant family is quite impressive, with over 100 genera and approximately 3,700 recognized species. All these plants have a distinctive inflorescence (flower structure) known as a spadix. A common example of this flower is that of Anthurium andraenum hybrids. Aroids are found on every continent in the world (except Antarctica). Typically, they reside in the understory of many of the world’s forests.
Aroids have made some smart evolutionary adaptations. They contain oxalate crystals in a milky sap inside their foliage, which is toxic to ingest. This keeps them from getting munched on in their natural habitats, but means that when grown indoors they should be kept away from pets and small children.
Some members of the Araceae family are even thermogenic, meaning that they have the ability to generate their own heat from stored energy tucked away in their roots. Botanists are not completely sure why they do this but most believe it has to do with increasing pollination success in colder temperature seasons.
Some of our favorite genera belong to the aroid family. Here’s an overview of a few of the key players in the aroid family that you’re likely to encounter in local nurseries
From the classic Heartleaf Philodendron to rare and unusual hybrids like Philodendron ‘Pink Princess,’ this genus has a ton of diversity. “Philo” means love and “dendron” means tree, which makes sense considering that many of these plants grow epiphytically, vining and climbing high in trees.
Native to the Americas and West Indies, Philodendrons are easy to grow and propagate. For vining types, you can encourage larger leaves by providing something to climb up like moss pole, and keeping the humidity high.