For all the problems of the Anthurium seedlings lately, there is one bright spot, which is that I have sort of found a way to manage the thrips without going bankrupt or devoting myself to thrips-management 24/7.
For a while now, I've been reluctant to spray water on the Anthuriums because I didn't want to wash off the white oil, or predator mites, or whatever the treatment du jour happened to be. But since giving up on all of those, I've inserted a step in the watering process: it's now 1) water, 2) blast the crap out of the blooms and foliage with the sprayer set to "flat," 3) add fertilizer and allow to drain for about 10 minutes. This isn't sufficient to completely eliminate the thrips,1 but it does remove enough of them that I've seen improvement, especially on the leaves. For example, compare old and new leaves on 0420 "Adriana Le Glam:"
or, even more impressively, 0414 "Trudy Vocean:"
Results not typical, sure, but the seedlings that get better get way better, and none of the seedlings seem to be getting drastically worse. Not really any reason not to keep doing it, especially since it doesn't take a lot of extra time or money.2
None of that is directly relevant to 0527 Ms. Lucia Love, whose foliage has never been very damaged by thrips in the first place, but I thought that after the last Anthurium post, maybe I owed it to y'all to find something positive to report.
As for Lucia, well. The one bloom so far has been pretty small. Thrips damage is about average, maybe slightly better than average. More than I'd like, in any case. She does have one interesting quality that I don't believe I've seen in any previous blooms, which is that the spadices start out yellow, in contrast to the red spathes,
And then change over time to a color that matches the spathes:
Just to underline it: that's the same bloom in all three photos.
I have lots of seedlings that bloom red / yellow, and I have a smaller but still substantial number of seedlings that bloom red / red, but Lucia is the first seedling to do both. She also seems more eager to bloom than most; the first bloom is still there as I write this (5 January), and she's already got two buds coming along to replace it.
So that's neat enough to buy her some time. It helps that her leaves have been, so far, mostly unscathed by thrips --
-- and that the plant overall seems reasonably healthy and well-formed.
So maybe not the most amazing seedling ever, but fairly healthy, enthusiastic about blooming, and doing something I've never seen before. Lucia gets to stay for a while.
2 The worst thing about it is that I wind up spraying myself with the water to some degree or another, so I spend large chunks of Anthurium-watering days (Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday) slightly damp. Which is uncomfortable.