How To Care For Your Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium)

HOW TO CARE FOR YOUR SYNGONIUM (ARROWHEAD PLANT)

THE ARROWHEAD PLANT

Syngonium Podophyllum AKA. Arrowhead Plant / Goosefoot / Arrowhead Vine / American Evergreen

Typified by almost-translucent foliage of delicate pale pink and green hues, the Arrowhead Plant’s pretty leaves are shaped like…well, arrowheads obviously. In fact the Latin epithet ‘podophyllum’ means with ‘stout-stalked leaves’, which I think we can all agree is less catchy. The most commonly cultivated species in the syngonium genus, Syngonium Podophyllum is super versatile and can climb with the right support, or instead function as creeping ground cover. 

Where Does It Come From?

Abundant across large swathes of Latin America, from Central Mexico to the sticky forests of northern Bolivia, syngonium species have since been naturalised in the West Indies, Florida and Hawaii. Like many other plants well suited to terrarium living, this background means the plants are lovers of a balmier climate. Recreating their tropical homelands in the chilly English weather can be tricky, but rewarding! 

Why Should I Get One?

  • The Arrowhead Plant is a versatile little houseplant and given the right environment, can grow aggressively which always makes a plant-parent proud!
  • Another huge plus is the plant’s versatility shape-wise. These confident growers can be trained along shelves or trellis’, up canes and indoor fixtures, and can also work beautifully as a cascade of foliage from a hanging basket.
  • For DIY terrarium buffs, these plants can provide an attractive patch of ground cover and the pinky-green hues of the foliage work well aesthetically.

How Big Can It Grow? 

When in the wild, climbing up the roots and trunks of jungle trees, the sky is the limit for these adaptable vines. Indoor cultivars can reach a height of 1.5 metres, or can be grown in miniature. On average, unless contained, the plants grow around 30cm per year and produce 6-10 new leaves. Your plant is unlikely to flower (England is just too bloody cold!) but occasionally a well-looked after, older specimens will sprout a minute purple bloom or two. 

Where Should I Keep It? 

Houseplant varieties with paler leaves tend to do well in bright, but filtered sunlight and the syngonium is no exception. The plants tend to grow toward the light as they mimic their movement toward the gaps in the rainforest canopy in the wild. Lovers of sticky heat, sygnonium often thrive in bright spaces like sun-soaked terrariums, greenhouses and conservatories which can easily be kept warm and damp, recreating their natural habitat in the tropics. 

Syngonium need to be handled with a little care as all parts of the plant are toxic if ingested, meaning ideally these little guys should be kept well away from any children or pets in the household. The sap can also act as an irritant, so be mindful if you notice damage on your plant. Sensitive skin can react badly on occasion. 

How Often Should I Water It? 

Requiring a moist and toasty environment, (between 15 and 24°C is optimal), the Arrowhead Plant should be watered 2 or 3 times a week during the summer. A daily misting also goes a long way towards keeping the plant full of moisture without risking drowning it. Less frequent watering is needed in the winter when the air is a little damper and small but frequent doses of a balanced fertiliser can help to keep the plant in tip top health. Essentially, if you notice the plant or the surrounding soil looking a little crispy, make sure you give the plant a drink.

Whether you choose to enclose your plant in a terrarium, or train it as a climbing plant to create your own indoor jungle paradise, the syngonium is an attractive and relatively low maintenance plant option for all plant-enthusiasts! Give them regular drinks and watch your exotic jungle vine spiral away!

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