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Syngonium podophyllum, or Arrowhead Vine, makes for an incredibly satisfying houseplant! It is relatively easy to care for, grows very quickly with good care, and is super easy to propagate!
If you don’t provide good, consistent care, it can look a bit ratty. Or over time, it may become unruly like my Syngonium podophyllum albo-variegatum, but you can take advantage of that and propagate!
Keep reading because I will show you all my best Syngonium care tips, how to revive a plant that looks a bit ratty, and how to easily propagate!
Many people think that there is something wrong with their plant when it starts to stretch out and vine, but the fact is that these plants ARE vines in nature!
They will start growing at the base of a tree and climb up at least a few feet. We are used to seeing juvenile leaves, but the mature leaves will look much different and have deeper lobes.
These plants are native to rain forests ranging from southern Mexico through Central and South America. As you can imagine, they like warm temperatures so try not to let these plants get below 60F. They will simply sulk if it gets colder than that.
When you purchase a Syngonium, and there are quite a few varieties out there, they will appear compact and bushy. As time goes on, they will elongate. But you can learn to manage the growth any way you’d like…and I’ll describe that shortly!
These are often touted as “low-light” plants which is a pretty confusing term. I find that Syngonium plants will grow well in a variety of different exposure windows, as long as you avoid too much direct sun.
Placing your plant right in front of a Northern or Eastern exposure window is ideal. Morning sun is gentle enough in most areas. Avoid extended periods of direct sun, especially if you live in areas that have really hot summers.
If you have very sunny Western or Southern windows, you may want to set your plant back a bit so that it doesn’t get too much direct sun.
I follow my standard watering practices for leafy tropicals. Always water thoroughly and completely until water escapes the drainage hole.
Then wait until maybe the top inch or so of the soil is dry before watering again. Don’t let your soil get completely dry.
Overwatering does not mean what you may think it means, so be sure to become an informed houseplant parent and read the blog posts I linked to after you’e done with this post.
What you read here is really ALL you need to remember when it comes to watering! Don’t overcomplicate it! Be sure to keep your plant in good light though, like I described above, otherwise you may be asking for trouble.
If you let your plant dry out completely, and repeatedly, you’ll find that the lower leaves will start to yellow one by one until you’re left with a naked, bare vine with a tuft of leaves.
Try to avoid letting the soil dry out completely in order to keep as many leaves on your plant as possible. Sure, it is normal for some of the older leaves to yellow over time, but if you are negligent with watering, you will make the issue much worse.
There are other reasons too why houseplants get yellow leaves.
I like to tell people that fertilizing is NOT a fix for poor plant culture. If you have been neglecting your plant and growing it in poor light, you have greater things to worry about than what fertilizer you are going to use.
Fertilizing should be a way to supplement your plant’s health after you have mastered proper culture (light, watering, etc.). Dyna-Gro Grow is truly amazing! I’ve been using it for a while now and have great results.
It is a premium, urea-free, complete fertilizer and I simply mix 1/4-/1/2 teaspoon per gallon of water and use it every time I water my plants from about late Winter through about October or so.
I stop fertilizing when the days get shorter throughout most of the Fall and Winter since plants simply aren’t growing much.
It makes sense that these plants love high humidity, since they grow in rain forests, but in most cases, you will be fine with average indoor humidity as long as you have good watering practices!
Good watering practices are much more important than providing high humidity, but if you can provide both (along with good air circulation), then it’s even better! This is true even for the “finicky” maidenhair fern that I’ve been able to grow very successfully!
I always run a humidifier in my sunroom during the months that our central heat is on. I talk about my favorite humidifier in my blog post on increasing humidity.
If you look closely in the photo below, you can see my Syngonium podophyllum albo-variegatum on the top shelf of the big plant rack on the side. There are two long vines that trail all the way to the floor.
I later chopped that plant up and propagated it so I’ll show you how I did that soon!
5. POTS & SOIL MIX
For all my leafy tropical plants, I use the following soil mix which is a great, well-draining all purpose mix!
You can easily get everything on Amazon and I like to use:
3 parts of Miracle Gro Potting Mix
to 1 part of Perlite.
Mix it all up together, and you’re golden!
Remember that if you purchased a plant in a small pot at a nursery, chances are you may need to repot it (always allow at least a couple weeks of adjustment at home before you repot anything).
Small pots often dry out very quickly, so keep this in mind!
When you do repot, a good rule of thumb is to only repot into a pot that is one size bigger than the old pot. For example, if you have a plant in a 4 inch pot, don’t go any larger than a 6 inch pot.
And always choose a pot with a drainage hole!
Depending on what your goal is for your plant, you may or may not want to prune.
If you desire to have a bushy plant, don’t be afraid to prune your plant back. This will shorten any vines that are starting to lengthen, and help encourage new growth so it can remain more compact.
And if you do prune, you also have the benefit of being able to propagate your plant to make more! I’ll show you how I propagated my variegated Syngonium next!
If you prefer not to prune your plant, know that the vines will extend and get long. At this point, you can display them in a number of ways:
- You can use your Syngonium in a hanging plant. The vines will eventually reach the floor so you’ll have to prune at that point anyway!
- You can let your plant’s vines ramble on your plant shelf, or dangle off your shelf.
- Or, one of the most interesting ways would be to give your plant a moss post and let it climb like the specimen below!
Now comes the fun part! This is one of the easiest plants to propagate by cuttings. It roots very quickly in water.
One of my readers approached me once with a question about her plant. All of the lower leaves were gone and she didn’t like the bare look of her plant.
I showed her exactly where to cut her plant to quickly make cuttings to replant.
You can see on each of the vines, there are roots already growing at the nodes (where the leaves meet the vine). In this case, the leaves had yellowed from the plant drying out too much.
You would simply cut right below any of these nodes, indicated by the red line in the photo, and place the cuttings in water.
Just be sure to include one or two nodes (circled in green in the photo) in water in your propagation vessel. Keep your cuttings shorter and make sure that each cutting has one or two leaves.
Be sure to change the water weekly at least in order to keep it fresh, and remove anything that may have rotted.
My variegated Syngonium (Syngonium podophyllum albo-variegatum) had two vines that were about 6 feet long, so I took the opportunity to take multiple cuttings
I love the beautiful variegation on the leaves.
Following the same process that I described above, I took multiple cuttings, and placed them in a vase of water.
Pretty soon after you take the cuttings, the roots will grow fairly quickly from the nodes (where the leaves meet the vine).
Once the roots start growing, go ahead and pot them up! If you want a nice and full plant, place them all in one pot and you will have a nice specimen in no time!
Before we go, here is another example from one of my reader’s plants.
My reader didn’t like the look of her plant anymore above and prefers her Arrowhead vine to be bushier, so I demonstrate where to cut the vine (red line) and the two points (green arrows) that will root in water.
Other than the ones I’ve already shown, here are some other varieties that are available.
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