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Syngonium Plant: 7+ Expert Care & Propagation Tips!

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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!

Syngonium-podophyllum

Syngonium Care

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!

Syngonium podophyllum
Arrowhead Vine

1. LIGHT

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.

2. WATERING

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.

It’s really as simple as that. So many people are scared of overwatering and there are a lot of houseplant watering myths out there.

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.

syngonium care

YELLOW LEAVES

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.

3. FERTILIZING

For my leafy tropicals like Syngonium, I consolidated to use one fertilizer for practically everything, and that is Dyna-Gro Grow.

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.

Why not give Dyna-Gro Grow a shot? You will notice a wonderful difference!

syngonium

4. HUMIDITY

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!

6. PRUNING

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! Check out my DIY Moss Post tutorial to make your own!

7. Propagation

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.

propagating-syngonium
Bare Syngonium Vines

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

syngonium-podophyllum-albo-variegatum
Syngonium podophyllum albo-variegatum

I love the beautiful variegation on the leaves.

syngonium-variegated
Syngonium podophyllum albo-variegatum

Following the same process that I described above, I took multiple cuttings, and placed them in a vase of water.

syngonium propagation
Propagating Syngonium Cuttings

Pretty soon after you take the cuttings, the roots will grow fairly quickly from the nodes (where the leaves meet the vine).

syngonium propagation
Rooted Syngonium Cuttings

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.

propagating arrowhead vine
Propagating Arrowhead Vine

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.

Syngonium Varieties

Looking to purchase a special Syngonium? One of my favorite and most convenient one-stop-shops to buy practically any plant is Etsy. Check out the Syngonium selection (link to Etsy) today!

Other than the ones I’ve already shown, here are some other varieties that are available.

Syngonium-podophyllum-angustatum
Syngonium podophyllum angustatum
pink-syngonium
Pink Syngonium

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media because it will help me spread the Ohio Tropics houseplant care tips to the masses! Also, check out my shop on Amazon for all your houseplant care needs:

OHIO TROPICS PLANT CARE STOREFRONT

Lawrence

Tuesday 17th of August 2021

I have an Arrowhead plant that has become two long vines, they're about a foot long each. Most of the leaves are on the last 5 inches of the vines. If I cut them below the leaves to propagate, will the original stems sprout new leaves? Or do I need to leave some leaves on the stems in order for the original plant to continue growing?

Thanks in advance!

Raffaele

Wednesday 18th of August 2021

If the plant is pretty healthy, it should grow back! Make sure you leave at least one node though on the parent plant because the new growth will come from there.

Nikki

Wednesday 30th of June 2021

I am new to caring for my syngonium Podophyllum Albo-variegadum, but I've been growing Aroids for awhile now. I just received a new Albo in the mail that has had obvious signs of root rot and came in a pot of sopping wet soil. I immediately (and very gently) rinsed all the wet soil from the roots, carefully cut away the roots with obvious signs of rot,separated into 5 plants instead of one to give each a better chance to recover, and repotted them in smaller individual pots with my homemade Aroid mix of coconut bark chunks, charcoal, pumice, pine bark fines, and some potting soil. It's been about 5 days, and they are all recovering very well, except the two half & half split solid green/white leaves. Each leaf is on a separate plant, but both have the same changes. The green half of the leaf is slowly turning yellow, and the white half the edges are turning brown and are so thin they Curl upward and look like wet newspaper when I mist them. The rest of plants and even other leaves on those plants are all thriving. Why would only those two leaves deteriorate so quickly while all the other are recovering quicker than I had expected them to.?? Also, you stated that these propogate easily in water. About how long on average does it take to start seeing root growth? Thank you SO much for sharing your knowledge with us. My mouth dropped to the floor when I saw your gorgeous Albo cascading all the way down your plant shelves! Beautiful.

Raffaele

Wednesday 30th of June 2021

Hi Nikki! Those leaves that you were referring to probably aren't as vigorous because of the heavy variegation. It sounds like your plants are starting to recover so just give it some time and attention, and they will be OK! They grow pretty vigorously once they get going! Good luck!

Ruta

Thursday 3rd of June 2021

Hi, great article! My question is, once you cut below the node, what happens to be bottom part which is rooted? Do you keep it in water and wait for the new groth given the steam has healthy roots?

Raffaele

Thursday 3rd of June 2021

Once the cutting has roots that are about 1/2 inch long or so, you can go ahead and pot it up.

Virginia

Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

Thank you Rafaelle for your fantastic photographs and detailed advice on caring for and propagating the syngonium plant.

Raffaele

Wednesday 3rd of March 2021

You're so welcome Virginia! I'm glad you enjoyed my post :-)

Gail

Thursday 21st of January 2021

I bought an ALBO that had two beautiful leaves. It has now lost all leaves. I didnt change the pot because I was trying to let it acclimate to my hoe. I have now put it in a slightly bigger pot and put it in a West facing window that get filtered light. I am worried I am losing it and I paid a lot for it. I did let it get really dry not realizing it, gave it a good drink of rain water yesterday. Here's hoping I can save it. Help...

Raffaele

Friday 22nd of January 2021

Hi Gail, you're right that these should not go completely dry. Try and avoid that in the future. Maybe only let the top inch or so dry out, and then water. Everything else you described sounds great, so just keep a close eye on the soil moisture and you should be fine! :-)