Arrowhead Plant Care: How to Grow a Healthy Indoor Plant?
An Arrowhead Plant has many names, such as arrowhead vine, Arrowhead philodendron, goosefoot, five fingers, American evergreen, and African evergreen. The botanical name or former name is Syngonium or Nephthytis podophyllum. You may already have seen this plant in your neighborhood, as this is pretty popular among American homes. You may recognize it by the spade-like shape of its leaves. That’s the other reason why this plant is known as Arrowhead plant care.
Arrowhead plant care is easy and that’s why it is an excellent indoor plant. Originally, this plant is grown as a solid green plant, but nowadays their leaves are almost white, green & white, and various shades of pink or burgundy. This wonderful & beautiful plant makes a great addition to any home.
But how to care for Arrowhead plant? How to keep them healthy and green? The answers to all your questions are here, so keep on reading. Today we’re going to tell you from A to Z about the Arrowhead plants, including their care routine, problems, and plantation tips. So grab a cup of coffee, and let’s start.
What is an Arrowhead Plant?
“The Arrowhead Plant or Syngonium podophyllum is a climbing vine that is native to the tropical rain forests in Central and South America. These vines can grow really fast when placed in the right conditions.”
You may have already seen this growing outdoors in the wild in many areas, but it is most often used for indoor decorations. Because of its easy-going nature and appealing hanging shape, this is one of the favorite indoor plants of people, and you can easily see it in many homes. Some people use it as a groundcover, while some use it in combination with other ornamental plants to give interest.
Do you know how this plant got the name Arrowhead? Look at the shape of its leaves. When they start growing, their leaves have an arrowhead or heart shape; that’s why people have started calling it an Arrowhead plant. But as the plant matures, the shape of the leaf changes into three to five finger-like sections. Hence it is also known as ‘five fingers.’
Not only the shape of the leaves change but also their color changes with their growing period. You’ll see many variations in colors, from dark green with strong white variegation to hues of lime and even pink. But one thing is sure that the leaf of any Syngonium podophyllum plant is always shaped like an arrowhead!
If you like a more compact appearance, you can control its creeping nature by pinching, pruning, or cutting the climbing stems. There are also many varieties of arrowhead plants available in the market.
African evergreen plants are grown indoors, but there is no harm in growing them outdoors if you live in warm regions. Just keep one thing in mind that this can easily become invasive in warm, humid regions like Florida. (It is also declared to be Category 1 Invasive species).
As the plant matures, it can produce trailing or climbing stems and larger leaves. You can also use this plant on your tables or stand it on the floor. You can trim it if you want, but untrimmed indoor arrowhead plants make beautiful hanging plants. You can easily buy this cute plant online or from your local nursery. Let’s know more interesting things about this indoor greenery.
Here’s a brief table about all the things related to the arrowhead plant:
|Botanical Name:||Syngonium podophyllum|
|Common Name:||Arrowhead Plant, Arrowhead Vine, Goosefoot|
|Native Area:||South America, Mexico|
|Mature Size:||3–6 ft. tall, 1–2 ft. wide|
|Sun Exposure:||Partial shade|
|Soil Type:||Moist but well-drained|
|Soil pH:||Neutral to acidic|
|Bloom Time:||Summer (rarely flowers)|
|Hardiness Zones:||10–12 (USDA)|
|Toxicity:||Toxic to dogs and cats|
How to Take Care of Your Arrowhead Plant?
Below are some things that you should keep in mind while growing an arrowhead plant in your home
NOTE: Arrowhead vines are considered poisonous. So be very careful and keep it away from pets and children.
Like most tropical houseplants, this plant also likes bright light, but no direct hot sun because it can scorch its leaves. As these plants are extremely low light tolerant. Try to provide medium to bright indirect light, and you’ll see they’ll grow faster and also maintain their vibrant coloring and markings.
The plant will need a sunny, bright spot or shadier one; this also depends on the leaf variegation. For example, heavily variegated cultivars prefer bright light, whereas diffused sunlight to shade is better for the plants with solid green leaves, darker foliage, or less variegation.
Water is an important thing while growing indoor plants because if you water your plant excessively, there may be chances of root rot, and if you leave it dry for too long, the lower leaves will dry up and turn brown.
You can water your arrowhead plant regularly but make sure that the soil dries out between waterings. Water two to three times per week will be enough to keep the Arrowhead Plant evenly moist, and if you feel that its potting mix begins to dry out, water again.
The simple timetable is to keep doing regular watering for the spring and summer months and reduce your watering cadence come winter as they require less water in the cold season.
As we already told you, the Arrowhead vine is native to subtropical and tropical environments, so it’s quite sensitive to temperatures. Even indoors, temp below 50 °F (10°C) is not suitable for them.
In short, Syngonium prefers temperatures between 60-75 ºF (15-24 ºC) during the day and above 60 degrees at night. So, it would be better to keep your plant away from sudden temperature drifts and doorways during the winter months
This plant can tolerate average to high humidity, which means 40-50% is adequate for these indoor plants. But if you can provide humidity over 60% as this is the best one for most of the houseplants.
Try to place the pot where there is naturally higher humidity such as the kitchen or bathroom. You can even use methods to increase humidity, such as a portable machine or placing a bed of wet river rocks beneath the pot. These rocks will keep the roots from submerging in the water.
Mist the plant daily and keep your Arrowhead happy!
Fertilizing or Feeding
Does An Arrowhead Plant Require Fertilizer? Yes, they need it. You can fertilize them up to once a month with ½ strength liquid fertilizer throughout the spring, summer, and fall months (growing seasons).
Don’t feed them in winters as the plant naturally slows its growth. Also, ensure that the soil is damp before applying any fertilizer.
Never over-fertilize or stress your Arrowhead Plant to look great because after all, nobody is perfect, right! If you see any brown spots on the leaves, it means that you have overfed the plant, and this is the result of salts that build up and burn the plant’s roots.
Growth Rate & Size
These plants grow really fast in the warm, sunny months. So, it is right to say that they’re moderate to fast growers. An arrowhead plant generally grows up to 15 inches, but if you want it small, you can always trim and cut them.
Is Arrowhead Vine Toxic? Yes, unfortunately, this plant is considered to be mildly toxic to humans and pets, including dogs and cats. If you wanted to grow this plant in your home, keep it somewhere where your pet can’t get to it.
It can cause mild stomach and mouth irritation, and below other symptoms of poisoning can be seen:
- Oral pain
- Mouth sores or irritation
- Pawing at the mouth
- Decreased appetite
- skin irritation
- gastric distress,
- nausea, or vomiting.
If you notice any of the above symptoms, contact the nearest doctor immediately.
Common Problems with Arrowhead Plant
Although the Arrowhead vine is quite resistant to pests on its own, some diseases can be seen when exposing them to pests like spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, and scale. Don’t worry, as most of them occur due to inadequate care. Below are some of the most common problems:
If you notice that your plant’s leaves are turning pale or yellow, then it means that you’re watering too much or too little. Also, this happens when they’re placed in direct sunlight. So, remove the yellow leaves and put them in a shaded area.
Lack of Growth
If you don’t see any growth of Syngonium podophyllum, worry not because they grow slower during the winter season. But if this is happening in their growing season, then this can be related to poor soil that lacks nutrients.
Brown Leaf Tips
This is only caused due to dry air. For that, mist and moisten the foliage on a daily basis.
Syngonium podophyllum is highly susceptible to aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. So it’s good to check the foliages from time to time.
Additional Care Tips
Here are some more useful tips for you so that you can grow a healthy and happy arrowhead plant:
- To keep your plant compact and bushy, daily pinch the new growth.
- Let these indoor vines grow long quickly, so you can also display them as a hanging plant.
- Do trimming and pruning from time to time as it will maintain its form well.
- Do watering on alternative days but mist the foliage daily.
- Do wear gloves when you’re dealing with this plant, as it can cause skin irritation.
The Syngonium podophyllum plant will make you smile. They’re a beautiful tropical houseplant that plays well with others. If you maintain the right watering schedule and provide adequate light conditions and a nice warm, steamy place to live, they will grow green and tall in your home.
It’s totally on you whether to keep them in pots or train them to grow on poles or fences inside your home. One thing is sure that they’ll look lovely in sunrooms, porches, living rooms, kitchens, and even bathrooms.
In general, they are easy to care for and will be a good choice for beginner gardeners. They’re highly resistant to most pests, but they’re toxic to pets and humans, so keep this thing in mind.
I hope this arrowhead plant care and growing guide has helped you to understand everything clearly and better. If you like this blog, do share it with your other gardener friends. Keep coming to Innovativedecorideas for more gardening tips and home improvement ideas.
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