Arrowhead plant, botanically known as Syngonium podophyllum, is a tropical plant that's native to many different regions including central and south America, Mexico and the West Indies. In it's juvenile form, the arrowhead vine as the name suggests has the arrowhead shape. As it grows, epiphytically amongst other trees, the leaves will grow more lobes and, easily, triple in size.
Due to its unique leaf shape and vining growth pattern, the arrowhead plant has become and remained a popular houseplant through many years. And recently, we've seen an array of different arrowhead plant cultivars. They come in shades of pink, lime green, and black and can have a matte, shiny or even velvet texture to them.
Arrowhead Vine Care
Arrowhead Light Requirements
Many arrowhead vines can tolerate low indirect light, such as in a shaded window or a few feet away from a grow light. But if your arrowhead plant slows or stops growing, you can slowly increase the light. The arrowhead plant is capable of handling bright indirect light but avoid full sun as the intense light will burn the foliage.
Arrowhead plants are very tolerant of underwatering and can be pretty dramatic if you miss a watering...even by a day. Their leaves will quickly start to wilt and it will even start dropping leaves. To prevent unnecessary leaf loss, make sure you water you arrowhead plant when the pot is about 75% dry.
If you have a tendency to underwater your plants, avoid putting your arrowhead plant in a terracotta pot. Plastic or ceramic planters are the best at holding moisture. Additionally, you can amend your soil to have more water retention.
The arrowhead plant isn't too particular with humidity. As long you're watering your arrowhead plant on time, the plant can be quite tolerant of lower humidity. However, if you ever notice your plant has stuck leaves or slower growth, increasing the humidity will help.
You can raise the humidity by putting it close to a humidifier, putting it in a greenhouse or placing it in an enclosed ziplock bag. Also, adding damp moss to the top of the soil will help raise the ambient humidity around that plant. You always want you moss to feel like a well wrung out sponge and not soaking wet.
Due to the fact that arrowhead plants don't like to be underwatered, I'd recommend a soil mixture that's less on the chunky side. A mixture of potting mix/coco coir, with a little orchid bark and horticultural charcoal. You can also mix in spaghnum moss due to its water retention properties. Lastly, always make sure to place you arrowhead vine in planters with drainage holes to help prevent root rot.
Chunky aroid soil
Syngonium podophyllum varieties
Syngonium podophyllum 'Pink allusion'
This arrowhead vine is one of the most common Syngoniums on the market. With it's beautiful pink arrow shaped leaves, it makes for a striking houseplant.
Syngonium podophyllum 'White Butterfly'
Another popular houseplant commonly found in any garden center. It has light green leaves that are edged in dark green.
Syngonium podophyllum 'Albo Variegatum'
This arrowhead plant cultivar is a variegated version. It has marbled leaves with different shades of green with pure white patches. Once considered a rare variety but now is commonly found in nurseries and online stores.
Syngonium podophyllum 'Wendlandii'
An arrowhead vine with dark green, emerald leaves with a white midvein and a velvet texture. Another arrowhead vine that was once considered commercially rare but has recently started being sold in garden centers and grocery stores.
Arrowhead plant propagation
Arrowhead plant can be a little tricky to propagate. In their juvenile state, the arrowhead plant grows really bushy. On occasion they may put out a pup, in that case, you can propagate by division. Simply, cut the pup from the mother plant and plant immediately in soil or propagate it if it doesn't have a root system.
However, with some time, the arrowhead plant will start to branch and vine out. In this case, you can take stem cuttings. Cut just below a node and place in sphagnum moss, perlite or soil to propagate. And always make sure to put your propagations in high humidity to ensure your cutting properly roots. You can also add some rooting powder to encourage faster root growth.
Read HERE if you want to read about the different propagation mediums and our tips for successful propagation.
Common Arrowhead problems
Due to the arrowhead plants' dramatic nature, yellow leaves might be common. Especially if you're not keeping up with water. If you notice your yellowing leaves are mushy, this could be a sign of root rot.
If this is your case, cut off any mushy roots you see and pot it in a more well draining potting soil. And try to avoid overwatering your arrowhead plant.
If you have yellowing leaves that are crispy this could be a sign of underwatering. Simply put your arrowhead plant in a more dense potting mix and water more frequently.
Spider mites and thrips are common pests for arrowhead plants.
If you are taking proper care of your arrowhead plant but notice multiple yellow leaves, it's most likely pests. Spider mites will form webbing around the lobes and stem of the plants.
If you want to read more about pests and pest prevention, click HERE.
Do arrowhead plants need support?
As mentioned earlier, arrowhead plants do have a bushier appearance in their juvenile form. And as the plant matures, it'll start vining out on its own. You can keep your arrowhead plant in a hanging basket and even use the vines to decorate your walls.
But if you notice your arrowhead plant is putting out smaller leaves or you want the plant to put out mature new growth, then give it some support. Growing your arrowhead plant on a moss pole or wooden plank will help mature your plant. Due to their climbing habit, arrowhead plants will have no issues attaching its aerial roots to a grow support.
Click HERE to read more about growing your plants on moss poles and planks.
Are Arrowhead Plants Toxic to Cats and Dogs?
As with many plants, arrowhead plants contain a chemical called calcium oxalates that causes skin irritation, swelling and possible vomiting when digested by animals and small children. Always keep your toxic houseplants up and away from any curious wanderers.
Read our blog HERE to hear from our team members that live with plants and animals.
Additionally, you can always check out the ASPCA website to see what plants are toxic and safe for animals.