How to grow and care for Arrowhead Vine Indoors

Arrowhead vine

Botanical name: Syngonium podophyllum
Synonym: Nephthytis podophyllum
Family: Araceae

Arrowhead Vine is also commonly called Arrowhead Plant, Goosefoot, African Evergreen, Arrowhead Philodendron or American Evergreen. It is native to a wide region of Latin America from Mexico to Bolivia and naturalized in West Indies, Florida, Texas and Hawaii.

The most curious characteristic of the Arrowhead is the dramatic change in leaf shape which takes place as the plant ages. The young leaves are arrow-shaped and borne on erect stalks, the variegation is boldest and brightest at this stage. With age the stems acquire a climbing habit and require support while the leaves become lobed. To maintain the juvenile form cut off the climbing stems as they develop.

There are many variegated cultivars; the main difference being in the position and extent of the cream or white markings. Some leaves are almost entirely white, pink or yellow. Varieties with variegated leaves require a well-lit spot but the dark green leaved ones can grow in darker places. After a few years, the plant becomes leggy requiring to be cut back to rejuvenate growth.

How to Grow Arrowhead Vine

Light

The light requirement for Arrowhead Vine is well-lit and sunless for variegated types and semi-shade for all-green varieties. Learn how to ensure your plant receives the correct light in this guide on understanding light for houseplants

Water

Keep the soil moist at all times during the growing season. Reduce watering in cold months and maintain the soil moderately moist. Ensure the soil is free-draining to avoid waterlogging of the soil. Learn more on how to water houseplants.

Temperature

Average warmth between 15 and 280C is ideal for Arrowhead Vine. Find out more on temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Average room humidity is adequate for Arrowhead Vine. If the humidity is too low especially where the air temperature is high, employ these techniques to raise humidity. Regularly clean the leaves by damp-wiping with a soft cloth to get rid of dust.

Feeding

Feed Arrowhead Vine with a balanced water-soluble fertilizer once monthly during the growing period. Withhold feeding during the cold season as growth is minimal.

Repotting

For a large vigorously growing Arrowhead Plant, repot once a year during the growing season. Use a free-draining soil that is rich in organic matter and a pot 1-2 sizes larger that has a drainage hole to prevent waterlogging.

Pruning

Pruning Arrowhead Vine involves pinching off the growing tips and cutting back the stems when the plant becomes leggy. Read more on how to prune your plant.

How to Propagate Arrowhead Vine

Arrowhead Vine can be propagated from stem cuttings during the growing period when the plant has enough food reserves which are necessary to faster establishment of the new plant. Stem cuttings root easily. Take stem cuttings about 4-6 in. long and bearing at least one leaf and some aerial roots. Stick the cutting in moist rooting soil. Place the set up in a warm well-lit spot. Maintain the soil moist through out until new growth emerges and the plant is well established. Transplant the new plant in its individual pot and continue with normal routine care.

Common Problems in Arrowhead Vine

  • Yellowing leaves
  • Overwatering is the reason. Keep the soil moist at all times during the growing season. Reduce watering in cold months and maintain the soil moderately moist. Ensure the soil is free-draining to avoid waterlogging of the soil.

  • Leaves with brown papery tips and edges
  • The are two possible reasons for this. One reason is due to dry air; employ these techniques to raise the air humidity. The other reason is that the plant may be pot-bound and needs to be repotted into a larger-sized pot.

  • Leaves weeping at the tips and edges
  • The reason for this is that the soil is too wet. Allow it to dry out and reduce frequency of watering.

  • Rotting stems
  • The reason is the fungal stem rot disease which is enhanced by high moisture and too little warmth. You can save the plant by repotting and keeping the soil dry and warm.

Toxicity

All parts of Arrowhead Vine are poisonous and can cause severe pain in the mouth if eaten. The plant sap contains oxalic acid which can cause severe burning sensations on the skin and eye damage. Handle with gloves to protect yourself and avoid contact with eyes while handling.

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