When I saw my Arrowhead Plant hanging in the greenhouse at Green Things I wondered, “should I get it?” I grew one successfully in Santa Barbara for years but Tucson (where I now live) is a tougher climate for tropical houseplants. I’ve had it for almost a year and so far so good. Follow along, because I’m sharing Arrowhead Plant care and growing tips along with other things I’ve learned about this popular houseplant.
Arrowhead Plant has the genus Syngonium and also goes by Arrowhead Vine and Nephthytis.
Arrowhead Plants are native to the tropical rainforests where they climb up plants and grow along the ground. They prefer as much humidity as they can get. I live in the dry Sonoran Desert where the humidity averages around 25% so I have a couple of horticultural tricks up my sleeve which you’ll find below. If you like videos, there’s 1 waiting for you towards the end.
Arrowhead Plants are used on tabletops, as hangers & in dish gardens. My variety is “Bold Allusion” which stays on the compact side. I have it on the floor because it’s too full to go on any of my tables & I like to look down on the beautiful foliage.
My dad grew the old standby Syngonium podophyllum up a moss pole in our greenhouse. That 1 gets a bit leggy so it’s great to grow up a small trellis, bamboo hoops or a pole.
They’re sold in 4″, 6″, 8″ & 10″ grow pots. Some Syngoniums trail more than others & some stay more compact. Mine is “Bold Allusion”. It’s currently 20″ tall x 22″ wide. I don’t think it’ll get much taller but it will get wider.
Mine is in a bright location & grows fast in the warm, sunny months. It’s currently putting out a ton of new growth. In general I’d say they’re moderate to fast growers. Like any houseplants, they grow slowly if at all in the winter months. And, in low light conditions, the growth will also be slower.
The relatives (left to right, top to bottom): anthurium, monstera, pothos, aglaonema, syngonium. What a stunning family!
I’m adding these in for fun because I also have them growing in my home. They’re in the same plant family as the anthurium & are popular houseplants: pothos, monstera (care post coming on this plant soon), arrowhead plant & peace lily. Another common name for the anthurium besides Flamingo Flower is Red Peace Lily.
Arrowhead Plant Care & Growing Tips
Like most tropical houseplants, Syngoniums like bright light but no direct hot sun. Mine is growing in medium light & gets a lot of indirect morning sun near an east facing bay window.
It’s about 8′ away from the window in the summer months & I move it a little closer in the winter months. You too may have to move your houseplants so they get more light in the colder months with less sunlight.
Syngoniums with darker foliage & less variegation tolerate lower light levels. Those with color (like mine with pink/light green new foliage) do much better in medium or moderate light.
Mine gets thoroughly once a week in the warmer months. I take it outside to a shady spot, soak the soil & pour water over it to wet the foliage. This is my way of giving it an extra humidity boost. And yes, I’m a crazy plant person!
I never let my Arrowhead Plant go bone dry. The best way I can describe it is that this plant likes to be evenly moist or “regular” watering. Even though this plant doesn’t like to dry out, it doesn’t like to stay sopping wet or sit in a saucer of water.
In the winter months, I water it less often – every 10 to 14 days. Houseplants like to rest at this time so cutting back on the watering frequency is necessary.
Your syngonium might need more or less – this guide to watering indoor plants & houseplant watering 101 post will help you out. Basically, the more light & warmth, the more often yours will need watering.
My Arrowhead Plant where it sits on the floor. I like to look down on the beautiful foliage.
If your home is comfortable for you, it’ll be so for your houseplants too. Syngoniums like it on the warmer side in the growing months & cooler in the winter when it’s their rest time. Just be sure to keep them away from any cold drafts as well as air conditioning or heating vents.
I keep my house at 79-80 in the summer months (77-78 at night) & mine does just fine.
Arrowhead Plants love it. I live in a dry climate so besides wetting the foliage every time I water the plant, it sits in a saucer filled with small rock & water. The rock keeps the roots from submerging in the water.
I also put in out in the rain a few times a year for some extra moisture.
You can also mist yours a couple of times a week if your home is dry & you think it needs it. Just be aware this plant is subject to bacterial leaf spot (it grows very densely) if the foliage stays wets for too long.
I give most of my houseplants a light application of worm compost with a light layer of compost over that every spring. Easy does it – 1/4 to 1/2″ layer of each for a larger sized houseplant. Read about my worm compost/compost feeding right here.
I give my Syngonium a watering with Eleanor’s vf-11 in late spring, mid-summer & at the end of summer. We have a long growing season here. Once or twice a year might do it for your plant.
Don’t over fertilize your Arrowhead Plant because salts build up & can burn the roots of the plant. This will show up as brown spots on the leaves. Avoid fertilizing a houseplant which is stressed, ie. bone dry or soaking wet.
You don’t want to fertilize houseplants in late fall or winter because that’s their time for rest.
This is the old school Syngonium podophyllum which trails as it ages. You can see why this plant gets the common name “Arrowhead Plant”.
I’ve done a post and video that focuses on repotting an Arrowhead Plant along with the best time to do it, steps to take and the soil mix to use. You can get all the details here.
I occasionally prune a yellow leaf off of my Arrowhead Plant. It grows so densely that the outer foliage crowds out the inner foliage & it eventually turns yellow.
You would also need to prune it for propagation & to keep it more compact if you have one which tends to grow on the leggy side.
I’ve done a post & video dedicated to propagating Arrowhead Plants using the stem cutting method. It’s very easy & fast!
An Arrowhead Plant is a snap to propagate. Roots are visible coming out of the nodes on the stems. You may have to look deep inside the plant if you have a dense variety like I do.
Cut off the stem or stems making sure your pruners are clean & sharp. They can then easily be propagated in water or a light mix.
Another method of propagating an Arrowhead Plant is by division.
I’m pointing at the roots emerging out of an inner stem node.
The Arrowhead Plant can be susceptible to pests because it grows so densely. They love to hide sheltered inside all that dense foliage.
Keep your eyes open for mealybugs, especially deep inside the new growth. These white, cotton-like pests like to hang out in the nodes & under the leaves. I simply blast them off (lightly!) in the kitchen sink with the spray or outside with the hose & that does the trick.
It’s best to take action as soon as you see any pest because they multiply like crazy. Pests can travel from houseplant to houseplant fast so make you get them under control pronto.
Toxic To Pets
Arrowhead Plants are considered to be toxic to pets. I consult the ASPCA website for my info on this subject & see in what way the plant is toxic. Here’s more info on this for you.
Most houseplants are toxic to pets in some way & I want to share my thoughts with you regarding this topic.
Don’t expect a big show if at all! They can flower when growing indoors as they age but it’s not a guarantee.
Good To Know
Clean the foliage as needed. Plants breath through their leaves so they like like them to be clean. Plus, they’ll look much better! Arrowhead Plants don’t need any kind of leaf shine. It blocks their pores & hinders the respiration process. I hose my off outside or in my kitchen sink. A nice, gentle shower works too.
Speaking of the foliage, it’s the main draw. Arrowhead Plants are available in so many leaf colors, shapes & sizes now. Check out a few available on the market from Costa Farms – just scroll down on the page & you’ll see them.
Some Syngoniums trail & some not as much. The trailing comes with age. Mine is Syngonium “Bold Allusion”, which is a more compact variety. I don’t think it’ll trail but it will get wider. So, if you want 1 which trails, make sure to get a variety or species which does.
Find that happy medium when it comes to watering this plant. You don’t want it to go bone dry but you don’t want to keep it constantly moist. This, like all houseplants, is subject to root rot. Even though the top 1/4 to 1/2 portion of the soil may be dry, the bottom may still be very wet.
Oh that foliage!
Caring for Arrowhead Plants
Arrowhead Plants are easy care houseplants with gorgeous foliage. They do best in bright light with no direct sun although some tolerate low light. Water it on a regularly but don’t let it stay wet.
My Syngonium podophyllum “Bold Allusion” makes me smile. It has such striking foliage which changes in size, shape and color as it ages. Even if you’re a beginning gardener, give an Arrowhead Plant a try. You won’t be disappointed!
Additional plant care and growing tips:
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