Syngoniums have soft stems and tend to get leggy and floppy as they grow. Here are a few things I’m doing to keep my Arrowhead Plant bushy.
My Arrowhead Plant had quickly turned into a floppy Arrowhead shrub in a matter of a few months. I didn’t mind its freeform habit but it was taking up too much space. I have 60+ other houseplants so table and floor space are at a premium in my home. Here are 2 things I did to help keep my Arrowhead Plant bushy and prevent it from getting too leggy.
Let me clarify something. It wasn’t drooping or flopping from too much or too little water. Arrowhead Plants (also called Arrowhead Vines) have a vining nature and soft stems that fall over and flop as they grow.
And they do grow like crazy! This, combined with the fact that they tend to get leggy, made me come up with a plan to keep it more “contained” so it would better fit in the corner it was growing in.
In their natural environment, these plants grow up trees and along the ground. You might have bought yours as a small 4″ plant and a year or 2 later it’s turned into the jungle vine. The longest I’ve seen an Arrowhead growing indoors was about 7′. If the vining habit and look are what you want, then let yours go!
Or, check into some of the new varieties of Syngoniums which stay more compact, and grow slower if trailing isn’t your thing. Another option: check out what I did with my plant.
This will show you exactly what I did:
How to Keep an Arrowhead Plant Bushy
I didn’t want mine to grow upwards on a piece of bark, small trellis or a moss pole. Instead, I decided on something I’d used back in the day when I was a professional gardener. I was hoping these 15″ half-round metal garden supports (which I used to hold up delphiniums, dahlias, etc) would do the trick. And fortunately, they did.
Before putting the supports in, I cleaned out the weak, yellow lower leaves. This plant grows so densely that the top growth can smother out a bit of the bottom growth. I hadn’t even seen them until I put the plant up on my work table to film the video.
My plant grows in the tall red decorative container (fiberglass & very light thank goodness!) that you see in the lead photo. I marked a couple of stems which I want to trail over the front of the container with a red ribbon. I propped up the back 3/4 of the plant with 2 of the half-round stakes. They fit into the 8″ grow pot just right so I was pleased about that.
I then did tip pruning (you can also call it pinching) on those back stems. This is a great way to keep plants from getting too leggy and encourage bushiness. This is where you take 2-5 leaves (plus their stems) off the ends of the main stems.
The Arrowhead Plant stem cuttings I propagated from the tip pruning were 6 – 10″ long in total. They were ready for planting in a little over 3 weeks. Yes, their roots grow fast too.
If you’ve never done tip pruning before, it’s quick and easy to do. You’ll get comfortable with it in no time!
How to Keep an Arrowhead Plant Bushy
Depending on how my plant is growing, I’ll tip prune it 2 or 3 times a year. If it starts filling in too densely, then I’ll thin out some of those inner stems.
My Arrowhead Plant fits much better in the corner now and doesn’t look like it’s perpetually drooping. I have 3 – 4″ Arrowhead Plants (all different varieties) waiting to be potted and go into a double hanging basket above this planter. It means there will be more Arrowhead tip pruning to do but I don’t mind at all.
Here are more care guides for an arrowhead plant and more!
- Arrowhead Plant Care
- Arrowhead Plant Propagation
- Houseplant Repotting: Arrowhead Plant
- Baby Rubber Plant: Pruning and Propagation
- How to Prune Off and Plant An Air Layered Rubber Tree Plant
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