The Arrowhead Plant, scientifically known as the Syngonium Podophyllum, is a member of the Araceae family. The popular name of the “Arrowhead” plant is due to the shape of its leaves which resembles spades.
The arrowhead is a native of the tropical rain forests in Central and South America. The arrowhead is cultivated year-round and one of the most popular houseplants.
It does not require a great deal of attention making it the perfect choice for beginning home gardeners.
A fast-growing plant, it appears lush and continually produces new foliage in tints of green with white variegation. The younger arrowhead plants will be characterized by upright stems, while maturity will boast vines that trail or climb with larger leaves. Leaves may vary in hue depending on their age as well.
- Related: Houseplant Varieties
Here’s everything you’ll want to know about caring for and growing arrowhead plants.
Arrowhead Plant Care Tips
The arrowhead plant is easy to care for and like the related philodendron genus of plants, will require little from owners. In its native habitat, this plant is a climber and will ascend trees with ease.
When cultivated indoors, they can be used as trailing, vining plants once they mature and are given a pole, moss stick, or trellis to latch onto. New growth can be trimmed back if you prefer upright stems.
These plants do exceptionally well in greenhouses or sunrooms where they can enjoy light, heat, and humidity. If you provide the ideal environmental conditions, this plant will reward you with lush green foliage.
Soil for Arrowhead Plant
The arrowhead plant does well in a potting mix that is soil-based. These climbing vines are at risk for root rot, so their potting soil bed must be well-draining.
A container made of terracotta or clay will assist in moisture-wicking the soil bed. The ideal pH level for the soil is between 5.5 and 6.5.
Light for Arrowhead Plant
Bright light is important for the arrowhead plant, although it does not appreciate direct sunlight.
Filtered or indirect light offers the best light conditions as sun rays can bleach the foliage or scorch it.
If your Arrowhead is of a darker green variety, partial shade is better for it.
Water and Humidity for Arrowhead Plant
The Arrowhead should be watered regularly during its growing season in the spring and summer.
Watering can be reduced in the winter. Allow the plant to dry out somewhat between watering, but not completely. The soil bed should be moist, but not wet.
This plant can tolerate average house humidity on the drier side, but will thrive in more humid conditions. A bathroom or kitchen location is ideal because of the natural higher humidity in these rooms.
Or you can increase the surrounding humidity by placing several plants next to each other and adding a humidifier for the plants.
Another simple option is to place a container of water near the plant or to place the plant on a pebble tray. A tray should be filled with pebbles or rocks, and then water should be added. You can place your plant’s pot on this tray, and it will create humidity around the plant.
It is important that the container sits above the waterline. Don’t allow it to come into direct contact with the water to avoid root rot from forming. You can also mist your plant daily.
Temperature for Arrowhead Plant
Temperatures above 60° Fahrenheit are better for the arrowhead due to its tropical origins.
Fertilizer for Arrowhead Plant
Arrowheads like to be fed monthly during spring, summer, and autumn with a liquid fertilizer. Fertilizing should be discontinued in the winter when plant growth slows.
Arrowhead Plant Pruning and Repotting
If you like a bushy full arrowhead plant, prune away older climbing vines by trimming them in early summer to within 6 to 8 inches of the soil bed. Arrowhead plants are aggressive and rapid growers.
Repotting will depend on how large you want your Arrowhead to grow. If you prefer a large vine, repot your plant annually.
Otherwise, you can repot every other year to prevent your plant from becoming root-bound.
Propagating the Arrowhead Plant
The Arrowhead is easily propagated with stem cuttings in the spring and summer months. If you notice that some of the plant’s stems have formed aerial roots, use this section of the stem with the roots attached.
Place the stem cutting in a glass or jar of water. After several weeks, newly formed roots should be visible. Wait approximately a month, to give the roots time to strengthen, before transplanting the cutting into a soil bed. Water should be changed periodically during this time.
Arrowhead Plant Toxicity and Pets
All parts of this plant are toxic to dogs and cats. The plant produces a poisonous sap that is not lethal, but will cause irritation to the skin and burning in the mouth if ingested.
It is recommended that your Arrowhead be kept away from inquisitive pets and humans. Symptoms to be on the lookout for include:
- Excessive drooling or salivation
- Loss of appetite
- Mouth irritation and pain
- Mouth sores
- Pawing at the mouth
- Swallowing difficulty
- Swollen lips, tongue, or mouth
If you notice any of the above symptoms and suspect ingestion of the arrowhead vine, contact your veterinarian or local poison control center immediately.
Arrowhead Plant Pests, Diseases, Problems, and More
While the arrowhead is relatively resistant to pest infestations, if you have other plants, they may expose the arrowhead to spider mites, aphids, scale, or mealybugs.
Should you notice indications of any of these pests, treat your Arrowhead immediately with neem oil or organic insecticidal soap.
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Yellowing leaves may indicate overwatering or low light. However, yellowing older leaves at the base of the plant are normal. Low humidity can also contribute to yellow or brown foliage.
Drooping leaves may indicate underwatering. If the soil bed dries out completely because you have forgotten to water your plant, soak your plant in a sink.
Place approximately four inches of water in the sink and leave your Arrowhead to soak up water through its container’s drainage holes for about 45 minutes. When the water reaches the top two inches of the soil bed, drain the sink, and allow the plant to drain completely as well.
Growing Arrowhead Plant Final Thoughts
The arrowhead plant has become increasingly popular due to its easy-care requirements and the appealing lush greenery it brings to any location.
In summary, the Arrowhead Plant is an excellent choice for beginners who want to grow something unique without having to worry too much about maintenance. It requires little care and grows quickly.
For more houseplant care tips and guides, choose one of these:
Arrowhead Plant FAQs
How much light does an arrowhead plant need?
The arrowhead plant needs 6-8 hours of bright, indirect light each day for optimal growing conditions. Direct sunlight is best to be avoided as it can burn the leaves.
When should I water my arrowhead plant?
Water your arrowhead plant when the soil surface feels dry to touch. The top surface should feel moist, but not overly wet either. You don’t want to overwater your plant as that will lead to root rot. Ensure that your pot and soil are well-draining, so the excess water will exit out the drainage holes.
How do I make my arrowhead bushy?
You can encourage bushiness on your arrowhead plant by pruning off lower branches once they reach three feet tall. This encourages new growth along the main stem.
Do arrowhead plants like coffee grounds?
Yes, coffee grounds can be good for arrowhead plants when added to compost or mulch. Coffee grounds provide nutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. These elements help promote healthy leaf development and overall health of your houseplant.
Is arrowhead plant toxic to humans?
Yes, unfortunately the arrowhead plant is toxic to humans. You’ll want to keep the arrowhead away from children and adults to prevent ingestion. Seek medical attention immediately if ingestion has occurred.
Are arrowhead plants toxic to dogs?
Yes, arrowhead plants are toxic to dogs and cats if ingested. Seek a veterinarian if you see symptoms like vomiting, excessive drooling, difficulty swallowing, and swollen lips.
Why is my arrowhead plant turning yellow?
If your arrowhead plant starts to turn yellow, this could mean one of several things:
1. It’s getting too little sun
2. It’s been moved into direct sunlight for too long
3. Your soil isn’t draining properly, so it’s being overwatered
4. It was exposed to cold temperatures for too long
5. The humidity is low