• Owner: Holly

Syngonium Plant Bio: Podcast Ep#23

Updated: Jan 1

These plants are wonderful because they are very tolerate of the environment around them. They show beautiful colors, speckling, and variegation, depending on the variety you have. Some varieties look VERY similar to Caladium, but unlike Caladium, these do not defoliate in winter!


Botanical Name

Syngonium podophyllum


Common Names

Arrowhead Plant, Arrowhead Vine, Nepthytis, Goosefoot Plant, African Evergreen, Trileaf Wonder


Sun Requirements:

Syngonium survive in many different types of sunlight. They can tolerate low light situations but they thrive in bright indirect light. They will grow faster and have a bit more brilliant color in bright indirect light versus being put in a low light situation. Putting them in direct sunlight will cause the leaves to burn, so I would avoid that!

Most of the time your plant will lean and "reach" towards the sunlight. This is not necessarily an indication that the plant needs more light. You can rotate the plant so it gets even light all the way around but this is also not necessary! You will actually find that lots of houseplants "reach" towards the sun (my Monsteras do this too).


Water Requirement

Allow Syngoniums to dry out a bit before watering. In my experience they will droop when they need more water. BUT if you allow them to dry out too much, the leaves will start turning brown and get crispy. Because the plant droops when it needs water, this should be decently easy to avoid!


These guys prefer to be in a bit more humidity if you can provide it! You can do this by placing them near a humidifier, misting the plant/soil around it, placing them in a terrarium or putting a pebble tray under the plant. If you can't do any of those things, don't worry, the Syngonium will not die! It can still survive on your average household humidity. But it thrives with a little more humidity added to its environment.

You can actually find Syngonium being sold in tiny 1-2" plants. They fit perfectly in a terrarium!


Fertilizer

There are a TON of correct ways to do this but here is a couple good options for you...

  • The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual by Barbara Pleasant says " From spring through fall, feed every 2 weeks with a balance houseplant food diluted to half the normal strength. In winter, feed monthly"

  • I have mostly been following what Barbara Pleasant recommends. I fertilizer every 2 weeks when I water my plants starting around the end of Feb and continue fertilizing every 2 weeks until October. I honestly probably only fertilize twice in winter because the plant isn't as active!

  • It's totally up to you how you want to fertilize and what you want to use! There is no "perfect" product that will solve all your problems! I currently use Espoma Indoor Liquid Plant Food but I've used MANY other brands and types before!


Propagation

"Take 6-8 inch tip cuttings and root in a moist potting medium. Because of their thin leaves and love of humidity, covering the cuttings while rooting may be helpful."

  • This is not the only resource that has recommended that same thing! I've seen other books, blogs and websites recommend the same propagation method. Some of the sources do not recommend covering the cuttings, but I think that will definitely help your cutting root the best! I haven't seen a secondary way of doing it but that could be because this is the best and easiest way to do it!

  • I've never propagated one myself simply because my Syngonium has not been mature enough to take a stem cutting. Let me know how your propagation experience went!


Other Facts

  • Part of the Araceae Family

  • Native primarily in Central America

  • Other plants in this family are Dieffenbachia, Monstera, Philodendron, Anthurium and Elephant Ears!

  • You will usually see them in white, green, pink, or a combination of those colors

  • Syngonium are actually vining plants! Usually you won't see this habit until they are a little bit more mature. But eventually you may need to stake them or allow them to grow up a moss pole or trellis.

  • These plants can grow around 1-1.5' tall but if put on a moss pole or trellis they can get upwards of 3-4' tall!

  • You can cut back your Syngonium to keep it more compact if you want!

  • Do not to leave in temperatures below 60 degrees F and keep out of drafty windows and doors (like you would with most of your houseplants).

  • They may produce a small white flower that looks VERY similar to a Dieffenbachia flower. But they rarely flower as a houseplant.

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FUN FACT:

The Syngonium that is pictured to the right (also the pictures by the Water Requirements and Propagation sections) is called 'Holly M.' Which is hilarious and ironic BECAUSE that is literally my name! So, of course, I had to buy it! I picked up this plant from Watter Farms in Neenah, WI!

You will probably always be able find some type or size of Syngonium at your local plant shop or garden center! Whether they are in the tiny terrarium size, or the larger vining ones! They are pretty easy to find and easy to obtain from wholesalers!


P.S. In the podcast I mentioned I would link the Moisture Meter Reader here! Also thought I would link Mod Gen, Watter Farms & Milwaukee Domes here!

Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly

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