Arrowhead plant or Syngonium is a popular tropical plant loved for its spade-shaped leaves and low maintenance. If you have one of these exotic species at home, you must understand how to care for it.
Arrowhead plants require indirect bright light, fertile and well-drained soil, adequate fertilization, and watering when the soil goes 50-75% dry. Since it is used to warm conditions, it would thrive in temperatures between 60-85 degrees and high humidity levels.
The plant would require changes in its care routine during the winter, such as reduced watering and no fertilization.
This article will cover all the tips you need to know to care for an arrowhead plant and make it thrive in your indoor space. Let’s start.
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1. Allow your arrowhead to enjoy bright indirect sunlight.
Arrowhead plants are known to survive different lighting conditions.
Arrowheads come in two varieties: variegated and non-variegated.
The non-variegated varieties have greener leaves, and they can tolerate lower lighting conditions than the variegated ones.
But if you have a variegated arrowhead plant, you must provide it with bright and indirect sunlight.
In general, all arrowheads would thrive with indirect and bright sunlight.
Your arrowhead might not show any problems if you place it in a lower light spot, but it will show a reduction in growth.
Keep that in mind while deciding the placement of your Syngonium.
One thing that you should be careful of is direct sunlight.
Arrowheads will not tolerate direct sunlight.
Since arrowhead plants are used to dappled sunlight in their natural habitat, they will require the same when grown as houseplants.
Direct sunlight will dehydrate the plant and scorch the leaves, so while placing the arrowhead, keep it 5-7 feet away from the window.
You can also use blinds or curtains to filter the direct sun.
2. Water your arrowhead plant when the soil is 50-75% dry.
Arrowhead plants don’t enjoy dry soil, and neither prefers to sit in waterlogged soil.
Therefore, correct watering is crucial to meet the exact needs.
You must always water your Syngonium after checking the soil moisture.
If you are a beginner, you can get a moisture meter which is a device that shows you the moisture level when you insert it into the soil.
If the moisture level is 2-3, your arrowhead plant is ready for watering.
Many people make the mistake that they assume that their arrowhead requires water without checking the soil and overwatering it.
On the other hand, many people forget to check up on their plant and water it after prolonged periods of thirst.
Both these are incorrect ways of watering your arrowheads. You should:
- Use a calendar that reminds you to check the soil.
- Water the plant when the soil is 50-75% dry.
- If not, wait for a few more days for the soil to dry out.
In general, arrowheads might need watering once a week during their growing season, depending on how fast the soil dries.
You must not follow a watering schedule blindly, leading to all kinds of problems.
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3. Use a fertile and well-drained potting mix for your arrowhead plant.
To keep up with the nutrient needs, you must use fertile soil for your arrowhead.
And you must also remember that the soil’s drainage is extremely important as you don’t want it to retain excess water.
To prepare an ideal potting mix for your arrowhead, follow this recipe:
Potting soil will deliver all the required nutrients, perlite will ensure proper drainage, and coco-coir will improve the retention capacity and aerate the soil.
When preparing the soil, you must note that Syngonium prefers acidic soil with a pH between 5.5 to 6.5.
If the pH value is lower than that, add some lime powder and if the pH value is higher, add peat moss.
4. Fertilize your Syngonium with a well-balanced fertilizer.
Arrowheads need fertile soil that contains all the nutrients it needs, but it loses its nutrients over time.
Therefore, fertilizing becomes an essential part of caring for your arrowhead.
Ideally, fertilizing the arrowhead once a month during the growing season will be sufficient for your Syngonium.
However, make sure to dilute the dose to avoid chances of overfertilization.
5. Keep your arrowhead in a warm spot.
An arrowhead plant requires warm temperatures between 60-85 degrees.
Its temperature preference makes it a perfect houseplant.
You can place your arrowhead in a warm room of the house where it gets suitable temperatures.
If you are not aware of the temperatures, use a thermometer to check the temperature around your arrowhead.
Avoid placing your arrowhead too close to any heating source.
Instead, place your arrowhead in a room with a heating source but much away from the source itself.
This will ensure that your plant gets enough warmth.
6. Maintain at least 40-50% humidity levels for your arrowhead plant.
Arrowhead plants enjoy high humidity in their natural environments.
Although you might fail to provide high humidity levels, you must not let them drop below 40-50%, especially around the plant.
Here are some practical ways to maintain the ideal humidity:
- Install a humidifier, or if you already have one, place your arrowhead near it.
- Group your arrowhead with other humidity-loving plants, but ensure it gets enough airflow.
- Relocate the plant to the bathroom or kitchen with 10-15% higher humidity levels than other rooms.
Avoid exposing the arrowhead to the direct air of the AC as it will reduce the humidity levels around the plant.
7. Get a correct-sized pot with drainage holes for your arrowhead plant.
You can plant your arrowhead in any potting material as long as you give it the right care.
But you can’t neglect the size of the pot.
The pot should neither be too big nor too small.
A bigger pot can cause overwatering, while a small pot can make the plant root-bound too fast.
A pot that is one size larger than your arrowhead and its roots is ideal for the arrowhead.
One more factor to consider is that the pot should have drainage holes.
Without drainage holes, the water will remain stuck in the soil and pot and make the soil soggy.
If you get a fancy pot with no drainage holes, drill some before putting your arrowhead inside the pot.
8. Repot your arrowhead once in 2-5 years.
Repotting is a part of the care routine of all your houseplants, and the arrowhead is no different.
I put a lot of stress on repotting because:
- The arrowhead will get rootbound if you don’t repot it.
- It will not get enough nutrients as the soil loses its nutrients over time and requires a fresh potting mix for sustaining itself.
- It might develop fungal diseases that you can’t treat without repotting the plant.
- The excess salt from the soil will build upon the soil and make it unsuitable for the plant.
- The pH of the soil will alter, so it will no longer serve the purpose of keeping your Syngonium healthy and helping it grow.
When repotting your arrowhead plant, you should get a pot that is one size bigger than the previous one and prepare a fresh potting mix.
You should also remove all the damaged and dead parts of the plant to help it focus on new growth.
However, repotting always comes with stress, so you shouldn’t repot your arrowhead too often.
9. Consider pruning your arrowhead plant 2-3 times a year.
Arrowheads require pruning to encourage new growth and keep the plant in shape.
Without pruning, your Syngonium might become leggy, messy, and have slow growth.
Therefore, you must prune your arrowhead plant whenever you notice uneven growth.
Here is what you should remember while pruning your arrowhead plant:
- Always use sharp and sterilized pruners to prune your arrowhead.
- Don’t prune more than 25% of the plant at once.
- Make cuts at 45-degree angles while pruning your arrowheads.
- Prune the leggy vines at different lengths to give an organic look to the arrowhead.
- Remove the dead and damaged parts while pruning.
- If you suspect root rot, take the arrowhead out of the pot and prune the decaying roots.
- If you prune healthy parts to shape the plant, use them for propagation.
10. Prevent pests and diseases by spraying neem oil on your arrowhead.
Pests and diseases are common in houseplants.
While you can get rid of these problems with the right actions, it is better to prevent them in the first place.
There are two ways to prevent pests and diseases on your arrowhead.
- You can take proper care of the plant and keep it healthy as pests don’t attack unhealthy plants.
- You can spray a neem oil solution once a month on your arrowhead to keep pests away.
Neem oil is organic and doesn’t cause any harm to your arrowhead or the environment.
If the plant gets any pests on diseases, you can also use neem oil to treat the plant.
11. Propagate your arrowhead plant to get new plants.
Instead of buying arrowhead plants repeatedly, you can propagate new ones from existing ones.
I already mentioned that while pruning the arrowhead, you can use the healthy parts for propagation.
To propagate your arrowhead, you must:
- Take one or more stem cuttings from a healthy arrowhead plant.
- Get a glass jar, fill it with water, and put the stem cutting in it if you want to try water propagation.
- Get a small pot, add some peat-based soil to it and plant the cuttings for soil propagation.
- Provide enough humidity and bright indirect light and wait for root growth.
- After 4 weeks, you might notice roots. Wait for them to grow longer and then shift the young plant to a bigger pot or jar and take care of it.
12. Alter the care routine during the winter months.
Winter is the dormant period for your arrowhead plant or Syngonium.
Due to the unfavorable conditions, the plant stops or slows down its growth and starts conserving its energy for the growing season.
During this time, your arrowhead will require a different care routine.
Let’s take a look.
|Light||The intensity and duration of light reduce, so you can expose the plant to direct sunlight during the morning for 1-2 hours.
If the plant doesn’t get enough natural light and warmth, use artificial lights.
|Water||Reduce watering in winter as the soil takes longer to dry due to low light and reduced plant functioning.
However, you must still check the soil before watering to ensure it needs water.
The plant will generally require watering once in 2-3 weeks in winter.
|Fertilizer||Stop fertilizing in winter as your arrowhead doesn’t need it and will get stressed if you give it to them.|
|Temperature||The temperature is the biggest challenge during winter.
First, you must avoid leaving your arrowhead outside in winter.
Keep it in a warm room. Avoid exposing it to cold drafts and frosty windows.
|Humidity||You need to be extra careful about the humidity.
You can use the same methods I mentioned previously to provide humidity to the plant but ensure it receives enough.
|Repotting||Avoid repotting your arrowhead in winter as the conditions don’t encourage faster recovery and might cause damage.
You must repot the arrowhead in winter if necessary.
|Pruning||You should try not to prune the arrowhead in the winter season for the reasons I mentioned for repotting.|
Arrowhead plants or Syngonium require low maintenance and can thrive with little care.
To sum everything we went through, you must provide indirect bright light, water when the soil is 50-75% dry, fertilize once a month in the growing season, and use well-drained and fertile soil. Prune whenever you notice damage, dead, or overgrowth. And repot once in 2-5 years.
You must take care of the temperature and humidity and tweak the care routine in the winter months to keep your arrowhead happy and healthy.