Arrowhead plant or Syngonium is a tropical plant with spade-shaped leaves. With the right care and proper fertilization, you can keep your arrowhead plant healthy and looking appealing.
But how often should you fertilize the arrowhead plant? Let’s find out.
In general, the arrowhead plant needs to be fertilized once a month with a well-balanced 10:10:10 or 20:20:20 NPK liquid fertilizer. You can dilute the dose to reduce the strength to avoid overfertilization. Also, stop fertilizing the plant in winter as its growth slows down during that period.
In this article, we’ll discuss how often you should fertilize your Syngonium and find out the best fertilizer for your arrowhead plant.
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Does the arrowhead plant need fertilizer?
Arrowhead plants are not heavy feeders and can thrive even without fertilizers, but that is not always true.
You should fertilize your arrowhead plant during its growing season, which is summer and spring.
This is because the potting mix loses its nutrients over time with every watering session.
You can skip fertilizing your arrowhead plant if you have repotted it recently.
The fresh potting soil will have all the nutrients that the plant needs.
But as time advances, the soil loses nutrients, and without proper fertilization, the plant will have no way of getting the nutrients it needs.
The plant will become weak and grow much slower than usual.
However, if you fertilize the Syngonium on time with a balanced fertilizer, it will get all the required nutrients.
If you don’t fertilize your arrowhead plant properly, you’ll notice:
- Leggy growth
- Slow growth
- A weak root system
- Discolored and distorted leaves
- Weak stems
You should check the fertilization routine if you notice any of these signs on the arrowhead plant and start fertilizing if you don’t fertilize the plant at all.
What nutrients do plants need in fertilizers?
All plants require certain nutrients, and most fertilizers contain all these in their formula.
But you must understand what these nutrients are and how they are beneficial for the plants before you get the fertilizer for your arrowhead plants or vines.
You can divide these nutrients into three sections for better understanding.
|Macronutrients||Nitrogen, Phosphorous, Potassium|
|Micronutrients||Iron, Nickel, Copper-Boron, Zinc, Chlorine, Manganese–Molybdenum|
|Other nutrients||Calcium, Sulphur, and Magnesium|
Macronutrients: Plants primarily require macronutrients as they majorly impact the growth of the plants. Macronutrients are responsible for protein synthesis, cell growth and development, immune system improvement, and respiration.
Micronutrients: Micronutrients also help in the faster and bushier growth of the plants. But these are required in smaller quantities than macronutrients.
Other nutrients: A few other nutrients also work on the immune system and the metabolism of the plants.
What is the best fertilizer for the arrowhead plant?
Since many fertilizers are available in the market, you might get confused and start thinking about the best one for an arrowhead plant.
You must look at the NPK ratio of the fertilizers while selecting the one for your plant.
Choosing the wrong ratio might lead to overfertilization.
NPK refers to Nitrogen, Phosphorus, and Potassium, which are the macronutrients we mentioned earlier.
You will notice the NPK as ratio on the fertilizer bottles, for example, 10:10:10.
Let’s understand how these help the arrowhead plant.
Required for photosynthesis
Promotes new growth
|Phosphorus||Required for photosynthesis and flowering
Encourages root growth
Promotes cell division and growth
|Potassium||Water regulation around the plant
So when you are choosing the ideal fertilizer for your Syngonium, get a well-balanced liquid fertilizer with an NPK ratio of 20:20:20 or 10:10:10.
Here are some of the best fertilizers for you to choose from:
- Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food
- J R Peters 52024 Jacks Classic No.1.5 20-20-20 All Purpose Fertilizer
- Espoma Company Organic Indoor Plant Food
It is best to go for liquid fertilizer and dilute it to ensure no overfertilization.
Now, let’s understand the different types of fertilizers that you can use on your arrowhead plant.
Types of fertilizers
You can divide fertilizers into two different categories: organic and inorganic fertilizers.
Let’s look at some examples of both these types.
Fertilizers that are available in the market are inorganic, and they contain chemicals which is why they are termed inorganic.
These are available in three types:
- Liquid fertilizer
- Slow-release fertilizer
- Granular fertilizer
Liquid fertilizer: This type of fertilizer is ideal for your houseplants. You can find these in powder forms where you need to add the powder to water and then use it, or you can get one found as a liquid. You can dilute the dose to avoid overfertilization.
Slow-release fertilizer: These are ideal for outdoor plants as the nutrients don’t release at once but slowly with every watering. Since you can’t control the amount of nutrients, these are not suitable for houseplants.
Granular fertilizer: You get these in pellets, and you have to add the pellets to the soil. These fertilizers usually contain larger amounts of Nitrogen and Potassium, which can affect the roots and leaves of the plant if you’re not careful.
Organic fertilizers are for those who don’t want to use chemical fertilizers for their houseplants.
Organic fertilizers are also great for plants that are sensitive to chemicals.
However, before going forward with this, keep in mind that you can’t control the nutrient supply of organic fertilizers.
It might take some time for you to finally understand how much organic fertilizer is suitable for your houseplants.
But when you don’t know, start with a small quantity.
Here are some examples of organic fertilizers.
Eggshells: Instead of throwing the eggshells away, you can clean them and grind them to get fine particles out of them.
You can soak the particles in boiled water or simply add them to water and leave it for a night.
You can use this to fertilize your arrowhead plant, and if the soil’s pH level is too acidic, this fertilizer can reduce the acidity.
Eggshells also add calcium to the plant.
Banana peels: Banana peels contain many nutrients that the plant requires. It contains:
- A high amount of potassium
To use banana peels, cut them into small pieces, add them to water to make a cream, and apply them to the soil.
You can also add the banana peels directly to the soil, and it will add nutrients slowly over time like a slow-release fertilizer.
Coffee grounds: Coffee grounds will work well if the soil lacks acidity as these can increase the soil’s acidity. Coffee grounds also contain a lot of Nitrogen that can boost the growth of plants.
You can use coffee grounds by:
- Take water in a container and let the water simmer.
- Turn the gas off and let the water cool down.
- Once the water settles, add coffee grounds to the water.
- Leave this aside for a night and strain the water.
- Use this to fertilize your arrowhead plant.
Compost: It adds nutrients to the plants and improves the soil structure.
You can use your kitchen waste and add other components like dried leaves, clips of grass, and plants as compost for your Syngonium.
Aquarium water: This one is for those with aquariums in the house. Instead of throwing the water away while changing it, you can use it to fertilize your arrowhead plant.
Aquarium water contains fish poop that adds a lot of Nitrogen to it. So, this can give a boost of growth to your arrowhead plant.
When should I fertilize my arrowhead plant?
For deciding when you should fertilize your arrowhead plant, remember two things:
- Fertilize it when it’s healthy.
- Fertilize it during the growing season.
Arrowhead plants remain most active in the summer and spring; hence these are called the growing season of arrowhead plants.
You must fertilize your arrowhead plant once a month during the growing season.
Since the plant remains active, it uses up the nutrients from the soil and requires more which you can give it through fertilizing.
On the other hand, you should halt fertilizing in winter because the plant doesn’t remain very active during this time.
Due to adverse weather conditions, many plants, including the arrowhead plant, don’t focus on growth and instead conserve all the energy for the growing season.
So, adding fertilizer will be of no use as the plant will not use it.
Instead, the roots can burn if you give fertilizer to your Syngonium in the winter season.
Another thing to note is that you must fertilize Syngonium only when healthy.
Fertilizing an unhealthy plant will do more harm than good.
So, you should fertilize your arrowhead plant once a month during its growing season and stop fertilizing in winter.
How do you fertilize arrowhead plants?
Fertilizing houseplants is not difficult. Once you know the correct method and dose, you can easily fertilize your Syngonium.
I can make you understand this with the following steps:
- First, you need to get the right fertilizer from the market. I recommend Miracle-Gro Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food.
- Next, you need to dilute the fertilizer to reduce the strength to avoid overfertilization.
- Use this to fertilize your arrowhead plant once a month during the growing season.
- If you use compost to fertilize your arrowhead plant, you can add a handful twice a month.
- Water your Syngonium well after fertilizing it so that the fertilizer can get evenly distributed.
What happens if you overfertilize your arrowhead plant?
Overfertilization is a common problem found in many houseplants.
When plant owners fail to determine the correct dose or end up fertilizing too frequently, the plant gets overfertilized.
The ideal way to avoid overfertilization is by diluting the fertilizer or using less if you are unsure of the correct dose.
If you are not careful with all these, you will overfertilize the arrowhead plant.
If your arrowhead plant is overfertilized, you will notice the following signs:
- Brown tips and edges on leaves
- Discolored leaves
- Wilting of leaves
- Burned roots
- Stunted growth
- White spots on the soil
If you notice any such signs and don’t find any other reason behind them, re-evaluate your fertilizing routine to understand what’s wrong.
And you can save your overfertilized arrowhead plant by taking a few actions at the right time.
How to fix an overfertilized arrowhead plant?
If you have an overfertilized Syngonium, take a look at the following steps and start the treatment as soon as possible.
- First, examine your plant thoroughly.
- Then, cut off all the damaged leaves and stems that you see on the plant.
- Scrape the top inches of the soil to get rid of the excess salt build-up from the fertilizer.
- Give the Syngonium a good shower with a strong stream of water to get rid of the excess fertilizer. Allow the excess water to drain out.
- If some of the roots have burned, prune the damaged ones and repot the plant in a fresh soil mix.
- Avoid fertilizing for 4-6 months to give the plant a break and allow it to recover.
- You can start fertilizing once the plant shows growth.
Do arrowhead plants like Epsom salts?
Arrowhead plants will enjoy Epsom salt if it has a magnesium deficiency.
You can mix 1 tbsp of Epsom salt with 1 gallon of water. Then, use this to water your arrowhead plant once a month.
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Looking for a readymade indoor plant soil mix that you can open and pour? Check out rePotme. They offer a wide range of readymade soil premixes for all your indoor plants.
Fertilizing the arrowhead plant is an essential part of its care routine, and you must not skip it if you want to see it thrive.
Fertilize your Syngonium with a diluted dose of a well-balanced 10:10:10 or 20:20:20 NPK ratio liquid fertilizer once a month during spring and summer. Avoid fertilizing in winter, as it is the dormant period when the plant doesn’t use fertilizer.
If you don’t understand the suitable dose of fertilizer for your arrowhead plant, fertilize less.
If you mistakenly overfertilize it, stop fertilizing it immediately, get rid of all the damaged parts, and allow the plant to recover for at least 4-6 weeks. Fertilize only after you notice growth. In case of severe damages, repot the plant.