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How To Prune Arrowhead Plant? (When To Prune+Steps To Follow)

Arrowhead plants or Syngonium are beautiful spade-shaped tropical plants that require low maintenance. Pruning is a part of arrowheads’ maintenance routine, and if you don’t know why it is important, keep reading.

You must prune your arrowhead plant to remove the damaged and dead parts, encourage growth, and keep it in shape.

Let’s understand how you can prune your arrowhead plant in this article.

To prune an arrowhead plant or Syngonium, you must:

  1. Examine the plant and look for leggy, damaged, and dead parts.
  2. Use a sharp pair of sterilized pruners or scissors to cut these unwanted parts.
  3. Ensure to make clean cuts to prevent any damage to the plant.
  4. Don’t prune more than 25% of the plant at once.
  5. After pruning, place your Syngonium at a bright spot and water it.

If you wish to know everything about pruning an arrowhead plant, how to do it, the right time to do it, you are at the right place. So, keep reading.

Arrowhead Plant clipping

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Signs that show your Arrowhead plant needs pruning

Before we get to the steps of pruning an arrowhead plant, let us check the signs that the plant gives out to let you know it needs pruning.

Discolored leaves

Although discolored leaves can be natural, you must thoroughly inspect the plant if you notice yellow or brown leaves.

Plants give out signs of problems through their leaves, and along with figuring out the problems and dealing with them, you must prune these discolored leaves.

Yellow or brown leaves don’t turn healthy again and take up unnecessary space and energy of your Syngonium.

To reduce that stress, you must prune these leaves. Pruning these also helps to shift the plant’s focus to new growth.

Also read:

Leggy growth

Arrowhead Plant leggy growth

Arrowhead plants are climbing species and tend to become leggy if they don’t get enough light or if you don’t prune them when required.

If you don’t prune your arrowhead at all, the vines will grow longer than usual with fewer leaves on them.

This is called leggy growth, and you must prune them if you want your Syngonium to remain healthy and grow healthy stems.

Slow growth

Arrowhead plants will not have much growth in the winter season as it is their dormant period, but if you notice that it is not growing even in its growing period, there is some problem with your plant.

To counter this, you must prune your arrowhead other than finding out what is wrong with it.

Pruning encourages new growth, and houseplant owners prune their arrowheads to keep them bushy.

Also read: Why Is My Arrowhead Plant Not Growing? (Causes+How To Fix)



Root rot

Root rot is a fungal disease that is caused due to overwatering or a poor drainage system.

It is a deadly disease requiring immediate attention or losing your Syngonium.

If you get a foul smell from the soil or notice yellow and brown leaves, take your arrowhead out of its pot and inspect the roots.

Take a sterilized pruner and prune the brown and mushy roots along with the discolored leaves.

You must let the healthy roots remain in the plant and repot it to save it from root rot.

Also read: What Do I Do If My Arrowhead Has Root Rot? (Signs, Causes & Fix)

Pest Infestation

Arrowhead Plant bugs

Pests are another sign that your arrowhead plant is not doing well, as a healthy plant will never attract pests.

If your Syngonium has pests on it, you must immediately remove them as they suck all the nutrients out of the plant.

Pruning is required when you notice heavily infested parts on your arrowhead plant. 

After getting rid of these parts, you can use a neem oil spray on your Syngonium to treat the pests.

Also read: Bugs On Arrowhead Plant: Common Pests+How To Get Rid Of Them

What is the best time to prune an arrowhead plant?

The best time to prune an arrowhead plant is during spring and summer.

These are the growing periods of the plant when it gets all the ideal growing conditions which help it recover the pruning stress and grow new leaves or stems faster.

On the other hand, if you prune the Syngonium during the winter season, you increase the chances of stressing the plant instead of reducing it.

The winter season doesn’t have the ideal growing conditions, and the plant doesn’t focus on growth.

Instead, it saves up all energy to survive the harsh conditions.

Therefore, you must avoid pruning your arrowhead in the winter unless there is an urgent condition, such as root rot.

Tools required to prune an arrowhead plant

Before you start pruning your arrowhead plant, you must gather some tools to avoid going back and forth in search of them.

Sharp and sterilized pruners or scissors: Sharp and sterilized tools will ensure you make clean cuts and avoid spreading any disease or infections.

Disinfectant: You must always disinfect the pruners before and after use to prevent fungal and bacterial growth.

Gloves: Arrowhead plants are poisonous, so you should wear gloves during pruning the plant.

A pot: When you prune the Syngonium, you might get some healthy vines that you can propagate in a small pot and get new plants from them.

How to prune arrowhead plants?

After gathering the tools, we can now look at pruning an arrowhead plant.

1. Inspect your arrowhead plant thoroughly

Arrowhead Plant curling

Before you start pruning, observe your arrowhead plant and identify the areas that require pruning.

You must prune the following parts:

  • Leggy stems with very few leaves on them.
  • Discolored foliage
  • Overgrown stems
  • Pest infested parts
  • Damaged roots (in cases like root rot)
  • Any other damaged parts that waste the plant’s energy

2. Prune the Syngonium

Arrowhead Plant pruning

After identifying the areas that require pruning, you must start pruning the arrowhead plant and get rid of the unwanted parts.

  • When cutting the stems, cut right below a leaf node to encourage new growth.
  • You can gently pull the yellow and brown leaves to remove them.
  • If that doesn’t work, use the pruners and cut 3-4 inches below the leaves to allow new growth.
  • Always make the cuts at 45-degree angles.
  • Don’t prune more than 20-25% of the plant at once, as that can stress the plant. You can prune the plant after a few weeks if required.
  • If you are planning to remove long stems, make the cuts from the base of the arrowheads.
  • If your arrowhead plant is leggy, you can cut the stems at different lengths to go for an organic look.
  • If the plant is experiencing root rot, prune the decaying roots and spray fungicide on the healthy roots before repotting the plant.

3. Pruning aftercare

Arrowhead Plant humidifier

After pruning your arrowhead plant, you must give the plant the proper care to help it recover from the stress.

Factor Care Tips
Fertilize You can fertilize your arrowhead with a diluted dose of a 10:10:10 or 20:20:20 NPK fertilizer. Giving fertilizer to the plant can help it recover from the pruning stress and grow. However, don’t forget to dilute the fertilizer as a concentrated dose will put more stress on your plant.
Watering Water your arrowhead if the soil is 50-75% dry. If not, wait for the soil to dry. Follow this whenever you provide water to your arrowhead plant.
Light Place your arrowhead plant in a spot where it will get enough indirect sunlight. Don’t place it in a low-light area, and don’t expose it to direct sunlight either.
Temperature Maintain suitable temperatures around the plant. Arrowheads need 60-85 degrees, so don’t let the temperatures go too high or low for your plant.
Humidity Providing at least 40-50% humidity is a must for the arrowhead plants. You can get a humidifier or a pebble tray to increase the humidity around your Syngonium.
Placement Avoid placing your arrowhead near doors and windows that are opened and closed frequently, any heating sources, or opposite of the AC.
Leaf care Keep the arrowhead leaves clean by misting them and wiping them with a cloth once in a while.
Prevent legginess Rotate your arrowhead plant regularly to ensure all the sides get light and don’t become leggy.
This table demonstrates the tips that you need to follow after pruning your arrowhead plant.

How to propagate an arrowhead plant from a pruned stem?

If you got some stems while pruning the arrowhead plant, you could use them for propagation instead of throwing them away.

However, you need to ensure two factors:

  • The stems should be healthy.
  • The stems are taken from a mature arrowhead plant.

You can either propagate the stems in a small pot filled with peat-based potting mix or take a small glass jar, fill it with water and place the cutting inside it.

If you’re opting for soil propagation, you can add some rooting hormone to the roots before putting the stem cutting inside the soil.

You must provide ample humidity to the cutting as they need it to grow roots.

You can mist the soil and cover it with plastic to lock the humidity.

If you’re going for water propagation, you can add a drop of liquid fertilizer to the water to ensure it is nutrient-rich.

Don’t forget to provide:

  • Bright indirect light
  • Suitable temperatures
  • Proper watering in case of soil propagation
  • High humidity

You will notice root growth within 4-6 weeks, after which you should let the roots grow longer.

Once the roots grow long enough, you can shift the young plant to a bigger pot or a bigger container if you want to grow it in water.

Also read: How To Propagate Arrowhead Plant? (2 Ways+A Step-by-Step Guide)


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Final words

Pruning is an essential part of the grooming and care of houseplants, and you must not avoid it if you want your plant to stay healthy.

Depending on its growth, you can prune your arrowhead plants 2 to 3 times a year.

Avoid pruning it in the winter season as the plant remains dormant and will take longer to recover from the pruning stress. The ideal time to prune your Syngonium will be during spring and summer.

You must prune the dead and decaying parts, leggy and uneven growth, discolored foliage, weak stems, and any other parts that make the plant out of shape. You can use the healthy parts for propagation and discard the rest.

You must not prune the arrowhead too frequently or if it is not required. Don’t prune more than 25% of the plant at once and ensure proper care after pruning to help it recover from the pruning stress.


Reference: CABIBritannicaUnited States Department of AgricultureWikipediaChildren’s Health Queensland Hospital and Health ServiceMissouri Botanical Garden.