Arrowhead Plant Guide: How to Grow & Care for “Syngonium Podophyllum”

Read our guide to Arrowhead Plants for everything you will ever need to know! Tips for planting & caring for “Syngonium podophyllum”
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The arrowhead plant whose scientific name is Syngonium podophyllum, is a common houseplant in the United States. It can be found growing outdoors in the wild in many areas, but it is most often used for indoor decor. The plant is generally very tame and shares potting soil with other plants well for mix planting solutions.

For homes that are looking for an easy to manage house plant that will transform into a creeper over time, consider allowing your arrowhead plant to mature. As the plant matures it will start to grow vines which can be very attractive for indoor hanging gardens or areas where plants are allowed to adhere to the wall. Many homeowners will plant their arrowhead plants next to a trellis to allow for a unique carpeted wall look as the plant grows.

Taking care of a nephthytis is generally easy. Like most house plants it needs moisture but should dry out before being watered again. Too much water can lead to root rot which will eventually kill the plant. It can tolerate a wide range of temperatures which makes it a perfect choice for a houseplant regardless of where you live. Keep reading to find out more about how to properly care for your arrowhead plant.

About The Arrowhead Plant

  • The arrowhead plant is known as; nephthytis, five fingers, arrowhead vine, and the American evergreen.
  • Syngonium podophyllum need only moderate light, occasional watering, and moist soil to thrive
  • This plant behaves well with other plans which allow for easily mixed pot planting.
  • The arrowhead plant is typically green but can be found in variegated colors.
  • As the arrowhead plant ages, the plant will develop attractive vines perfect for hanging or crawling.
  • Only immature arrowhead plants have leaves that resemble the arrowhead shape.
  • The arrowhead plant has been commercialized which has improved its natural resistance to disease and pest.
  • Modern arrowhead plants have compact growth habits while natural versions are prone to vining.
Arrowhead Plant
Arrowhead Plant

Arrowhead Plant Overview

  • The arrowhead plant should be kept in temperatures that range between 60 F and 75 F.
  • The arrowhead plant is native to Latin America and Bolivia.
  • The plant is now often found in natively in West Indies, Florida, Texas, West Indies, Hawaii, and warm areas.
  • A Syngonium podophyllum plant thrives in humid conditions but can live in a broad range of temperatures.
  • It is important to provide extra moisture for your arrowhead plant during the dry winter season.
  • As the arrowhead plant matures, the leaves transform from the shape of an arrowhead into a fingered leaf shape.
  • Mature arrowhead plant leaves have three and five fingerlike joints at the top of their leaves.
  • Plants that are grown in filtered bright light will product variegated leaves.
  • It is important to keep arrowhead plants out of direct sunlight to prevent sunburn and plant bleaching.
  • Syngonium podophyllum share the same family as the philodendron plant, which is the Araceae family.
  • New arrowhead plants have heart-shaped leaves that transform into arrowhead shapes as they grow.

Growing the Arrowhead Plant

Growing the arrowhead vine plant is pretty simple with the right conditions. When you nurture your plant properly, it will grow to be lush, healthy, and rich in color. It is important to place them in a well-lit area in your home.

They should get plenty of light, but not direct sunlight. Too much direct sunlight will result in plant sunburn, or in extreme cases, a bleached plant. The arrowhead plant tolerates low light, however, it may also lose its rich color as a result.

Place your plant in a north-facing room and make sure to turn the pot or trellis on a regular basis for uniform growth. We will cover watering in detail in the next section, however, it is a good idea to maintain a moist potting mix during the summer months and allow the mix to remain slightly dry in the winter when the plant is dormant.

Syngonium podophyllum
Syngonium podophyllum

Keep your plants in rooms that have a temperature that ranges between 18-27°C for optimal growth. Humidity surrounding new plants and mature plants alike should hover around 50%. If you notice your arrowhead plant leaves are starting to develop brown tips, it is likely due to low humidity levels or because the plant is situated in front of an AC vent.

Tropical plants such as the arrowhead plant grow best in soil that has a peat-moss base. You can include perlite or vermiculite to ensure proper drainage and prevent root rot. Your plant should be fertilized with a house plant fertilizer every two weeks. Make sure that you chose a balanced fertilizer and dilute it to half strength before use. During the winter months, only fertilize once per month.

Watering Arrowhead Plant

Watering your arrowhead plant is not overly difficult, but it is important to pay attention to atmospheric humidity. During the summer and warm fall months, make sure that the soil in the pot remains moist.

In the winter, the arrowhead plant is generally dormant which means it will need less water. Check the soil with your finger before watering. Wait until the first inch and a half of soil is dry before adding more water.

Aside from frequent watering, it is important to spray your plant with a light mist of water periodically. This will help the level of humidity surrounding your tropical plant to remain stable.

Arrowhead Plant, From Amazon

The arrowhead is a tropical plant, so it thrives in humid climates above 60 F, but can survive as slightly lower temperatures. They will not survive in areas where frost is common or where cold temperatures are common year-round. They are also not suited to desert environments due to the dryness in the air.

Use fertilizer and well-drained soil to prevent water from pooling in the pot which may lead to root rot. Liquid fertilizer should be used during the active growing season and can be added to the water for easy measuring.

If the plant starts to outgrow its pot or become root-bound, repot it in a larger pot with drainage holes. You can position the pot over pebbles on top of a water catcher tray to ensure proper drainage and balance humidity levels. As the water in the drain tray evaporates, it will give your tropical plant the humidity it needs to thrive.

Propagating Arrowhead Plant

Syngonium plants are very easy to propagate. It is best to take three to four-inch cuttings at the start of summer from a healthy, mature arrowhead plant. You can also take cuttings in the spring, just make sure to liberally coat the end of your cutting in rooting hormones.

One dipped, place the cutting in a fresh pot of potting soil that is a mix of peat moss and vermiculite. You can also use perlite for your new cuttings as well.

Maintain an even level of humidity around your new cuttings by covering the entire pot in a plastic bag and placing it out of direct sunlight. Propagation in this fashion takes about a month for the roots to firmly settle in the soil. You can also grow them in water, though this process requires a bit more hands-on attention during the root growing process.

Arrowhead plants do have mildly aggressive growth patterns once the mature and start to vine. You can take cuttings from your pruning sessions in late spring or early summer and use them to propagate new plants.

Syngonium Podophyllum makes a great indoor plant
Syngonium Podophyllum makes a great indoor plant

In Conclusion

Arrowhead plants are a beautiful tropical houseplant that plays well with others. As long as you give them a nice warm, steamy place to live, they will grow green and tall in your home.

Depending on your choice of style, you can keep them in pots or train them to grow on poles or fences inside of your home. They make lovely additions to sunrooms, porches, living rooms, kitchens, and even bathrooms.

In general, they are easy to care for and highly resistant to most pests. They can fall prey to aphids, spider mites, and mealybugs if not properly cared for. Make sure that you allow the soil to dry between each watering to prevent root rot and ensure they are out of direct sunlight and positioned away from air conditioner vents.

Arrowhead plants are highly poisonous to pets and humans. It is critical that you wear gardening gloves or wash your hands well after tending to the plant. The calcium oxalate crystals in the sap can cause irritation on the skin and illness in pets and small children. Bright green in nature, there are more than 30 different varieties of arrowhead vines.

Commercial breeds of the plant have brightly colored leaves though many of the mature plants lose some of their intricate colorings.


Hollie is a life-long gardener, having started helping her Dad work on their yard when she was just 5. Since then she has gone on to develop a passion for growing vegetables & fruit in her garden. She has an affinity with nature and loves to share her knowledge gained over a lifetime with readers online. Hollie has written for a number of publications and is now the resident garden blogger here at GardenBeast. Contact her at or follow on twitter

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