To start off this amazing plant edition, the main protagonist of the story will be indeed the arrowhead plant. The tropical rainforests of Central and South America are home to the arrowhead plant, and in fact, is a native species. Any guesses on why it's called arrowhead plant? Learn all about it next!
First Things First - What Is an Arrowhead Plant?
Native to portions of South and Mexico, the arrowhead plant (Syngonium podophyllum) is a semi-tropical plant. Under common names such as arrowhead philodendron, arrowhead vine, American evergreen, nephthytis, and goosefoot, the species is widely offered for sale as an interior plant. If you're a fan of houseplants and want to fill up your house this new year, the arrowhead plant is a lovely option.
A Great Houseplant Choice
The arrowhead plant often grows beneath a forest canopy in its natural habitat. As a result, indirect, bright light is optimal for its leaves' variegated yellow and dark green color. Arrowhead plants can thrive in low-light and medium-light environments with the right care, but they fare poorly in direct sunlight. It's a logical choice for a houseplant because of this, and indoor gardeners have traditionally favored it.
The Arrowhead Plant Diaries Explained
Have you ever wondered why this plant has such a particular name? Here's the logical explanation of course. The spade-shaped leaves of this plant gave it the common name 'Arrowhead Plant'. The arrowhead plant can be grown alone or in a mixed planting for additional interest. However, the plant will start to 'vine' as it gets older, so it could be a good idea to cultivate the arrowhead plant in a hanging basket. The plant can also be trained for support on a pole or trellis.
A Fast-Growing Green Plant
The lush, quickly-growing Arrowhead continuously unfolds new leaves in shades ranging from lime green to pink to dark green with prominent white variegation. Young arrowhead plants are distinguished by their erect stem clusters, which are typical of the species.
General Arrowhead Plant Care Handles
Follow these simple care tips to keep your arrowhead plant healthy.
The light requirements for this type of plant range from medium to bright light. The arrowhead plant tolerates low light but is not suited for intense, direct sun.
When it comes to humidity, the arrowhead plant tolerates average home humidity. It prefers high humidity, and the best recommendation to keep your arrowhead plant happy is to create a wet pebble tray underneath or incorporate a humidifier into the space.
Avoid overwatering your plant. Common plant pests like spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs can appear when arrowhead plants sit in wet soil. Avoid overwatering to prevent an outbreak. If pests do appear, use neem oil, vinegar, or alcohol to remove them.
Prune your plant for bushier foliage. Arrowhead plants are natural climbers and if you let them grow, you can train them to go up the side of a trellis. If you would rather have a bushy plant, prune it on a regular basis to have shorter, bushier foliage.
How to Grow an Arrowhead Plant
Indoor arrowhead plant care is relatively simple so long as you provide the right environment for your plant.
1. Repot Your Arrowhead Plant as Needed
A growing arrowhead plant can require annual repotting. Start it in a similar-sized pot to the one it was packaged in. Use a typical indoor potting mix while repotting, and try to do it in the early spring.
2. Place Arrowhead Plants in Bright Light
Arrowhead plants thrive in bright, indirect light, but they can also do well in medium light. The plant will tolerate low light as long as it is not overwatered. Avoid placing arrowhead plants outdoors in direct sunlight.
3. Water Your Arrowhead Plant According to the Season
In the spring and summer, potting soil should be moist, and in the fall and winter, it should be slightly dry. Make sure your potting mix drains adequately and that the bottom of your pot or container has drainage holes. The root rot of arrowhead plants can occur if they are left in standing water.
4. Fertilize Your Plant Regularly
During the growing season, treat your arrowhead plant regularly (usually every two weeks) with a basic houseplant fertilizer.
5. Propagate Your Plant as Needed
Growing arrowhead plants is not that difficult. You can employ propagation to manage the growth of your plant or use stem cuttings to create new growth. Look for a stem with two or three aerial roots or nodes. Use a clean, sharp knife to make a diagonal cut just below the node in the stem, submerge it in water for about two weeks, and then repot the cutting.
Grouping Arrowhead Plants With Similar Plants
This is a very great way of getting your green plants involved and more connected. Group arrowhead plants with similar plants, and you'll notice that once situated, arrowhead plants co-exist nicely alongside houseplants with similar light requirements.
Such plants include philodendron, red aglaonema, and pothos plants. Much like the arrowhead plant, these species are known for their leaf variegation and their natural climbing or trailing behavior. Arrowhead plants can look attractive beside the much larger Monstera deliciosa plants, which also require bright indirect light.
Common Pests and Plant Diseases
On its own, the arrowhead plant is largely pest-resistant. However, there's always a risk if you have other houseplants at home because generally speaking, arrowhead plants can get exposed to pests like scale, aphids, and mealybugs. Neem oil or a similar natural remedy should be used for your plant right away if you observe any of these issues.
Arrowhead Plant Toxicity
Arrowhead plants contain calcium oxalates that cause skin irritation. When swallowed, they can cause swelling of the mouth, lips, and tongue. Keep these plants away from small children and pets.
The arrowhead is indeed a relatively easy houseplant to care for and are climbers in the wild that'll make your interior spaces look absolutely dazzling green!
Continue to read more about this plant in the article 'Syngonium Podophyllum Albo Variegatum - One of the Best Picks for Rare Houseplant Lovers'.