Growing Syngonium/Nephthytis White Butterfly: How To Care For Syngonium Podophyllum

Syngonium podophyllum (sin-GO-nee-um po-do-FIL-um) is a popular houseplant, commonly referred to as an Arrowhead plant.

It’s a low-maintenance tropical plant suitable for gardeners or plant lovers at any level.

Growing Syngonium PodophyllumPin

The climbing plant starts small but is fast-growing, and its stems can reach 6′ feet.

One of the fantastic things about the Arrowhead plant is that it adapts to sunlight.

The leaves can orient themselves so that they get the perfect amount of sunlight.

The Syngonium podophyllum is native to subtropical regions like Mexico, Brazil, Panama, and Costa Rica.

While Syngonium podophyllum is usually sold as a young plant, it undergoes a few changes as it matures.

For example, the leaves change from arrowhead-shaped (in juvenile form) to lobed leaves (in transition to adulthood) to multiple finger-like sections (in adulthood).

In addition, the leaves can be dark green or variegated depending on the variety and the plant’s age.

While it is perfect as a houseplant because of its moderate temperature requirements, the Arrowhead plant can also thrive outside as a hanging plant, groundcover, or on a trellis or hoop.

A word of caution, however, the plant is toxic to humans and animals, so it’s best to keep the plant away from curious cats, puppies, or young children.

Some of the common names of Syngonium podophyllum:

  • Arrowhead plant
  • Arrowhead vine
  • Arrowhead philodendron
  • Goosefoot
  • Nephthytis
  • African evergreen
  • American evergreen
  • Green Gold Naphthysis
  • Trileaf Wonder

Quick Facts On Syngonium Podophyllum

  • Family: Araceae
  • Light: low to medium light
  • Temperature: Room temperature (70° to 79° degrees Fahrenheit)
  • Water: Keep the soil moist
  • Fertilizer: Weekly feeding in the growing season
  • Propagation: Cuttings
  • Common Problems: Mites, bacterial or fungal diseases

Syngonium Podophyllum Care

What Does the Arrowhead Plant Look Like, and How Big Does It Grow?

This subtropical plant is known for its big variegated leaves and its changing-leaf shapes.

As a juvenile, the leaves are arrow-shaped, but they change into multiple finger-like sections as they mature.

The Arrowhead plant is a tropical climbing plant, so while it doesn’t get very tall, it grows up to 6′ long.

However, if you prefer a more compact plant, you can prune the Arrowhead plant to your liking, so it fits on a table

 Otherwise, let it grow freely in a hanging basket with its stems cascading down over the basket.

When Does the Arrowhead Plant Bloom? Are The Flowers Fragrant?

The Arrowhead plant rarely flowers in cultivation but typically flowers in the wild.

When the wild plant is mature, you can see groups of three white flowers, each with 3 petals, at the top of the plant’s spikes.

What Are The Lighting Needs And Temperature Requirements?

The Arrowhead thrives in temperatures between 60° to 80° degrees, so that’s why most gardeners keep it indoors as a houseplant.

However, should you keep it outside, the winter temperatures cannot go below 50° degrees, or the plant will start to wither.

No problem, though, because if you keep it in a container, you can move your Arrowhead plant indoors when the temperature falls.

The Arrowhead plant prefers low to medium light and does not do well in the direct afternoon sun.

If the plant receives too much sun, the leaves will turn yellow.

How And When To Water And Fertilize Your Syngonium Arrowhead Vine?

Because the plant loses moisture and hydration through its long leaves, keeping it adequately watered is essential.

While you don’t want to overwater the Arrowhead plant, it must retain consistent moisture. If your plant is too dry, its leaves will drop.

A good rule of thumb is to water when the top layer of its soil is dry.

It depends on the fertilizer, but weekly feeding in spring and summer is likely best for your Arrowhead plant.

What Is The Best Soil For Your Syngonium Podophyllum, And When Should You Transplant?

While the Arrowhead can handle regular potting soil, adding peat or perlite will tremendously change the soil’s draining ability. Well-draining soil will prevent your plant from getting overwatered.

 Annual transplanting isn’t necessary, but your plant will probably enjoy new soil every 2-3 years.

Does Your Syngonium Need Special Grooming Or Maintenance?

The Syngonium Podophyllum plant is low-maintenance, which is lovely for beginner plant lovers, but you can trim it if you find it gets a little long or scraggly.

How To Propagate Goosefoot Plant?

The Goosefoot plant is straightforward to propagate, giving you another reason to own this plant.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Make sure your scissors or shears are clean.
  • With this plant, there are often aerial roots growing from the stems. Therefore, this is the most accessible place to cut.
  • Separate the stems if necessary.
  • Remove any lower leaves from the stems.
  • Place each stem in a small pot of well-draining soil.
  • Cover each pot with a ventilated bag until roots develop.
  • Then, watch your new Goosefoot plant grow!

 African Evergreen Pests And Diseases

While the African Evergreen is resistant to most pests, you might occasionally find spider mites on the underside of the leaves.

Usually, you can wipe the mites off with a wet cloth.

However, if they continue to invade your African Evergreen, you may need to use Neem Oil or another insecticide.

Unfortunately, the African Evergreen is susceptible to bacterial and fungal diseases, such as:

  • Bacterial stem rot
  • Bacterial leaf spot
  • Fungal leaf spot

Depending on the issue, you may want to consult an expert at your local nursery.

You may be able to fix some problems with fungicide or bactericide, but some infected plants may need to be discarded.

Suggested Nephthytis Uses

Nephthytis is a trailing ornamental plant that grows quickly and is ideal for small pots and trellises.

It is most often seen as an indoor plant because the temperature and lighting are controlled.

However, because of its ability to thrive in semi-shade, these plants are not limited to windowsills.

The Nephthytis plants can live in hallways, bedrooms, living rooms, and offices as long as they can get some light.

Common types of Nephthytis are used as a groundcover plant in the shade. It can quickly cover the entire area. In addition, the plant will thrive if it can climb on trees.

Nephthytis variants in miniature and medium sizes are perfect for green walls, bio-walls, and vertical wall gardening.