How to Grow the Arrowhead Vine

Syngonium podophyllum makes a lush and healthy houseplant

Arrowhead Plant
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The arrowhead vine (Syngonium podophyllum) makes a pretty trailing or climbing vine that tends to grow aggressively under the right conditions. It's also commonly known as Nephthytis triphylla, according to the Missouri Botanical Garden.

The arrowhead vine is a tropical climber in the araceae (or aroid) family. Many varieties have variegated leaves to one degree or another, and like many aroids, the plant's leaf structure changes as it matures, going from a simple arrow shape to a deeply lobed or divided mature leaf. Syngonium podophyllum grows outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10 through 12, so in most locations in the United States, it is grown as a houseplant.

The species is native to a wide region of Latin America from Mexico to Bolivia, and it has become naturalized in the West Indies, Florida, Texas, Hawaii, and other warmer locales.

Growing Conditions

Provide your arrowhead vine with the right growing conditions and you will have a lush and healthy houseplant.

  • Light: Give your plant bright light but no direct sun. Variegated types can handle more direct sun, while deeper green varieties can handle partial shade.
  • Water: Spray frequently to maintain high humidity. Keep the soil continuously moist throughout spring and summer and reduce watering in the winter, but don't let it dry out.
  • Temperature: Arrowhead vine prefers warm and humid conditions. Keep it in areas above 60 F if possible.
  • Soil: Plant in a rich, well-drained potting mix.
  • Fertilizer: Feed regularly with liquid fertilizer throughout the growing season.

Propagation

Syngonium plants root readily from stem cuttings and can easily be propagated in the spring or summer months. If your plant has aerial roots along the stem, take a section of stem with attached roots to increase your odds of success.

Repotting

These plants are aggressive, rapid-growing vines, so the frequency of repotting depends somewhat on how big you want the vine to get. Repot yearly for a larger vine. Otherwise, refresh potting media every spring and repot every other year.

Varieties

There are more than 30 species of arrowhead vines. The one most commonly seen in cultivation is Syngonium podophyllum and its many varieties. Breeders have created plants with striking variegation along leaf veins. Juvenile leaves are simply arrows, while mature leaves can be up to a foot long and have five or more lobes. Variegated plants tend to lose their variegation as they age.

Grower's Tips

These plants will thrive under the same conditions as the related philodendron. They are climbers in the wild and will eventually grow from shade into full sun in the canopy with leaves maturing and gaining size as the plant gains altitude. As houseplants, they are often used as trailing plants or can be trained up a pole or moss stick. Arrowhead vine is relatively resistant to pests, but it could be attacked by spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, and scale or suffer from soft rot or bacterial leaf spot. Tropical in nature, arrowhead vines are perfect for a sunroom or greenhouse conservatory where ample heat, light, and humidity will encourage their growth.