Syngoniums, also known as arrowhead plant or goosefoot owing to the striking shape of their leaves, are fast growing house plants. They are easy to care for, just requiring some pruning to keep them a manageable size. There are many varieties available, with a range of leaf colours and patterns to choose from.
Syngonium are toxic if ingested so keep away from children and pets.
How to grow syngonium
Grow syngoniums in bright, indirect light, avoid direct sunlight as this can scorch the leaves. Water regularly in spring and summer, allowing the soil to dry out between waterings.
Where to grow syngonium
Syngoniums are very adaptable house plants, you can train them to trail or climb, depending on the effect you want to create, whether that be hanging over the side of a shelf or growing up a support. Older plants will need tying onto supports but as new growth appears, it will adhere to the support on its own. It can be grown in most rooms of the home, and are tolerant of low light, although they will maintain their vibrant leaf colour and grow much faster in indirect, bright light.
How to care for syngonium
Water regularly in spring and summer, just make sure that the compost has dried out in between waterings. Syngoniums originate from rainforests in Central and South America, so do best in humid conditions. Mist regularly and keep away from sources of dry heat such as radiators.
Owing to their trailing habit and vigorous growth, they can become out of hand so don't be afraid to trim them back, pruning will also result in a bushier plant. During the growing season, they benefit from feeding with balanced fertiliser every few weeks.
The size that you want your vine to grow will influence how often you need to repot. For a bushier, more compact plant you're unlikely to need to repot it more than once every two years. For a larger vine, you might need to repot it every year.
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How to propagate syngonium
You can easily propagate syngoniums from cuttings placed in water or directly into compost. Cut a stem from a healthy plant just below a node, ensure that the stem has at least one leaf. Plant the stem into moist compost or into water, ensuring that the node is submerged. New roots will appear within two weeks. Propagate in spring or summer, to give the new plant the best chance for survival.
Growing syngoniums: problem-solving
Stunted growth and crispy or brown leaves could be a sign of underwatering. While yellowing lower leaves, blotches on the leaves or rotting stems and roots could be a sign of overwatering. Wilting can be a sign of either under or overwatering. Always check the top 2cm of soil and only water when the soil feels dry.
Browning foliage could be a sign that the air is too dry, be sure to mist your plant regularly.
Low light can cause the plant to lose colour from its leaves. Keep in indirect, bright light to maintain the vibrant leaf colour.
Mealybugs can cause problems so look out for insects that look like white, fluffy blobs on the undersides of leaves. Wipe them off with a damp cloth or cotton bud that has been soaked in an insecticide that contains fatty acids or plant oils.
Spider mites can also cause problems. Look out for fine webbing on the leaves and stems, and mottling on the upper surface of leaves. Using a magnifying glass, look for mites and eggs on the undersides of leaves. They thrive in hot, dry conditions, so improve air circulation and boost levels of humidity by misting plants with tepid water and standing bowls of water on the benches between plants.