Arrowhead plant, Arrowhead vine, Goosefoot, African/American evergreen, Nephthytis, or simply, the Arrowhead, are all common names of Syngonium Podophyllum. This climbing vine is known for its trademark arrow-shaped leaves. It is a popular houseplant because of its easy maintenance and indoor preference.
In the wild, arrowheads have dark-green leaves without variegation. However, domestic arrowheads are available in different shades of green with pink, purple, olive, yellow, white, cream, and reddish variegation.
Arrowheads are native to tropical forests of Central and South America. However, their adaptability and resilience can help them thrive in non-native environments, which is why the vine is considered invasive in many regions. In domestic environments, horticulturists admire the Arrowhead for its attractive foliage and easy care.
Arrowheads grow comfortably under the dense canopy of tropical trees. This makes them perfectly suited to the low-light conditions of the indoors.
The dark green Arrowhead flourishes in low to medium light, while the light-colored varieties prefer medium to high light. None of the Arrowhead species fare well under the direct sun; indirect ambient light is enough to keep them happy.
Arrowheads like plenty of water. The plant’s leaves droop when it’s dehydrated but recover quickly after a drink. However, let the soil dry out between watering, or the plant may contract root rot.
The Arrowhead vine grows best in fast-draining soil. Use a coarse potting mix with good aeration in a well-draining container to house the plant.
Arrowhead grows best in moderately warm climates. Their adaptability, however, allows them to thrive in various temperature ranges.
Arrowhead vines can live in temperatures of 60-85 F without a problem. However, they can survive temperatures as low as 50 F. Plant them at a warm spot in your home, and they won’t give you any trouble.
Being native to tropical forests, Arrowheads like things damp. However, it’s not too fussy, and average humidity will still keep your Arrowhead healthy.
If the ambient air is dry, using a spray bottle on the Arrowhead’s leaves regularly will keep humidity levels comfortably elevated. Keep the plant away from direct gusts of heating and air-conditioning vents.
Arrowhead plants require regular feeding during summer and spring. Feed your plant twice a month with a liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength.
During winter, the plant doesn’t need food. However, if you notice leaves growing in the colder months, you can give it an occasional meal.
As it naturally grows close to the ground, the Arrowhead relies on its toxicity as a defense mechanism. While the toxicity protects the plant from most pests, you’d be wise to keep it out of the reach of children and pets. All parts of the plant carry a non-lethal yet painful sap that can cause burning, itching, and swelling in the mouth and throat if consumed.
Avoid touching eyes or other sensitive body parts after handling the plant, as its milky sap is laced with oxalic acid. The acid is not only painful but can be potentially dangerous.
Arrowhead vine grows fast; it can grow almost a foot per year. Despite that, arrowheads rarely require repotting.
If you want your Arrowhead vine to grow big, repot once a year until the plant reaches the desired size. After that, you can leave it in the same container. Alternatively, you can repot once every two years, and it will still prosper.
Despite loving water, arrowheads are susceptible to over-watering if their soil or container doesn’t drain well. This can lead to a lethal disease called “root rot.” If you find signs of root rot, immediately treat the plant and repot it in fresh soil.
Bleaching shows up as pale spots on the leaves’ surface, followed by them turning an ugly grayish-green. Bleaching happens when the plant is getting too much direct sunlight. Move the plant to a shadier spot, and it will recover by itself.
While their toxicity protects Arrowheads from most predators, some pests, like spider mites, can still raid the vine. A spider mite infestation would cause the plant to lose color and make it look sickly and pale. Use neem oil for small infestations; you can try insecticidal soap or rubbing alcohol for a large infestation.
The Arrowhead is a resilient ornamental houseplant that you can grow easily at home. The attractive foliage, easy maintenance, and natural resilience against pests make the Arrowhead a favorite among horticulturists.