How to Care For an Arrowhead Plant

The arrowhead plant – so-called for the leaf shape that looks like an arrowhead – grows well indoors and can be grown outdoors in USDA Zones 10 and 11. Related to arums, arrowhead is a climbing vine in its native habitat. It can be grown as a trailing plant in a hanging container or in a pot.


About Arrowhead Plant

Native to Latin America with a range from Mexico to Bolivia, arrowhead plant has also become naturalized in Florida, Texas, Hawaii and the West Indies. As the list of locales indicates, it is a tropical plant. Its botanical name is Syngonium podophyllum but it was originally classified as a member of the Nephthytis family and you may find it under either name.

More About Arrowhead Plant

This attractive vine was once just a green plant, but cultivars now may have leaves powdered or striped in white, cream, pink or burgundy. Leaf veins are often outlined in a contrasting color. The plant can be aggressive in the right conditions, especially outdoors. The sap can cause skin irritations and the plant is considered poisonous to pets such as cats and dogs.

Arrowhead Plant Varieties

Named varieties are numerous; color is the primary difference:

  • Berry Allusion – light green flushed with cream and pink.
  • Bold Allusion – creamy green leaves with pink veins.
  • Painted Arrow – cream-colored leaves spattered and edged with green.
  • Strawberry Cream – new growth is pink.
  • White Butterfly – green leaves look like they’ve been powdered with cream and have green edges.

Growing Conditions

Arrowhead is related to philodendron and needs similar conditions. It does best in bright indirect light; variegated plants can handle brighter light but not direct sun. It normally grows in warm and humid conditions, so mist or use other strategies to keep humidity up. Keep soil continuously moist in spring and summer but reduce watering in winter. Use rich, well-drained potting soil and feed regularly when growing.

Propagation of Arrowhead Plant

You’ll have the best success if you propagate in the spring and summer months. Arrowhead roots readily from stem cuttings, especially if they have developed some aerial roots. Simply cut the stem and plant the roots in a new pot. These aggressive, fast-growing vines will quickly outgrow a pot, so if you want to keep it relatively small, repot infrequently. For larger vines, repot once a year.

Potential Problems with Arrowhead Plant

Its aggressive nature means you must stay ahead of this plant by frequent pinching back or pruning; don’t worry about overdoing it, as the plant will quickly grow back. Over-watering can cause yellowed leaves and full sun exposure may bleach out colors. If the air is too dry, the leaf tips will begin to turn brown. Plants won’t grow as well if they receive inadequate light.