How to Plant, Grow, and Care for Syngonium (Arrowhead Vine)

Bring the tropics to your home with this fun and low-maintenance houseplant. In this article, organic farmer Jenna Rich tells us about the dos and don’ts of planting, growing, and caring for arrowhead vines.

Close-up of Syngonium in a black pot on a wooden table indoors. Syngonium, commonly known as Arrowhead Vine, is recognized for its distinctive foliage and vining habit. This tropical evergreen plant features arrow-shaped leaves that are dark green in color with intricate patterns of pale green. The soil is covered with a layer of coconut coir mulch.


Arrowhead vines are a favorite among indoor gardeners for their quick-growing vines, beautiful foliage, and low-maintenance attitude. While they can be grown outdoors in zones 10 through 12, they are typically grown indoors under bright and indirect light. Houseplant enthusiasts love the color and variegation options among the different varieties. 

If you want to add this pretty heart-shaped vine to your collection, here is everything you need to know about growing this lovely houseplant. 

Arrowhead Plant Overview 

Close-up of Syngonium podophyllum 'Batik' against a blurred background. This tropical evergreen plant features arrow-shaped leaves that are variegated with shades of green, cream, and silver, creating a stunning marbled effect reminiscent of batik fabric. The leaves have a glossy texture and display intricate patterns and markings.
Botanical Name  Syngonium podophyllum
Plant Type  Tropical evergreen vine, ornamental houseplant
Family Araceae
Genus Syngonium
Special Characteristics Heart or arrowhead-shaped leaves, long vines. 
Native Area  Rainforests of Central and South America 
Exposure Indirect and bright, will tolerate low light 
Height  3-6 feet long vines 
Watering Requirements Moderate
Soil Type  Well-draining
Pests  Fungus gnats, mealybugs, aphids, scale, spider mites
Disease Root rot, powdery mildew, leaf spot
Maintenance Easy to moderate 
Hardiness Zones 10-12 
Bloom Time Summer

What is Arrowhead Vine?

Close-up of Syngonium 'Cream' in a terracotta pot against a white background. This tropical evergreen plant features arrow-shaped leaves with a creamy white coloration, creating a soft and ethereal aesthetic. The leaves have a glossy texture and display subtle veining or marbling in shades of green.
These tropical vines are related to philodendron, pothos, and caladium.

Syngonium podophyllum, also called arrowhead vine or arrowhead philodendron, is an evergreen climbing vine that originated in the tropics. It is closely related to philodendron, pothos, and caladium. The beautiful trailing growth and heart or arrowhead-shaped foliage is highly aesthetic, adding a jungle-chic vibe to houseplant collections.

Due to its particular environmental requirements, it’s most often grown as a houseplant. It can become invasive when grown outdoors in tropical regions of the U.S. While some sources claim arrowhead plants can help purify the air in your home and decrease toxins, research is ongoing and it’s best not to rely on this plant as your only air purifier.


Close-up of a Syngonium podophyllum plant in a white marble pot on a windowsill. The plant produces large, arrow-shaped leaves of a bright heather color with light green veins and patterns.
This plant’s leaves resemble arrowheads, transitioning from silver to dark green.

The arrowhead vine plant is named for (you guessed it!) the shape of its leaves that resemble a spade or arrowhead. Leaves start out lighter green or silvery and transition to a darkened arrow shape with maturity. There are about 30 species in the Syngonium genus, differing in overall length, leaf color, and variegation.

The plant is quick growing, easy to grow in ideal conditions, and has a climbing or trailing growth habit. It’s often classified under the genus Nephthytis, but Nephthytis is endemic to Africa, while Syngonium comes from South America.

Native Area

Close-up of Syngonium in the forest. Syngonium, commonly known as Arrowhead Vine, is recognized for its attractive foliage and vining habit. This tropical evergreen plant features arrow-shaped leaves with variegated colors of dark green, cream and pale green. The leaves are glossy and display interesting veining and marbling.
Native to Central and South American rainforests, they thrive in dappled sunlight.

Arrowhead vine plants are native to the rainforests of Central and South America, from Mexico to Bolivia, where they can wind up tree trunks and hang from forest canopies with dappled sunlight. This natural undergrowth habit provides lots of clues to how you can best care for this houseplant.

How to Grow

Planting arrowhead vines is easy, even for beginners. With proper attention and care, Syngonium plants are fairly easy to grow and maintain. 


Close-up of a Pink Allusion Arrowhead Plant against a blurred background. This plant features arrow-shaped leaves that start out as a vibrant pink color, gradually transitioning to shades of green as they mature, creating a striking ombre effect.
Avoid direct sunlight to prevent discoloration.

Syngonium plants require bright, indirect light and can tolerate low-light conditions. Colors will fade or become discolored if the plant receives too much direct sunlight. Contrasting variegation will become stronger and more intense the more bright light it receives. Place it away from windows and doors that receive harsh, direct sunlight. 


Close-up of a woman's hand spraying Syngonium Neon Pink in a soft pink pot on a white background. This tropical plant produces arrow-shaped leaves with a brilliant neon pink coloration, creating a striking and electrifying appearance. The leaves are glossy, display subtle veining and have a soft green tint.
Use room temperature or rainwater and water from top or bottom.

Use room temperature water or collected rainwater to irrigate this tropical vine. Ensure it is growing in a pot with a drainage hole and catchment tray for water to flow through. Here are the two best ways to water arrowhead vines:

  • Water from above: When the soil is about 50% dry, add water until it begins to drain out through the holes in the bottom of the container. Standing water may cause root rot or other fungal diseases, so discard any that drains out. 
  • Bottom water: Fill the saucer the pot sits in so the potting soil and plant roots can suck it up from the bottom. Wait 10 or so minutes and confirm the water has moistened the soil from above. If you don’t see or feel any moisture, add a bit more water and repeat the process. Remove any water from the saucer when watering is complete. 

Note: Bottom watering does not flush out salts and other leftover minerals so overhead watering should be done now and then.

  • Water bath: Lower the whole potted plant into a bucket of room temperature water, stopping at the stem line. Remove the plant when the bubbling of water stops. Let the pot drain excess water, then return it to its saucer. Discard any standing water in the saucer after about an hour of drainage. 

Water about once per week and less in the winter. Do not allow the soil or roots to completely dry out before watering. 


Close-up of a young girl planting a young Syngonium Neon Pink seedling in a small clay pot on a wooden table. The girl is wearing jeans, a white T-shirt and a striped blue and white shirt. She adds black soil to the pot using a small spatula.
Keep the soil moist, but not soggy.

The soil should remain moist, but never soggy. The top inch or so can be left to dry out before watering. These vines prefer pH levels between 6.1 and 6.9. 

Temperature and Humidity 

Close-up of Syngonium podophyllum 'Batik' in a pot against a white background. Its leaves are arrowhead-shaped, typically displaying a variegated pattern with shades of green, cream, and silver, creating a unique marbled effect. The foliage features intricate markings resembling batik fabric, with dark green veins contrasting against lighter backgrounds.
This vine thrives in high-humidity, draft-free environments.

Syngonium is the Goldilocks of houseplants, requiring the perfect conditions to thrive. Humidity must be over 60%, but they’d prefer it to be closer to 90%. Keep a mister or humidifier nearby to help with this.

It can tolerate temperatures between 54-96°F (12-36°C), but the ideal and recommended temperature is between 65-85°F (18-29°C). It’s important to keep the temperature as consistent as possible because sudden influxes or drops in the temperature may cause stress. Keep your plant away from any drafty windows or doors. 


Close-up of a man's hand holding a small black pot of growing Syngonium 'Pink Splash' against a blurred background. Its arrowhead-shaped leaves boast a vibrant pink hue that fades to light green towards the center, with irregular splashes and speckles of deep green throughout.
Feed monthly with indoor plant fertilizer.

This plant appreciates monthly feedings of an all-purpose indoor houseplant fertilizer. If you’re growing your plant in water alone, add liquid fertilizer when you refill the container every few months to refresh its supply of nutrients. 


Close-up of Syngonium podophyllum 'Glo Go' against a blurred background. Its arrowhead-shaped leaves exhibit a vibrant neon green coloration that radiates under bright light, creating a striking visual effect. The leaves feature a glossy texture and are accented by darker veins, adding depth to their appearance.
This plant is low-maintenance as long as it has consistent light and humidity.

Arrowhead plants are pretty low-maintenance as long as light and humidity levels are in the ideal range. It prefers consistency without drastic changes.


Trimming damaged leaves of a Syngonium plant in an orange pot on a white background. Close-up of woman's hands cutting a leaf with dry brown edges using orange pruning shears. The plant produces large, arrow-shaped and variegated leaves. They have dark green, cream and pale green elements.
Prune stems for bushiness and remove unhealthy leaves.

Arrowroot vines don’t mind pruning. In the spring or summer, snip off long, leggy stems. Pinch or tip-prune other stems to encourage bushiness. Remove any yellowing, browning, or dried-up leaves. Propagate some of the cuttings in water or soil if you choose. 

Pro tip: Wear gloves to protect yourself from any potential skin irritation.


Close-up of Syngonium podophyllum flowers in a tropical forest with raindrops. The flowers are cream-colored and appear in clusters on long stalks emerging from the leaf axils.
Arrowhead plants rarely flower indoors.

These tropical plants are adored for their vines, and not known for their flowers because Syngonium does not typically flower as a houseplant. In the wild, groups of tiny light green to lime-colored flowers form in their axils on a spike. The spike is surrounded by a white spathe that looks like a cup.


Propagating new arrowhead vine plants is easy and is most commonly done with cuttings or root divisions. Take cuttings or divisions in spring or summer to expand your collection or gift to friends.


Close-up of cuttings of Syngonium 'Lemon Lime' in a glass vase with water on a dark brown surface. Its arrowhead-shaped leaves display a striking combination of lemon-yellow and lime-green hues. The leaves feature a glossy texture and are marbled or veined with pink, adding depth to their coloration.
This houseplant is easy to propagate by stem cuttings.

If you have lots of houseplants, sharing them with friends and family can be a fun hobby. Moreover, it’s an opportunity to make the most of a plant haircut when the length of vines is getting out of control. Here are a few ways you can create new, free plants without much effort. 

  1. Using clean, sharp shears, cut a stem below a node, making sure the new stem has at least one leaf intact.
  2. You can grow your Syngonium hydroponically indefinitely, and they’ll perform well.
  3. Add liquid fertilizer occasionally when refilling your pot with fresh water so it continues to thrive. 
  4. Place the new stem into fresh water and wait for it to set roots.
  5. Place them in a warm place with bright, indirect sunlight.

You can grow your Syngonium hydroponically indefinitely, and they’ll perform well. Add liquid fertilizer occasionally when refilling your pot with fresh water so it continues to thrive. 

Alternatively, place the new stem directly into a pot of fresh, moist soil, and it will set roots there as well. The new stem should set roots in eight to ten weeks. New cuttings can be repotted as needed with growth or gifted to friends. 

Pro tip: Place a plastic bag over the new cuttings to increase humidity levels and encourage new growth.


Close-up of dividing Syngonium podophyllum 'Pixie' on a white surface. On the surface there is a large white pot with a Syngonium plant, a soil mixture is scattered nearby and a separated plant with roots for propagation lies. Its arrowhead-shaped leaves are smaller than typical varieties, featuring a lush green coloration with occasional hints of bronze on the new growth. The foliage maintains a glossy texture and is adorned with intricate veining, adding to its visual appeal.
Divide the plant during repotting, ensuring each section has healthy roots.

At the time of repotting, you can divide your plant by gently separating the roots, ensuring each section has healthy roots, a stem, and leaves. Repot the sections in a soil-filled container and treat them as you would a new young plant. Place under bright, indirect light, and away from cold drafts.  


Close-up of repotting a Syngonium into a larger pot indoors. The plant has a root ball and thin, pale green stems with large, arrow-shaped leaves. The leaves are variegated, dark green with a cream tint and have a marbled pattern.
Pot new plants in fresh soil and repot every few years.

When you purchase a plant from a store or an online supplier or receive a cutting from a friend, pot it up in a new pot with fresh soil. Provide proper lighting and humidity. Fertilize it lightly after it has gotten settled into its new environment. 

Repot your plant every few years in a slightly larger container and with fresh, moistened potting soil. This hits the reset button for both the roots and above-ground growth. Water it well. 

Growing from Seed

Close-up of a young Syngonium podophyllum 'Pixie' plant in a white pot with moist soil. The arrowhead-shaped foliage maintains a glossy texture and showcases intricate veining.
In nature, arrowhead plants bloom and produce seeds.

Arrowhead plants will bloom and form seed-producing pods in nature. If you’re up for a challenge, sow the seeds shallowly in a well-drained potting mix and keep consistently moist in a warm, bright area. While seeds can be purchased online, the best way to propagate new plants is from cuttings or division.

There are over 30 species of Syngonium with lots of different color and pattern variations. Most varieties are grown in a similar way, but lighter-hued plants may require more light because they have less chlorophyll.


Close-up of Syngonium podophyllum 'Pixie' against a blurred background. It is a compact and adorable plant with arrowhead-shaped leaves. Its foliage displays a vibrant combination of green and creamy-white colors.
This compact dwarf variety has variegated leaves and is suitable for small spaces.

‘Pixie’ is an adorable dwarf variety that remains compact but offers all the beauty of the full-size versions. It is perfect for small living spaces. Growth usually aims upward, filling out small pots at six to eight inches tall. 

‘Pixie’ leaves are a stunning contrast of creamy white variegation with emerald edges, which are more intense in bright but indirect light. Use artificial light if needed to supplement during cloudy periods. 


Close-up of Syngonium podophyllum ‘Tricolour’ against a blurred background of blue-gray pebbles. Syngonium podophyllum ‘Tricolour’ is a striking cultivar featuring arrowhead-shaped leaves that showcase a captivating blend of green, cream, and pink hues. The foliage is variegated, with irregular patches or streaks of color distributed across the leaves.
This eye-catching splotchy variety displays vibrant colors enhanced with light and humidity.

The artistically splotchy ‘Tricolour’ variety is interesting and eye-catching. It’s sure to be a conversation starter. The medium green and chalky pink become more contrasted with proper lighting and humidity. Train baby plants to grow upwards by positioning a sturdy stick in the pot. 

‘White Butterfly’

Close-up of Syngonium podophyllum 'White Butterfly' in a white pot against a blurred wall of paintings. Syngonium podophyllum 'White Butterfly' is a charming cultivar characterized by its delicate, arrowhead-shaped leaves adorned with intricate white variegation. The foliage features a predominantly green coloration with prominent creamy-white veins and speckles that resemble the delicate wings of a butterfly.
Erect stems with light green leaves evoke calm and fullness.

This variety has gorgeously pastel green leaves with dark green mottling and edges, slightly resembling a butterfly. Its presence exudes calmness and a feeling of peacefulness. Many strong, centralized stems grow erect, providing a full appearance in a pot. Be sure this plant has bright, indirect light.

‘Pink Allusion’

Close-up of Syngonium podophyllum ‘Pink Allusion’ in a black pot against a white background. Syngonium podophyllum ‘Pink Allusion’ is a captivating cultivar distinguished by its heart-shaped leaves showing a stunning blend of green and soft pink hues. The foliage exhibits a marbled pattern with varying degrees of pink pigmentation, creating a delightful contrast against the predominantly green backdrop.
Vibrant leaves vary in pink shades.

You’ll never get bored with this variety. Her leaves may be bold, chalky pink, pink with green veins, or even spotted. Plant ‘Pink Allusion’ in a hanging basket in a corner and allow her to trail down or in a ceramic pot and watch her vine up and around your home. 

Common Problems

There are some issues to look out for with Syngonium plants. Most issues can be avoided by providing ideal humidity, light, and watering conditions. 

Stunted Growth

Close-up of Syngonium podophyllum in a black pot against a gray and white background. The plant produces medium, arrow-shaped leaves with a glossy surface and smooth edges. The leaves have variegated colors including dark green and creamy green.
Optimal lighting and humidity are vital for growth.

If you notice your arrowhead vine plant is not growing, it’s likely due to insufficient lighting and imbalanced humidity levels. They are pickier than their Aroid cousins like pothos and philodendrons. Syngoniums need it it just right: bright but indirect light and 60%+ humidity. They’re tropical plants, after all.

Growth slows down in the winter months so if the plant otherwise looks healthy, just wait until spring and reassess. 

No Growth 

Close-up of a woman clearing the roots of a syngonium houseplant from soil over a plastic transparent tray on a white table. The plant has thin climbing stems and medium-sized, sterile leaves of a delicate green hue.
Check roots for binding and consider repotting or fertilizing for health.

If your plant isn’t growing at all, it may need repotting or fertilizer. Remove your plant from its pot and check that the roots aren’t rootbound. If they are, step it up into the next size pot. If nothing looks amiss, the plant may need nutrients. 

Browning Leaves or Tips

Close-up of Syngonium podophyllum with dry leaves in a black pot. The leaves are large, arrow-shaped, variegated, green, cream and pale green. The edges of some leaves are curled, dry, and brown.
Combat browning with perlite for water retention.

Underwatering, low humidity, or general stress can cause browning. If the leaves continue to brown and start shriveling or dropping, consider adding perlite to the soil to help with water retention.

To increase humidity, add a humidifier nearby or mist your plant regularly. Ensure there are no environmental stressors causing temperatures to fluctuate like a drafty window nearby. 


Close-up of female hands holding a black pot with a Syngonium plant. The woman is wearing a white T-shirt. The plant has thin green stems and large arrow-shaped leaves of bright green color with creamy white veins.
Ingestion of this plant leads to gastric distress.

Syngonium plants contain calcium oxalate crystals which are mildly toxic to humans and animals. Chewing the leaves may cause tingling in the mouth, lips, throat, and tongue while ingesting it may cause gastric distress. Avoid eating this houseplant and keep it away from pets!


Close-up of a woman watering a Syngonium plant from a large glass. The plant comes in a large clay pot and produces slender stems with large, arrow-shaped green leaves with cream-colored patterns and veins. On the table there are also cuttings of various plants in glass vases and a bag of soil mixture.
Excess moisture leads to root rot and fungal issues.

Overwatering causes most of the issues that tropical houseplant growers face, including root rot, powdery mildew, fungal leaf spots, wilting, discoloration of leaves, and fungus gnats. To avoid it, always check soil moisture before irrigating. The soil should feel like a wrung-out sponge and should never be soggy. Be sure to plant arrowhead vines in a well-drained mix with lots of perlite or coco coir.


Close-up of Syngonium podophyllum in a hanging pot in the bathroom. The plant has long thin stems with large arrow-shaped leaves. The leaves are glossy, dark green in color with pale green and white veins and intricate patterns. Some leaves are drooping and yellow due to improper watering.
Yellowing leaves indicate dry soil.

While overwatering is problematic, too little water may also cause yellowing. Check the soil moisture levels. If it’s 50-70% dry, it’s time to water. 


Indoor houseplant pests can be a total pain, but they’re manageable. Early scouting and prevention are key.

Fungus Gnats

Close-up of Fungus gnats on a yellow sticky stick stuck into a large clay pot with a plant on the windowsill. Fungus gnats are small, dark-colored insects, resembling tiny mosquitoes.
Combat fungus gnats with a peroxide-water mix or diluted neem oil.

While fungus gnats don’t usually do a lot of damage to indoor plants, their presence is annoying. If you have them, it usually indicates overwatering because they’re attracted to the wet soil smell. Mix peroxide and water in a 1:4 ratio and pour it over your plant’s soil to kill larvae. Neem oil can also be diluted and sprayed on the plant to deter the adult gnats. Another great way to remove larvae from feeding in the soil is to change it out for fresh media.


Close-up of a stem covered with Mealybugs against a blurred green background. Mealybugs are small, soft-bodied insects covered in a white, waxy substance that gives them a cottony or mealy appearance. They have oval-shaped bodies with segmented antennae.
Mealybugs are resistant to water-based treatments.

These small, white bugs are indoor houseplant nuisances. Mealybugs are difficult to treat due to their powdery wax coating that repels water-based treatments and their ability to hide. Check for remnants of their “powdery residue” as proof you have them. If you confirm their presence, isolate the plant so they don’t spread.

To treat: Kill adults by pressing them with a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol. Then, mix rubbing alcohol and water 1:1, add the mixture to a mister, and spray every surface of the plant. Rinse the entire plant after 5-10 minutes. Retreat again in two weeks when more eggs may have hatched. Prevent these guys with neem oil. Repot your plant if the infestation is particularly bad.


Close-up of Aphids on a bright green leaf. Aphids are small, soft-bodied insects with pear-shaped bodies and long, slender antennae. They come in green color.
Use neem oil to deter aphids from young plant growth.

Aphids are attracted to young, juicy new growth. Rinse your plant to remove aphids and prevent them with neem oil.


Close-up of a stem covered with Scale pests. Scale pests are small, oval-shaped insects with a protective, shell-like covering that resembles scales or bumps on plant stems. They are brown in color.
Treat scale pests with rubbing alcohol or insecticidal soap solutions.

Follow the same mealybug-killing method to combat scale. Use a cotton ball soaked in rubbing alcohol.

Spider Mites

Close-up of a leaf affected by Spider mites against a blurred background. The edge of the leaf is covered with a thin web containing tiny spider-like insects.
Combat spider mites with neem oil, insecticidal soap, or a water dunk.

If you see speckling marks on leaves and silks on your plant, you may have spider mites. Neem oil and insecticidal soap should prevent these pests, and a good dunk under water should rid your plant of them. Regularly wipe down the leaves and stems of the plant to remove any that remain.


There are just a few diseases to look out for in Syngonium plants. Leaf spots are common in plants that live in improper conditions. Remove the damaged leaves as they crop up, and then look out for the following issues.

Root Rot

Close-up of an Arrowhead plant in a large wicker planter affected by root rot. The plant has dry, dead leaves. The leaves are crispy and light brown in color.
Prevent rotting by avoiding overwatering.

Refrain from overwatering your plant. If you notice soft or browning spots on the stem, you may need to pull back on watering. If the plant is too far gone, it will perish from rotten roots and lack of oxygen.

Powdery Mildew

Close-up of leaves of an Arrowhead plant affected by powdery mildew. The leaves are large, arrow-shaped, with slightly damaged edges. They are green. One of the leaves is completely covered with a powdery coating.
Combat soil fungus and powdery mildew with reduced watering.

If you notice brown leaf spots or crispy brown edges of leaves, there may be a soil fungus. Reduce watering and isolate the plant. Treat powdery mildew with horticultural oils and pruning for better airflow between leaves. Remove any powdery leaves and monitor for more infection. Avoid watering the plant from above so the leaves remain dry.

Final Thoughts

While arrowhead plants are particular about their water, light, and humidity needs, they make low-maintenance and lovely houseplants. They’re easy to divide up for friends, tolerate pruning very well, and grow fairly quickly. With regular TLC, they’ll live on for years and years. 

Terrarium design ideas. Close-up of several glass asymmetrical terrariums on a wooden table. The terrarium contains plants such as Gasteria carinata, Cladias, Echeveria elegans and Crassula marnieriana among decorative pebbles.


15 Unique Terrarium Design Ideas You Should Try

Terrariums are an indoor gardener’s opportunity to get creative and try something artistic, exciting, and completely unique to you. If you need some inspiration for your next terrarium project, houseplant expert Madison Moulton has you covered.

anthurium varieties


33 Beautiful Varieties of Anthurium

Have you caught the Anthurium bug yet? Houseplant enthusiasts love this exotic plant for its gorgeous leaves and long-lasting flowers. Here are 47 different varieties of stunning Anthurium plants.

Close-up of a Monstera houseplant in a white pot on a light windowsill. This is the most popular tropical plant among statement houseplants and has an iconic appearance. This tropical plant features large, heart-shaped leaves with dramatic splits and holes that resemble Swiss cheese. The leaves are glossy and dark green.


27 Statement Houseplants for a Gorgeous Indoor Garden

What makes a statement plant? Is it its size, the color of the leaves, or the flowers? Or could it be because it stands out around other plants? To make a statement, you need at least one feature that will make you gravitate towards it to take a closer look. Here, gardening expert Wendy Moulton shares her list of plants that have that magnificence that attracts us to grow houseplants in the first place.