Common name : Arrowhead Plant
Scientific name : Syngonium podophyllum
This aroid plant, native to Latin America is one of the most common houseplants all over the world, as they have magical powers to tolerate a wide range of conditions. Easy on maintenance, they can tolerate low light too. Arrow heads are now available in shades of green, white, burgundy, pink and their combinations. Arrowheads can also be grown in water and are suitable for closed terrariums. They do not flower as a houseplant but in the wild.
Arrowheads in the wild are epiphytes, could be supported by a moss stick or left trailing at home. It's interesting to know how their juvenile leaves vary from matured ones, leaves undergo metamorphosis starting from heart shaped to arrow head to palmate. Matured plants trail. Prune them regularly to curb trailing and to grow them bushy.
This was one of the first plants I had as a beginner, they refused to die on me. They are hardy plants which are less vulnerable to pests.
Care tips :
Sunlight : Bright indirect sunlight is preferred. Greener varieties tolerate low to medium light whereas the variegated varieties require bright to moderate light to retain their colors. Exposing the plant to longer hours of direct sunlight will bleach their leaves.
Medium : Arrow heads can be grown in soil or water.
Soil - Well draining soil is preferred.
Soil mix ratio-
Soil : Coarse sand : Coco Peat
1 : 0.5 : 0.5
Water - Glass bottles are the best. Change the water every week and rinse the bottle (with the roots inside) every two weeks to get rid of dead ends.
Water : Water thoroughly when the soil is almost dry, don't let the soil dry out completely. Arrow head plants droop when they need water, being watchful helps develop a better understanding. I tend to water every 4-5 days in summer and spring, once a week in otherwise. In fact, I do not follow a fixed schedule, now by practice I can gauge how often they need water. I have my plants in low - moderate light areas. Brighter indoor areas will require frequent watering.
Potential problem indication by the leaves:
Yellow, mushy leaves - over watered
Brown, crunchy leaves - under watered
Give them thorough shower every fortnight to keep them clean.
Fertilizing : Liquid fertilizing once in two weeks in summer and spring (that's the growing seasons).
Pests : Spider mite and mealy bug are the most damaging. Mix 3-5ml of shampoo in water and spray the plant thoroughly, do this only in the evenings when the sun is down. Wash off the plant completely next morning. Repeat the same every week till the plant is clear off pests.
Syngoniums root by stem cutting in water or directly in soil. They can be propagated through division.