Syngonium Podophyllum Species Profile & Care Guide

The Syngonium Podophyllum is a popular houseplant known for its distinctive arrow-shaped leaves. It belongs to the Araceae family and thrives in a variety of indoor conditions.

This plant not only adds aesthetic appeal to your space but is also admired for its air-purifying qualities.

Syngonium Podophyllum

Profile Overview

  • Common Name: Arrowhead Plant, Nephthytis, Goosefoot
  • Scientific Name: Syngonium podophyllum
  • Family: Araceae
  • Origin/Native Region: Central and South America
  • Growth Habit: Vine-like or trailing, can climb if supported


The Syngonium Podophyllum is a plant with a distinctive look. Its leaves change shape as it grows. Young plants have arrow-shaped leaves.

Over time, the leaves develop lobes and become more complex. The leaves come in various shades of green, often with creamy-white or pink variegations making them quite striking.

Stems can be both green and slightly pink, and support the plant’s climbing habit. When fully grown, the Syngonium can reach sizes that make it a statement piece in any room.

Leaf Size

The leaves on the Syngonium Podophyllum are usually medium to large. They are about 7 to 13 inches long when they are fully grown. This size makes the plant stand out in indoor settings.

The leaves start small when the plant is young and increase in size as it matures. The size of the leaves also depends on the amount of light and space the plant gets.

If the plant gets enough light and room to grow, its leaves will likely reach their full potential size.

Leaf Shape

Syngonium podophyllum leaves change shape as they grow. Young leaves are usually arrow-shaped with a slight heart-like base.

As the plant matures, the leaves may develop distinct lobes, almost like fingers spreading out.

These lobes can give a more complex, hand-like appearance. This changing leaf shape is not only interesting but is part of what makes this plant so eye-catching.

Leaf Color

The leaf color of Syngonium Podophyllum can vary widely. Most leaves show a vibrant green, often with noticeable white or yellow variegation.

Some plants have leaves that appear almost entirely white, cream, or pink, especially in the cultivated varieties. As the plant ages, the leaves can even develop splashes or entire patches of different colors.

This variety in color makes the Syngonium Podophyllum especially desirable for adding a splash of color to indoor spaces.

The variation often depends on the specific type of Syngonium Podophyllum and the light conditions it receives. Therefore, the same plant can change its leaf color intensity when moved to a different location or as it matures.

Stem Characteristics

The stems of a Syngonium Podophyllum plant are long and thin. They can climb or trail, depending on the support they have. As the plant grows, the stems develop a slight woody quality.

The stems can vary in color, from green to a slightly pinkish hue, especially when they’re young or in brighter light. They also have nodes, which are little bumps from where the leaves grow.

These nodes are important for propagation, as they can develop roots when placed in soil or water.

Mature Size

The mature size refers to how big a Syngonium Podophyllum can grow when it’s fully grown. This plant usually reaches about one to two feet tall and spreads out to about one or two feet wide.

As it grows, it may start to trail or climb, depending on where it has support. It means that over time, Syngonium Podophyllum needs space to spread out or something to climb on.

Keep in mind that inside a house, plants often don’t get as big as they do outside in nature.

Care Requirements

The Syngonium podophyllum plant needs certain conditions to grow well. It’s like a recipe for making sure your plant stays healthy.

Just as you need air, water, and food, your plant also needs the right light, water, humidity, and soil to thrive.

If you provide these things, your Syngonium will reward you with beautiful leaves and steady growth. 

Light Needs

Syngonium Podophyllum plants prefer bright, indirect sunlight. This means they grow best when they get lots of light but not direct sunbeams that can burn their leaves.

Place them near a window that isn’t facing the harsh afternoon sun, or use a sheer curtain to filter the light. If the light is too dim, their leaves may lose some of their vibrant patterns.

Remember to turn the pot regularly, so each side gets light and the plant grows evenly.

Watering Frequency

Watering frequency is how often you give water to your Syngonium Podophyllum. This plant likes to have moist soil, but not too wet. You should water it when the top inch of soil feels dry.

Depending on your home’s humidity and temperature, this could be every week or every few days. It’s important to avoid overwatering, which can cause the roots to rot.

Always check the soil first before adding more water.

Humidity Preferences

Syngonium Podophyllum likes moist air around it, similar to what you’d feel in a steamy bathroom after a hot shower. The plant comes from tropical places where the air is often humid.

That’s why it does well when you spray water into the air around it, or when you place it near other plants that release moisture into the air.

Try to keep the humidity level around the plant higher than what you usually find in a home, especially during dry winter months.

You can do this by misting the plant regularly or using a small humidifier nearby.

Temperature Range

The temperature range describes how hot or cold the environment can be for a Syngonium podophyllum to grow well. This plant prefers a consistent temperature between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

It thrives in warmth and does not do well in cold. If the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant may suffer damage.

Keep your Syngonium podophyllum away from drafts and air conditioners to avoid sudden temperature changes.

For example, placing it near a sunny window might be ideal, but make sure the leaves don’t touch cold glass during winter.

Therefore, maintaining the right temperature is key to a healthy plant.

Soil Type & pH Preferences

Syngonium podophyllum thrives in a certain kind of soil. This plant prefers a well-draining mix that holds moisture without staying wet.

The ideal soil for this plant is one that includes peat, perlite, or other organic matter, which helps to keep the soil light and airy.

As for the soil’s pH levels, Syngonium podophyllum favors slightly acidic to neutral soil, with the pH ranging from about 5.5 to 7.0. This balance helps the plant absorb nutrients effectively and grow healthily.

Growth & Propagation

Growth and propagation refer to how a plant increases in size and creates new plants. For the Syngonium Podophyllum, growth is the process where it spreads out or climbs, and its leaves get bigger.

Propagation is when you create new plants from the parts of an existing one. This can involve cutting a piece of the stem or leaf and planting it in soil, where it will develop roots and grow into a separate plant.

During its active growth season, Syngonium Podophyllum grows quickly and can be easily multiplied through these simple methods.

Therefore, understanding growth and propagation helps ensure your plant not only survives but thrives.

Growth Rate

The growth rate of a plant tells us how fast it gets bigger. For the Syngonium Podophyllum, the speed at which it grows can vary.

This plant can grow quickly under the right conditions, which means you might see it get larger or sprout new leaves within just a few weeks.

However, if the conditions aren’t ideal, it will grow more slowly. It’s like how you might shoot up in height during a summer if you’re eating well and resting enough, compared to growing less if you’re not taking good care of yourself.

The Syngonium Podophyllum’s growth rate is a sign of how happy and healthy it is.

Propagation Methods

Propagation is how you create new plants from an existing plant. For the Syngonium Podophyllum, there are several ways to do this.

You can cut a part of the plant, like a stem or a leaf, and plant it in soil or water. This piece will grow roots and become a new plant.

Another method is called division, where you split the root system of a large plant into parts and plant each one separately.

These methods let you increase the number of your Syngonium Podophyllum plants easily.

Season of Active Growth

The season of active growth is the time when the Syngonium podophyllum grows most quickly and vibrantly. For this plant, that period is generally during the spring and summer months when there’s plenty of sunlight and warmth.

During these seasons, you’ll notice the plant putting out new leaves and stems as it takes advantage of the favorable growing conditions.

It’s important to give your Syngonium more attention in this time, such as more water and possibly fertilizer, to help it thrive.

As autumn approaches, the growth will slow down, and in winter, the plant will rest and grow very little.

Potting and Repotting Recommendations

When your Syngonium Podophyllum outgrows its pot, it needs a new home with more space. Pick a pot slightly larger than the current one. Make sure it has holes at the bottom to let extra water escape.

Use fresh potting mix when moving the plant. The best time to repot is during spring or summer, which is their growing season. If you see roots coming out from the bottom, it’s time to repot.

Doing this every couple of years keeps your plant healthy and happy.

Potential Issues

When you grow Syngonium podophyllum, you might face certain problems. Think of these as challenges that your plant can meet with your help.

Common Pests

Common pests are small creatures that can damage the Syngonium Podophyllum. These pests include mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids.

Mealybugs look like tiny cotton balls and suck the sap from the plant. Spider mites are too small to see clearly but leave fine webs on plants. Aphids are tiny bugs that may be green, black, or white.

They also suck sap and can cause leaves to curl. It’s important to look for these pests regularly. If you find pests, you can wash them off with water or use insecticidal soap to protect your plant.

Common Diseases

Syngonium podophyllum plants can get sick, just like people do. One illness they may catch is called root rot, which happens when their roots sit in water for too long and start to decay.

Another common disease is leaf spot, where you’ll see brown or black spots on the leaves because of fungi or bacteria.

To keep your plant healthy, make sure you don’t water it too much and give it plenty of light. If your Syngonium gets a disease, act fast by cutting off the sick parts and improving its living conditions.

Other Sensitivities

Syngonium Podophyllum can be sensitive to certain conditions in its environment outside of the common issues like pests and diseases.

These sensitivities can include reactions to drafts, extreme temperature changes, or the quality of water used for irrigation. For example, water with too many chemicals can cause leaf tips to brown.

Moreover, this plant might not be fond of being moved often, as it prefers a stable environment. Therefore, always be mindful of these factors when placing and caring for your Syngonium to keep it healthy and thriving.

Special Features & Uses

The Syngonium Podophyllum stands out with its unique characteristics. It has arrow-shaped leaves that bring a distinct look to any space. You can use this plant to decorate your home or office.

But be careful, as it is toxic if eaten. Always handle it with care, especially around pets and small children. The plant fits well on shelves or tabletops, and it can also hang in baskets.

Because of its climbing habit, you can train it to grow on trellises or moss poles. The Syngonium Podophyllum offers beauty and versatility but always remember to put safety first because of its toxicity.

Unique Characteristics

The Syngonium Podophyllum stands out with its arrow-shaped leaves that change form as it grows. Younger plants have leaves that are more heart-shaped, while older ones flaunt multiple lobes.

Another special trait of this plant is its range of leaf patterns and colors, from solid greens to variegated whites, pinks, or yellows.

This plant can also adapt to different levels of light, although it thrives best in bright, indirect light. Its versatility and unique leaf transformations make the Syngonium Podophyllum a captivating plant for gardeners and houseplant enthusiasts alike.

Decorative Use

Syngonium Podophyllum, with its attractive leaves, is popular for decorating homes and offices. It is often used in hanging baskets or as a tabletop plant.

You can grow it on a moss pole or trellis to add vertical interest to a room. This plant brings a touch of nature indoors, creating a calming environment.

Its various leaf colors, from green to pink, match different decor styles. Therefore, the Syngonium Podophyllum doubles as a natural art piece while purifying the air.


Toxicity tells us how poisonous a plant is. If a plant is toxic, it can harm you, your kids, or your pets if they touch or eat it. The Syngonium Podophyllum has a kind of toxicity.

This means that if someone eats the leaves or stems, it could make them feel sick. This plant has something called calcium oxalate crystals.

When they touch the skin or are swallowed, these crystals can irritate and cause discomfort. Therefore, it’s important to keep it out of reach, especially if you have curious pets or small children who might try to taste it.

Additional Tips & Tricks

For a Syngonium Podophyllum, additional tips and tricks help ensure your plant thrives. You can improve your plant care by considering how you feed, trim, and support your plant.

Using the right fertilizer keeps your plant healthy. Regular pruning maintains its size and shape. Special care, such as the use of support structures, lets the plant climb if desired.

Each of these practices can enhance the growth and appearance of your Syngonium Podophyllum.

Fertilization Recommendations

Plants need food to grow, just like us. For Syngonium podophyllum, you should give it fertilizer every month during spring and summer. However, in fall and winter, you don’t need to fertilize as much.

Think of fertilizer as a vitamin boost; it helps the plant stay strong and healthy. Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer made for houseplants. Dilute it to half the strength listed on the package.

This way, you feed the plant without giving it too much, which can harm it. Remember to water the plant a bit before adding fertilizer to protect its roots.

Pruning & Maintenance

Pruning is cutting off parts of a plant to keep it healthy and looking good. For your Syngonium Podophyllum, you should trim away dead or yellowing leaves.

This helps the plant put its energy into growing new leaves and stems. It’s like giving your plant a haircut so it can stay neat and strong. Use clean scissors or pruning shears for this.

Also, wipe the leaves gently with a damp cloth to remove dust. Doing this keeps the plant clean, which helps it absorb more light and air.

Remember to check for pests when you do this, as healthy plants are less likely to get sick.

Support Structures

Support structures are items you use to help your plant grow upwards. Think of them as tools that give your Syngonium Podophyllum a boost to climb on, like a ladder or a trellis.

Over time, the plant may grow long and lean on these supports for extra stability. Some people use stakes, moss poles, or even a simple string for the plant to wrap its stems around.

This mimics how the plant would grow in its natural habitat, latching onto trees and other plants to reach sunlight. With the right support, your Syngonium can reach its full, beautiful potential.

Syngonium   Updated: November 20, 2023
avatar Hi, I'm Amy, a devoted horticulturist and the creator of, where I use my expertise to help beginners foster their green thumbs. My blog is a vibrant community where I unravel the complexities of gardening and share my profound love for nature.
Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *