Arrowhead Plant


An Arrowhead Plant, also called a Syngonium or Nepthytis, is an excellent, easy to care for plant that originated in the rain forests of Central and South America. In nature, it is a woody, vining plant that can grow 30-40 ft (9-12 meters) long as it clings to the trunks of trees, climbing up to the sky as it reaches for the light. Syngonium podophyllum is the most popular variety grown as a houseplant and is in the Araceae family. Other popular houseplants in the Araceae family are the anthurium, caladium, calla lily, dieffenbachia, and pothos. All plants in this family are poisonous to small children and toxic to dogs, cats, and other pets.

Arrowhead Plant Varieties

Originally grown as a plant with solid green leaves, today there are multiple varieties and hybrids of arrowhead plants with leaves in many different colors. How much light each variety requires in order to grow well depends upon the color of its leaves. An arrowhead plant with solid, dark green leaves needs less light than a White Butterfly variety that has white and green leaves .

“White Butterfly” has predominantly white leaves with green accents

“Pink Allusion” comes in various mixtures of pink and bright green

“Strawberry Cream” has pale pink and green leaves

“Emerald Gem” has dark green and white patterned leaves

“Pink Spot” has white leaves with splashes on pink


No matter what type you select, the leaves of an Arrowhead plant always have a spade-like shape that resembles an “arrowhead”. The young, immature plant is short and bushy. However, as the plant matures and is not aggressively pruned, it produces long draping stems just as it does in nature. You can put the plant in a hanging basket or tie it to a trellis. If you want your arrowhead plant to be a large, full floor plant, cut back the long vines and keep pinching off the growing tips at the ends the stems. You can use the Stem CuttingsLearn how to propagate plants using stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, cane cuttings, and branch cuttings. to propagate new plants.

Quick Care Tips for an Arrowhead Plant

Keep the plant in a warm area above 60°

Medium to bright indirect lightVery few houseplants should be placed in direct sun. High light refers only to bright indirect light since direct sun often burns the leaves of indoor houseplants. An area that is too hot and dry encourages Spider Mites and causes blooms to quickly fade. A northern exposure really doesn't provide enough light for high light plants. These plants need to be placed directly in front of an east-facing window, within 1-3 feet of a west-facing window, and within 5 ft. of a south facing window. A high light area has over 300 ft. candles of light.

Keep the soil barely moist and drier in the winter

Propagate in the spring using Stem CuttingsLearn how to propagate plants using stem cuttings, leaf cuttings, cane cuttings, and branch cuttings.

Is an Arrowhead Plant Poisonous

An arrowhead plant is very toxic to dogs, cats, birds, and small children. Please keep this plant out of reach! Read more about common houseplants that can be dangerous in my book Don’t Feed Me to Your Cat: A Guide to Poisonous Houseplants.


Solid Green                   Strawberry Cream            Emerald Gem                     Pink Allusion                 White Butterfly


How Do I Prune an Arrowhead Plant? Right Now My Arrowhead Plant Has Very Long Runners but Nothing in the Middle.

Prune an arrowhead plant by cutting the long vines of the plant to within 6-8 inches of the soil line. Shortening the long vines helps the plant become full and bushy. You should also pinch off the growing tips a few times a year.

When I Bought My Arrowhead Houseplant, It Had Green and White Leaves. Why Are All the New Leaves Coming in Green?

The new leaves on your arrowhead plant are green because it’s not getting enough light. Green and white arrowhead plants, or nepthytis as they are sometimes called, need more light than solid green arrowhead plants.

Why Do Leaves on a Plant Turn Brown?

There are a few reasons why the edges on the leaves of an arrowhead plant turn brown. Too much plant food: over-fertilizing a houseplant cause salts to build up in the soil and these salts cause leaf burn. Too much salt or chemicals in the water you’re using. Never use water that has passed through a water softener. Insufficient humidity around the plant is another cause of brown leaves. Try using distilled water and see if that helps with the brown leaf edges. To increase humidity around the plant, group plants together, place the plant on a wet pebble tray, or put a small humidifier in the room.

What Is Causing the Leaves on My Arrowhead Plant to Look Pale and Have a Reddish Haze on the Back? I Don’t See Any Plant Bugs.

Your Aarowhead plant has a plant pest called spider mites. Spray all parts of the plant with the “ green solution,” Make a solution using 8oz. water & 8oz. alcohol, add two tablespoons of biodegradable soap and two tablespoons of mineral oil. Spray all areas of the plant. Use this solution on leathery leafed plants (except palms), never on fuzzy leafed plants like African aiolets or begonias. For palms, omit the alcohol from the green solution. Never spray a plant that’s sitting in the sun or one with very dry soil

Why Are There Yellow Leaves on My Arrowhead Plant?

It’s normal for a few older leaves on an arrowhead plant to turn yellow. If you are getting a lot of yellow leaves, check how wet you are keeping the soil. Be sure to allow the top 50% or so to dry out and the leaves get a little soft and droopy before watering.