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This article is written by Kunsang Choden.

Arrowhead vine scientifically named as Syngonium podophyllum is a houseplant with 3ft height. It belongs to the Araceae family. The plant appears elegant and simple in nature. The plant is commonly named as Trileaf wonder, Green Gold Naphthysis, America Evergreen, emerald jewel, goosefoot, five fingers, malanga trepadora, Nephthytis or African Evergreen. The genus Syngonium has around 33 species. It is widely found in Africa, Australia, Madagascar, Costa Rica, Panama, Mexico, Venezuela, Bolivia etc. The plant is regarded as the fast growing vine. Found to be invasive in subtropical and tropical areas. Due to its invasive nature, the plant is also taken as the agricultural weed. The plant has a dramatic impact for it spreads to a major area if not cut down on time. This plant is named arrowhead mainly because of its good arrow like structure. This plant is found to have originated in the South America. It grows to the good height of 4ft or even some more. The plant grows in a normal temperature of 16-24 degree Celsius. The plant has the advantage of being used as a hanging plant or household plant.

Scientific classification:

Kingdom      : plantae

Phylum       : spermatophyte

Subphylum : angiospermae

Class          :monocotyledonae

Order         : Arales

Family       : Araceae

Genus        : Syngonium

Species      : Syngonium podophyllum

Propagation: It is also possible to propagate this plant and the best time for cutting is early summer. The stem requires 3-4 inch cutting. Use rooting hormone powder at the end of the cut stem will result in a better growth. Also keep in mind to keep the cuttings away from the sunlight.

Leaves: Arrow head is dark green in color. The silvery white seen mostly in the venation parts of the foliage is what decorates and makes this plant stand out in a beautiful manner. This plant can spread best when you provide a supporting stick for the stem. You are suggested to cut off the worn leaves with a plant scissors.

Bloom: Arrowhead gives rise to purple or burgundy colored bloom.

Planting: It is not difficult to grow arrowhead plant. The plant is capable of growing alone or in the midst of other flowering plants. This plant is capable to grow in any home because it requires an average room temperature for its growth and most of the houses have this plant. During the winter months especially, the plant grows best in the humid conditions. Plant it in an indirect sunlight environment for maximum result; there is more chance of plant dryness or leaves burnt when it comes to being planted in a direct sunny environment. Spider, aphides, mites etc are the constant problems to arrowhead vine.  As your plant is growing in your yard, be sure that you have occasional watch at it making sure that the plant is pest free. Provide water to this plant in the mean time let the plant to slightly dry down a bit but do not over water for the plant will start to get worn out. Also, reduce the amount of watering in late winter months.

Care: It is easy to take care of this plant. First thing to keep in mind as you work with this plant is that you will need to put on gloves before you work with the plant. This plant grows to the fullest when provided with bright to average light with no access to direct sunlight. Else the plant will start to get worn out within no time; the leaves dry out faster in this case. Water the plant in a limited amount but regularly. And as you water, let the plant soil dry out before you start to water. Access amount of soil moisture will eventually lead to plant rot. Grow arrowhead in a moist soil with average room temperature environment. Although the plant requires a moist soil, it also requires a good drainage system pot to thrive better. At times, the plant is attacked by some pollutants. During such situation, the foliage will turn brown. The plant requires fertilizer for its best growth. Providing the plant with household fertilizer every two weeks will do best. You can take care of this damage by spraying water on the leaves and providing pesticides to the plant. Spraying water to the foliage can best be done in the winter months to avoid dryness. Once the summer month ends, you can cut off the stem in early summer or once the leaves start to get worn out. The plant will re-grow once the next growth season starts.

Caution: This plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate and is found to be toxic to pets such as cats and dogs. Signs of irritation includes vomiting, burning and irritation in the mouth, oral irritation etc. Thus, the plant is found toxic if ingested in any case.

Do not overwater; the plant will rot out and turn discolored.

Distribution: The plant is found to be invasive and have disturbed both forest and non forest environments. The plant invades the natural environment climbing from the ground to buildings to trees to walls. Although native to Central America, Mexico and South America, today, arrow vines are found in almost every country. It has turned out to be a common plant found in South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, Australia, America, China, West Indies, Mexico etc.

Environment: This plant requires a moist loamy and sandy soil to grow at its best. Also make sure that the soil is not overly moist. The plant requires good amount of light but also keep in mind to place the plant at a shady location. Direct sun exposure will cause dryness of its leaves or burn down the growing leaves. The plant reacts well to acidic soil.

Spreading: Arrowhead vine gets spread by a lot of medium such as birds, seeds, flood, movers, garden waste disposal, internet sells, nursery trade, ornament purpose etc.

Impact: The plant has a fast growing nature due to which it has spread to a broad native range in terms of growth. It is also found that this plant has the potential of high reproductive. Due to the fast growing and the invasive nature of the arrowhead vine, the plant has both positive and negative impact. For people who sell and buy this plant as a household decorative plant, the plant has positive impact of beautifying the gardens and home. Unfortunately for those wildly grown arrowheads, the plant is found to have disturbed the environment-ecosystem change, altered tropical level, thread to endangered species/native species, reduced biodiversity, host damage etc.

Uses: Despite its invasive nature, one of the nicest use of the arrowhead plant is that it is a household plant, easily grown and easy to take care of. Arrowheads have commercial value. It is nicely grown by the gardeners and nursery owners for the selling purpose. Since the plant has an evergreen value, it is often purchased by majority of the customers.

There are a good variety of arrowhead plants found in the market. You can choose from Butterfly arrowhead to Imperial White arrowhead.

Butterfly: creamy white veins, dark green leaves

Imperial White: green leaves with white in the middle or the vein parts

Pixie: green and small leaves


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