Overwatering and underwatering are two main issues faced by new gardeners.
To know watering needs of your arrowhead houseplant, it is essential that you once have a glance at its origin.
Arrowhead plant belongs to Araceae family and it grows in subtropical forest, tropical rainforest and in wet lands.
You can get variety of species and cultivars of Syngonium podophyllum.
Arrowhead or Syngonium podophyllum (scientific name) is Central & South America native plant that can thrive in low to medium sunlight.
In well-drained potting mixture, arrowhead plant needs moist soil to do well. However, it won’t love to stand in soggy soil.
Watering arrowhead plant is an easy task.
Insert your index finger into the soil and if it’s dry by 80-85 percent, then water generously till you see the excess water drains through the drainage hole of container.
Due to moderate temperature in your living space, indoor houseplants don’t need to be moisturized every day. However, leaving them unnoticed for long time will ruins their aesthetic foliage.
Just knowing watering schedule won’t be enough to grow healthy looking arrowhead plant. Instead you must aware of its growing conditions and medium.
In below paragraphs I summarized few essential requirements of Syngonium plants.
Know Your Houseplant – Arrowhead Plant / Syngonium
As mentioned earlier, arrowhead plant is native to rainforest region, where it gets indirect sunlight with ample amount of moisture and bunch of organic fertilizers.
Arrowhead is common in Syngonium species of plant and is often simple referred as Syngonium. This plant is also known as American evergreen, arrowhead vine and nephthytis.
It is a flowering plant, but you can expect blossoms on mature plants. Arrowhead is grown for its attractive foliage and is one of the easiest houseplant to grow.
There are different types of Syngonium plants with green and variegated (colored) leaves. Arrow head (Syngonium podophyllum) is one among them.
It is a vine plant. As the plant ages, it needs support to climb.
You can either grow this houseplant in hanging baskets or use trellis to support the vine.
Or else, you can trim the top part of part to make it bushier. (I prefer this)
Healthy arrowhead houseplant will add aesthetic appeal to your living space.
- Soil must be nutrient rich. Mix equal amount of compost, garden soil, sand and perlite to improve drainage. Arrowhead plant prefers very airy soil to grow.
- Temperature ranging between 65F to 80F is favorable to grow this houseplant. Night temperature should be above 60F.
- Syngonium plant can’t thrive in colder climates.
- This plant requires high humidity to do well.
- You can check the watering schedule below.
- Fertilize once in a month with balanced fertilizers.
- You can repot the plant every second spring, because of its extensive root structure.
Also Read: Do ZZ Plants Like Coffee Grounds?
How Often to Water Arrowhead Plant?
You just need to replicate the climatic condition in rain forest in your house.
Is it possible?
To some extent you can.
Well drained soil, indirect sunlight, organic matter and consistent watering are key factors to grow arrowhead plant successfully at home.
Most houseplants would prefer to water only when the pot/container is completely dry from top to bottom.
But, coming to Syngonium plant, it would do better if you don’t allow the soil to dry completely especially when they show new leaf growth.
This is because after watering, obviously the roots absorb that water and bring it up-to the plant where the photosynthesis takes place to produce energy and sugar, which again brings back to plant.
So, by not allow to dry completely you’re actually ensuring that the new growth on plant is taking place without stopping.
But in winters you can allow this houseplant to dry completely.
It’s recommended that you water arrowhead plant when the soil is about like 80-85 percent dry. You can stick your finger as far down into the pot as possibly can to see if the soil is drier or wet. You can water generously if you find 80 percent dry.
Don’t use cold or hot water, these houseplants like water at room temperature. You can take tap water and allow it overnight in a bowl before watering.
After watering it’s recommended that you poke into drainage holes using a stick. This will ensure that the holes aren’t blocked or tight compact to block water flow.
Not ensuring easy flow of water through drainage will lead to overwatering problem (will discuss about this later in this article).
Tip: Some gardening experts gently work the soil using a chopstick after watering to keep the soil aerated. You must make sure that you don’t damage root structure.
Harli G, a YouTube gardening channels says she found arrowhead plants do like bottom watering. Though it’s not mandatory, she adds.
Also Read: How Often to Water Amaryllis?
Bottom Watering Arrowhead (Syngonium) Plant
Also known as reverse watering; bottom watering is done by placing the plant pot in a bowl of water filled with water. Soil and roots absorbs necessary water by working against gravity.
Those you tried bottom watering for houseplants like Syngonium shares found positive results.
The traditional top to bottom watering may sometimes lead to overwatering or leaving some bits of soil dry.
Arrowhead plant is prone to root rot, overwatering can kill your plant.
Harli G, found bottom watering don’t compact the soil as it is not forcing the soil down.
Bottom watering actually saves your time. You don’t have to check repeatedly if the plant is drier.
This method of watering your indoor plants will ensure that your larger plants are getting enough water without you worrying about it.
Check this out: Can a Peace Lily Grow in Water?
How to bottom water your plants?
Take a medium sized bowl filled with water and place the arrowhead plant pot in it.
Once you’re sure that the plant got enough water, you can check this by touching top of the soil. Shift it to its dry saucer.
Or you can buy few mid-sized glass bowls for your arrowhead plants. Instead of shifting for water, you can actual put the plant pot in this bowl and wait until the bowl is empty.
This mid-sized bowl won’t be sufficient for larger plants. So you can use plastic box if you’ve any and fill it with water. Allow the arrowhead plant to sit in the box with water until the soil is moist or damp.
For this process to be effective, you must make sure the pot has drainage holes at the bottom.
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Overwatering Arrowhead Plant
This houseplant is prone to root rot. Overwatering is one of the main causes of this issue.
Out of care most new gardeners water the houseplant more frequently resulting in clogging of excess water in the pot.
Not selecting perfect growing medium is of the main reason behind overwatering.
Signs of overwatering: New and lowers leaves turn yellow, stunted growth, a green layer will be appeared on the surface of the soil (algae).
How to Fix: Stop watering your arrowhead plant and shift the location so that plant gets much needed indirect sunlight exposure. However, not more than required, else the leaves start to bleach.
Start watering once the soil becomes completely dry.
If you choose wrong potting soil, repot the plant to much better well-drained soil.
In case of root rot, try to remove decayed roots and shift the plant to new potting mixture. Recover in case of root rot isn’t possible at all times.
Remember this: Syngonium plant loves to be dry between watering.
Also Read: How Often Should I Water My Prayer Plant?
Underwatering Arrowhead Plant
When you don’t water your Syngonium plant, its leaves start drooping.
If you notice slow growth, drooping leaves, dry soil and wilting plant then you’re underwatering your houseplant. (Source)
How to Fix:
Start watering your plant generously, until you see the excess water is draining out of the drainage holes.
Sometimes, you might see water draining from holes but some parts of soil is still dry. So, it’s recommended that you give second dose of watering to your plant.
Also, you can use chopstick to gently dig the soil surface to increase aeration and ability of the soil to absorb water.
Also Read: Watering Jade Plants
Why It’s Important to Use Best Potting Soil for Houseplants?
In above lines I already mentioned how potting soil mix can impact your plant growth. Choosing wrong potting soil can even kill the plant.
While select potting soil, go for well drained, nutrient rich soil. Ideally, mix 1/3rd of garden soil, sand and compost. You can use perlite or coco peat to increase aeration.
Else, you can direct buy potting mix for houseplant from Amazon.
Also Read: Pothos Cuttings Not Rooting
How to Water Arrowhead Plant?
Know this: Every plant has different watering needs.
If you care to know background of your houseplant, then you can master watering arrowhead plant.
Remember this: Water only when the plant needs it. Avoid overwatering.
Houseplants growing in pots need to be watered thoroughly, if not they might face underwatering issues.
Depending on plant size and variety you must try different watering ways.
Water generously using distilled water. You can also use bottom watering technique to water your small arrowhead plants.
Use plant watering cans that have long-narrow spout. This will avoid getting messy while watering your houseplants.
Aerate your soil
Plants growing in container must be aerated manually.
This is will help the soil structure to be healthy.
What to do after watering?
After watering generously, allow the plant container to drain excess water.
Your arrowhead plant doesn’t like to sit in water for too long.
How to know my plant needs water?
Plant leaves start drooping and turn yellow.
Another way is to check the soil for moisture. If it’s dry, then it’s a sign that your arrowhead plant needs water.
Caring Tips: Syngonium or Arrowhead Plant
Just to summarize, growing arrowhead plant is very easy when compared to other houseplants.
This indoor plant demands no extra care. All you’ve to check is:
Soil: Well drained & fertile
Watering: Not too cold or too hot. Room temperature water. Water only when the soil is dry by 80 percent.
Sunlight: 4-6 hours of indirect sunlight.
Temperature: 65F to 80F. Night temperature must be above 60F.
This plant can’t tolerate cold weather. So you must take care in winter.
You must reduce your schedule of watering arrowhead plant in winter season.
I hope you got detailed answer. In short, how often to water arrowhead plant depends on temperature and variety of Syngonium you’ve chosen.
Some houseplants survive even with little moisture for weeks, some plant need consistent watering and there are few whose watering needs are in-between.
Do your research or just spend some time to read what I mentioned above.
But, as a rule of thumb allow the plant soil to dry between watering.
Check for dryness by inserting your index finger into the soil. If it’s dry by 80 percent, water generously till you see the water flows through drainage hole. If the soil is too sticky, wait don’t water.
Watering arrowhead plant isn’t rocket science. But, it can turn messy when you fail to find its watering needs.