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Pink Syngonium Care

Syngonium is a flowering species of plants from the Araceae family, indigenous to Central America and South America as well as the Caribbean islands. Syngonium species usually grow in the forests of the tropics, subtropics, rural and urban areas, and thickets and swamps. They are woody vines that can grow to heights of 30–60 feet or more on trees in their native environments. 

There are around 46 different arrowhead vine varieties, with different colors/variegations, with the most varieties from Costa Rica, Panama, and Mexico.

The most widespread variety is Syngonium podophyllum, whose range extends from Mexico to Brazil. Several varieties were introduced as an ornamental groundcover in Asia, Australia, Africa, North America, Oceania, Micronesia, and several other places where they have become widespread and invasive, displacing native vegetation. 

The woody stems of mature plants can reach about 1.5-2 inches in diameter, while the stems are green in juvenile plants and capable of photosynthesis, losing chlorophyll as they mature.

Their leaves change their shape during the different stages of the plant’s age and mature leaves often have more lobes than the juvenile leaves generally seen on indoor plants. While these plants produce flowers and fruits outdoors, they rarely flower indoors and are mainly cultivated for their attractive foliage.

Sometimes these plants become epiphytes, when their stem breaks when growing outdoors on trees. 

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Sunlight

They like bright indirect light, not direct sunlight as excessive direct sunlight will burn the leaves. Most varieties that are predominantly green can tolerate growing under low light, although variegated varieties of pink, reddish, or white leaves need brighter light or their colors will fade away.

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Water

These plants need to be watered twice weekly in summer but less often during winter. The soil should be damp enough but not too saturated to avoid root rot.

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Humidity

These plants thrive in highly humid conditions since they are rainforest natives. Use a pebble tray and mist the plants every day. To ensure sufficient humidity, place the plant pot inside a large container filled with damp peat or coco coir if it’s difficult to keep humidity levels high enough. 

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Temperature

To cultivate a healthy Syngonium, a temperature range between 68-86 °F should be maintained with a low range between 60-65°F during winter. Most of these varieties are tolerant of varied temperatures above 60°F, while extended exposure to temperatures below 50°F might be fatal.

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Soil

Any type of rich well-draining humus-based soil will do for these plants, although the Syngonium podophyllum variety prefers more acidic soil. 

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Repotting

Repot these plants every two years into a pot 1-2 sizes bigger. This will help the plants grow bigger. Replace the topsoil with fresh soil every year to help the soil stay nutrient-rich.

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Propagation

These plants are propagated from stem cuttings or by plant division. Select a suitable stem with several nodes and air-roots and cut it off below a node. Once you’ve taken the cutting, let it dry to develop a callus.

Put the cutting into moist and rich well-draining soil or straight into the water to start the propagation process.

If you’re using water, ensure that it is at room temperature and is not too cold or too warm, making sure the node is submerged in water and preventing leaves from touching the water as it will start rotting. The cutting should be then placed in a warm area under bright indirect light. It will take several weeks to almost 1-3 months for roots and new shoots to form.

This is the easiest method to propagate Syngoniums since the only thing you need to do is divide the plant into two or more new plants, depending on the size of the plant and the number of stems. Each divided section should have stems, leaves, and roots, in effect a whole new plant already. Plant the sections into pots filled with well-drained soil.

Additional Care

These plants need feeding every month (except in winter) since they are active growers. Under fertilizing can lead to stunted growth. Feed the plants with an all-purpose diluted liquid fertilizer and avoid getting fertilizer on the leaves.

The leaves should be regularly wiped to keep the plant looking healthy. Wiping the leaves also helps remove any pests lurking on the leaves. 

If you prefer to have juvenile foliage, pruning off all the climbing vines will keep the plant growing bushy, instead of becoming a climber. Pruning will also force the plant to set out more shoots. 

Since these plants are naturally climbing vines in the wild, the stems are usually grown on trellises or on poles by some gardeners. 

Common Problems

These plants are supposed to be pest-resistant but they can be attacked by pests like aphids, mealybugs, and scale as their dense growth and leaves create hiding places for these pests, particularly underneath the leaves. Most of these pests can be eliminated with rubbing alcohol and/or appropriate pesticides.

Additionally, these plants can suffer damage from root rot due to water-logged soil as well as bacterial infection. If the damage from root rot is extreme, the only choice to propagate healthy stems is to clone the plant.

There isn’t anything to save or treat the plants when infected by viruses or bacteria once the plants have been infected other than cloning healthy stems. Focus on preventing these diseases from infecting the plant by following the recommended maintenance to provide proper care when cultivating these plants.

Yellow leaves are generally caused by over/under-watering or from exposure to direct sun. It is important to review and rule out all possible causes. Remember, most indoor plants are killed from overwatering and improper drainage.

Crispy/brown leaf tips are usually caused by low humidity levels or under-watering. Frequent misting is necessary to raise the humidity to prevent crispy tips. Always monitor the soil to check if it’s dry and waters the plant well.

The root cause of faded leaf colors/variegation in leaves is insufficient exposure to light. 

Wilting leaves are commonly caused by under-watering the plant. These plants require lots of water during summer and under-watering will make the leaves wilt. These plants will recover quickly once they are watered thoroughly.

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