How to Care for the Nephthysis Plant

Overview

Nephthytis plant (Syngonium podophyllum), also known as arrowhead vine or arrowhead philodendron, produces attractive foliage that changes shape as the plant matures. Young plants have arrow-shaped leaves that gradually become lobed with age. A popular houseplant in the United States, nephthytis has a trailing growth habit and each vine can reach up to 6 feet or more in length. The plant's attractive, light-green leaves appear laced with white, vein-like patterns. Nephthytis makes an ideal hanging plant, as this allows its vines to cascade over the edges of the container in a dramatic display. Requiring only minimal care, the plant thrives in normal household conditions.

Step 1

Keep nephthytis plant in a location that receives bright to moderate light, such as a north- or east-facing window. Maintain a temperature of 65 to 75 degrees F at all times to maximize growth and development. Never expose the plant to temperatures below 35 degrees F to avoid cold damage.

Step 2

Check the moistness of the soil once or twice a week, and water when the top 2 inches feel dry to the touch. Soak the soil until water exits the holes on the bottom of the container, wait several minutes and then drain away excess moisture.

Step 3

Mist the plant once or twice a day with a spray bottle to increase the relative humidity of the air. Fill the spray bottle with room temperature water to avoid shocking the plant. Perform early in the morning so excess moisture can evaporate prior to temperatures dropping in the evening.

Step 4

Feed nephthytis plant once every two or three weeks during summer, and once every month during spring, fall and winter. Apply an all-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer at the dosage recommended on the package for the best results.

Step 5

Remove any damaged or diseased growth whenever possible to conserve nutrients and improve the plant's overall health. Pinch off the afflicted growth near its point of origin to prevent excessive damage and keep the plant aesthetically appealing.

Tips and Warnings

  • The sap of some varieties of nephthytis causes skin irritation. Handle with care.

Things You'll Need

  • Spray bottle
  • Houseplant fertilizer

References

  • University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture: Arrowhead Philodendron -- Plant of the Week
  • University of Vermont: Syngonium podophyllum
  • "37 Houseplants Even You Can't Kill"; Mary Kate Hogan; 2007
Keywords: nephthytis plant care, grow nephthytis plant, arrowhead vine care

About this Author

Willow Sidhe is a freelance writer living in the beautiful Hot Springs, AR. She is a certified aromatherapist with a background in herbalism. She has extensive experience gardening, with a specialty in indoor plants and herbs. Sidhe's work has been published on numerous Web sites, including Gardenguides.com.