Arrowhead plants (Nephthytis species) are tropical foliage plants related to philodendrons. Popular for their arrow-shaped, variegated leaves, these perennial plants are native to tropical America and are commonly grown as indoor houseplants. Slow growing and climbing, Nephthytis plants will last a long time in a container. In fact, arrowhead plants are extremely hardy and can even survive mistreatment, according to the University of Arkansas, making them an excellent choice for the beginning home gardener.
Arrowhead plants are tropical and love a warm, humid environment. While the plant thrives in consistently warm temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees F, it will also survive cold temperatures as low as 35 degrees F, according to the University of Arkansas. Outdoors, the arrowhead plant will grow year-round only in U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) zones 10 and 11.
Provide bright but indirect light for your arrowhead plant. These hardy plants can tolerate low light conditions but do grow best if exposed to at least six hours of sunlight per day. Direct, hot sunlight can scorch the leaves of the plant or fade the variegation, so a north-facing window is best.
Arrowhead plants grow best if the soil is kept consistently moist, according to the University of Florida. While the plant is drought-hardy, it will become spindly and stop growing if not given enough water. Provide water until it drains freely from the bottom of the pot. Water when the top inch of soil begins to dry out.
Provide loose, loamy soil rich in organic matter for your arrowhead plant. Commercial potting soil works well. Choose a mixture that contains peat moss or perlite to aid in drainage.
Feed your arrowhead plant with a nitrogen-rich fertilizer (30-10-20) once per month. Use a liquid fertilizer in place of one of the waterings. Apply according to the directions on the label for the size and age of your plant.
Rinse or wipe off the leaves occasionally to prevent dust from accumulating on them, as this can attract common houseplant insect pests such as spider mites and gnats. If you do notice insect pests, simply take the plant outside and rinse them of the plant with a strong stream of water, or gently bathe the plant using insecticidal soap.
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