How to Grow and Care for Syngonium Plants
The Syngonium is a pretty trailing or climbing vine that tends to grow quickly under the right conditions. Native to a wide region of South America, it has become a popular houseplant, thanks to its easy-going nature and appealing hanging shape.
The Syngonium's leaf structure changes as it matures, going from a simple arrow shape to a deeply lobed or divided mature leaf. Its leaves can vary in hue depending on their age, ranging from dark green and white to lime green and bright pink. Syngonium is only viable outdoors in USDA hardiness zones 10 through 12, so in most locations in the United States, it is grown year-round as a houseplant. The vine does best if left relatively alone, making it a great pick for novice gardeners or those who just forget to tend to their in-home garden frequently.
Syngonium is a relatively easy houseplant to care for—it will thrive under the same conditions as its very popular relative, the philodendron. Syngonium vines are climbers in the wild and will eventually grow from shade into full sun in the canopy of trees, with leaves maturing and gaining size as the plants gain altitude. As a houseplant, they're often used as trailing plants once mature and can be trained up a pole or moss stick for added visual interest. Alternately, you can pinch new growth to maintain the young plant's upright stems.
Tropical in nature, Syngonium vines are perfect for a sunroom or greenhouse conservatory where ample heat, light, and humidity will encourage their growth. Provide your Syngonium with the right growing conditions, and you will have a lush and healthy plant.
Syngonium likes bright light but no direct sun. Diffused light is best, as harsh rays can burn or bleach the delicate leaves and vines. Variegated colorways can handle a bit more direct sun, while deeper green varieties are better adapted to partial shade.
Plant your Syngonium in a traditional soil-based potting mix. Syngonium vines are prone to root rot, so you'll want to make sure whichever potting soil you choose is well-draining. Additionally, consider planting your vine in a terracotta or clay vessel to wick away extra moisture from the soil.
Water your Syngonium regularly during the spring and summer months, and reduce your watering cadence come winter. During the spring and summer, you want to allow your vine to dry out partially between waterings but never completely. Likewise, the plant should not be kept too wet, either.
Temperature and Humidity
True to its tropical nature, Syngonium prefers warm and humid conditions. If possible, maintain temperatures above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. While the plant can tolerate average humidity, it will thrive best with added moisture in the air. Consider keeping your plant somewhere in your home with naturally higher humidity (like a kitchen or bathroom), or utilize a method of increasing humidity, like a portable machine or placing a bed of wet river rocks beneath the pot.
Feed your Syngonium once a month with liquid fertilizer throughout the spring, summer, and fall months. You can halt feeding throughout winter when the plant will naturally slow its growth.
Syngonium plants root readily from stem cuttings and can easily be propagated in the spring or summer months. If your plant has aerial roots along the stem, take a section of the stem with attached roots to increase your odds of success.
To propagate Syngonium, place your cutting into a glass of water—within a few weeks, you'll notice new roots have begun to form. Wait at least a month until the roots have strengthened, topping off the water periodically. At that point, you can plant the cutting into the soil as you normally would.
Common Pests and Diseases
Syngonium is relatively resistant to pests on its own. However, dwelling in the home amongst other plants can expose it to pests like spider mites, mealybugs, aphids, and scale. If you notice any of these afflictions, treat your plant immediately with neem oil or another natural solution.