Last Updated on June 28, 2023
What is the best soil for arrowhead plants? This lovely plant can really take over if you give it a chance. Read on to find out how to make the best soil for arrowhead plants – grow them to show them!!
What Is An Arrowhead Plant?
Before we go too far down the path of this whole best soil for arrowhead plants, let’s make sure we are talking about the same plant!! Typically, when we refer to an Arrowhead plant, we mean a variety of Syngonium podophyllum. This plant is a climber and climbs up trees and walls. The natural forms tend to have green leaves and be quite shade tolerant. Various cultivars have been bred over the years that have variegated, and colored leaves. These tend to require more light as they have less active chloroplasts in the leaves.
They have interesting flowers that produce a nice scent at night. I cannot describe it other than it is very strong and mysterious.
I have learned the hard way that the leaves contain a sap, that if it gets on your skin causes a horrible burning itching feeling similar to that of agave sap (but not as bad). This is apparently due to sharp crystals of oxalic acid that penetrate the skin. The plants are poisonous so do not eat them.
What Is The Best Soil For Arrowhead Plants?
These plants grow best in compost soil. You actually do not really need soil for them at all. I find a mix of coco-coir and good quality compost works well instead. They enjoy a rich compost mixture, but if you put too much manure in this compost the leaves seem to discolor. Hence I have learned to make a manure compost mix, and let it sit for a while. After a month I layer this over my plants and the leaves bounce back and it looks amazing. When the soil gets depleted you will see the leaves become smaller and less beautiful.
If you do not have your own earthworms, you can mix worm castings into your soil mix. This makes the arrowhead plants grow very rapidly. I have found that adding a bit of pearlite helps too. Pearlite is a magical substance, and it seems to be beneficial to nearly any soil mix you make. It allows air to enter the soil, helps with water distribution, and drainage, and just makes the soil better.
Arrowhead Plant Soil Mix
We have detailed the best soil mix above – which in fact contains no soil, just compost, coco-coir, and pearlite. However, if you are trying to grow these outdoors, you will need to grow them in the soil. When I plant them outdoors I just place a layer of compost over the soil and dig this into the soil. These plants are actually quite tough and will thrive in a range of soil mixes as long as there is compost and water, and that it does not get below their minimum temperature (32°F).
With an outdoor plant, you will need to ensure that the plant gets a light watering two to three times a week – these plants enjoy soil that never gets dry. I just have a small sprinkler on my irrigation system that waters my front garden three times a week and I have never seen any sign of stress in these plants.
How To Care For Arrowhead Plants
These plants are quite low maintenance if you use the above-mentioned best soil for arrowhead plants. I give them a bit of supplemental compost and manure sprinkled over the surface of the pot in a 1-inch layer twice a year. This helps to keep nutrient levels available. Water the plants three times a week, ensuring you do not make the soil too wet – just moist. It should still be slightly moist after three days.
After a year or two, you will find the plants start to look a bit leggy – long stems and fewer leaves. This is the time to trim them back and plant the bits you cut off in new pots. Be careful to use gloves and not get the sap on your skin or in your eyes. It can cause bad problems.
After trimming the plants you will find you get a lot of new shoots and the plant fills out and looks beautiful again.
What Are The Arrowhead Plant Light Requirements?
This plant has different light requirements depending on leaf color. If the leaves are green they will tolerate quite a deep shade level. However the variegated varieties such as the yellow and pink leafed cultivars require more direct sunlight – this is due to the fact that the sections of the leaves that are not green do not photosynthesize – hence the plant requires more light for the small bits of the leaf that can actually turn sunlight into sugars.
How To Grow Arrowhead Plants
For me, the way I did this was I walked past a garden refuse site every day with my dogs. I saw some cuttings of arrowhead plants that had been thrown away, and brought them home and put them in the soil under some of my trees. Within a year they were getting established. So I read up a bit about what the plants were and figured out how to make better soil to get them to grow faster. After the first flowers, I was really excited and grew more and more.
If you have a friend that has a plant, just take a cutting that comes at least 8 inches from the growth tip of the plant. Place the stem of this cutting in some rooting powder and let the plant take root in your soil prepared as above in the section titled “the best soil for arrowhead plants”. It will take root and grow quite rapidly. Wait two to three weeks for rooting to occur.
Once it begins to produce new leaves, you can water it every three days, and use a sprayer bottle to mist the leaves. I place my arrowhead plants outdoors in the rain in summer for a few hours – something about a bit of rain does wonders for all potted plants.
If the leaves start to look dusty, you can place the plants in the shower and give them a cold shower to rinse the leaves.
Conclusions On The Best Soil For Arrowhead Plants
As we have seen, the best soil for arrowhead plants is in fact not soil! It is compost. However, if you have to use soil, make sure to mix a lot of compost into it and add pearlite and coco-coir. These plants are actually quite tough, and I have even seen them growing in clay! Just make sure that they do not get too cold in winter and remember to rinse the leaves to keep them shiny and beautiful.