Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium podophyllum)

Syngonium podophyllum, or Arrowhead Plant, is a great pond plant choice for an enclosure with or without aquatic features.

This plant is often placed as an accent to a hardscape or larger canopy plants.

Arrowhead is safe for any pet but can be tricky to take care of, making it an intermediate-level plant to maintain.

The distinct feature of Arrowhead is its ever-morphogenic leaves.

Depending on the available light and moisture, Arrowhead’s leaves can alter their size and shape, giving an interesting and dynamic look.

Quick Stats:
Scientific Name Syngonium podophyllum
Common Name Arrowhead Plant, Goosefoot Plant, Nepthytiss, African Evergreen
Family Name Araceae
Habitat Rainforest
Temperature 65°F to 75°F
Height Up to 3 ft.
pH 6.0 to 7.0
Lighting Moderate to High

What Is Arrowhead Plant?

Syngonium podophyllum is an upright evergreen plant native to Central and South America’s rainforests.

This plant has wide arrowhead-shaped leaves, generally starting off with a marbled sheen, but can morph into a solid green if left in direct sunlight.

The size of the leaves range from two to six inches when in a shaded habitat or up to sixteen inches in the sun.

The stems of Arrowhead Plants can reach up to three feet in length with the underside of its leaves having a burgundy shade of color.

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Arrowhead Plant Facts

The Arrowhead Plant has a few different common names such as Goosefoot Plant, Nepthytiss, and African Evergreen due to its similarities to plants with similar growing traits, as well as its popularity in the African rainforest.

Even though this plant looks like a climber, it doesn’t actually climb and will only stretch out in one direction.

Further, the Arrowhead plant is a moderately fast-growing plant, making it the perfect addition to any vivarium that could use a bit of livening up.


The Arrowhead Plant usually grows with a lot of height and width.

Depending on the placement of the plants and the amount of sunlight they’re receiving, the leaves can range from thick arrowhead-shaped leaves to thin-veined leaves.

The leaves are generally a grey/green color with a heart shape with white-ish markings and a burgundy underside which helps to complement any build.


Syngonium podophyllum is a tender, tropical evergreen plant native to the damp rainforests of Central and South America.

The most ideal temperature for this plant is between 65°F to 75°F and prefers to be in moist well-draining soil. 

pH Preference

Syngonium podophyllum prefers slightly acidic soil with a pH range from 6.0-7.0.

The lower the pH level is, the more light the plant will be able to absorb, allowing for much greener coloration in its leaves.

Vivarium Type

The Arrowhead Plant is quite an easy-going species.

With that in mind, it will not be too complicated when choosing the type of enclosure it is grown in.

It is best to try and replicate the plant’s natural habitat as much as possible.

Doing so will make it easier to provide this foliage plant with its basic needs.

The proper setup and theme of the enclosure will make a big difference to the overall look and health of the plant.

Be sure to choose setups that are moist and high in humidity.

Here are recommended vivariums it will do well in:

  • Paludariums – Half aquatic/ half terrain-based enclosure.
  • Ripariums – Mostly aquatic-based enclosures with some terrain features present.
  • Terrariums – Fully terrain-based enclosures with little to no aquatic features.

Vivarium Placement

Arrowhead Plants can be placed in the middle of a vivarium’s floor or along its walls where there is indirect sunlight.


Arrowhead Plants need a substrate that is well draining and dense enough to hold moisture.

Anything too loose could end up leading to dry spots in the vivarium and can cause the plant to die.

It does prefer moist soil with rotting leaf litter on the forest floor.

Gravel, peat moss, and rock are all suitable for Arrowhead.


Arrowhead Plant needs between medium to high levels of lighting.

When in the wild, this plant will be found in the shade of larger trees, exposed to dappled light.

Its ideal aquatic lighting is a few full spectrum lights or LED that can mimic a shady forest or a strong midday sun.

Buy Arrowhead Plant

When buying an Arrowhead Plant, there are a few things to keep in mind.

Making sure the plant is healthy when purchased is essential for its success in a vivarium or pond.

Vegetation that is already in poor conditions will have a very hard time adjusting to new environments.

Click the image below to learn more about the current price and other relative info about this plant.

Arrowhead Plant Care & Propagation

The Arrowhead Plant can be easy to take care of if it’s placed in the right environment.

As a moderate light to moisture plant, it can be propagated easily through cuttings.

To create new plants, cut the tip of a stem and place it in damp soil or water.

The cuttings will then begin to sprout new roots and establish themselves in their new environment. 

How To Grow

Arrowheads can be encouraged to grow through pruning and cutting.

The golden rule here is to not cut back too much of the stem, but only the tips.

Doing so will produce larger and more vibrant leaves as the stem grows, leading to a bushier and fuller look.

Water Requirements

Arrowhead prefers to have soil that is moist at all times.

When watering, try to drench the soil around the plant and allow the excess to run off.

Aim for a moist environment that resembles the rainforest conditions in its native home.

Plants Similar To Arrowhead Plant

Adding diversity to an enclosure is key to an aesthetically pleasing setup.

Try mixing up the look of your vivarium with different flora that can easily co-exist in the same types of environment.

Furthermore, if for some reason you find Arrowhead Plant hard to acquire or would like to consider something similar to this aquarium plant

Here are other pond plants you might find will do well with or in place of Syngonium podophyllum:

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Syngonium podophyllum is a great plant for nature enthusiasts and pet owners alike.

It’s an easy to moderate difficulty plant to care for and provides a lot of beauty and interest to a natural-themed vivarium.

If you’re looking to fill out your enclosure or need a new featured center point look no further than the Arrowhead plant.

It may take some patience and time, but once in the proper environment and with a little TLC, it can be a great conversation starter in your miniature ecosystem.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Arrowhead Plant (Syngonium podophyllum) is mildly poisonous if ingested. Symptoms of ingestion may include nausea, vomiting and diarrhea.

Yes, the arrowhead plant (Syngonium podophyllum) can help purify the air in your home by removing toxins like formaldehyde and benzene from the environment.

Yes, arrowhead plants need a good amount of sunlight. Providing at least four hours of bright indirect sunlight is ideal for optimal growth and vibrant colors.

Yes, arrowhead plants are easy to care for. They require bright, indirect light, high humidity, and soil that is kept consistently moist. With the right conditions, arrowhead plants can be an easy and lowmaintenance addition to your vivarium.

To make an arrowhead plant fuller, prune it by cutting off any brown or yellow leaves, and trimming away any spindly stems. To promote fuller, bushier growth, divide the plant into multiple sections and repot them in individual containers. Also, give it plenty of bright indirect light and keep the soil lightly moist.

Yes, Syngonium plants have airpurifying qualities and are often used for indoor air purification as part of a good houseplant or vivarium selection.

Syngonium plants are toxic if ingested, so care should be taken when handling or placing them in a home.

Syngonium plants can suffer from several pests and illnesses such as spider mites and root rot.

Syngonium plants are susceptible to cold temperatures, so they must be kept indoors in areas with cooler climates.

Syngonium plants require frequent repotting since their root systems grow quickly.

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