Syngonium macrophyllum is a newer plant for me, but syngonium macrophyllum care is pretty easy! Check out my “ice frost” variety and learn about how to propagate this gorgeous plant.
Syngonium macrophyllum care & propagation
It’s been a while since I dove into a new plant genus. I tend to stick to branching out within a plant genus that I know and love…and to be honest, I am not the best at trying new things 🙂 So sometimes I need a bit of a boost.
So I was really pleasantly surprised to come downstairs one weekend to find my husband and daughter had gone out to pick me up a new plant! I think he was just out killing time with her and stopped by one of my favorite plant shops, Take Root Plants.
And they came home with a syngonium macrophyllum ice frost. I would have never purchased this plant on my own, not because I don’t like it…it’s gorgeous! But I just tend to shy away from new plants that I don’t fully know the care needs for.
But that’s exactly the opposite of what this blog is about! My plant care posts are all about trying and learning as you go, so we’re diving into syngonium macrophyllum today.
What is a syngonium plant?
I have had a syngonium plant before. They are commonly known as “arrowhead plants” or “arrowhead vines.” (Note: nephthytis plants are also referred to as arrowhead vines as well.) I had an “arrowhead plant” a long time ago and killed it.
Like other plant genuses, there are more common varieties of syngonium that you can find in big box nurseries. There are also other varieties that are somewhat harder to find…including, apparently, my lovely new ice frost!
Syngonium macrophyllum species
Syngonium macrophyllum is just one species in the syngonium genus. Its leaves are different from some other syngonium varieties. The leaves can have a thicker look to them. In fact, when I first saw the ice frost that Mike brought home for me, I thought it was a jade satin scindapsus plant. And they have thick leaves.
The “ice frost” or “frosted heart” variety of syngonium macrophyllum has big, thick leaves with a frosty sheen on them. I wouldn’t necessarily even call it variegation—it’s more like the area around the veining in the plant has a frosty-silverish sheen.
For more easy and interesting houseplants, check out my post on 11 Pothos Varieties to Check Out, my Ric Rac Cactus Care Guide, my roundup of 9 Scindapsus Varieties to Collect, and my Raven ZZ Plant Care Guide!
This is a vining/climbing plant, although it might not seem like it is when you buy it in its juvenile form. My mom has a lovely large trailing arrowhead syngonium that has retained his leaf size as it trails, which I find is typically not the case for not all other plants that like to climb.
So trail or climb—it’s your choice. If you want to help your plant out with something to climb, you can add a DIY jute or moss pole. This gives the plant something to grab onto as it grows and climbs, somewhat mirroring the plant’s natural growth pattern of climbing trees and branches.
Syngonium macrophyllum lighting
Syngonium macrophyllum care is somewhat flexible when it comes to lighting needs. While the plant doesn’t enjoy low light, it can do medium light and thrives in bright indirect light.
Much like other tropical plants, this one is accustomed to filtered or dappled light through the rainforest canopy. So think about that when thinking about its lighting needs. If you do direct sun, just make sure that you only do a bit of morning sun, which is weaker than afternoon or early evening sun.
If your good lighting space is sparse, though, you can move this one off the front lines. Save that good space for another plant that really needs it. Because syngonium macrophyllum will probably be fine on the second string with a bit less light.
Water & soil
Syngonium macrophyllum will not tolerate a ton of neglect when it comes to watering. It’s not a snake plant. It will wilt when it really needs water, but it’s best to catch it before the wilt begins.
That is usually when the two few inches of soil are dry. Stick that finger in to check! If the soil is dry, go ahead and water the plant. This can mean watering the plant once a week in the summer but once every two weeks or so in the winter. It just depends.
Soil is a critical part of the watering equation, though. The lighter the soil, the faster it will lose moisture. The heavier the soil, the more it will retain the moisture. I generally like to use indoor soil with some extra perlite and coco coir thrown in—and that’s for more of my plants that love well-draining soil.
If you notice the plant’s leaves are drooping and yellowing, you’re likely overwatering. Or the soil is too heavy. Or a combination of both!
Temperature & humidity
This plant is not frost or cold hardy. It’s a tropical plant. But it does well in a variety of normal household temperatures. Don’t worry too much after drafts or anything if it’s near a window.
And the best news about syngonium macrophyllum is that it does not need much humidity at all. It’s happy as can be with regular humidity.
Syngonium macrophyllum fertilizer and repotting
I don’t generally fertilize my plants. Instead, I just repot with fresh soil when the plant needs it. And those soils generally have slow-release fertilizers in them. I also add some organic worm castings to the soil to refresh nutrients, too.
You could use a diluted household fertilizer once a month or so with your plant, though. Just be careful not to over-fertilize, though. This can burn the plant’s leaves and also lead to build-up in the soil.
This isn’t a super fast grower, though. You probably won’t need to fuss with repotting it every year like some other plants. Once the plant begins circling its roots around the pot, you can size up a pot another inch or two.
Make sure to use fresh soil when you repot the plant. This fresh soil with slow-release fertilizer in it and the extra room to grow will give your syngonium macrophyllum plenty of space to rebound.
How do you propagate syngonium macrophyllum?
Stem cuttings are the best way to propagate syngonium macrophyllum. All you need to do is take a cutting from the plant that you’re sure has at least an aerial root or an exposed growth point.
You can stick the cutting in water, moss, or LECA to root. For water, use a clear container and make sure you change the water out with fresh water every week or so. For LECA, use a clear container and keep the water level just below the end of the cutting. (See my full post on how to root plants in LECA for more.)
If you’d like to use moss, I also have a sphagnum moss and perlite propagation guide you can check out. In a nutshell, keep the growth points in damp moss and perlite and keep humidity high. You can use that using a clear DIY propagation box or just simply a clear plastic bag over the cutting.
Once your syngonium macrophyllum has some nice roots, you can plant them in fresh light, well-draining soil. Don’t freak out if it wilts a bit while it is getting established in soil. It will rebound.