Home Plants Syngonium Rayii – Everything You Need to Know

Syngonium Rayii – Everything You Need to Know

by gardeningit
Syngonium Rayii

Syngonium Rayiis are ideal plants for terrarium (a transparent container for plants) or vivarium (a transparent container that can have animals and plants living in it). They are indigenous to Costa Rica and Panama. They are easy to grow terrarium suitable species. The Syngonium Rayii is a hemiepiphyte-spends part of its life rooted in soil and part of it growing on the surface of another planet. It sends out runners that quickly root in the substrate. Leaves are arrowhead-shaped with a silver line running down the center.

Classification of the Plant

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Clade: Tracheophytes
  • Clade: Monocots
  • Order: Alismatales
  • Family: Araceae
  • Subfamily: Aroideae
  • Tribe: Caladieae
  • Genus: Syngonium Schott

Features of Syngonium Rayii

Syngonium plants are kept as indoor plants in the early foliage stages. Its leaves are arrowhead-shaped in the juvenile phase. The leaves are dark green, velvety with a white vein going down the middle. This stunning feature makes the foliage stand out among other plants. Mostly the leaves are 3-5″ in length and around 2-4″ in width. Sometimes the mature leaves grow in the terrarium and become trilobed. The species rarely flower in a terrarium. Syngonium rayii are easy to prune and are famous for their stunning foliage. Moreover, this plant grows low, sends out curling runners that grow new plants where they land and grow over walls and other plants in a tank.

General Information Syngonium Rayii

  • Plant habit: Herb/Forb, Vine
  • Life cycle: Evergreen
  • Sun Requirements: Partial Shade
  • Water Preferences: Moderate moisture
  • PH Soil Preferences: Slightly acidic (6.1- 6.5), Neutral (6.6 – 7.3)
  • Plant height: 6-8 inches.
  • Leaves: Evergreen, Other: Deep, dark green with a silver mid-vein.
  • Suitable Locations: Houseplants, Terrariums
  • Resistance: Moderate Humidity
  • Propagation: Stolons and runners
  • Containers: Needs extra drainage in pots
  • Miscellaneous: Epiphytic

Common Names

American Evergreen, Five Fingers, Nephthytis, Tri-leaf Wonder, Arrowhead Plant, Arrowhead Philodendron, Arrowhead Vine, Green-Gold Nephthytis.

Growth of Syngonium Rayii

The Syngonium ratio can be grown on its own or in combination with other plants for additional variety. As the plant matures, it will begin to vine. It is practical to grow them in hanging baskets, moss poles, or trellis. This Central American native grows in warm, humid conditions with bright light. This species will climb and surface. This semi-tropical plant is both exciting and versatile. The attractive foliage changes shape as the plant matures. Although they are enthusiastic climbers, they can be pruned to create a compact indoor plant. If left untrimmed, the vines can grow about 6 feet long. They look beautiful when allowed to cascade over the sides of hanging baskets. It also grows well in combination with other plants in one large container.

Syngonium Rayii Flowers

Usually, this species doesn’t flower indoors. If they do flower, on mature Syngoniums, then the blooms are green or white. The cute dainty flowers turn into dark brown or red berries. The flowers aren’t very attractive or exciting. This fast-growing houseplant is prized for its stunning foliage.


The leaves can be in varying hues of green and change shape as the plant matures. The shape changes from ovate to long and lobed. Throughout the entire lifespan of the species, the colors and markings keep changing. In the juvenile stage, when the leaves develop, they are heart-shaped with a silvery network of veins. As the plant matures, they achieve their distinct arrowhead shape and increase in size about 5-14 inches long. The foliage keeps evolving, and if you compare the parent with a recent cutting, it will appear that they are two different plants altogether.


The leaves are patterned with a velvety green and white color. They come in variegated shades of green and white, cream, pink, or silver. The juvenile leaves range in color from solid, velvety green to cream, pink, or cinnamon. Sometimes you will also find colored veins in the leaves.

Care Guide of Syngonium Rayii

Light Requirements

These plants thrive best in a position where they receive good light. However, avoid direct sunlight as the plants can suffer from sunburn. If exposed to direct sunlight, the leaves will appear white or bleached. Plants with dark green leaves do well in low-to-medium light conditions.

Humidity Requirements

Native to South and Central America, arrowhead plants love humidity. Mist the plants a couple of times a week if your surrounding is dry. But don’t overdo it. If the foliage stays wet for too long, the plant is prone to bacterial leaf spot.

On the other hand, the dry surrounding will cause brown leaf crisping. A good idea is to place washed pebbles in a shallow tray filled with water and keep it underneath your plant pot. This will ensure that the roots cannot absorb excess water, yet the water will evaporate gradually and maintain the humidity around the Syngonium. Another way to increase humidity is to group several types of plants; this will naturally increase humidity. Another option is to invest in a Humidifier to alleviate this problem. Don’t place them near heating systems or vents.

Syngonium Rayii Water Requirements

Syngonium Rayii has a mediocre drought-forbearance but grows well with regular watering. The plants grow fast in spring and summer. Use your finger to feel the top inch of the soil; if it appears dry, it’s time to water. Usually, you will need to water it until you see excess water running out of the drain holes in the pot.

In winter months, the plant slows down in growth. This means you don’t need to water as frequently. It is always best to stick your finger in the soil to check it, if the top inch is dry it’s time to water it. In winter you will need to water it every two weeks.

Temperature Requirements

This species is indigenous to a tropical habitat, where it grows in the rainforests, climbing on trees, so it grows best in a temperature range of 60-85 degrees Fahrenheit (15-29 degrees Celsius). It is sensitive to cold, even indoors. Exposing the plant to cold results in damage or also cause your plant to perish. It does not bear sudden changes in temperature well. It is best to have a constant room temperature in all seasons. Syngonium Rayii thrives well in high temperatures provided humidity and nutrition are sufficient. Air currents should be controlled.

Fertilizer Requirements

This species of plant can be fertilized every month with a balanced fertilizer. They are not big feeders and will grow well if properly cared for. However, it is a good idea to feed them in the growing season, which lasts from spring to summer. In winter the plant is dormant, and you can skip the fertilizer. Dilute an all-purpose house blend to half strength and apply to the plant as you water it. In addition to this, slow-release granules can also be used in spring.

Soil Requirements

The Arrowhead plant requires a vibrant potting mix for optimal growth. The soil used for potting must have exceptional aerating and draining capacity. Good peat-based soil will work wonders for your Syngonium plant.


Pruning is a must if you desire a handsome and elegant looking Syngonium. It will allow you to avoid the flop effect. This happens if the plant hasn’t been trimmed in a long time. Pruning should be done in summers to encourage new growth. This will make the plant appear thick and bushy. Pinch the tip of each stem to prevent them from climbing and becoming too long, untidy, and out of control. Remove older stems and use them for propagation.


It is quite easy to propagate a Syngonium. The cuttings can be rooted directly in water or into potting compost. The success rate is satisfactory for both methods. Take a new growth stem with one or two leaves. Locate the nodes (a set of two small bumps, one on each side of the shoot). Cut a few centimeters below the nodes. Drop the cutting in water and keep it topped up. In a couple of weeks, new roots will grow. You can pot this in a draining compost mix.

On the other hand, to plant the cuttings in compost directly, first dip the cut ends in a rooting hormone. Plant the cuttings near the edge of the pot avoiding the center. Keep the soil moist and place the container in a warm place. It is advisable to take multiple cuttings, but take care that they do not touch each other.


The Arrowhead plant species requires reporting every two years. After it has reached your desired height, keep the same size pot. You just need to change the soil every two years.

Related Posts:

Echeveria Fleur Blanc

Macodes Petola

Philodendron Serpens

Features of Syngonium Rayii

Growth Habit

A mature Syngonium that has been allowed to grow up a moss pole for some years will be around 1.8m/6 feet in height and a spread of 60cm/2 feet. Plants that are not grown on a support or moss stick will not grow tall. However, they will be bushy if pruned regularly.

Air Purification

Researchers from NASA have declared this plant as an air purifier. It absorbs pollutants into its leaves, and the root absorbs toxins from the air, converting them into nutrients for the plant. The Arrowhead emits water vapors that help to pull the polluted air to the roots, where it is converted to plant food. Not only are these plants decorative, but they also cleanse the air in your home or office. They reduce harmful chemicals in the air like benzene, formaldehyde, toluene, and xylene. They increase humidity and reduce airborne microbes.

The Invasive Nature of Syngonium Rayii

The Florida Exotic Pest Plant Council (FLEPPC) has identified this plant as a Category 1 Invasive Species. It means the robust growth of this species displaces native plants and animals. It can also alter the structure of the local plant habitats. Arrowhead species can hybridize with local plants. All these characteristics are problematic for the well-being of the ecosystem. It is advisable not to keep these plants outdoors if you are a resident of the state of Florida. Do not plant them directly into the soil. If you do notice them growing on your property, you must eradicate them immediately.


The Arrowhead plant contains insoluble calcium oxalates, that cause swelling of lips, tongue, and mouth. If ingested, it causes vomiting and gastric distress. The sap is irritant also. Gardeners should exercise caution and wear gloves while handling and caring for this species. Every part of this plant is toxic to humans as well as animals. Keep it out of the reach of curious pets and children. Be vigilant about picking up shed leaves.

A Feng Shui Plant

The fancy-leaved Syngonium plants bring good luck through Feng Shui. The five-lobed shape of the Syngonium leaves represents the five elements of Feng Shui: water, fire, earth, wood, and metal. This perfectly balances Yin and Yang and stimulates positive chi. The Arrowhead plant has the inspiring ‘upward’ wood energy associated with East or Southeast. This beautiful tabletop plant will aid new ideas and youth in your home. Placing it in front of a sharp corner will help reduce anxiety, sleep disorders, and quarrels. Chi energy flowing on a wall meets a sharp angle and creates disturbing energy at that point. Placing a Syngonium plant in front of the angle will soften it.

The Takeaway

The fancy-leaved Syngoniums are easy to care for accent plants, prized for their stunning foliage. Because of their many varieties and colors, they are a popular choice as tabletop plants. Not only the Arrowhead purifies the air you breathe, but they also bring you good luck by balancing Yin and Yang energies. Perfect for the beginner or black-thumb gardener.

You may also like