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White Butterfly Plant – Syngonium Podophyllum

by gardeningit
White Butterfly Plant

The white Butterfly Plant is a vining species of the Araceae family that steals the limelight wherever it goes with its fascinating foliage and gorgeous appearance. It is a versatile evergreen plant that is well-known for its silvery-white to lime-green leaves. The arrowhead or butterfly-shaped leaves of this plant are the centers of the beauty of this plant.

Due to its mesmerizing beauty, Syngonium Podophyllum White Butterfly is grown indoors as a houseplant. It is also grown in hanging baskets from where its beautiful long branches dangle from the top. It is a great plant to grow indoors to give a tropical statement to indoors. Let’s learn some more interesting features of this appealing cultivar.

White Butterfly Plant Common Names

  • Syngonium Podophyllum
  • Arrowhead Vine
  • African Evergreen
  • Arrowhead Plant

White Butterfly Plant Classification

  • Family: Araceae
  • Subfamily: Aroideae
  • Genus: Syngonium

Distribution

This plant is native to South America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Florida, Texas, Hawaii, Bolivia, and the West Indies. Other than these, it is grown worldwide as a houseplant.

White Butterfly Plant Appearance

Foliage and Stem

The foliage of the White Butterfly Arrowhead plant is truly a masterpiece. Its stunning lime green leaves are heart-shaped in the young days and change to an arrowhead butterfly shape as they mature. The veins of the leaves are silver-white to creamy in color, while the edges have a dark-green lining. Multiple leaves grow on multiple stems growing from a single base.

White Butterfly Plant Flowers

This plant rarely blooms indoors. If it blooms, the flowers are spathe to spike-like in appearance.

Size

This plant attains a mature height of 18 to 24 inches. It is a vine, so its vines drop after reaching a certain height. You can also support its foliage with a moss pole to help it grow straight instead of vining down.

White Butterfly Plant Care

Quick Guide

  • Watering: Two to three times a week in summers; every two weeks in winters.
  • Soil type and pH: Well-draining potting mix, pH 5.5 to 8.5.
  • Sunlight: Bright, indirect sunlight.
  • Temperature: 15°C to 23°C.
  • Humidity: Above 60%
  • Fertilizer: All-purpose fertilizer every two weeks in spring and summer.

Let’s get into the details of its care routine.

Watering Requirements

This lovely plant needs regular watering for its healthy growth. It should be watered 2 to 3 times a week in the growing season. You should let the soil dry out between waterings to avoid root rot. You should not wait for the whole soil to get dry before you water your White Butterfly plant; water your plant just after the top 1-2 inches of soil gets dry.

In winters, the watering frequency changes as the temperature and heat drop. The soil takes more time to dry, so you should take more time to water your plant. In the colder months, this plant should be watered every 10 days or once every two weeks.

The best way to water your plant is to water it thoroughly with lukewarm water until the excess of it starts to drip from the base of the pot.

White Butterfly Plant Soil Requirements

This plant prefers acidic to neutral soil to grow. The pH level of its soil must be kept between 5.5 and 8.5. The soil should also be fast-draining that does not hold much moisture. If you use a compact potting mix with the ability to retain moisture, your plant will get root rot anytime soon.

The best potting mix for this plant is the one that is well-aerated and has air pockets in it. As air flows through the soil, it supplies oxygen to the roots and keeps them healthy. You can either buy a potting mix from your nearest store or prepare one on your own. Mix equal parts potting soil, orchid bark, and sphagnum moss to prepare a fine potting mix for your Syngonium White. You can also use coconut coir to increase the aeration of the soil. It will also keep the pH neutral.

White Butterfly Plant Sunlight

The light green leaves of the White Butterfly plant cannot tolerate direct sun so growing it outdoors is never a good idea. This plant prefers bright indirect sunlight, and it is why it is an indoor plant rather than a home garden one. Although this plant thrives in bright indirect to moderate sunlight, it can also tolerate low light conditions. Due to its tolerance of the range of sunlight exposure, it can be placed in a number of places inside a home.

It would be great if you place it several feet away from a south-facing window. It would be even better if you place it in the windowsill of the north or east-facing window. This is because these two windows receive morning sun, which will contribute to the lime green coloring of the plant. You can also grow this gorgeous plant in your bedroom room or office space, where not much light reaches inside the room.

Temperature Requirements

This plant is a tropical species that thrives in warmer tropical temperatures. The temperature range that maintains the healthy growth of this plant is 15°C to 23°C. This temperature range does not involve much colder temperatures or much hotter days.

Never ever let the temperature fall below 10°C around this plant as this plant is not cold-hardy. It is not capable of surviving chilly temperatures or colder days. Of course, you cannot control the temperature, but you can always change the surrounding of the plant. Place it in a greenhouse or terrarium in extreme winters to maintain the warmth around it. Avoid placing it in the way of cool drafts or fans.

In summers, this plant cannot tolerate a temperature as high as 26°C. This is why it should be moved to a colder spot in extreme summers. A bathroom would be the best place.

Humidity

Syngonium White Butterfly is an appealing species with exquisite leaves. The freshness and lively colors of its leaves are maintained by the level of moisture around it. As soon as humidity falls below a certain limit, its leaves start to curl up and turn brown; they start to lose their freshness. It is why you should regulate the humidity around this plant to about 60%.

There are several easy ways of increasing humidity indoors. The best way is to place the plant on a pebble tray. This method has no cons and increases the humidity naturally. You can also install a humidifier in your room, but it is a bit costly. Grouping this plant with other houseplants or misting its foliage also helps to increase humidity around this plant.

Fertilizer

The white Butterfly plant is a heavy feeder. It needs regular fertilization to bloom properly. This plant should be fertilized every two weeks with an all-purpose fertilizer. This fertilizer should have a balanced amount of NPK. If you do not feed your plant at all, it will still bloom. But the blooms would not last long or be lesser in number.

The general rule to add fertilizer to this plant is to dilute it first to half its strength. Mix half tablespoon of the fertilizer to a gallon of water to reduce its strength to half. The plant should also be watered before it is fertilized. Moist soil prevents the roots from burning due to the strong chemicals.

Grooming and Pruning

The white Butterfly plant is a beautiful vine whose branches and leaves grow quickly, giving the plant a leggy appearance. It is why this plant must be pruned and trimmed 2 to 3 times a year to keep it in shape. If you want to thin out the foliage, cut the inner branches. And if you want to promote business, pinch the back branches. Pinching means removing 2-3 leaves along with their stems from the main stem.

For pruning the foliage, you should use proper gardening shears or sharp scissors for baby plants. These cutting blades must be sterilized before use.

How to Propagate a White Butterfly Plant?

Syngonium Podophyllum White Beauty is one of the most gorgeous vines that one can grow in his home. It is a great plant to grow in vertical gardens or on walls inside a home. So, it is always a good idea to propagate a mature plant to produce more baby plants. This way, you can have your own collection of White Butterfly plants.

Propagating a White Butterfly plant is an easy breeze. It can be propagated through its stem cuttings. These stem cuttings can be rooted either in water or directly into the potting mix. The best time to take the cuttings is in spring, summer, and fall. Here is a step-by-step propagation guide for your help.

  1. Take a sharp knife and sterilize it.
  2. Spot a healthy stem with at least 2-3 leaves on it.
  3. Cut the stem below the nodes. These nodes are present several inches below the leaves.

The next step is to root the stem cutting.

Rooting in Water

  1. Take a glass bottle and fill it with distilled water.
  2. Place the stem cutting in it.
  3. It will take several weeks to produce new roots.
  4. New roots grow several centimeters below the nodes.
  5. Once new roots have formed, move the stem cutting to a pot with potting mix.

Rooting in Soil

  1. Before planting the stem cutting in soil, you should dip it in rooting hormone. It will stimulate its growth rate.
  2. Take a small pot and fill it with a potting mix.
  3. Make a hole at the edge of the pot, not in the center.
  4. Plant the cutting in the hole.
  5. Water the soil and place the pot in a well-lit spot.
  6. Just in a few days, you will notice the active growth of this baby plant.

White Butterfly Plant Basic Features

Growth Rate

This plant will amaze you with its growth rate. It grows at a fast pace and attains its mature height in just a few months. Its growth rate depends on the growing conditions. Bright sunlight, proper watering, and warm temperature make sure your plant keeps growing at a usual rate.

The USDA plant hardiness growth zones suitable for this plant are 10 to 12.

Air Purification

Did you know White Butterfly plant is among the top plants declared by NASA as natural air purifiers? This plant not only beautifies its surroundings but also cleanses the air around it by filtering toxic pollutants. If you live in an urban household, it is a must-have plant for you. It will let you breathe in fresh air by stepping into your home after spending a long day in the polluted air outside.

Drought Tolerance

This plant always stays ready for droughts and harsh conditions. It stores water in its leaves and stems. This water is used when the plant is not watered for a long time. In times of drought, the plant will enter dormancy and slow down its growth rate. To bring the plant back to life, water it thoroughly and place it in bright sunlight.

White Butterfly Plant Maintenance

This plant is a low-maintenance and versatile species. There are just a limited number of care requirements that this plant asks for. If someone has experience in growing houseplants, they will face no difficulty in growing this easy-to-grow plant. Even if someone is growing a plant for the first time, this plant would not give any hard time caring for it.

Dormancy

Syngonium White rests through the whole winter. This plant stops growing by entering its dormancy in the colder months. As soon as the temperature and light levels drop in winters, no new growth takes place as the plant is in the dormant stage.

Is White Butterfly Plant Poisonous?

The first question that arises in the mind of parents before buying this plant is: Is White Butterfly Plant poisonous?

Knowing the toxic level of the plants in your home is important so that you can keep an eye on your pets and children and protect them from consuming any leaves. Unfortunately, White Butterfly plant is mildly toxic. You should keep your toddlers and nibbling pets away from it because its leaves contain calcium oxalate crystals that are poisonous to humans and animals. If ingested in large amounts, the foliage can cause drooling, GIT disorders, vomiting, swelling, kidney stones, and difficulty in swallowing.

The sap of this plant also causes skin irritation if handled bare-handed. It is why you should always wear gloves while handling this plant.

Common Problems and Their Solutions

Diseases

This plant is resistant to many diseases. This is one of the good features of this evergreen vine. However, it is still susceptible to bacterial leaf spots and root rot.

Bacterial Leaf Spot

This disease is caused by the bacteria Pseudomonas syringae and Xanthomonas campestris. When these bacteria attack the plant, the symptoms are shown by the leaves. Circular water-filled lesions begin to form on the leaf surface. These lesions then change their color to black. You can either use plant activator sprays, bactericidal sprays, or topical treatments to treat this disease. You can also go for a home remedy. Mix half a tablespoon of baking soda in a gallon of water and spray the plant’s foliage with it.

Root rot

Wilted and stunted leaves are two major symptoms of root rot. It is caused by wet or damp soil. The only way to treat this is by allowing the plant to dry out before watering it again. You should also trim away the rooting roots by pulling out the plant from its pot.

Pests

The four common pests that attack this lovely vine are aphids, spider mites, mealybugs, and scale.

Aphids

The presence of a sticky substance on the leaves indicates the presence of aphids. These pests suck sap from the stem turning the leaves weak and yellow. Spray an insecticidal soap on the foliage to kill these pests.

Spider Mites

Webbing, yellow and brown spots on the leaves signal that your plant has been affected by spider mites. You can get rid of these destructive mites by wiping the foliage with neem oil or insecticidal soap.

Mealybugs

Discoloration, curling, and wilting of the leaves, along with the presence of white wax, is a sign of mealybugs. These can be removed by rubbing the foliage with a cotton ball dipped in alcohol. This practice should be done once or twice a week to completely remove the bugs.

Scale

Sudden dropping or yellowing of leaves could also be a sign of scales. Scales are also sap-sucking insects that weaken the plant from inside and then kill it eventually. This is why it should be treated as soon as possible. These pests can be treated by using horticultural oil spray.

Frequently Asked Questions about White Butterfly Plant

Does Syngonium White Butterfly Like to Be Misted?

This plant loves high humidity. If the humidity levels in your home are lower than the average range, you should mist the plant regularly, probably after 2-3 days. Brown tips of the leaves indicate that your plant is asking for more moisture in its surrounding air.

Is White Butterfly Plant Rare?

The white Butterfly plant is a rare variety of Syngonium Podophyllum. However, due to its striking beauty, it is being cultivated and grown worldwide.

Can I Grow This Plant Outdoors?

This beautiful vine can also thrive outdoors, but it will be more prone to pests and problems. It will also be a problem for the plant to survive in extreme winters and summers. This is why it is better if you grow it indoors instead of in your home garden.

Why Is My Plant Not Flowering?

If your plant is not producing flowers, it is either not being watered regularly or placed in the wrong location. Temperature levels have a huge impact on flowering. So, regulate your plant’s watering schedule and relocate it to a warmer place to encourage blooming.

Why Does My Plant Have Droopy Foliage?

Droopy foliage is due to a lack of watering. The leaves need enough water to stay fresh and healthy. If your plant has droopy foliage, move it out of the sun and water it thoroughly.

Conclusion

The white Butterfly plant is an evergreen, tropical vine of the Syngonium genus. It is a low-maintenance, drought-tolerant, and hardy plant to grow indoors. Its beautiful lime-green foliage is known for filtering and cleansing the air and keeping it fresh. This plant can grow in a wide range of conditions, and it is why it is loved by gardeners and houseplant growers. You can grow this plant in small pots in your living room, bedroom, and kitchen or grow it as a hanging plant in hanging planters; this attractive vine will look great in all places!

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