The Syngonium Albo Variegatum or variegated arrowhead vine is a gorgeous, colorful plant that requires specific care. Keep reading to learn how to get your Syngonium Albo to flourish.
How to care to Syngonium Albo Variegatum? The Syngonium Albo Variegatum requires water when its top surface dries, dappled light, well-draining potting soil, temps between 70 and 80°F, humidity between 50 and 60 percent, and monthly fertilization to grow.
In this complete guide to Syngonium Albo care, you’ll learn expert tips and techniques to keep your plant healthy, bright, and beautifully variegated. No matter what questions you have on the arrowhead plant, the answers are ahead, so check it out!
About the Syngonium Albo Variegated Plant
The Syngonium Albo Variegatum goes by many names, including the arrowhead ivy, arrowhead plant, Syngonium podophyllum, or variegated arrowhead vine.
Belonging to the Araceae family, the Syngonium Albo hails from Bolivia, Brazil, and Mexico. The Syngonium Podophyllum ‘Albo’ variegata is by far the rarest of the Syngonium Albo.
The Syngonium Albo is a take on the traditional arrowhead plant or arrowhead vine but with colorful variegation. Let’s take a look at the types of variegated Syngonium Albo now.
Syngonium podophyllum ‘Holly’
The Syngonium podophyllum ‘Holly’ features very light-colored leaves that are nearly white. The edges and veins of each leaf are the traditional green hue of an unvariegated Syngonium.
If you appreciate subtle variegation, or you’re looking for an arrowhead plant that’s able to thrive in indirect light, the Holly surely will not disappoint.
Syngonium podophyllum ‘neon robusta’
Far more attention-grabbing is the Syngonium podophyllum ‘neon robusta,’ a cultivar that’s brimming with beautiful carnation pink. The color is an appealing contrast against the bright green stems.
The leaves of this cultivar are more ovate, especially the newer growths, and could even skew heart-shaped. The older leaves will take on a more distinct arrow shape.
Syngonium podophyllum ‘pink allusion’
Another bright pink Syngonium is the ‘pink allusion,’ which features darker pink veins, lighter pink leaves, and green leaf undersides.
The pops of color will surely be a great addition to your indoor garden!
Syngonium Albo Variegata ‘Imperial White’
How about white instead of pink? The Imperial White cultivar has large swathes of white across the large, arrow-shaped leaves of this Syngonium Albo.
Half the leaf can be pure white whereas other times, it looks like someone took a paintbrush with white paint and splashed it on the green leaf of a Syngonium Albo.
Compared to the other cultivars on this list, the Imperial White is the hardest to come by and could be more expensive as a result.
Syngonium podophyllum angustatum
There’s one more Syngonium cultivar, and it’s the angustatum.
This minty green arrowhead plant features large blade-like leaves that grow smaller leaflets and flowers.
How to Care for Syngonium Albo
Have you gotten your hands on a Syngonium Albo cultivar and you’re interested in how to care for it? This section will fill you in with highly detailed, actionable information.
Watering Syngonium Albo
The Syngonium Albo prefers its soil moist. When you feel the soil start to dry out, you should replenish the plant with water.
I do want to note that moist soil feels slightly wet to the touch, but it’s not soaking wet. It’s certainly not waterlogged, when you can feel more water than soil.
If those erect, arrow-shaped leaves of the Syngonium Albo begin to droop, that’s one surefire sign you’re overdoing it on the water.
You might also see foliar discoloration such as brown or yellow spots across the leaves.
As someone tending to a variegated Syngonium Albo cultivar, this is especially heartbreaking. After all, once the leaves become yellowed or browned, those parts of the leaf are dead.
No matter how well you begin watering the Syngonium Albo moving forward, those leaf parts will never come back.
You’ll have to trim them, which leaves you with less of the Syngonium Albo’s variegation to cherish.
Take care not to underwater the Syngonium Albo either. The growth of your arrowhead plant will slow down, the leaf tips will dry out and die, and the plant will again wilt.
The best way to gauge how moist the Syngonium Albo’s soil feels is with the fingertip test.
Take one clean finger and place it a few inches deep into the soil. If you can feel moisture, then hold off on watering your arrowhead plant just yet.
If you can’t feel any moisture, then it’s time to water your plant.
Best Lighting for Syngonium Albo Variegated
If there’s one area of the Syngonium Albo’s care you don’t want to mess up when yours is gorgeously variegated, it’s lighting.
So what kind of light does this arrowhead plant need? Dappled light is best for the Syngonium Podophyllum ‘Albo’ variegata.
Dappled light isn’t something I talk about on the blog all that often, so allow me to explain.
When plants grow in rainforests or other heavily forested conditions, they’re used to dappled light. This is the light that a plant gets with the protection of a larger tree or plant overhead.
Light filters in through the gaps between the leaves of the larger plant or tree, and that’s the light the smaller plant–such as the Syngonium Albo–thrives on.
You can easily create dappled light in your home or office by placing a larger plant in between the light source and your Syngonium Albo. Do make sure that the bigger plant can handle direct or indirect light so it doesn’t burn.
So why is lighting so important for variegated plants? It’s how the plant keeps its variegation.
Too much sunlight will cause your Syngonium Albo to burn much like our skin can burn if we spend too long on the beach without sun protection.
Sunburn in plants is known as sun scorch or sunscald.
The leaves of your plant can dry out and turn brown or even black depending on the extent of the sun exposure. Yellow patches may develop between the leaf veins and leaf margins as well.
Before brown spots develop, they might start as a brilliant bright white that looks like your plant has been bleached.
This is a lot harder to see with some variegations of the Syngonium Albo such as the Imperial White.
The other risk to an arrowhead plant’s beautiful variegation is too little light.
Once this happens, there is no turning back. Providing better lighting will never cause the variegation to return. Your arrowhead plant is just a regular plant from then on out.
Best Potting Soil for Growing Syngonium Albo Indoors
The Syngonium Albo needs well-draining potting soil. The looser the texture of its soil, the better. The soil can even be moderately chunky.
The soil should never be heavy or compacted, and you don’t want it too dense either. Soil will naturally become compacted over time, and if this is beginning to happen to you, I recommend reading my article titled: Easy Ways to Loosen Compacted Soil in Potted Plants
Soil amendments can promote aeration and water drainage.
Which soil amendments are best for the arrowhead plant? I’d recommend orchid bark, perlite, and coco coir. Allow me to discuss each.
Orchid bark is a potting medium that’s typically reserved for ornamentals, ferns, bromeliads, and epiphytic plants such as orchids. It suffices for the Syngonium Albo as well.
The chunky texture of orchid bark encourages air circulation and water drainage while resisting hard, compacted soil.
When obsidian hydrates, the result is a white volcanic glass that contains a lot of water. This glass is known as perlite.
Perlite will improve soil drainage, which is one reason of several to add it to your Syngonium Albo’s pot.
The porousness of perlite means it will maintain water retention as well, which is critical in promoting the moist soil conditions the arrowhead plant grows best in.
The third soil amendment I’d recommend for the Syngonium Albo is coconut coir or coco coir, which comes from the outer husks of coconuts.
It’s a renewable and organic soil amendment you can feel good about using. Coco coir doesn’t have a strong coconut odor, so it won’t stink up your entire indoor garden.
Coco coir can hold onto water as well so the Syngonium Albo’s soil will stay nice and moist.
The Syngonium Albo prefers slightly acidic soil conditions. Since perlite is more on the basic side, I would limit your usage of the stuff in the soil mix to no more than 20 percent.
Best Containers for Growing Syngonium Albo Indoors
Plant pots and containers come in all sorts of materials, but you can’t choose just any. For the Syngonium Albo especially, you need a plant pot or container that retains moisture.
Ceramic is an excellent choice, as it’s not nearly as porous as clay or terracotta.
Ceramic containers and especially pots can be heavy and sort of unwieldy. Yet you have to take care not to drop the pot or it will shatter.
Plastic is another recommended choice for growing the Syngonium Albo indoors. A plastic pot or container will hold onto more of the water that the arrowhead plant needs so its soil stays lightly moist.
If you’ve searched high and low for the right plant pot but can’t find what you’re looking for, fully glazed clay or terracotta might be okay.
The glazing reduces the porosity of these materials so the water will stay in the pot longer.
That said, please triple-check that the pots are fully glazed. If they’re glazed on only one side–and especially not the inside–then the water in the arrowhead plant’s pot will deplete too fast.
The pot or container you choose for the Syngonium Albo must always have drainage holes. You’d think that any pot would, but you’d be surprised!
Decorative pots especially tend to lack drainage holes. You can’t exactly drill drainage holes into clay, terracotta, or ceramic without shattering the whole pot.
Syngonium Albo Preferred Temperature and Humidity
The Syngonium Albo grows best in temperatures between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
This variegated arrowhead plant can handle temperatures as low as 60 degrees, but that’s as low as you want the thermostat to go.
As I always say on this blog, even though 60 degrees isn’t that cold to you or I, to a plant like the Syngonium Albo, it’s freezing!
If you’re growing the arrowhead plant at home, then watch your thermostat in colder seasons especially.
Make sure that your plant is kept away from drafts and other sources of hot or cold air such as return vents, kitchen appliances, radiators, window air conditioners, and old doors and windows.
A Syngonium Albo that spends too much time in the cold can wilt. The foliage can soften, and black spots can even develop that look like burn marks.
Moving the Syngonium Albo into a warmer environment will help, but those blackened leaves are goners. You’ll have to prune them.
The upper temperature limit for the Syngonium Albo is 80 degrees. In hotter temps still, the plant can develop heat stress.
The leaves will wilt and could cup or roll. Too much time in a hot environment causes the leaf tips to dry out too, and sunscalding can even occur. It’s a bad situation all around.
I have to talk about the Syngonium Albo’s humidity requirements as well. This indoor plant prefers humidity between 50 and 60 percent.
This is unsurprising considering the Syngonium Albo natively grows in very warm regions.
Since most buildings have a relative average humidity between 30 and 50 percent, more than likely, you will need to produce more humidity in your home or office.
The best way to do that is with a plug-in dehumidifier.
Feeding and Fertilizing Syngonium Albo
You don’t have to fertilize the Syngonium Albo often, maybe once a month.
Use an all-purpose indoor plant fertilizer and be sure to add enough water to dilute the fertilizer to half-strength.
Water the Syngonium Albo first and then apply the fertilizer.
Fertilizing ensures the arrowhead plant receives the macronutrients nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium so the plant can grow healthy and strong.
Many plant fertilizers include micronutrients that also support long-term plant health.
If you follow the above schedule, then you shouldn’t risk subjecting the Syngonium Albo to fertilizer burn.
Fertilizer burn can affect any indoor plant and occurs when you overfertilize.
A severe case of fertilizer burn causes white streaks of fertilizer to appear on the plant soil. The plant will also develop brown and yellow leaf spots and dry leaves.
By pruning the dead bits of the Syngonium Albo with clean pruning shears and either flushing its soil with water or replacing the soil (to remove the excess salts), the plant should be okay.
That said, the arrowhead plant will certainly be worse for wear!
Syngonium Albo Propagation Methods
Your Syngonium Albo is looking healthier, lusher, and more beautifully variegated than ever before thanks to the care suggestions above.
Now you want to share this unique arrowhead plant with friends and family through propagation.
Here are your options.
Air layering is quite a unique propagation method, but one that you might be interested in trying, nevertheless.
To air-layer a Syngonium Albo, you need sphagnum moss and plastic wrap.
Take the moss and squeeze out any excess water, of which there can be a lot (sphagnum moss is great at retaining water). Then roll it into a ball shape.
Next, choose a Syngonium Albo cutting. This arrowhead plant usually has quite a lot of space from one node to another, and those spaces are called internodes. That’s why air-layering works, because of the internodes.
Trim underneath the node at about1/4th an inch. Take the cutting, insert the sphagnum moss ball around the node, and then cover the whole thing in plastic wrap to make it more secure.
It takes several weeks for roots to grow.
You can also use traditional potting soil for propagating the Syngonium Albo.
Again, select a suitable plant cutting with at least one leaf node and trim. Fill a shallow container with potting soil and bury the plant cutting one node deep.
Provide moderate soil moisture and some sunlight and the Syngonium Albo cutting will develop a root system.
Your third growth medium for propagating the Syngonium Albo is in water.
This time, you’d take your cutting and insert it into a glass or jar of water. The water should be deep enough to submerge at least one node.
Use filtered water so your cutting isn’t exposed to the chemicals in tap water. Keep the water temperature a little cool or at room temperature, but never hot or cold.
The water in the glass or jar will get slimy or murky, usually in about seven days. Be sure to change out the water whenever it gets too dirty.
Syngonium Albo Common Questions
Have you embarked on the journey that is growing the Syngonium Albo but you still have some questions? Allow me to answer them in this section!
How to Keep Syngonium Albo Variegated?
If yours is a heavily variegated Syngonium Albo such as the Imperial White, neon robusta, or pink allusion, the last thing you would ever want is for that elegant white or pink coloration to fade.
The key to maintaining variegation over the long term is to take good care of your plant. Water the Syngonium Albo just enough so that it never dries out from underwatering.
Provide dappled light but nothing brighter than that so the plant doesn’t fry.
Especially take care to avoid dim or dark conditions, as prolonged exposure to the dark will cause the arrowhead plant’s variegation to fade for good.
Keep temperatures and humidity in the recommended range, as anything too hot or dry will again put the Syngonium Albo at risk of frying.
Manage your fertilization schedule as well, only fertilizing about once a month and always diluting the fertilizer before applying.
Is the Syngonium Albo Easy to Maintain?
The rare Syngonium Albo is not the lowest-maintenance plant on the block. You can’t forget to water it for days or go months without fertilizing it.
That said, its care requirements are not so extreme that you’ll feel fatigued just caring for yours from day to day.
I wouldn’t say its care is easy, but it’s certainly not difficult, either.
Is Syngonium Albo a Climber?
Although the Syngonium Albo will start by growing in a pot or container, if it has the space and the means, it will happily climb.
You could decorate the walls of your home or office (if you’re allowed, of course) with pops of color from your variegated Syngonium Albo.
Syngonium Albo Pests
Unfortunately, several insect species are out to wreck the beauty of the Syngonium Albo. They are scale insects, aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites.
Let’s discuss each one and how to get them off your plant ASAP!
- Scale insects: One of the easiest ways to determine if the Syngonium Albo has an infestation of scale insects is to look for the secretions these bugs leave behind known as honeydew. Scale insects are hard to see on their own unless they cluster together. Use neem oil or a cotton swab dipped in alcohol to get rid of ‘em.
- Aphids: The aphid is also referred to as the blackfly or greenfly. These winged insects can easily travel from plant to plant in your indoor garden, wreaking havoc. By combining dish soap and water into a sudsy mix and wiping your plant leaves with the stuff, the aphids should soon be gone.
- Mealybugs: The unarmored bug species known as the mealybug prefers warm, moist environments like the Syngonium Albo’s pot. This pest also feeds on greenhouse plant juices. Dump mealybugs from your plant by combining water, dish soap, and rubbing alcohol. The bugs won’t stand a chance!
- Spider mites: Lingering underneath the leaves of the Syngonium Albo (as well as other plants they target), spider mites will pierce the leaves and consume the sap. These bugs also weave white webs. A cup of alcohol and about 30 ounces of water in a spray bottle will kill spider mites.
Syngonium Albo Diseases
The Syngonium Albo is susceptible to diseases as well, including Myrothecium leaf spot, bacterial leaf spot, and bacterial blight. Here’s an overview of each disease and what you can do about it.
- Myrothecium leaf spot: The Myrothecium roridum fungal pathogen causes Myrothecium leaf spot. The leaf margins will develop spots that are dark brown. A fungicide might be able to save the Syngonium Albo.
- Bacterial leaf spot: Bacterial leaf spot causes leaf margin spots that are at first translucent and later turn green with yellow rings around each one. Pathogens such as Xanthomonas, Pseudomonas, and Erwinia contribute to this type of leaf spot. A bactericide might safeguard plants from future instances of bacterial leaf spot.
- Bacterial blight: The Erwinia bacteria can also cause bacterial blight, which is detectable by dark green leaf spots on the foliage of the arrowhead plant. The spots begin to rot and stink before the leaves die. The stems can sometimes die as well. You’ll have to throw away a plant that’s infected by bacterial blight.
Is Syngonium Albo Toxic to Cats or Dogs?
If you have four-legged friends running around the house, then you know the importance of being selective about the indoor plants you grow. If you bring home the Syngonium Alba, are your pets at risk?
They are indeed, and that goes for both dogs and cats. The Syngonium Albo has insoluble calcium oxalates. If ingested by pets, the oxalates can cause symptoms such as swallowing issues, drooling, and swelling of the mouth, lips, and tongue.