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Arrowhead Plant | Care Difficulty – Easy

Young arrowhead plants are bushy and usually pretty full, making them attractive indoor plant choices for coffee tables, side tables, and other surfaces. As the plants grow and mature, they develop a climbing habit, making them fun to grow up trellises or other structures. However, you can prune them back to keep them bushy if you don’t want them trailing around your house.  I have also seen them referred to as the goosefoot plant, based on the shape of the leaves.

When you don’t know anything about houseplants, any plant can seem intimidating. But once you get 1,2,10, 30 of them in your house, your anxiety starts to diminish. That is when the addiction kicks in! I went through a phase where I didn’t research what care a particular plant needed, I just went for the gusto! I don’t advise this approach. You should always learn about the care of a plant before bringing it home so you have a better chance of keeping it alive.

If you want to add color your plant collection, the arrowhead plant comes in beautifully variegated foliage flushed with white, cream, silver, pink, or purple. When it comes to plants, I am a green girl… that’s mainly because I use my plants as decor, second to furniture.

Light Requirements

Grow arrowhead plants in low- or medium-light spots. Most varieties can grow in brighter light, as long as they’re not exposed to too much direct sun, especially in hot-summer climates. If exposed to direct sunlight, they can suffer from sunburn. If you own one that is light green, white, pink, or burgundy in color, you need a medium to high light. The leaves of all arrowhead plants are “bleached” and turn an ugly gray-green color when placed in the direct sun.

Water Requirements

The arrowhead plant should have moist potting soil and dry out slightly between waterings. Add less water in the fall and winter.

Optimum Temperature

They prefer average to warm temperatures of 60-75 degrees (F). As with most plants, avoid cold drafts and heat vents.

Fertilizer – Plant Food

Fertilize every two weeks in the spring and summer, when an arrowhead plant is actively growing, with a balanced, liquid plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength. Feed monthly in the fall and winter.

Additional Care

Plant Characteristics to Watch For

Diagnosing what is going wrong with your plant is going to take a little detective work, but even more patience! First of all, don’t panic and don’t throw out a plant prematurely.
Take a few deep breaths and work down the list of possible issues. Below, I am going to share some typical symptoms that can arise. When I start to spot troubling signs on a plant, I take the plant into a room with good lighting, pull out my magnifiers, and start by thoroughly inspecting the plant.

The leaves look bleached almost, a gray-green color.

  • The leaves of all arrowhead plants are “bleached” and turn an ugly gray-green color when placed in the direct sun.
  • Solution: Relocate the plant or hang a sheer curtain in the window to soften the light coming in.

My plant is looking pale and anemic.

  • This can be due to spider mites.
  • Solution: See below regarding pest invasions.
My plant has brown spots with yellow rings around them.
My plant doesn’t appear to be growing.
The leaves are yellowing.

The leaf tips are turning brown.

Common Bugs to Watch For

If you want to have healthy houseplants, you MUST inspect them regularly. Every time I water a plant, I give it a quick look-over.  Bugs/insects feeding on your plants reduces the plant sap and redirects nutrients from leaves. Some chew on the leaves, leaving holes in the leaves.  Also watch for wilting or yellowing, distorted, or speckled leaves. They can quickly get out of hand and spread to your other plants.
If you see ONE bug, trust me, there are more. So, take action right away. Some are brave enough to show their “faces” by hanging out on stems in plain sight. Others tend to hide out in the darnedest of places, like the crotch of a plant or in a leaf that has yet to unfurl.

Propagation

As I was taking photos for this posting, I noticed that a stem hanging out from the front side of the plant. To help retain the lushness of this plant, I decided to cut it off and propagate it so I can grow another plant.

  1. Cut a 3-to-5-inch stem from an existing healthy plant, leaving at least one node (the point at which a leaf emerges from the stem) and some leaves at the tip.
  2. Place the cutting in a clean container with fresh tap water, making sure there are no leaves submerged under the water.
  3. Set the container in a location where it will receive bright light but not direct sunlight.
  4. Keep cuttings away from cold drafts. A room temperature of about 70ᵒF is ideal.
  5. Now, we need to wait for the plant stem to produce some roots. This process can take several weeks. While you wait, it is important to change the water in your container periodically so that it stays clean and provides oxygen. Bacterial growth in the water can lead to rotting. Change water at least twice a week or when it starts to look cloudy.
  6. Once you see roots form on your stems, let them develop in water for another week or two and then plant them into a small, well-draining container with potting medium.
  7. Keep the medium moist until you begin to see signs of new leaf initiation on the plants, and then cut back on watering to about once each week.

Toxicity

Arrowhead plants have medium to severe toxicity. Eating parts of these houseplants may result in vomiting, diarrhea, stomach pain, skin irritation, and breathing difficulties.

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