Syngonium Erythrophyllum Plant Care & Propagation

The Syngonium Erythrophyllum is a member of the Araceae family which makes it an aroid like philodendrons, monsteras, pothos and anthuriums.

It is known for its gorgeous dark green leaves with red-maroon undersides.

Two well-known Syngonium Erythrophyllum varieties include the

  • Syngonium Red Arrow
  • Syngonium Llano Carti Road

The plant is native to the tropical jungles of Central and South America.

How do you care for the Syngonium Erythrophyllum? It can tolerate low light but will grow faster in bright, indirect light. The plant also needs regular watering.

But be careful about getting the soil wet and soggy. Instead, let it dry between waterings as excess water can lead to overwatering and root rot.

Syngonium Erythrophyllum Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Syngonium Erythrophyllum enjoys medium to bright indirect light. Good lighting is very important if you want the plant to grow optimally.

It helps maintain the beautiful dark green leaves.

And because the plant has dark green colored foliage, it is less tolerant of very strong light. Therefore, keep it away from direct sunlight especially during the middle of the day.

Between 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 a.m. the sun is most intense.

And its rays come in from the south facing window gradually moving to the west facing window, where the sun will set late afternoon.

This is why if you want to keep the plant in either of these directions, it is a good idea to keep it at least 2-3 feet from window away from the sun’s rays.

Alternatively, you can use sheer blinds or curtains to filter the light if you prefer keeping the plant near the window.

On the other hand, the Syngonium Erythrophyllum’s dark green leaves make it a good fit with low light and shaded locations.

Note that this does not mean there is no light or it is moistly shade.

All plants need light for photosynthesis. So, while the plant can tolerate less light, don’t leave in the basement or a dark corner.

 

Temperature

The Syngonium Erythrophyllum has an ideal temperature range between 55 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. This gives you a lot of leeway depending on where you live.

It also makes it easy to grow the plant indoors since it enjoys moderate to warm weather.

This aroid is a tropical plant as it is native to Central and South America. Therefore, its preference is for warm to hot climates that are humid as well.

However, it is less suited for the cold.

This means it is better off as a houseplant during the fall and winter if you live somewhere with winter weather.

Don’t leave it outdoors when the temperature gets cold outdoors. It will struggle, experience cold injury and later die.

Indoors, keep it warm and give it good lighting. This will help it keep growing.

If the conditions indoors gets cold and it does not get much light, it will go dormant. But don’t worry. The plant will just stop growing.

But come spring when the weather warms up it will come back life.

However, if the plant does go dormant, make sure to cut back significantly on water. Don’t fee the plant as well.

Some growers make the mistake of adding more of these in hopes of waking the plant up.

You can actually end up killing it this way.

The only exception here is if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12 which the plant likes. In these locations, you can keep the plant outdoors all year round without any issues.

That’s because the winters are mild, sunny and still fairly moderate. There is no snow or freezing temperature as well.

 

Humidity

Ideal humidity for the Syngonium Erythrophyllum is between 60% to 90.

Again, this comes from its tropical habitat. It is used to high humidity since the tropics usually have humidity in the 60% to 75% each and every day.

It does go up during rainy days.

And will drop to about 50% to 55% during dry summers.

But that’s about it and humidity stays on the high side.

The downside of this is the most homes average between 20% to 50% humidity which may mean that you need to take extra measures to keep the plant happy.

If you live somewhere with dry air, it is a good idea to keep track of humidity. I like to keep a hygrometer near my plants.

This is a small portable digital device that’s quite affordable. It tells you the humidity in any room to the second.

So, you know how much you need to increase moisture in the air around the plant. And you know if your efforts produce enough results or need to do more.

The most common ways to increase humidity around the plant include:

  • Get a humidifier
  • Keep the plant in the bathroom or kitchen
  • Group it with other houseplants
  • Mist it regularly
  • Set up a humidity tray or pebble tray

 

Related

 

How Often to Water Syngonium Erythrophyllum

The Syngonium Erythrophyllum is a thirsty plant. And it needs watering regularly. However, it is also prone to overwatering.

This is what makes watering it tricky.

More importantly, you want to be very careful about overwatering it since this can lead to root rot.

Therefore, excess watering has the potential to destroy your plant.

As such, always err on the side of caution. If you’re not sure, don’t water.

While the Syngonium Erythrophyllum does not like going dry, it will recover fairly quickly from this. And as long as you add water soon after it dries, there won’t be any damage or dehydration.

On the other hand, overwatering can get you since damage is out of sight.

It happens under the soil. So, the only time you know there’s a problem is when the symptoms reach the leaves.

By then, the roots have sustained some kind of damage in most cases.

This is why the best way to water the Syngonium Erythrophyllum is wait until the part of the soil has dried.

At the very least, allow the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry before adding any more water.

You can also wait until the top half of the soil has dried. This is more conservative. But it is also much safer in preventing overwatering.

Some people will tell you to water once a week.

And it general that works well. But you have to adjust for summers and winters since the amount of sunlight and climate change.

This means that you’ll usually find yourself watering 2 or 3 times a week during summers and only once every 2 or 3 weeks in winter.

For this reason, I prefer to rely on what the soil is telling me rather than follow number of days. It automatically adjusts based on the climate and environment no matter where you live.

 

Syngonium Erythrophyllum Potting Soil

Due to its moisture preferences, the Syngonium Erythrophyllum enjoys soil that can retain water but also has good drainage.

I know that his sounds ironic because the two features are complete opposites.

But with soil mixes, it does work. And all you need is to use the right ingredients.

To explain, the soil should be able to hold moisture. This will keep the roots hydrated and the plant healthy and happy.

But because it is prone to overwatering, you want the excess water to drain very quickly.

This way, the roots don’t end up sitting in lots of liquid for long periods of time. This is when they get into trouble because they won’t be able to breathe.

What many people are not aware of is that roots need oxygen as much as they need water.

This is why watering can be very tricky.

If you add too much water and keep adding before the soil dries, you’ll overwhelm the roots by drowning them in liquid.

When this happens, they’ll suffocate before the water pushes out all the air from the pockets in the soil.

This is what causes root rot.

On the other hand, if you don’t water enough, the roots will have tons of air.

But they will get dehydrated after a while.

This causes problems.

Although, for the Syngonium Erythrophyllum, overwatering is more dangerous that underwatering.

This is why using the right potting soil is essential.

The good news is, it is very easy to achieve the perfect soil for the Syngonium Erythrophyllum. Just mix:

  • 50% potting soil
  • 25% coco coir
  • 25% pumice and charcoal

This will allow the soil to retain moisture but have good drainage. Additionally, the charcoal increases its chunkiness allowing air to easily flow into the roots as well.

If you don’t like getting one ingredient at a time then measuring to make the mix, you can just buy an Aroid mix.

This is perfect for the Syngonium Erythrophyllum. And you can get it from online plant shops and nurseries.

 

Fertilizer

The Syngonium Erythrophyllum does need fertilizer just as do most houseplants. This will let it grow bigger and produce foliage.

But with fertilizing, what you shouldn’t do is just as important as what you should do.

That’s because too much fertilizer, be it over application, applying in the wrong times of the year, using larger doses or over concentration can damage the plant.

Instead, feed the Syngonium Erythrophyllum only during spring and summer. Stop once fall arrives and start again next spring.

You can use a regular houseplant fertilizer, either a balanced or all-purpose one.

Dilute it to half strength each time to apply. Also, never apply fertilizer if the soil is dry. It has to be moist.

Once every 2 to 4 weeks is enough during its growing season.

Start at once a month and it the plant isn’t growing as expected increase to twice a month. Don’t do more than that.

 

Pruning

The Syngonium Erythrophyllum is not a large plant. Instead, it is a vining plant that has a growth habit somewhat to pothos.

It is fairly compact if you keep it as such.

Or you can let it grow out.

Allowing it to trail down hanging baskets is a great look. But it will likewise appreciate climbing up a pole or vertical support.

The Syngonium Erythrophyllum usually gets to 1.5 to 2 feet long.

Although, you can prune it to whatever look you want.

As with all vining plants with long stems, you will need to trim some of the outliers and vines that grow in weird, separate directions from the rest of the plant.

This will keep it neat looking and not messy.

 

How to Propagate Syngonium Erythrophyllum

Syngonium Erythrophyllum propagation is straightforward and easy. That’s because you can propagate the plant using stem cuttings.

Additionally, it roots well and will grow to become a clone of the parent.

Therefore, you know what you’re getting and there will no surprises later on.

The most important thing with stem propagation is to pick the right stems. This is easy given that the plant has lots of them.

Nevertheless, always make sure that the cutting you get have at least 2 nodes and several leaves on it.

The nodes are crucial.

Otherwise, the cuttings will not propagate no matter what you do.

Use a sterile cutting tool to snip off a healthy stem based on the criteria above. Then, plant the stem cutting into a pot filled with moist, well-draining soil.

You can take one stem or multiple stem cuttings. It is really up to you.

You can likewise propagate the cutting in water if you wish.

To do so, fill a container or jar with water and place the stem in. Ensure that the nodes are submerged in the liquid while all the leaves are kept out of it.

You will need to replace the water every couple of weeks to keep it from getting cloudy, which allows pathogens to develop.

In both cases, keep the pot or container in bright, indirect sunlight.

It takes about 3-6 weeks for enough roots to grow. With the water propagation, you’ll eventually need to move the rooted cuttings into soil mix.

You can do this as early as then the roots are at least an inch long. Or you can wait longer.

Just don’t wait too long (over 1-2 years).

After that time, you’ll start to see some roots rot, which would be a waste since you’ll need to let new ones grow again. If this happens, you need to keep pruning the rotten roots.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Syngonium Erythrophyllum

The Syngonium Erythrophyllum is a fast growing vining plant. And while its root system is not extensive or very complex, they will outgrow their pot sooner than later.

From experience, it will usually get root bound before your other houseplants do.

So, be ready to repot every 12 to 18 months. Although, it will very often be closer to the bottom end of that range.

An easy way to do this is check the pot every spring.

Since spring is best time to repot, if the plant it rootbound, then you can repot within the next few days once you have everything prepared.

Go with a pot that is one size larger and replace the potting soil as well with fresh soil mix.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

As with other aroids, the Syngonium Erythrophyllum is toxic when consumed. However, it is safe to handle, carry or work with using your hands.

That’s because the calcium oxalate crystals is inside the plant.

And they only get activated when ingested.

Unfortunately, when this happens, you’ll experience mild to serious inflammation in the mouth, throat and digestive tract.

This is not only irritating but also painful since the crystals are like tiny needles piercing the internal lining of your stomach, mouth, tongue and other parts that it passes through.

 

Syngonium Erythrophyllum Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Syngonium Erythrophyllum is quite resilient to pests.

So, while it can experience common houseplant pests like spider mites, aphids and mealybugs, infestations don’t usually happen.

However, don’t be complacent.

That’s because when the plant is stressed or unwell, its natural defenses are down. And they bugs can sense this and that’s when they pounce.

Therefore, you still want to regularly check for pests.

And if you see any, immediately start treatment.

 

Diseases

The plant is likewise resilient to diseases. However, in most cases, diseases are man-made or caused by human error.

And majority of them come from overwatering or excess moisture of some sort.

Root rot is the most dangerous of these and you want to watch out for this. Although, it can experience stem rot as well.

The plant is likewise prone to leaf spot infections of different kinds. So, avoid watering the plant overhead where the leaves get wet.

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