White butterfly syngonium is not just a plant with an interesting name. With white and green hues, it is delightful to look at and can grab the attention of anyone.
In this detailed guide, our experts will tell you all about it, from the care requirements and techniques to propagation as well. Read on to know more about this gorgeous plant.
- What Is a White Butterfly Syngonium?
- White Butterfly Syngonium Care
What Is a White Butterfly Syngonium?
White butterfly syngonium is an attractive houseplant characterized by creamy white hues in its foliage. The plant is native to South American countries and is also popularly called the arrowhead plant or the butterfly plant. Its long cascading looks make it ideal for hanging baskets on patios and driveways.
White Butterfly Syngonium Care
The syngonium white butterfly is a durable plant, thus it will require minimal effort from your side. Focus on a few essential care aspects and watch these plants grow into their healthy cascading foliage.
Provide your plant with indirect sunlight and light, airy potting mix to make it grow happy and healthy. Make sure it is located in a place where temperatures are within 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and humidity levels are greater than 60 percent for it to thrive.
Continue reading for a more in-depth look at this plant’s care requirements.
– Water Requirements
The white butterfly plant requires moderate levels of moisture, thus hydrating them once a week should meet its requirement. Always check the topsoil before you water the plant. If you find it moist, abstain from adding in more.
Overwatering can lead to root rot and sometimes even the death of the plant. At the same time, do not completely dry out the soil as this can shrivel up the roots and leaves, making them limp and weak.
– Light Requirements
The plant prefers medium to bright, indirect sunlight. Do not overexpose the plant to direct light as this can sunburn the cascading white butterfly syngonium leaves and stems.
Place the plant in partial shade under larger plants or trees and watch them produce lush, green and healthy foliage. If placed indoors, move the plant to an east or south-facing window where it can receive early morning sunlight.
– Soil Requirements
The plant requires a slightly moist, light and airy potting mix that will allow water to drain out well. You can use a regular potting mix with peat or perlite for proper aeration. The pH of the white butterfly syngonium soil needs to be slightly acidic at 5.5 to 6.5 to keep the roots away from harmful microbes and diseases.
– Temperature Requirements
The white butterfly plant prefers to grow in mild to moderate temperatures within a range of 60 degrees to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Do not expose it to extreme chills and frost as the plant will then begin to lose its foliage. At the same time, overexposure to high temperatures subjects the plant to shock, where its leaves curl and look limp.
With this in mind, during the colder months, move the plant indoors and use grow lights for heat and light requirements. During the summer months, mist the plant often to reduce dryness as well as to create some coolness in the air around it.
– Humidity Requirements
Syngonium white butterfly plants grow in moderate to high humidity where the range is above 60 percent. Dry air conditions make the leaves brittle and will turn them yellow. To maintain the ideal moisture levels, you can either use a humidifier or group the plant with other house plants.
Alternatively, mist the air around the plant to make sure there is enough moisture in the air. You can also place a tray filled with pebbles and water under the plant’s container.
The cascading foliage of white butterfly syngonium requires regular pruning to keep it looking neat. Snip away those vines growing in an unruly fashion and remove dead and diseased leaves and creepers that have wilted. Sterilize shears and pruners before you prune or trim the plant to prevent any spread of diseases.
– Fertilizing Requirements
The plant is not a heavy feeder. Thus, a light liquid formula once a month or a slow-release fertilizer will do the job. The ideal fertilizer will be one with an NPK ratio of 20:20:20.
Do not overfeed the plant or fertilize it in the colder months as this could lead to scorched leaves, or in other words, fertilizer burn.
Propagate white butterfly syngonium in a fun and cost-effective way. You don’t have to be an expert gardener to do this, with just a few basic tools you can develop new offsets for the plant. Read on to know more.
– Ideal Season To Propagate
The right season to propagate is during the warm months of spring and summer. These are the growth months when there will be enough warmth for the plant to establish healthy roots.
Moreover, the growth rate will be faster in these months in comparison to the cooler months of fall and the chilly winter months when the plant will enter a state of dormancy.
– Tools Required
Keep the following tools ready and at hand before you begin the process. It will make your job simpler.
- A sharp garden pruner or propagation knife: Sterilize it with an alcohol solution before you place any cuts to prevent the spread of bacterial infections.
- A light potting soil to place the plant in
- A container, pot or shallow tray with well-draining drainage holes
- A plastic sheet or wrap with tiny holes or a glass container with breathable openings
- Rooting hormone powder
– Propagation Method
The white butterfly syngonium can be propagated through stem cuttings in water or soil and division. Do note that the plant has a slower growth and propagation rate and prefers to thrive and prosper in its native regions of South America, which makes it quite rare. Because of this, be patient in seeing results.
– Propagation Through Stem Cuttings
Use stem cuttings to propagate new offsets. You can let the cuttings root in water or directly in the soil, though rooting is faster in water in comparison to soil. Additionally, you will need to change the water once a week if rooting in water to restore the oxygen supply to the stem section.
Find the detailed procedure listed below:
- Make a gentle cut on the stem of a mature mother plant, making sure that the section has at least one node.
- Dip the cut end of the section into rooting hormone powder.
- Place this cutting in water or directly in soil for rooting. If you are living in a dry zone, you can choose to keep it covered with a case or plastic sheet with holes for ventilation to create some humidity around the stem. This will give the entire process a good boost.
- In a few weeks, the cut segment will begin to develop its first nascent roots.
- Transplant it into potting soil when you spot the roots developing more prominently and when fresh foliage begins to grow. This will take the plant several more weeks to sprout out leaves and grow a sturdier stem.
- Your white butterfly syngonium plant will not require frequent repotting as the plant fares well even if it is root-bound. However, you can consider repotting them once every two years to replenish the soil with peat or compost nutrients and tackle issues such as root rot.
– Propagation Through Division
The division method includes removing the plant from the soil and dividing it entirely from the root system. Here are the details of the process:
- Pick a healthy and mature plant and gently remove it out of the pot along with the soil. Tap the base of the container gently and the plant will slip out in its entirety. Loosen the excess soil at the roots to make the sections visible.
- With the help of a sterile garden pruner or sharp knife, snip a section of the plant with the stem, leaves and the portion of the roots intact.
- Repot the mother plant. This is the time when you can inspect for root rot or fungal diseases at the roots and gently snip them away.
- Plant the cut section in fresh potting soil and care for it as usual. You may notice the mother plant as well as the freshly potted section showing signs of wilting, but this is normal and is due to transplantation stress.
- In a few days, both plants will be good to go.
The white butterfly syngonium plant is not immune from any problems. However, it is easy to tackle them as long as you catch these problems early on. Find all the important details below.
– Dark Spots on Leaves
Dark spots on leaves can be caused by an infection such as bacterial blight. This disease gives the leaf a tattered look along with a foul smell at the roots.
If the infection is minimal, snip away the affected sections and discard them immediately. Scale back on the watering as the disease can spread fast if there is moisture in the soil and plant. For severe infections, unfortunately, you will not be able to do much and the plant may eventually die.
– Pest Infestations
White butterfly syngonium plants can get infected with spider mites, aphids or mealy bugs. These pests thrive on the underside of the leaves, feasting on the sap of the plants and making them wilt.
Isolate the plant immediately and treat it with an organic soapy insecticide or neem oil. Dust your leaves often to keep them clean and pest free.
– Yellow Leaves
The leaves of the plant can turn yellow for several reasons such as nutrient deficiency, improper drainage and overwatering.
Ensure the plant is provided with the care requirements that are most ideal for it such as potting soil that is light and a container or pot that is equipped with proper drainage holes. Additionally, monitor watering and regulate temperature to get the plant back to being green and healthy.
– Dying Plant
The plant can show a dying and wilted look due to several reasons such as improper watering, insufficient light, low humidity or temperature stress.
To tackle this issue, provide the plant with medium levels of, but not direct, sunlight. Monitor its humidity levels and make sure it receives just the right amount of water to keep its soil moist.
– Arrowhead Plant Turning White
If your plant is losing its variegation, then this is due to the absence of adequate light where the leaves get discolored and show a bleached look.
For best growth, place the plant in filtered light where it receives enough warmth along with moderate light and move the plant indoors during winters to prevent it from cold drafts, frost and chilly winds. You can also opt to grow them under artificial grow lights if indoors and make sure the spot is well-ventilated.
– Droopy Leaves
Are you overwatering your plant? Droopy leaves are a classic reaction to soggy soil. It will also result in a foul odor from the base of the plant along with droopy leaves due to the rotting leaves. To deal with it, scale back on the water immediately before it gets worse.
You need to water the white butterfly plant depending on how soon the soil gets dry. The rule of thumb is to water the plant once a week, increasing the frequency as the months get warmer. Reduce the watering to once a fortnight in winters as the plant enters a state of dormancy.
– Curling Leaves
The leaves of the white butterfly syngonium can curl due to conditions such as low humidity, improper watering, inadequate or excess light and heat. To fix the problem, examine your care procedures by following our guide and meeting the plant’s ideal requirements.
– Leaves Turning Brown
As a tropical plant, the white butterfly syngonium requires moderate levels of humidity around it to thrive. If you notice the leaves turning brown and brittle, it is a clear indication of dry air.
Increase humidity around the plant by misting the plant often if you are in a dry zone. Additionally, you can group it along with other plants to benefit from their collective humidity.
If you are growing the plant indoors, use a humidifier to kick in some moisture around it. Keep the plant away from the air conditioner and heater vents, which will not only hamper growth with their sudden blasts of air but will also dry the environment around the plant.
– Small Leaves
If the leaves of the plant appear small or stunted, it could be a sign that it is thirsty. Overly dry soil can cause stress conditions, hampering the growth and spread of the foliage.
Check the moisture level of the soil by pressing your finger into the soil to feel for dryness. If your finger comes out dry, it is an indication that the plant needs some watering.
White butterfly syngonium is a beautiful cascading plant that is a delight to grow. Let us sum up all that we have learned from this detailed guide via the points listed below:
- White butterfly syngonium is characterized by creamy white and green foliage. The leaves are spread like an arrow, looking much like the shape of butterfly wings. It is this physical feature that gives the plant its name of butterfly arrowhead plant or the white butterfly arrowhead.
- The plant prefers to grow in bright indirect light with moderate levels of humidity.
- Water the plant as per the moisture levels of the soil, taking care to adjust it depending on the season.Fertilize the plant once a month
- to keep its foliage healthy.
- Propagate the plant easily via stem cuttings.
Now that you have read our expert tips, you can now confidently grow these plants in your home or garden. It will require minimal effort and will serve as a perfect option for beginner gardeners.
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