Tuesday, November 10, 2009

How to care for a Nephthytis

This robust Nephthytis, has been owned by my sister-in-law for years. It has had setbacks from time to time, but always rallies. They can appear to be almost dead, but if you get them back on the right track, with proper lighting and watering, they become beautiful again!

The Nephthytis, sometimes known as arrowhead vine, is a native of Mexico and Costa Rica and one of the easiest houseplants you can live and learn with. There are several species available on the market. They grow well as potted plants or in water.  

Its botanical name is Syngonium. There are many species with a variety of leaf coloring available on the market today. The gentle Nephthytis or arrowhead vine is perfect for a beginner.

Care Instructions:
  • They tolerate lower light levels as well as some direct morning sun. Near or in a north or east facing window, or a few feet away from a south or west window should easily satisfy this plant.
  • The more color that is your Nephthytis the more light it will need, in order to stay colorful.  
  • It's a good idea to prune or pinch back some of the vines, from time to time, to keep a neat, fuller looking plant. The cuttings you remove will root very easily in water, so you can start and share new plants.
  • A thorough soak is best each time you water them. 
  • For small plants, water as soon as the top of the soil is dry. 
  • In pots over 6" (15 cm) in diameter, water when the top of the soil is quite dry or up to 1/2"  (2 cm)  below the soil surface.  
  • A plant in a 6"  (or15cm) diameter pot should take about a pint or half liter of water.
  • A plant in an 8" (or 20cm) diameter pot  will take about one quart or close to a liter of water. (The Nephthytis in the top picture is in an 8" pot.)
  • Regular fertilizing helps them thrive. If you have your plant in water, when you mix up plant food for your other plants, pour a little into the vase or container of Nephthytis.

***To view a video clip from "The Indoor Garden" 90's TV series, on sprucing up and making cuttings from a straggly Nephthytis, click below:

***See videos on plant care on"The Indoor Garden TV show" on YouTube

  The Indoor Garden TV



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