...and then there were three. Or one short one, depending.

aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)August 28, 2012

This morning I was watering a few plants and somehow broke off the longest stem on my pink butterfly Nephthytis. It was nearly 18" long and branching. Now my plant is only about 7" tall. I managed to get two cuttings from the part that was broken off so if they take (will they?), I'll have three plants instead of just one.

Or, I'll just have one, shorter plant.

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dellis326 (Danny)

What you have is probably a Syngonium podophyllum. They had at one time been classified as Nephthytis but it was realized that they belong in their own family. Nephthytis is a (more or less) African group and Syngonium is an American group, They are both aroids but only distantly related. But Nephthytis is still often used as a common name.

You should be able to root them in a glass of water and as soon as new roots start to grow stick them back in the pot with the original plant.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 11:58AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I was wondering about this when I googled to see what plant "Mom" was talking about. Is it growing upright?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 12:01PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

Interesting about the name. It actually came without a tag - I called after I got home and the girl who works at HD is fairly knowledgeable (most employees at my stores wouldn't have any idea what it was) she gave me the name I used.

Original plant, then & now:

and the two cuttings:

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 1:57PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

The first picture was actually taken about a month ago or longer, it was even taller than that up until I broke off the top. :( I guess I temporarily answered the question of "do I want to let it climb anything or not?"

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 1:59PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

O how beautiful! Luckily there's no HD around here or I might b in the car now instead of typing. Sorry, nothing helpful to add.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 2:33PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

Thanks! I like it quite a bit - and I can't wait until it's tall again, I used to like to look at it as I passed by. I still do, but I enjoyed seeing how tall it was getting. Ah well, with luck the cuttings will take off.

I guess its common name is (can be?) arrowhead vine and they're supposed to be quite a nuisance if planted in the ground (according to various posts on this forum and other webpages). I've seen other variations for sale lately - but not the pink & green again. Of course, my HD, Lowes & Wal-Mart are pretty much clearing out the plants to make room for Christmas and/or hunting stuff. :: I couldn't believe when I saw a few Christmas-y items out. How ridiculous.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 2:42PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Don't they know what we want for Christmas is more plants?! LOL!

If that's a Syngonium, the 3-part leaves are "mature." Did you take your pics after the sun went down? Doesn't look like there's much light but that always happens with indoor night-time pics. I've not had one get to that point (mature leaves) but it's really cool to see that it's possible on an indoor-size plant and the fact that it was staked is probably (from my very elementary and informal education about such things) what caused it to morph to mature leaves.

Oh woe is the confusion caused by renaming! As if learning how to spell one 14-syllable name isn't enough! The Wiki article for Syngonium says, "Syngonium podophyllum is the most commonly cultivated species, being used as a houseplant since the late 19th century. It was originally confused with the similar-looking African genus Nephthytis, and this is still used as a common name for the plant. It was given its own genus in 1879." So nobody should feel bad since the confusion has been going on for 130+ years and being actively perpetuated by the suppliers/stores.

...But if there's really two different plants, how to tell them apart if the names are used interchangeably, and/or know which plant one has compared to the (hundreds?) of Syngoniums? Is the African one rare? Do they make similar-looking mature leaves? Of course googling "Nephthytis" (which can't even be said out loud and is therefore a stupid word to retain as a common name for anything) brings up all pics of what looks like Syngoniums to me.

I think my honey is right when he says they are all "Steve." Whew!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 3:44PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

My plant wasn't staked, so no idea why it made mature leaves. If it had been staked, it probably wouldn't have broken, poor plant.

The first picture was taken at night, the today pictures... well, it's very overcast (we're actually getting some more rain today, likely from the errant Isaac band) and I only have my "study" light on behind me so it's pretty dim in here. I'm doing World History homework and taking the occasional mental break.

And I know, how do I know what plant I have? I probably ought to name them myself - I just finally remembered nephthytis. Perhaps I'll call this one Madeline (as in the children books). Ha, I say that but I'll close this window, start working on school work and then promptly forget her name.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 4:00PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

It didn't occur to me that it wasn't staked, sorry for the assumption. That may be a clue to the identity, can't imagine Syngonium standing upright on its' own, although I've had very few of the vast selection of Syngoniums, so maybe not much of a clue at all.

Hopefully someone will pop in who has further info.

It looks like a healthy plant, no matter what you call it!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 4:18PM
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aharriedmom(8B FL Sunset 28)

Oh, no worries at all about the assumption. I looked at the picture and with the shadows, it does look staked. Also, I had wondered if I ought to stake it, so you weren't so far off!

:D

...heading back to the intricacies of the Ottoman Empire vs. European monarchies.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 4:25PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi AHM,

Pls. try not to worry, I think these will be just fine.

I've grown Syngonium in mix & in water. Found they root readily in water & are fine when cut back, they just grow more). I think when they get long enough they'll start trailing & vining (think I've read that too), so pls. forget they got broken & just imagine you've got 3 plants now.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 6:50PM
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plantmasterm(z7)

Id like to interject my 2 cents if I may..I have 7 of these plants and I agree that 4 of them are syngonium podophyllum..the other 3 I feel are Nephthytis, I say this because at full maturity they have 5 leaflets that make up 1 leaf..Im showing you one of the leave..this plant is over 30 yrs old.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 3:47PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Awesome! In 30 years we can know for sure what these plants are. LOL J/K & couldn't resist. That's definitely cool, worth at least .89 cents!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 4:59PM
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plantmasterm(z7)

thanks, Im impressed you thought it to be worth 89 cent.. now I would like to know if this is pink butterfly as well?

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 5:43PM
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