Syngonium podophyllum Help

Kelby MillerNovember 26, 2013

Please help me figure out what to do with this plant. It was my mom's plant before she passed away a few days ago and I am trying to bring it back to life and make it lush and beautiful. I don't know a thing about it and I am a very beginner when it comes to planting.

I found out on the "Name This Plant" forum that it is a Syngonium podophyllum. I think that is the general name for it but not the specific. Does anyone have the specific name for it?

So when it comes to caring about this plant I have a few questions. The pot it is in now doesn't have holes at the bottom so when it was watered I believe the water just pooled on the bottom. I think I should re-pot it into another pot with holes in it. Any suggestions on the type of pot and when I should do this. IDK if it is safe to do in the winter (it's snowing outside now so even though it is technically fall, the snow makes it winter for me). Also, what window should I put the plant in my house. My options are a NE window, South facing window or in the bathroom that has a skylight that is filtered.

Please help me out with this plant everyone! Thank you so much.

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Sorry for your loss. If this was my plant I would definitely take it out of this pot and look at the roots. The roots look water logged. I'd separate each stock and lay them on some newspaper or paper towel and let dry for a couple hours. I'd get some good potting soil (not miracle Gro) but something peat or coco coir based. I would then fill up a 6" pot and burry these stems in a semi dry mix. Do not water until you see new growth! You can mist foliage but do not soak the soil. These plants are very forgiving, but you need patience.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2013 at 11:10PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

So sorry about your Mom! The only thing I'd add to Will's advice is that you may end up burying the stems a little more than they were before. This kind of plant makes roots easily along the stem, at the nodes where leaves were attached previously. I can see some of those little bumps on the stems, called aerial root nubs. This plant doesn't really need that prime windowsill spot, if you have other plants that need more light.

I think I saw in the name-that-plant discussion where it was suggested to use a pot with a hole in the bottom? If not, that would be a good idea. If the excess water can escape (I usually do this over a sink,) the roots should avoid being rotted in the future as long as you don't add water too often, waiting until it's pretty dry each time but not to the point that the plant wilts. Too much moisture can kill plants (by rotting the roots) just like having none at all can.

This plant is a vine but in better health, it would have more leaves along the stem, not just at the tips. It's impossible to predict if it can bounce back, but it doesn't look hopeless yet, not by a long shot.

    Bookmark   November 27, 2013 at 6:48AM
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Kelby Miller

Ok so I made some changes right after I posted this and I am just now coming back. I'll tell you what I did.

First thing I did was take the whole plant out of the pot and disposed of the soil. Then, I got as much off of the roots as I could without messing with them too much. Then, I punched three nickel-quarter sized holes on the bottom of the pot and added new soil. Then I added the plant and watered a day later.
I also cut a stem off of one and put it a glass of water on the windowsill. Do you think it will root?

I hope this was the right thing to do. I see will said to take the whole plant out and divide each stalk onto newspaper. Should I take it out of the pot again to do that?

The back of my house had a few pine trees over it and it is facing in an East/Northeast direction. That's where this plant is. It is on my kitchen table by a window now on the back of the house. Thank you for all the input so far and I'll upload new pictures of its progress tomorrow.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 9:59PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

The genus and species IS Syngonium podophyllum. It is also commonly called syngonium.

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 10:10PM
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Kelby Miller

Here are the updated pictures. Please let me know what else to do.

    Bookmark   December 8, 2013 at 2:57PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Sorry, but I believe the potted plant is a goner. Too much heavy wet soil, like to rot any of those stems if they're still alive.

I'd scratch those potted stems w/ my fingernail & see if there's green under there, it's likely too late (sorry, wish it were otherwise for you). Then again, you have nothing to lose by waiting any couple of weeks to see if it sprouts any new growth.

From the cutting in water, pls. remove all the dead growth, it will not come back to life. This one too is iffy (sorry to say), but has a better chance. I'd do nothing else until I see new growth.

I'm sorry for your recent loss of your Mom. Perhaps a better way to remember her is to simply go out & buy a living, healthy Syngonium & enjoy it & care for it in your Mother's memory.

    Bookmark   December 9, 2013 at 12:09PM
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Sorry to hear you lost your mom. :(
The plant does look very sick, but I think you still have a chance with it. I wouldn't give up yet.
The only parts that are definitely dead are the ones that either brown and crispy (dried out) or black and mushy (rot). Anything that is still green still has a chance of surviving. Yellow means it is sickly and might die but not quite there yet.
Syngonium does root easily in water, so I think you did the right thing by putting one of the stems in there. Do you see bumpy things on the stem? Those are called "nodes" and those are where new roots can form.
Personally, if you can find any stems that are 1) still green 2) have nodes, I would take cuttings from those stems to put in the water since I think that your chances of saving it are better with water rooting. Getting the soil drainage and watering right is more complicated than just keeping it in a glass of water.
However, I am attaching a link to a profile on this plant with more culture advice that might help. Good luck. Keep us updated.

Here is a link that might be useful: Plant Profile for Syngonium

    Bookmark   December 10, 2013 at 2:16PM
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Kelby Miller

Hello again.

So the main plant didn't make it and I had to get rid of it.

I have good news though. The cutting I put in water looks like it has some new growth and roots. I'm very excited but I'm not site what to do next. I only have this 1 cutting so I scared going to mess it up.

What should I do now? I'm not sure how long I should keep waiting to put it in soil. How long do the roots have to be before I switch? When I so switch, what type of soil should I use? How small of a pot should I use. Thanks for the help!

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 5:14PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

You've got time.

Yes, that's new growth, but one needs more of it (w/ some leaves, of which I believe that new growth is the first) & some established roots at the bottom of the cutting as well before you proceed further.

I'd check back w/ an update in another week maybe 10 days.

    Bookmark   January 5, 2014 at 5:27PM
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I'm glad that piece is holding on! Syngonium is one of the plants that grows pretty well in water, so I would not rush to switch it over to soil. Making the switch to soil is a little risky and you might lose it if it's not strong enough to make the move. I would definitely keep it in water and let it grow more roots for now.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 12:10AM
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sorry but in this disorder is due to fungai.and this situation is worse than u can cure it.u should not water so much !!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 1:22AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I'm not sure that's can live at all. That's some kind of decomposition at the wet end, not roots forming. I'm sorry.

The only hope at this point is to cut it at the line. Hopefully it's green inside at that point, not brown. I would stick it in the soil of another plant that dries quickly.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 10:49AM
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How often have you been changing the water?

    Bookmark   January 6, 2014 at 7:27PM
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Kelby Miller

Oh no! I saw the white tendrils and thought it was roots. That is not good news at all.

I have been changing the water pretty regularly.

So I should cut where indicated in the picture above and put it in soil of a plant that dries quickly instead of putting it back in the cup of water? Also, my pant that dries out the quickest is in a window on the south side of the house. Would that be an okay position?

I made the cut as you suggested but it was all brown and mushy. I cut higher and higher and higher until I saw some green and then stuck that in the soil as suggested. Should I water it now that it is in the soil?

Here is what it looks like now.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2014 at 9:18PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I wouldn't water it for a few days. The bright window sounds great at this time of year, though if it was summer, that would probably be too much. I hope this cute little tip survives. It looks like it wants to, doesn't it?

What is in this big green pot?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 9:23AM
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Kelby Miller

It is some type of palm I think. It has been the same size for 2 years now.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 9:57AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

You mean besides mildewy, spoiled looking soil?

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 11:06AM
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Kelby Miller

Yes I noticed the mildewy spoiled soil too. I used a spoon as scooped off the top inch of soil and then added fresh soil and cinnamon on top of that.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 11:52AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Cute! But frog probably doesn't have a hole in the bottom? What other options for Syngonium tip, other pots?

The little palm, I'd say it's suffering from toxic levels of something, probably several of the substances commonly in tap water to which palms are sensitive. That crud at the surface is a classic symptom. I would put the palm in a plastic pot that fits in the hole in the frog, removing all of the old soil when doing so. Then you can water it at a sink, let it drip out, sit back in the frog. The soil won't get like that, the palm should grow.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:36PM
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Kelby Miller

The frog does have 4 holes on the bottom. There were three but I didn't think they were quite big enough so I added a 4th on in the center.

Here are my other options

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 12:44PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I don't know who's directing you, but one doesn't add cinnamon to the soil, one dusts the base of the cutting w/ it & then shakes off the excess, then plants.

Sorry, but that gross soil is pointless, you might as well throw the whole thing out if that's what you planted it in. How can you expect something to live in that? Try FRESH soil, or you're just wasting your time.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 1:41PM
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Kelby Miller

I actually knew from beforehand that cinnamon is an antibacterial and antimicrobial agent. Before my mom passed away that was the trick she used on her plants whenever the occasional microbes appeared on her plants and/or soil. It seemed to do the trick on hers every time so that's why I tested it out. I didn't use a lot of cinnamon either. It wasn't like I was dumping it on there either. It was just 1% cinnamon to 99% water. Hopefully it works.

This post was edited by Kelby232 on Wed, Jan 8, 14 at 14:07

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 2:00PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Awesome window! Those other pots don't look like there's as much buildup at the surface, the 1st pic of the frog is so close-range. If it's all the same peaty stuff, I would encourage you to investigate more chunky, porous, airy alternatives. With that type of soil, the amount of soil/size pot devoted to each plant is going to take a long time to dry.

The one at the right end is a little unhappy? Can't see it clearly.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 2:29PM
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Kelby Miller

Thank you Purple.

I actually have another thread open about these plants located here:

This is the soil I've been using.

I have been struggling with all of those plants.

I think some of them are doing better since I moved it to the new location in front of that window.

I have really let them all dry out pretty good since I opened that thread and got advice from everyone. The Dracaena deremensis and the Dracaena godseffiana( or gold-dust dracaena) seem to be doing the worst though. I am really struggling with them.

I did buy a bag of perlite yesterday for my spider plants. I will have plenty leftover if you think I should add it to those plants. I can also move this discussion back to thread I have open pertaining to those though too.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 2:38PM
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teengardener1888(NY Albany 5a)

Sorry for your loss, and I hope your valiant fight with the arrowhead vine can be won, but I think the plant has been too much for it........but i believe in fighting until the last moment. I have had great luck with my aloe that i inhereted from my great grandmother after she died(then again, it was healthy from the start) It has had lots of growth but has yet to produce a baby, which concerns me if it starts to rot, i cant peserve it. When i recieved it, it was in peaty soil so i changed it into miracle grow with LOTS of perlite( a 60-40 ratio). It seems to have responded well to the change, but I fear miracle grow is still too water conserving. I avoid cacti mixes because they are pure peat and no perlite. Again, I wish the plant the best :)

    Bookmark   January 8, 2014 at 3:13PM
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