Humidity Requirements For Syngonium/Arrowhead Vines

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Syngoniums (or Arrowhead vines, as they’re often called) get a bit of a raw deal – they’re condemned to live in low light, cold conditions, with only a snake plant for company.

If your Syngonium doesn’t get much light, don’t mist it. If it gets a lot of light and is healthy, mist it if you like.

Just remember that misting does NOT provide a high-humidity environment.

syngonium pink splash

How much humidity do Syngoniums need?

I can only speak from my experience, but I’ve found that, unlike a lot of similar vining aroids, there is an upper limit on Syngonium humidity.

There’s one in my terrarium, and it’s looking pretty good in the 85%+ humidity but it’s not growing as quickly as it did when it was in lower humidity.

There could well be something else at play, but I’ve kept several Syngoniums in high-humidity environments and they don’t thrive like Pothos and Rhaphidophora Tetrasperma do.

Don't get me wrong - it's fine. 

It's been in there about a year and is yet to produce a new leaf ALTHOUGH I just went downstairs to snap a pic and noticed that she has put one out (typical!). 

Still, that’s slow going. Everyone else in there needs cutting back every few months, but the Syngoniums (and Aglaonema) aren’t as entranced by high humidity as everyone else.

Ideally, we’re looking at around 50-70% humidity for Syngoniums.

They’ll probably be totally fine with 40% humidity, but won’t grow as fast or as big.

Again, super high humidity won’t actually harm, them, but it slows growth (the roots are wild though – they’ve gone right into the membrane and into the leca below so there’s definitely no problem there.

Do Syngoniums like to be misted?

Plants don’t like getting their leaves wet in general.

If you mist a plant that’s already a bit droopy and sad-looking, then that extra stress of having blocked stomata can be the final nail in the coffin BUT if you mist a healthy plant, it likely won’t care.

Don’t mist Syngoniums in winter. If the leaves stay wet for too long (actually this is true year-round) they can end up getting brown marks on them.

If you just LOVE to mist, then mist with something that will benefit your plant – perhaps one of those orchid sprays, or even just a little drop of neem oil for a bit of pest prevention.

syngonium ice frost

How often should I mist a Syngonium?

If you must, then I’d say no more than weekly unless you’re spraying for pest-killing purposes.

Getting water on the leaves can hinder photosynthesis and if you’re doing it every day, or every couple of days, you could be significantly affecting the amount your plant is able to photosynthesize.

No photosynthesis = no growth.

How to provide higher humidity to a Syngonium

  • Get a humidifier

This is a great option because not only doe it work (unlike misting) but it can benefit not only your plants, but you.

If your air is dry enough to warrant getting a humidifier (so, like 40% or lower) then running a humidifier can be beneficial to your health.

Full disclosure: I don't actually know how it can help your health. 

Ok, I googled it - they can stop your throat from being so dry (fair enough) but they can also reduce the symptoms of cold and flu. 

I imagine by helping with (apologies) mucus production which traps bacteria.
  • Put it in a terrarium

I know I said that my terrarium was too humid for Syngoniums, but mine’s designed for frogs first, plants second.

The frog needs high humidity, so we run a humidifier in there for him. It’s kept damp on purpose so it’s VERY high humidity.

You’d never catch a cold in there.

Terrariums are great if you only have a couple of plants that need high humidity, and it doesn’t seem worth it to splash out on a humidifier.

You don’t need a fancy one – you can get giant kilner/mason jars that work fine OR you can scout Facebook marketplace for old aquariums.

If you ever see a massive aquarium being offered for free because it no longer holds water, and think to yourself 'who the heck buys an aquarium that can't hold water?' me. I do. For plants. 
Syngonium trileaf wonder
Syngonium trileaf wonder after being sprayed for pests

Final thoughts

Syngoniums don’t really like to be misted because it interferes with all the photosynthesising they have to do.

That being said, a healthy Syngonium being kept in a bright pot won’t object to the odd mist. In fact, it can be a helpful way to get rid of dust buildup.

However, a lot of people keep Arrowheads/Syngoniums in low-light areas. If you do this and your Syngonium seems ok, then leave it where it is but don’t mist it.

It'll already be stretched trying to absorb all the available light, so you misting it will force it to stop photosynthesising. 

When you mist, the plant closes its stomata so it doesn't take in water (like how we close our mouths when we swim*) and cause itself harm. 

Therefore it can't photosynthesise. 

This won't affect a healthy plant that gets a lot of light, but it can negatively affect one that's just doing ok.

*I have no idea how similar these two things are. Would a plant with open stomata in the rain drown? I don’t know. But I couldn’t think of a better analogy.

If you want to mist your Syngonium, make sure it’s healthy before you do. Win win.

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

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