An elegant plant with creamy white foliage enhanced by hues of green, the White Butterfly Syngonium plant is a true beauty.
Its arrowhead-shaped leaves create a unique illusion of butterfly wings. The plant’s subtle color forms the perfect accent for any décor.
Botanically known as Syngonium Podophyllum, it is easy to care for and grows considerably well in indoor conditions. The plant adds a relaxed and sophisticated feel to any area you place it in.
Even outdoors, it looks beautiful growing in a shaded porch, deck, or patio. The White Butterfly plant also looks beautiful, cascading from a fancy hanging basket.
The plant originates from Bolivia, Brazil, Mexico, and Ecuador. It is from the Araceae family and is semi-tropical.
With a moderate to fast growth rate, it develops mottled foliage that becomes whiter and sharper as it matures.
For an easy-care guide, keep on reading ahead.
White Butterfly Syngonium Plant Care
The White Butterfly Syngonium plant thrives in medium, dappled sunlight and enjoys thorough watering. It grows into a healthy plant with monthly feeding and an all-purpose potting mix. It likes moderate humidity, ranging from 60% to 80%. Dust and wipe the plant’s foliage often for a neat look. The optimal temperature range is 61 degrees to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees to 21 degrees Celsius).
Ideally, the potting mix should be airy and allow free drainage to lessen the probability of root rot and yellow leaves.
The White Butterfly Syngonium plant loves soils that are made for houseplants specifically. I suggest avoiding soils that are used for growing vegetables or have a general formula.
All you need to do is add the right contents into the soil, such as organic matter, for healthier growth. Organic matter, including peat, takes up excess water and releases it over an extended period, resulting in better water distribution.
Syngonium plants are not too picky about their soils, but it is best for you to plant them in their desired soil type for relatively faster growth.
The traditional potting mix for the White Butterfly Syngonium is a mixture of leaf mold and coarse sand. You can also add coco-peat with plenty of vermicomposts.
Please remember to keep the soil moist, especially during the active growth seasons of summer and spring.
The ideal pH is 5.5 to 6.5 (mildly acidic to neutral). The low pH helps keep harmful microbes at bay and protects the plant from infectious diseases.
The White Butterfly Syngonium plant likes hydration and so should be watered once a week.
However, to avoid root rot and similar problems, partially dry out the soil between watering. I also recommend using lukewarm water.
Alternatively, you can check the White Butterfly Syngonium plant’s soil for its moisture content.
Simply dip two of your fingers into the plant’s soil. If it seems partially dried out, add some water till the soil is evenly moist.
On the other hand, if it feels sufficiently moisturized, withhold watering till the soil is partially dry again.
Please do not let the plant or its soil dry out for long; this causes the lower leaves to shrivel up and turn brown. If such a problem occurs, soak the plant’s soil in water and let the plant absorb it, and rehydrate.
The White Butterfly Syngonium is an aroid; thus, it does not like direct sunlight for long hours.
Place the plant in medium, bright yet indirect sunlight. Such conditions can be established outdoors as well as indoors.
For outdoor, plant it under a tree or in a partially lit area.
The White Butterfly Syngonium plant thrives in mild to moderate temperatures. Due to its semi-tropical nature, it begins losing leaves if kept in low temperature for long.
To prevent it from shock, keep it away from air conditioning units.
The best temperature range for the White Butterfly Syngonium is 61 degrees to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (16 degrees to 21 degrees Celsius).
The lowest temperature it can tolerate is 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius). Anything below this results in a long list of problems, including wilting and dehydration.
If you reside in a region with moderate temperatures, you may plant your White Butterfly Syngonium plant outdoors. However, if the heat is intense, I suggest you bring it inside.
During the winter months, grow this beauty inside. However, please ensure that the room is well-aerated and the plant’s pot drains well.
The White Butterfly Syngonium plant prefers moderate moisture in its environment. Ideally, the levels should be above 60%.
Anything below this may result in the loss of the plant‘s normal structure.
While dry air leads to leaf crisping, keeping the White Butterfly Syngonium plant in excess moisture leads to increased susceptibility to bacterial and fungal infections.
In dry areas, maintaining ideal moisture levels can pose a challenge for house gardeners. To solve this problem, you can either bring home a humidifier or group your houseplants in one room.
Alternatively, you can place a pebble-filled tray with some water next to your plant or mist it occasionally. But please remember misting is not a substitute for watering.
The White Butterfly Syngonium plant is not a heavy feeder. You can add fertilizer to its soil every month, ensuring that it spreads evenly.
I recommend applying the fertilizer to wet soil; this results in effective absorption.
For this beauty, use a balanced premium-quality fertilizer that is made explicitly for Syngonium plants. Get a feed with an NPK ratio of 20:20:20 or one with all essential macro-elements, especially nitrogen.
For added benefit, use a fertilizer containing all microelements as well, such as Sulphur and manganese.
You can either opt for a liquid fertilizer or a slow-release fertilizer. I suggest you get the former because, though it releases nutrients gradually, it keeps the plant well-fed for a longer time.
Please avoid overfeeding the White Butterfly Syngonium plant as it can cause leaf-scorching.
Repotting is one of the greatest ways to divide your plant and refresh its soil and its contents. The White Butterfly Syngonium plant does not require frequent repotting.
You can repot it once every one to two years, and it will grow just fine.
During the repotting process, refresh the plant’s soil by adding organic matter, such as peat or pine bark.
The Syngonium plant thrives in a small-sized pot for years and should only be repotted when it outgrows the pot.
Transfer it to a one-size larger pot, with at least three drainage holes, to encourage vigorous growth.
You can also repot your White Butterfly Syngonium plant if it is wilting or you see its roots coming out of the pot’s bottom.
However, please remember to add some water after the pruning process for a firm soil base.
I recommend allowing your plant to hang over the side of a decorative pot; this makes a beautiful trailing plant.
Alternatively, you can grow it upwards by providing support with a pole. The upward growing pattern is more likely to result in larger leaves.
Pruning gives your White Butterfly Syngonium plant a completely new look; its freshly-cut green foliage and beautiful regular vines look wonderful against pale-colored walls.
It also gives you the chance to locate and promptly treat any diseased leaves or other parts.
Prune any juvenile vines growing in an unruly fashion and bringing down the plant’s overall look. You can also get rid of creepers if you have children or pets in the house to make more room.
The White Butterfly Syngonium is a climbing plant, and so I suggest adding a moss pole for support. You can also use little ties to help the plant stick to the pole.
Be sure to wear protective clothing and gloves during the process and disinfect all your tools with rubbing alcohol before using them.
To propagate a new and healthy White Butterfly Syngonium plant, follow the steps below:
- Prepare an appropriate potting mix, preferably with organic matter (peat or pine bark).
- Choose a healthy White Butterfly Syngonium stem and cut off a segment that has an aerial node.
- Place the segment into a container with some fresh water (without chlorine).
- Change the water every week till the segment grows some roots.
- When the roots grow to about a few inches long, move the segment into the potting mix prepared initially.
- Spread out the roots in the soil.
- Add some more soil and water to form a firm base.
- Place the pot with the segment in bright, dappled sunlight.
It will take one to two weeks till more roots appear and about four weeks till you see new leaves growing.
Once the plant can stand upright on its own, you may treat it as a mature White Butterfly Syngonium plant.
A mature White Butterfly Syngonium plant mostly does not develop flowers indoors.
However, it can form greenish or white flowers that resemble a Peace Lily plant’s blooms when given the right care.
When fully mature, the White Butterfly arrow-head plant reaches a height of 18 to 24 inches (46 to 61 centimeters) and grows 18 to 24 inches (46 to 61 centimeters) in width.
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Common Problems for White Butterfly Syngonium Plant
Bacterial blight is one of the most common problems in the Butterfly Syngonium plant, mostly caused by the bacteria Erwinia.
The symptoms include dark spots on leaves and foul-smelling roots. The leaves also appear tattered and eventually die if the infection spreads further.
To treat bacterial blight, discard the infected plant and ensure that it is well away from the other healthy plants.
Moreover, avoid wetting the foliage and make frequent use of a bactericide to prevent reinfection.
The most common pests that feed on the White Butterfly Syngonium plant include mealybugs, spider motes, and aphids.
Spider mites are the hardest to spot due to their small size. Mealybugs are relatively easier to see due to the white, cotton-like substance they leave behind.
Aphids, in particular, attack the leaves’ undersides. They disrupt the leaves’ structure and change their characteristic green color.
These pests cause stippling and yellowing of leaves. In serious infestations, they form webs on the leaves as well as the flower beds. The plant may also develop brown, scaly bumps.
To treat a plant infested by pests, use insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. Dust your plant often to locate any pests and begin treatment immediately.
Yellow leaves are a common occurrence in several houseplants. They can develop due to a wide variety of reasons, including phosphate deficiency, improper watering and drainage, and an incorrect feeding schedule.
Old leaves naturally turn yellow; however, if a significant amount of leaves is losing color, even the young ones, you need to revise your plant care.
Yellow leaves also indicate dry soil without essential nutrients. In severe cases, the plant may even develop necrotic spots and grow slowly or not at all.
Make sure to go over your watering and feeding schedule to prevent as well as treat yellow leaves.
Please use room temperature, chlorine-free water and practice monthly feeding and weekly watering.
Tips for Growing White Butterfly Syngonium Plant
- While planting outdoors is fine, growing the plant indoors results in healthier growth.
- Plant in containers that drain freely and are well-aerated.
- For a compact and full arrow-headed plant, prune the foliage to maintain its original form.
- Preferably, propagate the cuttings in water for faster root growth.
- Isolate diseased plants immediately and begin treatment.
Frequently Asked Questions about White Butterfly Syngonium Plant Care
Is the White Butterfly Syngonium plant poisonous?
The White Butterfly Syngonium plant is considered to be poisonous due to the presence of calcium oxalate crystals. It causes moderate to severe allergic reactions in adults, children, and pets. Therefore, please ensure that kids and pets cannot reach it.
How often should I water my White Butterfly Syngonium plant?
You should water the White Butterfly Syngonium plant every few days, ensuring that you allow sufficient time for the soil to dry before watering it again. Please avoid overwatering the plant, as it may lead to root rot, wilting, or yellowing of leaves.
How big do White Butterfly Syngonium plants get?
The White Butterfly Syngonium plant grows to a height of 18 to 24 inches (46 to 61 centimeters) and a width of 18 to 24 inches (46 to 61 centimeters) when grown in ideal conditions.
Are White Butterfly Syngonium plants rare?
The White Butterfly Syngonium plant is a rare species that hails from Brazil, Bolivia, and Mexico. In the right environment, it gives rise to lovely arrow-headed foliage and blooms.
The White Butterfly Syngonium plant is a beautiful climbing species that hails from Brazil and Mexico. Its unique arrow-head like foliage and yellow/whitish blooms have earned it great popularity.
It thrives in bright, dappled sunlight, weekly watering, and monthly feeding. It is an attractive plant; however, it is poisonous, so it should not be consumed.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.