Nephthytis, African Evergreen, American Evergreen, Arrow Leaf, Arrowhead Vine, Goosefoot Vine 'Imperial White'

Syngonium podophyllum

Family: Araceae (a-RAY-see-ee) (Info)
Genus: Syngonium (sin-GO-nee-um) (Info)
Species: podophyllum (po-do-FIL-um) (Info)
Cultivar: Imperial White
Synonym:Syngonium nepthytis


Vines and Climbers

Water Requirements:

Requires consistently moist soil; do not let dry out between waterings

Sun Exposure:

Sun to Partial Shade

Light Shade


Grown for foliage


Good Fall Color


Foliage Color:



18-24 in. (45-60 cm)


15-18 in. (38-45 cm)


USDA Zone 10b: to 1.7 C (35 F)

USDA Zone 11: above 4.5 C (40 F)

Where to Grow:

Suitable for growing in containers


All parts of plant are poisonous if ingested

Bloom Color:

White/Near White

Bloom Characteristics:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Size:

Unknown - Tell us

Bloom Time:

Mid Spring

Other details:

Unknown - Tell us

Soil pH requirements:

6.1 to 6.5 (mildly acidic)

6.6 to 7.5 (neutral)

Patent Information:


Propagation Methods:

By dividing rhizomes, tubers, corms or bulbs (including offsets)

From herbaceous stem cuttings

By simple layering

By serpentine layering

By stooling or mound layering

Seed Collecting:

Allow pods to dry on plant; break open to collect seeds


This plant is said to grow outdoors in the following regions:

Haleyville, Alabama

Jones, Alabama

Glendale, Arizona

Phoenix, Arizona

Siloam Springs, Arkansas

Canoga Park, California

Hayward, California

Huntington Beach, California

Merced, California

Palm Springs, California

Pasadena, California

Sonoma, California


Bartow, Florida

Boca Raton, Florida

Bonita Springs, Florida

Bradley, Florida

Brooksville, Florida

Daytona Beach, Florida

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fruitland Park, Florida

Jacksonville, Florida(4 reports)

Lecanto, Florida

Lutz, Florida

Melbourne, Florida(2 reports)

Miami, Florida

Orange Park, Florida

Orlando, Florida

Oviedo, Florida

Parrish, Florida

Pompano Beach, Florida

Port Orange, Florida

Port Saint Lucie, Florida

Rockledge, Florida

Saint Cloud, Florida

Titusville, Florida

Venice, Florida

West Palm Beach, Florida

Winter Garden, Florida

Winter Haven, Florida

Augusta, Georgia

Brunswick, Georgia

Kapaa, Hawaii

Wailua Homesteads, Hawaii

Denham Springs, Louisiana

Gonzales, Louisiana

Lafayette, Louisiana

Luling, Louisiana

New Orleans, Louisiana

Fort Benton, Montana

Alden, New York

Poughkeepsie, New York

Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Boone, North Carolina

Greensboro, North Carolina

Lenoir, North Carolina

Newport, North Carolina

Allentown, Pennsylvania

Saint Marys, Pennsylvania

Edgefield, South Carolina

Austin, Texas

Beaumont, Texas(2 reports)

Bryan, Texas(2 reports)

Deer Park, Texas

Gillett, Texas

Greenville, Texas

Houston, Texas(4 reports)

Portland, Texas

Red Oak, Texas

Richmond, Texas(2 reports)

San Antonio, Texas

Falls Church, Virginia

show all

Gardeners' Notes:


On Oct 30, 2017, skylight from Boynton Beach, FL wrote:

Palm beach county area. North side of my house in partial shade with daily misting and grows like mad.


On Aug 13, 2013, thriftymommy from Bogue, NC wrote:

I received this plant about 10 years ago from my grandfather's funeral. There are many times I thought it would die or I had killed it, but it surprisingly comes back to life. If you have the perfect spot for this plant, it is super easy to grow and requires little work. Until you find that magical place, it is difficult. I have lived in several parts of North Carolina and have found this true wherever I have lived in the state. For my plant, it really likes a covered porch in the spring, summer, and fall. It likes the partial sun and warm temperatures. Every winter I have such trouble with the plant. Last year I thought it was dead. I watered it and put it out on the covered porch. This spring and summer it has grown probably two feet and is so full and beautiful. Tonight I am repotting... read more


On Mar 22, 2013, vanessanavarret from Burbank, WA wrote:

I just got this plant for indoors, can someone let me know what kind of soil is best and feeding? Thanks so much!!


On Feb 14, 2013, amyl518 from Manchester, NH wrote:

I had no idea until just tonight what this plant was. I've had it as an indoor house plant for about a year now and knew nothing about it so I just experimented with what kind of lighting it needed. Everywhere I have read says it needs bright light and watered frequently and it likes humidity. Well, mine has a mind of its own I guess lol. It likes to be away from the bright sunlight (it's been thriving since I moved it away from the sunlight) and there has been no humidity here (It's the middle of winter in New England) So I guess I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing! Very easy plant which is good since I'm not very good at taking care of plants. I'm learing though! I am a little worried since finding out about the toxicity since I have animals and little kids but nothing has bothered ... read more


On Apr 13, 2011, ladeedahz wrote:

This is a plant with an attitude.
It wants light and it will get it even if it has to grow over some of your other plants.
I have this plant in my house and it's very large, or should I say long. The plant will grow very very long, especially if it's in desperate need for sunlight. The leaves WILL get large over time. Right now it's encasing the organ in my living room and trying to grow into my kitchen, so I need to trim it's vines. It actually seems to be running so loose I can't see which pot it was in originally because it's hanging all in my ferns pots. It grows really fast and needs minimal care, but make sure you water it and put it in a well lit area, otherwise it will seek out light. Growing it in a controlled well lit area, is my advice. NEVER put it outside, unless... read more


On Sep 23, 2010, jskyieeyes3 from Saint Cloud, FL (Zone 9b) wrote:

when my husband and i had first moved into the home we live in now, we found some nephthytis growing under the little tree on the corner of the house. we thought it was simply adoreable, so we dug it up and potted it. (we had to do this, otherwise our lawn service would have murdered it with the weed whacker lol) it has grown into a very lovely potted plant and gotten so big that we've divided twice! we gave one to our brother, and kept the other, which ended up dying off in the unseasonably cold weather last year. our original one has done very well though, and it's potted with some golden pothos (which it doesn't seem to mind being coupled with; both plants are doing exceptionally well!). our neighbor gave us another nephthytis plant this spring, and it has a different leaf shape than ou... read more


On Apr 4, 2010, Jungleman from Pasadena, CA (Zone 9b) wrote:

The original poster of this entry should seriously consider the hardiness rating for this plant. I have personally seen it is Palm Springs, CA which is significantly colder than 10b, and I plan on planting several cuttings I took from that plant in 9b Pasadena, CA. It grows beautifully in Southern California, and I would gather that it is decidedly NOT invasive out here, due to the drier climate. Florida seems to be the only place it is truly invasive.


On Oct 28, 2009, Tropicool from Orange Park, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

Roots readily in dappled shade to part (Fla afternoon) sun. I originally grabbed some from my Mother-in-Law's yard in Ormond Beach, Fla. and it has grown from there. I have had no problems with it being invasive, but it has historically been little watered and not in direct sun.


On Dec 27, 2008, johnpeten from San Andres, Peten,
Guatemala wrote:

My photos show this vine growing in it's natural habitat, clinging to a large tree in my garden in Guatemala. It flowers during the Winter Months (Nov to Jan) and the red fruit matures by October.Small animals and birds eat the fruit and distribute the seeds. The seedlings are very easy to spot by their arrow shaped leaves. They can be weeded together with the other hundreds of unwanted plants. They do not take over the woods or cause any problems, they share with other epiphytes. In their natural environment they are not invasive but fit nicely into the landscape.


On Aug 31, 2008, aww07 from Siloam Springs, AR wrote:

This plant is great i love it. It is great if you want a rainforest quick it mixes in with bamboo and palm trees easy and other palms and is fairly easy to contain. Great plant.


On Feb 2, 2008, BayAreaTropics from Hayward, CA wrote:

Tough little vine for the bay area.Our cool winters, rainless summers,low humidity, make it a moot point to worry about rampant growth.
If anything keeping it watered is difficult. Will wilt fast in summer if not given a steady supply of water. Otherwise an attractive indoor or outdoor plant that needs shade. I am surprised at how well 'Imperial White' keeps its color. I have never had to pinch off a, reverted -back -to -green,stem. Mine has spent all this winter outdoors just fine in temps as low as 36f.
Syngoniums in general make fine plants for waterfalls or pond margins in shade.


On Sep 2, 2007, blondie09245 from Montague, MI wrote:

My plant is beautiful and I enjoy it very much. It is not the common green variety but a very pretty colored pink. Is pink color common with this plant? I am hopefully wanting to train it to climb. Anybody else have the pink colored variety that they can take a picture and post it for others to see, I would be thankful:)


On Jun 28, 2007, Kamille from Luling, LA wrote:

In my experience, this plant is a very fast grower, that requires little water and filtered light only. Partial sun was killing it outside. Since I brought it in, the leaves are a beautiful dark green and shine. It's growing so fast, I will have to repot it again! After reading how invasive it is outdoors though, I believe I will just keep it in the pot indoors.


On Oct 29, 2006, plantladylin from (Zone 1) wrote:

I have grown this plant for many years .... as a container, or house plant! I do have one that "got away" in the yard, but it is contained to one bed .... and yes, it attaches to anything! .... The one that got away outside, is attaching and growing up the outside of my screen room! But, it will die back in the winter , and if we have a hard freeze (which we do here in Central Florida at times), it will kill it! I still love this plant, it makes a very easy to grow, beautiful houseplant! It requires little care, just water once in awhile and a little light!


On Oct 26, 2006, IndoorGardner from Falls Church, VA (Zone 7a) wrote:

I bought this plant one day while hanging with my friend at the Ikea. Every plant I have ever bought from Ikea has died, but this one. I thought she would also because for the longest time she just sat there. Not growing and not dieing.

About 4 days ago I gave her a shot of liquid compost. Now it's "Plants Gone Wild". She started to grow and grow fast. I love this plant. Right now she has not started to vine off like my mom's plant. She is still growing upright. I look forward to seeing just how big she will get.


On Jun 27, 2006, bitkidoku from Istanbul,
Turkey wrote:

I didnt have any outdoor experience with this plant. But I will keep what you have said in my mind.
I think they are excellent indoor plants. Acording to my experience feeding them regularly makes them grow and produce new leaves fast.


On Feb 18, 2006, sugarweed from Taylor Creek, FL (Zone 10a) wrote:

After seeing this plant in mixed houseplant arrangements I had no idea when I tossed a spent gift basket out the front door that it was very invasive. At this moment it is attaching itself vigorously to my brick wall. I will be out there in the morning pulling this sneaky little invasive out. And since all yard trash gets chopped and becomes "free mulch" I'll bring it in and boil it before putting it in the regular trash.
We still have hand dumped trash and often they wont take any vegitation for the regular trash.


On Jun 8, 2005, DawnRain from Bartow, FL wrote:

While it can be a beautiful plant it can also be a horrible pest. You don't want this plant to get loose in Florida. It will create a jungle while your back is turned. There is nothing at all fragile about it here. The worst winter is not going to kill it. Drought will not hurt it. It will continue to grow if there is a foot of water on the ground. At least it is not a real fast grower. I can pull up a ton of it and see the ground for a couple of months. My trees look like topiaries with this vine climbing their trunks. Then it drops down from the branches like lianas. Want to play Tarzan? Plant it. No care/fertilize needed!


On Jun 6, 2005, CaptMicha from Brookeville, MD (Zone 7a) wrote:

I have no experience with growing this plant outdoors as mine is a houseplant.

It does extremely well being constantly neglected and in poor lighting. The leaves yellow and will droop in extreme drought but perk right back up after a watering.

The leaves are a glossy green with cream, very attractive.


On May 3, 2005, ladyannne from Merced, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:

A trustworthy houseplant that does very well in cool dappled shade out doors in the ground.


On Aug 23, 2004, MotherNature4 from Bartow, FL (Zone 9a) wrote:

This is an invasive monster in my yard. Don't let it get loose anywhere in central or south Florida. If you live there, pull up every bit you can find.


On Aug 22, 2004, IslandJim from Keizer, OR (Zone 8b) wrote:

As Nancy Anne noted, this plant is tenacious [sp?]. But there's a good side to that. Its the only plant I've found, other than the vanilla orchid, that will climb those ugly, fake, painted columns on the front of my house. And for that, I'm grateful.


On Apr 21, 2004, nancyanne from Lafayette, LA (Zone 9a) wrote:

While an attractive houseplant, this plant is a horror outdoors! It is literally impossible to eradicate in the southern garden; the aerial roots invade every tiny space in concrete, siding, wood, brick, etc. It climbs glass, metal, and wood. No matter how thoroughly I dig, cut, and pull, even one cell seems sufficient to grow another meter of this plant overnight. Once it starts to climb, it doesn't seem to need soil any more!
Don't let it out of its pot!!!


On Jul 14, 2003, suncatcheracres from Old Town, FL wrote:

I have had this plant since 1988, when I found it growing up a large laurel oak tree in the front yard of my new home in St. Petersburg, Florida. Almost every year it would freeze down, and every spring it would climb back up the tree. One winter we had virtually no frost and it had about two years to climb up about 20 or 25 feet into the tree. I took many, many cuttings over the years--the plant roots readily in water. The juvenile leaves are definately different from the more mature leaves.

This past winter this plant survived in a pot outdoors, sometimes under a tarp with drop lights for heat, through the coldest winter in northcentral Florida in over 100 years, and the plant has now thrown a "sport"--new vines with much longer, narrower leaves, with more contrast b... read more


On Jul 13, 2003, DeannasDesign from Fort Benton, MT wrote:

This is a great plant. When I got mine it was severely crowded and needed repotting. After repotting, I found that the clump was not loosening, so I againg took it out and started dividing. All divided parts that had an active root on it made it. I was hoping that the ones with a tuber would also make it, but they did not.

So far I am getting a lot of new growth, the stems became a bit floppy so I added some stones to the pot. They are bouncing back from shock, and I did lose a few leaves that I just snipped off. Over all, I learned how fragile they are and how their "bounce-back time" from a rather rough dividing. I fed it well right after repotting, made sure that the soil drained well, and made a mix of soil that I thought fit the indoor lifestyle and rich tropical needs.... read more


On Jan 19, 2003, lupinelover from Grove City, OH (Zone 6a) wrote:

This plant, like many other vines, has two types of growth. In this case, the immature growth is the best colored, and comes directly from the roots. As it matures, vines are produced. The vines can be removed to keep the juvenile part more attractive, or it can be used to sprawl as a groundcover, or trained to climb.

It is hardy to about 25F, and is very simple to propagate. I put vines cut off from the plant on the ground, where they rooted and grew all summer, even in a fairly severe drought.