If you like arrowheads, then you may want to consider the rate Syngonium Rayii, loved by houseplant connoisseurs for the gorgeous foliage and color. While it isn’t readily available, it is a wonderful plant for indoor use that you may want to keep your eye out for.
If you find one, then be sure to keep it healthy!
This article includes:
- What Syngonium Rayii is and its appearance and color
- How to care for it properly with the right amount of water, light, and other conditions
- Some common problems and what you can do about them
Let’s jump in!
Table of Contents
What is Syngonium Rayii?
Syngonium Rayii is one of the rarest types of arrowheads, which is one of the main reasons it is so sought-after compared to other species.
However, the appearance is also worthy of that desire to obtain this plant. Also known as velvet Syngonium, it is a tropical house plant native to Costa Rica and Panama. It is an aroid plant like all other arrowheads.
The plant has dark green leaves that have an elongated aesthetic and a velvety texture and appearance. Each leaf has a white and silver stripe streaking down the center. The leaves are also quite large, around 4 inches long and 3 inches wide.
The plant as a whole can grow up to 8 inches tall or more with long vines as it gets mature and healthy.
You can grow Syngonium Rayii in many different vessels including pots, hanging baskets, and terrariums. You can even use trellises or moss poles! Because it is relatively compact, it is easy to place as decor anywhere around the home.
Since Syngonium Rayii is often confused with Wenlandii, check out this video to see the differences and similarities:
How to Care for Syngonium Rayii
If you do happen to get your hands on a Syngonium Rayii, then you surely want to do your best to keep it healthy and beautiful, which means you have to know how to care for it.
These plants like all others require certain environmental conditions, so let’s look at the proper amount of water, light, and fertilizer as well as other factors to keep them growing well.
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Syngonium Rayii prefers bright indirect light but can do well with low to medium light as long as it isn’t too direct. Direct sunlight can harm the velvety leaves because they are so sensitive.
This can cause scorching and burns that can be impossible to repair, which means yellowed brittle leaves that lose their color. Filtered light and dappled light also work well in addition to normal indirect light.
The plant will grow best in a room with a West or East facing window. This should encourage dark, dense foliage with contrast to the bright white or silver vein running down the middle.
If you notice any fading, then the plant may be too close to the window and therefore get too much light.
Temperature and Humidity
One of the most important factors for the health of Syngonium Rayii is the temperature and humidity of the space around the plant.
It will adapt well to temperature and can withstand a large range of temperatures between 59 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit or 15 to 29 degrees Celsius.
However, you never want it to drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for a prolonged period because it will slow or cease growth potential. For outdoor use, it can work in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11 as long as you bring it indoors once temperatures drop below 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
Humidity is also necessary for the health of Syngonium Rayii, typically somewhere around 70 percent. However, it can work as long as the humidity stays above 50 percent at most times.
Humidity below 50 percent can cause droopy leaves, so you never want to place it near a heater. If necessary, use a humidifier and regularly mist the leaves of the Syngonium Rayii plant.
The soil around Syngonium Rayii should remain moist consistently but never be soaked. You can use the soak and dry method, which means you slowly flush water all the way through the soil until it drips through the drainage holes in the pot.
Allow the soil to dry out in between waterings so that at least the top inch to inch and a half of soil is completely dry before adding more moisture.
During the growing season, you may have to water the plant a couple of times a week, but during the Fall and Winter, you can probably decrease the frequency to once every week and a half to two weeks.
Make sure to use chlorine-free water and that it is at room temperature when watering. Coldwater can shock this plant.
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Plant Syngonium Rayii in a porous potting mix to ensure that it is well-draining and rich. The plant never likes its roots soaked or sitting in water, so the soil needs to drain the water out thoroughly.
You can make your own Syngonium Rayii soil by combining two parts of regular potting mix (make sure it’s high quality), one part perlite, and amendments of coconut coir or bark.
This allows pockets of air to prevent compaction and ensure proper oxygen access.
Soil that holds too much water can make the plant prone to pathogens, bacteria, and fungi, as well as root rot. You can even use products made for tropical plants, but you may want to add some bark to them for porous features.
Even though Syngonium Rayii grows rapidly, it doesn’t need a ton of heavy plant food. Once a month during the growing season, you can use universal fertilizer for foliage plants, but do not use it at full strength. Dilute it 50 percent and apply the fertilizer when the soil is moist.
You don’t need to fertilize during the Winter but can do it every couple of months at the beginning and end of the cold months to stimulate growth.
Syngonium Rayii doesn’t need much pruning or other maintenance. You may have to do some pruning as the vines get excessively long, but you can trim the vines and propagate with the cuttings.
You can also use a moss pole or trellis to allow the plant to climb vertically as the vines and stems get very long.
Another thing you may want to consider is how much the velvet texture of the leaves attracts dust. Use a damp cloth to occasionally wipe down the leaves.
You can even do this once a week if you want to prevent any dust from harming the appearance. Another option is to give it a gentle shower with room temperature water. This cleaning time is also a good chance to check for common pests and other problems.
Common Problems with Syngonium Rayii
While Syngonium Rayii is a tough and resilient plant, there are certain problems, pests, and diseases that you want to be aware of so that you can avoid damage and can address the issue as soon as it arises.
Let’s look at some of the most common signs and issues.
When your Syngonium Rayii does not have enough water or proper humidity, then the leaves can dry up and begin to shrivel. This dryness can also turn them brown and crispy and make the plant look sickly and wilted.
Make sure to keep the soil moist at all times and spray the leaves to keep the humidity up. As long as you resume healthy conditions, this problem should not spread.
Yellow leaves are often caused by root rot, which occurs when the soil is too wet or never dries out. The best thing to do in this situation is to remove the Syngonium Rayii from its pot and inspect the roots.
If there are any damaged roots that are brown, black, or mushy, then you need to trim them. Then, repot the plant in new soil and be sure to avoid overwatering.
Furled New Leaves
As Syngonium Rayii grows and develops new leaves, they begin curled up, but when they do not unfurl after a little while, then that is cause for concern because you want to display the beautiful foliage of course.
The most likely contributor to this problem is insufficient water, so be sure to keep watering properly. It can also be caused by poor nutrient content so you can add a little fertilizer.
The most common pests that infect Syngonium Rayii are spider mites, mealybugs, and thrips. These are all annoying and can cause spotting and discoloration around the leaves.
They can also stunt growth and lead to wilting. Use neem oil products once a week on the leaves to treat and prevent the occurrence.
Final Thoughts on Syngonium Rayii
Syngonium Rayii plants are fabulous but rare. So if you do obtain one, you certainly need to follow proper care instructions to keep it healthy. The distinct white and silver stripes down the middle of the dark arrowhead leaves are wonderful as long as you provide adequate water and light and keep other conditions perfect for growth and color.