The Unusual Syngonium Auritum: A Look At This Unique Plant

Do you know about the Syngonium auritum? This unique plant is gaining popularity in the gardening world, and for good reason! It has a beautiful appearance and is very easy to care for.

In this blog post, we will take a closer look at the Syngonium auritum and learn more about its origins, care requirements, and potential uses.

What is Syngonium Auritum?

close-up syngonium auritum green leaves

Also known as the five fingers plant, Syngonium auritum is a species of aroid in the family Araceae, native to tropical rainforests in southern Mexico, the West Indies, and Central and South America.

It is a popular houseplant in temperate regions. The name “syngonium” comes from the Greek syn-, meaning “together,” and -gonium, meaning “knee joint” and referring to the way in which the geniculum (a small swelling at the junction of the leaf stalk and blade) appears to fuse the two parts of the leaf together.

“Auritum” refers to the plant’s ear-like shape leaves. The five fingers plant has been introduced to many tropical areas around the world as an ornamental plant. It is also used in traditional medicine.

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Syngonium Auritum Care

The Syngonium auritum is a beautiful addition to any home. They are very easy to take care of and make for great houseplants; however, they do require some basic maintenance in order to stay healthy.


When it comes to lighting, the Syngonium auritum does best in bright indirect light. However, it can also tolerate low light conditions and even some periods of darkness.

The key is to provide bright light for at least part of the day so that the plant can photosynthesize and produce food for itself.


daugther sees her mother holding a watering can while watering plants

During the growing season, from spring to summer, the plant will need to be watered more frequently.

Allow the soil to dry out slightly between watering, but don’t let it become completely dry. During the rest of the year, watering can be reduced somewhat. The plant will need less water during this time as growth slows down.

Always check the soil before watering, and only water if necessary. Overwatering can be just as damaging as underwatering.


These plants must be grown in soil that is rich in organic matter. This is because the plant’s roots are very sensitive to chemicals and fertilizers.

If you try to grow five fingers plants in potting soil that has been treated with chemicals, you will likely find that the leaves begin to yellow and drop off.

For best results, always use a potting mix that has been specifically designed for tropical plants.

syngonium auritum mini trivia info


This plant prefers soils with high levels of organic matter, so a fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen and other nutrients is ideal. However, it is important to avoid over-fertilizing, which can lead to leaf burn.

As a rule of thumb, apply fertilizer to Syngonium auritum every two weeks during the growing season. If you are unsure about how much fertilizer to use, always err on the side of caution and use less rather than more.

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A Few Common Problems

Even with proper care, this plant can experience some common problems. Leaf browning can occur when the plant is exposed to too much direct sunlight or when the air is too dry. If the leaves begin to turn brown around the edges, it is an indication that the plant needs more humidity.

Stem rot is another common problem with Syngonium auritum, and it is often the result of overwatering.

If the stems of the plant start to soften and turn brown, it is a sign that the roots are waterlogged and need to dry out.

Root Rot

This plant is particularly susceptible to root rot. The good news is that there are several steps you can take to treat the condition and keep your plant healthy. The first step is to improve drainage in the pot by adding more holes.

You should also water the plant less often and allow the soil to dry out completely between watering. In addition, you can apply a fungicide to the soil to help control the spread of the fungus.


macro photography of mealybug under a leaf

While the plant is generally tolerant of pests and diseases, mealybugs can be a problem. Mealybugs are small, wingless insects that feed on the sap of plants.

They can infest both indoor and outdoor plants, and they can cause stunted growth, wilting leaves, and yellowing foliage.

If you notice any pests on your plant, it is vital to act immediately. These pests can quickly reproduce and cause serious damage to the plant. Left unchecked, they can also spread to other plants in the area, causing even more damage.

Fortunately, there are several effective treatments available. For example, you can use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove aphids from the leaves.

Mealybugs can be controlled by spraying the plant with a fine mist of water mixed with soap.

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As with all plants, it will eventually outgrow its pot and need to be repotted. Here’s how to do it:

First, water your plant thoroughly and allow the excess water to drain away. Then, carefully remove the plant from its pot. If the roots are tightly bound, gently loosen them with your fingers.

Next, choose a new pot that is one size larger than the old one and fill it with fresh potting mix. Place the plant in the new pot and backfill around the roots with potting mix.

Water well and place in a bright spot.


As any gardener knows, the key to healthy plants is proper pruning. Syngonium auritum is no exception. The ideal time to prune this plant is in the spring before new growth begins. This will help to encourage fuller, healthier growth.

To properly prune a Syngonium auritum, start by removing any dead or damaged leaves. Then, cut back any leggy stems to just above a node (the point where leaves are attached).

Finally, trim back any remaining stems by about one-third their length. Always use clean, sharp pruning shears to avoid damaging the plant.


green pathos plant propagating in water

These plants can be propagated by stem cuttings, and the best time to take cuttings is in late spring or early summer. To propagate a Syngonium auritum, start by taking a six- to eight-inch cutting from a healthy plant. Remove the bottom leaves and dip the cutting in rooting hormone.

Plant the cutting in a pot filled with moist potting mix, and then place the pot in a warm, shady location. Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and the cutting should root in four to six weeks.

Once the plant has rooted, it can be transplanted into a larger pot or outdoors to continue growing.

Growth Rate

It is crucial to keep an eye on the growth rate of the plant, as it can quickly become overwhelming if left to grow. The vine can reach up to 30 feet in length when left unchecked, making it important to prune the plant regularly to control its size.

In addition, the plant produces aerial roots that can damage surfaces such as paint or wallpaper if they are not kept trimmed.


Syngonium auritum is a great addition to any garden or indoor plant collection, but what most people don’t know is that it has some other benefits.

Mosquito Repellant

close up mosquito on a leaf

Most people don’t know that Syngonium auritum can also be used as an effective mosquito control measure. It emits a strong fragrance that repels mosquitoes.

The plant produces a substance called epoxyximine, which is toxic to mosquitoes. When mosquitoes encounter this substance, it interferes with their ability to digest blood, leading to their eventual death.

 Given the potentially harmful consequences of mosquito bites, including the transmission of diseases such as malaria and dengue fever, it is worthwhile to consider planting Syngonium auritum in areas where mosquitoes are prevalent.

Air Purifier

The plant is often used as a decoration in homes and offices, as it is known to purify the air and remove toxins from the environment. The Syngonium Auritum does this by absorbing harmful gasses, such as carbon dioxide, through its leaves.

These gasses are then broken down by the plant and turned into oxygen, which is released back into the atmosphere. This can help to improve respiratory health, as well as reduce the likelihood of developing allergies.

Is it Toxic?

There is some debate over whether Syngonium auritum is toxic. However, the consensus seems to be that it is not poisonous to humans. Some sources claim that it can cause skin irritation, so it is best to exercise caution if you come into contact with the plant.

It is also worth noting that animals may react differently to the plant than humans, so it is best to keep them away from it as well.

The leaves of the plant contain calcium oxalate crystals, which can cause irritation and swelling of the mouth and throat. In severe cases, ingestion of the plant can lead to vomiting and difficulty breathing.


If you are looking for an easy-to-care-for houseplant, the Calathea leopardina is a great option. This exotic plant does well in indirect sunlight and doesn’t require much watering. With its beautiful leaves and interesting texture, it is sure to add some personality to your home or office.

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