The Syngonium belongs to the family of the Araceae and comes from Central and South America, where it grows in the rainforests, climbing on trees or rocks.
1. Taxonomy and Origin
- Stems: Climbing plant that reaches a length of about five feet. Shoots become stronger and thicker while maintaining their flexibility.
- Root system: adventitious roots.
- Leaves: A plant that is characterized by being evergreen. The leaves arise from long sheathed petioles that originate from the nodes. Its leaves are dark green with veins in lighter tones and depending on the leaf blade, the form is heart-shaped.
Syngonium. Photo: Miguel Pérez
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In adult plants, the leaves are split into three lobes, although the cultivated varieties usually have one. As the syngonium grows, it becomes a creeping or climbing plant.
- Flowers: These are insignificant, uninteresting. They bloom in winter.
Syngonium flower. Photo: Aroid Santa Rosa OLD SKOOL
[click to enlarge image]
3. EDAPHOCLIMATIC REQUIREMENTS
- Temperature: It does not tolerate sudden changes in temperature, so that the ideal is to have a constant room temperature year-round. When the relative humidity is high and the nutrition is adequate, high temperatures do not cause problems. They can tolerate minimum temperatures of about 10-12°C, provided that the light and temperature are not excessive. Air currents should be prevented and controlled.
- Relative humidity: The higher, the better but may also develop with low relative humidity.
- Light: It is a plant that requires good light, but diffuse, ie, that the sunlight does not fall directly on the leaves.
- Substrate: a substrate which provides good development for a wide range of ornamental plants can be used. It consists of 4 parts of peat per a part of fine sand; if the sand is not of good quality or not available, it can be replaced with polyurethane or perlite.
- Watering: It should be watered with moderation, either in summer or in winter. No excessive watering.
4. PROPAGATION AND VEGETAL MATERIAL
Propagation in vitro is normally used in industrial scale; producers employ terminal cuttings of plant grown in the laboratory to propagate them for a year and renew them afterwards.
Multiplication by cuttings with leaf node can also be done, which is very simple, but yields are much lower.
When it comes to potting table, 6-10 cuttings are usually planted depending on the final size for sale, and 8-10 cuttings in staked plants.
Most cultivated commercial varieties are: Esmerald Gem, Green Gold, Albolineatum, Trileaf wonder and White Butterfly. They are also known the following varieties, obtained by in vitro propagation: Jenny and Robust, compact and silvered, Maya Red, pinkish, Lemon Lime, yellowish.
Compact plant varieties are often grown for 12-14cm pots table or for 16-18cm semi-hanged containers, while Emerald Gem and White Butterfly, along with others, are grown with stakes.
The native species produces inflorescences in its adult state, which does not happen if grown as a houseplant.
A complete balanced fertilizer 3:1:2 at a rate of 150-200ppm can be used.
In the case of providing slow-release fertilizers, it is only needed to add calcium compound to increase the pH.
6. PESTS AND ILLNESSES
This plant is attacked by typical greenhouse pests: mealybugs, thrips, mites and aphids.
- Cephalosporium spp.: a fungus that produces small reddish leaf spots. To prevent the occurrence of this fungus, avoid excessive watering and high temperatures.
- Rhizoctonia solani: Fungus that causes irregular watery spots which later evolve to brown colour.
The bacteria that affect syngonium and are belong to the genera Erwinia and Xanthomonas, cause leaf spots with aqueous translucent lesions. Erwinia attacks the cuttings during root development.
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