Can Nephthytis Plants Be Grown Indoors: Expert Tell You

Discover how to successfully grow nephthytis plants indoors. Learn about creating the ideal environment, choosing the right variety, and troubleshooting common issues.

Introduction to Nephthytis Plants

The nephthytis plant, commonly known as arrowhead vine or African evergreen, is a popular choice for indoor gardening. With its heart-shaped leaves and trailing vines, it brings tropical beauty to any home or office space. Nephthytis plants feature leathery evergreen foliage that requires low maintenance and flourishes in indirect or medium light. Their graceful vines can reach up to 10 feet long , cascading over shelves and hanging baskets.
More comprehensive information and care guidelines can be read here.

nephthytis, leaves, green leaf plant during daytime
Photo by Blake Carpenter / Unsplash

Creating the Ideal Indoor Environment

Several factors must be considered to provide the ideal growing conditions for Nephthytis indoors.

Light: Nephthytis plants prefer indirect or medium light with some partial shade. They will thrive near east or west-facing windows but can burn in direct sunlight. Provide artificialsources as needed, such as under grow lights for 8-12 hours.

Temperature: Warm temperatures ranging from 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit promote optimal growth. Nephthytis plants can tolerate temperatures as low as 50 degrees for short periods. Avoid sudden changes and drafts from heating/cooling vents.

Humidity: Maintain moderate to high humidity levels between 50 to 70% for healthy Nephthytis plants. Consider using pebble trays filled with water underneath the pots, grouping plants together or running a humidifier.

Water: Water the soil thoroughly when the top 1-2 inches begin to dry out. Check the soil by inserting your finger into the soil to gauge moisture levels rather than going by a schedule. Signs of overwatering include yellowing and brown leaf edges.

Fertilizer: Apply liquid fertilizer every 2-4 weeks during the active growing season (spring to fall). Use a lower nitrogen formula (like 10-10-10) at half the recommended strength.

nephthytis, nephthytis plants, purple flower
Photo by Alexandru Acea / Unsplash

Choosing the Perfect Nephthytis Variety

Several different varieties of Nephthytis plants are available to choose from for indoor gardening. The right variety depends on your preferences for color, size and other traits.

Nephthytis Triphylla: This is the original and most common variety of arrowhead plant. It has medium-sized, dark green arrowhead leaves and a trailing vine growth habit.

Nephthytis Silver Anne: A variegated variety with striking leaves featuring silver and green patterns. The leaf shape is wider than the standard arrowhead. Grows more slowly than other varieties.

Red Emerald Nephthytis: This tropical variety features heart-shaped red leaves that fade to a deep burgundy as the plant matures. Adds a pop of bright color to any indoor space.

Minima Nephthytis: Also called Oyster Plant, this variety boasts much smaller arrowhead leaves. Ideal for tight spaces due to its compact size. Grows more upright rather than trailing.

Nephthytis ‘Snow Queen’: Ideal for hanging baskets, this variety has stunning white variegation on arrowhead leaves that are slightly larger. Can eventually trail up to 4 feet long.

Table: Recommended Varieties for Indoor Gardening

VarietyLeaf ColorSizeGrowth Habit
Nephthytis TriphyllaDark GreenMediumTrailing
Nephthytis MinimaDark GreenSmallUpright
Nephthytis ‘Snow Queen’Green & White VariegatedMediumTrailing
nephthytis, leaves, purple leaf with black background
Photo by Valentin Salja / Unsplash

Caring for Your Nephthytis Plant

Follow these basic care tips to keep your Nephthytis growing strong and healthy indoors:

Watering: Only water when the top 1-2 inches of soil are dry. Use room temperature water and avoid getting water on the leaves. During winter dormancy, reduce watering to once every 2-3 weeks.

Fertilizing: Apply diluted liquid fertilizer every 2-4 weeks in spring and summer. Use a balanced fertilizer with an NPK ratio of around 10-10-10 or all-purpose plant food.

Pruning: Remove any yellowing or brown leaves to maintain an attractive appearance. Prune long vine sections as needed to control the plant’s size or shape. Cut stems back to a node or leaf juncture using sharp pruners.

Repotting: Move Nephthytis to a larger pot with fresh potting mix every 1-2 years or when new roots emerge from the drainage holes.Use a soil-based mix for leafy houseplants.

Propagation: Snip 4-6 inch vine sections with leaves and root in water. Once roots develop, transfer the rooted cuttings to small potswith damp potting mix. Maintain high humidity until new growth appears.

Cleaning: Gently wipe leaves with a damp cloth to remove dust. Avoid rough rubbing which can damage leaf surfaces. Spraying the leaves with water can also help rinse off dust.

Winter Care: During winter dormancy, reduce light to 8-10 hours.Move away from heating vents and maintain temperatures above 50 degrees F. Resume normal care and watering in spring.

nephthytis, arrowhead plant, green leafed plant with white printing paper
Photo by Helena Hertz / Unsplash

Troubleshooting Common Nephthytis Issues

As with any indoor plant, Nephthytis may encounter occasional issues that require troubleshooting. Here are some of the most common Nephthytis plant problems and their solutions:

1. Yellowing or Brown Leaves

Yellow or brown leaves are a sign of overwatering or insufficient light. To remedy, allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry out completely between waterings and move the plant to a brighter area. Prune away severely damaged leaves to promote new growth.

2. Droopy Stems and Leaves

Drooping stems and leaves often indicate the Nephthytis needs water. Check the soil moisture and water thoroughly when the top 2 inches are dry. Increase humidity levels around the plant by using a pebble tray or humidifier.

3. Brown Leaf Edges

Brown edges on leaves can mean the plant is receiving too much direct light or needs a decrease in fertilizer. Move the Nephthytis to an area with indirect or filtered light. Reduce fertilizing to once a month and flush the soil with water.

4. Little to No Growth

Lack of growth may be due to insufficient light, underwatering, or an imbalanced fertilizer. Provide at least 8 hours of indirect light per day. Check the plant’s hydration and water thoroughly when the top 2 inches are dry. Use an all-purpose fertilizer specifically for foliage houseplants.

5. Insect Infestations

Rinse the entire Nephthytis plant with water to remove any existing insects. Isolate the plant and treat with an insecticidal soap or neem oil. Spray the entire plant, covering both the tops and undersides of leaves, once a week for one month.

nephthytis, arrowhead plant, bird's-eye view shot of highway road
Photo by Francisco Gonzalez / Unsplash

More Helpful Guide

Frequently Asked Question

How do I increase humidity for my nephthytis plant?

Increase humidity for a nephthytis plant by misting the leaves, using a pebble tray, or placing a humidifier nearby. Do not allow leaves to remain wet.

How can I get my nephthytis plant to grow fuller?

Get a fuller nephthytis by pruning leggy growth to encourage bushier growth. Increase light if possible. Turn the plant periodically to encourage even growth.

What are signs my nephthytis plant needs more or less water?

Signs a nephthytis plant needs more water: drooping leaves, yellowing leaves, dry soil. Signs it needs less water: dropping leaves, soft stems, waterlogged soil.

Why are the leaves of my nephthytis plant turning yellow?

Yellow leaves on a nephthytis are caused by overwatering, low light, or nutrient deficiency. Check that soil can drain sufficiently and increase light exposure.

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