The purple mute is a real eye-catcher with its climbing shoots. We present the most beautiful Syngonium species and varieties and give tips on care.
Purple toes are especially special in terms of their leaves. Their shape can change, depending on how the plant grows and is cared for. This is why one speaks of the changeable purple tute. You can find out how to properly care for the tropical plant and which varieties are available here.
Syngonium: flowering, origin, and characteristics
The purple tute (Syngonium ) is a genus of plants within the Arum family (Araceae). It originally comes from Central and South America and grows there mainly in tropical and subtropical forests. The evergreen plant can grow up to 20 meters long and forms long shoots that either crawl over the ground or climb trees. If the purple mute is kept as a houseplant, it can reach lengths of up to two meters.
Their foliage is green, reddish, white, or multi-colored, depending on the species and variety. What shape the leaves have and get depends on the age of the shoots and the variety. Leaves of a different shape are formed on shoots in the adult stage. Syngonium can form oval or elliptical, arrow-shaped or divided or deeply incised leaves. The species Syngonium podophyllum is the most common indoor plant purple tute and is also known as the “changeable purple tute”.
The bloom of Syngonium is rather unspectacular and, like all arum plants, bulb-shaped. As a houseplant, the purple tute usually does not flower. Syngonium is one of the poisonous plants, which is just as typical of the arum family.
Tip: Many arum plants, including Syngonium, use thermogenesis to attract beetles to pollinate. The bulb heats up by up to 12 ° C to the ambient temperature. In addition, the plant produces a strong, for us rather unsavory smell, which is supposed to imitate a food source for the pollinators.
The most beautiful Syngonium species and varieties
The Syngonium species and varieties differ primarily in terms of the leaf color, but the growth characteristics can also vary from species to species. Care measures and location requirements are the same among the varieties. Only the light requirement is slightly higher for varieties with lighter leaves. We briefly introduce some beautiful species and varieties.
- Syngonium podophyllum ‘Albo Variegata’: This is a variety of the species Syngonium podophyllum, which differs from the actual species by its white variegated leaves. In botanical terms, it is often not quite correctly called “Syngonium Variegata” or “ Syngonium albo variegata”. Sometimes the color change takes place exactly in the middle of the sheet.
- Syngonium podophyllum ‘Arrow’: The classic among the purple toes has arrow-shaped leaves that give the variety its name. The leaves are green with white veins and sit on long stems that can climb or hang from a hanging basket.
- Syngonium podophyllum ‘Pixie’: This variety also has green-white leaves, but remains smaller than the actual species and reaches sizes of around 30 cm. It can grow compactly or climb.
- Syngonium podophyllum ‘Pink’: As the name suggests, this variety of purple toes develops pink or rose-colored leaves. A similar variety is Syngonium podophyllum ‘Pink Splash’, the leaves of which are not completely pink in color, but look like they have been splashed with pink paint. Those who like pale pink leaves will also like the Syngonium podophyllum ‘Neon Robusta’ variety.
- Syngonium podophyllum ‘Trileaf Wonder’: The name says it all for this variety too. The leaves are not arrow-shaped, but three-part, with two small leaves that arise on the left and right at the base of the leaf and in the middle of which there is a large leaf. In addition, the leaves have a dark green shine.
- Syngonium wendlandii: This is not a cultivar, but its own Syngonium species. Its leaves are slightly more elongated than those of Syngonium podophyllum and are dark green in color. The middle nerve of the leaves stands out white from the rest of the leaf.
Risk of confusion between Syngonium (purple tute) and philodendron (tree friend) :
The two genera Syngonium and Philodendron look very similar and are therefore easy to confuse. This is no wonder because they both belong to the arum family. The most important distinguishing features can be found on the leaves:
- Leaf shape: Syngonium has arrow-shaped leaves, Philodendron heart-shaped (depending on the variety, however, it can be more difficult to see the differences).
- Leaf nerves: In Syngonium, the leaf nerves run into one another before they reach the leaf edge, in Philodendron they run individually to the leaf edge.
Planting purple turkey: location, soil, and co.
The purple tute prefers a bright location with sufficient light. However, the direct sun should be avoided. In addition, it is important to orientate yourself on the color of the leaves of the respective variety for the light requirements. Purple toe varieties with light-colored leaves or a high proportion of white color require more light to be able to supply themselves with sufficient energy via photosynthesis. Completely green varieties have more chlorophyll and can therefore thrive in less bright areas.
The temperature for Syngonium should be between 15 and 20 ° C and in no case drop below 15 ° C. Even if it gets warmer, this is not ideal for the purple tute.
In this case, care should be taken to ensure that the air humidity is sufficiently high. This must be increased even at ideal temperatures so that the purple mute grows nicely. Therefore, spray the plant regularly with lime-free water.
The purple tute has no special requirements for the substrate. However, high permeability is important to prevent waterlogging. To ensure water drainage, place a drainage layer made of potsherds, stones, or expanded clay on the bottom of the pot. Then plant the purple tute in high-quality soil. Since Syngonium prefers a slightly acidic environment, our soil with a pH of 6.1 to 6.9 is ideal. The contained clay minerals store the water well and release it again when it is dry. The production from natural raw materials and without peat protects the environment. For even better permeability, 30% broken expanded clay or pine bark can be mixed in.
About every 2 to 3 years at the beginning of spring, the purple mute should be repotted in fresh soil. Choose a pot that is slightly larger in diameter than the old one. This gives the roots more space and allows them to develop, which also supports above-ground growth.
Syngonium care: the most important measures
Syngonium care is not particularly difficult, the plant only makes a few demands on the irrigation water.
Pour the purple tute about once a week with lime-free water. The water temperature should be room temperature, ideally, just use rainwater. Never let the root ball dry out completely, but rather water it when the substrate surface is no longer moist. You should remove any water that has run off in the saucer so that the purple tute does not get wet feet.
In winter there is less watering, as the purple tute also grows more slowly in the cold season due to the reduced amount of light. However, the substrate must not dry out completely.
Fertilization is only used in the main growing season from spring to autumn. For the purple tute, you can use a liquid green plant fertilizer, which is perfectly tailored to the needs of decorative foliage plants. The fertilizer also contains microorganisms to promote root growth. Our fertilizer is produced in a resource-saving way and is based on natural ingredients. Use half the concentration of the fertilizer about every three weeks.
The purple mute is easy on pruning and can be shortened in spring when the shoots have become too long. Gloves should be worn here, as Syngonium is poisonous. Simply cut off the shoots at the desired length with a sharp knife. You can then pull new purple turkeys from the cut shoots.
Syngonium also forms aerial roots, which must not be cut off under any circumstances. Instead, you can place the rooted shoots in the pot on the substrate, where the roots can grow into the soil.
Tip: If you cut a lot, you will achieve bushy growth and maintain the juvenile leaf shape. To see the adult, changed leaf shape and long shoots, pruning is rarely or not at all.
To propagate Syngonium, cuttings can be made from healthy, larger plants. The best time to cut cuttings is in spring or the first few months of summer. Use a knife to cut offshoot pieces about 10 cm long below a thickened point on the shoot, the leaf knot. Roots are usually already laid here, which can then sprout afterward. Remove the bottom leaves and stick the cutting in a substrate. For example, our Gardender organic herb and sowing soil, which is specially made for growing young plants, is suitable for this. Due to their low nutrient content, the plants are encouraged to develop more and stronger roots. Our organic soil consists of natural raw materials and does not contain peat, which makes it a particularly climate-friendly soil.
After planting, place the small Syngonium cuttings in a bright place with temperatures between 22 and 25 ° C. Also put a plastic bag over the pots to increase the humidity. The root formation should have started after four to eight weeks. Then you can repot your Syngonium into nutrient-rich soil.
Is the purple mute poisonous?
As is typical of the arum family, Syngonium is also poisonous. Pets in particular should not eat the leaves. Therefore, put the plant in a safe place and wear gloves when repotting and pruning. The escaping juice should not touch the skin or eyes, as it can cause itchy and burning reactions.
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