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Most Common Variegated Arrowhead Plant Pests:
Identification and Treatment Guide

Updated: July 2, 2023

The Variegated Arrowhead Plant, also known as Syngonium podophyllum albo-variegatum, is a popular houseplant known for its attractive variegated leaves. This plant is relatively easy to care for and can thrive in various indoor conditions. However, like any other plant, the Variegated Arrowhead Plant is susceptible to certain pests that can cause damage if not addressed promptly.

In this article, we will discuss the most common pests that affect Variegated Arrowhead Plants, how to identify them, and the appropriate treatment methods to eliminate them effectively.

Spider Mites

Spider mites are tiny pests that belong to the arachnid family. They are most active in warm and dry conditions, making them a common problem for indoor plants like the Variegated Arrowhead. These pests feed on the plant’s sap, causing yellowing and browning of leaves, as well as webbing on the plant’s surface.

To identify spider mites, look for tiny specks of yellow or white on the undersides of leaves. You may also notice webbing between the leaves or along the stems.

To treat spider mites, start by isolating the affected plant to prevent further infestation. Gently wipe the leaves with a damp cloth or sponge to remove any visible mites and webbing. You can also use a mixture of water and mild dish soap to spray the plant thoroughly, ensuring all surfaces are covered. Repeat this treatment every few days until the infestation is under control.


Aphids are another common pest that can affect Variegated Arrowhead Plants. These small insects feed on the plant’s sap and reproduce rapidly, causing stunted growth, curling leaves, and sticky residue on the leaves and surrounding surfaces.

To identify aphids, look for clusters of tiny, pear-shaped insects on the undersides of leaves or along the stems. They can be green, black, brown, or even translucent in color.

To treat aphids, you can start by using a strong stream of water to wash them off the plant. This method is effective if the infestation is not severe. Alternatively, you can create a homemade insecticidal soap by mixing water and liquid dish soap. Spray this solution onto the affected plant, focusing on the undersides of leaves where aphids tend to congregate. Repeat this treatment every few days until the infestation is eliminated.


Mealybugs are soft-bodied insects that often appear as white, cotton-like masses on the Variegated Arrowhead Plant. They usually feed on plant sap and excrete a sticky substance called honeydew, which attracts ants and promotes the growth of sooty mold. Mealybugs can cause leaf yellowing and wilting if left untreated.

To identify mealybugs, look for white, cottony masses on the undersides of leaves, along with sticky residue on the plant and nearby surfaces.

To treat mealybugs, you can start by manually removing them using a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. Gently dab the affected areas to kill and remove the pests. You can also use a mixture of water and mild dish soap to spray the plant thoroughly, ensuring all surfaces are covered. Repeat these treatments every few days until the infestation is eradicated.

Scale Insects

Scale insects are small, oval-shaped pests that attach themselves to plant surfaces and feed on sap. They often appear as tiny bumps or shells that can range in color from brown to black. Scale insects can cause yellowing leaves, stunted growth, and leaf drop if left untreated.

To identify scale insects, look for small bumps or shells on the stems, leaves, or even on the soil surface. They can be easily mistaken for part of the plant or soil.

To treat scale insects, start by scraping them off the plant using a soft brush or cloth. You can also use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol to remove them individually. For larger infestations, you can create a mixture of water and mild dish soap to spray the plant thoroughly. Repeat these treatments every few days until the infestation is controlled.

Fungus Gnats

Fungus gnats are small, flying insects that are attracted to damp soil and decaying organic matter. While they do not directly harm the Variegated Arrowhead Plant, their larvae can cause damage by feeding on the plant’s roots, leading to stunted growth and yellowing leaves.

To identify fungus gnats, look for small black flies hovering around the plant or resting on the soil surface. You may also notice small, white larvae in the soil if you inspect it closely.

To treat fungus gnats, start by allowing the soil to dry out between waterings to discourage their breeding. You can also use sticky traps to catch adult gnats and reduce their population. If the infestation is severe, you can consider applying a biological control agent such as Bacillus thuringiensis var. israelensis (Bti) to kill the larvae in the soil.


The Variegated Arrowhead Plant is a beautiful houseplant that can bring vibrancy to any indoor space. However, it is important to be aware of the common pests that can affect this plant and take appropriate measures to address any infestations promptly.

By knowing how to identify spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, and fungus gnats, you can effectively treat these pests and keep your Variegated Arrowhead Plant healthy and thriving. Remember to always follow the treatment methods mentioned in this article and monitor your plant regularly for any signs of pest activity. With proper care and attention, your Variegated Arrowhead Plant will continue to be a stunning addition to your home.

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