syngonium albo variegated juvenile plant rooting in sphagnum moss

Easily Prop Syngonium Albo With This Helpful Tip For Fast Rooting!

It's no secret that 'Albo' plants (i.e. plants which have sections or speckles of white variegation, which don't contain chlorophyll) can be tricky plants to root...

I still don't think the planty community has gotten over the Monstera 'Albo' buzz of the last few years – they're just too stunning (and thankfully also more affordable than ever!). One fierce competitor in the running for most breath-taking Albo plant would have to be Syngonium 'Albo'. If you've been eyeing one up for a while, now is the time to get one: clippings are currently going for £7.00 – £10.00, and wet sticks are even cheaper.'ve caved. You went and bought a Syngonium 'Albo' cutting. Maybe it was sold to you as rooted, but when you actually see it you find yourself realising it needs to root further. OR your lovely friend has gifted you an unrooted clipping. In any case, the results are the need to root your beautiful Albo so she can evolve into the stunning planty Goddess that she was always destined to be. That's where I come in.
One thing I hear a lot, and that I have personally experienced, is that Albo plants don't seem to benefit from having a leaf on the clipping. With clippings, the sections of the plant that are green work like solar panels to help the plant photosynthesise and repair itself (i.e. grow new roots and eventually new leaves). HOWEVER (hear me out) Albos root so so much better in very high humidity, which I'm willing to bet you're not giving it if you've got a clipping with leaves attached.
I know it hurts to remove something that is beautiful, but trust me you'll be glad you did when your plant starts to: A) Actually start to root properly B) Root at a much faster rate. So, whatever substrate you are rooting in, my first advice would be to remove the leaf. Another reason to do this is because the white (aka Albo) sections of the leaf will be very sensitive to light and can get burned and damaged, stressing the plant out. We definitely don't want that. Also, this method works best if you use grow lights, and removing the leaves allows you to place the clipping within 3ft of a grow light until the cataphyll (point where the new leaf comes out) has formed.
Next, I'm going to talk about substrate. I have propagated Syngonium every which way, and by far the most reliable substrate for Syngonium 'Albo' clippings is sphagnum moss. You need to be aware when purchasing sphagnum moss that only some types are environmentally friendly. You want to avoid peat moss that is often passed off as sphagnum, and you also want to pick a brand that harvests their moss sustainably. A great example for UK buyers is Mella's Jungle, who sustainably harvest their own peat-free sphagnum moss from their land in Wales. One advantage of using Mella's Jungle rather than an overseas supplier is the reduction in carbon footprint (from ordering within the UK) compared to using air mail.
Sphagnum moss is amazing because it holds the correct amount of moisture whilst also providing the roots with oxygen, resulting in faster root growth than alternative methods (e.g. rooting with water). It also doesn't dry out as quickly as perlite, and provides a higher humidity environment in enclosed containers. For the best results, wet your sphagnum moss and squeeze out the excess water, so that it's moist but not wet. spread it out in a small plastic box (Tupperware or a plastic storage box works well). Take your clipping (with the leaves removed) and nestle it into the moss. Place any aerial roots pointing down into the moss, and place a small extra piece of moss over the stem node whilst leaving as much of the top of the stem uncovered as you can. Close the lid and place the box under a grow light. Generally, I like to let prop boxes air out for a couple of hours a day to prevent mold and mildew associated with high humidity. 
When your clipping has rooted and the stem pushes out a new cataphyll (it looks like a point coming out of the node and will form a new leaf) then you can move the box further away from the grow lights to prevent leaf damage. Once the first leaf unfurls, you can pot it up. I like to keep growing smaller plants in moss until they have four or five leaves, then I move them into a substrate. However, if you prefer you could pot it straight up into soil at this point.
If you'd like to keep your plant growing in moss a bit longer (like I do) then you can simply get a small container (yoghurt pots work well), place some moss in the bottom of the pot. Then, gently wrap some moss around the roots and node, and nestle it into the yoghurt pot, placing a small piece of moss over the top to keep the wet stick moist (don't cover the leaves or stems). 
Good luck with your Syngoniums! :)
- Sofi
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