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Cercestis - Expert tips

How to care for Cercestis Mirabilis - Expert Tips for Thriving Plants

The Cercestis is still a pretty unknown plant family, you might even have never heard about it! This plant family have a similar look to the Syngonium. They have arrow-shaped leaves with a beautiful pattern on top. Similar to the Syngonium, the Cercestis is also a climbing aroid.

The biggest difference is that the Cercestis is a slow grower, as opposed to their look-alike Syngoniums. You have to have a lot of patience with the Cercestis, but you get a very rare and stunning plant out of it. It sounds like it’s worth it, right? The Cercestis originates from Africa, where it lives in a tropical area. Luckily, it is rather easy to grow in the urban jungle because it doesn't care much about growing requirements.

Cercestis houseplant

Cercestis Care: 10 expert tips for growing it successfully

  1. Make sure you choose a spot that receives bright indirect light, a spot with a lot of natural light. You should avoid full sun as it can damage its beautiful leaves.
  2. Avoid overwatering. Cercestis are susceptible to root rot, so letting the soil dry out slightly between waterings is important.
  3. Wait until the top half of the soil is completely dry before watering again. Make sure the soil does not dry out completely, as it is sensitive to too much drying out!
  4. Make sure your pot has drainage holes at the bottom. This prevents overwatering by allowing excess water to escape. If your pot does not have drainage holes, consider switching pots or covering the bottom with hydro grains.
  5. Use well-draining and airy soil. Your Cercestis will grow healthy and beautiful, and you won't have to worry about overwatering so much. Our potting soil for aroids is a good choice!
  6. If the leaves start to develop brown spots, it's a sign that the air is too dry. Consider using a humidifier or another humidity-raising method if needed.
  7. Your Cercestes also enjoys misting from time to time. Nonetheless, avoid doing it in full sun and preferably in the morning to allow excess water to evaporate.
  8. Fertilise your Cercestis during the growing season. Fertiliser diluted to half strength is good for it every 2-4 weeks during the growing season.
  9. Cercestis leaf colour and patterns can change as the plant matures, and that's totally normal. Young leaves have vivid patterns, but as they age, they'll turn solid green but retain their texture.
  10. Keep an eye out for common indoor plant pests such as spider mites, scales, and thrips. In case of suspicion, act immediately!

Cercestis Plant Care

Light requirements

The Cercestis would like to grow inside bright, indirect light. Near a south- or north-facing window would be great. Just keep in mind that all windows can produce heat in the summer, so you might want to replace your Cercestis at this time of year to prevent her amazing leaves from scorching. Although it may tolerate direct sunlight too, it is better to avoid it because it can damage the leaves and cause the soil to dry out more quickly.

Expert tip! You may have too dim conditions if your Cercestis leaves are smaller and young leaves do not have such a beautiful pattern. Consider finding a better spot for your dear Cercestis!

If natural light is insufficient, the plant can also be sustained with grow lights. Just make sure to gradually acclimate it to the new light conditions, especially if it was previously kept in brighter light.


You can keep the soil slightly moist at all times. You can do this by providing your rare arrow-shaped plant with regular small splashes. You can stick your finger slightly into the soil to feel if the top part of the soil is dried out. If it is, it's time to water it again.

Expert tip! During the growing season (spring and summer), the plant will generally require more frequent watering compared to fall and winter.

We recommend you use a pot with drainage holes in the bottom. This can be a terracotta pot or simply a nursery pot as an inner pot. This helps you with draining excess water from the pot, which can prevent your plant from getting root rot.


During the growing season, you can add a ½ portion of PLNTS houseplant fertiliser to your water every month. As they are slow growers, half-diluted fertilisation will provide the Cercestis with enough energy to grow. Keep in mind that these plants are slow growers, and you will see approximately 3-4 new leaves per year.

Temperature & humidity

Your Cercestis would like to grow at a temperature between 18 and 25 degrees. So, the average room temperature is just fine! It enjoys high humidity, around 60-80%, as a tropical plant. It can also handle lower humidity levels but watch out for crispy leaf tips and brown leaves. You might see them if the humidity is too low.

So, your Cercestis will probably be fine inside a normal house with humidity but will feel extra spoiled when you place her near a humidifier. This makes her also a suitable plant for the bathroom or kitchen, where the humidity is naturally a bit higher.

Cercestis leaves close up

Repotting & soil

The Cercestis mirabilis is a pretty slow-growing houseplant that doesn't require repotting very often. Generally, it may need a new repot every after 2-3 years. You may need to repot your plant if you see roots growing from the drainage holes or circling the soil surface.

Since Cercestis is an aroid, you can provide it with a soil mix suited for Aroids. We recommend using a mix of 60% soil, 15% bark, 10% coconut fibre, 10% charcoal and 5% perlite. We have put all the substrates in an aroid potting mix package together to make it easy for you.

Cercestis propagation

The Cercestis is easy to propagate. You can make stem cuttings with 1 or 2 leaves attached. Cut underneath a node and place it in water or inside soil or another preferred substrate. When you decide not to root it in water, we recommend that you use some rooting powder. This will enhance the chance of rooting your cutting successfully and faster.

Cercestis in pot

Most common pests on Cercetis

Since this plant is pretty unknown, the most common pests are not really identified yet. You should always keep your eyes on any pest appearing, like mealybugs, thrips, spider mites and fungus gnats. You can reduce the chance of getting pests by making sure your soil isn’t soggy and by giving your plants regular inspections.

If you need any help with diagnosing your itchy problem, then you can go to our PLNTSdoctor page. Here, you will find all the information you need to determine what pest you're dealing with and how to get rid of it.

Are Cercestis poisonous for your pets or children?

Unfortunately, the Cercetis is poisonous to ingest for both humans and animals. That is why we suggest placing this plant on unreachable shelves to protect our beloved children and pets from taking nibble.

Buy your new Cercestis online at PLNTS.com

Is this rare arrow-shaped plant something you are interested in? At PLNTS.com, you can buy Cercestis online, like the Cercestis Mirabilis. Whether you like your Cercestis big from the start or prefer to grow them from tiny BabyPLNTS into full-grown PLNTS - we’ve got you covered!

Hi, I'm Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!