Being one of the most accessible and easiest houseplants to grow, the Satin pothos has rightfully garnered a lot of popularity and is widely grown in households across the globe.
This tropical evergreen vine features distinctive variegated foliage and petite heart-shaped leaves. A perfect addition for anyone looking for a low-maintenance ornamental houseplant, here is everything you need to know to grow and care for Scindapsus pictus.
Getting to Know Satin Pothos
Satin Pothos sets itself apart from its botanical cousin pothos (Epipremnum aureum) with its unique leaves that feature silvery-grey spots which add a shimmering visual appeal to the plant.
There are a few stunning cultivars to choose from where the intensity of the variegation in the foliage will slightly differ between them.
Either way, these tropical vines can easily spruce up your living spaces and they don’t require much skill to successfully establish. Native to tropical regions of southeast Asia, this plant naturally thrives in warm and humid environments.
Forming a part of the Arum family, Scindapsus pictus is one of 35 species in its genus and is now commonly known as satin pothos, silk pothos, silver pothos or silver philodendron.
As confusing as all the names might seem, this plant is actually neither a type of Pothos nor Philodendron and all the common names do refer to this same plant.
Growing between 4 and 10 feet in length, this slow-growing vining plant features aerial roots that will attach themselves to their surroundings when left to trail.
It is widely used as a decorative potted houseplant or hung in baskets to allow the foliage to cascade downwards, quickly creating luscious backdrops in living spaces.
Popularized for its variegated foliage, satin pothos can produce small bright green inflorescences, known as spadix, in the summer. Recommended USDA hardiness zones are 10 to 12.
Satin pothos, silk pothos, silver pothos, silver philodendron
4 to 10 feet in length
Bright indirect light
USDA 10 to 12
Poisonous for Pets:
Toxic to cats, dogs and children if ingested
Popular Types of Silver Pothos
- Scindapsus pictus ‘Argyraeus’ – This cultivar features smaller, darker green leaves and more defined, evenly dispersed silver markings and silvery edges. This creates a more dramatic contrast in the variegation meaning this variety is very striking.
- Scindapsus pictus ‘Silvery Anne’ – A cultivar with light green heart-shaped leaves and more silver variegation in its foliage.
- Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ – This variety has larger, dark-green, lance-shaped leaves with large silver splotches.
How to Grow Satin Pothos
Young, healthy Scindapsus pictus plants that are true to type can be purchased from reputable nurseries or online stores that you can transplant and establish in your home.
Alternatively, this plant can be propagated using cuttings. Cuttings should be taken in spring to early summer for the best results.
Scindapsus Pictus Propagation
How to Propagate Silver Pothos Using Cuttings
- Using sharp scissors or shears, take four-inch tip cuttings from a healthy plant.
- Prepare four-inch wide, well-draining pots filled with a fresh indoor potting soil mix.
- Place your cuttings into the soil and water well after planting.
- Keep the soil mix evenly moist while the plant establishes itself.
- Place your cuttings in a warm location with indirect light, away from any drafts. If possible, place them in the same location as the mother plant for the best results.
- New growth should appear in about a month or two which should indicate that the plant has successfully rooted.
- You can now switch to a more infrequent watering routine.
Planting Silk Pothos
This low-maintenance houseplant will thrive given certain growing conditions. It is also important to note that silk pothos are toxic for pets and children when ingested so be sure to place it in your home accordingly. Planting should be done in spring to early summer.
Ideal Sunlight Conditions
These tropical vines grow best in bright, indirect light but they can tolerate lower levels of indirect light. Too much direct light should be avoided as this can scorch the foliage and lead to the leaves losing their variegation.
If your window has too much direct light, a thin curtain can help reduce the intensity.
Best Soil for Scindapsus
A general indoor potting mix will ensure your plant gets the nutrients and drainage it needs. A combination of peat moss, pine bark and perlite or vermiculite should work great. Is it best to avoid soggy soils as these plants are easily overwatered.
Temperature & Humidity
Being a tropical plant, silver philodendron will grow best in warm and humid environments. Ideal growing temperatures range from 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit where temperatures below 60°F can damage the plant as they are known to be sensitive to cold.
Relative humidity levels of 40 to 50% around your plant are recommended. If the air is too dry, the leaf tips can turn brown but to help increase humidity, you can place your pot on a pebble tray filled with water or regularly mist your plant.
Potting & Repotting Silver Philodendron
Once roots begin to emerge from the drainage holes, you will know it’s time for repotting. Generally, this will need to be done every two to three years and should be done in spring when the growing season starts.
- Choose a pot that is one to two inches larger than your current container.
- Prepare the new pot with fresh indoor potting soil.
- Gently remove your plant from its current container, being careful not to disturb the roots too much.
- Place your plant into the new pot and backfill with soil until the root ball is covered and the plant is sitting snug.
- Water well after repotting and keep the soil evenly moist for the first few weeks to help settle the soil around the roots. Thereafter, you can decrease the watering frequency again.
- Many commercial potting mixes will already have enough fertilizer for a few months so take this into account before feeding your plant.
Satin Pothos Care Guide
Silver philodendron is famed for being easy to care for so your plant shouldn’t require a lot of hassle when growing in the right conditions. However, this houseplant will respond well to a little extra care. Here are a few quick tips for caring for Scindapsus pictus.
Be careful not to overwater your Scindapsus as this can quickly lead to wilting and yellowing foliage. Water only when the top two inches of soil feel dry to the touch, which should be every 1 to 2 weeks.
Water more in brighter conditions and less in lower light conditions. Water slowly and deeply with room temperature water until water starts seeping from the drainage holes of your container.
Pruning Silver Philodendron
You can consistently snip off damaged or dead leaves. Prune your plant in spring when the vines have grown too long and become sparse to encourage new leaf growth and to give your plant a fuller appearance.
Get only the best pruning shears by checking our product review and buying guide.
Wipe your leaves down with water to remove accumulated dust. This will ensure they can breathe properly and that your plant looks as pristine as possible.
Try to avoid using oils to make your leaves shine as this can clog the cells and affect the breathability in your foliage.
Fertilizing Satin Pothos
During the growing season from spring to fall, you can fertilize your plant about once per month with a complete, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer to maintain the health and appearance of your Scindapsus.
Satin Pothos Pests, Problems & Diseases
These vines are generally free of pest or disease issues but they can be attacked by scales or spider mites on rare occasions. These insects can easily be washed off using a water and soap mixture in less severe cases.
Be sure to also rinse the undersides of your leaves. In more severe cases, you can apply insecticidal soap or horticultural oil for indoor plants. Another common problem is overwatering or underwatering.
Overwatering can lead to yellowing or wilting leaves and in more severe cases, root rot. Underwatering will be evident if the leaves of your plant begin to curl. Avoid any water issues by maintaining a healthy watering routine at all times.
Scindapsus Pictus FAQs
Is satin pothos rare?
Certain varieties are rare to come by. The Scindapsus pictus ‘Jade Satin’ is a rarely available, prolific growing variety. Other rare varieties may include:
- Scindapsus aureus
- Scindapsus treubii
Why is my satin pothos leggy?
This is commonly due to a sunlight deficiency. Plants that grow in poorly-lit areas will stretch out trying to find more light, resulting in each leaf node being spread further apart from one another.
To help rectify the issue, move your plant to a better lit location with bright indirect light. Water and fertilize as recommended to encourage new growth and prune to create more density in your foliage.
How do you make satin pothos fuller?
The best way to create a fuller-looking plant is to prune twice a year in spring and fall. Clip some of the vines back to within 2 inches of the soil and shorten other vines randomly to promote denser growth.
Spruce Up Your Home with Satin Pothos
Adored for its green silvery variegated foliage and easy-going attitude, the silver philodendron is certainly a worthwhile houseplant to add to your collection.
Offering growers of any skill level excellent decorative applications within their living spaces, this tropical vining plant can easily impress and add luscious textures to your home. Choose one of the stunning Satin pothos cultivars as your next floral fascination.