What is the difference between scindapsus and pothos?

Scindapsus leaf

After years of wishlisting it, I finally treated myself to a scindapsus pictus plant from Hirt’s Gardens. I’m pleased to report that she’s even more beautiful in person! I love an easy-care vining plant, which is why pothos plants are some of my favorite plants to have around the house. Colloquially, scindapsus plants are often called silver or satin pothos. The pothos (read all about it here) does share many similar characteristics and care requirements as the scindapsus, but they’re technically different plants. Just technically. 

Scindapsus

So what’s the nitty-gritty difference between scindapsus and pothos? Both are part of the Araceae or aroid family. Pothos actually belong to the epipremnum genus, whereas scindapsus is its own genus. (Though, for a long time, the pothos was called scindapsus aureus!) On a developmental level, scindapsus plants have one ovule in each ovary, whereas epipremnum have a few. Scindapsus leaves also tend to be slightly thicker than pothos and often have a textured silver sheen. And on an anecdotal level, I find that they tend to be a few bucks more expensive than your regular jade or golden pothos. But the way their leaves glitter under sunlight make them worth the extra change, at least in my humble opinion!

The differences end there. Scindapsus and pothos are closely related at the end of the day, so they share many basic care needs. Both plants have vining heart-shaped leaves that can do well in lower light conditions. Scindapsus, like pothos, also tend to curl when they get thirsty. They also don’t need to be fertilized, but they appreciate the occasional feed. And as with pothos, scindapsus are easy to propagate in water with cuttings. Besides letting them vine, you can also train them to climb up a moss pole.

I haven’t been as razzle-dazzled about getting new plants lately, but my scindapsus has definitely piqued my interest in looking for beautiful foliage again!

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