Vining house plants add a great focal point to any room, but one that you might not immediately think of that deserves your attention is Scindapsus pictus, also known as the Silver Philodendron.
It’s easy to grow, especially if you already have a heart leaf Philodendron or a Pothos plant, as the growing conditions that this plant needs are pretty similar.
It also helps that the leaves on this plant are absolutely gorgeous, featuring emerald green leaves with silvery splotches.
You may also know this plant as the Silver Pothos, or Satin Pothos, even though this plant is not a pothos or even a philodendron.
They are related, but only in a distant-cousin-that-you-never-see kind of way, as they are part of the same plant family.
Interested in growing your own Scindapsus pictus? Here’s everything you need to know, including how much light this plant needs, when to water it, and how to propagate it.
Let’s get started.
How To Care For Scindapsus Pictus
It’s worth knowing that when you bring any plant home, it can take a while for it to adjust to its new surroundings, and you may even see a couple of discolored leaves and slow growth until it gets settled.
So don’t worry straight away if this plant doesn’t look happy for a week or two when you get it home, it’s probably just acclimatizing to its new environment.
Having said that, it’s important to give this plant the right conditions, in order to enjoy it at its best.
Sunlight And Position
The Silver Pothos plant is like many houseplants in that it loves a position where it can soak up a lot of bright rays, but it doesn’t like direct sunlight for long.
Evening or morning sunlight for a few hours is more than enough for this plant and anymore can cause the leaves to scorch.
Put this plant as close to a window as you can, which will allow it to get the most light possible without having to work too hard for it. Eastern-facing or Northern-facing windows are great for this plant.
If you notice the leaves are starting to lose their variegation, the plant is probably not getting enough sunlight, and you need to move it somewhere brighter.
This will also limit the growth of the plant, and cause it to suffer, so move it sooner rather than later.
If a permanently-sunny windowsill is what you have, this will be fine for the plant as long as it is a couple of feet away from the window, where it’s less likely to get scorched by prolonged sunlight.
You could also sit it under a privacy window in your bathroom, where the film will help filter the light.
In terms of temperature and humidity, average household conditions tend to do fine. As long as you feel comfortable, your Scindapsus pictus will, too.
Average humidity levels tend to be fine for this plant until winter comes around, and we heat our homes, drying out the air dramatically.
A good way to help combat this is to group your plants together. Not so tightly that air can’t circulate around the plants or that the leaves touch, but close enough to create a microclimate.
This is a very affordable way to make sure your plants have all the humidity they need, and it only takes a few minutes to place them near each other.
Another good trick is to put a tray of pebbles beneath your plant, filling it with water just below the surface of the pebbles. As the water evaporates, the humidity around your plants will increase.
This tends to work better for single plants, otherwise, you should turn to create a microclimate or invest in a decent humidifier to get you and the plants through the winter months.
A good quality houseplant compost mix is a start when it comes to getting the soil right for a Scindapsus pictus plant, but you can make it better by adding some perlite to improve the drainage in the soil.
When To Water A Silver Philodendron
It’s a good idea to check the soil every week to determine when your Scindapsus pictus needs watering.
When the top inch of compost has dried out, it is time to water your silver philodendron. This will provide the plant with what it needs to put out lots of growth.
If you leave it for a little longer between watering, it will likely be fine, but don’t wait too long, as this plant isn’t meant to go without water for extended periods.
When the soil gets too dry for the plant, the leaves will start to curl up to avoid losing too much moisture. If you see this happening, check the soil with your hand.
If it feels more like a desert rather than compost, give the plant a thorough soak, and the plant should pick itself back up within a few hours or a day.
If you leave the soil dry for long enough, the lower leaves will turn yellow in protest, and will eventually fall from the plant.
Remove any yellow leaves, as they are no longer able to do their job, and make sure you water the plant.
In fact, it’s a good idea to check the soil whenever you notice something strange going on with your plant. Chances are that something is wrong with the moisture level in the soil.
Feeding Your Silver Philodendron
It’s a good idea to feed Scindapsus pictus occasionally in the growing season, and this will help give the plant a boost.
Never feed your plants during the winter when they are supposed to be resting and saving their energy for the spring to come.
Use a balanced and good-quality liquid houseplant feed, making sure to follow the dosage instructions so that you don’t burn the plant.
Feed every third or fourth watering, making sure that the soil isn’t completely dry before you feed it, otherwise this can cause root damage.
If you have recently repotted your silver philodendron, do not feed it. It won’t need any extra nutrients for a while.
It’s also a good idea to hold off as repotting can cause some stress, and the last thing you want to do is to feed a plant while it is stressed, as it can make things much worse.
How To Propagate A Silver Philodendron (Scindapsus Pictus)
This plant is very easy to propagate, and you do so in the same way you would approach propagating pothos plants, or philodendrons.
Take a couple of cuttings at once, making sure each one has at least one leaf and a growth node.
A cutting that is more than several inches long is too long, so try to keep it shorter where you can.
You can also take cuttings from vines that have aerial roots, too. Put your cuttings straight into a jar of clean water, and place the jar somewhere bright and warm, away from direct sunlight, as this can cook your cuttings before they have a chance to turn into proper plants.
You want the nodes to be underwater, as this is where the roots will form. Make sure that no leaves are below the water line, as you don’t want them to rot.
Within a couple of weeks, you will see the cuttings start to form roots. Once these roots are about an inch long or more, transfer them into a good soil mix.
To give cuttings some support, you can plant a couple into a square pot, putting each one in each corner, and this will help support the small plants as they grow.
While not a true philodendron or a pothos, the Scindapsus pictus is just as beautiful as either species, and it is relatively easy to care for.
A great bonus of houseplants like this vine is that they are easy to propagate, as this gives you new plants for free.
All it takes is a little patience for the roots to grow, and it’s a good idea to keep on top of the growth.
Just make sure that you check the soil each week or so, rather than sticking to a rigid watering schedule, as growing conditions can change quickly, affecting how long the compost will hold onto water.