Satin Pothos

OFFICIAL NAME

Scindapsus pictus 'Argyraeus'

ALSO KNOWN AS

Silk Pothos, Silver Pothos, Silver Philodendron, Silver Vine, Silver Cloud

ORIGINS & CLIMATE

Southeast Asia | Tropical

ABOUT THE
PLANT

An understated beauty whose elegant grey-green leaves and silvery spots shimmer in the light as they tumble down in long vines. But those vines will also climb if provided a little support or training.

HOW MANY GREEN THUMBS?

easy going, bright indirect, goldilocks, great lengths, bushy or dense, cascading, climbing, shelf, hanging, aroid, tropical, variegation, heart-shape

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Satin Pothos

The basics

Water Needs

Always water thoroughly, but allow the top inch or two to dry out completely before watering again. Reduce watering in winter, allowing the soil to get up to 50% dry.

Water

Preferred Light

Medium to bright, indirect light is ideal for this Satin Pothos. However, they can tolerate low light, as well. Just take extra precautions when watering and don't expect the plant to grow very much.

Light

Humidity Needs

This tropical epiphyte (plants that grow in the mossy nooks of trees) will certainly appreciate a boost in humidity.

Humidity

Ambient Temperature

Satin Pothos enjoy the balmy warmth of the tropics, preferably between 65-85°F. Definitely avoid cold drafts and sudden temperature changes. If the temps dip too low, Satin Pothos are known to decline and even die back.

Temperature

Toxic or Not?

Satin Pothos are mildly toxic to pets and humans. Ingestion will cause mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting.

Toxicity

Size Potential

Indoors, this plant's vines can grow anywhere from 6 to 20 ft depending on how you let it grow! May need to be supported with a moss or coir pole (the aerial roots can latch on for support and to take up any excess moisture).

Size

Overall Look

A young plant quickly takes on the very full look of a small shrub and begins to throw vines over the edge of the planter that can grow to great lengths. Will also grab on to a trellis or moss pole to climb if you give them the chance. Otherwise, this plant works best in a hanging planter or on a high shelf.

Format

Leaf Look

Dainty heart-shaped leaves in a muted grey-green with unique silvery splashes or spots that vary from leaf to leaf.

Leaf Shape

Pro Tip

When keeping your Satin Pothos in less than ideal light, you may notice new growth looks a bit straggly and thin with each new leaf spread out far from the last. Try improving the light and trimming back the thin growth—this will promote a fuller, bushier look!

Pro Tip

Did You Know?

The silvery spots on a Satin Pothos are a type of variegation known as blister or reflective variegation. This occurs when small air pockets develop between the lower and upper portions of the leaf, creating transparent pockets that give the plant its striking, high contrast pattern.

Fun Fact

Water

|

Allow top inches of soil to dry between waterings.

Water Needs

Always water thoroughly, but allow the top inch or two to dry out completely before watering again. Reduce watering in winter, allowing the soil to get up to 50% dry.

Light

|

Bright, indirect light.

Preferred Light

Medium to bright, indirect light is ideal for this Satin Pothos. However, they can tolerate low light, as well. Just take extra precautions when watering and don't expect the plant to grow very much.

Humidity

|

Extra humidity appreciated in drier spaces.

Humidity Needs

This tropical epiphyte (plants that grow in the mossy nooks of trees) will certainly appreciate a boost in humidity.

Temperature

|

Enjoys warmer temps.

Ambient Temperature

Satin Pothos enjoy the balmy warmth of the tropics, preferably between 65-85°F. Definitely avoid cold drafts and sudden temperature changes. If the temps dip too low, Satin Pothos are known to decline and even die back.

Toxicity

|

Mildly toxic to humans and pets if ingested.

Toxic or Not?

Satin Pothos are mildly toxic to pets and humans. Ingestion will cause mouth and stomach irritation and possible vomiting.

Size

|

Extra long trailing vines.

Size Potential

Indoors, this plant's vines can grow anywhere from 6 to 20 ft depending on how you let it grow! May need to be supported with a moss or coir pole (the aerial roots can latch on for support and to take up any excess moisture).

Format

|

A low shrubby plant that vines to great lengths.

Overall Look

A young plant quickly takes on the very full look of a small shrub and begins to throw vines over the edge of the planter that can grow to great lengths. Will also grab on to a trellis or moss pole to climb if you give them the chance. Otherwise, this plant works best in a hanging planter or on a high shelf.

Leaf Shape

|

Grey-green with spotted variegation and a heart shape.

Leaf Look

Dainty heart-shaped leaves in a muted grey-green with unique silvery splashes or spots that vary from leaf to leaf.

Pro Tip

|

Growth is always tied to light, no matter what.

Pro Tip

When keeping your Satin Pothos in less than ideal light, you may notice new growth looks a bit straggly and thin with each new leaf spread out far from the last. Try improving the light and trimming back the thin growth—this will promote a fuller, bushier look!

Fun Fact

|

Extra special spots.

Did You Know?

The silvery spots on a Satin Pothos are a type of variegation known as blister or reflective variegation. This occurs when small air pockets develop between the lower and upper portions of the leaf, creating transparent pockets that give the plant its striking, high contrast pattern.

Beyond The Basics

Soil & Potting

Thrives in a rich, very well-draining potting mix—you can use a good quality potting mix labeled for indoor plants or make your own mix. You can try a 1:1:1:0.5 mix of potting mix, orchid bark, perlite, and activated charcoal. Ensure the pot has the appropriate drainage and don't forget to pour out any excess water collected in the drainage tray or cachepot.

Repotting

Try to repot every 2-3 years in the spring, especially when tending to a younger plant. Increase the pot size by about 2 inches each time or until you're satisfied with the size. It's still important to repot at this stage, but it'll be an exercise of refreshing to soil, keeping the pot size the same, and possibly doing some root trimming to restrict the plant's growth. More on repotting here.

Feeding

If you're not already planning to repot, you can fertilize during the spring and summer months. Once to every two months should be plenty. No fertilizer is necessary during the winter when plant growth naturally slows down. You can try a balanced liquid or water-soluble fertilizer—always diluted more than the recommended strength. More on using fertilizer here.

Grooming

Can be prone to legginess (or straggly, elongated growth). Regular pruning of the new growth (up to a third of the whole plant) will promote a fuller, bushier appearance. New leaves will emerge from the cut stem. Plus, you can use these stem cuttings to propagate! In addition, it's always good practice to regularly remove yellowed or dying leaves and any fallen plant debris. Ensure your scissors or pruners are sanitized to avoid spreading disease or pests. More on grooming techniques here.

Propagation

All you need to propagate a Satin Pothos is a piece of stem with a node or aerial root. This is particularly easy to spot since it's a brown knob or full on wiggly root sticking out along the green stem.  Try to cut just below this node and remove the lower leaves to ensure a clear stem before rooting. This cutting will grow roots directly in water and in just a few weeks! Once the roots are a couple inches long, you can pot up as you would with any plant. More on propagation techniques here.

Variants

TrOUBlESHOOTING

Why is my Satin Pothos growth sparse and leggy?

Symptom

New growth is straggly and small with each new leaf spread far from the last.

Cause

A clear indicator that your plant isn't getting enough light. Most often, a plant gets leggy because they're trying to stretch towards the light, leading to long, stretched-out growth that makes the whole plant look a bit sparse rather than full and bushy.

Solution

You should certainly improve the lighting conditions for future growth, but this won't effect the straggly stems. You may choose to prune these thinner stems back, which will promote new growth where you cut. And if you've remedied the lighting, this new growth should be healthy and full!

More on lighting here.
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Why does my Satin Pothos have dark brown spots or patches?

Symptom

Dark brown spots, or areas, that may be in the middle of a leaf or on the edges. These spots tend to be larger areas with an irregular edge, not a nice neat circular shape. They may also look “wet” or saturated in the middle.

Cause

These spots are usually the sign of a fungal leaf spot disease. These kinds of diseases often go hand-in-hand with overwatering or an overly damp environment, which weakens your plants and makes them more susceptible to disease.

Solution

The first step is to isolate the plant to avoid spread to your other plants. Then, prune or pinch off the affected leaves. Make sure to be diligent in your removal of any fallen plant debris from the soil. Most diseases thrive off humid environments, so it's best to stop misting or providing additional humidity for your plant (for now). You may even try switching to bottom watering to ensure you don't get any moisture on the leaves. Finally, a regimen of neem oil could be in order, focusing on a soil soak rather than spraying the leaves (at least in the initial treatment phase).

Once you've removed the infected leaves, the disease should drastically slow its spread. Make sure that you keep the leaves dry and check them regularly. If you see any symptoms return, remove those leaves as well and continue your treatments.

More on diseases here.
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Why are the leaves on my Satin Pothos wilting and yellowing?

Symptom

Multiple leaves are wilting and turning yellow—particularly the older, lower leaves. You may also notice stunted growth and mushy stems.

Cause

The most likely culprit is overwatering and initial signs of root rot. When a plant's roots sit in waterlogged soil for too long, a fungal infection can quickly take over, causing the roots to rot (turning brown and mushy).

Solution

First, ensure that your plant has appropriate drainage (both in terms of well-draining soil and plenty of drainage holes in the plant's container).

If you think you've caught the overwatering early on, you can simply let the plant dry out more than you have been. Allow the top few inches of soil to dry out before watering again. Continue monitoring and only water when needed. You may also try using chopsticks (or something similar) to poke holes in the soil to help the roots get more oxygen. And finally, you can try to "wick" the excess moisture out of the soil by placing the whole pot (with drainage holes) in a tray or container with dry soil. This new layer of dry soil should soak up some of the excess moisture from the waterlogged areas around your plant's roots.

However, if you suspect a serious case of root rot, you'll definitely need to take a peak at the roots by removing the plant entirely from their container. If there are any black and mushy roots, trim them back completely before repotting with fresh soil in a new or sterilized container.

More on leaf changes here.
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Why are the leaf tips on my Satin Pothos browning?

Symptom

Leaves turning brown just on the edges or tips. These edges may gradually change from yellow to brown, crispy, and possibly a bit curled.

Cause

Browning just on the edges of tips is usually a reaction to low humidity. Since many of our houseplants have tropical origins, they also thrive in humid conditions. Our average indoor humidity is usually adequate, but some plants are simply more sensitive to changes in humidity than others. You may notice this more acutely when conditions are particularly dry—like when you turn on the heater in winter.

Solution

Try to accommodate your plant's needs by locating them in more naturally humid places, like the bathroom or kitchen, or grouping a bunch of humidity-loving plants together. But the only way to truly guarantee increased humidity is to get a humidifier!

Once you've addressed the problem: If the brown tips bother you, you can trim them back. Do your best to follow the shape of the leaf to help them look natural. Also, try to cut just short of the discolored edge so it doesn’t expand.

More on leaf changes here.
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