In this article on plant care, we are going to talk about the Silver or Satin Pothos (Epipremnum pictus Argyraeus), which also goes by the name of Devil’s Ivy, Devil’s vine, Scindapsus Pictus, and Silver Vine.
If you are a first-time plant grower but are worried about not being able to commit, then the Silver pothos is the right choice for you. This is an evergreen plant that has heart-shaped variegated leaves in shades of green and silver.
It enjoys bright indirect light and warm temperatures ranging from 64 to 80-degree Fahrenheit (17 to 26 degrees Celsius). Plant it in a peat and perlite based mixture. When watering your Pothos, only do so if the top 2 inches (5 centimeters) of soil is dry.
The Silver Pothos first originated in South-east Asia. The Silver Pothos is not only eye-catching but also makes an amazing view when placed in hanging baskets or when placed around moss poles. People sometimes confuse it with Philodendron Silver.
The Pothos can grow up to 10 feet; however, if you grow the plant indoors, it will reach up to 3 feet.
Let’s read ahead about how to care for your Silver Pothos. We will also discuss tips that I have personally tried to keep my Silver Pothos thriving.
- 1 Plant Care Instructions for Silver Pothos (Scindapsus Pictus)
- 2 Common Problems for Silver Pothos
- 3 Tips for Growing
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions
- 5 Conclusion
Plant Care Instructions for Silver Pothos (Scindapsus Pictus)
The Silver Pothos enjoys bright indirect light and warm temperatures ranging from 64 to 80-degree Fahrenheit (17 to 26 degrees Celsius). Plant it in a peat and perlite based mixture. When watering your Pothos, only do so if the top 2 inches (5 centimeters) of soil is dry.
Silver Pothos thrive in rich soil, which drains well. The best potting mix is the one that has organic matter. The organic matter holds the moisture and also lets water drain freely, preventing water clogging.
I prefer making my own potting medium, and I would recommend all my readers to do the same. I mix potting soil with peat moss and perlite, each of which is mixed in equal parts. If you are not able to find perlite, then you can use charcoal instead – it too drains water effectively. The peat moss is used to keep the roots healthy and nourished.
To check if my soil is light, I water it thoroughly. If the water starts to collect on the soil surface or is taking time to drain, then aerate the soil. Similarly, if the soil is draining too fast, then add sphagnum peat moss to the soil and water again to test it.
You should water your Silver Pothos depending on how fast the top of the soil dries. During summers, your Pothos will need more watering, such that you might have to do it twice a week. However, in winters, the Pothos requires less watering. Watering ensures that the roots are always slightly moist.
To make sure that your Pothos is being watered well, press the potting soil firmly and check for any moisture. If you feel any dampness, do not water until the top part of the soil dries. In some cases, you can also check the soil near the drainage hole. If it is damp, then you do not need to water your plant.
The amount of water required by the Silver Pothos depends on several factors:
- Silver Pothos do not require much watering during winter as they do not respire much in that season.
- If you place your Pothos in a terracotta pot, the soil will dry faster. Therefore, place your Silver Pothos in unglazed pots.
- If the soil is heavy, you will need to hold back from watering too much as the moisture retention will also be high.
I recommend checking the soil 2 inches deep (5 cm) to ensure complete dryness. By preventing over or under-watering, you prevent the plant from stressing out. This will further keep them away from pests and diseases.
Silver Pothos enjoy plenty of light. However, you should not place them directly under sunlight. Direct sunlight can scorch their leaves. The best place in your house is a hanging pot, which should be placed at the east or west-facing window. Here it will get some morning or evening sun.
Silver Pothos grow well in low light conditions and can adapt to even dim-lit rooms. Thought the latter is not recommended as the plant’s vines can become leggy and sparse. The silver variegation will be lost due to inadequate light. This is a good tip to keep in mind if you notice the leaves turning darker.
Outdoors the plant will receive ample light when placed under a shade.
If you wish to grow your Pothos indoors, the best temperature range is between 65 to 85-degree Fahrenheit (18 to 29 degrees Celsius). Maintaining a consistent room temperature in their tropical environment encourages growth and protection from sudden temperature fluctuations.
I understand that getting the right temperature in summer or winter is not easy.
You should avoid growing plants close to radiators in winters, or else they dry out. Cold drafts from air conditioners during summers can cause the leaves to lose their green and silver color. Lack of fresh color means your Pothos has started to wilt and will eventually turn brown.
You can allow your Pothos to grow outside as long as the minimum temperature is close to 60-degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).
Silver Pothos are tropical plants that need, at best medium to high range of humidity. I personally recommend growing Pothos at 40% of humidity as that helps them grow fast.
Misting: All you need to do is to pour some clean water into a spray bottle and mist your Pothos leaves every day.
DIY Pebble Tray:
- Place some water inside a tray or plate.
- Place the pebbles underneath and around the pot without disturbing the water.
Room Humidifier: A room humidifier keeps the room humidity at a fixed point, thereby preventing the plant from stressing out with fluctuations.
Room Location: Rooms like kitchens or bathrooms have higher humidity than other places in the house.
Silver Pothos doesn’t grow fast, therefore, not requiring a lot of fertilization as well. You can provide the nutrients to the plant once a month or at the time of the growing season.
Fertilization during the winter season is not recommended as the plant is usually in the resting phase. So, if the plant doesn’t utilize the content, the soil will have a mineral overflow, which can be poisonous.
The right amount of fertilizer ensures healthy foliage and vibrancy. If the leaf color of your Pothos starts to fade, start feeding your plant regularly once a month. Another alternative is a slow-release fertilizer. The granules of the slow-release fertilizer give a steady supply of nutrients.
Spring is a good season to repot your Pothos, specifically during the early parts of the season. The Silver Pothos grows faster in fertile potting mix. By transferring your Pothos, you are giving it more room to spread its roots, which keeps the plant healthy. Before repotting, I always check for poor drainage or poking roots.
You should find a container that is 2 inches (5 centimeters) larger than your old pot. Placing your Silver Pothos in the right pot ensures a reduction in overwatering and soggy soil.
Following are the steps to repot Silver Pothos:
- Take the plant carefully out of the pot to prevent stems and root damage.
- Carefully dust soil from the roots by washing them in water or using a damp cloth.
- Eye the roots for any signs of rotting. The Pothos roots should be white, not brown in color.
- Prune the decaying roots.
- Take your new container and place the appropriate potting mix until it’s halfway.
- Place the Pothos plant and ensure it reaches the same height as before.
- Fill the empty space with the soil as well.
- Press the soil gently and thoroughly water the plant. Give special attention to your plant in the coming days.
Silver Pothos plants seldom need to be pruned. However, by snipping off the ends of the stems, you can encourage bushier growth. Also, if they get too long, you should prune the trailing stems. Another purpose of trimming the plant is to collect stem cuttings for propagation.
Spring is the best time to prune Pothos as that’s the time it just about to grow more. Scan for dying or already dead leaves. Also, look for damaged items in the plant and prune as needed.
If you wish to propagate the plant right after pruning, snip off at least 4 inches (10 centimeters) portion of the stem that has two or three leaves on it.
Stem cuttings rooted in water are the perfect way for the propagation of Silver Pothos. Follow the step given below:
- Remove the stem just below the node and place the cut part in a jar of water.
- Wait a few weeks before 1inch (2.5 centimeters) roots appear—plant in an appropriate container with a fresh potting mixture.
- Satin Pothos plants can grow in water for a couple of months. However, you will need to move them to an appropriate pot once they have grown to a certain height.
Following are some pointers that you should think about while propagating:
- Using sterile pruning equipment.
- Change the water weekly or repot into a moist, peat-based potting mixture.
- Roots should start to form on your cuttings in about four weeks.
The Silver Pothos has juvenile leaves that are heart-shaped. When the plant matures, it is pinnately lobed. Although the plant rarely blossoms when grown indoors, insignificant flowers form in the summer, followed by small berries.
Silver Pothos are native to the rainforests of Asia. This variegated plant has long stems that can grow up to 10 feet long with heart-shaped leaves. The leaves come in different shades of light and dark green with silver or white patches on them.
When growing in indoor containers, the Silver Pothos height goes up to 3 feet tall. With frequent pruning, Silver Pothos can make excellent potted plants with bushy foliage. Alternatively, you can also hang them from baskets.
Common Problems for Silver Pothos
While rarely threatened by pests, scale and spider mites will often pose a problem, and it’s best to handle the problem as soon as you notice them.
Also, if left unchecked, the scales and spider mites spread easily to other indoor plants. This leads to mass spread, creating an even bigger issue for you to deal with.
However, don’t worry, as both pests are easily recognized and can be handled easily. Stressors like root rotting also affect this plant.
The most popular way to detect spider mites is by observing the silk spider webs on your plant. Individually these bugs are hard to find because they’re very small.
However, when you start to notice the spider mites crawling with your naked eyes, this typically means that the infestation is high. When buying plants from a plant nursery, always look for signs of spider webs before buying them.
Use neem oil to get rid of the sap-sucking mites easily:
- Mix 1.5 teaspoon of Neem oil, one teaspoon Liquid soap with 33 oz (1 liter) of lukewarm water.
- Wash the leaves of your plant to get rid of most of the insects.
- Use neem oil spray every week to eradicate the pests.
It’s hard to see scales on indoor plants. Small insect pests like scales do not crawl, scurry, or fly. Instead, they may look like brown bumps on stems that seem like a minor growth. They’re usually brown-colored but can be any shade from white to reddish-brown.
Try some rubbing alcohol to get rid of scale bugs from houseplants. Using a cotton bud, add alcohol to the group of scales to kill them in one go. Check any plant crevice because the pests like to lurk in those corners. Also, remove any soil from around the stems to search for signs of scale insects.
If you have scales on your Silver Pothos, it’s a good idea to repot the infested one in a fresh potting mixture. Remember to sterilize the pot if you are going to reuse it.
When root rot is a problem, the stems of the plant can become black and mushy. The foliage, too, becomes black. If the problem is only raising its not-so-pretty head, you should cut back on irrigation and just irrigate when the top part of the soil gets dry.
Signs of root rot usually arise when significant damage to the root system is already occurring. You will note that the stems are brown, and the leaves have soft or black spots. Your only hope to revitalize a dying Pothos plant is repotting it in fresh, sterile soil.
Leaves Turning Brown
Silver Pothos leaves that turn brown are typically a symptom of three things:
- Low humidity: Mist your plants periodically to increase moisture and trim off the brown tips. Dry air also puts the plant at risk for spider mite infestation.
- Over-fertilization: The build-up of mineral salts may be a cause for the Silver Pothos leaves turning brown. Keep off the fertilization for a month and sprinkle the soil with plenty of water.
- Too much sunshine: Silver Pothos leaves turn brown if the plant is placed under direct sunlight.
Eliminate the above issues, and your plant will start growing the lush leaves again.
Overwatering is a cause of making the beautiful silver and green variegated leaves turn yellow. Always scan the soil for extra moisture before watering. Ensure that it is fully dry. The soil can remain damp or soggy even though you water it less.
The explanation for this is that the soil is taking longer to dry. You can need to replace your potting mix with a lighter and organic one. Otherwise, the plant could do with repotting because its roots have outgrown the old pot.
Tips for Growing
Following are some points you can keep in mind when taking care of your Silver Pothos:
- To allow the foliage to become fuller, trim it back.
- Plant a few smaller plants in a larger pot to produce an effect of a complete plant.
- Ensure that the potting mix has excellent drainage and just water when the plant is partially dry.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are the leaves of my Silver Pothos curling?
Curling leaves are typically a symbol of underwatering Silver Pothos. Make sure the soil is dry around the drainage holes. If so, do deep watering to fully drain the soil.
How do you make Silver Pothos grow faster?
The best plan of action for your Pothos is to encourage good growth by establishing environmental conditions and feeding them regularly. Grow your Pothos in a rich, well-drained potting mixture, position in bright indirect light and water only if the upper layer of the soil is dry, and feed monthly with a half-strength water-soluble houseplant fertilizer.
Is Silver Pothos toxic for pets?
Silver Pothos contains calcium oxalate crystals. This makes all parts of the plant poisonous to humans, dogs, and cats.
Let’s hope you’ve got all the information you need to grow a beautifully safe Silver Pothos. Get the basics right, and this is a very simple and satisfying plant to grow indoors. This variegated species make your indoor planting experience joyful.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.