Scindapsus Pictus: Satin Pothos Plant Care

Key Takeaways

  • The Satin Pothos, the botanically known as Scindapsus pictus, has distinctive heart-shaped leaves, with silvery markings or spots and splashes against its dark green foliage.
  • They are easy to care for and can grow up to 10 feet in length and when planted in pots or trail 3 feet when planted in a hanging basket.
    • Water: Water Satin pothos plants at least once a week and in general water again if the top inch of the soil is dry.
    • Sunlight: The best amount of sunlight is low to bright indirect light.
    • Temperature: The ideal growing temperatures for a Satin pothos plant range from 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit (18-29 degrees Celsius).

The Satin Pothos, the botanical name of Scindapsus pictus, is sure to draw attention wherever it is placed in your house.

This popular evergreen house plant originated in the rainforests of southeast Asia and will more than happily grow indoors.

The Satin Pothos has distinctive heart-shaped leaves, detailed with striking silvery markings or silvery spots and splashes against its dark green foliage.

The variegation of silver spots and blotches on the matte green leaf is why the plant was given the name “Pictus” which means “painted” in Latin.

Don’t expect flowers though; like many house plants, the Satin Pothos rarely flowers indoors.

The Satin Pothos can be pruned regularly, to create bushy foliage, or you can let them grow out.

The stems can grow up to 10 feet in length and when planted in pots or in a hanging basket where they can trail out to 3 feet.

The satin pothos looks remarkably similar to the Philodendron silver plant, but they are separate species. Both plants feature trailing vines, heart-shaped leaves, and silver variegation.

Mix-ups arise because the common names for these plants are occasionally used interchangeably.

The mistake came about because the Satin Pothos plants were once classified into the Epipremnum genus.

After scientific research, botanists discovered that the Satin Pothos is neither a Philodendron nor an Epipremnum (the botanical name for Pothos plants).

They are actually a part of the the Scindapsus genus of plants.

However, the popular term “Pothos” stuck is now still known as a Satin Pothos. or Silver Satin Pothos.

Satin Pothos is a resilient and low-maintenance plant when properly cared for. In this post, we will go over what you’ll need to do to take care of a satin pothos maintenance plant. 

How to Care for Satin Pothos Plants

Satin pothos plants are known for their glossy, heart-shaped leaves and stunning color variations. While they may seem high maintenance, satin pothos plants are actually quite easy to care for!

Water is the key to success when caring for a satin pothos plant. The soil should be kept evenly moist but never soggy or wet.

Light is another important factor when caring for a satin pothos plant. It does well in bright indirect sunlight, so make sure to place your plant near windows that receive filtered light throughout the day.

Read on for more tips on how to care for Satin pothos plants.


Satin pothos can tolerate a variety of light conditions, but the best sunlight is low to bright indirect light.

However, it do not put it under direct sunlight because the leaves may start to get sunburn.

If the location you’ve placed your plant in is too bright, you’ll notice the leaves starting to burn or turn brown.

On the other hand, if the plant does not get enough sunlight, the leaf patterns will begin to fade.

Try moving your plant to a location with better light, the pattern will become more distinct again. 

Don’t be afraid to test different areas within the house to find the light conditions that give optimal growth and leaf pattern.  

Temperature and Climate

The ideal growing temperatures for a Satin pothos plant range from 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit (18-29 degrees Celsius).

Outside this range and it will begin to visibly struggle, especially when temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15 degrees Celsius).

If you plan to have your Satin pothos outside, it’s best if you are in USDA hardiness zones 9-11.

As the Satin Pothos originated in the rainforests of southeast Asia, it’s no surprise that this plant prefers warm, humid conditions.

Unsurprisingly, the bathroom area is a great location because it is warm and humid.



Water the Satin pothos at least once a week. Yes, it’s a rainforest species that loves humidity, but it does not like soggy soil.

As a general rule – if the top inch of soil is dry, then it’s time to water. 

Too much water will result in yellowing leaves. In the warmer summer months, the soil will dry out faster, and your Satin pothos is actively growing.

As a result, you might need to water your Silver Satin Pothos more frequently to compensate.

In contrast, in cooler winter months, it will grow slower and therefore won’t need as much water.

When Your Satin Pothos Needs More Water

Curling leaves indicate that your Satin Pothos is water stressed and drying out excessively. Obviously, increase your waterings each week, but you can also combat the dryness by increasing humidity around the plant.

One method to increase humidity is to give your Satin pothos a mist with room temperature water from a spray bottle or use a pebble tray underneath the pot.


The best soil for Satin pothos is one that drains water well, but at the same time retains enough water to feed the plant.

If the soil doesn’t drain water, you run the risk of root rot. On the other hand, if the soil does not retain water, you risk the plant withering away because the plant doesn’t get enough water.

You can purchase an indoor plant potting mix, or simply make your own.

To make your own pothos potting mix, by adding soil amendments to add qualities that potting mix alone does not have.

So, take equal parts of soil mix to perlite and peat moss or coir coco chips.

Perlite will drain water, while peat moss or coconut coir will help retain water.

If the mix is not dense enough, the water will drain away quickly and your pothos will become water-stressed.

Lastly, you may want to consider adding a moss pole. Since these plants trail and climb, you can help them grow upwards with a pole to attach themselves to.



The Satin pothos is hardy and doesn’t need too much fertilizer.

However, if you notice growth has slowed down or you see leaves shedding, particularly in the growing season, you should consider adding some fertilizer.

One suggestion is that you only use fertilizer during the growing season, which is typically from late spring to early summer.

Lastly, make sure you only use a fertilizer suitable for indoor houseplants and follow the label directions. If in doubt, dilute more than recommended. Strong fertilizer will shock your plant.


Satin pothos plants does not need much pruning.

However, prune back any damaged or dead leaves as it will encourage bushier growth and will alter the growing shape of the vine.



Propagating the Satin Pothos by cutting off stem cuttings.

Simply cut a stem just below a growth node on the mother plant, and place it in a jar of water.

Once you have about 3cm of root growth on the propagule you can replant it in a pot with a fresh soil mix.


A good indication the pothos needs repotting, is when you begin to see roots growing through drain holes. 

Also remember, when grown indoors, Satin Pothos plants can become vining plants that sprout out aerial roots.

When repotting silver pothos, you should inspect the root system for signs of rot and prune any unhealthy-looking roots.

Now you can repot in fresh soil and a larger nursery pot if you choose. Just ensure to get a container that has drainage holes to rid any excess water.

Pests and diseases

The Satin pothos is not too badly affected by pests and diseases. The main thing to look for are signs of root rot, from too much water and poorly draining soil.

It’s sometimes prone to scale and spider mite attacks.

For a natural solution to scale and spider mites, try gently wiping the foliage of the plant with a cotton ball soaked in isopropyl or rubbing alcohol.


Satin pothos is listed as poisonous when ingested. This may be something to consider when selecting where to place this plant in the home. So keep this plant away from kids and pets.


How many different varieties of Scindapsus are there on the market? 

Within the same genus of Scindapsus, there are at least four different varieties of Scindapsus grown. The most common is Scindapsus pictus ‘Argyraeus’ which has a more even mix of green and variegation. Closely followed by Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’, which has slightly larger leaves and distinctly more variegation.

How do I know if I’m overwatering a Satin Pothos?

If you’re watering a Satin Pothos too much, you will start to see the leaves start turning yellow or brown. In contrast, if you see yellow leaves as well as brown crispy areas on other leaves, the culprit might be underwatering. Only water when the top inch of soil feels dry. 

Why is my Satin pothos developing brown leaf tips?

Crispy dry, burnt appearing leaves can be a sign your pothos is suffering from too much intense sunlight or it could mean that you are underwatering. Try changing its location in the house to somewhere with lower light or indirect light or give it more water if you notice the top of the soil dried out.

Other pothos plants to Consider

The Satin Pothos plant is a great choice for a first-time houseplant owner. Satin Pothos is a low-maintenance plant, but there are still some things that need to be done.

The first and one of the most important aspects is to make sure that they get enough light, which should be indirect and not intense. A good way to do this is by placing them near a window or outdoors during the day.

It looks great in a hanging basket and does best in a location with high humidity. It is also prone to root rot, so make sure not to overwater the plant. Propagating it is very easy.

If you are looking for a lush, green plant that doesn’t need much maintenance, the pothos plant is perfect for you!

However, if you are looking for other types of pothos plants, read further for our post on:


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