What are the Differences Between Pothos versus Philodendron?

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) and Philodendrons (Philodendron Selloum) are two fashionable houseplants that have similar looks and similar requirements for growth. It’s easy to comprehend why people are struggling to distinguish between these two plants.

Although they appear similar however, that doesn’t alter the fact that they’re distinct plants. Once you’ve figured out the differences in them, they’re relatively simple to distinguish them.

After you read this article, you’ll not be able to distinguish them from one another again, but you’ll be aware of the differences between Pothos and. Philodendron and how to ensure that they are taken care of.


Differences Between Pothos & Philodendrons

Although they have many of the same needs, like an environment that is warm as well as indirect sunlight and very little watering, they are distinct in different ways.

There are seven key distinctions in the devil’s Ivy (pothos) as well as Philodendron, which distinguish them. The differences are further discussed below.

1. Taxonomy

Taxonomy is a term that is used to describe the way botanists identify plants. There are many commonly used terms for plants however there must be one botanical name that is official. It can be difficult when there are a variety of popular names of the exact plant.

Taxonomy is the term used to classify biological organisms. It is basically botanical nomenclature – the language used in taxonomy research.

The main difference between Philodendron and pothos plants is the fact that they belong to distinct genera.

Pothos are part of the Epipremnum Genus, and Philodendron is a genus with the same name, namely Philodendron. But, both genera may be somewhat related since they are part of the ariod plant family Araceae.

2. Leaf Shape and Texture

If you compare the plants in a group the most obvious distinction is in the texture and shape of the leaves. Pothos leaves include:

  • The thickness is greater and has a bumpy, waxy surface.
  • The shape is similar to a spade. They feature indented midribs.
  • Asymmetrical and bigger than leaves of Philodendron.
  • The pattern is adorned with yellow, white or gold patterns.

On the other side, Philodendron leaves are:

  • The thinner and more smooth feeling, not like Pothos.
  • Heart-shaped and geometrical.
  • A plain green colour.

3. Growth Habits and New Leaves

The third difference is their advancing habits. It is a matter of looking for a cataphyll. It is an elongated, cylindrical sheath that shields young leaves when it expands. When the leaf reaches an appropriate size and then emerges it, the cataphyll begins to dry out and then disappear.

A Philodendron develops new leaves in this manner If you’re ever uncertain, search for the sheaths. Pothos however, do not grow new leaves through the use of cataphylls. Instead, fresh leaves emerge from the old leaf.

4. Stem Difference

Pothos’s stems Pothos are more robust and identical color to the leaves. The stems of Philodendron aren’t the exact hue as the leaves however, they are greenish-brown in the beginning and then change to an orange-brown color as they get older.

5. Air Roots

The two plants both have roots which permit them to climb over surfaces and absorb water and nutrients from the air.

Pothos roots are thick with just one root that grows at each point. However, philodendron roots are grouped (2 up to) and are a slim form.

6. Petioles

The petiole is the tiny stem which connects the leaf with the vine. Both species have petioles however, they are different in appearance and shape.

The petiole of the Philodendron is smaller and round, as well as uniform. A further distinction is that its petioles have a different color (green-brown) in comparison to its leaves. Petioles of Pothos are indented toward the vine they’re attached to, and are more dense than the petioles of Philodendron, and have a similar hue as its leaves.

7. Growing Differences

Generally speaking, philodendrons and pothos are houseplants that require minimal maintenance and thrive in similar conditions, however they possess certain distinct characteristics of growth that are described below.


  • They can grow more efficiently than Philodendrons in areas with low light.
  • As well as higher levels of humidity.
  • It can grow to 12 centimeters per week in the right environment.


  • Can tolerate areas with low light However, not as well as pothos.
  • Enjoy warmer climates.
  • They can grow as much as 10 centimeters per week in optimal conditions.

The most notable distinction is their sensitivity to light. In dim environments the philodendrons expand and develop smaller leaves because of the lack of sunlight. Pothos do not stretch as much in areas of shade and develop leaves that are not affected by small amount of light.

Because of this, pothos plants are easier to cultivate because they are not as susceptible to sunlight. It is also simpler to take the cuttings of a pothos plant because of its drought-resistant characteristics while propagating Philodendrons is more difficult.

Pothos Care Tips

Pothos are typically low-maintenance plants However, they do require specific requirements for growth that you need to know about in order to ensure they thrive.

Photos Light Requirements

Pothos thrive when they are kept in the direct light. If they are exposed to too much sunlight it will leave brown burn marks along their edges, therefore, take this into consideration when deciding on the best place to grow it.

It can also thrive in pots that hang or in containers that are placed on shelves in the highest places.


It is important to check for insects, since this plant is susceptible to insects such as mealybugs and Aphids.

The plant can be sprayed with an organic pesticide, such as Neem oil can help fight off pests. It is also possible to spray the plant every month, even if do not see any pests to ensure that the plant is healthy and to protect it from pests.


After a few weeks you’ll notice that plants’ roots are growing out of the container it’s in. If this happens it is necessary to move the plant into a pot that is one size larger than the container it is currently in.

It is also recommended to add fresh pots of soil to the larger pot so that you can access more nutrients.

Temperature and Humidity

Pothos is a tropical plant, which means they prefer warmer temperatures and greater humidity levels. To get the most benefits try to plant the plant in an area that has temperatures that range from 21oC between 21oC and 32oC.

The ideal humidity range is between 50% to 70 percent. A great option for this plant is an mobile humidifier because this will make sure that it is growing at the optimal humidity.


Pothos like soil that drains and then dries prior to every watering. It is important to make sure that your first 2 centimeters of the topsoil is dry prior to watering again. Browning and wilting leaves can be a sign of excessive watering that can lead to root decay..


Although gorgeous, this plant can be extremely poisonous if consumed. It’s not often fatal, but the most common reactions can include nausea and irritation because of the calcium oxalates that are present within the plants.

It is important to consider this when you have children who are young or pets, and you should try to keep them away from the plant, especially if you already have it growing at your home.

Pothos Variations

Pothos are available in a variety of shades, so if you’re not sure where to begin your search for a plant take a look at this. Below are some amazing varieties that make excellent additions to your house.

Golden Pothos

They are adored all over all over the world due to their lime-green leaves , which are enhanced by yellow variations. Because of their color that they provide, they are known to brighten any area they’re placed in.

Golden Pothos Golden Pothos has heart-shaped leaves and is able to grow vines that are longer than 10 meters in appropriate climate.

Marble Queen Pothos

The plant is native to French Polynesia, these plants are distinctively colored and distinguishes them from other varieties of pothos. The leaves are white with a marbled pattern, which dominates the lime-green base color.

Because of these striking design The Marble Queen is a stunning hanging plant that appreciates plenty of indirect light.

Jessenia Pothos

Jessenia Pothos is the rarest kind because of the intricate lemon-yellow variation over the emerald green base and leaves, creating an ethereal effect.

They are slower to grow than other pothos, and are difficult to locate in nurseries for plants, but be on the lookout should you spot one.

Philodendron Types

There are more than 400 kinds of Philodendrons in order to make it easier for you, we’ve selected only the most well-known varieties are listed here. If you’re looking learn more about the varieties of Philodendron, read this article.

Philodendron Hederaceum

Also known as the Heartleaf Philodendron, this variety is popular due to its quick-growing nature.

Native to humid Caribbean as well as South American environments makes it an extremely adept climber. When you plant this plant, you can anticipate it to grow all across its expanding area.

Pink Princess Philodendron

If you’re looking for a more flashy plant, then the Pink Princess is the plant for you. The dark green leaves of the Pink Princess are complemented by vibrant pink accents, which makes it different from other kind of plant.

It’s important to know that its pink hues are due to a lack of chlorophyll, so grow this plant in an area of your house that only receives indirect sunlight.

Pigskin Philodendron

The first time it was discovered in Ecuador The Pigskin Philodendron species is named after its leathery, thick leaves.

The shape of the leaves is similar to other varieties of Philodendrons however, their leaves are significantly larger. Also, it has vibrant leaflets that seem so vibrant that they are often misinterpreted as an artificial plant.

Philodendron Care Tips

As pothos plants Philodendrons are also easy to maintain However, you’ll need to be aware of the following requirements for growth for your plant to thrive.

Philodendron Light Requirements

They like plenty of indirect light, however you’ll see many leaves turning yellow if they’re getting too much light.

It is able to handle dimly lit spaces, but it won’t achieve its full potential unlike pothos.

If it isn’t getting enough sunlight, its leaves will shrink, and the vines will turn thin, with large gap between the nodes. When you see this happening, shift the plant to a more bright location and observe the situation.


As with Pothos and other species, keep an watch on insects as Philodendrons are also susceptible to aphid and mealybug infestations.

Spraying your plants with organic Neem oil can help If you spot the insects. Even if there aren’t evidence of infestation, applying this treatment regularly keeps your plant healthy and free of insects.


Certain varieties of Philodendrons can grow quickly, and you might need to cut off new growth points to limit this. It is also necessary to plant them every two years since they tend to grow out of their containers.


To get the most benefit For the best results, plant the species in an environment that ranges from 18oC and 25oC This means that it is more productive than pothos that are in cooler climates.

Because of this, it is also able to handle less humidity, however misting it every week can encourage new growth and ensure it is happy.


Be careful not to overwater this plant, because it could cause root decay if the soil is wet. Water only when the first few centimeters of the topsoil are dry, so it doesn’t get excessive water.

Signs of excessive watering are the appearance of yellowed and drooping leaves which eventually drop off.

Utilizing the fertilizer for plants that contains high levels of macronutrients will benefit the plant well. Macronutrients are essential for the development of the growth of new leaves and for keeping the vibrant green color of the plant.


Similar to pothos, these plants can be toxic if eaten by animals and humans. It is recommended that you kept them away from children’s reach as well as away from animals. This will prevent any unpleasant surprises. You are still able to take pleasure in the vibrant colors of your home.

Can you Plant Pothos and Philodendron Together?

Yes, you can plant the plants in a group. Because of their similar growth needs the growing of them together will be a breeze provided you give the plants enough space.

This combination can bring life to any indoor space If you’re considering planting philodendrons and pothos, take it!

Although they have similarities, it’s important to select the location within your home that is suitable for both since according to what you’ve read that they’re not the same plants and have different growth needs.

Summary of Pothos and Philodendron Differences

As you’ve likely observed that these plants are alike in certain ways, but very different in other ways.

The two plants are easy to cultivate and can be a great addition to any house if they are planted in the proper conditions.

Whatever plant you believe is the best one for you, once you’ve read this article, you won’t need to be concerned about assuming the two You’ll be able to discern the different the different varieties of each.

To get the best combination of the two, why not plant both of these beautiful tropical plants?



Went from a bad gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)