How to Tell A Scindapsus and Pothos Apart

Last Updated on July 22, 2022 by Stephanie

Pothos and Scindapsus are great for people who have a brown thumb. Both are trailing vines that are hard to kill which belong to the Arum family of Araceae. They differ in terms of characteristics and requirements for growth.

The primary distinction between Scindapsus and Pothos is the variation in the foliage. The foliage of Scindapsus is variegated with silvery gray, and it has shimmering sheen. Most pothos cultivars feature light green, yellow, or white streaks. Furthermore, the leaves of Scindapsus are better dense and slightly textured than the leaves of pothos.

Are you confused about Stiff? Im here to show you the reasons why theyre often confused with one another. Find out ways to distinguish Scindapsus and Pothos apart.

What Is The Difference Between Scindapsus and Pothos?

Pothos as well as Scindapsus are almost identical from one another in appearance. This is why Ive put together an illustration of the main distinctions:

Main Differences to Identify Them Correctly

[1] Leaves Differences

Shape: Leaves of Scindapsus Pictus tend to be heart-shaped. Based on the cultivar the leaves of pothos may be heart-shaped, oval or elliptic. Pothos leaves are usually big, measuring between 3 and 4 inches in width and length.

Texture Scindapsus leaves are usually matte-toned and have a textured look, with a an ethereal sheen to the leafs surface. Theyre not shiny or glossy in any manner. If the sunlight shines upon the leaves, they appear to be sparkling or shimmering, creating the appearance of being. This is why Scindapsus are prized for their decorative glaze.

The typical Pothos leaf is shiny, smooth, and leathery in appearance. The petioles of the pothos leaf are grooved too.

Color: Leaves of Scindapsus Tree are distinctive dark green color. However the color of the leaves of pothos range from dark green to neon green to bright green based on the variety that is grown. Theyre a vivid dark green when it comes to Jade pothos, for instance,

Variegation: Both species are beautiful with beautifully variegated leaves. Scandipsus leaves typically have shimmering gray blotches or marbling. They tend to be seen more towards the edges, but leave the midrib looking beautiful green.

Pothos foliage may be variegated with white, yellow or pale green, or a mixture of all three. For example, the family sweetheart Jade pothos is a deep glossy leaves that are flecked with light green variegation. The bright, waxy green leaves of the Marble Queen pothos are often colored in white.

The thickness: The Scindapsus Pictus leaves are thicker and more supple feel than the leaves on pothos.

[2] Growth Rate

Pothoss growth rate is significantly faster than Scindapsus. In the spring and summer months pothos growth can be as high as 12-18 inches per month. The highest growth rate is seen in cultivars that have less variation such as Jade pothos.

The darker leaves of Jade pothos suggest a lot of chlorophyll. This is the color plants require to make food and energy to grow. Pothos is also well-adapted to a variety of lighting conditions.

In addition, Scindapsus is slightly slow in its growth. Although its leaves are typically darker green in color, they do exhibit more non-fading variations. This indicates a lower concentration of chlorophyll.

If youre looking for a quicker growth rate, you should consider Pothos over Scindapsus.

Scindapsus close up

[3] Height and Structure

Wild, Scindapsus species is as an epiphyte. It makes use of aerial roots and vining stems, to climb the trunks of larger rainforest trees. Indoors, it can be grown in hanging baskets, with vines that can reach 4-10 feet. tall when they are mature.

Plants of Pothos are climbers that scramble. If the conditions are right for growth they can attain an area of 13-40 feet wide. Their height is, obviously, restricted due to the supports. By themselves they can grow 6-8 inches tall when they are they reach maturity.

[4] Stem

Scindapsus plants are green with stems with vines. Theyre a bit thicker and can reach 10 feet. (3 meters) in length.

Vining stems of pothos are green, with white or yellow variations. In contrast to Scindapsuss the pothos tend to be more slender and have higher-yielding roots.

[5] Flowers

Scindapsus Pictus spathes are tiny (nearly invisibly) Inflorescences of green (spadix). They usually occur in the late spring or early summer.

Pothos seldom flower in the indoor environment. If bloom, they will produce golden or whitish yellow flowers. In certain cultivars, they may be lavender, green, or even purple.

[6] Growing Requirements

Pothos tend to be more accepting of low light levels than Scindapsus. They are also happy if you let a few inches of soil dry between the watering. The soil will form dark spots on the leaves and root rot will occur if the soil remains wet.

At the end of the day, Scindapsus is very fussy about excessive watering. It responds with wilting vines, and leaves that are yellowing.

For the growing mix Pothos favors mildly acidic to neutral soil. In contrast, Scindapsus flourishes when the soil pH is within between the 6.1 to 6.5 range.

It is recommended that you fertilized Scindapsus pictus each month. However pothos could benefit from bi-monthly feeding.

[7] Price

Scindapsus is more costly than pothos, and for the right reason. The cost of a potted Scindapsus pictus plant is $25 to $50. In comparison, the median price of gold pothos (check the most recent prices at Amazon right here) is between $15-$29.

I am awestruck by the sparkling attraction of the Scindapsus. Like many other gardeners like it too. Theyre also more robust and keep their gorgeous variegation for a longer time.

The similarities in Scindapsus and Pothos

[1] Flowering Season

As members of the Arum family Both Scindapsus and pothos grow small flowers in the summer. But, the flowers of pothos are not often produced indoors.

[2] Watering Requirements

Both Scindapsus and Pothos are evergreen plants. They thrive in evenly humid soil, and dont worry about missing a couple of irrigations. But, they both hate being upon wet feet.

In every case the water should be drained when 2 inches or more of the mix is slightly dry.

[3] Light Requirements

Both plants love being in indirect, bright sunlight. Theyll lose variegation if they are exposed to excessive direct sunlight.

[4] Humidity

Scindapsus and Pothos both thrive in humid places like kitchens and bathrooms. However, they are at ease with low humidity. Utilize a humidifier or a pebble water tray to keep humidity at or above 80 percent.

[5] Temperature

Pothos as well as Scindapsus are awestruck by ideal temperatures of 65-85 degrees (18-29degC). They are not tolerant of cold temperatures particularly when temperatures drop lower than 50 degF (10degC).

[6] Soil

Pothos and Scindapsus thrive in commercially-available potting mixes that has good drainage and nutrients. It is best if it contains perlite, vermiculite, as well as peat moss. They all like the slightly acidic pH of soil.

Why Do People Get Confused?

Pothos and Scindapsus are both evergreen tropical plants. The leaves of both are typically heart-shaped and come from rainforests located in Southeast Asia. Both are also resilient in USDA Hardiness Zones 10-12.

Apart from being part of the Arum family The two plants are an abridgement of the identical plant. If that wasnt confusing enough the common names of both plants are almost identical.

Scindapsus Pictus is often referred to as satin pothos. For many years, the word pothos was known as Scindapsus Aureus. Thats not a good name!



Went from an inexperienced gardener to a half-decent one over 10+ years. I cover anything from general indoor plant guides and lawn care, to succulents and flowers. Super happy to share my tips and tricks with you :)