In this article, we will cover 9 different types of Scindapsus & some nice tips to care for each of them.
Origins and Native Growth Habits
Scindapsus is an exceptional plant native to Southeast Asia. This tropical variety starts growing on the forest floor in lower light conditions until it reaches a tree trunk to climb toward brighter light. Therefore, the Scindapsus can grow in a range of light conditions. This makes it an excellent house plant.
Due to its similar origins and growth patterns, this plant is often referred to as a “Satin Pothos.” However, the Scindapsus is not in the Pothos’s genus, Epipremnum, making it a completely different plant. Nevertheless, their care is relatively similar.
Scindapsus General Care Guide: Is It the Same for All Scindapsus?
For anyone that is new to the amazing Scindapsus plants, this general care guide may be helpful. If you are experienced with them, feel free to skip to the Scindapsus plant you are excited to learn more about.
Regarding general care of Scindapsus, it is often believed that the care is the same for all of them. However, most experienced growers argue that a few varieties have slightly different care, such as Jade Satin, Treubii Moonlight, and Treubii Dark Form. You can read more about them below.
First, let’s discuss the general care requirements they all share.
All Scindapsus plants thrive in medium to bright indirect light.
The Scindapsus can be grown sitting on a shelf or table, hanging in a basket, or climbing. Due to their natural growth patterns, they prefer to climb as the Pothos does. Additionally, they can develop larger leaves as they climb and shingle up a surface as they do in the wild.
Some growers provide a moss pole, trellis, or even a wall for them to climb. While they are stunning on a wall, be aware that they attach to surfaces and can damage paint if allowed to climb the walls of your home. For an example of a beautiful living wall that includes Scindapsus, see Planterina’s video.
Scindapsus is far more sensitive to overwatering than underwatering. This plant is a bit more prone to root rot than average houseplants. Scindapsus plants aren’t too picky about much, but overwatering is their downfall.
Since watering can be tricky for the Scindapsus, it is helpful to understand the relationship between light and watering.
A good rule of thumb for watering any Scindapsus:
- If you can provide your Scindapsus with medium to bright indirect light, water when the soil is 75% dry (around level 3 on a moisture meter). See Erika Lodes’s video if you are unsure how to use a moisture meter.
- When your Scindapsus only has access to lower indirect light, water when the soil feels completely dry (level 0-2 on a moisture meter).
- If you notice the leaves of your Scindapsus starting to curl and your soil feels dry, go ahead and water it. Many growers use this as a regular indicator since they are understandably afraid to overwater this plant (exclusion: see Scindapsus Treubii Dark Form in this post). While the Scindapsus recovers quickly from this, it is best to water your Scindapsus before the leaves curl for its health and fastest growth.
Use well-draining aerated soil, as all Scindapsus are sensitive to root rot. Add aerated amendments if using regular potting mix. Always have your Scindapsus in a pot with drainage holes.
A good recommendation from Leafyplace.com is, “You should mix equal parts of potting soil, peat moss, and perlite.”
If you don’t have the best lighting conditions, it may take longer for the soil to dry out. Therefore, you can adjust this ratio for even better aeration.
Adjust the soil for higher aeration by halving your peat moss or coco choir portion and putting orchid bark to make up the other half. Many growers report success with this. You end up with a ratio of 1 part potting soil, 1 part perlite, ½ part orchid bark, and ½ part peat moss or coco choir.
Fertilize once monthly during high growth periods such as spring and summer when the sunlight is more abundant. Most Scindapsus owners don’t fertilize during the winter unless they live in a tropical climate.
Keep the room temperature between 65°-85°F (18°-29°C).
The Scindapsus appreciates humidity as it is a tropical plant. However, most varieties do fine in regular household humidity of at least 35%.
We will discuss some that need humidity on the higher side (Treubii Moonlight, Treubii Dark Form, and Scindapsus Pictus Jade Satin).
Popular Scindapsus Varieties and Care Tips
1. Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus (Satin Pothos)
Photo Credit: @Cambridgebee.com
The beautiful Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus was one of the first sold at major retailers. It is characterized by its heart-shaped dark green leaves with bilateral silver variegation dispersed sparingly. Many enthusiasts love this plant because its mostly green leaves are stunning with the contrast of silver spots.
The leaves stay small-medium size but can become larger if able to climb, as pictured growing in its native habitat below (add picture below) in the top image of this post.
This is a very easy houseplant to grow. Follow the Scindapsus care guide above. With large amounts of chlorophyll in its leaves, the Argyraeus is efficient with photosynthesis and grows prolifically.
It tolerates a wide range of lighting conditions but may lose some of its silver variegation if kept in low light. Bright indirect light is best.
As houseplant enthusiasts have fallen in love with all Scindapsus, many are excited to try growing rarer varieties. However, this plant’s accessibility does not detract from its obvious beauty. The Argyraeus is an excellent choice.
2. Scindapsus Pictus Exotica
Photo Credit: @littleshan__garden on Instagram
The Scindapsus Pictus Exotica is widely available and often chosen as a number one favorite by Scindapsus lovers. This is because the Exotica has larger leaves than other varieties, combined with its high amounts of silver variegation on each leaf. It has a lush, tropical look.
Along with the Argyraeus, the Exotica is often labeled one of the easiest and least fussy Scindapsus you can grow.
With its silver variegation, this plant loves bright indirect light. Its variegation is more stable than some other varieties, so this is a great plant for those who love that silver color.
Since the Exotica puts out larger leaves, it has a medium growth rate rather than being a fast grower.
In lower light, the color stays consistent but growth may slow down.
While the Exotica is not a picky plant, growers who have had the plant a long time often include this tip: If you notice that some of its leaves are staying a bit curled consistently after watering, it may be getting rootbound.
When the Exotica’s large roots get crowded, not all the roots get a good drink from each watering. Carefully check the roots and repot if needed. Only go up one pot size. Remember to use an aerated soil, as with all Scindapsus.
Not all plants communicate with you this well, but the Exotica does. This is another reason why the Exotica is often a favorite.
3. Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight
Photo Credit: @plantekarro on Instagram
As you can see, this is a stunning plant! The Scindapsus Moonlight Treubuii is a favorite among many. This was an extremely rare variety until 2016 when plant hunter, Mike Rimland of mass producer Costa Farms, found it in Asia.
Since the Moonlight Treubii grows quite slowly, it took several years for Costa Farms to grow enough to begin selling it at major retailers.
Now widely available, the Moonlight Trebuii, also known as “Sterling Silver”, has made its way into many homes. It has a very distinctive look, with its thick bluish-silvery leaves that have dark green in the middle.
Once you get to know this plant, the care is not difficult. While care for this plant is similar to others in the Scindapsus genus, the Moonlight Treubii has few preferences.
- The Moonlight needs a bit more humidity than most Scinndapsus and does best in humidity of at least 45% for its overall health and growth.
- While all Scindapsus are prone to root rot, many growers agree this seems to happen faster with the Moonlight Treubii. It benefits from a very well-draining and aerated soil, especially if you don’t have the optimal lighting for it.
It is best to add extra aeration amendments for the Moonlight’s soil. See the Scindapsus general care soil section of this post for instructions. Be careful not to overwater the Moonlight.
This plant needs balanced lighting. Due to its primarily pale silver leaves, it can’t tolerate much direct sun without leaf scorching. With that said, it still needs bright indirect light. These pale leaves have less chlorophyll than some other Scindapsus varieties. It is naturally a slow grower but will stop growing in low light.
4. Scindapsus Treubii Dark Form
Photo Credit: @rumahhijaukita on Instagram
The Scindapsus Treubii Dark Form is a Treubii cultivar that is still considered quite rare. The Dark Form has lance-shaped leaves with an eye-catching nearly black color.
Since this variety has not yet become available from mass producers, it may be expensive and difficult to find in a large pot.
It is also a slow grower.
Again, the Treubii are not difficult plants so much as they are particular. The care for the Treubii Dark Form is similar to that of the Moonlight, but we will compare a few differences.
The Dark Form does fine with the same light requirements of all Scindapsus, growing in a wide range of light. Compared to its close relative, the Moonlight, the Dark Form is less picky about adequate light and not quite as extra prone to root rot either.
While both the Moonlight and Dark Form can burn in direct sunlight, the Dark Form is more tolerant of direct sun than the Moonlight. Monitor it closely if you move it to a brighter location. See this video by Summer Rayne Oakes (time stamp 2:30) for more details on its light tolerance.
Although the Dark Form isn’t a fussy plant, it is pickier than the Moonlight about humidity and water quality (see below).
- Take it up one notch from its relative, the Moonlight, on humidity. It usually needs humidity of at least 55%. (There is conflicting information about this online, but most growers with hands-on experience report this requirement.)
- The Scindapsus Treubii Dark Form benefits from filtered water because its dark leaves can easily show hard water stains if tap water is used. See this video by Onlyplants (time stamp 17:35) for an example of these stains.
- This plant needs balanced watering. While its watering frequency is the same as other Scindapsus varieties, the Dark Form will not curl its leaves to tell you it needs a drink. See this article about how one grower learned this the hard way. It is often thought that its glossy leaves have a different composition which doesn’t allow them to curl until the plant is in serious distress or dying.
Conversely, the Dark Form’s leaves will change in appearance if overwatered. They develop tiny yellow spots on the leaves as a sign of overwatering. We appreciate this communication, as it helps us learn what the plant needs.
Don’t worry, you’ll know when to water by using the soil as your indicator. See the care guide at the top of this post for soil composition and determining when to water.
Many Scindapsus fans are looking forward to growing this plant in their home when they are lucky enough to find it. The Treubii Dark Form is a very beautiful and unique plant.
5. Scindapsus Pictus Jade Satin
Photo Credit: @Jomostudio.com
The Scindapsus Pictus Jade Satin is a wish list plant for many of us. Unfortunately, this is a rare cultivar that is still relatively expensive.
The absence of variegation on these leaves is actually what makes this Scindapsus so appealing. While pictures can’t quite do this plant justice, the Jade Satin has a unique shade of green that is hard to stop admiring. Pair that with its large heart-shaped leaves, and you have a beautiful plant.
If you are lucky enough to get your hands on this plant, we want to set you up for success. This plant is a slow grower, which doesn’t make obtaining it any easier. Being a type of Scindapsus Pictus, the Satin Jade enjoys much of the same care as its relatives. However, it has a few unique care requirements.
- The Jade Satin needs humidity of at least 50% and grows best when it has 60-65% humidity. While this is recommended regularly for this plant, the humidity is crucial while in its juvenile stage. Use a humidifier or greenhouse cabinet/container.
- Jade Satin develops leaf spots and damage from having standing water on its leaves. Try to avoid getting the leaves wet when watering. Avoid misting for this reason as well.
- While we don’t want to put any Scindapsus in too big of a pot, the Jade Satin doesn’t like being rootbound apparently. Growers who have had this plant long enough to reach decent size report it will simply stop growing completely if it doesn’t have enough space. See Crazy Plant Guy’s video on why he split his Jade Satin into two pots (time stamp 7:30).
6. Scindapsus Pictus Silver Splash
Photo Credit: @lowkeyplantlady on Instagram
The Scindapsus Pictus Silver Splash is still hard to find. Most houseplant growers purchase it online or find it in a specialty nursery.
This plant is so desirable because it has large leaves like the Exotica, a pixelated looking “splash” of variegation, and greener leaves than other varieties. It has asymmetrical leaves that feel velvety.
The care for the Scindapsus Pictus Silver Splash is the same as our Scindapsus general care guide in this post. The variegation may decrease in lower light but is more stable than the Argyraeus and Silvery Ann variegation.
7. Scindapsus Pictus Silver Lady
Photo Credit: @smolgardenitin on Instagram
A rare Scindapsus Pictus, the Silver Lady is also very hard to find. The leaves of this plant are beautiful with lots of pale silver and small amounts of deep green. It has a medium leaf size, often slightly longer than other varieties. The Silver Lady is a favorite because of the high contrast between its silver variegation and dark green color.
The Silver Lady shares mostly the same care as our Scindapsus general guide for most varieties.
The Silver Lady is more sensitive to direct sun than other varieties since it has more silver on its leaves. It can easily get scorched in full sun. Avoid direct light and try to provide plenty of bright indirect light.
8. Scindapsus Pictus Silver Hero
Photo Credit: @ckhappyhouseplants on Instagram
The Scindapsus Pictus Silver Hero is another rare type of Scindapsus. It has primarily greenish silver heart-shaped leaves with small green veins joining in the center of the leaf. Since it is a stunning Scindapsus, the Silver Hero is a wish list plant for many.
Although the Silver Hero has a tropical and unique look, it is fortunately not a high-maintenance plant. This plant has the same care needs as the Silver Lady and many other Scindapsus Pictus plants.
The Silver Hero can easily get scorched leaves in full sun. Avoid direct light and try to provide plenty of bright indirect light.
9. Scindapsus Pictus Silvery Ann
Photo Credit: Logees.com
While the Scindapsus Pictus Silvery Ann is less rare, it is very unique in that the variegation is random. This means that your plant will always look different, and you will enjoy seeing how each leaf turns out.
The Silvery Ann is characterized by silver variegation that seems to start from the tip of the leaf and spreads in varying patterns on each leaf. As shown in the picture, some leaves may even be primarily silver or primarily green.
The care for this Scindapsus Pictus is the same as our general care guide in this post.
Similar to the Argyraeus, the variegation will decrease in lower light as the plant produces more chlorophyll to absorb light. Its variegation is not completely stable in low light. If you see your Silvery Ann’s silver color fading, try giving it more bright indirect light. Aside from the appearance, it will make the plant happier as well.
What You Should Know Before You Buy a Scindapsus
Scindapsus is toxic to people and pets if ingested. Please be mindful of this when adding it to your home. Growing it in a hanging basket from the ceiling may be a good option to keep it away from your pets.
When shopping at any plant nursery in person, try to find the fullest pot because Scindapsus roots grow slowly. Also, see if you can find one that has new leaves unfurling, a sign of a healthy plant.
As always, look for any obvious signs of poor health, disease, or pests. If you are buying directly from a grower, go ahead and ask what kind of soil they have it in and what light it’s been getting. This will help you to understand how it will acclimate to your home.
When shopping online, beware of dishonest sellers. This happens most often with the more expensive rare varieties.
If you are unfamiliar with a plant, do your research first. Make sure you are getting what you are buying and can provide the proper care for it. When purchasing online, the best advice is to use well-established shops or individual sellers with good ratings.
We hope you enjoyed learning about these popular Scindapsus varieties and have found the information helpful. The Scindapsus is an excellent houseplant that brings a tropical look to your space. Which one is your favorite?