This post takes a closer look at my Scindapsus collection alongside my propagation experiments with these lovely, leafy houseplants. I don’t actually think I’ve shown my whole Scindapsus gang together online so this is an overdue post indeed — a bit of a ‘show and tell’ if you will! Alongside my pothos collection, Scindapsus are one of my favourite easy-care plants that form the core of my houseplant collection. I particularly love their longevity + adaptability — some of mine have been with me for years. If left untouched, these trailing plants do have a tendency to look a little messy + unkempt, though regular pruning keeps them looking neat. They are also a plant that keeps on giving because you can easily propagate the pruned cuttings to make new plants or to add back into to your existing pot to help keep it looking bushy + full… but more on that later! These plants are in the Araceae family + are often called a multitude of names including satin Pothos, silk Pothos + silver Philodendron, despite the plant being neither a Pothos or a Philodendron!
Scindapsus pictus Argyraeus.
My argyraeus is my oldest Scindapsus which I started growing as a small plant quite a long time ago now. This cultivar is perhaps the most common type of Scindapsus available (here in the UK at least) + it has smaller leaves than some of the others, which are dark green with lighter splashes of silver across them. Like many other trailing plants they start off looking great as a table top plant, then as they start to spill over the top of the pot they begin to trail. This is often the time you might choose to transfer your pot to a hanging planter + let it grow downwards, or to train it up a moss pole, allowing it to climb. If you train your plant to trail, you might find that after a number of years, growth can start to look leggy + stretched out a little, unless the plant has been subjected to consistently optimal conditions. But in a regular home environment, it’s normal for your Scindapsus to need some pruning to keep it looking it’s best + growing well.
I had to go back a few years to find an early-ish photo of my argyraeus plant! Here it is below right, with the first propagation experiment I carried out with this one. There is often a rogue trailing stem with these types of plants, so I chopped + water propped it (below left). You can see one of the rooted cuttings I had planted up in the photo to the right —
I always like to show the reality behind having a sizeable houseplant collection + due to it’s easy going, tolerant nature, I admit I have neglected my old plant in recent times. Above left is it after getting a much needed water after leaving to dry out a little too much. It’s resilience really does come through here though, because above right is my plant a week later! If this happens to your plant + the leaves curl inwards, it’s a sign that your plant needs watering ASAP. It’s best not to let it get to this stage of course, but sometimes it can’t be helped. It can take quite a few days for the plant to recover so don’t panic if the leaves take a while to unfurl + revert to their usual flattened out shape.
Scindapsus pictus Exotica.
It’s no secret that I love a large, leafy plant + the ‘exotica’ is a newer cultivar to hit the houseplant market that ticks those boxes. Look. at. those. leaves.! Some are actually larger than my hand! The foliage really is quite something up close + lighter in colour with more consistent variegation than the traditional argyraeus. After having it for some time, I repotted it last week so I’m looking forward to watching this one mature some more over the growing season. As you can see, it needed something slightly more roomy so I went up just one pot size + used my houseplant potting mix to keep things light and free-draining.
Scindapsus aren’t the fastest of growers but I don’t mind that — to me, it basically means it is a fuss-free plant that does not require lots of attention! Plus, I can enjoy it living on my coffee table for longer as it’s at that lovely ‘table top’ size right now.
I loosened up the roots before planting into a pot… I love seeing what’s been going on under the surface so always enjoy including a photo of roots:
Here we go, all planted up + ready to go back on the coffee table…
I haven’t propagated any of my Exotica leaves yet, but these do tend to have a growth spurt when they are being fed during Spring + Summer so I think I’ll take a cutting or two in a few months + see how this larger leaved plant compares!
Scindapsus pictus Silvery Ann.
Before the Exotica, came the Silvery Ann in my Scindapsus collection. I can always tell I’m quite captivated by a particular plant when I find myself collecting the different cultivars + the Silvery Ann was the cool + ‘slightly different’ version of my original argyraeus. On first glance it might be hard to differentiate! I loved the slightly larger leaves more heavily splattered with silver + it enjoyed life in my old apartment in my hanging setup in my bedroom. But as you can see in the photo below, the trailing growth habit was a little sparse + so when I moved last year, I chose to prune it back to a more rounded shape instead.
After cutting the straggly stems back, you can here see how I chopped these into individual leaf cuttings to propagate. You’ll have seen earlier in the post that I had done this successfully with my argyraeus so the plan was to make a couple of new Silvery Ann’s from these…
For this experiment, I water propagated the stems in some of my old jars which had narrow stems to hold the leaves upright adequately as they rooted. I also popped some directly into a shallow terracotta pot in a layer of sphagnum. The cuttings rooted really well + I had a similar success rate with both methods in case you wondered! I only lost 2-3 of the smaller leaves that were not as strong as some of the others, but this is a totally normal part of propagating plants so don’t panic if 100% of your cuttings don’t take, it’s just part of the process.
A question I get asked a lot is whether single leaf cuttings like this will produce a new plant + the answer is yes they will! These types of cuttings are really common to take for trailing plants such as Epipremnum (pothos) + Scindapsus + Philodendron, where you often need to prune a long stem or two with multiple leaves on it. You can root this stem itself but you’ll only end up with one stem! Plus, the main reason for pruning these is when they get stretched out + a bit messy. The advantage of propagating single leaves like this is that you can make many more baby plants that will have a compact growth habit + look lovely!
Fast-forward 7 months + here we have the progress of these propagations! Below left is the mother plant with one of the pots I planted up. Here’s a link to my repotting diaries blogpost from when I potted the cuttings up if you want to see more of that!
Out of the cuttings I made up three pots — the three plants in the photo below show how different lighting conditions can affect growth + here I’ve brought them together for a comparison photo for us to observe. The front pot was further away from a window than other other two + I can definitely tell — the two pots at the back are more robust. There’s no rot in the smaller pot, but I think I might transfer this one into my propagator + try to rejuvenate it a bit to catch up with the other two.
The plant at the back on the right lives 0.5 metres from a south-east window behind a net + is looking the most vivacious of all! This location gets good light first thing in the morning as the sun rises + another hour around lunchtime when the sun is high in the sky.
The back left pot was a little further away from the same window but 2.5 metres away, the grown is pretty comparable but it’s not quite as sturdy as the other one yet.
As a point of reference, in my old apartment, my Scindapsus plants were growing 1.5 metres away from a room with dual aspect south + west facing windows, surrounded by other houseplants. I found this to be a great position for these + the growth was lovely + balanced!
They are all growing pretty well considering the tough winter my plants + I had here at HPH, All in all though, I’m happy with that propagation experiment + I’ll be glad to have some smaller pots of these plants around the house!
Here’s a comparison between my Silvery Ann to the left + Exotica to the right — in this lower light, the colour difference is very apparent:
Some extra Scindapsus propagation tips…
✂️ To make a balanced plant from cuttings, it’s a good idea to have a good mixture of variegation in each pot — the bottom left group of leaves are more splashed with silver so I shared these out across the pots when planting.
🍃 This is the same for all variegated plants, so bear in mind when making up plants from cuttings.
💦 If you have water propagated, your cuttings will take time to transition to potting mix – this is normal but keep well watered over this time! These plants also root well directly into soil or sphagnum moss, which I do use as well. More general tips can be found in my propagation blogpost!
🌤 If your plant is still losing variegation it is likely to be a light issue, so move to a brighter position 💚
I prefer to grow my Scindapsus in nursery pots as I find they dry out too quickly in terracotta, but that’s personal preference! As I mentioned above, terracotta can work really well in combination with Sphagnum moss for rooting cuttings though. Remember that the observations here are based on what works for me in my environment so please bear this in mind.
Other Scindapsus varieties…
Aside from my 3 featured in this post, there are more types of Scindapsus too + here are a couple to look out for if you love these plants like I do! Next on my hit-wish-list is to track down a Treubii ‘moonlight’ in case you wondered…
- Scindapsus Pictus Silver Splash
- Scindapsus Pictus Silver Lady
- Scindapsus Pictus Treubii ‘moonlight’
- Scindapsus Pictus Treubii ‘Black’
- Scindapsus Pictus Jade Satin
Over the next couple of months, I think my three smaller pots of Silvery Ann will need potting on, so I will be sure to share how they are doing in my Repotting Diaries + also on my Instagram feed + stories. As you can imagine after seeing the photos earlier in the post (+ below!), the next plant I’m planning on chopping back is my Scindapsus pictus argyraeus! It really could do with a bit of a tidy up + as the growth has gradually got more sparse on top, I think I’ll plant the rooted cuttings (when I’ve taken them) back into the top of the planter to make it full again. This is such an easy way of bringing some vigour back to older houseplants that have grown out a bit!
As a re-cap, from left to right: Scindapsus pictus argyraeus, Scindapsus pictus Silvery Ann + Scindapsus Pictus Exotica —
Same order below… please excuse the bedraggled argyraeus! —
This has been one of those posts I’ve been meaning to put together for ages, so I hope you enjoyed having a closer look at my Scindapsus collection. It’s aways nice to celebrate the more common houseplants + Scindapsus are certainly a staple in my collection that I would not be without! If you like hanging plants like Pothos + Philodendrons, Scindapsus are a nice alternative option. With these plants in particular, I’d always recommend starting small as growth is often more compact at this size + they can adapt to your home environment as they grow. They are a slow but steady type of plant that will be in your home for many years to come, with minimal fuss or bother — always a bonus! Here are some related pins to share or save too: