Scindapsus pictus, commonly known as the satin pothos, is a climbing houseplant with alluring velvety leaves, flecked with splashes of silver.
Endemic to humid forests of Bangladesh and many of the islands in Southeast Asia, including Thailand and Borneo, Scindapsus grow in the understory of large trees, and naturally climb to access light higher up in the canopy.
How to care for satin pothos
There are a few things you can do at home to ensure your Scindapsus looks its finest all year round.
Watering is important, but Scindapsus are quite forgiving if you forget for a short while. It’s better if the soil or compost around the roots never dries out completely. Allow the first top centimeters to dry out before watering again.
Beware of plants in hanging pots, as often these pots have little reservoirs that hold excess water, too much excess water and the roots may begin to rot.
Normally watering until the water begins to run out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot is enough. If it’s been a long time since you last watered, you may notice the compost has shrunk, leaving a gap around the edge of the pot. If this is the case, plunging the pot into a sink or bucket full of water will help rehydrate the soil. Hold it under the water until it has stopped releasing bubbles, and then leave it somewhere to drain.
In nature Scindapsus are climbers, and so will naturally want to grow upwards. Fortunately, they also seem reasonably happy trailing over the side of a pot making them a great addition to a shelf or ceiling hook in a kitchen or bathroom.
If you want to encourage your Scindapsus to grow upwards, it needs a natural surface to attach itself to. Place an old tree branch or a rough wooden board close to your plant, and gently attach the stems with string, In time the stems and leaves will fuse to the material.
How to propagate satin pothos
Scindapsus are easily propagated with cuttings. You’ll need a mature(ish) plant with some stems that are 20cm or longer, scissors or secateurs, an old jam jar or similar and eventually another pot and some peat-free compost. To begin, find the stems you want to propagate from, look for healthy growth, and check for any pests. Count 3-5 leaves from the end of the stem and make a cut just beneath a leaf node (the point at which the leaf connects to the stem).
Carefully remove 2 or 3 of the leaves closest to the cut you made, you can gently break them off the stem, but if you are worried about causing damage, carefully cut them off. Removing these leaves will reduce the chance of your cutting starting to rot when it’s in the water.
Fill a jar about one third of the way and add the cuttings, keep the jar somewhere warm and bright, but out of direct sunlight, and check on it regularly to make sure they haven’t run out of water. After a few weeks you should notice roots beginning to grow from the node where the leaf was. Once these are a decent length, 10cm or more, you can carefully plant them into a medium sized pot, keeping the compost moist to begin as the roots adjust from being in water. For a fuller plant faster, plant several cuttings in the same pot.