For people who want to know more about Scindapsus

Houseplants in the Scindapsus genus are some of my absolute favorites. They are beautiful, easy to care for, and the majority of the varieties we keep as houseplants are very affordable as well.

In this post we will cover A HUGE number of Scindapsus varieties available to home growers

I hope you enjoy the content and, if you don’t have a Scindapsus currently, are inspired to give one a try!

Looking for how to care for Scindapsus and how it grows in the wild? Click here to read the post all about it!

Table of Contents

Common Scindapsus Varieties

  • Scindapsus pictus
    Scindapsus pictus is a very common houseplant available for sale. It’s care is identical to the standard pothos (Epipremnum aureum), making it a very easy plant.

    Its epithet, pictus, means painted, which it earned due to the gorgeous, silvery patches of variegation that are splashed across its leaves.

    There are four common varieties available for purchase. I will include pictures and a brief description of each below.
    • Scindapsus pictus ‘Argyraeus’ (commonly called Satin Pothos)
      ‘Argyraeus’ is the most common variety. The name means silvery, used to describe the variegation on the leaves.
    • Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’
      ‘Exotica’ is another common variety, known for its larger leaves and more intense variegation and the variegated edging around each leaf.
    • Scindapsus pictus ‘Silver Satin’
      ‘Silver Satin’ leaf’s shape is very similar to ‘Exotica,’ but the amount of variegation on each leaf is less. Exotica’s leaves are more splash than not down the center with a variegated edging; Silver Satin has more erratic splashes and speckles across each leaf with no variegated edging.
    • Scindapsus pictus ‘Silvery Ann’ (commonly called Silvery Ann Pothos or Silver Pothos)
      ‘Silvery Ann’ has the leaf size and form that is similar to ‘Argyraeus’, but the leaves have much more variegation. The leaves are commonly at least half covered in silvery sheen with speckling or splashes on the remaining portion.

The pictures above are my Scindapsus pictus in this order: ‘Argyraeus,’ ‘Exotica,’ ‘Silvery Ann,’ and ‘Silver Satin.’

Some Rare / Less Common Scindapsus Varieties

There is only one rare species of Scindapsus that I have seen available in the houseplant market here in the United States, which is Scindapsus treubii. Because it is rare, it isn’t something I’ve ever seen in a store near me, but only from online vendors.

There is also another species that I only realized some people keep in other parts of the world by accident. That plant is Scindapsus hederaceus and I will detail the information I could find about this beautiful plant below.

The last plant I researched in this section is the one that I find most confusing. It seems to be a variety of Scindapsus pictus called ‘Jade Satin.’ Whereas all of the other varieties of Scindapsus pictus are fairly available for purchase and are pretty easy to research, this one is not.

I will give you the little information I could find on these plants but would LOVE to know more. So if you happen to be someone who knows more about any of these plants or has resources that provide better information, please send it my way!

Scindapsus treubii

Scindapsus treubii is currently available in 2 varieties, ‘Moonlight’ and ‘Dark Form.’ The leaf-shape of S. treubii is narrower than the S. pictus varieties, but still maintains an asymmetrical hook at the end. It isn’t as obvious of a hook though, at least in the plants I’ve seen.

‘Moonlight’ has a milky-green leaf color with a silver splash down the middle of the leaf following the vein.

As of 2021, Scindapsus treubii ‘Moonlight’ is no longer commercially rare in the United States. One of the very large growers started mass producing and selling the plant in the last few months. People are now finding them sometimes at big box stores and even grocery stores.

Scindapsus treubii ‘Moonlight’

‘Dark Form’ has a nearly black appearance without the silver variegation. This one is the least accessible currently in the United States.

Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ – photo taken by @loftedplanter on Instagram

Scindapsus treubii ‘Moonlight’ does well if the leaves are allowed to curl before watering, exactly like Scindapsus pictus varieties.

However, Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ does not curl its leaves like the S. pictus varieties. The way I know to water it is to observe how succulent the leaves are. When the leaves are resilient and glossy, I know the plant is well hydrated. When the leaves are a little less resilient and become a bit wrinkly and dull in appearance, I know the plant is in need of water.

I’ve heard from an experienced grower that they let the Dark Form’s leaves curl before watering. In my experience the leaves never curl though. The plant dies before that happens. How do you care for yours? Let me know!

Scindapsus hederaceus

Scindapsus hederaceus is described as being quite similar in appearance to Scindapsus officinalis – which isn’t commonly kept as a houseplant (to my knowledge) but is used in medicine! We will discuss S. officinalis in more detail below.

S. hederaceus has shiny, green leaves and is native to Thailand, Indo-China, and Malesia. It has been found in forests climbing trees and rocks.

I couldn’t find any information regarding care or availability, but perhaps we will be seeing more of this plant in the next few years as interest in rarer Scindapsus species increases.

Photo by Ahmad Fuad Morad, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/141402-Scindapsus-hederaceus

Scindapsus pictus ‘Jade Satin’

This plant has dark, thick green leaves with a bit of a sheen (from what I can tell from the few pictures and videos online). It is rarely available, but is a prolific grower just like the other varieties of Scindapsus pictus.

The only information I was able to obtain was its care – which is the same as Scindapsus pictus at large: bright, indirect light; water when dry; well-draining soil; and fertilize with a balanced fertilizer during the growing season.

Update as of 2/11/2020: I found a Scindapsus pictus ‘Jade Satin’ a couple months ago! It is a small specimen, but gorgeous and healthy. I wait for the leaves to curl before watering like my other Scindapsus. It seems to be doing well! Here is a picture of the largest leaf!

Scindapsus pictus ‘Silver Lady’

I’m so glad I stumbled across the ‘Silver Lady’ because it is stunning! This particular variety has one of my favorite patterns of variegations of all the S. pictus I’ve seen so far. It’s leaves are large, like ‘Exotica’ and ‘Silver Satin,’ but the variegation is unique and unlike the others. It’s almost the reverse pattern of Scindapsus pictus ‘Argyraeus.’

Scindapsus pictus ‘Silver Hero’ or ‘Platinum’

“This plant was discovered in a private garden to have exceptional silver-grey colored crystalline leaves that shimmer when tilted at an angle under light. The name ‘Platinum’ was chosen because both platinum and this plant are metallic silver-grey in color and rare in nature.”
from the International Aroid Society, Source

White Variegated Scindapsus pictus

I’ve seen two different cultivars of Scindapsus that have white variegation. The first is a white variegated Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ I believe. The second is a white variegated Scindapsus pictus ‘Jade Satin.’ I could not find a picture of the real variegated Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ that I could legally add to this post. As soon as I have one, I will add it though!

I did find a picture of the variegated ‘Jade Satin’ and a wonderful piece of art that shows all of the difference Scindapsus varieties that I am aware of in one graphic.

S. sp. Blue

S. offinalis

S. sp. Sumatra

Leaves are similar to S. officinalis, but have a more rounded and darker appearance.

S. anadendrum

S. sp. Silver Shield

S. sp. Mint

S. pictus sp. Borneo Silver

S. pictus Jade Satin with Yellow Variegation (possibly aurea variegata?)

Do you know of other varieties I am missing? Send them my way in the comments or via email! 🙂

*featured image credit to Firn / istockphoto

23 Comments

  1. Kassy Davis

    These plants are beautiful as I have recently discovered and have gotten 2 myself. The exotica is my favorite. Thanks for the information it was a great read!

    Reply
    • Colleen

      Yay for adding a couple of Scindapsus! I hope they thrive for you. Exotica is my favorite as well 🙂 Happy growing!

      Reply
      • Zvan

        I had managed to collect scindapsus erotica, dark form, argyracus and sumatra. These plants are addicting! I just want to get more of it! BTW scindapsus sumatra is a least known sp with the silver splashes on green leaf. Look like moonlight but less silver splash more green.

        Reply
        • Colleen

          Is sumatra the same as officinalis? I have been trying to find additional information on a few obscure species, like officinalis, to add here! I will look into it and update the article 🙂

          Reply
          • Steph Edwards

            No, officinalis has a more narrow leaf and very long stems…Scindapsus Treubii Sumatra has a more rounded leaf darker leaves than Officinalis 🙂

          • Colleen

            Thank you for the information on these varieties! I will update the post. If you know of other varieties that I’m missing and want to share them with me, please do!! My email is colleen AT anaturalcuriosity.org. Thank you again 🙂

          • Jennifer

            Great post. Scindapsus are my favorite. I do not believe the husk Borneo is a scindapsus, and the “treubii dark silver” is I believe a form of ginger. What you have posted as lucens is actually anadendrum… Very commonly sold by mistake as lucens. I got in 3 before I realized.They do look similar but that is anadendrum. Real lucens is very hard to find There also exists a very rare scindapsus blue albo, and a dark satin.

          • Colleen

            Jennifer, thank you so much for the helpful information! I will look into these and update the post. I’m always so grateful that plant people are willing to share what they know. Thank you again!

        • Casey Johnson

          Its amazing that you have worked so hard to become a popular resource on houseplants. However, There are many discrepancies on this page. Improperly identified plants is a chronic problem that is resulting in deforestation, decline in agriculture livelihood, and species extinction. Because of your popularity, you may want to consider being more responsible and getting more accurate information 🙂

          Reply
          • Colleen

            Can you share the inaccuracies you found and what they should be so that I can update them? I would love to make the post more accurate. And, if you have an accurate source to point me to, that would be wonderful. I am always open to learning. I see my own understanding of plants and science as a place where there is always room to grow. That is why I invite all (including you) to help me update, refine, and improve the quality of my posts. While I try my very best to research everything I write, I am aware that sometimes I get it wrong and that science is always learning more so what is right today may no longer be accurate tomorrow. After all, I am not a scholar and would never claim to be. I am an enthusiast who is excited to write about, learn about, and interact with plants. As for deforestation and species extinction, I am openly against poaching and the unauthorized collecting of plants. I am very much an environmentalist who wants all of the amazing places and life on this plant to be protected and preserved. While I will continue to speak out and do my part to protect our planet, the accuracy of this post is not going to fix the issue. Sadly. I wish it were so simple.

  2. WWW.XMC.PL

    Looking through your blog gives me the chance to realize precisely why I like reading things with so much understanding. It truly is wonderful to know there are still terrific authors around that will put wit into knowledgable information. I appreciate you for your contributions and eagerness to share your thoughts with us.

    Reply
    • Colleen

      Thank you so much for the lovely comment! Is there anything you would like to read about that I could cover in the future? I love taking suggestions!

      Reply
  3. Angela D. Dewees

    Thank you for all the information! I am trying to differentiate between my Scindapsus Pictus. I am not sure if I have an Argyraues, Exotica, AND Silver Satin OR just 2 Exotica. I’m still not sure. I will have to wait until more leaves grow on the suspect Silver Satin to be sure.
    Also, have you heard of S. Pictus changing shape as they age?? I read it somewhere and I am checking the validity of the comment. Thank you.
    Angela D.

    Reply
    • Colleen

      Hi Angela!! Thank you for the wonderful feedback and comment. If you’d like to send me some pictures of your plants for help with identification, I would be more than happy to assist! I am not an expert, but I have become very familiar with the different species and cultivars. Some of them can look very similar.

      Yes, I have heard that Scindapsus can change shape as they age. If given the opportunity to grow large and climb high enough, pictus develops lobes and treubii becomes longer and thinner. I am not sure about the other species, but my guess would be that they all develop differing characteristics when they reach maturity.

      Reply
  4. Susan

    Hi,
    Thanks for this great post! I found it while searching, as I’m trying to find out why my plant has such a long stem (without leaves) on it. It’s the (more common) Scindapsus pictus ‘Argyraeus’. It seems happy and healthy, but I’m stumped about these several long stems (2 feet long!) that have developed without any leaves! Any idea?

    Reply
    • Colleen

      Hi Susan, I don’t have a definitive answer to what might be happening. But I do have a few ideas that might help!

      Is it possible that your plant needs more light? The vines might be seeking out more light before producing foliage.

      It is also normal for them to sometimes grow a couple nodes without leaves and then go back to producing foliage. If you’ve have the plant for quite a while, it could be that. Growers create bushy plants by planting lots of small, rooted cuttings in a pot. And then those cuttings begin to grow and vine and sometimes become leggy.

      My large scindapsus that I’ve had for a couple years is currently pretty leggy and I plan to prune it back in the warmer months to help reduce some of the bare stems.

      I hope this helps!!

      Reply
  5. Bee

    Thank you for a very informative and detailed article. I have learnt so much more here. Also thank you for gathering all the gorgeous photographs in one place for a handy reference!
    Bee

    Reply
    • Colleen

      Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and tell me how much you enjoyed the post. It really makes my day!! 🙂

      Reply
  6. Al

    What an amazing breakdown thank you. I have struggled to find much detail on all the species and this blog was perfect. I collected my fest few species over the weekend and I am a bit stuck on 2 that I have. I was told on purchase I have “a Scindapsus pictus ( Satin Pothos) and then a Scindapus pictus Trebie where the difference is the Trebie has more silver and larger leaves”. I am based in the UK so no doubt there will be some naming difference..

    Great work and keep it up.

    Reply
    • Colleen

      Hi Al, thank you for the kind comment and feedback! Yes, I think you are right about there being some difference between naming. There is some discrepancy even within the US regarding the name of some of these plants. I’ve never heard of Trebie, so I am going to look that one up. 🙂 It’s possible it is a new-to-me cultivar as I truly learn about new Scindapsus sp. every few weeks!

      Reply
  7. Dawn

    Hello Colleen,

    Very informative article. I have what I believe is a Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight variegated. However, I’m not positive . The variegation is more of a cream color. Do you have any info on this variety?

    Reply
    • Colleen

      Hi Johnny, thank you so much for the information! I will research and update accordingly. I will check out the Facebook group also!! 🙂

      Reply

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