Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ is a popular plant among collectors due to its glossy leaves that are nearly black in color.
It is also sold under the names: Scindapsus treubii ‘Black’ and Scindapsus treubii ‘Nearly Black’.
The information available regarding the Dark Form’s care is often conflicting.
Some say the plant cannot tolerate cold and other sources say it can tolerate cold well. Some sources say it requires high humidity and others say it doesn’t.
These contradictory statements are true of all aspects of Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ care, which made my experience of growing this plant challenging at first.
I lost a couple of plants while learning how to make Dark Form happy. Hopefully, this guide will help you to find success with S. treubii ‘Dark Form’ without losing plants first!!
This post will cover how I am successfully growing Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ as a houseplant.
How to care for Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’
How often does Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ prefer to be Watered?
What works for me when watering:
I water the plant when the potting mix has nearly dried. I check whether it is dry by keeping the plant in a clear pot where I can see both the potting mix and any root growth.
Using this method, I have been able to maintain a healthy-looking plant with succulent, shiny leaves. AND the plant has grown a ton of healthy, vibrant, white roots. This tells me that it is much happier with a little more water.
Watering was the biggest obstacle to overcome for me. I was told many times that the plant was very rot prone and to ensure that I didn’t overwater.
Some said to wait until the leaves curled to water and others said that wrinkling was the time to water.
I have found both of these methods to not work for me. The leaves never curl. The plant just wastes away and slowly dies.
The leaves do wrinkle, but they don’t maintain a healthy appearance when watered only when wrinkled. The plant never grows roots or leaves using this method.
Is Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ rot prone? Probably, yes. I do think it’s still important to let the plant mostly dry before watering because the juicy roots and leaves would not tolerate wet conditions for any length of time.
But I also do not think the roots can tolerate being dry for long.
Extended dryness causes the roots to dry up and die back. Then when you water your plant, the water sits on those dead roots and induces rot.
As you can see, it is a fine balance between wet and dry. Too much of either will spell disaster.
How much Light does Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ need?
What works for me when providing light for Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’:
I provide bright, indirect light in an east-facing window that is partially blocked by a tree.
The plant is doing really well here. Better than all of the other locations I’ve tried, including beneath grow lights.
I’m guessing it would continue to do well if I increased the light a bit now that I have a better handle on the watering.
Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ needs LOTS of light.
Biologically, this doesn’t make a lot of sense. Plants that are super dark in appearance are usually adapted to live in poorly lit areas. Their leaves are so dark because they are creating super dense collections of chloroplasts (the cells that contain chlorophyll, or the green pigment used to absorb light that can be used for photosynthesis).
What kind of Potting Mix pairs well with Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’?
I have S. treubii ‘Dark Form’ planted in a nice chunky mix that provides lots of aeration and fast drainage. It is a combination of equal parts standard potting mix, orchid bark, perlite/pumice, and horticultural charcoal.
So far, the plant seems very happy.
What kind of Pot would Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ like?
I think Dark Form would do well in any pot with drainage holes, to ensure that it doesn’t sit in excess water.
However, my preference is to keep this plant in a clear plastic pot so that I can monitor the moisture level throughout the entire pot.
Here’s a link to the clear plastic pots I like using for my plants:
100 Pack of Soft Transparent Nursery Pots, 4 inches in Diameter (link to Amazon via the Associate Program)
Does Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ need humidity?
In my experience, Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ does just fine in regular household humidity.
Would it like more? Perhaps. But, the important part is that it doesn’t seem to suffer without it. My house goes down to 40 something percent in winter and Dark Form seems to be fine!
How often does Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ need to be Fertilized?
I’ve been fertilizing Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ every other week throughout the growing season using a very diluted amount of Espoma Organics Indoor Plant Food (linked to Amazon via the Associate Program)
Mistakes I’ve made with Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’
My biggest mistake with Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ is underwatering.
I was so concerned with rotting my plant due to overwatering that I was drastically underwatering. The result was that the roots dried up from the tip and the water I did provide rotted the plant since the roots weren’t capable of drinking any longer.
My second biggest mistake was ordering Scindapsus treubii ‘Dark Form’ online during winter. Both times I tried getting a plant during the colder season, the plants arrived stressed and in poor condition.
In my personal experience, this plant does not tolerate cold well.
- Dark Form can be susceptible to rot, but underwatering is just as damaging as overwatering. Water the plant regularly as the potting mix dries.
- If you treat Dark Form like common pothos, it will do just fine.
- Don’t overcomplicate the care like I did! 🙂
Hi Colleen thank you for well written article about scindapsus treubii dark form. They are beautiful climbing scindapsus. In nursery we try to make it as living wall :))
PS. we got big deals for this plants, if you interested you can get it only for $5/each plants.
This was very helpful! I found very few care videos on YouTube or just much information online in general. I have managed to keep mine alive (and even air layered!) for over a year. It’s the only one of my scindapsus I’ve done well with–go figure! I had gotten information about not letting them get direct sunlight at all, but I think that’s another myth. Mine has been doing well in eastern exposure as well. A super chunky mix has seemed to be great. It just still grows so stinking slow! I want more of those dark, glossy leaves! Thanks again!
It really does grow so slow!! I’m with you. Mine has finally put on two growth points in the last month or two, but has yet to begin unfurling either of them. Haha. They are beautiful but sure do require infinite patience!! If you are finding luck with dark form, give S. treubii ‘Moonlight’ a try (if you want). The care is pretty much identical and moonlight (at least for me) has been a much, much faster grower!