How to Grow and Care for Scindapsus pictus (Silver Vine) Indoors

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Scindapsus pictus 'Argyraeus', Satin Pothos

Botanical name: Scindapsus pictus
Synonym: Scindapsus argyraeus
Family: Araceae
Common names: Silver Vine

Description

Scindapsus pictus commonly called Silver Vine are evergreen climbing plants which bear matte green leaves covered in silver blotches with a satin sheen.

Scindapsus pictus also called Scindapsus argyraeus are easy-care plants that easily adapt to a wide range of growing conditions. The species name, 'pictus' means 'painted', in reference to the variegation on the leaves.

The plants are low maintenance and generally pest resistant. If kept away from draughts, direct sunlight and with moderate watering, Scindapsus pictus will thrive.

Scindapsus pictus can be treated as a trailer or climber, reaching up to 10 ft or more under good conditions. The stems can be allowed to trail from a hanging basket or wall display.

Origin

Scindapsus pictus are native to India, Bangladesh, Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Borneo, Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, and the Philippines..

Varieties

There are many varieties of Scindapsus pictus which include the common ones like Scindapsus pictus 'Argyraeus', Scindapsus pictus 'Exotica' and Scindapsus pictus 'Silvery Ann' and some rare varieties like Scindapsus pictus 'Treubii Dark Form' and Scindapsus pictus 'Silver Princess' among others.

Where to Buy

Beautiful and healthy Scindapsus pictus plant in various sizes are available online on Etsy. Purchase Scindapsus pictus plants from Etsy.

Scindapsus pictus 'Exotica', Silver Satin Pothos

Scindapsus pictus Care Indoors

Light Requirements

Scindapsus pictus grow best in medium to bright, indirect light away from direct sunlight.

The more variegated types require more light to maintain the variegation. The plants can also grow under a grow light where natural light is not adequate.

Some Scindapsus pictus can tolerate lower light but the variegation will fade in poor light. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

Watering

Water Scindapsus pictus liberally during the growing season while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings.

Reduce watering during the cold season to keep the soil slightly moist as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy soil as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual death of the plant.


Temperature

Scindapsus pictus thrives in an average warmth within the range of 15-290C. A room temperature that is comfortable for you is ideal for the plant.

Protect Scindapsus pictus from cold draughts as they can cause leaf drop. Check out this guide on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity

Scindapsus pictus have no need for high air humidity. Average room humidity is ideal for these plants. However, if the air is too dry the plant will respond with brown-black and shrivelled leaf tips.

Set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a humidifier to raise humidity. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Regularly damp-wipe the leaves with a soft cloth to get rid of dust and discourage pest infestation. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding)

Feed Scindapsus pictus every 4 weeks during the growing period with a balanced, water-soluble, fertilizer.

Do not feed the plant during the cold season as growth at this time is minimal and feeding at this time may lead to fertilizer burn and eventual death of the plant. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Repotting

Repot Scindapsus pictus during the growing season only when the plant has become pot-bound; when the roots grow through the drainage holes.

Use a pot one size larger than the current one and ensure that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and death of the plant.

Soil

The best soil for Scindapsus pictus should be rich in organic matter and free-draining to prevent it from getting soggy while providing the required nutrients.

Most potting mixes designed for aroids are ideal for the plant. Quality potting mixes are available online on Etsy. Take a look and purchase aroids potting mix from Etsy for your Scindapsus pictus.

Pruning

Pruning Scindapsus pictus is easy as it involves frequent removal of any dead foliage. Pinch off the growing tips to encourage bushyness and prevent the plant from becoming leggy.

Cut back the stems at the beginning of the growing season if they become straggly to rejuvenate growth.

The foliage emanating from the pruning can be used to propagate new plants. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Propagation

Scindapsus pictus can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings. The cuttings can be rooted in soil or in water.

How to root Scindapsus pictus stem cuttings in soil

Scindapsus pictus propagation in water: Take a 4-6 in. stem cutting from a healthy Scindapsus pictus plant. Ensure the cutting has at least two leaf nodes and some aerial roots.

Strip off the lower leaves and insert the cutting in moist rooting soil and ensure at least one leaf node together with the aerial roots are covered under soil.

To hasten rooting, cover the set up with clear polythene to create a greenhouse effect.

Place the set up in a warm, well-lit place and maintain the soil moist through out until roots have developed.

Rooting should take about 2-3 weeks and the new plant will be ready to be transplanted in about 2-3 months.

Allow the new plants to be well established before transplanting, after which you can begin routine care.

How to root Scindapsus pictus stem cuttings in water

Scindapsus pictus propagation in water: Take a 4-6 in. stem cutting from a healthy Scindapsus pictus plant. Ensure the cutting has at least 2-3 leaf nodes and some aerial roots.

Strip off the lower leaves and place it in a jar of plain water, ensure at least one leaf node is covered in water as well as the aerial roots.

Place the set up in a well-lit spot and change the water every 5-7 days.

Rooting Scindapsus pictus in water should take about 3-4 weeks. When the roots are about 2 in. long, start acclimatizing them to grow in soil.

Acclimatizing the roots to grow in soil entails adding a little soil daily into the rooting jar over a period of time until when there is more soil than water in the rooting jar.

The new Scindapsus pictus plant is ready for transplanting when the roots have grown to about 4 in. long after which you can begin routine care.

Scindapsus pictus 'Silvery Ann'

Scindapsus pictus Problems Indoors

Yellow leaves, leaf drop, rotting stems

Scindapsus pictus yellow leaves, leaf drop and rotting stems is an indication of root-rot disease which is brought about by soggy soil.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the disease.

Scindapsus pictus cannot tolerate soggy soil. Always, ensure that the soil is free-draining and that the pot has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

Brown leaf edges, brown leaf spots

Scindapsus pictus brown leaf edges and brown leaf spots are caused by too dry soil due to underwatering (too little soil moisture).

Water the plant liberally to maintain the soil moist while allowing the top 2 in. of soil to dry out between waterings. Never allow the root ball to dry out completely. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Curled, limp leaves and rotting stems

Scindapsus pictus curled, limp leaves and rotting stems are caused by sudden changes in the air temperature due to draughts.

Scindapsus pictus are extremely sensitive to sudden drops in temperature. Protect the plant from cold draughts to maintain an average room warmth. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips

Scindapsus pictus brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips are caused by four possible reasons.

One possible reason for brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips is too dry air (low air humidity) or too little moisture in the air.

To raise humidity, set the pot on a wet pebble tray or use a humidifier. Check out these techniques on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

The second possible reason for brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips in Scindapsus pictus is soggy soil. The plants do not like to sit in soggy soil and they respond with brown-black leaf tips.

Repot the Scindapsus pictus in fresh soil. Ensure the soil is draining properly and the pot has a drainage hole.

Also, do not leave water standing in the saucer after watering; discard any water that remains on the saucer after watering.

The third possible reason for brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips in Scindapsus pictus is underwatering.

If there isn't enough moisture in the soil for plant to take up, the leaf tips are the first to suffer. They begin to dry up, turning brown and later black.

Water the plant when the top 2 in. of soil dry out; avoid delayed watering. Read more on how to water houseplants.

The fourth possible reason for brown-black, shrivelled leaf tips in Scindapsus pictus is overfeeding or accumulation of chemicals in the soil.

Too much fertilizer in the soil will cause damage to the roots which means that the plant cannot take up adequate water from the soil.

Brown tips is the first sign that the roots of Scindapsus pictus are in distress.

Regularly flush out any excess chemicals from the soil by running a stream of water through the soil until it comes out through the drainage hole. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

Pests

Scindapsus pictus pests; spider mites and mealy bugs. Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Is Scindapsus pictus toxic?

According to ASPCA, Scindapsus pictus are toxic to both humans and pets. The plants contains Calcium oxalate crystals.

If ingested it causes burning and swelling in the mouth and throat, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pains. Keep your Scindapsus pictus plants from the reach of children and pets to avoid any mishap.

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