If you’re not familiar with the Satin pothos, you’re in for a treat. It’s one of my favorite indoor houseplants and varieties of pothos!
Why? It’s easy to care for, grows quickly, and features some of the most delicate and beautiful variegation, with dark green leaves and silvery-lined edges.
If you don’t have a lot of time to spend on plant care it grows easily, doesn’t require a lot of maintenance, and is simple to propagate.
In this article, I’ll cover exactly how to grow and take care of Satin pothos, including how to avoid yellowing leaves, a quick propagation guide, and easy care tips that apply not just to indoor plants but specifically the Silver Satin pothos.
Let’s get started!
Satin Pothos Care Guide
History, habitat, and characteristic
The Satin pothos (also known as the Silver Satin pothos, Scindapsus pictus, or the Silk pothos) is a tropical plant native to Southeast Asia and one of the most popular growing Pothos plants varieties, along with the Manjula Pothos and Cebu blue pothos.
A member of the Scindapsus plants genus, the Satin pothos is related to other climbing plants such as Philodendron, Epipremnum (pothos plants), and Dischidia.
When grown outdoors it can reach 15+ feet (on its tippy toes). Indoors it’s limited by your ceiling and light sources, so unless you’re living in a penthouse loft you’re more likely to cap out at around 7 feet.
No matter where you grow it you’ll see its hallmark variegated leaves, a beautiful dark green with gentle silver highlights and light stems.
Not only is the Satin pothos easy to care for (making it a great plant for beginners) it’s also a great choice for those who don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to maintenance as it requires infrequent watering and grows slowly (so less re-potting and pruning).
The Satin pothos is also a great air purifier that filters formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene from the air.
Okay, okay, you’re convinced. Let’s get into our Satin pothos care guide which will be followed by a quick propagation tutorial.
Satin pothos thrives with large amounts of bright, indirect sunlight. Like other tropical plants that are grown indoors, it naturally is used to large amounts of indirect light filtered and reflected through a tropical canopy.
If you’re noticing sluggish plant growth, leaves that are almost completely green with little variegation, this is a good sign that your Scindapsus pictus is suffering from too little light. For brighter light you’ll want to move it closer to a window, or consider using a grow light.
Excessive light or direct sunlight will cause Silver Satin pothos leaves to turn brown and crispy, especially marking the silvery variegation.
Remember: less green in the leaves means less chlorophyll, so the more variegated a plant’s leaves are the slower it will typically grow, or the more indirect light it will prefer.
While Satin Pothos plants are easy to care for, watering is where it can get tricky.
As tropical plants, Satin pothos really prefers its soil to dry out completely between splashes, and make sure your soil is well-draining. If the top two inches of soil are still moist, let them dry out completely. When you do water, let it flow through the soil until it comes out the drainage holes on the bottom.
It’s essential not to overwater your plant, because this will often results in root rot. I always suggest underwatering is preferable when getting to learn your plant because it’s much easier to notice and fix than having to dig it up and start chopping at the roots.
Temperature and humidity
As the Satin pothos is a tropical plant, it will thrive in warmer temperatures between 65-90 degrees Fahrenheit. If it’s too cold, you’ll notice the plant’s leaves withering and slow growth. Too hot or in dry air and the leaves will brown become crispy around the edges.
For the Satin silver pothos the higher humidity, the better. Over 50% humidity will result in much faster growth.
If your home is on the drier side, here are a few tips to increase the humidity:
- Group your plants together. By grouping them together you’re creating a tiny forest canopy where moisture won’t evaporate as quickly.
- Use a pebble tray. By filling a tray with water and rocks you’re increasing the surface area for evaporation which will increase the humidity around your plants.
- Mist your pothos regularly with water, being careful not to overdo it and saturate the soil. Misting also has the added benefit of washing away any dust that’s accumulated on the leaves.
- Set up a humidifier. This is the most effective way to increase the humidity, but keep an eye on your energy bill.
Because the Satin Pothos is a tropical plant, it prefers a loose, quickly draining soil. You can use a store-bought potting mix or make your own.
Our favorite loose soil mix for a Satin pothos includes:
- Potting soil (50%)
- Peat moss (25%)
- Perlite (25%)
You’ll also want a pot or hanging basket with well-sized drainage holes to avoid soggy soil.
How to Transplant and Repot a Satin Pothos
In order to transplant and repot a Satin pothos, you will need:
- A pot or planter with drainage holes
- Potting soil
- A trowel or small shovel
- A watering can
First, remove it from its current pot. If the plant is root-bound, gently loosen the roots before placing it in the new pot. Fill the new pot with potting soil, making sure to leave enough room for the plant’s roots. Gently pack the soil around the plant’s roots and water it well.
With a healthy and thriving plant, propagating Satin pothos is pretty easy. You can propagate in water or soil, but water propagating with stem cuttings is typically the easiest method with the quickest results.
For any of these methods, you’ll first need a healthy mother plant. If you want a quick overview, you can watch this video and follow along the guide below:
To propagate your Satin pothos in water:
- Cut a stem with at least 2-3 nodes (the raised bumps where leaves emerge) and place it in a jar or glass of water
- Change the water every few days to keep it fresh. Roots will begin to form in 1-2 weeks.
- Once roots are a few inches long, you can transplant your new Satin pothos into a pot with fresh potting mix.
To propagate your Satin pothos in soil:
- Cut a stem with at least 2-3 nodes and insert it into the moistened potting mix.
- Keep the soil moist but not soggy, and roots should form within a few weeks.
- Once roots are established, you can transplant to a larger pot.
- Satin pothos propagates best from aerial roots, as these contain the most active growing tips.
- When propagating in water, be sure to use a well-aerated container such as a glass jar or vase with a wide opening. Place the cut aerial roots into the water and wait for new roots to form and grow.
Indoor plants suffer from a lot of the same common issues, and unfortunately there are a variety of causes for damaged or dead leaves in pothos plants (even though they are some of the easiest houseplants for indoor gardening).
That being said with a little bit of attention and experimentation it’s usually easy to figure out the root cause of the issue (hint: 90% of the time it’s overwatering or too much direct sunlight).
The most common issues with Satin Pothos are:
- Yellowing leaves. Yellow leaves are typically caused by too much sunlight, too little water, or fertilizer burns from too much nitrogen concentration in the soil.
- Browning leaves. If the leaves are spotting with brown it is usually a sign of over-watering or direct sun exposure. Too much water will limit the supply of oxygen to the roots. Oxygen is typically stored in small pockets of air in loose soil, so if you pack your soil in too densely or water too frequently, your plant might be struggling for air.
- Brown leaf tips. Brown leaf tips are usually a sign of too little humidity, but can also be caused by fluoride in tap water or chemicals released from some types of soil. Try misting your plant more frequently or using a humidifier near your plants.
- Dropping leaves. If the leaves are falling off, it is often a sign of too much water or not enough light.
- Overly leggy vines. If Silver vine pothos is not getting enough light, it will grow leggy, long vines in an attempt to reach an area with more sunlight.
Any of these issues usually indicates a weakened plant which can open it up to other issues like pests (which prey on weak plants) or diseases.
The best way to prevent these issues is by following the care guide above and practicing proper care from the start. That means when you first get your Satin pothos make sure it’s in a well-draining potting mix in a planter with large drainage holes.
Diseases and pests
In a healthy Satin pothos plant, you shouldn’t have to worry about disease or pests but a plant weakened by bright light, with leaves curling or that isn’t planted in a well-drained potting mix will often have a weaker root system leading to an unhealthy plant.
The most common issues are:
- Root rot. A very common issue with tropical plants that love water and loose soil and it is usually caused by too much water or poor drainage. Root rot moves quickly, so if you suspect it is the cause of an unhealthy plant you should act quickly. Remove the plant from the pot and inspect the roots. If they are brown and mush you will need to trim away the damaged roots. Allow the plant to dry out for a few days before replanting in fresh, dry soil.
- Spider mites. The first sign will be webbing on leaves, which should indicate an insect problem. Inspect your plant carefully for small webbing between leaves and stems. If you see any, act quickly as spider mites reproduce and can easily destroy an indoor plant. Isolate the plant and rinse it thoroughly with water to physically remove any spider mites. You can also try wiping it down with a soapy water mixture to discourage future growth. If this is a recurring issue, you can introduce predatory mites that will eat the spider mites. The predatory mites will die off with their food source, leaving just your healthy plants.
The Satin Pothos is a unique, easy-to-care-for houseplant that can brighten any indoor space. With a little bit of attention and the right care, you can enjoy this plant for many years.
When properly taken care of, the Silver pothos is an incredibly resilient plant that will thrive in a wide variety of conditions. If you’re worried that your plant might not be healthy, take a close look at its leaves and stems for the above signs of pests or disease. By catching problems early, you can often save your plant with some simple treatment.
Remember: bright indirect light, well-drained soil, and infrequent watering will result in a happy plant.
If this article was useful, please share it with others who might want to grow a Satin pothos of their own, or better yet, give them a propagation to start off their own indoor garden.
And as always, feel free to reach out to us with any questions or concerns. We’re happy to help however we can, and have Master Gardeners available for your questions and comments!
Should you fertilize Satin pothos?
During its growth season of late spring into the summer it’s absolutely fine to fertilize Satin Pothos. I recommend using a balanced fertilizer high in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium. Always dilute to at least 50% concentration, even if the packaging doesn’t mention it.
How do you encourage new Satin pothos growth?
To encourage new growth on your satin pothos, provide it with bright, indirect light and allow the soil to dry out between watering. You can also fertilize your plant monthly during the growing season (spring through early summer). If you want to encourage variegation, provide more light. Also, avoid letting the leaves touch the soil, as this can cause them to turn brown. Finally, be sure to regularly remove any yellow or brown leaves, as these are past their prime and can take away from the plant’s overall health.
What’s the difference between the Silvery Anne Pothos (Scindapsus pictus) and other Satin Pothos plants?
The main difference is the amount of variegation on the leaves. Silvery Anne pothos are much more silvery than Satin pothos. With less chlorophyll, they’re also a bit more sensitive to your lighting conditions.