satin pothos problems

neil1967(5)December 4, 2010


I just found out through these forums that I have a satin pothos houseplant. I keep it reasonably well watered, in a bright spot with only late afternoon direct sun. That said, it is growing really long trailers with smaller and smaller leaves. It basically looks like mostly stems. Also, many of the leaves have brown tips with yellowing. I am not an expert and so am wondering how to get it to have more leaves that look healthier and to actually be a happier plant...any help for a novice houseplant guy would be great.



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Neil, Satin pothos, 'Scindapsis pictus,' (is that the plant you mean?) needs humidity.
At a local greenhouse, they keep their SP's in a shady spot, but the area is semi-cool, with super-high humidity. The leaves are huge, thier SP's do beautiful. But, it's a gh, so their shade isn't like a normal household.

However indoors, they do best in bright light. Also, don't keep soil constantly wet or moist. Soil should dry before rewatering.
Spray leaves/shower and increase humidity in your home.
I'd bet the brown ends are caused by dry air, and yellow is from constantly wet soil.

One thing you can do is take cuttings. Root. When cuttings grow roots, add with mom. The mom plant will continue growing.
In winter, many vine plants grow spindly..that's one reason I believe pinching ends in beneficial. This should be done when a vine is young, and continued every other month. Plants grow more compact when pinched.

Trim brown edges but leave about 1/8th of the brown on.. If you cut in the green, it could continue browning.
But to be honest, the leaves that have yellow are 'most likely dead. Sorry. Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 5:35PM
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Yes, that's the plant I mean. And thanks so much for the advice! I'll start pinching, and I already have some of the cuttings rooted so I'll plant them back in with the mom. would fertilizer help here, too. I never know whether to do that or not...


    Bookmark   December 4, 2010 at 7:24PM
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I don't normally ferilize in winter, but if a plant is putting out new growth, 1/4 to 1/2 strength will be okay. We've had so many cloudy days, the few plants that get a little fertilizer isn't getting any. Good luck, Toni

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 2:20AM
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The unfortunate truth is that satin pothos simply is not a very good house plant because, as Toni points out, it requires consistently high humidity levels for good growth.

It is a beautiful, eye-catching plant that propagates easily and grows rapidly in a greenhouse environment. All of those are attributes that are of utmost importance to commercial growers. The fact that the lush plants we purchase are going to struggle to survive (not to mention thrive) in most home environments does not enter the commercial equation.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 10:07AM
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I also had this plant and for me, it didn't make a good indoor houseplant. After a year or two, it started looking terrible, and the long ends I re-rooted didn't do much better as they grew. Like mentioned, a greenhouse setting with high humidity might be what it was lacking....

Hey Toni!
Billy Rae

    Bookmark   December 5, 2010 at 2:41PM
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