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Scindapsus pictus 'Exotica' Care

Scindapsus pictus 'Exotica' is typically referred to as a silver splash, satin, silver satin Philodendron or pothos. Scindapsus are not Philodendron though. These are different genuses in the Araceae family with different native origins. Scindapsus are native to Southeast Asia and Philodendron to the tropical Americas.


Quick taxonomic lesson. The taxonomic tree goes family, genus, species. When written, the family name is capitalized and not italicized, the genus name is capitalized and italicized, and the species name is italicized but not capitalized. (I often forget to italicize scientific names. It's also not possible on Instagram. Or at least I don't know how to do fancy stuff like that.) Common names are not italicized or capitalized, though many people often capitalize them like we do our given names. Cultivars, such as 'Exotica' and 'Argyraeus' are not the same plant but they are also not genetically different. Cultivars can be the result of a genetic mutation but they are typically human made hybrids. Cultivar names are capitalized and placed in single quotations.


Moving on...


Scindapsus are not pothos (lowercase nickname) or Pothos (uppercase genus) either. The lowercase "pothos" is typically used as a nickname referring to Epipremnum aureum, more commonly known as devil's ivy or golden pothos. At one time E. aureum was classified as uppercase Pothos aureum but was reclassified as an Epipremnum following some botanical debate and controversy. (The whole thing is a bit confusing and I won't get into it here.) Despite the change in genus, the name pothos stuck around. Today it has been expanded and is often used to describe a wide variety of vining plants that resemble Epipremnum and Philodendron.


I almost forgot you are here to learn how to take care of Scindapsus pictus 'Exotica'. This slideshow tells you everything!


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Light

Medium - bright indirect. Tolerates low light but growth is minimal. You may read that 'Exotica' do not tolerate low light. This is based on the false belief that the silver parts lack chlorophyll, thus reducing the plants photosynthetic function. The truth is that the silver color is caused by light reflecting off an air pocket between a leaf's un-pigmented upper tissue (cont.) and pigmented lower tissue, which contains chlorophyll. This is called blister or reflective variegation. Based on prolonged GLG experience growing 'Exotica' in low light, leaf color does not fade, as is also rumored.

Temperature

65℉ - 80℉ is ideal.

Water

Allow to dry 50 - 75% between waterings. 'Exotica' handles underwatering well due to its thick leaves. Leaves curl when underwatered and overwatered. To avoid confusion, and in very low light, GLG suggests allowing many leaves to curl before watering thoroughly. (Still check the soil for dryness!) When in doubt, do not water. Overwatering also causes yellow leaves. Leaves that curl under indicate a need to water.

Soil & Repotting

Use a well-draining medium. In low light or if soil is not drying well, repot with cactus/succulent soil, add bark or perlite to existing soil, and/or keep slightly rootbound. Increase pot size gradually when roots fill the existing container and watering frequency increases. A pot with a drainage hole is ideal.

Humidity

40% - 60% is ideal but does fine in average household conditions.

Pruning

Prune off "runner" stems that have no leaves. These still contain nodes, which is where new roots will grow.



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