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Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Silver Pothos - Scindapsus pictus 'Argyraeus'

Leaves appears to be smaller and span out further between leaf nodes.

Variegation of the silver spots appears to be more sparse.
This appears to be like more of a green leaf with light grey silver spot on them. 
(This appearance is the reverse of 'Exotica' )

The plant is easier to be identified when the foliage is smaller - the colors therein appears all green with few silver spots- hence this is how it is able to be identified that this one is Scindapsus pictus  'Argyraeus'

More information about Silver Pothos - Scindapsus pictus  'Argyraeus'

I had seen this particular plant growing in the wild here in Malaysia, the plant however is a heavy creeper crawling on leaves debris and also trailing on tree trunks but the condition of the foliage appears to be rather sad where a lot bitten marks appear on the foliage.

In the wild, these plants climb high up on the trunks attaching on the tree barks with strong aerial roots - the foliage formation too morph more oval and stronger coloration when they grow bigger. Their leathery foliage seemed to have a succulent feel with dark green coloration with slight shiny silver spots glimmering in the dark shade. 

Pictus meaning painted - this particular variety have those spots and splashes indentified as such.
Often the common name is a misnomer - it is named as Pothos but its characteristics and behavior is far from it - it is very sensitive and very different from pothos, philodendron or Epipremnum aureum needs & care. It doesn't grow well in the same conditions in which those plants thrive. 

There is nothing much to worry about if you purchased this plant where the plant had established itself with good roots system and many leaves and vine. All you have to do is just maintain the watering regime and placing the potted plant in a bright shaded area.

The challenge is far greater if you just received a cutting.

For example:

You can start cuttings - rooting them in shallow water like what you can do with some philodendron trailing species (heart-leaf philodendron / Brazil) & Epipremnum aureum types (golden pothos)

All of these does root vigorously & grow well except for Scindapsus pictus cuttings:
The rarely took root - and often slowly succumb to rot at the cutting edges and may turn the leaves yellow.

Even if potting them directly after cutting them - you may not able to see immediate growth progress, rather the foliage slowly rolled inward and dying. Eventually it drops off all the leaves and the bare stalk remained and after many weeks - I was able to see a new shoot appearing.
This happens for like 1 out of 5 cuttings - very low chances of survival.

I wouldn't recommend this to be rooted in water - rather there is more success when layering the trailing rooted vine on another pot and let it take rooting in them and trimming it off - separating it from the mother plant have greater success than placing it into water or direct cutting.

There is another thing about this strange happening that may take place with a healthy potted plant.
After purchasing this plant for about 3 months plus - suddenly you find that the plant is slowly fading and dying away - facing root rot. 

When you open up the whole root-ball - you started noticing all the roots had rotten away and wondered what happened?

Basically, the medium of which this plant is planted were cocopeat and the whole composition had turned hardened but mushy when watered. You will also find the medium smells rotten. By then, it appears to be too late as all you will have rescued is some of the trailing vine with aerial roots attached at the surface.

And so, What I often do is to reset and re-plant the plant after few weeks once the plant had acclimated in my garden and remove the medium (100% cocopeat) with a mixture of (50% existing medium with perlite, sand, sphaghum moss and coconut chips)

Too much water can kill them - therefore keeping the medium moist but not dripping wet is essential. It is best not to place them with a water saucer underneath the pot - it works for most pothos species but not for this one - rather treat it more on a drier side and water it when the medium is slightly dry.

Also Oscmocote (a tiny spherical fertilizer) a few pieces of it added on weekly basis - a slow release fertilizer seemed to be the best for them.

More mature leaves do tend to grow more elongated and also change it's appearance if it is fastened upon a pole or a totem for it to climb and trail upon.

Once the plant had established itself - there is nothing much to worry about.

Do click on the link below to view other types of Scindapsus and their Care & Maintenance:
Scindapsus pictus - Best Indoor Plants

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Tropical Garden, Batu Caves, Malaysia
My Malaysian Tropical Garden mainly focused on unique and colorful plants ranging from rare to common plants all around the tropical belt across the world. Ideal for inspiration for challenging areas in the garden space - indoor gardening, balcony gardening and small green spaces especially for ariods, bromeliads, begonias, edibles, cascading & vertical garden plants, succulents & cacti, orchids, together with both shade and sun loving plants.

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