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Scindapsus Pictus Exotica: Indoor Growth & Care

An evergreen Araceae family member, scindapsus pictus is an easy-to-care-for plant. This one is neither a pothos nor a philodendron. Even with minimal care, the dark heart-shaped leaves of this hoya make it one of the delightful houseplants. The silver-splashed leaves do not fade easily. They bring or restore a calm indoor touch. What is more, you can grow your houseplant to match the needs of your lifestyle and personality.

They are gorgeous if grown as hanging baskets or given a moss pole. And are readily available for sale.

Pictus Exotica Profile + Care Highlights

  • Care difficulty: easy
  • Light preference: bright light without direct sun
  • Minimum temperature: (54°F)
  • Optimal temperature:  (65-80°F)
  • Humidity: medium to high
  • Watering: Water when the top few inches partly dry out
  • Fertilizing: monthly; a balanced houseplant water
  • Potting mix: coconut coir, orchid bark + perlite
  • Soil pH: 6.1 – 6.5
  • Repotting: At most 2 years of growth
  • Speed of growth: moderate slow grower
  • Mature size: up to 3m (10ft.) in length
  • Flower: rarely flowers indoors
  • Propagation: stem cutting with a node
  • Growing Zones: USDA zones 10 through 12.
  • Pest: scale, spider mites, mealy bugs
  • Diseases: Root rot
  • Toxicity: toxic (contains calcium oxalate)

Other modish names: Silver Pothos, Philodendron Silver

More about Scindapsus Pictus Exotica

The houseplant really stands out with its large, heart-shaped dark-green leaves. It provides a serene warming indoor with its silvery-white splashes. It has characteristic long trailing stems. And this one can set up that tropical scenery in your indoor space.

Foliage – Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ Leaves

This one has quite large leaf sizes. They are heart-shaped. With a velvety texture and paint-like silvery speckles, this one is an eye-catcher for anyone who is after those gorgeous-looking houseplants.

The houseplant grows long and magnificent trailing vines.

Growing Pattern and Size

In the wild, the plant grows as a creeper or climber depending on the surrounding vegetation. The vines can attain lengths of (3ft) 1m long.

Silver pothos grown in a hanging basket inddors
Philodendron silver in a hanging basket

If well taken care of as hanging baskets, you can allow them to dangle freely. They form a beautiful cascade of foliage.

The other beautiful way to make use of this one is by training them to climb. They are elegant climbers.

Growth Rate

This climber is just a slow grower. For those leafy vining stems to reach about your thighs high, 1 year will have gone.

Young potted scindapsus pictus exotica
Tender silver pothos

However, this growth does not just come by. You ought to ensure indoor growing conditions are just perfect. Ensuring that growing conditions are ideal will speed up growth. This means keeping the ‘Exotica’ plant in warm, humid conditions and only watering when necessary.

Growing Zones

If you live within the USDA zones 10 through 12, you can grow this indoors with much ease.

Having this exotic beauty on your houseplant list is just as exquisite as having those nerve plant or croton plant feelings.

How to Care for Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’

If you want to grow this stunner with ease and comfort indoors, pay attention to the following details.

  • Propagation and soil, fertilizer
  • Super air temperature and humidity regulation

1. Situating your Scindapsus pictus Exotica

On one hand, this gracious houseplant loves growing in sunny spots. A brightly lit location in your living room, study desk or special dining room is ideal. Shelves and bookcases are great for dangling vines too. This plant will however tolerate some brief periods in the shade. Note that if you prolong the stay in those shady locations the green and silvery won’t come out with vibrancy.

On the other, leaving your houseplant in intense heat for extended periods will scorch it.

Growing scindapsus indoors requires bright indirect light
Exotica pictus in brightly lit location

One of the ideal places for this one is the north-facing window. Ensure that it is not too close or further than 2 inches away from the windowsill.

You expose your houseplant to shady conditions and the leaves will lose their natural quality – you’ll see less of the silky silver-green leaves. They’ll fade.

This is so regardless of whether you have it outdoors or indoors. Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ grows well in indirect light. As mentioned, the great thing is that Scindapsus ‘Exotica’ is a shade-tolerant plant.

2. Rooting Medium for Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’

Go for a commercial soil mix with good drainage and the ability to retain moisture. It should also be fertile. Alternatively, you can DIY and combine the following:

  • 3 parts peat moss
  • 1 part shredded bark
  • 1 part perlite

To achieve this, peat moss is an excellent soilless medium because it’s light and airy yet retains moisture. Soil amendments such as perlite, gravel, pumice, and charcoal help oxygenate the soil and let the excess water drain faster.

3. Watering Tips and How-to Guide

Water Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ only when the top 2” (5 cm) of soil is dry. In summer, you may need to water the pothos plant once or twice a week. In winter, you can cut back watering to once a fortnight or so. The soil should never become too damp, or you risk root rot.

Best watering practices:

  • Use mineral-free water
  • Store your water for 24 or so hours before watering
  • Use a measuring cup
  • Go for filtered water
  • soak the soil thoroughly until excess water drains out of the holes
  • Use water stored at room temperature

Allow the excess water to drain out completely before you place the plant back on the drip tray. Before you water again, be patient until the top inches of soil have dried out.

4. Humidity-Temperature Index

The difference in warmth and humidity between its natural habitat and home environment is the real feel. While the plant is more adaptive in tropical temperate regions, conditions indoors are a bit constant. This means, with the right checks and tweaks, your houseplants shouldn’t have growth issues.

When it comes to finding the ideal temperature, try to elevate room humidity to 50% or 60%. This should easily regulate warmth anywhere from 65 °F to 75 °F.

Employ simple ways of boosting humidity around these plants in the winter. Extra humidity does not harm them in any way. Anyway, limit the misting effect to the leaves only. So don’t mist it often.

Grouping this one with its close plant relatives is helpful too.

Grouped indoor pictus exotica with pothos plants
Humidity boosted by group growing

Exposure to long periods of very warm or high temperatures (+90 °F) causes leaf wilting.

  • Just like the Scindapsus treubii, this one can tolerate and survive through the cooler temperatures but gets killed by freezing cold
  • The plant enjoys relative humidity at 60% but does not require a very moist environment to thrive
  • It can grow just fine in relative humidity levels as low as 38%

This exotic plant thrives in temperatures between 65 and 85°F (18 – 29°C).

Most household temperatures are perfect for growing this plant indoors. Only ensure that this warmth level doesn’t drop below 60°F (16°C).

5. Repotting Tips

You may not need to replant your Scindapsus pictus so often. Doing so will very likely have a negative impact on performance and growth habits. But don’t wait until the plant has outgrown its current container.

When-to-repot indicators include:

  • Roots coming out of the drainage holes
  • Smaller leaves
  • Stunted growth
  • Water pooling on the soil’s surface

These plants grow relatively slowly. As such, they don’t need to be repotted yearly. You can replant in the second year during the summer or spring.

6. How to Fertilize Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’

The selection of an appropriate fertilizer is key to successful growth and continuous performance. More crucially so, when and how to feed is another game-changer tactic.

If you are a beginner, it is best to feed your houseplant with a diluted water-soluble fertilizer. If however, you have a good experience, use a regular houseplant fertilizer once a month.

To enable your plant to make the most, maximize feeding during the summer and spring. This is when it is warm and the plant is in the active growth phase.

More so, a balanced fertilizer is great when the plant is vining. This will also encourage large leaf formation. With regular fertilizing, and proper condition checks, you will realize soft, fast-growing and dark green foliage. As a result, your houseplant is going to retail well the vibrancy and liveliness as it carries into a less active winter and colder months.

If you are using a regular fertilizer, ensure to flush the pot once in every 3rd or 4th month to minimize chances of fertilizer-salt buildup.

7. Does Exotica Pictus Need Pruning?

This velvety vining plant does require minimal or little removal of any excess growths. Indeed, the main aim of pruning this one is to improve or enhance the plant’s general posture and appearance.

You can prune leggy, leafless vines. Equally, trim yellow and dead leaves.

How to Propagate Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’

If you want to grow new scindapsus pictus exotica with much success rate and faster, propagate in soilless moss. Sphagnum moss is a great choice for its ability to hold moisture well while taking care of excess wetting.

Prep: Have a healthy mother plant

What you need:

  • Sterilized sharp knives/pruners,
  • Stem cuttings
  • Clear glass cups
  • Sphagnum + perlite mix


  1. Choose a stem that has at least one node
  2. Locate your pruner 1/2  an inch below the node and make a cut
  3. Trim off all the lower leaves but leave the upper two
  4. Wrap the cutting by its base with moist sphagnum moss
  5. Insert this wrapped cutting into a clean glass of sphagnum + moss mix
  6. Place your new-to-be rooting Scindapsus in a medium to a bright but warm room
Plant propagation in moss with new emerging shoot
Newly grown houseplant

Note: If you don’t remove the bottom leaves, your cutting may rot before it roots.

Monitor the rooting progress. If the leaves start showing signs of leaf wilting or droopy, cover them with a clear plastic bag. And ensure the moss is moist. In a few weeks’ time, your cutting will have grown roots. You can then transfer to a new plant vessel (after a few months) or when the roots are a few inches longer.

Water Propagation

You can also propagate your houseplant directly in water. The procedure is the same for prayer plants or philodendrons.

Please be patient with the rooting of your stem cuttings. It may take up to 6 weeks or longer for them to start rooting.

Common Growth Problems

The most common pests that may render your houseplant helpless are those tiny sucking critters. They include spider mites, scale and aphids. Though aphids are less likely to hamper growth, they may infest your houseplant if they are situated outdoors.

a) Pests Affecting Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ Growth

Despite possessing traits of a hardy plant, your houseplant is still vulnerable to pest attacks.

Spider mites are difficult to spot. They also require that you be vigilant if you have to deal with them successfully. The aim is to prevent them from taking over your ‘pictus exotica’.

Scales are brown tiny pests. They are also quite difficult to notice. If they hide on those leaves they are likely to sort of camouflage. However, when present they make stems and soft vines look bumpy.

b) Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ Diseases

The most common diseases affecting Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ relate to overwatering.

Like many houseplants, one of the ailing diseases for this plant will be root rot. Fungus growth could be yet another.

With root rot, one has to induce or expose the plant to those conditions that lead to the growth of bacteria or fungus.

If you, for instance, are used to flooding your potted plants, there is a high likelihood that root rot will set in.

The best remedy to root rot and fungal growth is by regulating misting or watering appropriately with the time of the season.

Saving your symptomatic plant is the best step to take. Take your plant out of its pot and diagnose it. Cut off any roots that show signs of decay.

However, if most of the roots are badly rotten, it is likely that it won’t revive.

c) Leaf Tips Turning Brown

Low humidity levels typically cause Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ leaf tips to turn brown. So, try increasing humidity by placing the pot on a pebble and water tray. Or the brown leaves could be caused by the tropical houseplant being in too much direct sunlight.

d) Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ Persistent Yellowing?

A good number of leaves yellowing on a Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ indicates overwatering. Due to issues with breathing in roots, the plant is starved of nutrients. As a result, they become pale and yellow.

e) Scindapsus pictus Leaves Curling?

Curling leaves are a common sign that you underwater your plant. This leaf curl in foliage could also signify insufficient light or dimming locations.

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