Satin Pothos (Scindapsus pictus) is one of my favorite houseplants. I love the beautiful silver splashes of color on it’s dark green leaves, along with it’s velvet texture.
AND Satin Pothos plants are relatively easy to care for and propagate once you know a few simple tips. Let’s begin with a quick summary of how to care for Satin Pothos.
Satin Pothos Care: For the best results, plant your Satin Pothos in a well-draining soil, allow the soil to mostly dry before watering again, and provide bright indirect light. Average household temperatures (65 to 85°F) are ideal, and fertilize your plant 1 to 2 times per month.
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PS: Can’t find a Satin Pothos plant at your local nursery? Don’t worry, you can buy a Satin Pothos here online.
How to care for Satin Pothos (Scindapsus pictus)
Below, I’ve highlighted the main Satin Pothos Care requirements. And after that, I dig deeper into all the care and propagation details based on my experience.
- Light: Provide bright, indirect sunlight. Try placing your Satin Pothos near an east- or west-facing window. However, be sure to avoid direct sunlight to prevent leaf burn.
- Soil: I recommend making a soil mix of 2 parts premium potting mix and 1 part perlite to create good drainage and airflow around the roots.
- Water: Water your Satin Pothos once the soil has mostly dried from your last watering or when your moisture meter reads 2 or 3.
- Temperature: Ideal temperatures are 65 to 85°F or 18 to 29°C.
- Fertilizer: Fertilize once or twice a month during the growing season. I use this fertilizer.
- Propagation: Node cuttings can be propagated via water or soil.
- Toxicity: All pothos can be toxic to cats and dogs if chewed/ingested.
Now, let’s dive deeper into all the details of Satin Pothos plant care and propagation!
IN THIS POST
How much light does Satin Pothos need?
Satin Pothos plants grow best in bright, indirect light. I’ve found the perfect place for this pothos is in front of an east-facing window. That’s where I’ve observed the best growth and health.
I’ve also placed a Satin Pothos in front of a west-facing window, and while it also grew well, it was more prone to leaf burn because there were times during the afternoon when it would get too much direct sunlight.
However, if a west-facing window is your only option, you can still make it work by placing your Satin Pothos a couple feet away from the window or by placing a shear curtain over the window if it receives a lot of direct sunlight.
Satin Pothos can tolerate lower light conditions as well, so placing it directly in front of a north-facing window should still provide enough light for it to be healthy. Just make sure it is right in front of this type of window and not set too far back (since north-facing windows generally receive less light than windows facing the other directions).
What kind of soil does Satin Pothos need?
A good potting mix for Satin Pothos will be a rich, well-draining soil mix. This is important to provide the nutrients your plant needs while also allowing water to drain easily and air to flow around the roots.
I make my own potting mix by combining 2 parts premium potting mix with 1 part perlite.
I never pot plants in a pre-bagged potting mix (no matter how good the quality) without adding something to improve the drainage. This has really made a difference for my plants and avoiding overwatering/root rot problems (in addition to always using a pot with drainage holes).
There are many types of drainage additives to choose from, such as perlite, pumice, coarse sand, or vermiculite. Any of these will work, so it just depends what you have available or what’s easiest for you to buy.
I also always plant my indoor plants in plastic nursery pots because they have a lot of drainage holes, which also helps prevent overly soggy soil and root rot problems.
Any nursery pot will do, but I like these clear plastic pots because I can see how the roots are doing. Are the roots white and healthy looking? Is the plant becoming root bound? It’s super easy to answer these questions with clear pots.
Then to add some style, I’ll place the plant (planted in a plastic nursery pot) in a decorative cover pot that’s slightly larger than the nursery pot (I demonstrate this with pictures in the next section on repotting).
If you end up buying these 6 inch clear plastic pots, they fit perfectly into this 6.1 inch decorative cover pot!
Otherwise, if the cover pot you choose is too deep, just place some stones or rocks in the bottom of the cover pot until your nursery pot is at the right height when placed on top.
I’ve never had a plant with root rot when using the above method.
How to repot Satin Pothos (with pictures)
Your Satin Pothos will need to be repotted once the roots have filled it’s current container. This will likely happen every 1 to 2 years.
The image below shows my Satin Pothos removed from it’s pot, and you can see the roots have grown throughout most of the container. It probably could have stayed in it’s current pot a bit longer as well, but I wanted to go ahead and repot it into a larger container so the plant would grow larger.
When you repot your Satin Pothos, it’s typical to size up the pot by about 2 inches. So the image below shows that I’m repotting my pothos from a 4 inch pot to a 6 inch pot.
I really like using these clear 6 inch plastic nursery pots (shown above) because they have plenty of drainage holes to prevent root rot and because it’s easy to watch the roots grow (since the pot is see through) and make sure they’re looking healthy.
And to make it look more stylish, the above 6 inch clear nursery pot fits perfectly into this decorative 6.1 inch cover pot.
Now, when you’re ready to repot your pothos, mix 2 parts premium potting mix with 1 part perlite to make a nutrient-rich soil that is also well draining (1st image shown below).
Then, fill the bottom of your new pot with enough soil so the top of the plant is at the same level in it’s new pot as it was in it’s old pot (2nd image shown below).
Next, remove your Satin Pothos from it’s current pot and gently loosen it’s roots if they’ve grown tightly together.
Then, place the plant’s root ball in the center of the new pot and fill in soil around the plant until the pot is full (1st image shown below). I generally leave about half an inch of space at the top to make watering less messy. Now water your plant thoroughly and allow the excess water to drain from the drainage holes.
Lastly, I placed my repotted pothos (potted in this clear 6 inch nursery pot) into this decorative cover pot that fits the nursery pot perfectly (2nd image shown below). The decorative cover pot also comes in other colors!
Protip: It’s best to repot your Satin Pothos in the spring or summer while it’s actively growing. These plants usually go dormant in the winter and their roots are more delicate during this time.
How often should I water my Satin Pothos?
The water needs of your Satin Pothos will vary depending on the amount of light it receives as well as the temperature, humidity, season, and type of pot it’s planted in.
So, the best time to water your Satin Pothos is once the soil has mostly dried from it’s last watering.
And the amount of time it takes for this to happen will vary based on the conditions stated above.
So it’s best to just check the soil of your plant every now and then and see when it’s looking dry.
Here’s a few ways to check the soil moisture of your Satin Pothos:
- Stick your finger a couple inches into the soil to feel for moisture. Also check the soil around the drainage holes for moisture. If both seem pretty dry, it’s time to water.
- Feel the weight difference of your plant when it’s dry and after it’s been thoroughly watered. This will take a little time and experience, but after a while you will be able to sense how wet the soil is by how heavy the plant feels. (This method works best if the plant is in a plastic nursery pot. If it’s in a heavy ceramic pot it can be difficult to feel this difference in water weight.)
- Get a moisture meter and stick it into the soil at different locations and depths to see if the soil is reading wet or dry. If dry (usually a reading of 2 or 3), then it’s time to water.
When you water your Satin Pothos, make sure to water it thoroughly so the soil is completely saturated. And make sure any excess water drains from the drainage holes of your pot. If your plant sits in super soggy soil, the roots can rot.
Root rot usually only happens to plants in pots that don’t have drainage holes or to plants that are watered way too much and not allowed to dry out between waterings.
So if you follow the guidelines above, your plant will stay happy and free from root rot.
What temperatures can Satin Pothos tolerate?
Ideal temperatures for Satin Pothos are 65 to 85°F or 18 to 29°C for the best growth conditions.
Avoid temperatures below 60°F because that could cause damage to the Satin Pothos foliage.
Typical indoor home temperatures work great for Satin Pothos as long as it’s not near a heating or A/C vent that would cause the plant to experience large drafts and temperature swings.
If you want to put your Satin Pothos outside, just keep the temperature ranges stated above in mind and place the plant in a location that doesn’t receive direct sunlight.
How do you fertilize Satin Pothos?
To keep my Satin Pothos healthy and growing strong, I try to fertilize it either every time or every other time I water during the growing season (spring through fall typically).
I like to use this fertilizer, which has given me great results. I mix 1/4 teaspoon of the fertilizer per gallon of water and water all my plants with it.
The only times you don’t need to fertilize are right after you buy your Satin Pothos, right after you repot it, or during the winter when the plant is dormant and not growing much.
You can usually start fertilizing your pothos about 3 months after you’ve bought or repotted it since the soil will already have some fertilizer in it.
How do you propagate Satin Pothos?
Satin Pothos (and all pothos plants) can be propagated from node cuttings in either water or soil. I’ve outlined the steps for both options below.
- Cut the stem of your Satin Pothos about 1 inch above and below the node (shown below). You’ll need at least one node on the stem for propagation (a leaf or stem without a node cannot produce new growth). I used these trimming shears pictured below.
If you’d like a nice full-looking plant, I recommend cutting twice as many nodes as the size of the pot you plan to plant them in. For example, if you’ll plant them in a 4 inch pot, cut at least 8 leaf nodes. A 6 inch pot would need at least 12 leaf nodes, etc.
- For water propagation, stick the nodes in a small container of water. Make sure the water level is high enough to completely cover the node. I used a jar I had laying around, but if you’d like to decoratively display your propagations, I really like this propagation station. Keep the cuttings in bright indirect light (no direct sunlight because cuttings are more sensitive). You should start to see roots grow from the nodes within a month, and they’ll be ready to plant in soil once the roots are about 1 to 2 inches long.
- Once you’ve planted your rooted cuttings, keep the soil moist for the first month to help them adjust to the switch from water to soil. Then, you can water them like any other pothos plant and allow the soil to dry between waterings. Eventually, you’ll see new stems and leaves sprout from each node that you planted.
- For soil propagation, skip step 2 and instead just plant the leaf node cuttings directly into soil. Keep the soil moist until the nodes develop roots. In my experience, I’ve had the best luck with my cuttings surviving and producing new growth if I first used water propagation and then planted them in soil. Soil propagation does work, but I usually have a node or 2 die in the process.
Also, don’t worry about your parent plant that you took the cuttings from. A new stem will begin growing from the node above the cut stem (pictured below).
Trimming your parent plant will also promote new growth throughout the plant and give it a more full appearance as long as it is being properly cared for.
Is Satin Pothos toxic to cats or dogs?
Yes. Satin Pothos is toxic to pets if chewed or ingested according to the ASPCA.
This is due to insoluble calcium oxalates that can cause irritation, pain, and swelling in the mouth, excessive drooling, difficultly swallowing, or vomiting.
So it’s best to keep this plant out of reach of pets to keep everyone happy and healthy.
Where to buy Satin Pothos
I bought my Satin Pothos from my local nursery, but if you can’t find any near you, the next best option is buying online.
I recommend you buy Satin Pothos from here, because California Tropicals sells healthy, quality plants.