Satin Pothos / Silver Pothos/ Philodendron Silver
Scindapsus pictus ‘Argyraeus'
Scindapsus pictus ‘Argyraeus’ is a beautiful tropical vine with matte green foliage that’s splashed with creamy silver variegation. Often called the “Satin Pothos” for its oval leaves which exhibit a soft sheen, it’s a really delicate and ornate looking plant. Definitely one to add some class to a room or terrarium.
Native to SE Asia, the satin pothos is incredibly easy to look after. It handles a wide range of conditions, and it’ll thrive in a terrarium environment. However, it’s important to note that these plants can grow pretty large. The ‘Argyraeus’ cultivar does have smaller leaves (so it’s definitely the most suitable for a terrarium) but they can still grow 3 or 4 inches across and the vine itself can go for several feet. I’d recommend this plant for larger terrariums to really be able to see it flourish, or be prepared to trim this vine back.
At a Glance
Where to Buy Scindapsus pictus ‘Argyraeus'
See the links below to purchase from reputable terrarium plant shops and marketplaces (may include affiliate links).
Terrarium Plant Guide
Satin Pothos Care & Growth
The satin pothos is known for being very forgiving with lighting. It can handle everything from bright indirect light, right down to low lighting conditions too (but it can lose some of its variegation). Bright, indirect light is best, and it can probably handle a little direct sunlight too.
Scindapsus pictus likes regular even moisture, but it’s better to err on the side of too little water rather than too much. It can handle drying out slightly, but it can be susceptible to rot if it’s planted in soggy substrate for too long.
A nutrient rich substrate with excellent drainage is key in keeping the roots of Scindapsus pictus healthy, but it’s not overly fussy. Most terrarium substrates should work fine.
Temperature & Humidity
As a tropical species, Scindapsus pictus ‘Argyraeus’ is sensitive to the cold. So, keep your terrarium conditions above 60°F (15°C) to protect the foliage. It’s much less sensitive to humidity, but it absolutely appreciates keeping it high.
The satin pothos is a relatively slow grower compared to its popular cousin the goldon pothos, but you can still expect this species to eventually grow pretty long. It’s a natural climber, and where you’d typically find it scaling trees in the wild, in a terrarium it’ll make use of any driftwood branches or climb your background. Pinching out the stems can help keep it compact, but it’s probably going to need a full-on trim back every now and again.
As a vine, it’s super easy to propagate the satin pothos. Simply take a stem cutting of a reasonable length behind one of the nodes, and plant back into the substrate (preferably a nutrient rich substrate).
Varieties & Similar Plants
There are actually a few popular cultivars of Scindapsus pictus available on the market. Scindapsus pictus ‘Exotica’ is just as beautiful with larger, darker leaves and more variegation than ‘Argyraeus’, or Scindapsus pictus ‘Silvery Anne’ which has so much variegation the leaves are often predominantly silver.
Overwatering is the most commonly reported problem with the satin pothos. Look out for yellowing leaves and wilting, and reduce your watering accordingly or allow your terrarium to open up and dry out a little.