Pothos vs. Philodendron: What is actually the Distinction?


If you want an quick care indoor plant that is near-unachievable to eliminate, a pothos or Philodendron plant might appeal to you. Both of those can tolerate reduced light levels and both equally prosper in cooler or hotter climes. (If you have pets or tiny little ones, it’s also vital to point out that they are potentially harmful if ingested.) They glance alike, way too. Though they share a lot in prevalent, they are two distinct, if associated, residence plants. It can be tricky to convey to them apart—that is, except if you know what to look for when inspecting a pothos vs. Philodendron.

The Physical Distinctions Involving Pothos and Philodendron

A lot of persons generally mistake pothos for Philodendrons, particularly the Heartleaf Philodendron, and vice-versa, in accordance to plant pro at The Sill Paris Lalicata, while there are tells—like their foliage, for one—that make them distinguishable from one particular a different.

As their title implies, “Heartleaf Philodendrons have more heart-formed leaves when compared to pothos,” states Lalicata, while the leaves of a pothos plant resemble “a folded pizza slice.” Caroline Copeland, an on the web style skilled at Yardzen also mentions that Philodendrons function a well known arch at the point exactly where the leaf attaches to the stem (aka the petiole), as very well as a pointed suggestion, even further lending to its heart-formed look. What pothos leaves have that Philodendron leaves do not is an indented midrib, which is the line that runs down the heart of a leaf blade.

The plants’ foliage never just glimpse different, they also experience unique: “Philodendrons have thinner leaves that are smoother in texture, whilst pothos have thicker, waxier leaves,” states Lalicata.

You can also distinguish in between pothos and Philodendrons when the crops have new advancement. “Philodendrons have these cataphylls, also referred to as sheaths,” suggests Lalicata. “Whenever a new expansion arrives up, there is normally this small protecting sheath that covers the leaf right up until it unfurls and then begins to decay at the time it doesn’t have a intent anymore, which is a little something that pothos really do not have at all.” She adds that when Philodendrons place out new advancement, it is reddish in color before turning environmentally friendly, although pothos’ new development starts off out pale green in shade and deepens above time.

And lastly, even though Pothos and Philodendrons both equally have aerial roots that supply humidity to the vegetation even though letting them to scale adjoining objects (like stakes or walls), they seem unique. In accordance to Lalicata, Philodendrons have slender aerial roots that are grouped collectively. Conversely, pothos have thick, stubby aerial roots that improve for a longer period if they are experienced to climb. In other words: “When you seem at a the aerial roots on a pothos, you will see specific very little nubs or stubs, whilst when you see the aerial roots on a Philodendron, there are usually two or 4 clustered alongside one another and [the roots] are definitely skinny compared to the Pothos,” she states.

Pothos vs. Philodendron: Care and Upkeep

For all their actual physical dissimilarities, pothos and philodendrons require comparable care. In actuality, Lalicata claims there’s tiny to no variation in caring for possibly of the vegetation. “Both are viewed as reduced-upkeep plants, which usually means they are multipurpose, and they can tolerate decreased mild problems,” she states. Having said that, Lalicata and Copeland mention that they will ordinarily want brighter light problems. Moreover, the two crops can withstand normal place humidity for as extensive as the air is not much too dry. Usually, their watering demands are identical, too.

Copeland commonly suggests watering them when the leading layer of the soil feels dry and dusty. Lalicata furthermore endorses letting the soil dry out in the pot involving waterings. If in doubt about watering, Lalicata suggests you can look at the moisture of the soil making use of your finger, a soil moisture meter, or a soil sleuth. “Some men and women also use the chopstick process,” she suggests. “Put a chopstick in there and if it’s cleanse when you pull it out, that signifies the soil is dry and you can water your plant.” Equally, nonetheless, are “super resilient vegetation,” Copeland suggests. “If you do close up forgetting to drinking water them, there is a robust possibility they will get well.”

All that is to say, irrespective of whether you are caring for a pothos or a Philodendron, “they would be in the exact same class alongside one another as significantly as treatment and servicing go,” states Lalicata.

Propagating Pothos and Philodendrons

Pothos and Philodendrons really do not have numerous dissimilarities when it will come to propagating them both. Both equally plants can be propagated by reducing. For the uninitiated, “cutting is the approach of having a piece of a baby plant from the mom plant and reproducing it, plant medical professional and advisor Maryah Greene previously explained to Perfectly+Good. Leafy crops, like pothos and Philodendrons, can be propagated in h2o, claims Lalicata—and the system is uncomplicated. Working with sanitized pruners, clip a slicing from the node of your plant and put it in a vessel, like a Mason jar or a propagation vase, crammed with h2o. Right after two to a few months, or when the roots are about an inch lengthy, you can transfer the reducing in a pot of soil.

Alternatively, Lalicata suggests that you can leave pothos or Philodendron cuttings in the water indefinitely. “I have quite a few vases of each Philodendron and pothos that I have experienced for many years in water,” she suggests. “It’s an substitute way to decorate your room with the [plants] and not in soil.”

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