Philodendron vs Pothos: What’s the Difference? 

 April 23, 2022

By  admin

Philodendron and Pothos are easy to care for, but what’s the difference between them? Let’s find out!

Philodendron and Pothos are both plants that you can keep inside your home. However, they have some differences between them. They also have different uses in the home. Philodendron is a plant that will grow to be taller than it is wide while Pothos is a plant that grows to be wider than it is tall. Read more in detail here: philodendron vs pothos which is better.

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Choosing the proper plants is a top consideration for any houseplanting enthusiast. Each plant has its own unique characteristics that represent thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. Indoor plants too have their own significance. Plants that represent what you desire or need are recommended for a happy atmosphere.

When two plants seem identical, choosing the vital plants becomes a challenge. Both Philodendron and pothos are planted inside, however their symbolic significance and survival circumstances are different. 

Which one will you choose if both plants can be readily grown at home?

Advanced knowledge is required to make difficult decisions. As a result, we’re here to explain the distinctions between the two plants and assist you in making your decision.

Without further ado, let us have a look at each plant in its entirety and compare and contrast their differences.

Bonus Read: Renovate your outdoor dining space with one of these 17 incredible enclosed-patio design ideas.

Key Differences Between Philodendron and Pothos

Here is a thorough comparison chart that will provide a much-needed fundamental introduction to the plants for DIY gardeners:

The shape of the leavesThinner, heart-shaped, and soft-texturedLarger, thicker, and more waxy
The Plant’s GenusPhilodendronEpipremnum
Roots from the skyThinnerbroader and stubbier
Petioleuniform and roundNot entirely spherical, indented

Continue reading for a more detailed description of the plants.


The Araceae family’s Philodendron is a stout-stemmed climbing plant native to tropical America. The name philodendron comes from the Greek words philo, which means “love” or “affection,” and dendron, which means “tree.” This is a popular indoor plant that requires little maintenance and represents health and plenty.

This philodendron, often called as ‘heartleaf philodendron,’ is the most commonly misidentified with pothos due to their similar features. Philodendrons may be found in over 480 different varieties all over the globe.

Philodendrons come in a variety of forms and colors and grow quickly, making them one of the best plants for purifying indoor air. These plants, which are members of the aroid family, can thrive in both hot and cold environments. The heart-shaped ones with dark green foliage and a flexible vine are the most popular.

Philodendron adapts quickly to shifting climatic circumstances thanks to its spectacular display of delicate blossoms and exquisite design-bearing leaves.

Philodendron varieties

The following are some of the most popular types:

Hederaceum Philodendron

Other names for this South American and Caribbean native plant include ‘heartleaf’ and’sweetheart.’ The leaves are heart-shaped, as the name implies, and are a sight to see. This plant may be given to novices in houseplanting because it has simple thriving needs.

Bright, indirect sunshine and somewhat damp soil are ideal for this plant. Pinch back the stems every month, along with gently feeding, to create a larger, bushier plant.

2. Philodendron Erubescens (Philodendron Erubescens)

Other names for this plant include ‘pink princess,’ ‘blushing,’ and’red-leaf.’ It is mostly found in Costa Rica and the rain forests of South America. This plant has an exotic look and may grow up to 5 feet tall. 

The red-leaf dislikes direct sunshine. As a result, putting it in an east-facing window is an excellent idea. Philodendron erubescens are easy to care for, and it’s best not to feed them throughout the late autumn and winter months.

3. Philodendron bipinnatifidum (Philodendron bipinnatifidum)

This floor plant is also known as the ‘hope plant’ or ‘lacey tree.’ Bipinnatifidum is a non-climbing plant with a spread of up to 5 feet. 

Remember to treat the plant with neem oil on a regular basis and set it in an area where it gets enough of sunshine to guarantee good development.

4. Philodendron Brasil (Brazilian Philodendron)

This fast-growing vine is also known as ‘cream splash’ and’silver stripe.’ Brasil, which gets its name from its likeness to the Brazilian flag, can thrive in low-light environments. Place it in indirect bright or medium sunlight to help it grow quicker and produce more leaves.

For the plant to grow, typical home humidity is sufficient. Growing brasil at home has the extra advantage of removing all pollutants from the air, keeping the household atmosphere clean.

5. Philodendron Monstera Deliciosa (Philodendron Monstera)

Monstera deliciosa, sometimes known as the ‘Swiss cheese plant,’ is a split-leaf philodendron. It’s a fruit-bearing plant with somewhat poisonous leaves that people, dogs, and cats may become sick from. Vomiting, congestion, and headaches may occur as a result of ingesting plant leaves.

Due of their scarcity, monstera plants are pricey. When planted in bedrooms, this is one of the most effective plants for reducing air pollution and makes a statement.

The monstera signifies dignity, respect, and longevity when used as a houseplant. It’s a wonderful present for someone who is interested in their family’s history and origins.

Xanadu Philodendron

The xanadu philodendron is a tall, compact, upright indoor plant with lobed green leaves that is endemic to Brazil. 

The xanadu prefers warm temperatures, so it’s best to keep it away from open doors, particularly in the winter. Because this plant cannot live in freezing temperatures or during the frost season, it is best to grow it inside.

Micans Philodendron

The micans, also known as the’velvet-leaf philodendron,’ are endemic to Mexico and the southern United States. The leaves are greenish-brown in color and have a velvety feel.

With rust-colored undersides, this plant is a good choice if you want to mix up the colors in the space. Because this plant may grow up to 6 feet tall, it’s best to cultivate it in a big, open space.

Rugosum Philodendron

Rugosum, a native of Ecuador, is sometimes known as ‘pigskin.’ It has a rough texture and thick leaves. It’s commonly mistaken for a plastic plant because of its leathery, bright-green look.

These philodendrons are robust, climbing tropical plants with well-established root systems. These plants have the potential to grow to be very large, reaching heights of 6 to 15 feet.

Moonlight Philodendron No. 9

The philodendron moonlight is a non-vining, clump-forming hybrid variant of the typical heartleaf philodendron. It’s also recognized for its amazing bright green leaves. 

Moonlights are popular because they are low-maintenance indoor plants. The moonlight might grow to be as huge as 20 to 26 inches over time. The moonlight, unlike other philodendrons, does not climb or sprawl, making it an excellent option for an atrium.


Pothos are evergreen plants with glossy green foliage and yellow highlights. The arum (Araceae) family includes several hardy foliage plants. Other well-known names are ‘devil’s ivy,”golden pothos,’ and’money plant,’ to mention a few.

Pothos plants come in a variety of hues and variegations, but their leaf form and growth patterns are the same. This is one among the first plants that every newbie to houseplanting should try.

Pothos is one of the simplest plants to cultivate, and it not only cleans the air but also soothes the eyes after a long day of looking at screens.

Pothos Varieties

The following are some examples of popular indoor pothos:

1. Pothos Golden

The typical pothos kind, golden pathos, is widely available. It has heart-shaped green leaves that are splattered with blue hues.

Golden pothos are the best choice for interior planting because of their gorgeous leaves and strong endurance for low sunshine, low humidity, and mild temperatures.

2. Pothos, the Marble Queen

The white and dark green tones make eye-catching variegation with a cheesecake-like appearance. Because it is a highly variegated cultivar, each leaf has less chlorophyll. As a consequence, for greater development, the plant need a closer light source.

Because the marble queen is a low-maintenance plant that thrives in both sun and shade, avoid direct sunlight.

3. Pothos de Neon

The neon pothos is a one-of-a-kind plant that is bright and lime green in color. Neon pothos, unlike other species of pothos, demands direct sunshine. Make sure it’s not in a low-light or dimly-lit area, since this might cause the leaves to become dull and black.

Depending on the ambient temperature and humidity, water the plant every 5 to 7 days. The ideal potting mix is all-purpose, and a balanced fertilizer used once a month maintains the plant healthy and thriving.

Jessenia Pothos is number four on the list.

The leaves of jessenia come in a variety of colors, including green and yellow. Due to a lack of chlorophyll, the jessenia plant grows slower than other varieties, with significantly darker variegation.

The jessenia pothos is a lovely home plant that has gained a lot of popularity in recent years.

Manjula Pothos is number five on the list.

This is a patented pothos variety that was developed at the University of Florida. Manjula leaves have curved edges and do not rest flat. Silver, cream, white, and light green are all hues of this plant species.

Manjula is a trailing plant that requires pruning to keep the branches from overflowing the container. Manjula also requires special care in order to maintain its brilliant leaves.

Pothos of Pearls and Jade

The leaves of these plants are green and variegated with silver-gray and white hues. It has variegation on the margins of the leaves rather than in the middle.

The leaves of pearls and jade pothos are smaller and take a long time to develop. These plants need low light since they are natural climbers. The optimal light for the plant to flourish in is strong indirect light. Because the plant’s frost tolerance rating is 0, it must be protected against frost.

7. Pothos de Silver

This plant, sometimes known as’satin pothos,’ has dark green, heart-shaped leaves. It is advised that the plant be exposed to intense indirect sunlight to get the brightest tones of silver on the foliage. 

When the topsoil is half-dry, the optimal time to water silver pothos is. 

This plant has lengthy stalks that may reach 10 feet in length.

Cebu Blue Pothos (number 8)

The arrow-shaped blue-green leaves of Cebu blue pothos are a standout feature. The leaves grow and produce natural splits when exposed to adequate light.

The plant glows with its gleaming blue foliage, adding to the room’s visual appeal. Cebu blue pothos, like all other pothos kinds, needs well-drained soil to thrive.

Bonus Reading: Check out these soil test kits to see whether your soil is ready.

9. Pothos N-joy

The n-joy pothos is a new kind on the market with a distinctive variegated appearance. Because the leaves develop slowly than any other pothos plant, patience is required in its growth.

These plants like strong indirect light and may be exposed to the morning sun as long as the leaves are not burned by the intense sun beams. Furthermore, their stems are stronger, making them an excellent option for interiorscapes.

The n-joy pothos may reach a height of 10 feet, but upkeep can be challenging and time-consuming.

Ground of Comparison: Philodendron vs. Pothos

Now that you’ve learned a lot about plant traits and kinds, you’ll be able to make better decisions by distinguishing between them based on common ground criteria.

You must be able to distinguish between the two since the store may use incorrect labeling while selling the plants, causing you to purchase something you did not request.

The shape of the leaves

The change in the form of the leaves may be seen by looking at the broadest region of the leaf. Philodendron has a heart-shaped look with considerable curling on the sides. Pothos differs from philodendron in that it lacks this distinguishing feature.

The shape of the leavesImage courtesy of wolframscience.com

The leaves of the pothos plant have a somewhat rough texture and are thick and waxy to the touch. Philodendron leaves, on the other hand, are thinner and have a softer feel. Inconsistency is another distinction between the forms of leaves. The philodendron displays regularity, but the pothos leaves might be asymmetrical at times.  

Philodendron leaves have a pink or brownish hue to them while they are young, which darkens as they mature. The leaves of the pothos plant, on the other hand, are a lighter hue than the remainder of the plant.

The Plant’s Genus

Both plants are members of the aroid (Araceae) family and are related in several ways. The primary distinction between these plants is their genus. Pothos is a member of the Epipremnum genus, while philodendron is a member of the philodendron genus.

Roots from the sky

Roots from the sky help in anchoring the plant firmly and are found above ground. This root is known to absorb water directly from the air.

Both the plants have Roots from the sky, but the difference lies in the outward look of the roots. Philodendron Roots from the sky are thin, clustered, and have distinctive cataphylls. Whereas the Roots from the sky of pothos are thick nubs, with just one root extending from each node.


Petioles are tiny stems that link the plant’s leaves to the main stem. The petiole is responsible for connecting the leaf to the vine.

A philodendron petiole is spherical and consistent, making it simple to identify. The pothos petiole, on the other hand, has an indentation that ultimately forms two brown, papery edges.

Differences in Growing and Stem

Observe the developing behaviors of the two plants to notice the differences. In pothos, a new leaf emerges from the vein’s final leaf, however in philodendron, a new leaf emerges from the vine’s protected cataphyll.

Philodendron and pothos stems are likewise distinct. Pothos stems are thicker and the same color as the leaves, unlike philodendron. Philodendron stems, on the other hand, are delicate and brownish-orange in hue.

The Final Debate Between Philodendron and Pothos

To summarize the preceding information, the plants need the following survival conditions:

Philodendron Growing Conditions:

  • In the presence of gloomy areas or indirect light
  • Every 1 to 2 weeks, a new supply of water is delivered.
  • The leaves will develop quicker if the air is humidified.
  • Temperatures in the house should ideally be no lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit and no more than 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Every 3 to 4 months, a mild granular food feeding is recommended.

Pothos Growing Conditions:

  • It may be grown in either dry soil or water containers.
  • It thrives in both brilliant indirect sunshine and dim light.
  • The pace of growth is determined by the pothos variety.
  • A high-quality, well-drained potting mix is required.
  • Overwatering should be avoided. To avoid the plants sitting in water, discard any surplus water.


To summarize, the choice between philodendron and pothos is a personal one for each DIY home planter. At first glance, the plants may seem to be the same. However, a closer look will reveal the discrepancies mentioned above. As a result, it’s critical to acquire the right information before making a final choice.

We’ve done our best to describe the differences in the most basic words possible. We are certain that even a novice in DIY home planting will benefit from the talks above.

Check out the greatest gardening offers here for another treat for you all.

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Emil Schoene

Born and raised in Austin, TX I come from a background of home renovation. By helping my family in my younger years with their construction business, I learned the ropes quickly and as I grew it became my passion that I still do today. Looking to share my knowledge with others. I invite you to leave comments on any post as I know you will have questions that you are not finding anywhere else.

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