How to Care for Scindapsus Lucens – Soil, Watering & Propagation

The Scindapsus Lucens is a rare species that’s not as well know or as easily found as the Scindapsus pictus. It was cultivated in the 2013 in the Munich Botanic Garden and naturally grows as a tree trunk climber.

The plant is sought after because of its beautiful leaves, which feature a glossy, bullate texture and gray to light green leaves. The small bumpy sections and its unique color make it easy to distinguish from other similar Scindapsus varieties including the Scindapsus pictus, and Scindapsus officinalis.

The plant itself is often found in the forests of Southeast Asia including parts of Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and the Philippines.

Scindapsus Lucens Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Scindapsus Lucens enjoys moderate to bright light. It can likewise tolerate a little more light compared to solid green leaved species like the Scindapsus Jade Satin because of the color of their leaves.

The silver-gray areas of the Scindapsus Lucens don’t absorb light like the green sections of the leaves. They also don’t contribute to photosynthesis, which is crucial to the plant’s survival.

Therefore, to make up for the lack of absorption and light processing, the plant needs to stay under more light. It can likewise tolerate more light as well because of this.

On the other hand, this feature makes it less able to withstand low light.

While it can tolerate a little bit of low light, you’ll notice is silver layer fade as illumination decreases. When this happens, it tells you the plant is not getting sufficient light.

Therefore, in order to survive, it will adapt by producing more chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is what makes plant leaves green. It is also the compound that absorbs light.

Thus, by turning the silver parts green, the plant can absorb light more efficiently.

That said, this is not ideal.

So, when you see this, the plant’s growth will likely be slowing down.

This is also your signal to move it to a brighter location.

 

Temperature

Like its close relatives, the Scindapsus Lucens is native to Southeast Asia. This makes it accustomed to living in a sunny weather all year long with no hint of the cold or snow.

Because this part of the world is right on the equator, the weather is usually warm to very hot, even during the wintertime. There is a span around late summer to fall where the rainy season comes in.

But in general, the sun is out every day of the year in Southeast Asia.

As such, the Scindapsus Lucens tolerates warm and even hot conditions quite well.

Although it is happiest when the temperature indoors is kept between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. More importantly, it has problems with the cold. So, try to avoid leaving it somewhere that’s lower than 60 degrees for extended periods of time.

 

Humidity

Moderate to high humidity is another aspect of Southeast Asian weather. This is why the Scindapsus Lucens prefers humidity between 50% and 80%.

Luckily it can tolerate lower humidity. Although you still want to monitor the plant when the air gets too dry. I highly suggest getting a digital hygrometer if you live somewhere humidity stays on the low side.

Try to maintain indoor humidity of 40% and higher.

While the plant can tolerate a bit lower than that, there’s a risk of crispy leaves and tips as well as browning edged. When you see any of these, check the humidity and keep a mental note of the levels.

This way you have a good idea of what level is too low for the plant.

So, the next time this happens, you can get ahead of the problem by misting the plant, placing it on a pebble tray or turning on a humidifier.

 

How Often to Water Scindapsus Lucens

How much and how often to your water your Scindapsus Lucens is the most important thing to consider with this plant. And to understand it better, you want to know how it lives in its native habitat.

The Scindapsus is native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia.

There, it lives as an epiphyte, starting from the ground and climbing up tree trunks to receive more bright light.

So, when it comes to water, this means two things:

  • The plant gets a lot of water since it rains a lot and often in rainforests.
  • Its epiphytic nature means its roots get wet a lot but dry quickly because they are not in soil. Instead, they receive good air circulation.

So, the best way to water your Scindapsus Lucens is by using the “soak and drain” method.

This means soaking the entire root ball by saturating it with a lot of water. To do so, keep watering the soil until the bottom of the pot starts dripping, then stop.

After that, you want to let the soil completely drain. This is the second part which allows the roots (which have gotten their drink) to dry quickly. Drainage is very important to avoid root rot.

And since the roots stay dry until the next back of rain comes in, you want to mimic that by allowing the soil to dry a bit before adding more water.

That said, because of the regularity of rain in the rainforest, the plant does not like to go completely dry.

 

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Scindapsus Lucens Potting Soil

The Scindapsus Lucens is not fussy about soil, it will do well in almost nay soil. Although it is always a good idea to try to prevent overwatering from happening.

Thus, free-draining soil is ideal for the plant. Similarly, soil pH of 6.1 to 6.5 works best as well.

This means you have a few options you can go with.

  • Any good quality houseplant potting mix – this should work without any problems. If you notice that it needs more drainage, add some perlite.
  • Aroid mix – this is great option especially if you own other aroids like monsteras or philodendrons. You can sue the same mix for the Scindapsus Lucens as well.

In addition to the potting mix, make sure that the pot has drainage. This way the moisture that drains from the soil won’t just pool at the bottom of the pot.

Of course, you can likewise use a pot without drainage holes. But here, you need to be very careful about overwatering since you have very little margin for error.

Does the Scindapsus Lucens Like to Climb?

Yes! in fact, in the wild, this is how it naturally grows.

You’ll see it clinging onto tree trunks and climbing up to get more exposure to bright light. in doing so, it will grow bigger and produce larger foliage.

And the same is true if you stake the plant or give it some kind of support to go up on.

That said, the Scindapsus Lucens’ natural trailing nature makes it a popular choice for small pots as well as hanging baskets.

 

Fertilizer

Because the Scindapsus Lucens’ native habitats average humidity stays very high, it prefers moderate to high humidity (between 50% and 80%). It also won’t mind going above that range.

However, the plant can tolerate lower levels at well.

Ideally, try to keep humidity at 40% and higher. This will prevent any dry or crispy leaf tips, which are a sign that the air is too dry.

However, if you live in the desert, or have very hot, dry summers, you’ll want to keep track of which months humidity can drop.

This lets you increase humidity around the plant to keep it healthy.

I keep a digital hygrometer near my plants to easily keep track of daily humidity at home. I find that this is an essential too that helps me get a better feel of what different plant species need.

When the air gets too dry, you can mist the plant or place it on a pebble tray.

 

Pruning

Pruning is a low maintenance task for the Scindapsus Lucens. While its trailing vines can get long, they don’t usually pose a problem because the plant looks lovely when allowed to get longer.

Of course, this will depend on the look you’re going for.

In a hanging basket, you can let it get longer. This is likewise the case if you provide it some vertical support.

You can likewise trim the plant at any time.

Although avoid doing all the pruning at ones. The plant takes better with minor pruning every so often. This will also let you shape the plant as you go while controlling its length.

 

How to Propagate Scindapsus Lucens

The best way to propagate the Scindapsus Lucens is through stem cuttings. Because the plant produces quite a few stems and leaves it is easy to do.

Take a healthy stem cutting with at least a few leaves on it.

Make sure that the cutting has at least one node. Nodes are the small numbs on the stems where leave grow from.

Cut about an inch below the node so you have extra room to bury the stem or place it in water.

Once you have the cutting move the lower leaves to expose the node.

You can now select between soil and water propagation. Either method works well. So, it is best to decide based on what you like doing more.

  • With water propagation, place the cutting in a glass container filled with water. Ensure that the node is submerged and that no leaves are underwater.
  • With soil propagation, plant the cutting into well-draining soil. Also, keep the soil moist but avoid getting it soggy or wet

Place the cuttings in a bright, well-lit spot with no direct sun.

In about 4 weeks they will root.

If you went with the water propagation, you can move the cutting to soil once the roots reach 2 or more inches.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Scindapsus Lucens

The Scindapsus Lucens needs to be repotted once every 2 years. But the exact time will depend on how quickly it grows.

As such, how much or how little of the requirements it receives will affect its rate of growth. Similarly, how you grow the plant affects this too.

The Scindapsus Lucens will grow the fastest when allowed to climb. This also yields the biggest leaves of the plant. Therefore, giving it a stake, pole or trellis to climb will also mean it needs to be repotted early than when placed in a hanging basket.

In any case, it is a good idea to replace the soil once year with fresh potting mix.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

Yes, the Scindapsus Lucens is toxic for cats, dogs and people. But it only become poisonous when ingested because chewing will release the calcium oxalate crystals in the leaves and stems of the plant.

These are needle like particles that will pierce through the internal lining of your mouth throat and stomach. Thus, causing pain, irritation and other adverse effects like vomiting.

 

Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

Spider mites, scale and mealybugs are the most common pests that will bother the. Scindapsus Lucens. Although the plant rarely gets them.

However, if they do happen, it is very important to treat them immediately.

Neem oil and insecticidal soap spray are both very effective.

 

Diseases

The most serious disease the watch out for is root rot. There are many potential fungi that can cause root rot. But all of them are caused by overwatering.

This means that you can avoid rotting roots by letting the soil dry in between waterings.

If you do suspect root rot, take the plant out of its pot and check he roots. Trim off any brown or black mushy roots and repot in dry soil.