The Scindapsus pictus Argyraeus is a cultivar of the Scindapsus pictus making it s close sibling of the Scindapsus pictus Exotica.
Like the Exotica, the Argyraeus features vining stems which is why most people will keep it in hanging basket to trail. However, the plant is an epiphyte. And in its native habitat it starts off in the ground and will make its way up by climbing on tree trunks.
This allows it to get the bright light in desires since larger plants block the sun in the forest floor.
The biggest difference between the Scindapsus pictus Argyraeus and Scindapsus pictus Exotica are the colors of their leaves and how the silver variegations are formed.
With the Scindapsus pictus Argyraeus, you have a lighter green leaf color and smaller, more dispersed silver spots.
In contrast the Scindapsus pictus Exotica has darker/deeper green color and the silver variegations are more like big blotches or splashes covering more of the foliage.
That said, both feature hear-shaped leaves and vining stems. which is why many people often confuse one for the other.
Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus Plant Care
The Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus grows well in a wide variety of lighting conditions. It thrives in moderate to bright, indirect light but has no problems with low light despite the presence of its silver spots.
That said, the variegations only allow it to tolerate low light only up to a certain degree. Once you go past that, you’ll notice that its silver variegations will start to fade a bit.
The darker the location, the more it will lose its silver speckles as the it will produce more chlorophyll in order to absorb more light and create food and energy through photosynthesis.
On the other hand, while it can tolerate a bit more bright light compared to species with solid green foliage, the Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus cannot tolerate long or regular exposure to direct sun or very harsh lighting.
This will affect its beautiful green leaves and may even scorch them leaving you with burn marks.
If this happens, trim off the damaged sections and move the plant to somewhere with less intense light. This will allow it to recover and start growing new foliage again.
The Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus is native to Southeast Asia. This means that it is used to warm to hot climates. More importantly, it does not experience snow, frost or freezing temperatures.
Instead, being near the equator, Southeast Asia gets sunshine all year round even between November and February. In fact, it is still relatively warm in that part of the work during this time that you can wear shorts and flip flops around without feeling cold.
Thus, the Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus prefers this kind of weather. And indoors, its ideal temperature is between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
As you would expect, it does not tolerate the cold well. More specifically, avoid temperatures under 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Although it can tolerate this a bit, the longer it stays in these conditions and the more the climate drops, the higher the likelihood of the plant sustaining cold damage.
Your Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus likewise prefers high humidity, ideally between 50% to 80%. Thus, it will really appreciate this if you can give the plant this kind of living environment consistently.
The good news is it does not mind average room humidity and will do well in most homes. Try to keep humidity at 40% or higher, although it will be able to tolerate conditions down to about 35% without any issues as well.
That said, as the air gets drier, you will want to monitor its leaves a bit more.
Lack of air moisture will cause its tips to get crispy and turn brown. The lower the humidity, the higher the risk that this can happen.
This is a sign that it needs more humidity.
Therefore, try to move it somewhere less dry like the bathroom. Alternatively, you can also invest in a humidifier, mist it, group it with other plants or place it on a pebble tray.
All of these methods will help boost humidity to keep the plant happy.
You can use a digital hygrometer to make it easy to know whether the strategy you’re using is pushing humidity high enough.
How Often to Water Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus
You will need to water your Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus about once every 7 days. Although the exact number of days will vary depending on how much sun the plant receives, humidity in your home, the soil you use, the kind of pot it lives in and the weather.
During the hotter months of summer it will need watering more regularly as the soil will dry faster. However, during the winter, you want to take longer intervals because of the colder climate.
The most important thing with watering is avoid overdoing it.
Too much water or watering too frequently will suffocate your Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus’ roots as the won’t be able to get breathe in oxygen.
If this happens often enough or long enough, it can lead to root rot. This is why overwatering is the number one cause of houseplant death.
Therefore, before you water, always check the soil for moistness before adding more.
Ideally, you want to wait until the soil is about 50% dry before watering. This will ensure that the risk of root rot has passed. Similarly, the plant’s roots still have a good amount of moisture.
That said, you can start watering once the top 2 inches of soil has dried out. So, any time between these two levels works really well.
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Potting Soil for Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus
The Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus is not picky when it comes to soil. Give it a good quality houseplant potting mix that is well-draining and it will be happy and healthy.
Because the soil affects how much water is retained or drained it will influence whether you end up overwatering or underwatering.
Thus, avoid heavy soils that retain too much water. Similarly, stay away from overly fast draining soil that are mostly composed of sand as this will let the plant dry out.
Of the two, water-retentive soil will cause more issues. That’s because lack of drainage will lead to overwatering. And the plant has a harder time recovering from this.
In contrasty, with faster draining soil, you can water more often. Although a hassle for you, there is a fix to it.
As such, the best soil for your Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus is well-draining potting mix. If you notice your houseplant mix is retaining too much moisture, just add a few handfuls of perlite to increase drainage.
You can adjust the amount based on how the plant responds.
The Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus does not need a lot of fertilizer. However, it does need to be fed.
Use a balanced fertilizer to give the plant the nutrients its needs. Because it is a foliage plant, you want to use something with a good amount of nitrogen to encourage lead development.
The most important thing about fertilizing the Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus is to just follow the instructions and avoid adding too much.
Feeding it monthly with a dose that’s diluted to 50% strength is ideal. A liquid fertilizer will make it easy to dilute the dose as all you need to do is add more water.
Avoid fertilizing when the soil is dry as this will make the concentration very high. Instead, do so when the soil is moist. Otherwise, water the plant first before appling.
The Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus can grow to 10 feet high outdoors when allowed to climb. While many growers keep the plant in pots or hanging baskets, the best way to grow the plant is to let it climb.
This allows it to live the way it does in the wild where it climbs up tree trunks.
And by doing so, you’ll notice it grow faster, bigger and produce larger foliage.
Indoors, the plant’s size if more limited which makes it easy to display and position within your home.
It can grow to 3 feet high although most of its size comes from its vining stems. Therefore, it is not a huge plant by any means.
But as its stems get longer, the leaves can look more ruffled especially when they overlap over one another.
You can prune the plant when it gets too long or a bit messy looking. But for the most part, trimming is all about shaping and controlling its length.
Besides that, the only things you need to remove are yellow leaves, leggy stems and other damgaes.
How to Propagate Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus
The best way to propagate the Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus is from stem cuttings. You can use the cuttings you made when trimming or pruning the plant
The most important thing to consider when making the cuttings is to ensure that you get one node with each cutting.
The stem cuttings will not root nor grow into a new plant if they don’t contain a node. Thus, this is the most important part of propagating your Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus.
Once you have the cutting, you can propagate it in water or soil. The plant responds well to both and will root in either environment.
Most growers like to propagate in water because it allows you to monitor the roots as they grow. Although with water propagation, you’ll eventually need to move the cutting to potting soil. So, there’s the extra process of transferring the plant.
The best time to propagate is spring and early summer which will give the new plant an entire growing season before the winter comes.
How to Repot or Transplant Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus
Repot the Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus to a pot that is only 1-2 inches larger than its current container. Avoid moving to pots that are larger in order to avoid overwatering.
You’ll likely need to repot it once every 2-3 years. But the actual amount of time will vary based on your plant’s living conditions.
In general, the more light it gets, humidity and proper feeding the faster it will grow. Thus, its rate of growth will vary from home to home and with different owners.
The key thing to look for is when the roots start coming out of the pot. This is a sign that it needs more room to expand.
The ideal time to repot is during the spring so that the plant can quickly recover and have a full growing season before the cold weather arrives.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus is toxic when ingested. Chewing or consumption breaks the outer coating of the leaves and stems releasing calcium oxalate crystals.
Under the microscope, these crystals look like needles will pierce the lining of your mouth, throat and digestive tract. As you can imaging the experience is painful and will cause lots of irritation. It will likewise last for hours.
Therefore, keep the plant out of reach of cats, dogs and young children as it is toxic to them when ingetsted.
Problems & Troubleshooting
Brown Leaves and Tips
Brown and crispy leaves and tips are usually a sign of lack of humidity. The problem usually starts at the tips as these are the farthest point from the roots where the plant needs to push water to.
Therefore, these are the areas that will lack moisture first.
Thus, when this happens, start misting the plant to help improve air moisture around it.
There are many causes of yellowing leaves in Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus. However, one common cause, and the most serious one, is overwatering.
Therefore, this is the one you want to check for first.
Overwatering can ultimately destroy your plant if not fixed early enough. And yellow leaves are a warning sign the plant is telling you.
So, when you see many leaves turn yellow the same time, check the soil for wetness. Mucky or soggy soil is a sign that it is getting too much water.
If this is the case, let the soil dry fist before watering. Then, cut back on your watering schedule.
Pests and Diseases
The Scindapsus Pictus Argyraeus rarely gets pests or diseases. But t is it not immune to them.
So, they can happen.
Mealybugs and spider mites are the most likely bugs that will come around and try to suck the sap of the plant. if there’s a lot of excess moisture, you’ll likewise see fungus gnats.
If you spot them early, they are quite easy to treat because there are just a few insects. As such, avoid letting them grow in population by waiting. They’re much harder to get rid of once they become an infestation.
Use neem oil, water spray or insecticidal soap. All these methods work really well.
When it comes to disease, root rot is the most serious. Therefore, avoid overwatering by waiting for part of the soil to dry before adding more water.
If you see brown spots or other weird lesions on the leaves, this is a sign of infection, usually bacterial or fungal. A common example is bacterial leaf spot which presents itself through brown spots with yellow halos.
When this happens, prune the affected leaves and be wary of watering as these diseases are caused by too much wet leaves.