Scindapsus pictus propagation isn’t hard, but there are a few things you need to know about propagating this somewhat slow-growing houseplant.
Scindapsus pictus propagation guide
Scindapsus plants are some of my favorites. Scindapsus is the genus, and a common species of scindapsus plants is the “pictus” species. Within the scindapsus pictus species, there are a number of beautiful varieties: pictus exotica, pictus argyraeus, pictus silvery Anne, and more.
But although scindapsus pictus plants are beautiful, they are somewhat slow-growing. Scindapsus pictus grows wild in Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Check out my full scindapsus pictus care guide for more.
“Pictus” actually means “painted”—the green leaves have different silvery patterns on them that resemble painting. The leaves themselves are thick, as are the stems. And the plant is often confused with a pothos plant (probably because pictus plants are often referred to as “silver satin pothos).
More about this plant
But it’s not a pothos plant. The scientific name for pothos plants is epipremnum (genus) aureum (species), while the genus and species for this plant are scindapsus and pictus. However, epipremnum and scindapsus are both in the family Araceae, so they are related.
They also have somewhat similar care requirements, though scindapsus pictus is slightly more demanding. That isn’t saying much, though, considering the pothos is pretty much one of the easiest plants there is.
Also like the pothos plant, scindapsus pictus propagation is done using stem cuttings—and it’s generally a really easy process. I’ll walk you through all of the methods I’ve used to propagate scindapsus pictus plants, including which one I think is the best.
How to take a scindapsus cutting
Whatever method of propagation you choose, make sure you take a good cutting to get started. The best cutting will have 1 to 3 leaves and at least one node on the stem.
A node is generally found where the leaf meets the stem, so you could remove the bottom set of leaves and submerge that part in water. Or you could take a cutting that has one of these nifty little nubs on it. That will put you on the fast track to roots!
Scindapsus pictus propagation method #1: Water rooting
Now that you have a great cutting, let’s talk methods. Scindapsus pictus propagation can be achieved through rooting stem cuttings in water. To do this, take a few cuttings of the and put them in a glass jar with water.
Change the water every week or so to ensure it is fresh, and make sure the water levels don’t get too low. You don’t want the water to sink below the node areas.
A word of caution when water-rooting scindapsus pictus, though: the water roots don’t adjust super well once you transplant the cutting into soil. Even if you let the water roots get nice and long, it will still experience a bit of shock.
That’s because water roots are different from soil roots. (Have you ever wondered why plant cuttings can live in water but they will die if you overwater them in soil? This is way!)
The first two photos below are an example of a few exotica cuttings that I had rooting in water for several months. It took quite a white just to get roots this length! The third photo below are the cuttings after they’d been in soil for a few weeks.
The cuttings did wilt and curl for a bit after I planted them. However, they rebounded nicely, perked up, and started putting out new growth.
Scindapsus pictus propagation method #2: Rooting in sphagnum moss
Moss is my favorite way to root scindapsus pictus cuttings. I like using moss because the cuttings rebound faster after transplanting them to soil. The roots that grow in moss are a bit stronger than water roots, I think.
Generally I soak sphagnum moss and then squeeze out all of the excess water. I mix in some chunky perlite to facilitate air flow and drainage, then I put the mixture and the cutting in a plastic cup. See my full post on how to root plants in moss for more.
Occasionally I will dip the cutting in rooting hormone powder first, but only if I have it on hand. Also, I will sometimes mix in some worm castings as well for nutrients since moss and perlite do not provide any.
At this point, you want to make sure the moss stays moist and the environment stays humid. A DIY plastic plant propagation box is the perfect solution for this. Simply put the cutting in a clear plastic storage box and keep the lid on.
You can air it out when you take the lid off every week or so to check moisture levels or root growth. If you don’t want to use a prop box, you can just put a clear plastic bag over the cutting and cup to keep humidity high.
Scindapsus pictus propagation method #3: LECA
I don’t have a ton of experience propagating scindapsus pictus plants in LECA, but I have propagated quite a few similar plants in LECA. Including scindapsus treubii moonlight.
Overall my experience with propagating plants in LECA has been a resounding success. I am very happy with the root growth on every plant cutting I’ve tried in LECA! When I had a whale fin snake plant cutting that simply wouldn’t root in water, I tried LECA. A week or so later? Roots!
LECA is what people call little clay balls that you use as a plant-growing medium. Then help to keep the plant cuttings in place and facilitate oxygen flow to the roots. You put LECA in a jar, add the cutting, and then fill the rest in with LECA. (See my detailed post on rooting plants in LECA for more.)
See all the air gaps? That facilitates oxygen flow. Add water up to just below the bottom of the cutting. The idea is that the cutting shouldn’t be in water—it should be just above it.
That way, the upper LECA pebbles stay damp thanks to the moisture created from the lower water reservoir and pebbles. This environment is fabulous for strong root development. And it allows the plant to grow roots without exposure to light, meaning less shock when you plant the cuttings in soil.
I will update this post with more details once I get my scindapsus pictus exotica cuttings to root in LECA! They’ve been in LECA for a few days as of writing this post, and I haven’t seen any progress yet.
Scindapsus pictus propagation method #4: Planting directly in soil
The final scindapsus pictus propagation method I want to discuss is planting cuttings directly in soil. To do this, use a well-draining, peat- or coir-based soil. Plant the cutting, ensuring the nodes are buried.
Keep the soil mixture damp and the humidity high. The cutting may wilt a bit until it roots. This is a perfectly fine method to use, but it’s always my least favorite. Why? Because watching roots develop is sooo rewarding, and I can’t see what’s going on if the nodes are buried in soil!
Whatever scindapsus pictus propagation method you choose, follow the tips in this post and you’ll likely have success! It’s a gorgeous plant, so why not grow some more?