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Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight Care, aka “Sterling Silver”

Looking for scindapsus treubii care tips? Scindapsus treubii, also called sterling silver, is a gorgeous tropical trailing plant with thick silverish mint-jade leaves. Learn how to help this plant thrive with my Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight care guide, including how to root scindapsus treubii cuttings.

How do you care for a Scindapsus Treubii?

If you’re looking to step up your houseplant game, then the Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight is for you. You might have a hard time finding it in nurseries, though. Once you hunt one down, you’ll be glad to hear that they are gorgeous, hardy, low-maintenance plants. 

It comes in two varieties, the Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight (the one we’ll be focusing on) and the Scindapsus Dark form, which is very rare and very expensive. I have a dark form that was imported from Southeast Asia. 

The Moonlight’s leaves are milky green with hints of silver, whereas the Dark’s leaves are greenish black without silver. I love my dark form, but honestly, the moonlight is way prettier. You can’t beat the gorgeous silver sheen on the jade/mint leaves.

scindapsus treubii moonlight plants
Treubii Moonlight
Scindapsus Treubii Dark Form leaves
Treubii Dark Form

Is Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight rare?

Well…that’s a good question. Costa Farms—the big mass producer of plants for big box stores like Home Depot, Lowes, Walmart, etc.—rolled them out as part of their Trending Tropicals this season (along with raven zz plants, polka dot begonias, tradescantia nanouk, and a few more!). 

Costa Farms is marketing their scindapsus treubii moonlight as “Sterling Silver” on the tag, so if you see that on the label, there’s a good chance it’s a scindapsus treubii moonlight! If you can find treubii moonlight in stores, it will go fast. It is not as rare to find as it was a few months ago, but I still see people posting in plant groups looking for them. 

I was off work a few months ago just puttering around the house when my friend messaged me and said “WALMART HAS MOONLIGHTS, THIS IS NOT A DRILL, GO GO GO.” Someone had given her a heads up, so I took advantage of being off work and zoomed over to Walmart.

There were only four left, and I grabbed all four. One for myself and three for local friends who couldn’t get there! (I sold them at cost—I really frown upon buying up plants and selling them on Facebook and Etsy at crazy prices.)

That same day they also dropped a shipment at our local Wegmans. Wegmans got 12 whole plants! I couldn’t resist—I bought one more to split and give away on Instagram.

Be patient and you will probably find them! I have also seen them pop up in Lowe’s and Home Depot stores. I have no seen them at local nurseries, actually—probably because Costa Farms is the supplier sending them to all the big box stores, and they’ve been growing them in massive quantities.

plants in a shopping cart at walmart
plants in a display at Wegmans
scindapsus treubii moonlight plant leaves
screenshot of instagram account

Can you buy Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight online?

You can buy it online on Etsy—lots of sellers are selling smaller pieces. But if you really want the plant, you can go that route. I often go to Etsy when I really want a plant and don’t mind paying a few extra bucks for it. (Check out my tips for buying plants on Etsy before shopping!)

You can also check out the Costa Farms shop online. My first plant actually came from their website directly, but they are much cheaper if you can find them in a store. Sign up for a password on Costa’s website to shop. 

Last I saw they were going for $50, shipping included, on the website. If you’re curious how Costa Farms packs their direct-to-consumer plants, check out this unboxing video I did of a moonlight/sterling silver I ordered from them:

advertising image with text about signing up for a guide about some of the easiest houseplants to propagate, including how I use Grow by Mediavine to deliver my free products using an email signup model

Here is the link to the Dropbox folder with the guide!

cover of my propagation guide that says getting started with houseplant propagation

Where does the Scindapsus Treubii come from?

Scindapsus Treubii are part of the Araceae family and the Scindapsus genus. Other well-known species in the Scindapsus genus include the Scindapsus Pictus (see my scindapsus pictus care guide), the most commonly cultivated one, and the Scindapsus Officinalis, which is a variety I’m admittedly unfamiliar with. 

Scindapsus Treubii originated in the rainforests of Southeast Asia, but they are also native to the Pacific Islands and Queensland. They thrive in rainforests and tropical jungles, growing along the ground until they find a steady tree to climb. 

Then, as treubii scales trees with its aerial roots, its leaves will grow longer and darker. They can even produce flowers, though this is rare. Mine have never flowered.

sterling silver plant
scindapsus treubii moonlight plants lined up on a windowsill

Is Treubii Moonlight a pothos?

Note, the Treubii Moonlight is marketed by Costa as the “Sterling Silver.” This isn’t the same as “silver satin pothos,” which is actually not a pothos and is a type of Scindapsus called Scindapsus Pictus Exotica. Below is an exotica. Confused yet?

Exoticas are not dominated by Costa Farms, though. You can find them at most nurseries and occasionally big box stores. And they are stunning! One of my favorite plants.

Neither Treubii Moonlight nor Pictus Exotica are pothos plants. They are scindapsus plants. Scindapsus is its own genus in the Araceae (aka aroid) family. Pothos is a member of the epipremnum genus, which is also part of the Araceae family.

So they are somewhat related, but it’s worth noting that Araceae is a big family. They are often confused with one another because they both climb/trail and have similarly shaped leaves.

Their key superficial differences are that the leaves on scindapsus plants tend to be thicker and of course have a gorgeous silver sheen. I’ve also found that their stems are thicker and they are slower growers.

On the other hand, pothos plants have thinner leaves and sometimes stems. And they grow like weeds! Both plants are pretty easy to care for, but I personally think that pothos plants are a hair easier. They have nerves of steel.

scindapsus pictus exotica leaves
Scindapsus pictus exotica

How much light does the sterling silver scindapsus need?

Like most other tropical plants, the Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight prefers bright, indirect light. It’ll thrive in a room with lots of filtered light, or in an east-facing window. Although it will survive some direct light, extended periods of time in direct sun or in darkness will cause the leaves to fade and stunt its growth. 

Growing your plant outdoors isn’t recommended since it can be difficult to adjust how much sunlight it receives, and you could risk burning its leaves. However, if you have an area that is covered—like by a gazebo, deck, or patio—that is fine. I’m going to try bringing one of mine outside this summer. 

scindapsus treubii moonlight plant leaves
scindapsus treubii moonlight plant leaves in the sun

Preferred soil for scindapsus

When it comes to soil, this plant isn’t very demanding. Any well-draining potting mix will work. If you’d like, you can add perlite for better drainage since its roots do not like to sit in soggy soil. Also, Scindapsus Treubii are climbers which means they take their nutrients from other living plants, so adding compost or organic matter will help the plant flourish. 

If you’re going to add perlite, compost, or orchid bark to supplement its soil, make sure they’re in equal parts. I used an indoor potting soil with compost already mixed in and added some orchid bark and perlite to further lighten the soil and encourage drainage.

scindapsus treubii moonlight plants on a table
hand holding a scindapsus treubii moonlight plant

How much do I water a Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight?

The number one thing to keep in mind for Scindapsus Treubii moonlight care is to avoid overwatering. Make sure its pot has a drainage hole and the soil allows for adequate drainage, otherwise it will sit in soggy soil and cause root rot, or its leaves will drop. 

This plant can go quite a while without watering, but a tell-tale sign of underwatering is when its leaves start curling. The top two inches of soil should dry out before you water again. (Note that if you have just potted your plant in fresh soil, the leaves may curl a bit even if the soil is wet. This is just the plan adjusting.)

woman holding a scindapsus treubii moonlight plant
scindapsus treubii moonlight plant leaves
woman holding a huge scindapsus treubii moonlight plant
scindapsus treubii moonlight plant leaves
yellowing leaf from a scindapsus treubii moonlight
Yellowing leaf from a scindapsus treubii moonlight

Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight care: Temperature & humidity needs

You’d think because the Scindapsus Treubii comes from the rainforests of Asia that it would only prefer warm weather, but that isn’t the case. Its ideal temperature range is 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. If it gets too hot for long periods of time, it’ll start to wilt, so keep an eye out for that.

And it actually tolerates cooler temperatures very well! During winter it’ll do just fine by a window. The only temperatures it can’t handle is below freezing. My first big moonlight I ordered online from Costa suffered from the extreme cold at the time and ended up suffering a lot of cold damage.

However, Costa Farms has great customer service and replaced my plant quickly. They shipped a new plant out with a heat pack, which helped to keep it happy on its way to me. The replacement plant arrived without any issues.

This tropical plant is very hardy, and can grow in humidity levels as low as 40%, which should be just fine in most homes. Its ideal humidity is around 60%, but if you can’t get your home that humid, don’t worry. 

Mist it with water to keep it moist and to prevent mineral deposits on its leaves. A sign that it isn’t getting enough moisture from the air is if its leaves are crispy or yellowing. 

cold-damaged scindapsus treubii moonlight plant
Cold-damaged treubii moonlight
cold-damaged scindapsus treubii moonlight plant
Cold-damaged treubii moonlight
scindapsus treubii moonlight plant on a table
huge scindapsus treubii moonlight

Repotting a Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight and growth rate

Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight grows pretty slowly. When I was propagating my little stem cutting that had two leaves, it took it about 6 months before it completely unfurled its third leaf. It took some serious patience! But it would probably grow a bit faster if the temperatures had been higher—this was fall and winter in Maryland.

Since sterling silver scindapsus grows pretty slowly, it doesn’t need repotted that often. Maybe once every few years depending on how optimal the growing conditions are. Here are a few photos of a treubii moonlight I took out of the nursery pot and then split in to four separate plants. I just repotted with fresh potting soil, orchid bark, and perlite. Then I gave a thorough water in the sink!

root system on a large scindapsus treubii moonlight plant
splitting a large scindapsus treubii moonlight plant
splitting a large scindapsus treubii moonlight plant
splitting a large scindapsus treubii moonlight plant
woman holding moonlight plants
scindapsus treubii moonlight plants on their way to their new owners

How do I root my Treubii Moonlight?

I have a whole post about how to root scindapsus treubii moonlight and dark form, but here’s an overview of how I’ve done it. Scindapsus Treubii can be easily propagated using stem cuttings. Water propagation isn’t recommended because its roots won’t grow as quick or strong, and it will suffer shock when you transplant it to soil. 

Spring is the best time to propagate most plants, and it’s definitely the best time to propagate treubii. Choose a stem that has at least one node and cut it right below the node. Remove the bottom leaves if there are any, but leave one or two at the top. 

Fill a cup with a mixture of moist sphagnum moss and perlite. Place the cutting nodes-side down a few inches deep. You can also dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone before putting it in the moss mix. (Read more about rooting plants in sphagnum moss.)

Ensure the moss remains damp and cover it with a plastic bag to increase the humidity. Put it in a bright, warm area. After a few weeks, you can check if the roots have developed. After a few months the roots should be strong enough to transplant the cutting to soil.

When I transplanted my cutting to soil, I watered it and put it in my Ikea greenhouse cabinet. The leaves curled a bit from the repotting shock, but it rebounded after a few weeks. Only water again when the soil dries out—remember, you don’t want to overwater!

You can also do this process with damp soil instead of sphagnum moss and perlite. However, I have really been loving rooting plants in moss lately because I can put it all in a clear cup and easily monitor root development. 

node on a plant
scindapsus treubii moonlight plant cutting rooting in moss and perlite
scindapsus treubii moonlight plant cutting with roots
hand holding a bundle of roots
hand holding a bundle of roots
scindapsus treubii moonlight plant

In Sterling Silver Scindapsus safe for pets?

Sterling silver scindapsus is toxic to pets. If your pets chew on the plants or eat them, they can cause swelling of the oral tissues and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract. Luckily these look lovely hanging from the ceiling or up high on shelves, so it’s easy to keep it out of pets’ reach. A glass-enclosed greenhouse cabinet is also a great option.

scindapsus treubii moonlight plant on a table
woman with a huge scindapsus treubii moonlight
scindapsus treubii moonlight plant against a black wall
scindapsus treubii moonlight plant
woman holding a scindapsus treubii moonlight plant

Pin my Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight care guide!

pinnable graphic with photos of scindapsus treubii moonlight with text overlay about how to care for the plant
pinnable graphic with photos of scindapsus treubii moonlight with text overlay about how to care for the plant

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