Pothos and Philodendrons are two different varieties of common houseplants. Both of these plants have a lot in common and are often mistaken for each other or for even being the same.
Pothos and Philodendrons are both vine-like climbing plants and have shiny foliage. Not just that, two of these varieties of houseplants are grown in similar ways and also require the same kind of maintenance.
Pothos, as well as Philodendrons, are very easy to grow and not very difficult to manage as plants and they have excellent interior display and décor qualities.
But despite the very exact appearances they do come with certain subtle differences which when closely looked upon, do distinguish between the two.
Among many other varieties that are confused to be either Philodendrons or Pothos, a very familiar one is the Cebu Blue.
This is one very famous houseplant with narrow bluish-green leaves, which adds embellishments when kept indoors.
The Cebu Blue, also known as Epipremnum Pinnatum is a Pothos. Well, it is often hard to be sure and commonly misinterpreted if it’s a Pothos or a Philodendron as it resembles a split-leaf Philodendron as it starts growing.
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ABOUT THE CEBU BLUE POTHOS:
The Cebu Blue Pothos is another one among the very wide of Pothos varieties. It has distinct from the other common Pothos when it comes to foliage and appearance.
The scientifically called – Epipremnum Pinnatum, just like all others in the Pothos range, are very easy to keep at home. They do not need continuous tending or care and grow even in low access to sunlight.
Features: This plant has a structure similar to that of a vine as it comes from the family of climbers. The leaves are long and in the shape of an arrow.
This is what makes it different from the other Pothos, which generally have all heart-shaped leaves. The foliage has a very attractive silvery-blue hue along with the darker green shade.
The leaves are even more appealing to the eye because of their smooth and shiny texture. It doesn’t bear flowers and is rather appreciated for the leaf.
Like other Pothos varieties, this particular one does not have variegation in its foliage, rather all the same color all over the leaf with a metallic sheen.
Along with its display quality, this Pothos is extremely easy to care and to grow and that makes it the perfect indoor green for the gardening enthusiasts with lack of time to spend and also ones with not so green a thumb.
Tips to Grow the Cebu Blue:
The Cebu Blue Pothos grows well in soil and with any kind of indoor temperature. The Cebu Blue is propagated from stem cuttings. For the beginning, a fresh, healthy and pest free stem cutting is required from an already growing Cebu Blue.
The cuttings are usually taken from a node where air roots occur and are clearly visible. A cutting with four or 5 leaves is ideal.
This should be then placed in a glass or jar of water. With frequent changing of the water, roots will start to clearly grow from the air root node. When the roots are about 2-3cm long, the plant can be taken out from the water jar and can be propagated into a pot with soil.
The cutting must not be allowed to grow in the water for too long because the more time the Cebu Blue would spend growing in water, the more suited it will become to that setting.
This might be problematic as the plant may not be able to adjust well in the soil on propagation. Once it has been transferred to the soil, these few other following factors should be kept in mind:
Lighting for the plant – The Cebu Blue grows comfortably in light to medium sunlight. Bright indirect sunlight is considered the best for the leaves of this plant.
It may be placed outdoors where it can get plenty of sun, with keeping in mind to provide it with some kind of shade, for example keeping it under another plant that provides enough shade or even covering it with a light plastic roof.
Best temperature – Usual indoor temperatures and humidity in the air is suitable for the plant unless the normal environment is too dry and lacks moisture in the air. This may give rise to drier and affected foliage. In such conditions, the plant must be ensured with enough water.
Watering the Cebu Blue – This plant is no hard effort at all. When it comes to watering the plant, a balanced amount of water is enough.
Make sure the potted plant isn’t soaking wet, nor is it left insufficiently. Thoroughly water the plant making sure to wet the soil as well as the leaves.
It can then be watered again when the soil starts to appear dry. Discolorations of the leaves are signs that the plant isn’t being watered enough.
Fertilizing – The plant enjoys a little fertilizer at seldom occasions. It must be fertilized with an effective mix during the period of growth to ensure a good start.
With all the right steps in mind this plant can grow very beautifully and healthily and create an aesthetic display in your house.
The leaves of the Cebu Blue usually stay in their young and juvenile form when planted indoors. It can generally hang up to a meter long.
It is said that if this plant is let to hang down like a dropping vine the leaves grow up to a smaller length, whereas, if it is let to climb on another plant, pole or fence, then in such a setting the leaves grow bigger and wider.
Both ways, this Shiny silvery-blue Pothos enhances beauty. Keeping a Pothos at home is also said to purify the quality of air and remove harmful toxins from the surrounding atmosphere.
Thus it is very useful when kept in the bedroom for fresh air supply, thus, is a plant essential for all green lovers and even for amateur at-home gardeners.
How to distinguish a Pothos and a Philodendron?
Pothos and Philodendrons are often confused to be the same plants, but they are in reality very different from each other.
Although they might appear to be very similar to each other as they are both vining plants, but in reality they do have a few features which can be used to tell them apart.
Interestingly, these two plants have similar growth patterns, care tips as well as they both help purify the surrounding atmosphere.
Differences in leaf structure and texture – Both the plants have heart-shaped and shiny foliage, which makes them both great when it comes to home décor.
The leaves of a Philodendron are thin, smooth in texture, and the leaf blade as well as the veins of the leaf is not distinctly felt upon touch.
The heart shape of the leaf in the Philodendron is also longer and narrower at the tip, giving it an enhanced tail-like look.
When it comes to the foliage in a Pothos plant, the leaves tend to be sturdier, waxy to touch and well defined as compared to the leaves of a Philodendron plant.
These leaves tend to have a rougher texture and more specifically noticeable midrib and veins, which are a lot subtle in a Philodendron. Also, the shape of the Pothos although heart-like, but isn’t as narrowed at the tip as the Philodendron, it is rather more round and edgy.
The leaves of the Pothos are generally variegated, and when it comes to a Philodendron, there isn’t variegation.
There are exceptions in both as well, like the neon Pothos is all one color and no variegation, whereas Brazil Philodendron has very sharp and crisp variegation, unlike most Philodendrons.
Differences seen in stems of both the plants – The stem of a Pothos is thicker than the stem of a Philodendron. There is also a difference in the color of the stems.
The stem of the Pothos plant has the same color as its leaves. On the other hand, the stem of a Philodendron is darker in hue, and at times even brownish or reddish.
Differences found in root structure – Both of these plants have aerial roots, which help the vines to cling onto poles and other surfaces and also play a role in absorbing nutrients from the surroundings.
The roots in the Pothos plants are in the form of thick nubs and each node has only one root extending from it.
In a Philodendron, the aerial roots are comparatively thinner and longer. The roots on a Philodendron usually appear in clusters. Each node generally has two or more than two, sometimes even six roots extending from it.
Different Cataphylls – Cataphylls are like a tiny flap that cover and protect the new growing stems in the plant. In a Philodendron, cataphylls are easily noticeable and protect the weaker, newer stem that’s growing. These cataphylls later turn brownish and generally fall off on their own.
On the other side, a Pothos just grows from an unfurled extension of another leaf.
Cataphylls are a useful feature to tell a Philodendron apart from a Pothos, as Pothos do not have cataphylls, whereas, they are very distinguished in a Philodendron.
Light requirements – A Philodendron requires comparatively lesser sunlight than a Pothos. Philodendrons do better in a darker environment than a Pothos, which requires more light from the sun to grow better and display its variegation properly. For this reason, a Philodendron can grow slightly better than a Pothos with lesser attention given to it.
Although to facilitate proper growth and zero compromises in the display quality, both the types must be provided with adequate light and temperature.
Therefore even with extremely unidentifiable differences, the key features to look for finding differences in a Pothos and a Philodendron at a glance would be the texture which is rougher and subtle in Pothos and Philodendrons respectively; and the presence of cataphylls to find out if the plant is a Philodendron. Also, variegation and color of the Pothos can help to identify the differences between these two very commonly mixed up vines.
Symbolisms of the Philodendron and Pothos:
Every plant has a deeper meaning and belief attached to it. Thus, various plants are included in the Feng Shui as well as the Vastu Shastra to credit their spiritual benefits as well.
Along with a major place they have in home décor and interior design because of their lush green leaves and structure, plants are also bringers of goodness and positive energy in the household.
When associated with the right placement and direction, various plants are said to be lucky for the growth and betterment of the family. The Philodendrons and Pothos we’ve been talking about also holds such abilities to freshen up the mental and spiritual senses in us.
Philodendrons are signs of love for nature. They are also said to symbolize the personal growth and help in the developments of a household.
These plants can also be gifted, as a symbol of growth; it lets the receiver know that you are a well-wisher. Along with its symbolical importance, it also makes a great green and eco-friendly showpiece in the house.
Coming to Pothos, these plants also represent good qualities. They are said to symbolize perseverance and determination.
Just like the growing and climbing nature of this vine, it is said to show courage to keep working and determination in an action.
If you are relentless in following your goals and achieving your dreams, the Pothos plant is one of the best plants to keep you company through your journey. It also makes a great gift to people with such mindsets and incentivizes their endeavors.
Pothos and Philodendrons, both grow well in hanging pots with their vines dripping down creating a flow like structure which is very appealing. They can also be grown to climb upon other plants or poles in the garden.
The foliage in both the plants tends to grow bigger when allowed to climb onto surfaces. To give your rooms a greener look with almost no effort, the Pothos, and the Philodendrons are the plants to look for. They are easy to tame and tend, grow with minimal care and give your house a beautifully fresh and green finish. Happy Gardening!
Hi there! My name is Constance and I am a professional botanist. My enthusiasm for organic farming has led me to start this blog about gardening for beginners!
I write articles and tips on improving your home and garden with less work. I also share my own advice from the perspective of someone who loves all things green – like how to grow vegetables in containers or how to make compost out of kitchen scraps.