Do you love houseplants but want ones that are easy to care for? You’ll love the bold colors of the silver satin, also called the silver pothos. This hardy tropical plant is slow-growing and doesn't ask much from its caregiver. If you're still learning or on the fence about filling your home with plant babies, consider the silver satin as a starter.
Small potted silver satin plants can be found in many garden centers. Because they're so easy to propagate, though, it's worth asking someone you know to take a cutting for you when you're ready to host this pretty, trailing plant.
Wherever you get your silver satin from, experts usually recommend you leave it in the place it will be for a few days before transplanting it to a decorative tabletop or hanging planter. This way, it can acclimate to the new surroundings before the shock of having its roots disturbed.
It's important to use well-draining, loose potting soil for your silver satin, as well as a pot that has good drainage. Choose a container that has room for the roots to spread out as the plant grows. A pot that is slightly larger is better than one that is a bit too small.
The silver satin doesn’t need to be placed in direct sunlight to thrive. This hardy plant does well in bright, indirect sunlight. It is perfect for awkward spaces where there is good light, but no space in front of a window.
It will not thrive in persistent dim lighting, however, so it's best not to keep it in a dark bathroom or office.
While the silver satin is very tolerant of underwatering and can do well in dry conditions, it is best to water it regularly if you want it to thrive. When the top 2 to 3 inches of soil are dry, it is time to give your plant a drink.
If the soil is not dry, don’t water. The silver satin is not particularly tolerant of over-watering and needs to fully dry out between waterings.
Native to Southeast Asia, your silver satin will thrive under conditions of more than 40% humidity. Misting the leaves is a good way to make sure it stays moist enough.
You can use a monitor to keep tabs on the humidity level, or just keep an eye on your plant. If the tips of the leaves are turning brown, you may want to adjust the humidity level to be sure your plant is getting enough moisture.
Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer — 20-20-20 is ideal — to keep your silver satin plant healthy. Apply the fertilizer regularly, according to the package directions, to keep the soil full of the nutrients your plant needs to grow healthy and beautiful.
The silver satin plant doesn’t need pruning to stay healthy, though it can be trimmed if it is growing too big for the space it inhabits. As a trailing plant, it will start to fall over the sides of the pot, and gentle pruning allows you to coax it into the shape you want. If you'd prefer to let it go wild, that's fine, too!
If your plant is growing and thriving, it will need to be re-potted every year or two. Repotting gives it additional room to grow and ensure it doesn't become rootbound
When you repot, take that opportunity to give it fresh, nutrient-rich soil. Even if you've been fertilizing, soil eventually loses its benefits for the plant, and replacing it can give your silver satin a beneficial health boost.
The only thing better than a healthy silver satin is two healthy silver satins! Pothos species like this one are extremely easy to propagate from stem or node cuttings. Simply remove a piece with one or two leaves and place it in water.
You'll start to see roots forming in a few days, and once they're about an inch long, you can plant your cuttings in a new pot and treat this clone as you have its parent plant.
Due to its relatively minimal water needs, the silver satin is prone to root rot. Make sure the pot has adequate drainage and avoid overwatering: wait until the top few inches of soil are completely dry before watering to prevent root rot from taking hold.
If your plant does get root rot, repot it immediately, removing any bits of root that have gone soggy or moldy and thoroughly cleaning the pot. Double-check that excess water can drain out of this new container.
The silver satin is not especially vulnerable to pests but can get spider mites and scale. If your plant has spider webs on the stem, mites are the likely culprit. Spider mites are small, difficult to see, and hang out on the underside of the leaves. Insecticidal soap can get rid of them.
Scale looks like small growths on the plant stem that range in color from red to brown. Repot your plant and use a chemical insecticide to get rid of scale. You may also want to isolate your plant so the issue doesn't spread.
The long, trailing stems of the silver satin look best when they are given a chance to fully show off. Place yours where the stems can trail over a railing or mantle, or grow up a moss pole where the leaves are on full display. Drape developing tendrils wherever you'd like and your plant will continue to move along this new trajectory!
If you're looking for a trailing plant that's similar to silver satin, the swiss cheese plant — a monstera variety with small holey leaves that trail — is an interesting alternative. The heart leaf fern is another good choice. This species has deep green leaves on black stems and is currently being researched in relation to diabetes treatment!
The leaves of the silver satin can be toxic to humans and animals if ingested. Keep pets and small children who might try to eat the leaves away from the plant.
Contact with the leaves can occasionally cause skin irritation for people who have sensitive skin.
Silver satin is a type of pothos, and there are so many varieties of this popular houseplant! Check out the neon pothos for leaves of a vibrant yellow-green, or the golden pothos, which grows very quickly and has leaves with golden splotches of color. Manjula pothos leaves are variegated in color.
No matter which variety you choose, pothos are excellent low-maintenance houseplants suitable for every indoor gardener.