Which is which? I’m always getting the names confused. Am I the only one? Both are easy to grow, are great air purifiers, and can be propagated by cuttings off the mother plant. Both are poisonous to children and pets. My dog eats tulip bulbs but not house plants, so she’s safe.
So how do you identify which is which? I’ll start with Pothos, or commonly known as Devil’s Ivy. It has variegated leaves, but only the green part makes energy for the plant. If your plant isn’t getting enough light, the leaves become greener so it can make more energy.
It doesn’t like soggy soil so if it is constantly losing leaves or turning yellow, you’ve over watered it. And I’ve been guilty.
Onto the Philodendron. The vine is less woody and has no grooves. New leaves are protected by a sheath, which later dries up and falls off.
But the easiest way to identify the Philodendron is it’s new leaves. They are reddish in color. They don’t like soggy roots either, but I’ve noticed that my Philodendron prefers more watering than my Pothos. It could be the location I have them or the type of pot. The Pothos is in a plastic pot, while the Philodendron is in a clay pot. Plants in a clay pot will dry out faster because the clay absorbs the water.
I propagate both plants by placing cuttings in water until they grow roots.
I don’t have a favorite. I like them both. My Philodendron looks fuller only because I’ve moved the trailing vines back up through the macrame hanger. They are both the best plants to start your indoor gardens with because you just can’t fail. I had an aunt who had a Pothos for over 40 years! And she was no gardener.