Pothos and Philodendron are two frequently chosen houseplants, but distinguishing between them can pose a challenge, especially for beginners. Despite their shared growth habits, these plants necessitate distinct care. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the key differences between Pothos and Philodendron to empower you as a more informed plant enthusiast.

heartleaf philodendron

Philodendron vs. Pothos – Taxonomy and Background

While both Pothos and Philodendron belong to the Araceae plant family, they each belong to different genera. Pothos falls under the Epipremnum genus, while Philodendrons encompass several genera within the same family. For instance, the heartleaf philodendron is classified as Philodendron hederaceum. It’s worth noting that, due to historical naming conventions, heartleaf philodendron is sometimes still referred to as “philodendron cordatum.”

Leaf Characteristics: A Distinctive Feature

Leaf Shape and Structure of the Two Plants

Though both Pothos and Philodendron sport heart-shaped leaves, there are nuanced disparities. Philodendron leaves, as seen in varieties like Philodendron splendid, exhibit a more pronounced curvature at the initial part of their heart-shaped structure compared to Pothos. Additionally, Pothos leaves tend to be thicker with a waxy texture.

heart leaf Philodendron and pothos

Petioles – Comparing Pothos to Philodendron

Petioles, the slender stems connecting leaves to the main plant stem, reveal further distinctions. Pothos petioles exhibit a curvature, while philodendron petioles are typically round.

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pothos vs philodendron plant

Aerial Roots of the Two Plants

Both plants employ aerial roots for climbing and support, but their characteristics diverge. Pothos aerial roots are robust and emerge singly at nodes where leaves and petioles attach to the stem. Conversely, heartleaf philodendron features slender aerial roots, often with multiple roots per node.

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New Growth For Pothos vs. Philodendron

Distinguishing between Pothos and Philodendron becomes evident when examining newly emerging leaves. Pothos’ nascent leaves are tightly coiled and gradually unfurl. These new leaves initially display a light green hue, darkening with maturity, often featuring variegation in select varieties like Marble Queen Pothos.

In contrast, philodendron’s new leaves are enveloped in cataphylls that shed as the leaf matures. These young leaves may begin as yellow or light pink but eventually transition to green.

Philodendron vs pothos

Pothos vs Philodendron – Comparing Variety Levels

Pothos: The realm of Pothos boasts an array of captivating varieties, each with its own unique charm. Some popular types include:

  1. Epipremnum aureum (Golden Pothos)
  2. Epipremnum aureum ‘Marble Queen’ (Marble Queen Pothos)
  3. Epipremnum aureum ‘Neon’ (Neon Pothos)
  4. Epipremnum aureum ‘Cebu Blue’ (Cebu Blue Pothos)
  5. Epipremnum aureum ‘N’Joy’ (N’Joy Pothos)
  6. Epipremnum aureum ‘Jessenia’ ( Jessenia Pothos)

Philodendron: Philodendron, too, dazzles with its diverse selection of species and cultivars. Explore some noteworthy options:

  1. Philodendron hederaceum (Heartleaf Philodendron)
  2. Philodendron bipinnatifidum (Split-Leaf Philodendron)
  3. Philodendron erubescens (Blushing Philodendron)
  4. Philodendron gloriosum (Glorious Philodendron)
  5. Philodendron selloum (Tree Philodendron)
  6. Philodendron micans (Velvet Leaf Philodendron)
  7. Philodendron prince of orange (Prince of Orange Philodendron)
  8. Philodendron pink princess (Pink Princess Philodendron)
  9. Philodendron florida
  10. Florida green philodendron
  11. Philodendron florida ghost
  12. Philodendron corrugatum
  13. Philodendron delinksii
  14. Philodendron subincisum
  15. Philodendron werneri
  16. Ring of fire philodendron
  17. Whipple way philodendron
  18. Philodendron lemon lime
  19. Moonlight philodendron
  20. Philodendron splendid
  21. Philodendron ginny
  22. Philodendron bipennifolium
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Pothos and Philodendron, though sharing some commonalities, possess distinct characteristics, from their taxonomy to leaf attributes. Understanding these differences equips you to provide optimal care for these cherished houseplants. Whether nurturing a Pothos or a Philodendron, creating the right environment and offering attentive care will ensure their flourishing presence in your indoor garden. Explore the vast world of Pothos and Philodendron varieties to find the perfect addition to your collection.