Pothos vs philodendron both are commonly found house plants, But most of the time people can’t understand the difference between both of them. In this post, we will cover all about the difference between both of these house plants.

Mostly many new gardeners mix up Pothos with Philodendron or don’t understand what is it. Because both the plants are having the same growing habits it’s difficult for new ones to understand the difference between them because both the plants grow with the same habits in a hanging pot or as climbing plants.

Both the Plants are almost similar but they don’t need the same care. So it’s better to read about them before growing any of these plants. So let’s do deep with both plants in the article.

Pothos And Philodendron Are the Same Plants?

No, They Belong to the same family which is known as Arums but both these plants have different genus. You can easily differentiate between both of these.

Pothos vs Philodendron: Taxonomy

Both of these plants pothos and philodendron are from the same family known as Araceae. If you will go a little deep into this family you will find that both of these plants come from a different genus. Pothos belongs to the Epipremnum genus and philodendrons belong to the guessed genus. Many of the pothos varieties come from the Epipremnum aureum species.

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The botanical name of heartleaf philodendron is philodendron hederaceum. Many other different varieties are available with classic green heartleaf and many others, they come will multiple variations of leaves and colors.

Still, now, many people sell heartleaf philodendron as philodendron cordatum, and it’s used because of old nomenclature.

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heartleaf philodendron


Leaves Shape And Structure

Both the plants are having heart-shaped leaves, But the leaves of pothos are smaller in size if you are having any philodendron plant-like Philodendron splendid you can easily understand this. If you will notice the connection place of the leaf to the stem or petiole, the Philodendron leaf will be having a more curved structure at the start of the heart-shaped leaf as compared to the pothos leaf. On the other hand, pothos is having a thicker and waxy leaf structure.

Philodendron vs pothos


The petiole is a mini stem that connects leaves with the main stem of the whole plant. Pothos petioles are curved but philodendron petioles are round in shape.

heart leaf Philodendron and pothos

Aerial Roots

Both the plants are having an aerial root system that helps them to climb a wall or any medium where they are grown. But aerial roots of pothos are thick and they are just having one per node, at the point where leaf and petiole are attached to the stem of the plant. On the other hand, heartleaf philodendron is having thinner roots with more than one aerial root on every single node. Furthermore, philodendron and pothos are having many other varieties and you can see a little difference in them but they will be almost the same as mentioned.

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pothos vs philodendron plant

New Growth

You can easily find out the difference between both the plants from their newly grown or growing leaves. A new leaf of pothos will be tightened and curled and it will unfold slowly with time. At the start, the color of the leaf will be light green and with time it will become dark green when the leaf will get mature. Many varieties of pothos come with variated leaves like Marble Queen Pothos and these plants look more beautiful.

On the other side, new leaves of philodendron will be covered in cataphylls and with time when the leaf will be opened completely or get mature, cataphylls will fall down. Baby leaf of philodendron will be yellow or have a light pink color at the start but with time it will turn green totally when it will get mature.

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Can we mix Pothos And Philodendron Plant?

It’s never been done with me ever in my whole career. No doubt both the plants are having almost equal things with almost the same needs of care. But it will not be hard to find differences between both of these plants after reading all the factors mentioned above.

Both the plants will grow better in the presence of sunlight and they are also having abilities to bear bright indirect light. In some cases leaves of the plant getting lighter in color means plants are having a deficiency of light, so it will be better to transfer the plant toward a better place with bright light.

Water when you feel the uppermost layer of soil dry. More water can be dangerous and a good moisture level will destroy the roots of pothos.