Are Pothos and Philodendron the Same Plant?

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Are Pothos and Philodendron the same plant? No, Pothos and Philodendron are not the same plant. Although they have similar-looking leaves, there are distinct differences in their characteristics, including leaf size and shape, growth habit, and root system. They also have different care requirements, propagation methods, and popular varieties.

I can understand how it might be confusing to differentiate between pothos and philodendrons. Both plants are very popular houseplants that are easy to care for and can thrive in a variety of conditions. In this article, I will break down the differences between the two plants and provide you with information on their care, propagation, and popular varieties.

Are Pothos and Philodendron the Same Plant?

Pothos and philodendron are not the same plant, although they share some similarities in their appearance and care requirements. While they both have vining growth habits and can thrive in low light conditions, they have distinct differences in their characteristics.

One of the most noticeable differences is in their leaf size and shape. Pothos leaves tend to be larger and come in a variety of shapes, while philodendron leaves are more uniform and come in a variety of sizes. Additionally, pothos has a more cascading growth habit, while philodendron grows more upright.

Another significant difference between the two plants is in their root system. Pothos has a shallow root system, making it easy to propagate and transplant, while philodendron has a more extensive root system and prefers to have its roots undisturbed.

These differences in characteristics also affect their care requirements, propagation methods, and popular varieties. Understanding these differences can help plant enthusiasts provide the proper care for each plant and ensure their health and longevity.

are pothos and phildendron the same plant
Pothos on the left and the Philodendron on the right.

Pothos vs Philodendron: What are the differences between them?

Even though they share some similarities, they are still different plants with different characteristics. Here is a little more information on the differences:

Plant Characteristics

Pothos and philodendrons have similar-looking leaves, but upon closer inspection, their differences become more apparent.

Leaf Shape and Size

Pothos leaves are typically larger than philodendron leaves and come in a variety of shapes. Some have heart-shaped leaves while others have oval-shaped leaves with a pointed tip. In contrast, philodendron leaves are typically more uniform and come in a variety of shapes, including oval, lance-shaped, and heart-shaped.

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Growth Habit

Both plants are known for their vining growth habit, but pothos tends to be more aggressive in its growth, while philodendron grows at a slower pace. Pothos has a more cascading habit, and it can quickly fill out a hanging basket or climb up a trellis. Philodendron grows more upright and has a more compact growth habit, making it ideal for tabletops or bookshelves.

Foliage Color

Pothos foliage can come in a variety of colors, including green, yellow, and variegated varieties with white, yellow, or gold patterns. Philodendron foliage can come in shades of green or variegated with white or yellow patterns.

Root System

Pothos has a shallow root system, making it easy to propagate and transplant. Philodendron has a more extensive root system and prefers to have its roots undisturbed.

Plant Care

Both plants are known for their low-maintenance care, making them ideal for beginners or those with a busy lifestyle. Here are some things to keep in mind when caring for pothos and philodendrons.

Light Requirements

Pothos and philodendrons thrive in bright, indirect light but can tolerate lower light conditions. However, if the light is too low, the plant may not produce new growth or may become leggy.

Watering Needs

Both plants prefer to have their soil kept consistently moist but not waterlogged. Overwatering can lead to root rot, while underwatering can cause the leaves to wilt or yellow.

Soil Requirements

Pothos and philodendrons prefer well-draining soil that retains moisture. A mix of peat moss, perlite, and potting soil is ideal.

Fertilizer Requirements

Both plants benefit from regular fertilization during the growing season. A balanced, water-soluble fertilizer applied every four to six weeks can keep the plant healthy and promote new growth.


One of the great things about pothos and philodendrons is that they are easy to propagate. Here are some tips on propagating these plants.

Stem Cuttings

To propagate pothos and philodendrons, take a stem cutting from a healthy plant with at least two to three leaves. Make sure to include a node, which is where the roots will develop. Place the cutting in a glass of water or use a propagation station or a pot of soil, and keep it moist until roots develop. Once the roots are established, transplant the new plant into its own container.

Rooting Process

Pothos and philodendrons are known for their ease of rooting in water. Simply take a cutting from a healthy plant and place it in a glass or vase filled with water, making sure the node is submerged. Change the water every few days to prevent bacterial growth and keep the cutting in a bright, indirect light. After a few weeks, you should see roots developing from the node, and once the roots are long enough, you can transplant the cutting into soil.

Also Read:  Pothos Vs Philodendron: What Are The Differences?

Factors that Affect Propagation Success

Several factors can affect the success of propagation. Humidity, temperature, and lighting are all essential factors to consider. Keep the cutting in a warm, humid environment and provide it with adequate light. Also, be patient; it can take several weeks for the roots to develop, and not every cutting will take root.

are pothos and philodendron the same plant

Popular Varieties

Pothos and philodendron have many different varieties that come in a range of colors and leaf shapes. Here are some popular varieties of each plant.

Pothos Varieties

  • Golden Pothos: A classic variety with variegated green and yellow leaves
  • Marble Queen Pothos: A variegated variety with green and white leaves
  • Neon Pothos: A bright green variety with a neon glow
  • Jade Pothos: A variety with solid green leaves and a bushier growth habit
are pothos and philodendron the same plant

Philodendron Varieties

  • Heart-leaf Philodendron: A classic variety with heart-shaped leaves
  • Brasil Philodendron: A variegated variety with green and yellow leaves
  • Selloum Philodendron: A variety with large, deeply lobed leaves
  • Prince of Orange Philodendron: A variety with orange new growth that fades to green
are pothos and philodendron the same plant

Common Confusions

Despite their differences, pothos and philodendron are often mislabeled or mistaken for one another. Here are some common confusions between the two plants.

Differences between Pothos and Philodendron

The easiest way to differentiate between the two plants is by examining their leaves. Pothos leaves tend to be larger and come in a variety of shapes, while philodendron leaves are more uniform and come in a variety of sizes. Additionally, pothos has a more cascading growth habit, while philodendron grows more upright.

Mislabeling of Plants in Nurseries or Stores

Nurseries and stores may label plants incorrectly, leading to confusion between the two plants. In addition to the store or nursery mislabeling (which does happen), it is also very common that customers will pick up a plant and check the tag to learn more about it and the tag either gets put back in the wrong pot or lost.

If you’re unsure, ask a knowledgeable staff member or do some research to identify the plant correctly. Knowing the right plants and their requirements is essential for proper care.

Marketing and Branding Confusion

Marketing and branding can also lead to confusion between pothos and philodendrons. Some companies may market their plants as one or the other, even if they are not the correct plant.


Here are some common questions about pothos and philodendrons:

What is the difference between a pothos and a philodendron?

The easiest way to differentiate between the two plants is by examining their leaves. Pothos leaves tend to be larger and come in a variety of shapes, while philodendron leaves are more uniform and come in a variety of sizes. Additionally, pothos has a more cascading growth habit, while philodendron grows more upright.

What is another name for a pothos plant?

Pothos plant is also commonly known as Devil’s Ivy, Silver Vine, Taro Vine, and Money Plant. It is an evergreen climber that can reach up to 10-30 feet in height, with dark green heart-shaped leaves and white veins. Its foliage adds a tropical flair to any space. Pothos plants are incredibly low-maintenance and require minimal care such as occasional watering and light pruning.

Also Read:  Is Misting Good For Pothos? (Answered)

Is Devil’s Ivy a type of philodendron?

No, Devil’s Ivy (Pothos) is not a type of philodendron. Though they are similar in appearance, Devil’s Ivy is an entirely different species. Philodendrons on the other hand prefer bright indirect light and love humidity, making them ideal for a bathroom or kitchen window. The Pothos can tolerate lower light levels but will still appreciate being near a window to get some natural light if possible.

are pothos and philodendron the same plant

Can I plant pothos with philodendron?

Yes, you can plant pothos and philodendrons together, as they have similar care requirements. Both plants enjoy indirect, bright light and warm temperatures. Make sure to keep the soil evenly moist but not overly wet as this could lead to root rot or other issues.

Should I put my pothos or philodendron in the bathroom?

Pothos and philodendrons can thrive in a bathroom environment with high humidity and indirect light. However, make sure to provide proper drainage and avoid overwatering.

How often do you water pothos?

Pothos should be watered when the soil is dry to the touch, which can range from once a week to every two weeks, depending on the environment and the size of the plant.

Why is Pothos called the money plant?

Pothos is often called the “money plant” because in some cultures, it is believed to bring good luck and financial prosperity. This belief stems from the plant’s association with Feng Shui, the Chinese philosophical system that emphasizes the balance and harmony between people and their environment. According to Feng Shui, pothos is a symbol of good fortune, and it is often used to attract positive energy and financial success.

The name “money plant” can also be attributed to the plant’s ease of propagation and low-maintenance care, making it an affordable and accessible way to bring nature indoors. Additionally, pothos is a resilient plant that can thrive in a variety of environments, making it a popular choice for those who want to add some greenery to their space without spending a lot of money or time on care. Whatever the reason for its nickname, pothos remains a beloved and beautiful plant that can bring both aesthetic and symbolic value to any home.

Which pothos is the money plant?

There is no specific variety of pothos that is considered the “money plant,” but some people believe that any pothos plant can bring financial luck and prosperity.

What is the most common pothos plant?

The most common pothos plant is the Golden Pothos, also known as Devil’s Ivy. It is a trailing vine with heart-shaped leaves that are variegated in green and yellow. The plant’s popularity can be attributed to its low-maintenance care requirements and its ability to thrive in a range of environments, including low-light conditions. It is an ideal plant for beginners or those who have busy schedules but still want to enjoy the benefits of indoor gardening.

Another reason for the Golden Pothos’ popularity is its versatility in indoor decor. It can be grown in a hanging basket, trained to climb a trellis or pole, or left to cascade down a shelf. The plant’s bright foliage can add a pop of color to any room and provide a calming, natural element to your indoor space. With its resilience, beauty, and easy care requirements, it is no wonder that the Golden Pothos remains a beloved and ubiquitous houseplant.


In conclusion, pothos and philodendrons may look similar, but they have several differences in their characteristics and care requirements. By understanding these differences, you can provide proper care for your plant and ensure its health and longevity. Whether you choose a cascading pothos or an upright philodendron, both plants can bring beauty, air purification, and low-maintenance joy to your indoor space.

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