You may have seen the rare and illusive Sterling Silver Scindapsus (Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight) popping up on your social media feeds this year. Recently introduced to the market, this Scindapsus variety has stunning foliage with a metallic silver sheen that makes it stand out from any other houseplant around. If you’re lucky enough to find one or already have one at home, this guide will take you through everything you need to know about how to grow and care for Sterling Silver Scindapsus plants at home.
- How to Grow Sterling Silver Scindapsus at Home:
- About Sterling Silver Scindapsus
- How to Grow Sterling Silver Scindapsus
- How to Care for Sterling Silver Scindapsus at Home
- Common Sterling Silver Scindapsus Problems & How to Treat Them
- Essential Tools
- Growing Sterling Silver Scindapsus FAQs:
- Wrapping Up
How to Grow Sterling Silver Scindapsus at Home:
|Botanical Name:||Scindapsus Treubii ‘Moonlight’|
|Also Known As:||Sterling Silver Scindapsus|
|Light Requirements:||Bright, indirect light with no direct sun|
|Temp & Humidity:||Prefers moderate temperatures between 65F and 75F and 60% humidity|
|Watering Needs:||Water when the top 2 inches of soil have dried out, avoid overwatering|
|Soil Preferences:||Rich soil amended with perlite for improved aeration and drainage|
|Fertilizing:||Once every 1-2 months with a general houseplant fertilizer|
|Growth Expectations:||Slow grower, vines reach several feet long after a few years|
|Toxicity:||Toxic to humans and pets|
About Sterling Silver Scindapsus
Sterling Silver Scindapsus is the common name for Scindapsus treubii ‘Moonlight’ – and it’s not hard to see why. The shiny silver-green leaves are incredibly sought after, making this plant tough to find in your local nursery.
As part of the Scindapsus genus, they are related to the more common and also popular Scindapsus pictus, or Satin Pothos – which is not really a Pothos at all. However, these plants and their cousins are related to Pothos and other popular plants like Monsteras as part of the Araceae or arum family.
Their popularity doesn’t only stem from their stunning looks but also their rarity. Sterling Silver Scindapsus is undoubtedly a collector’s item and can be incredibly difficult to find. They are also quite expensive due to their rarity. Your best bet is to find someone who already owns the plant and ask for a cutting to grow your own from scratch.
Origins & History
Scindapsus treubii originates from the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia. It has been introduced to North American houseplant markets by Costa Farms, who send plant hunters worldwide to gather rare and interesting indoor plants. They named the plant Sterling Silver thanks to its foliage, but it is also commonly called Moonlight.
First found by Costa Farms in 2016, the company spent several years propagating from cuttings to preserve the stunning color. The plant was ready for local markets in 2021 and exploded in popularity, causing a Sterling Silver Scindapsus craze among houseplant lovers.
There is a limited supply of these houseplants, sold as part of the Costa Farms Trending Tropicals collection. They are pretty rare and sell out quickly. If you spot one at your local store, consider yourself lucky and don’t second guess the purchase of this sought-after plant.
This trailing plant has long vines covered in pointed heart-shaped leaves. True to the name, the leaves have a silver sheen, edged by a deep green with a single green line down the center. They look even better in the sunlight where the foliage can truly shine.
Differing from its relatives, this plant is quite a slow grower. They can be left to trail along shelves or climb up trellises without completely taking over the area.
Like other trailing plants, Scindapsus treubii is a great decorative plant for open shelving or the edge of a countertop. The shiny leaves capture and reflect light beautifully, quickly brightening a space. Due to their slow-growing nature, they are also suitable for low-light areas and can handle rooms with north-facing windows well without looking small or diminished.
When ingested, these plants are toxic and should be kept away from all pets and humans. Ingestion can result in swelling, irritation, vomiting, and difficulty swallowing.
How to Grow Sterling Silver Scindapsus
Scindapsus treubii grows to around the same size as other Scindapsus types, with vines several feet in length. They may take a while to reach this length as they grow slowly and should remain compact for the first few months of growth.
What to Do Before Planting
Choose a spot for your Sterling Silver Scindapsus with bright indirect light. They can handle lower lighting conditions but need the brightest indirect light possible to look their best. They also like higher humidity and should be placed in rooms with around 60% moisture for the best results.
Ensure the long vines have space to trail or climb for healthy growth. They should not sit in water in any drip trays below the plant and are best kept away from other houseplants to avoid being tangled in the foliage later on.
As the vines are not particularly long when first purchased, they will be happy in a smaller pot. But it’s important to ensure the pot is large enough to carry the weight of the vines as they grow. Alternatively, you can snip longer vines as they begin to tip over the pot and replant them to grow an entirely new plant.
What’s The Best Soil Mix?
Like most houseplants, Sterling Silver Scindapsus needs a light and well-draining soil mix. The roots do not like to sit in water and can suffocate with a lack of oxygen due to compacted and waterlogged soil.
You can purchase specialized houseplant potting mixes, or you can mix your own to create the perfect environment for your plants. Try a ratio of two parts potting soil, one part coconut coir, and one part perlite. The coconut coir retains moisture while improving aeration, and perlite will improve aeration and drainage by increasing the spaces between the soil particles.
Peat moss is also a suitable addition and replacement for coconut coir in this mix. However, it is not as sustainable as coconut coir which is made from discarded coconut fibers.
Since they are new plants grown from cuttings and only recently on the market, Sterling Silver Scindapsus should be happy in the pot you bought it in for several months. However, if you’d like to move it to a more decorative pot or combine it with other houseplants in a large planter, follow these steps:
- Choose a pot one or two sizes up from the original, ensuring it is wide enough to accommodate all the vines. Hanging baskets are also great options for these trailing plants.
- Fill the bottom of the pot with a layer of your chosen or premade soil mixture. You can also add a few rocks to the bottom to increase the weight of the pot if the vines are long, but make sure you do not block the drainage holes.
- Squeeze the sides of the pot gently to release the plant. It’s best to avoid watering for a few days before getting started to make this process easier.
- Gently turn the pot on its side and slowly remove the plant. Do not pull the vines from the top as they may pull out of the soil.
- Position the vines in the new pot or container and fill in any gaps with additional soil until it is filled just below the rim.
- Press down the soil around the vines to secure and water thoroughly.
Place your Sterling Silver Scindapsus in a spot with bright indirect light. A window covered by a sheer curtain is also ideal. The foliage cannot handle direct sun and can become scorched if left in high light for too long.
While they can handle moderate and low light, they will not grow their best in these conditions. Excessively low light will slow growth completely and ruin the color of the leaves, so avoid rooms with no windows or dark north-facing windows.
Temperature & Humidity Preferences
These tropical plants prefer moderate temperatures between 65F and 75F. They don’t mind a bit of extra heat (up to 85F), provided they have enough water to keep them going. They can also handle some cold, but will become damaged when left in temperatures below 50F for long periods.
Thanks to their rainforest habitats, they love humidity of around 60%. However, they are not fussy about lower humidity environments and should manage in any conditions above 40%.
How to Care for Sterling Silver Scindapsus at Home
Like other Scindapsus plants, Sterling Silver is a moderate water user. As they live in rainforests, they prefer moist soil, but cannot be left to sit in water. These plants are very prone to problems with overwatering, so it’s best to let the top few inches of soil dry out first before watering again.
You’ll notice they have slightly thicker leaves than some other houseplant vines, meaning they can go a few more days without water without showing any signs of struggle. When the soil has completely dried out, the leaves will begin to wilt and curl, indicating the plant needs water.
Sterling Silver Scindapsus looks best when fertilized regularly. However, as it is a small plant and slow grower, it may not require fertilizing as often as some of your other houseplants. Any nutrients it cannot use from excessive fertilization will burn the roots, causing more problems rather than increased growth.
Fertilize your Sterling Silver Scindapsus once every 1-2 months according to packaging instructions. New plants with healthy soil can be fertilized less often, while older plants will benefit from the additional boost in later years. Only fertilize in spring and summer to avoid encouraging excessive growth in the wrong seasons.
When the vines become too long for the pot, it’s best to trim them to a more manageable size. You can also do this to keep the plant tidy and make sure all the vines stay the same length. Trim the ends with a sharp, disinfected pair of pruning shears to prevent stunted growth or the spread of disease.
Make sure you don’t throw those cuttings away – they can be used for propagation to make even more of these rare plants at no cost.
Sterling Silver Scindapsus is best propagated by stem cutting, like the other vining relatives in the pothos genus. The cuttings can be rooted in water or soil and grouped to produce more plants.
Start by trimming a piece of vine around 4 inches long from the tip. The vine should be healthy and free of any damage or diseases to avoid spreading those problems to your new plants. Cut at a 45-degree angle just below a node (the bump in the stem where leaves emerge).
Remove the foliage from the bottom half of the cutting and place it in a glass filled with water or a pot filled with propagating mix. After a few weeks, the roots should have grown a few inches, indicating they are ready to be transplanted.
For a full-looking Sterling Silver Scindapsus, group 4 or 5 cuttings together and plant in one pot. The vines will trail down all sides of the pot and fill out the space, rather than looking sparse.
These plants will remain happy in the same pot for several years, needing repotting when the vines outgrow the pot or when the soil needs replacing. Since they are slow-growers, it will take quite a while before they outgrow their pots, indicated by stunted growth or dropping leaves.
To repot, follow the same process as when planting, moving the plant to a pot one or two sizes up at most.
Common Sterling Silver Scindapsus Problems & How to Treat Them
Overwatering is the most common concern to look out for and prevent. As these plants are rare and can be quite expensive, it is understandable that we want to ensure they have everything they need at all times. Unfortunately, that can lead to extra fussing and ultimately, overwatering.
These plants have thicker leaves that store plenty of water, as well as roots that are prone to root rot. Overwatered plants will have soft, mushy vines around the base and wilting or discolored leaves. Repot the plant, trimming off all affected roots and replacing the soil completely to stop the problem from spreading.
They are not prone to any particular pest or disease issues, but you should remain on the lookout for common houseplant pests like spider mites. Treat any issues with a homemade insecticide or application of neem oil until the pests are gone.
Keep a sharp pair of pruning shears on hand to trim off any long vines and regularly propagate to produce more of these rare and wonderful plants.
Growing Sterling Silver Scindapsus FAQs:
Are Sterling Silver Scindapsus a good indoor plant?
Found in tropical rainforests, Sterling Silver Scindapsus is perfectly suited to growth indoors.
How big do Sterling Silver Scindapsus Plants get?
The vines can grow several feet long but will remain compact for long periods due to their slow growth.
How fast do Sterling Silver Scindapsus grow?
This plant is a slow grower, so don’t be surprised if the vines don’t reach across your shelf within a few months.
Is Sterling Silver Scindapsus a rare plant?
Only recently introduced to the market and still at a limited supply, Sterling Silver Scindapsus is a rare and sought-after plant. They can be challenging to find and possibly expensive too, so make sure you snatch one up as soon as you spot it.
Are Sterling Silver Scindapsus poisonous to dogs and other pets?
Sterling Silver Scindapsus is poisonous to animals and humans when ingested.
Can a Sterling Silver Scindapsus tolerate low light?
These plants can handle short periods of low light, but grow best and keep their color in bright, indirect light.
As one of the standout collector’s plants of 2021, you cannot go wrong with purchasing a Sterling Silver Scindapsus. Despite their rarity, they are just as easy to care for as the more common Scinsapsus types, giving their owners very few problems – if any.
Madison is a writer and editor with a Bachelor’s degree in History and Political Science. She writes and photographs for various online and print publications in the gardening sphere and is the author of the book The Next-Generation Gardener.