Silver Streak Pothos is an exciting new kid on the block in houseplant circles that is gaining a great reputation. Its official name is Epipremnum amplissimum, or synonym Rhaphidophora amplissima in the Arum family, a vine native to Papua New Guinea and islands off the coast of northeast Australia.
This Pothos has long lance-shaped leaves that never fenestrate. They are unusually colored with bluish-green stripes that shine silver when the plant is young, but as it matures, it loses its silvery stripes and becomes all green.
Indoors, it grows 8 to 10 feet long and can cascade over the edge of a hanging pot or climb up a trellis or moss pole.
Care for this stunning tropical houseplant is similar to that of other Pothos plants, like its cousin, Golden Pothos, Epipremnum aureum. So, if you can give it the conditions it needs, your Silver Streak pothos should thrive.
Silver Streak Pothos Care Guide
This beautiful plant comes from an environment of dappled sunlight, warm temperatures, and humidity levels above 50%. Read on to see the details of their requirements.
Silver Streak pothos climbs up trees in South Pacific tropical rainforests, and it gets dappled sun filtered through the canopy above. You can achieve the same effect by giving your plant bright indirect light, such as in an east- or north-facing window.
The light from a west- or south-facing window might be too bright for your Silver Streak and burn its leaves. If these are your only exposures, set the plant back a few feet or hang a sheer curtain in front of the window to soften the sun’s rays.
And if you put your plant outdoors in the summer, keep it in a shaded spot such as under a tree, porch, or patio where it will get bright light but not direct sunlight.
Silver Streak pothos grows best when temperatures hold steady between a warm 70 and 80 degrees F without much fluctuation and out of the way of hot or cold drafts.
If you have your plant outdoors in the summer, keep it in the shade so it will still get warmth and indirect light but won’t overheat. And remember to bring it in when temperatures drop in the early fall.
All species and varieties of Pothos will tolerate average household humidity of 30 to 50%, but they grow best in humidity levels of 50% or higher.
You can easily boost the humidity around your plant by setting the pot on a pebble tray with water, misting the plant, or using a humidifier if you have one.
Glass display cases or large terrariums that provide high-humidity environments are currently popular and attractive ways to display your plant while giving it higher humidity.
Pothos plants need light, porous, well-draining soil. Use commercial succulent soil or make your own with an indoor potting soil amended with perlite, peat, coarse sand, coco coir, or pumice.
Soil is made up of chunks of material and air spaces around them. The material provides an anchor for the roots and nutrients for the plant’s growth.
Air spaces allow the roots to “breathe” and water to drain through and be absorbed by the organic material so it’s available for the plant.
When soil is too dense, there are fewer air spaces for the roots to breathe and water to drain through. Water can build up in the soil and cause fungal root rot, which can kill the plant.
Pothos plants like to be watered when the soil is dry, 1″ to 2″ from the top of the soil.
The timing will vary with the amount of light, heat, humidity, and time of year. But rather than figuring out a watering schedule, testing the soil first is best.
Dig your finger or a chopstick down a couple of inches in the pot. If it comes out dry, it’s time to water your plant, but if it’s still moist, wait a week and test it again.
It will probably be once a week during the spring and summer, but it’s better to check first. A moisture meter can also help you figure out when to water.
It will need more frequent watering during the warm months when the plant is growing. But in the winter, when its growth slows down, you’ll need to water it less.
When you water, let it run through the pot so the soil can absorb the water, and let it drain completely. Then, empty any excess water from the dish or tray underneath the pot.
The type of water you use is essential, too. Pothos plants are vulnerable to the chemicals in ordinary tap water, which usually contains chlorine.
Distilled or rainwater is healthier for the plant, but if those options aren’t possible, allow the tap water to sit open overnight so that the chlorine can evaporate.
You can fertilize your pothos to give it an extra boost of nutrition. Use half-strength of the recommended amount of liquid fertilizer once a month or granular fertilizer twice during the spring and summer.
Refrain from fertilizing it during the winter during its slower growth time to avoid fertilizer burn.
Your pothos ‘Silver Streak’ will grow about 6″ to 12″ a month, depending on the time of year and the light, temperature, humidity, and fertilizer that it has.
You can prune the stems with clean scissors or shears between the nodes to keep them in shape and if you want to propagate your plant.
You can easily propagate the cuttings you have made from pruning your plant, and it’s a great way to increase the number of plants in your home.
There are two ways you can do it: water or soil pothos propagation.
Put a cutting with 4 or 5 leaves in a clean jar with clean water. Remove all leaves below the waterline, set the cutting in a warm spot in indirect light, and change the water every 4 to 5 days to keep algae from growing.
Your cutting should begin to grow roots in 2 to 3 weeks. When they have grown to a length of 2 to 3 inches, plant them in a loose, well-draining potting mix.
Take a cutting with 2 to 4 leaves and remove at least one leaf at the bottom.
Stick the cutting in fresh, loose potting mix with perlite or coarse sand in a pot with drainage holes.
Keep it moist, and set it in a warm spot in indirect light. It should begin to grow roots in 2 to 4 weeks.
You can also dip the end in rooting hormone to encourage growth before sticking it in the soil. You can tie a plastic bag around the whole pot and plant to increase the humidity and speed up the rooting.
Your Silver Streak can be susceptible to pests and can be attacked by spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, fungus gnats, or scale.
Spider Mites, Aphids, and Mealybugs
These pests can cause the leaves to be stippled and distorted, turn yellow, weaken, and even drop off. You can control spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs with insecticidal soap or Neem oil spray per bottle instructions.
You can also wipe the foliage down with rubbing alcohol.
Fungus gnats deposit their eggs in the top inch of soil, and when the larvae hatch, they feed on the organic matter in the soil, including the roots, which can damage the plant.
Adults emerge from the soil as a cloud of flying insects that you can see when the pot is jostled. They lay their eggs back in the soil, and the cycle continues.
Fungus gnat eggs are often present in bags of potting mix and grow into larvae when the soil is kept too wet. Control for these critters has to be twofold:
- Treat the potting mix before use by microwaving or baking it briefly to kill the eggs. You can also treat it by watering the soil with 1 part hydrogen peroxide to 3 parts water, killing the eggs and adding oxygen to the soil.
- Catch the adults with sticky traps to keep them from laying eggs back in the soil.
Scale are hard-bodied, armored insects that can be controlled by hosing the plant to knock as many off as possible and then wiping the plant down with rubbing alcohol.
The primary disease of pothos Silver Streak is root rot, a fungal infection caused by overwatering the soil.
When air spaces in the soil are filled with water for too long, and the roots can’t get enough oxygen, root rot will start to grow. Check the roots if your plant is droopy and the leaves are beginning to turn yellow. Gently take the plant out of the potting mix and wash the roots to see what they look like.
Healthy roots are white and firm, but if any are black, mushy, and smell foul, cut them off with clean scissors or shears.
Treat the remaining roots with hydrogen peroxide and water, a fungicide like Neem oil, or powdered cinnamon, a natural fungicide. Then plant them back in fresh potting mix in a clean pot with a drainage hole.
All plants in the Arum family, including Silver Streak Pothos, contain calcium oxalates which are toxic if eaten. So keep your family safe by keeping the plant away from inquisitive little hands and paws.
Is silver streak pothos rare?
Silver Streak Pothos (Epipremnum amplissimum) is not a rare plant. This upcoming cultivar from Costa Farms promises to be a delightful addition for plant aficionados. Keep an eye on your nearest garden store! And if you can’t wait online sellers such as Etsy usually have them in stock, ready to ship.
Nancy has been a plant person from an early age. That interest blossomed into a bachelor’s in biology from Elmira College and a master’s degree in horticulture and communications from the University of Kentucky. Nancy worked in plant taxonomy at the University of Florida and the L. H. Bailey Hortorium at Cornell University, and wrote and edited gardening books at Rodale Press in Emmaus, PA. Her interests are plant identification, gardening, hiking, and reading.