In the hunt for houseplants, a true silvery ann can be hard to find. But if you’re searching for elegant foliage, it’s worth the effort.
Silvery ann plants display oblong heart-shaped leaves mottled with silver spots. Their attractive silvery variegation deepens with age and sunlight.
Once you do manage to find this elusive beauty, you’ll want to keep it alive. To increase your chances of houseplant success, check out this complete care guide for silvery ann pothos.
Call Me by Your Name?
First things first, let’s set the record straight. Silvery Ann is not a pothos.
But, as the title of this guide might suggest, this plant often goes by the misnomer silvery ann pothos. It is a member of the Aracea family. This family, also known as arums or aroids, includes many common houseplants: pothos, philodendron, and monstera.
Although closely related to pothos, this plant is actually in a different genus of arum: Scindapsus. Within this genus, the species of a true silvery ann is pictus. So the scientific name for this particular plant is Scindapsus pictus ‘silvery ann’.
To make matters more confusing, there are several common names for this plant.
When you’re shopping for silvery ann(e), you might find it listed as silver vine, satin pothos, silver ann, silver satin pothos, silvery satin pothos, or silver pothos. These names generally refer to the same plant. (But the exact classification can vary from seller to seller.)
Even experienced gardeners can struggle to distinguish between pothos and Scindapsus. Aside from slight visual variations, the main difference is the growth rate. Pothos tend to grow more quickly than Scindapsus.
For clarity, the rest of this care guide will refer to this plant as “silvery ann”.
Care Guide For Silvery Ann Scindapsus pictus
Pots & Potting Soil
You will only need to re-pot silvery ann once every two years. The exception is if you notice that the plant has become root bound or that the root ball has grown too big for the pot.
If the plant has become root bound, you’ll notice that the soil has separated from the inner edge of the pot. If the plant has outgrown the pot, you might notice roots poking out through the drainage holes on the bottom of the pot.
In either case, it’s time to re-pot the silvery ann. Increase pot size by 1-2″ diameter for small tabletop pots or 2-4″ diameter for larger floor pots. Resist the temptation to increase pot size too quickly; too much soil can hold excess water, potentially drowning your plant.
Select an aroid soil blend, a potting mix specifically designed for members of the arum family. You can also create your own soil blend to promote drainage and root aeration. Combine regular potting mix with perlite or pebbles.
Ideally, silver ann plants prefer slightly acidic soil.
Plant your silvery ann in a porous clay pot if possible. This material allows moisture to evaporate from the sides of the pot as well as the top and bottom. Whichever material you use, make sure the pot contains adequate drainage holes.
Lighting conditions not only impact how well this plant grows; they also change how the plant looks. If the plant does not receive enough sunlight, it can lose its silvery variegation.
Silvery ann plants prefer bright indirect light.
There are a few ways to achieve indirect sunlight. You can use gauzy curtains to filter bright light. Want an easier option? Place the plant farther away from the window, deeper into the room.
Be careful when adjusting light conditions. Direct sunlight can damage this plant.
Water & Moisture
As with many houseplants, too much water is often more deadly than too little water. Overwatering your silvery ann can lead to root rot and other diseases.
As a general rule of thumb, you will need to water silvery ann once a week.
Various factors can impact how frequently you need to water your plant: light availability, air temperature, humidity levels, time of year, pot size, and more. So although a watering schedule can be a helpful guide, be prepared to make adjustments.
Use your finger to test soil dryness before you water the plant. Allow the top inch of soil to dry between waterings.
When you water the plant, water it around the base of the stem continuing until water drains from the bottom of the pot.
Remove this excess water from the saucer. If left to sit in water, the plant might develop root rot.
Silvery ann is native to the biogeographic realm of Indomalaya. This tropical climate experiences hot temperatures and high humidity. So your silvery ann will do best in temperatures ranging from 75 to 85 Fahrenheit.
In the colder months, this plant will tolerate lower temperatures. But once temperatures dip below approximately 65 Fahrenheit, the plant will experience stunted growth or death.
Temperature consistency is also crucial to plant health. Dramatic temperature fluctuations, particularly those occurring in winter, can harm houseplants. Keep silvery ann plants away from drafts and radiators.
Silvery ann does not require frequent fertilization. (Too much fertilizer can burn the roots of the plant.) That said, a houseplant can only access the nutrients available in its pot. So you will occasionally need to “feed” your indoor plants.
As a guideline, apply fertilizer once a month. Increase fertilization during spring and summer; decrease fertilization during fall and winter.
Looking at foliage is a good way to tell a plant’s fertilizer needs. First, rule out other issues such as overwatering, underwatering, root rot, and other diseases. If you notice decreased leaf size, it’s probably time to apply fertilizer. But browning leaf tips can indicate that you have over-fertilized your plant.
Remember: silvery ann is not a heavy feeder. To avoid root burn, use a half-strength dosage of all-purpose fertilizer.
Insects don’t usually bother silvery ann. But if your plant does experience a pest infestation, there are a few common culprits: spider mites, mealybugs, and scales.
The earlier you notice an infestation, the better chance you have at saving the silvery ann.
To remove the bugs, physically remove the bugs. Apply a diluted alcohol solution onto a cloth and wipe off the bugs from the affected areas of the plant.
How to Promote Vines
Many houseplant owners assume gravity encourages plants to produce vines. But the opposite is true.
If you want your silvery ann to branch out, give it something to climb — a trellis, moss pole, or even a taut length of string.
Pothos tend to be better at climbing than Scindapsus. So if this feature is important to you, you might want to shop for a true pothos.
Silvery Ann Propagation
Identify a portion of the stem that hosts several healthy leaves. Next, identify the node (a small bump) on the stem. Use sterilized scissors to cut the stem at a 45-degree angle about an inch below the node.
Place the stem cutting in a jar of filtered water. Position this jar somewhere it will receive bright indirect sunlight. Refresh the water every couple of days to maintain oxygen levels. In about one month, the plant will begin to form roots.
Once several roots have reached several inches in length, transplant the cutting into soil.
A Quick Note on Toxicity
The rumors are true: silvery ann is toxic to pets and people. But don’t panic. Toxic doesn’t necessarily mean deadly.
Like many houseplants, the stems and leaves of silvery ann contain calcium oxalate crystals. If ingested, these crystals can cause unpleasant symptoms such as nausea, diarrhea, mouth irritation, and even difficulty breathing.
Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.