Pothos vs Philodendron – 4 Key Differences to Look Out For


Pothos and philodendrons are popular houseplants that can be easily mistaken for one another due to their similar appearance. You’ll be able to tell them apart more easily by learning about the following differences between the pothos and the philodendron.

Difference in Foliage

Pothos and philodendrons both have heart-shaped leaves so you need to pay close attention to the color in order to tell them apart. The color of the leaves will depend on the variety of the plant. Silver pothos, for example, have silver-like markings along the leaves, while golden pothos have waxy green leaves with yellow patches.

Philodendrons, on the other hand, tend to have less-shiny leaves with a darker green color although this may not be the case for every variety of philodendrons. Generally speaking, you may also find the leaves of the philodendrons to be thinner and floppier.

Difference in Plant Length

Pothos are generally bigger than their philodendron counterparts. An indoor pothos plant has the ability to grow up to ten feet long, while philodendrons are slightly smaller with a size potential of up to eight feet. You will find that both houseplants will grow fairly fast in optimal conditions.

Difference in Aerial Roots

If the leaves are too hard to tell apart then take a look at the aerial roots. As plants that like to vine, pothos and philodendrons have roots that develop above ground. You may find that the aerial roots of the pothos plant are wider and stubbier than the roots of the philodendrons.

Difference in Petiole

The petiole is the stalk of the plant that connects the leaves with the stem. You may find that the petioles of the pothos plants have a slight indentation as well as a brown edge appearance. Philodendrons, on the other hand, have petioles that are more round and uniform.

Regardless of which of the two houseplants you have at home, know that you aren’t necessarily missing out by only having one of them. Both houseplants are actually pretty similar and offer enriching aesthetics. They have similar growing conditions and will both bloom beautiful flowers under the right conditions.