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Pothos vs. Philodendron

Updated: Oct 10, 2021

As I promised at the end of podcast episode #14, here it is y'all!

It wasn't until recently that it FINALLY clicked what the differences between Pothos and Philodendron truly are! Below I explained the habit of each plant so you can see the comparisons for yourself!


  • Known for having larger thicker leaves

  • Leaves keep getting larger when growing up a moss pole or trellis

  • Leaves are shaped similarly to a teardrop

  • The stems are a bit more rigid, not as flexible

  • New growth forms off the stem of an existing leaf (see the bottom left corner of the Pothos image to the left)

  • Many variegation option with shapes of green, yellow or white

  • Variegation comes in streaks, marbling and a combination


  • Known for having flexible, delicate & thinner leaves

  • Leaves are shaped similarly to a heart

  • The stems are a bit more flexible and delicate

  • New growth forms on it's own at the end of the stem.

  • Variegation is minimal on varieties- Brasil is one of the few

  • Variegation commonly found on the leaves as streaks- not marbling


  • They are both from the Araceae Family

  • They both benefit from a bit of humidity

  • Both love to drape over its own pot OR climb up a moss pole or trellis

  • Propagation is easy- just cut below a leaf node (see image below)

  • A leaf node is at the base of a leaf where it meets the stem

  • It usually looks a bit thicker than the existing stem around it

  • Sometimes there is an aerial root at the leaf node as well

  • In this case- it is the white/green root forming

  • You can find these guys almost anywhere! Most plant shops have Pothos or Philodendron

  • Can find these EVERYWHERE- almost any plant shop will have them

Bottom Line:

How to check for the differences...

  • Leaf shape and stem flexibility

  • How new growth is forming

Other differences in my experience...

  • If you want a fast growing plant with VERY high tolerance, choose Philodendron

  • Pothos still get large but they don't grow as quickly

  • Philodendron's new stems and growth have a pink/red tint to it while Pothos is green or slightly lighter green


Now, I know there are Philodendron that obviously don't look like Pothos- like this Moonlight Philodendron that has a totally different leaf shape and growth.

If you want more information on Philodendron or Pothos varieties, and plant care, check out Podcast #5 and #14 or check out the corresponding blog posts (coming soon)! #snakeplant #sansevieria #dracaena #crazyplantlady #ihaveathingwithplants #plantcommunity #urbanjungle #funfacts #podcast #houseplanthomebody



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Those aren't all the Pothos or Philodendron I have- there were 5 not pictured! I have 9 Pothos (rooting more now) and 8 Philodendron of many varieties (one of the Brasil Philodendron in these pictures is for my sister!)

Always written with extreme plant passion!

Love, Holly


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