Scindapsus is a member of the Araceae family of plants. It contains approximately 40 species of tropical plants. Scindapsus originated in the forests of Southeast Asia and is considered endemic to that country. Scindapsus plants are climbing vines, with stems reaching 10 to 40 feet (about three to 12 m), depending on the variety. Many varieties of Scindapsus have become popular houseplants because they are so easy to grow, but caution is advised as they are considered poisonous.
Scindapsus is considered endemic to Southeast Asia, meaning it typically only grows wild in very limited areas of that country. Scindapsus cannot tolerate direct sunlight or temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). As such, outside of Southeast Asia, it is grown almost exclusively as a houseplant.
The leaves are generally heart shaped or oval and variegated, i.e., a mix of colors. The leaves have a thick, leathery feel to them and can be several shades of green, containing white, silver, or yellow colorations. The plant's attractive multicolored and stiff leaves have become popular additions to floral arrangements.
Scindapsus prefer low to bright indirect light and can tolerate a wide variety of soil types. Scindapsus also prefer to dry out between watering and can recover quickly from neglect. To propagate Scindapsus, simply snip off a piece of the stem, preferably at an angle, and place it in water. Scindapsus will quickly grow roots and can be transplanted in a container of potting soil. Some varieties of Scindapsus, namely the Golden Pothos, will grow for years in water alone.
Scindapsus is very popular as a houseplant and is found in many homes and offices around the world. Because of its popularity, the plant has many common names. Golden Pothos, Devil’s Ivy, Taro Vine, and Ivy Arum are just a few. Scindapsus is not an ivy, by definition, but many people refer to it as such because of its climbing and trailing nature. Scindapsus can be encouraged to climb walls and other structures or grown in hanging baskets.
Like most of the plants in the Araceae family, Scindapsus is a poisonous plant. The sap, i.e., the fluid substance inside the leaves, contains a chemical known as calcium oxalate crystals. When the leaves of a Scindapsus are cut or broken, the sap can cause minor irritation to the skin. When chewed, the sap can cause irritation to the lips, tongue, and throat. Some varieties of Scindapsus can be deadly if ingested in large quantities by small children or pets.