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Scindapsus aureus - Devil's Ivy - Rhaphidophora aurea

Also known as the very similar Epipremnum aureum - which is technically incorrect, but the differences are mainly in the number of seeds produced!

Scindapsus aureus is an indoor climbing, hanging, or trailing plant. Devil’s Ivy is a striking plant with fleshy, gold-splashed, green foliage which is typically heart shaped, but often oval. There are plain green leaved varieties – from which this particular plant was parented.

They rarely flower when grown as indoor plants, but in the native habitat have flowers which are arum-like – very similar to the Anthurium Flamingo Flower, but with greenish-colored spathes from which a tubular spadix protrudes.

 Scindapsus are native plants of South East Asia, when they can be seen growing to great height in native forests. They are also planted as ornamental feature plants – being allowed/encouraged to grow many meters into overhanging trees. In this environment, the leaves grow large – sometimes 45cm across.

Care of Scindapsus

Scindapsus houseplantScindapsus aureum can be grown in semi-shade or strong light, warmth and humidity are essential. Use a good potting mix enriched with compost.

For continued success, it will need minimum temperatures of 50deg F in the winter months, and not be subjected to draughts. Keep away from clod windows, thoughn well double-glazed units should be ok – but not over a central heating radiator.

Water the plants regularly to maintain lush fleshy growth and try to aim for as humid a local environment as possible. It should be fed with a general houseplant feed throughout the growing season, but not fed during the winter months, when watering should be reduced anyway. However, be aware of the fact that if you house is well heated, it will require some watering during the winter – but not feeding.

Mist spray leaves occasionally to clean. Cut back unwanted growth and pot trimmings up to grow on as new plants. If the pot can be stood in a pebble filled tray – topped with water - that should help with the humidity levels. Better still if it is surrounded by other plants in an attractive arrangement.

Problems of Scindapsus as Houseplants

Scale Insects and Red Spider Mite may cause problems and sometimes. Mealy bug will set up home in the deep crotches of leaf joints.

Scindapsus are good for.

Hanging baskets, trailing along picture rails or window sills, growing up moss poles, the Devil’s Ivy makes a success of most growing positions and is an easy to maintain colourful foliage plant.

Propagation of Scindapsus

They can be quite easily rooted from shoot tips. (This will also have the beneficial effect of encouraging bushy growth – rather than the solitary stem that they are generally happy to produce.)

The tips should be around 15cm long, and inserted into pots rather than trays, with a clear polythene bag fixed to the pot to ensure a high humidity. Alternatively, they can be placed in a large heated propagator until rooted. Wean the rotted cutting from high humidity to room humidity in stages – rather than taking the air tight cover off in one go. 


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