How to Care for the Beautiful Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight

Botanists have documented two verified observations of the rare Scindapsus treubii in its native habitat, particularly in Singapore and Brunei Darussalam in Asia.

Scindapsus are excellent indoor plants that don’t need special attention or unique growing conditions to thrive. Scindapsus is a distinct genus native to Southeast Asia.

They need well-draining soil, indirect light, humidity, and temperatures around 72 °F (22 °C) to flourish.

The Scindapsus treubii has two varients: the S. treubii ‘Moonlight’ and the S. treubii ‘Dark Form’. The latter one’s leaves are almost black, is generally pricier, and are reasonably available.

The S. treubii  ‘Moonlight’ has large silvery green leaves, is comparatively less expensive, and is generally out of stock. The leaf shape of S. treubii is narrower than the S. pictus varieties but still maintains an asymmetrical hook at the end.

As with several aroids, scientists seem to have strife in defining to which genus the plant belongs. The University of Florida (IFAS) still has the Scindapsus classified as a Pothos. I quote:

“A third “Pothos” is still botanically described as Scindapsus.”

The original record for the plant, categorized by Schott in 1832, records his findings thus:

Lianas, creeping and climbing against trees with adhesive roots.

Stem robust and branched. Leaves spiro-distichous; petiole usually sheathing or winged throughout its length; leaf blade undivided, pinnately veined, with numerous parallel, thin lateral veins.

Inflorescences solitary, near stem apices; peduncle at last laterally protruding from the petiolar sheath.”

Academia is rife with politics, but let them be. Note that Pothos’ needs are identical to those of your Scindapsus treubii ‘Moonlight’. The table below reviews these basic needs for plant health.

Scientific Name:Scindapsus treubii
Common Name:Sterling Silver
Origin:Singapore and Brunei Darussalam in South East Asia
Light:Bright indirect sunlight, but also grow in lower light
Watering:Water if the top third of the pot is dry
Temperature:Night: 54 to 68⁰ F (12 to 20⁰ C) Day: 68 to 95⁰ F (20 to 35⁰ C)
Hardiness Zone:Minimum 10b 35 – 40 F (1.7 – 4.4 C)
Humidity:50% and above – Humidity tolerant
Soil Type:Rich, quick-draining, loamy
Soil pH:6.1 to 7.3 (slightly acidic to neutral)
Fertilizing:Include diluted fertilizer in the watering regime
Repotting:As indicated by roots emerging out of the drainage holes.
Pruning:Only as needed or for plant propagation
Propagation:Root in water or inert materials
Toxicity:Toxic to humans and pets
Mature Size:8 to 10 feet as a houseplant
Bloom Time:Rarely flowers indoors

Scindanapus Treubii Moonlight Care

Water

Regarding the Scindapsus treubii Moonlight, avoiding overwatering is very important. Ensure that you do not let this plant sit in water for longer than an hour. Water thoroughly and allow the pot to drain. Empty the tray regularly. 

Overwatering is the main reason why potted plants die. When surrounded by water, roots cannot absorb oxygen – remember, they require water and oxygen.

The general rule is to only water when necessary. To decide when to water, one may utilize the following techniques:

  • Touch the soil: The most accurate test for soil moisture is to feel how dry the potting soil feels. If the mixture is dry at your fingertip after inserting your finger up to the second digit, it needs water.
  • When potting mix in a clay pot starts to dry up, it shrinks away from the pot’s sides. Use a stick or your knuckles to tap the pot’s side. You know to water if the sound is hollow; if the sound is dull, the soil is moist.

When watering is necessary, water deeply. Apply water until the bottom of the pot is completely submerged, and this removes accumulated salts and ensures that most of the roots in the bottom two-thirds of the pot get enough water.

Empty the tray, and don’t let the pot sit in the accumulated water.

I also recommend using room-temperature water with no chlorine. To achieve this, leave some water in a container overnight, and the water will be chlorine-free the next day. 

Soil

If you want a healthy Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant, ensure that the soil:

  1. Drains well
  2. It keeps some moisture available
  3. Allows the roots to remain aerated
  4. It has an organic base

Essentially what you’re looking for in a healthy soil mix is a balance between retaining water while ensuring good drainage, providing adequate aeration (avoiding anaerobic conditions), maintaining the proper pH, and ensuring the soil has sufficient cation exchange capacity (CEC).

If you’ve had the opportunity to read my Composting Masterclass book, you’d understand why I’m so passionate about using compost, even in potting soil.

A good potting mix for your N’Joy Pothos should include the following ingredients in the given proportions:

  • One part compost (25%)
  • Two parts coconut coir (50%)
  • Half a part of pumice (or perlite) (12.5%)
  • Half an amount expanded shale, or LECA (lightweight expanded clay aggregate) (12.5%)

Each of the above serves a specific purpose in emulating the Scindapsustreubii’snatural habitat.

Light

Any plant’s ability to grow is greatly influenced by sunshine. The Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant, which enjoys partial or dappled shade, copes well with less.

This tropical beauty can carry out all of its essential tasks without damaging the leaves, thanks to indirect sunshine.

You can put the Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant in front of a window that faces the west, east, or north indoors. Yes, it manages shady areas well; do not worry. It prefers less light to more.

The plant does reasonably well when grown outside, beneath a giant tree’s canopy, or on partially shaded patios and rooftops.

The Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant is very light-sensitive and responds to intense light by developing brown leafy tips. It is, therefore, essential to keep it in filtered sunlight at all times.

Temperature

The Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant needs night temperatures from 54 to 68⁰ F (12 to 20⁰ C) and day temperatures from 68 to 95⁰ F (20 to 35⁰ C).

Remember that the release rate of fertilizers is a product of soil temperature, particle size, and the growing medium’s organic content and microbial life.

Added fertilizer to cold soil does not benefit and increases root burning risks.

Avoid placing the Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant right next to a windy window or cooling and heating units; the direct wind drafts may lead to shock. 

Humidity

Your Scindapsus is not particular about humidity but will not stand dry air. Try and maintain a relative humidity level of around 50%.

Fertilizer

The Scindapsus treubii Moonlight is not a heavy feeder; it only requires a diluted application of a good-quality fertilizer every time you water. Drip-fed fertilizing is better than occasional feasts.

The feed should contain all macro and micronutrients, including nitrogen, phosphate, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. 

Each nutrient plays various yet equally vital roles in the plant’s life cycle.

Remember to reduce or cut fertilizer in late October to allow your plants to enter dormancy, an essential part of their well-being. You can resume fertilizing in early spring. 

Repotting

Because of its manageable size, the Scindapsus treubii Moonlight does not require frequent repotting.

The optimum time to repot your plant is when it sees its roots circling the bottom of the pot or when the vines have outgrown their container.

Water clogging, moderate to severe plant infections, and topsoil that needs to be changed are other signs that a plant needs replanted.

Select a pot at least 2 inches (50 cm) larger than the one you previously used. Replace the entire soil and add the same components, including perlite, orchid bark, and sphagnum moss.

When you’re finished, check to ensure the roots are arranged evenly in the pot and are not twisted.

Pruning

If you think your Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant is growing out of shape or needs tidying up, consider pruning it. 

There is no set time for trimming off the branches, but most require it in about a year. 

Start with cutting the vines that look most erratic or abnormal in any way (discolored, twisted). Ensure that each cut is sharp and does minimal damage to the surrounding buds. 

Besides giving your Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant a fresh look, pruning also encourages new growth. 

Please remember to disinfect your gardening and pruning tools before using them to minimize the risk of infection.

Propagation

This plant propagates well from stem cuttings. Stem cuttings root easily in water or inert growing mediums mile perlite or coconut coir. Follow these simple methods to propagate stem cuttings:

Steps to propagate Scindapsus treubii Moonlight

  1. Clean your shears or a sharp knife to prevent plant infections from surface bacteria and fungi.
  2. Cut the apex off, including at least three leaves and a growth node. Cut at a 45° angle to maximize the exposed plant surface area.
  3. Remove the lowest leaf (closest to the cutting).
  4. Take care not to damage the node.
  5. Dip the cutting into allocated growth hormones and shake any excess off. Don’t dip it into the jar, as you risk contaminating the batch.
  6. Emerge the cutting into water or damp perlite and start the wait.
  7. Ensure the cut tip has continuous access to water and the leaves get adequate light.
  8. Roots will form faster if the water or perlite is kept slightly warmer at 77 °F (25 °C) than the ambient temperature.
  9. Wait until root development is visible and about one inch long. Expect it to take as long as three months, so be patient.
  10. Plant the clipping in the soil advised above in a 12-inch pot.

Growth

Despite growing slowly, the Scindapsus treubii Moonlight is definitely worth the wait. Beautiful green leaves with silver stripes grow from them, impressing many.

USDA hardiness zones 10b is the minimum winter hardiness the plant will survive outdoors.

It reaches a height of around 96 inches (244 cm) when growing in the wild or in captivity in surroundings comparable to its natural environment. The leaves reach a length of roughly 4 to 20 inches (10 to 51 cm).

Keep this gem somewhere with lots of room.

Common Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight Challenges

Root Rot

Root rot is a significant problem when growing the Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant. It frequently happens when the plant receives excessive watering to the point where its roots become soggy.

The soil’s persistent moisture also draws various pests, including aphids and spider mites.

Allow the soil of the Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant to dry out in between waterings to avoid this issue. Remove the plant, allow the roots to dry, and plant it again if root rot has already affected it.

Curling Leaves

Curled leaves are the next typical problem with the Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant. This lovely plant can survive for a considerable amount of time without water reasonably well.

However, the plant’s leaves start to curl or twist if the atmosphere is too dry or if it is not watered for an extended time.

Underwatering is the most prevalent cause of this. Water your Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant every other day or as soon as the top layer of soil appears dry.

Additionally, spray the plant once or twice a week.

Yellow Leaves

Yellow leaves on the Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant are among its most prevalent issues. Numerous factors may contribute to their formation; however, insufficient sunshine is the most common reason.

The yellow leaves won’t appear overnight. Small spots form at first, then combine to darken the entire leaf.

Review every aspect of your plant’s care regimen and make the necessary adjustments to resolve this issue.

Choose an east-facing window that lets in filtered sunshine when it comes to lighting arrangements. Take another look at your watering schedule if the issue continues.

Frequently Asked Questions about Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight Care

What is the best fertilizer for the Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant?

The Scindapsus treubii Moonlight responds best to nutrient-rich, organic fertilizers with vital macro- and micronutrients. Commercial feeds created especially for Scindapsus treubii Moonlight also function admirably.

How should I care for my Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant?

Place the Scindapsus treubii Moonlight in dappled, bright sunlight with a humidity of at least 50%. Keep the temperature at 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit (18.3 to 23.8 degrees Celsius) and plant in pots with good drainage.

Is the Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant toxic?

When ingested, the Scindapsus treubii Moonlight is toxic to kids, adults, and pets, and it can cause swelling of the oral mucosa and other gastrointestinal tissues. 

What is the best humidity for the Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant?

Scindapsus treubii Moonlight does best in humidity levels over 60%; however, it can also manage as low as 40% moisture levels. 

Does the Scindapsus treubii Moonlight grow fast?

The Scindapsus treubii Moonlight plant is a slow grower, and it may take three or more months to sprout secondary leaves. 

In Closing

The Scindapsus treubii is a true gem in the houseplant collection, with its beautiful silvery coloring making it stand out.

You’re in for a fantastic treat if you’re prepared for a wide range of growth and development. If you look after your Moonlight, it will continue to produce beautiful leaves for many years.

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