Pothos vs. Philodendron – Similarities and Differences

If you can’t tell the beautiful Pothos and Philodendron plants apart. Check out this Pothos vs. Philodendron article to clear your doubts!

Pothos vs. Philodendron 1

Philodendrons and pothos look quite identical in terms of leaf shape and hue. If you are unable to differentiate between these two, read this article on Pothos vs. Philodendron for more info.

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What is Pothos?

Pothos or Epipremnum aureum is a broadleaf evergreen houseplant of the Araceae family. It features variegated, heart-shaped leaves, red-orange fruits, and green stems. As a horizontal groundcover, this plant can grow 6-8 feet, but it can become up to 40 feet tall as a climber.

What is Philodendron?Pothos vs. Philodendron 3

Philodendron is a prized member of the Araceae family with more than 200 species. This popular, easy-to-grow houseplant is indigenous to tropical America. Its leaves come in various shapes, including cordate, spear-shaped, and divided. Philodendrons can range from deep green to red, depending on the species.

Pothos vs. Philodendron – Key Differences

1. Leaf Shape and Size

Pothos features heart-shaped leaves ranging from 2 to 4 inches in width. Philodendron, on the other hand, has a wider variety of leaf shapes, including heart-shaped, divided, and spear-shaped. Philodendron leaves vary in size from small to large, depending on the species.

2. Leaf Variegation

Pothos offers variegated leaves in shades of green, white, yellow, or silver. While philodendron species also exhibit variegation, but it’s less common, and the variegation patterns tend to be more subtle.

3. Growth Rate and Habit

Pothos is a fast grower with vines extending several feet a year. The trailing habit makes it an excellent choice for hanging baskets or as a ground cover. Whereas, philodendron grows at a moderate pace, and some species can be quite slow.

4. Preferred Light Conditions

Pothos is highly adaptable to low-light conditions and can thrive in areas with minimal natural light. Philodendrons prefer moderate to bright indirect sunlight for optimal growth.

Pothos vs. Philodendron – SimilaritiesPothos vs. Philodendron 5

1. Family and Native Regions

Pothos and philodendrons belong to the Araceae family. They are even native to tropical regions of the America and Southeast Asia.

2. Low Maintenance

Pothos and Philodendron are easy to care for, requiring moderate watering and occasional pruning. Their minimal care needs make them excellent additions to any indoor space.

3. Air Purification

Both plants are great for removing toxins such as benzene and formaldehyde from indoor air, thanks to their air-purifying properties.

4. Toxicity

Pothos and Philodendron are considered toxic to pets and humans if ingested. That’s why it’s important to keep them out of reach of pets and children.


Pothos and Philodendrons look identical in appearance but have some key differences. When choosing between these two plants for your indoor garden, consider lighting conditions, space, and aesthetic preferences. Pothos can thrive in low-light conditions, while philodendron provides a diverse range of leaf shapes and colors to choose from.

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