You may have come across the Scindapsus Treubii if you consider yourself a gardening expert and would like to expand your horizons to collect and care for rare plants.
This is a famous yet rare houseplant, popularly known and grown for its vintage appearance.
While rare, they are resilient and easy to care for and maintain, making it a treat for beginner and expert gardeners!
If you can grow one, this guide will provide all the information on propagation and care.
What is Scindapsus Treubii?
The Scindapsus Treubii is a native to Asia, trailing along grounds until it can find a tree to climb up on, reaching full growth potential. Its leaves will become even darker, longer, and thinner. It flowers in nature at times, but rarely would it do so when in cultivation.
The total height of these plants would depend on their growing conditions. When cared for well with proper support, they can grow to 6-8 feet in length. Besides its exciting and eye-catching look, these plants can also be natural air purifiers in the house. They are part of NASA’s list of air-purifying plants, removing air pollutants such as formaldehyde.
Because it’s rare, you won’t find them in garden centers and nurseries. You’ll need to dig a bit deeper and pay more compared to the typical houseplant.
Here are a few things you should know about the Scindapsus Treubii:
– The Genus Scindapsus
The Scindapsus genus is flowering Aroids, with most of the varieties being epiphytic creepers. They originate from Southeast Asia, Queensland, New Guinea, and other western Pacific Islands. They are grown for commercial selling and hybridization to form different unique plant varieties.
– Leaves and Flowers
The plant boasts of beautifully thick and studies oval or heart-shaped leaves, which grow from smooth stems. Mature leaves can grow between 12-60 centimeters. It also blooms, though they have un-showy flowers that appear during the warm days. When. Grown indoors, you will rarely see the plant blooming flowers.
– Toxicity Levels
Like other members of the genus Scindapsus, the Treubii is toxic for animals, including your pets. Make sure to keep pets and children away to prevent any health risks.
We admire this plant because it’s hard to kill a perennial plant with a long lifespan. Unless you have neglected it completely or cared for the plant poorly, the plant will continue staying alive. These plants are so resilient, and they are stronger against pest attacks and fungus issues.
– Different Varieties
The Scindapsus Treubii comes in two popular varieties, which are the Scindapsus Moonlight and Scindapsus Treubii Black.
The types have very slight differences based on their leaves’ shades. The Moonlight would have milky green leaves with silvery hues on its center, making this variety known as the Scindapsus Treubii Silver. As for the Scidnapsus Treubii Black, it has deep green leaves without any silver shade.
How to Care for Scindapsus Treubii
Here are the requirements of a Scindapsus Treubii, so it grows well:
– Light Requirements
The Scindapsus Treubii likes bright and indirect light, which is why you should place it by an east-facing window or far from south-facing windows. They can tolerate short periods of direct sunlight, but they would grow slowly, and if placed in a dark area, they risk fading in color. There should be a balance of bright light without directly hitting it.
This means you can place the plant in a bright room with a lot of filtered natural light or artificial growing lights, but never place it under the scorching heat of the sun or a shaded area. Place it under the sun, then the leaves burn, and if you put it in a shaded area, it grows slowly.
Find a middle ground by placing it in a window facing the east or west. You can also put it behind a shade cloth, filtering and mellowing the direct light hitting your plant.
– Water Requirements
You need to let the plant’s soil dry out entirely before you begin watering it again. Like succulent plants, it doesn’t require watering all the time, and it would stay fine even if you forgot to water it once or twice. If it does get thirsty, though, it shows you through curling leaves. The leaves will go back to their original self once you water them well.
However, don’t wait for your leaves to curl before you know it’s time to water them, as leaves curling indicate stress, affecting their health and growth.
Instead, monitor your plant every few days, checking the soil to see if it is dry or in need of water. You can see if your plant needs watering by using your finger, touching the soil to ensure that the top 2 inches of it are dry before watering it again. If the soil is still a bit wet and soggy, don’t water it yet, as this can lead to water-clog. This would result in root rot, affecting your plant growth and development.
The exact frequency of watering will depend on your location’s light, temperature, and humidity levels. When you are from a hotter country and plant in brighter lights, your plant will need more water. When in a colder country with less bright areas, then the frequency will lessen.
Usually, the rule of thumb is to water your plant thrice a week during the summer, while during winter, it is once a week. You can start with this and adjust the frequency and quantity according to your plant’s needs.
Besides the frequency of watering, you should also consider the type of water it receives. Because it’s a tropical plant, it does best when watered using aquarium or distilled water. Tap water would be too hard, causing mineral deposits to enter your leaves.
– Soil Requirements
This plant isn’t picky with soil. You can use a regular houseplant mix for it, and it can still grow well. But if you want more success, then add perlite to the soil mix for improved aeration.
You’ll also want to opt for a quick-draining mix, which would prevent waterlogging and root rot. If you plan to mix your soil, you can mix one part of soil with one part of orchid bark and one part perlite. Compost is also a favored soil amendment, provided that it is added in equal parts with the rest of the mix.
These plants also grow well in peat, most growing in peat swamp forests, according to research.
As mentioned, this plant can adapt well, including any temperature changes. It can also tolerate colder temperatures better than other plant varieties, benefiting those who live in moderate climates. The recommended temperature range for the plant is around 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit.
You can keep it next to a window even as the (slightly) cold weather comes. However, never expose it to freezing temperatures, which increases the risk of frost damage. Don’t let it stay near a fan or air conditioner either.
As much as possible, keep it in a warmer environment. Here, they can thrive further but don’t expose it to scorching temperatures either, as they wilt if it gets too hot. Like watering the plants, you need to find balance and monitor how your plant reacts to your home’s daily temperatures and adjust accordingly. 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit is a good start.
– Humidity Levels
This plant would appreciate higher humidity levels, though it isn’t necessarily strict on its requirements. So if you forget to mist it or don’t have a humidifier yet, then that’s just fine. However, these plants are from a tropical rainforest environment, so they appreciate humidity.
It is a hardy plant and can thrive on a humidity level that is around 40 percent. However, the best humidity is anything above 60 percent. You can maintain humidity by misting it with an aquarium or distilled water or keeping a pebble tray near the container. You will know if there is a need to change the humidity levels if your plant’s leaves are yellowing or have crispy edges.
You need to fertilize your Scindapsus plant every two weeks or monthly during its growing season, which is in spring and summer. It’s best to use a 20-10-10 ratio synthetic fertilizer, which is richer in nitrogen, which helps foliar growth. Make sure to dilute this in half.
You can also use organic fertilizer if you wish. Use vermiculite or fish emulsion is recommended, as they don’t have salt accumulation.
The plant’s nutritional requirements will decrease as it enters its dormant state, so there is no need to fertilize it come fall and winter season.
– Potting and Repotting
When you are potting the Scindapsus plant, use a high-quality clay pot with ample drainage holes. Clay pots are preferred because it attracts moisture, making it an optimum way to ensure that the plant isn’t overwatered, also maintaining moisture.
You can also use a plastic pot, provided that the soil is well-draining for the water to run through drainage holes efficiently. Do NOT place these plants in pots or containers without drainage holes, or they can end up getting root rot.
You don’t have to rush the process as this plant likes being packed tightly for repotting. They don’t require frequent repotting, only needing it if the plants have already outgrown their current pot. This will show when the roots are coming out of the pot’s drainage holes or if the plant is infected or water-clogged.
– Grooming and Pruning
Grooming and pruning this plant is pretty straightforward. Trim and cut off excess growth as needed. Do the grooming and pruning during the growing season in spring and summer rather than the dormant months.
– Any Pests?
Fortunately, the Scnindapsus is not susceptible to pests, only rarely. It’s still best to prevent them from infesting your plant, though! You can avoid those unwanted pests by spraying your plants with preventative neem oil. If ever you encounter pests, use insecticide to get rid of them.
– Overall Growth Habits
The Scindapsus Treuii does its best when staked rather than being treated as a hanging plant. It requires vertical support! If not given that support, then it becomes smaller, reverting to its juvenile phases.
If you stake your plant, then the new growth should have space to stick onto it so that you can get full-size leaves. Consider using a moss stick when staking your plant, and add organic material for the possibility to develop aerial roots. When your plant grows to the top of the stake, upgrade your moss stick or prune your plant back to prevent it from producing small and unattractive leaves.
If you don’t have moss sticks, consider using sphagnum sticks, as organic material helps the plant develop its aerial roots. While you can use a trellis, it won’t do a great job.
While you may have heard that these plants are slow growers, they aren’t as slow as you would think! It would take a few months before you see them grow, but nothing that takes years. If you feel like it is taking long or your plant stopped growing, it may be due to poor soil quality or lacking certain nutrients.
How to Propagate Scindapsus Treubii
Propagating the Scindapsus Treubii is relatively easy, and there are two ways you can do it! It is best to propagate your plant during the warm days of the spring season or by mid-summer.
1. Rooting Stem Cuttings
Here are the steps to follow:
- Cut a long stem around 5-7 inches long, right below the node from its bottom leaf. Use a clean gardening shear or sharp knife. There needs to be at least one node on your stem-cutting. To improve the growth process, cut multiple stem cuttings.
- Prepare a small pot with the suitable growing mixture, watering it adequately. You can use perlite for this.
- Remove leaves from the lower part of your stem cutting, planting it in the pot. It needs to be about 3 inches deep. From here, you can plant three cuttings in the pot so you can receive more rooted cuttings.
- Mist the soil, covering the setup using a polythene bag or growing box to maintain moisture levels.
- Place your setup in a warm area with bright indirect light. Afterward, the stem cuttings won’t require any more help besides you monitoring its aeration. Keep the cover aerated to prevent microbial growth.
- After 3-4 weeks, the node will start developing baby roots. You can remove the plastic cover, placing the pots as you usually would.
- Spray water on the soil mildly, allowing its upper layer to dry out between waterings. Do NOT overwater your soil here, as this can increase the risk of root rot, destroying all efforts.
- After three months or so, your stem cuttings can go to their pots. Follow the care tips I mentioned above and enjoy more of the rare houseplant!
2. Water Propagation
This is another easy way to propagate your plant and something effective in many plant varieties.
Follow these steps to try it:
- Again, cut off a leaf below the node, leaving 3-4 inches worth of the plant’s stem.
- Place the stem cutting in a glass or jar of prepared water. If using tap water, let the water sit overnight to lift the chlorine.
- Change the water once a week, which will reintroduce oxygen to the stem cuttings. Replace the water earlier if you notice that it is getting murky.
- After a few weeks, you will notice roots forming. You can continue growing the cuttings in the water or transferring them to a soil mixture.
Fortunately, most gardeners have NOT experienced any problems with the Scindapsus Treubii. When we mentioned that they are hardy and pest-resistant, we meant it!
There are no traces of pests, molds, fungus, or any other diseases, looking as if they are immune to outside threats. As long as you do not overwater or underwater your plant, leave it under the sun or freezing temperatures for long periods, or leave it in drafty areas. You and your plant will be doing great.
The plant is fantastic for beginners and is dummy-proof. The only issue would be its availability and transportation stress if you bought it from a farther area.
It’s much better to avoid ordering rare plants, or any plant in general, online when experiencing extremely hot or cold weather to solve the transportation stress. Unpack the plant immediately upon receiving it and remove any dry or damaged leaves, inspecting them to figure out the next steps. You may see that the plant looks droopy at first and that a few leaves drop or turn yellow in the first few weeks. Don’t worry. This is normal and part of the adjusting process.
If you see damp soil with black or yellowing leaves, it may have a mold issue from the humidity. Shower the top of your plant well, treating it with neem oil afterward, then leave it in an area with proper air circulation and indirect light, free from drafts.
But if the soil is dry, then give it water, considering it a humidity dome. Increase the humidity and allow it to ease into the new environment it is in.
Do NOT repot your Scindapsus plant immediately. Allow it to settle for a month or so before repotting, or once you see that it’s growing well. Don’t fertilize it immediately as well, allowing it to adjust for a few weeks.
Other than that, you are good to go!
Wrapping It Up
Now that you know all about the Scindapsus Treubii, here are key points to remember:
- The Scindapsus Treubii is a rare houseplant with stunning foliage gorgeous to look at, whether indoors or outdoors.
- These plants are low-maintenance and very easy to take care of, making them an excellent choice for beginners or lazy gardeners,
- There are only minimal problems with this plant, but finding it in your local area may be a problem, so watch out when ordering and having it shipped online!
Suppose you have the chance to care for this rare houseplant, have fun and give it all the care it needs! It will be worth the investment with its spectacular appearance and health benefits.
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