These two popular climbing or hanging house plants are both part of the Araceae family and are quite similar at first glance and often get confused, but zooming in a little closer, here are some differences that can help you differentiate these two plant cousins.
The easier plant to take care of is the Epipremnum Aureum, Pothos which can tolerate a little more drought and irregular watering than its softer cousin. The two most noticeable differences are that the leaves of the Epipremnum pothos are firmer and waxy to the touch, and the new leaves extend from the stem of a current leaf. Similar in traits are that the leaves are both heart-shaped, but the pothos is more asymmetrical than the Philodendron’s leaves. The aerial root of the pothos grows as a thick node from the stem opposite the petiole (leaf stem). Other Epipremnums are the Golden Pothos, the Scindapsus, the Marble Queen and the Epipremnum Monstera.
The more symmetrical-leafed Philodendron hederaceum needs a little more care, light and consistently dryish to moist soil. The leaves are thinner and softer to the touch and new leaves grow from its vine-like stem, are often pinkish and covered in a thin sheath (cataphyll) which dries up and falls off later. It also has aerial roots, but these are 2-6 finer roots and grow from the vine around the base of the petiole (leaf stem). Other Philodendrons are the Brazil and the Micans.
So next time, will you take a closer look to find these differences?