To tell the difference between philodendrons and pothos you need to look at the leaves and stems…
Both philodendron and pothos are very popular houseplants. There is confusion sometimes between some varieties as they look very similar. I hope to clear this up here…
Difference Between Pothos & Philodendrons
Both pothos and philodendron are from the Araceae family of plants. Pothos is from the genus Epipremnum and philodendron from the genus of the same name, Philodendron.
Look at the leaves, especially where the stem and leave meet, it indents on philodendrons giving them a heart-shaped appearance. Although this occurs sometimes on a pothos, they have a lot of oblong leaves too with no such indenting.
On both pothos and philodendron, aerial roots can grow at each node that help the plant climb up tree and trellises. The different between them is that pothos usually have one aerial root if any, but philodendrons can get more (3 is common on a node).
Both plants grow like vines, and have aerial roots that help it attach to trees etc to climb. Where they differ is that on a pothos, new leaves grow out from the previous leaf before it on the vine. With philodendrons, the plant puts out a casing (called a cataphyll) that the leaf then grows from.
Heart Leaf Philodendron Vs Pothos
The heart leaf philodendron (philodendron hederaceum) often gets confused with a pothos (epipremnum aureum) to the extent it is sometimes sold as one. The main difference is the heart shaped leaves on a philodendron. The philodendron leaf indents where it grows out from the stem, this occurs much less on a pothos. You can see this on the images below…
Philodendron Brasil Vs Pothos
Philodendron brasils and golden pothos can look really similar, but on closer inspection there are a few differences. There are less, but bigger patches of variegation on the brasil, where as on the photos this is more speckled. The brasils are a darker green too.
Neon Philodendron Vs Neon Pothos
Technically they are known as a neon pothos and a lemon lime philodendron. You can see how similar they are in the images below. They can be told apart the same way as normal pothos and philodendron – the philodendron will have heart shaped leaves.
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