neon pothos
Philodendron,  Pothos

Philodendron Vs Pothos

We run down all you need to know to tell the difference between philodendrons vs pothos, in general 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, and even some plants being miss-sold as the wrong type. I hope to clear this up here…

See also: Philodendron Panduriforme, Philodendron Patriciae Care, Philodendron Pedatum, Philodendron Rugosum, Philodendron Subhastatum.


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. So they each are from very different and distinct genus of plants.

Difference Between Pothos & Philodendrons

There are a few ways to tell the difference between philodendrons and pothos, you need to look at the leaves, the stems and how the plant grows and you can normally tell very quickly which genus it belongs to.

The Leaves

Firstly, take a look at the leaves, especially where the stem and leaves 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 to climb in the wild. 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 Vs Pothos: Pothos
Philodendron Vs Pothos: Heart Leaf Philodendron
Heart Leaf Philodendron

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.

For more on these plants see our guides: Philodendron Brasil Care, Pothos Plant Care.

Philodendron Brasil
Philodendron Brasil

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. Also the pothos is a much more vivid neon.

For more on these plants see our guides: Philodendron Lemon Lime, Neon Pothos Care.

neon pothos care
A neon pothos
A lemon lime philodendron

Some Other Articles You Might Like

Hope you like this article, you might also like our other articles on Water Propagation, Pothos Propagation, and Pothos Plant Care.

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