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Brazil Pothos Vs Philodendron (Similarities & Differences)

The Brazil pothos and philodendron are considered one of the most popular houseplants, but ironically, they share striking similarities that make it quite challenging to differentiate the beautiful houseplants apart.

In the same vein, both plants have similar growth requirements and habits, characteristics, and needs which makes it increasingly difficult, especially for beginners in the gardening sphere, to tell them apart.

This article comes in handy because it focuses on identifiable differences between Brazil pothos vs philodendron.

The first identifiable difference between both plants is in their leaves’ shape and texture. Philodendrons have thin heart-shaped leaves with a soft texture, while the pothos has larger, thicker, and waxier leaves.

Brazil Pothos Vs Philodendron | Key Similarities

As mentioned earlier, both the Brazil Pothos and Philodendron share certain characteristics that make it difficult for even advanced gardeners to tell them apart. However, it’s possible to tell them apart.

While this post will discuss the differences between both plants, we must delve into the similarities between the plants first.

1. Shape, Size, and Color of leaves: The Brazil Pothos and Philodendron have heart-shaped foliage that is green and glossy. The heart shape leaves tend to grow about the same size in the home.

2. Growth habit: Both plants have a growth habit that is like a vine. This makes the plant perfect for growing in hanging pots or climbing a trellis as they drape beautifully above.

Both plants will naturally grow up the sides of trees and other plants, buildings, telephone poles.

3. Plant family: Brazil Pothos and Philodendron both belong to the same Araceae family.

Differences Between Brazil Pothos and Philodendron

Brazil Pothos Vs Philodendron

1. Shape and Texture of Leaves

One of the most noticeable differences between both plants is their leaves’ shape and texture.

Admittedly, both plants have heart-shaped leaves, but closer scrutiny will reveal that while the Brazil pothos has thicker leaves that slightly bumpy in texture while philodendron has thinner leaves with a smooth texture.

When it comes to the shape of the leaves, it may seem that the philodendron is more dramatically heart-shaped than the Brazil pothos – the base of a philodendron leaf is curved inwards and has a shape like the top of a heart.

In contrast, the bottom of the Brazil pothos leaf is relatively straight. Also, on closer inspection, you will notice that the Pothos leaves can sometimes be a bit more asymmetrical than philodendron leaves.

2. Taxonomy

 As mentioned, both the Brazil pothos vs philodendron belongs to the Araceae family, but a further breakdown reveals that pothos is in the genus Epipremnum, and Philodendrons are of the genus Philodendron.

Pothos is often known as Devil’s Ivy, Money Plant, Taro vine, and Silver Vine and have varieties like the golden pothos, neon pothos, and jade pothos.

3. Aerial Roots and Petioles

 Both Brazil pothos and philodendrons have aerial roots that attach to any rough surface. Pothos has limited aerial roots that emerge as small, thick nubs. There is one root per node.

The philodendron’s aerial roots are more extensive and can resemble a tiny root system of their own.

They are thinner and spindlier than those of a Pothos, emerging in groups of two to six or even more.

In terms of petioles, pothos has petioles indented towards the stem they connect to, while philodendrons have petioles that are fully rounded. Philodendron petioles also tend to be thinner than the petioles of pothos.

4. New Growth

Over time, a new pothos leaf is tightly curled and slowly unfurls, bringing out a lighter version of a mature leaf that will grow darker with time.

On the contrary, new philodendron leaves will be encased in sheaths, known as cataphylls.

The cataphylls will dry up and fall off once the leaves have opened and matured. A baby philodendron leaf tends to have a pinkish or yellowish tint to it, and it will turn greener as it matures.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Is Better Pothos or Philodendron?

In terms of planting conditions, philodendron seems to thrive in lower light conditions than a Pothos. They equally hold their variegation better in low light. It’s also easier to propagate a Philodendron than a pothos.

Why Is It Called Brazil Philodendron?

It is called brazil Philodendron because it is native to South America and is a patented heart-leaf philodendron.

The leaves look like they are colored in strokes of yellow and green and resemble the flag of Brazil, hence the common name.


Admittedly, this post can be considered a tad technical. Still, we hope with the tale-tell signs provided here; you should be able to differentiate the Brazil pathos and philodendron.

At first glance, these plants look the same. It is possible that your gardening shop might have sold you the Brazil pothos instead of the philodendron.

With a few deep breathes, you should be able to tell the difference between both plants.

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