Naturally found in the rainforests and tropical jungles of Southeast Asia, Treubii moonlight is a stunning, vining houseplant prized for its unique silver-toned leaves. An easy to care for plant that is great for beginners and seasoned houseplant enthusiasts alike, it may be difficult to find a Treubii moonlight, but it is well worth the hunt when you do.
Read along to learn our favorite tips on how to keep your own Treubii moonlight at home, including our advice on watering and fertilizing schedules, how to propagate your plant and common issues you may face when keeping this unique houseplant. With the help of this article, we hope to take all the guesswork out of keeping Treubii moonlight at home, while ensuring that your plant is as healthy as it can be.
About Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight
Treubii moonlight is a tropical vining houseplant that hails from the rainforests of Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands and Queensland, Australia. While it may at first resemble houseplants in the pothos family, Treubii moonlight is a totally separate species, belonging to the Araceae genus. Unlike pothos, Treubii moonlight is a comparatively slow growing plant and boasts thicker leaves and more robust stems.
A vining plant in nature, Treubii moonlight grows along forests floors until it encounters a tree trunk, which it then begins to climb with the use of its aerial roots. When safely secured in the branches of a tall tree, the leaves of Treubii moonlight will turn darker and grow longer and the plant may even begin to flower, although this is rare. When kept as a houseplant, Treubii moonlight can benefit from trellising or from being trained to climb up a moss or bamboo pole.
If you’re a fan of Treubii moonlight, several closely related species that you can add to your houseplant collection include:
- Scindapsus pictus. Confusingly labeled “Satin Pothos” at most nurseries and garden centers, Scindapsus pictus is not a pothos at all but is instead more closely related to Treubii moonlight.
- Scindapsus officinalis. A close relative of Treubii moonlight, Scindapsus officinalis has highly patterned leaves that frequently display a two-toned striping.
Often difficult to find at box stores and garden centers, Treubii moonlight is a true delight of a houseplant and definitely worth adding to your collection if you can find this intriguing plant for sale. While Treubii moonlight is prized for its milky green leaves that are accentuated with a silvery sheen, there is also a dark-form variety of Treubii that has greenish black leaves. The dark-form variety is very difficult to find and often comes with an expensive price tag to match.
Scindapsus Treubii Moonlight Care
Whether you’re new to keeping houseplants or you already have amassed an extensive collection, Treubii moonlight is an excellent, easy-to-care for plant that will make a perfect addition to any home. This slow growing, undemanding plant has a few basic care requirements that, when met, will ensure your Treubii moonlight remains in tiptop shape for years to come.
In nature, Treubii moonlight is a vining plant that climbs trees and other understory plants with the use of aerial roots. When kept as a houseplant, your Treubii can benefit from trellising, being trained to climb a moss or bamboo pole, or being planted in a hanging basket that will allow its vines to cascade naturally.
If you live in a warmer area, zones 10b and above, you can keep your Treubii outdoors as long as frost is not on the forecast. When properly maintained, expect your Treubii moonlight to grow up to 8’ long with leaves than can grow anywhere from 4” to 20” long. Under the correct conditions, your Treubii can live for many years.
Treubii moonlight prefers bright, indirect light and will particularly appreciate filtered light, such as that produced with the help of a sheer curtain, which can prevent sunburn. An east-facing window is often ideal for this plant.
While Treubii moonlight can handle short periods of direct light, prolonged exposure to bright light or darkness can stunt growth and cause the leaf colors to fade. If you want to bring your plant outdoors during the summer months, care should be taken to ensure the transition is slow and does not shock your plant. Placing your Treubii under a covered porch or balcony is often the best solution when moving your plant outdoors.
Overwatering, which can cause root rot, leaf drop, or even plant death, is the single biggest issue you’re likely to face when keeping Treubii moonlight. To prevent overwatering, always opt for a well-draining soil and pot your plant in a planter with adequate drainage holes. Only water your plant when the top two inches of soil feel dry to the touch – roughly once a week, or even less during winter. Leaf curling can be a sign of underwatering so be sure to pay attention if you notice any changes with your plant’s foliage.
Temperature and Humidity
Even though it’s a tropical plant naturally found in humid rainforests, Treubii moonlight has simple temperature and humidity requirements and actually does not like high temperatures. Ideally, your Treubii moonlight should be kept at a normal household temperature range of between 65 and 75°F. High temperatures can cause your plant to wilt, while lower temperatures (above freezing) are more tolerable. In the winter, your Treubii moonlight can grow happily even when placed near a cool window.
Normal household humidity levels of around 40% are okay for your Treubii moonlight; however, a humidity level of around 60% is preferred. If your house is very dry, consider adding a humidifier to your set up, although this is not normally necessary. Your Treubii moonlight will appreciate a weekly misting to bolster humidity levels. Signs that humidity levels are not ideal for your Treubii moonlight include yellowing leaves or leaves that begin to get “crispy” around the edges.
Soil and Repotting
As Treubii moonlight is susceptible to root rot, a well-draining potting mix is essential to keeping your plant growing healthy and strong. To improve drainage, try amending your potting soil with a bit of perlite or, even better, add an equal amount of perlite, compost, and orchid bark to your potting mix to make soil that is perfectly suited to your Treubii moonlight’s needs.
A slow-growing plant, you won’t need to repot your Treubii very frequently – maybe once every few years. If you notice your plant looks rootbound, repot your plant into a well-draining pot only one size up from your existing pot. If you’re going to repot your plant, aim to do so during springtime when your plant is actively growing and can more easily adapt to change.
Treubii moonlight is not a heavy feeder, but it can benefit from a regular, monthly fertilizer application during spring and summer when your plant is actively growing. Opt for an organic, liquid fertilizer that is either balanced 5-5-5 or high in nitrogen, such as 5-3-3, to promote lush and healthy leaf growth. A fertilizer like liquid kelp meal is a good choice for your Treubii moonlight. During winter, your plant will go dormant, and you should stop regularly fertilizing your plant until spring.
A slow growing plant, your Treubii moonlight doesn’t need to be pruned often, but if you notice your plant is looking unkempt, pruning can help. Pruning can improve your plant’s shape, while encouraging new growth and providing you with cuttings to propagate new plants with. As is the case with pruning any plant, be sure to use a sharp, sterilized knife or garden shears to discourage pathogen spread and prevent plant damage.
Treubii moonlight is toxic to cats and dogs and should be kept well out of reach of house pets and small children. Accidental indigestion can cause unpleasant symptoms such as mouth swelling and gastrointestinal distress.
To keep your Treubii away from curious pets and small children, try placing your plant in a dedicated glass grow cabinet or hang your plant high up in a hanging basket or similar planter.
Treubii Moonlight Propagation
If you love your Treubii moonlight, we’ve got good news for you. Not only is your Treubii an easy care houseplant that’s great for beginners, but it also is a super simple plant to propagate at home by following a few quick steps. While some plants do well when propagated in water, water-propagated Treubii can sometimes experience transplant shock when repotted in soil, so soil propagation is often recommended. While your Treubii can be propagated anytime throughout the year, your new starts will do best when propagated in spring so, if possible, try to wait until then to start propagating.
- To get started, you’ll need to make your cuttings. Using a sharp, sterilized knife or garden shears, take a stem cutting from your plant. Each cutting should have at least one node and be sure to make your cutting directly below that node. Remove any lower leaves on your cutting, keeping just a single leaf or two at the top of your cutting.
- Dip the base of your cutting in rooting hormone and then bury your cutting in a pot filled with moist sphagnum moss and perlite. Be sure that the node is covered by a few inches of substrate.
- Move your cutting to a warm, bright area, cover your pot with a clear, plastic bag to keep humidity levels high, and be sure the substrate remains moist.
- After a few weeks, roots should begin to appear. After a few months, those roots should be strong enough to transplant your cuttings into soil and – voila! – you’ve propagated your own Treubii to add to your collection or to share with friends.
Common Pests and Diseases
Treubii moonlight is a hardy, easy to care for plant that is usually naturally quite resistant to pests. That said, sometimes creepy crawlies may find their way into your houseplant collection, and you’ll want to act quickly before a small issue cascades into a more difficult to solve problem. Below are the most common issues you may encounter when keeping a Treubii at home and what to do about it.
Aphids are one of the easiest to spot pests as they are often larger than other houseplant pests and are usually a bright, vivid green color. Other signs of aphid infestation include wilting and yellowing leaves, distorted growth, and premature plant death. Affected plants may also be covered in a sticky residue which is the “honeydew” that aphids secrete when feeding.
If an aphid infestation is suspected, try spraying your plant with a strong spray from your kitchen sink or your garden hose. Alternatively, whip up an at-home organic insecticidal soap by adding several tablespoons of neem oil and a squirt of dish soap to a gallon of water. Spray your plant thoroughly with the soap spray and then repeat the application of spray once every 7 to 10 days until there are no further signs of infestation.
For a creative approach to aphids, try introducing a few ladybugs onto your plant and allow those aphid-eating machines to get to work.
Mealybugs are cottony-looking white insects that are members of the scale family. Mealybugs can often be spotted on the underside of plant leaves or hidden against plant stems. Other signs of mealybugs include misshapen and distorted plants and dry, yellow leaves.
Like aphids, mealybugs are best treated with an organic insecticidal soap spray.
If you have a spider mite infestation, you may notice delicate webbing that resembles spider silk on affected plants. Upon closer inspection, however, you won’t see spiders, but instead webs will be crawling with tiny little white dots which are the spider mites. Spider mites work by sucking the sap out of plants and will cause plants to become deformed with leaves showing the characteristic stippling pattern from where the mites have fed.
If spider mites are infesting your plant, apply an organic insecticidal soap spray and try increasing the humidity levels in your grow room. Mites thrive in arid environments and are less likely to seek out plants receiving adequate humidity levels.
Root rot is the number one killer of most houseplants and is caused by waterlogged soil and inadequately draining pots and planters. Unfortunately, if your plant is affected by root rot, there’s not a lot you can do and your plant will begin to wilt, drop leaves and eventually die.
While you likely won’t be able to salvage your original plant from root rot, try taking stem cuttings and propagating your cuttings in soil as detailed above. Going forward, always be sure to use properly draining soil and pots and only water your Treubii when the top 2” of soil are dry to the touch.
Here are a few if the most common questions that we get about Treubii moonlight care:
Why are my plant’s leaves turning yellow?
There are several reasons why your Treubii’s leaves may be yellowing, but the most common reason is overwatering. If your plant begins to yellow, be sure to check that the soil is not waterlogged, which can rapidly cause root rot. If your soil seems dry, inadequate watering can also cause yellowing leaves.
If you don’t think your plant is suffering from over- or underwatering, consider adjusting humidity levels as low humidity levels can also cause yellowing leaves.
Finally, if you notice yellow leaves with black spots, a fungal issue may be to blame. Try increasing airflow by moving your plant away from other plants and add a fan. A natural fungicide treatment, such as baking soda mixed in water, can help too.
Why are my plant’s leaves curling?
Curling leaves are a sure sign that your plant is thirsty. Try increasing your watering, being sure to thoroughly water your plant when the top 2” of soil feels dry to the touch.
Help! My Treubii moonlight has root rot. What do I do?
Treubii moonlight, like many houseplants, are very susceptible to root rot when planted in inadequately draining pots. Unfortunately, once root rot is established, there’s not much you can do as plants will begin to wilt, drop leaves, and eventually die. If root rot is suspected, you’ll need to act quickly. Take stem cuttings from your original plant and follow the directions above to propagate those cuttings in soil. You may not be able to salvage your original plant, but if move fast, you can start a bunch of new Treubii cuttings to add to your collection.
Where can I find a Treubii moonlight?
If you’re lucky, you might be able to find a Treubii moonlight at your local Home Depot or Lowes as Costa Farms frequently includes this interesting plant in their collection. If you can’t find a Treubii locally, try looking online on Etsy or ordering directly from the Costa Farms website. If you order online, be prepared to pay a bit more and you’ll want to factor in shipping costs as well.
With stunning, silvery leaves and an interesting growth habit, there is so much to love about Treubii moonlight. This easy to care for plant is great for beginners and seasoned houseplants keepers alike and its unique silver foliage will make it standout in any collection. While you may have to do a bit of digging to locate your own Treubii, it’s a plant that is certainly worth looking for. By following a few simple steps and care instructions, you’re sure to have success keeping Treubii moonlight growing happy and healthy at home for years to come.