The Manjula Pothos and Marble Queen seem similar to each other due to the shape of their leaves. But don’t be deceived, they indeed are different, and I will tell you how.
Wherever you are on the houseplant spectrum, knowing the difference is key to keeping a plant thriving.
The leaf shape of Manjula is waiver and frilly. The Marble Queen’s is broader and flatter. The color patterns are distinctive too. Manjula’s leaves have swirls of white, gold, and cream. The Marble Queen’s leaves are speckled in cream, white and green.
This article will introduce you to the similarities and differences between Manjula Pothos and Marble Queen, so you will know how to care for them both.
The Manjula Pothos and the Marble Queen belong to the same Araceae family and are of the Epipremnum Aureum genus, also known as the Pothos genus. Other common and well known Pothos plants are:
- Golden Pothos
- Jade Pothos
- Neon Pothos
The Marble Queen is the parent of some cultivars such as:
- Pearls and Jade Pothos
- Pothos N’Joy
Since Marble Queen and Manjula are sold as pothos varieties, this makes them look similar to each other.
In fact, there is very little information and discussion about Manjula since it is a fairly new variant.
The Manjula Pothos is propagated and patented by the University of Florida as an Epipremnum plant.
In short, it is an invention. The Marble Queen is native to Southeast Asia, French Polynesia, and Australia. Some passionately argue that it comes from the Solomon Islands.
Wherever in the world, they are from, that makes one aspect quite clear— they thrive when the weather is humid, and lighting conditions are good.
Both plants grow as vines, climbing up plant grids or hanging in style. The Marble Queen is sometimes known as Devil’s Ivy, a name that’s testament to its hardy nature.
Differences Between Manjula Pothos vs. Marble Queen
Leaf Shape and Texture
The biggest differentiator between the two perennial house plants is in their leaf shapes.
The Manjula’s leaves are smaller and waiver to the point of being almost frilly. I would compare it to a wet and dried sheet of paper laid on a table, but more flexible.
The Marble Queen’s leaves are broader and flatter along the edges. When laid flat on a plane, the leaf sits on the surface without big dips or flounces.
The second differentiator is in their textures. Manjula’s leaves are not as smooth as the Marble Queen’s.
The Marble Queen has a waxy and smooth feel to its body. It seems tough — almost leathery.
If you look carefully, you will see that there are distinct differences in the foliage colors.
The leaves of the Manjula Pothos are variegated with three colors —white, light yellow, and cream.
All the colors swirl together and begin from the center and spread to the periphery of the leaves, or sometimes swirl around. This pothos is greener.
The colors of the Marble Queen are a splashed mix of specks in green, white, and cream spread out on the green leaf as drawn in the shape of long dashes and straight strokes with different colored pens.
The next time you’re at a plant store, be sure to check these differences.
The growth rate of the Marble Queen is quite slow compared to other varieties of pothos. In fact, it’s the slowest due to its whiter variegation.
A study by the University of Florida showed that the whiter the Marble Queen, the slower its growth rate. (Source: University of Florida, IFAS)
To aid its growth, you can place the plant in a spot that receives good sunlight. But that is all one can do.
The Manjula on the other hand grows faster, trails and cascades with bushy and dense foliage.
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Similarities Between Manjula Pothos vs. Marble Queen
The leaves of both plants are heart-shaped and the underside of the leaves in both the plants is of lighter green.
There are more similarities than differences which makes separating one from the other more testing.
In its natural state, the inflorescence of an Araceae is visible in the Marble Queen.
A tall, thick and mature Marble Queen produces cylindrical, erect flower stalks that are cream in color with cream and purple spathe.
The Manjula has been cultivated to be grown indoors, and there has not been any known information about flowering.
The chances of either of these plants flowering indoors are zilch, so don’t worry about flowers —you’ve got none in both cases.
Usually, there are no sheaths during the growth phase of pothos. The leaves on both the plants simply grow from the vines.
The baby leaves look slightly discolored, or light green initially. But fret not!
Over a period of time, they tend to grow into full-fledged heart-shaped blades with their variegations intact.
Height and Structure
Indoors, the pothos is capable of growing up to 6 feet or 1.8 meters in height, which leaves the size of 7-8 cm (~3 inches) in length and about 5 cm (~2 inches) in width.
In their natural habitats, they are however taller (up to 66 ft.) and much dense.
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Pothos is one of the easiest plants to grow, especially if you are a beginner. They are also one of the best plants to gift due to their easy maintenance.
Manjula and the Queen have similar growing requirements because they are resilient houseplants and are in fact, difficult to kill. However, growth requirements are a combination of many factors.
Weather: They grow quite well in all kinds of climates as long as there is some sun. Even a partly shaded or dappled effect of the sun will do, especially for the Manjula.
If you are in a colder place where the lighting conditions are awfully low, there will be visible differences in the variegations of the leaves. The variegations disappear leaving the leaves looking plain green.
Lighting: Place your pothos near a source of natural lighting, or by a south-facing window where it can receive a decent amount of light. Just make sure it’s not pitch-dark.
But also, be careful not to expose your plants to harsh bright light as this may result in burnt leaves. Yes, gardening is all about this fine balance.
Temperature: The ideal range would be good humidity and a room temperature that’s between 70℉ and 90℉ (21-32℃).
It is extremely important to not induce sudden temperature changes for your pothos.
Remember that they originate from warm climates. When you create a similar environment for them, they will thrive.
Soil: A nutrient-rich potting mix with peat moss, regular houseplant soil, and pearlite would be ideal for the Marble Queen and Manjula.
This combination helps hold the correct amount of moisture, ensures drainage, and fosters growth.
Trimming: Pruning the leaves of your plant will help in a bushier, denser growth. To let more light through, you could trim some leaves on the top.
To promote a fuller growth, cut off trailing stems just below the node. You could use these cuttings to propagate them in water.
When you cut back on diseased or old leaves, make sure that the clippers you use are clean. I usually wipe it with disinfectant or a medical alcohol wipe.
Fertilizing: In my experience, a pothos does not need as much fertilizer as other plants because they are inherently disease resistant. The plant draws its nutrients from the nutrient-rich soil that we use.
If your leaves look lush and healthy, you do not have to add fertilizers. If it looks brown, has stunted growth, or seems sick, you can use any houseplant fertilizer.
Simply dilute it in water and pour it into the soil once a month during the growing season —spring and summer. That should do the trick.
Watering Regulations: Only water a pothos if the topsoil is dry.
Overwatering can cause root rot. Yellowing leaves mean the root is decaying.
If you have been underwatering it, then the first sign of it can be seen in the leaves with brown spots. Gradually the stalks turn crisp and brown, leaving the plant looking leggy.
Container: Size, type of the container, repotting decisions and when you make them, matter a great deal.
If the container is small but the growth is quick and the leaves are dense, the size will stunt the progress of your pothos.
It is also wise to use a container with enough drainage holes, so the water moistens the soil and the excess drains out. This avoids root rot.
Terracotta pots drain faster as opposed to plastic containers, which tend to hold more water. Pick the container that works best for you.
Evaluate when is the best season and time for you to repot your plants. It’s best to wait until spring before repotting your plants to a bigger container to avoid root shocks.
Both the plants are vines, which means they cascade down or grow horizontally on the ground especially in forests.
This brings us to their roots. In their native habitats, the rootlets are on their vines, helping them climb large tree trunks, sometimes capturing and invading trees.
The aerial roots make them cling on to objects or areas in their environment that will support their growth, such as trellises and other frameworks.
So, if you have a piece of bamboo you’d like to stick into the soil to guide the leaves upwards, do it!
Both the plants are fairly toxic to both humans and pets because they have insoluble raphides which lead to irritation in the mouths, cause vomiting and difficulty in swallowing.
The presence of calcium oxalate is dangerous to humans and can cause skin allergies.
Both the plants are susceptible to root rot, stem fungal infection, leaf spots, and other soil-borne diseases. Penn University has a list of diseases that can affect pothos.
Bacterial leaf spot: if you see your leaf developing yellow blotches that spread quickly and turn the leaf rough and loose, that is a sign of a bacterial leaf spot.
How to Treat: You should observe the leaves and remove the infected ones as soon as you notice them. Avoid pouring water on the leaves as wet leaves promote bacterial growth. Pour water only into the soil.
Pythium root rot: This is a root-based disease. The leaves turn yellow; the stalks seem heavy and the stems have a mushy texture with black spots.
How to Treat: Check the roots, remove rotting roots, and apply a fungicide; repot it into a clean potting mix free of diseases.
Rhizoctonia stem rot: This is a stem-based disease that has a fine powdery texture on the ends of the stems and soil surface.
How to Treat: The best way would be to cut up the stem and discard it. Remove the plant from the current pot, apply fungicide, repot it in newer soil and wait for it to spring back to life. (Source: Penn State University)
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Fun-facts About Pothos:
- Pothos are in a way, hydroponic. They take root and grow well in water. If you initiate a cutting in water, continue growing it in water as switching it to the soil will disrupt its growth.
- Pothos survives some amount of neglect. If you are a beginner, this is your plant.
- The variegations on the leaves disappear if the sun is less.
- In some tropical countries, pothos is known to be invasive.
Some general pothos care tips:
- Aiding growth: If you are keen on aiding the growth of your plants in the winters, a grow light would help. I bought a grow light and set up a schedule.
Once set, the lights would automatically turn on, making your pothos grow with ample light and shade.
- Curly leaves: If the leaves are curling, especially in winter they are exposed to drought. Move them to a safer, brighter spot.
- Droopy leaves: Pothos is not as dramatic as the peace lilies, but if you see the leaves drooping, soak them up in the water, wait until the water drains out and leave them by a window. You could also huddle your pothos with other plants —this instantly perks up their mood.
- Watering advice: Fill a container of water and let it sit overnight until it reaches room temperature before watering your plants. This will prevent root shocks.
- Misting: In the summer you can mist your plants daily to keep the leaves free of dust and bring some freshness. But during the winters, be careful to mist it only once in ten days to keep it dust-free.
- Repotting: While repotting, detangle the roots, check for signs of any disease, snip them out and refresh the roots, add new potting soil, and help your plant settle in its new home.
- Manjula and Marble Queen are similar to each other but are not the same. They are different in their foliage color, size, texture, and growth rate.
- Manjula and Marble Queen have more similarities which make it challenging to discern one from the other. They are similar in their root systems, absence of flowers and sheath, and growth structures.
Manjula Pothos and Marble Queen survive in almost all conditions, but care must be taken to adhere to their growing requirements.