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Marble Queen Pothos Yellow Leaves (Causes and Solutions)

Marble Queen pothos has enticing heart-shaped variegated leaves that are easy to fall in love with.

Whether you grow the plant in a hanging basket or simply place it on your bookshelf, this lush foliage can surely take any space to the next level. 

However, Marble Queen leaves have a tendency to turn yellow, especially if you do not give them the care they need. 

The leaves of the Marble Queen are turning yellow as a result of improper watering, pest infestation, and disease. Nutrient deficiency, soil pH, and humidity can all cause leaf yellowing. Water your marble queen when the top 30% (1-2 inches) of soil feels dry to solve this problem. To get rid of sap-sucking insects, use neem oil spray.

If you’ve noticed that the leaves of your Marble Queen are turning yellow, do not fret. I already did the homework so you don’t have to.

Indoor potted Marble Queen Leaves Turning Yellow.
Marble Queen Pothos Yellow Leaves

Causes of Marble Queen Leaves Turning Yellow

There may be a single or combination of multiple causes for marble queen leaves turning yellow.

So you have to identify the causes and then take actions to fix them. Here are the possible causes and solutions:

Improper Watering

If the leaves of your Marble Queen art turning yellow, you may have improperly watered the plant.

But don’t beat yourself up, as the watering can be really tricky. Even a long-time plant parent like I don’t get watering right all the time. 

Keep in mind that Marble Queen prefers dry soil. Like other plants, overwatering your Marble Queen will result in reduced oxygen in the soil. (Source: University of Maryland)

This damages the roots, making plants unable to take up water and other nutrients. This problem manifests through the yellowing or wilting of leaves. 

How to Fix

When watering Marble Queens, it’s best not to follow a watering schedule. Water the plant only if the top 50 percent of the soil is dry. If the soil is still wet, skip watering the plant for the day.

When you give your plant a drink, remember to let water flow lightly and slowly from above.

Allow water to soak through the roots and wait until the excess water drains from the potholes. 

It’s also important to keep in mind the season when watering your Marble Queen.

Water the plant well during spring and summer, following the guide above. During winter, let the soil get almost completely dry before watering.

Read this article to know how to save your overwatered pothos.

Water Quality

What type of water do you use in watering your Marble Queen? If you’re using tap water, you should not continue to do so.

Tap water contains chlorine and fluoride. Chorine—which is used in disinfecting the water—can kill the beneficial microbes within the soil.

Without the microbes, the soil nutrients will not be available for the plants to take up.

This results in poor growth and one of its signs is leaf burning. When this happens, the leaves of your plant turn yellow and progress to brown, then black. 

How to Fix

The best water for your Marble Queen plant is distilled water, as it is free from salts. Another option is rainwater, as it contains only a few contaminants. 

You may also want to invest in a reverse osmosis water filter. This filter can remove contaminants by forcing water through a semipermeable membrane. 

If you don’t have access to distilled or filtered water, you can fill an open container with tap water and let it sit overnight. Doing this allows the water’s mineral contents to evaporate. 

Pest Infestation

Pests rarely affect pothos, including Marble Queens, but when they do, they can cause serious problems. Aphids, scale, mealybugs, and other pests suck nutrient-laden sap from plants.

This restricts plants’ ability to make chlorophyll, a pigment that gives plants the green color. This results in chlorosis—the yellowing of leaves due to lack of chlorophyll. 

How to Fix

Check the stems and leaves of your Marble Queen for any sign of insect infestation. Examine the leaves and stems closely as these pests can be really small.

Here’s a chart showing the most common types of houseplant pests and how you can control each:

Aphids

Soft-bodied tiny insects occurring in colonies. They are typically green in color, but they can also be yellow, brown, black. You will likely see them on the undersides of new leaves.

Control: You can squish aphid colonies on a stem or leaves with your gloved fingers. You can also simply prune the infested areas.

If colonies cover 5% or more of foliage tips, spray them with water mixed with a small amount of liquid soap.

Make sure you hit the insects directly with the spray droplets so that their body absorbs the solution properly. 

Scale Insects

Scales have a brown outer shell and are neatly camouflaged. As such, they can be hard to identify. You can see these small round discs on the stems of plants or on the underside of leaves. 

  • The tough exterior of scales makes them resistant to most chemical pesticides.
  • Rubbing alcohol is an effective way of controlling the scale insects. Soak cotton swabs in rubbing alcohol and use these to wipe the pests off.  
Mealybugs

Mealybugs resemble white woodlice that cluster together. They are easy to spot in the leaf joints or on the undersides of leaves as they look like cotton wool.

  • For light infestations, you can easily knock mealybugs off with a shake or by spraying them using water. 
  • For severe infestations, consider using insecticidal soaps or neem oil, which is an effective organic insecticide.
  • Mix one ounce of neem oil with a gallon of water and spray this solution on the surface of the plant.
Spider mites

Considered one of the most destructive pests, spider mites look like small white spiders on plants. They spin tiny webs all over plants, usually on the undersides of leaves. 

  • Spider mites are quick to develop resistance to chemical pesticides, so organic or natural remedies are your best options.
  • Wash the pests off using a strong stream of water from a hose.
  • You can also wash the leaves with insecticidal soaps or apply neem oil to the leaves and the soil. 

Diseases

The yellowing of leaves of your Marble Queen can also be a sign that it is suffering from diseases caused by fungi. Fungi are the leading cause of plant diseases.

They usually produce spores that start the infection on plants. Leaves affected by fungi infection turn yellow. They also wither and may die rapidly.

Soil-inhabiting fungi can also cause the roots of plants to rot, resulting in the yellowing of leaves and stunted growth. 

How to Fix

  • Remove the plant from the soil and check the affected parts. If the entire root system of your Marble Queen has become mushy, I’m sorry to say but is too late to save your plant. If there are still firm and healthy roots, you can still save your foliage. 
  • Remove the affected roots and wash the plant properly. 
  • It is also a good idea to dip the remaining healthy roots in a fungicide solution to kill any remaining fungus. 
  • Repot the plant in a new container using a new potting mix. well-draining soil

If your pothos has root rot, read this step by step article to save your plant.

Overfertilization

If you think feeding your Marble Queen with too much fertilizer can promote its growth, think again! The truth is, overfertilizing can do more harm to your plant than good.

Fertilizers work by supplying nutrients to plants through soluble salts. A buildup of salts burns young roots, making it hard for plants to absorb water and other nutrients.

This results in yellow and scorched leaves, burned and dried leaf margins, wilting, and stunted growth. 

How to Fix

  • Flush the soil by applying twice the volume of water you normally give to your plant. This can help wash away excessive salts. Make sure that the water you use is distilled or filtered water as these do not contain salt and other minerals that are present in tap water.
  • Wait for the water to drain well and repeat the same procedure as needed (about three to four times). 

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Direct sunlight

Marble Queens don’t do well in full sun. If you let it sit in a spot that gets direct sunlight, you’ll soon see its leaves turn yellow and eventually, brown—a sign of burning. 

Plants, including Marble Queens, absorb energy through photon-capturing molecules called chlorophyll and catatenoid.

If plants absorb too much light from the sun, these molecules will also absorb more energy than they can handle.

When this happens, they will generate reactive ions of oxygen that can destroy the plant.

How to Fix

Immediately move your plant to a shadier location. You Marble Queen can survive in low light, but it is best to place it in an area that gets bright, but indirect light.

This is so you can maintain its lush variegation. If the rooms in your house do not get enough natural light, try using artificial lights to provide your plant the ideal lighting condition.  

Lack of Light

Insufficient light usually causes the variegated leaves of your Marble Queen to turn to green. This is to compensate for the lack of light in the plant.

However, insufficient light can also manifest in yellow leaves, along with stunted leaf growth. 

Plants require light to photosynthesize. If your Marble Queen isn’t getting enough light, it can’t produce food for its nourishment through photosynthesis. This causes the plant’s leaves to turn yellow.

How to Fix

Place your Marble Queen in a room with a bright, filtered light. If your house has a big, south-facing window, you can filter direct sunlight by using window treatments, such as combi blinds or sheer curtains.

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Temperature Fluctuations

Marble Queen plants prefer average to warm temperatures between 65°F-85°F (18.3°C-29.4°C).

But, they can also thrive when the temperature drops to 50°F (10°C) for short periods of time.

Be especially careful with temperature fluctuations in your home. This can stress your Marble Queen and negatively affect its growth.

Signs of stress include wilting, and curling or yellowing of leaves, among others. 

How to Fix

Provide your Marble Queen with a temperature that is conducive to its growth. Make sure that you set your thermostat to a temperature that is well within the range necessary for the plant to thrive. 

Nutrient Deficiency

Apart from carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen, plants need many other nutrients for their growth.

When they suffer from malnutrition, they usually show signs of being unhealthy.

The most common signs include stunted growth; yellowing of plant tissue and veins of leaves; brown or black dead plant tissue; and purple-red leaves and stems.

If your Marble Queen exhibits yellowing of leaves, you need to check if it lacks the necessary nutrients it needs. 

How to Fix

Examine the leaves of your Marble Queen to determine which nutrient is lacking. You can use this chart to know the different types of nutrient deficiencies and their solutions:

DeficiencySignsSolutions
Nitrogen DeficiencyPale or yellow leaves and stunted growthAdd used coffee grounds, compost, compost, or other green organic matter to the soil
PhosphorousEdges of the leaves are brown or reddish-purpleAdd bone meal to the soil
PotassiumYellow or brown edges on leavesBury banana peels one inch into the soil
MagnesiumYellow around the edges of the leavesSprinkle Epson salt directly on top of the soil before watering
CalciumWeak stems and leaves with yellow or brown spots, stunted growthBury crushed eggshells on top of the soil around the plant 

Aside from these remedies, you can also feed your plant with homemade or commercial fertilizers. 

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Unbalanced Soil pH 

A plant’s ability to absorb nutrients depends on whether its soil has the right and balanced pH level. Plants absorb nutrients in soluble ion form.

High pH or extremely low pH level makes the nutrients unavailable for the root system, even if you supplied enough.

When this happens, your plant will suffer from nutrient deficiency. As I’ve discussed earlier, this will result in yellowing or browning of leaves as well as stunted growth. 

How to Fix

  • Test the pH level of your soil. Many garden centers sell inexpensive soil pH test kits. These kits can give an approximate reading. For more accurate results, you may want to take a sample of your soil to a soil laboratory. 
  • When getting a sampling, remember to sample into clean containers. Using a small trowel, take soil from the top 6-7 inches (20 cm) of the soil. 
  • You can also get samples from different random spots of the pot for testing. 
  • Do not sample if you have recently applied a fertilizer to your plant. 
  • Most testing labs provide recommendations to restore the pH balance of your soil. 

Low Humidity

Low humidity is among the leading causes of stress among houseplants. Under the process called transpiration, moisture leaves plants’ cells when the surrounding environment is drier than the environment inside the cells.

This can dehydrate the plant, resulting in wilting, yellowing of leaves, and crisp brown edges on leaves. 

How to Fix

Marble Queen can thrive in low humidity environments, but being a tropical plant, it grows best in an environment that is warm and humid.

You can increase humidity through a humidifier or by misting your Marble Queen from time to time.

Another way to up the humidity is to group your houseplants close together. Using a pebble tray to increase humidity is also a popular and low-cost solution.

Natural Causes

While yellow leaves on Marble Queens usually indicate a problem, it’s important to note that it may also be due to natural causes.

Yellowing of leaves can be a sign of aging, especially if these are at the bottom part of your plant.

Like any other plant, your Marble Queen sheds leaves as it grows new foliage. It’s inevitable!

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How to Prevent Yellowing of Marble Queen Pothos

It can be hard to deal with the problems caused by the yellowing of Marble Queen.

Thankfully, there are things you can to do prevent the yellowing of Marble Queen and spare yourself from the stress:

  • Water Marble Queen only when half of its soil has dried out.
  • Use distilled or filtered water when watering the plant.
  • Consider adding plants that deter harmful pests, such as basil and lavender. 
  • Place your Mable Queen in a spot that provides bright, filtered light. 
  • Achieve a balanced pH level on the plant’s soil. 
  • Apply just small amounts of fertilizer as your plant grows to avoid nutrient toxicity. 
  • Provide your plant with the ideal temperature through the use of a thermostat. 
  • Promote increased humidity inside your home.

Final Words

Flaunting unique variegation, Marble Queen is a beautiful houseplant that can enliven any room in your home.

While this plant is generally low-maintenance, it doesn’t mean it’s invincible! Treat your Marble Queen as a true ‘queen’ by keeping it healthy and providing the care that it needs.