Everybody gets crazy with variegated plants. And one of these fancy indoor plants you shouldn’t miss is pearls and jade pothos. Like the other pothos cultivars, this one is easy to grow and maintain and you’re most likely going to enjoy taking care of it.
Pearls and jade needs clean potting mix, regulate water application, don’t overapply fertilizer, watch out for pests, prune and trim as needed and lastly, don’t forget to repot. These basic things are important in keeping a pothos plant healthy.
What Do Pearls and Jade Pothos Look Like?
Pearls and Jade Pothos is a product of mutation-selection from the Marble Queen cultivar that was developed in Florida.
It has smaller heart-shaped leaves than the Marble Queen and is generally downsize over the other varieties of pothos. The leaves are variegated with white, gray colors.
Because of its small size, pearls and jade make a good indoor plant in pots. You can place them on top of the center table to add attraction.
You may hang them in baskets and allow the foliage to let loose. This plant will show its excellent appearance in an indoor setting.
Pearls and Jade Pothos Care Details
|Origin||Solomon Islands in the South Pacific|
|Scientific Name||Epipremnum aureum ‘Pearls and Jade’|
|Family||Arum family (Araceae)|
|Common Name||Pearls and Jade|
|Max Growth (approx)||Up to 10 feet long (120 inches)|
|Light Requirements||Bright, indirect light|
|Fertilizer||Apply diluted general houseplant fertilizer once a month during active growth|
|Season||December to May|
|Pests||Scales, mealybugs, aphids, thrips and spider mites|
|Diseases||Bacterial leaf spot, Pythium root rot, Rhizoctonia Stem Rot|
|Re-potting||Every one to two years|
|Toxicity||Toxic to Dogs, Toxic to Cats and Humans|
|USDA Plant Hardiness Zone||9 to 11|
How to Care for Pearls and Jade Pothos?
Pearls and jade pothos aren’t difficult to tend to. All pothos have this low maintenance reputation. Given a good growing condition, this plant will most likely thrive for a very long time.
How to Water Pearls and Jade Pothos
If there’s one thing that can easily kill a pearl and jade pothos, it’s overwatering.
Although you’ve probably heard that pothos can be grown in water, it becomes a different story when it’s potted in soil.
Excess water will cause root rot that can possibly lead to the death of the plant. Read this article to know more about saving pothos from root rot.
Pothos need only a moderate amount of water. Water only when at least half the soil’s depth gets dry. Soak the pot until the potting media gets entirely saturated.
Draining excess water is very important as well as ensuring that no stagnant water is sitting on the pot’s coaster.
Even if you’re watering from the bottom up, always ensure that no stagnant water remains.
Also, refrain from watering on top where the foliage gets wet. That will create a moist environment that invites the growth of pathogens such as fungi. When watering, direct the water at the base of the plant and into the soil.
Pearls and Jade Pothos Light Requirements
Some plants are very sensitive when it comes to light requirements. But we’re lucky enough that pothos are nothing like that. It will do well in sun or shade or low light levels.
However, if you’re aiming for the best-looking pearls and jade, then better place it in a location when there’s bright, indirect light. Direct exposure to sunlight can lead to leaf scorching and fading of colors.
The right amount of light is important to maintain a vibrant variegated appearance. Also due to light deficiency, your pothos leaves may grow small.
Ideally, pearls and jade should receive 63 to 80% shade (3250 to 2500 ft-c). If the shade goes above 80%, there’ll be a loss of variegation and your pothos will turn green. (Source: University of Florida)
Although the loss of variegation is not entirely bad for the health of the plant, it will significantly lessen the aesthetic value of your pearls and jade.
Pearls and Jade Pothos would prefer a warm climate with temperatures ranging from 70-80 ºF (21-27 ºC). It would be best to keep the temperature as close as possible to this range to prevent your pothos from getting stressed.
Fluctuating temperatures can be dangerous to most plants including Pearls and Jade Pothos.
Keep your pearls and jade away from sources of drafts as these may cause mechanical damage.
Your pothos will benefit from the cooling effect of an air conditioner when it’s too hot. In the same manner, it will surely appreciate additional insulation when it’s winter and is freezing cold.
As a common requirement for tropical plants, Pearls and Jade Pothos loves high humidity. In fact, you’ll be required to do regular misting, especially during dry seasons.
Just make sure to do the misting early in the morning so that it will have enough time to evaporate.
If you’re struggling with too dry air, you may seek the help of a humidifier. It will instantly increase the moisture level in the air at home without too much sweat on your part.
Grouping your plants together is also another way of increasing humidity.
Pearls and Jade Pothos Soil
Using the right potting media will greatly contribute to the health of your pearls and jade pothos. One main consideration is that it has to be well-draining.
Roots need oxygen for respiration and having enough pore spaces in the soil structure would help achieve that.
You can easily buy readily available growing mixes in the garden store that you can use on your potting.
This is essentially helpful especially if you’re a newbie in the gardening world.
If you want to mix your own, the recommended growing mixes for foliage plants are:
- 1 part garden loam or potting soil, 1 part sand, or 2 parts peat moss
- 1 part pine bark, 2 parts peat moss
- 1 part sand, 1 part pine bark, 1 part peat moss
Any of these three combinations are acceptable as a potting media for pothos. (Source: UGA Extension)
It’s also important that you sterilize the potting mixes before using them on your plants.
Pathogens do thrive in the soil for longer periods and can possibly inflict diseases on your pothos. Sterilizing the soil will help kill the disease-causing organisms.
To do this, you have to moisten the mix first before you bake them under 180 to 200oF temperature for an hour.
After the baking, let the mix cool down before use. Remember not to sterilize mixes that contain perlite to avoid the release of fluoride in the soil.
Fertilizing Pearls and Jade Pothos
Pearls and jade are not heavy feeders meaning they won’t need frequent fertilization. In fact, there’s no need to add fertilizer if the soil is healthy and rich in organic matter.
It’s a common mistake to keep adding fertilizer in the soil that results in the salt build-up which endangers the plant.
To be safe, observe first the general appearance of your pothos. Does it look healthy and flourishing? If yes, then you can skip the fertilizer application.
If the plant has retarded growth and the leaves are not vibrant looking, then your pothos might be needing a little help.
Supply additional nutrients monthly using a general houseplant fertilizer. Dilute the concentration to only a quarter of the original recommendation.
Smaller pots will need small amounts of fertilizer. Less fertilizer is needed when light is deficient. During winter when the plant is resting, there’s no need to add fertilizers at all.
Pearls and Jade Pothos Propagation
You can propagate pearls and jade using stem cuttings. Vegetative propagation is the much-preferred method because pothos plants rarely bloom and so seed saving is close to impossible.
Plus, it’s more efficient to propagate cuttings because you won’t need to painfully wait for the seeds to grow to a mature size.
Another important reason is that stem cuttings will help preserve the variegation in your pearls and jade. It will look exactly like its mother plant.
Here are the step by step process you could follow to propagate your Pearls and Jade Pothos:
- Choose a healthy stem that has at least one leaf attached to it.
- Make a diagonal cut of at least a 1.5-inch length by using a sharp knife or scissors. Diagonal cuts create a larger surface area that will give more space for roots to grow on. Make sure that your tools are clean and sterilized to prevent the spread of diseases.
- Dip the bottom of the cut portion in water until roots grow. Change the water from time to time to ensure that it’s clean.
- Alternatively, you may directly plant the cut portion in soil and allow it to grow roots in there. It shall take around 3 to 4 weeks for the roots to develop.
- Water the newly propagated plant as needed. Do not expose it under direct light especially right after the propagation process.
- Once the pothos developed the roots and are already established, you may gradually place them in a more well-lit area.
Quick Tip: Whenever you prune your pearls and jade pothos, make it a habit to save the good ones and use them in propagation.
Repotting Pearls and Jade Pothos
Every potted plant needs repotting every once in a while. As time passes by, the quality of the soil deteriorates, the roots get bound and the plant itself outgrows its container.
To keep your plant healthy, you’ll have to transfer it to a more spacious container that will give the roots more breathing room.
For pothos, it may take a year or two before repotting gets necessary. Pearls and jade are relatively smaller and have a slower growth rate than other pothos cultivars. It doesn’t need much frequent repotting.
Once you see that the plant is getting bulkier and that the pot is no longer visible, that’s a sign you need to start repotting. Roots that are coming out of the pots also call for the same thing.
Here’s a step by step guide on how to do repotting:
- Choose a container that is one or two sizes larger than the previous one. The idea is that it has to be proportional to the size and shape of your pearls and jade pothos. Containers should have good drainage holes.
- Prepare the sterilized potting mix and set it aside.
- Water the pearls and jade in its existing pot and allow it to sit for one hour. It will help loosen the soil making it easy to handle.
- Remove the root ball of the plant from its pot. Gently loosen the roots and shake off the old soil.
- Trim off the dead and aged roots. Retain only the healthy ones. Healthy roots are white in color. You may also prune some of the stems above ground in proportion to the roots you’ve trimmed.
- Place a small amount of potting soil in the pot. Lay the pothos root ball on top of it. The base of the plant should be situated a little below the top of the pot. It should not be too deep or too shallow.
- Fill in spaces with the remaining potting soil. Ensure that the plant is firmly planted in the new pot. If the potting is too loose, your plant will surely not stand.
- Water the newly repotted plant and let it soak. Drain excess water before placing it in a shady location.
- Give the plant a little time to establish itself in the new environment. Once settled, you may gradually transition it to a brighter location.
Quick Tip: Do your repotting in the afternoon when there’s no longer intense light from the sun. Repotting is a stressful process for plants. If the repotted plants are exposed to high light intensity and temperatures, they will easily lose moisture and will possibly wilt.
Pruning and Trimming
Pothos has a climbing growth habit. They’re classified as vines so it’s natural that they sprawl and trail their stems.
Your pearls and jade would require pruning from time to time to maintain an aesthetic shape.
There’s no exact rule on when to prune your pothos. It depends on how fast it grows and what size you want to maintain it.
Other instances call for needed pruning when aged and diseased leaves appear.
If you want your pearls and jade to become bulkier in appearance, you can do pinching or light pruning.
This kind of pruning must be done regularly where you pinch off the shoots and tips of the vine when they are still young.
However, if you prefer that your vine trail down from its container, you can do pruning occasionally.
Allow the pothos to grow then cut the undesirable stems down to the base. That way, you maintain the thin appearance of the plant.
Take note that when pruning, it’s important that you use clean shears or scissors.
Disinfect them using 70% alcohol to kill harmful organisms. We do not want to transfer diseases to our pothos that’s why we do this.
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Common Pearls and Jade Pothos Problems and How to Fix Them
Every planting journey encounters struggles along the way. That’s a normal part of gardening even when the plant you have is easy to maintain.
In here, we’ll give you glimpses of the possible challenges you’ll encounter when tending your pearls and jade.
We’ll also give solutions to the problems so that you’ll know what to do once they happen to your pothos.
Although pothos are usually pest-free, there are times when unwanted organisms from neighboring plants will transfer hosts.
Pearls and jade have attractive foliage and we cannot blame the pests if they get trapped by its charm. The common pests that could possibly visit your pothos are the following:
This pest usually works subtly. You’ll barely notice them until the plant gets heavily infested.
They’re small in size ranging from 1/8 to ½ inch. They can be soft scales or armored scales depending on the species.
What they do is suck the sap of the plant by piercing the tissues. They leave lesions on the portions where they feed on which leads the leaves to turn yellow and brown.
They also excrete honeydew on the surfaces which further attracts other insects like bees and ants.
How to Fix:
There are ways in which you can control the scales. First is you can remove them manually once spotted. That’s the most basic method you could employ in pest management.
You may also introduce a predator such as a lady beetle. They feed on scales and this will help reduce their population.
Or, you may also use horticultural oils to kill and wipe them off the infected portions of the pothos.
Those small cottony organisms that you see on the stems and leaves of your pothos are mealybugs.
Their colony would look like a deposit of white powder making them easy to recognize.
Like scales, they also feed on the plant by sucking the sap. They damage the tissues of the plant. Heavily infected parts can die from excessive loss of sap.
How to Fix:
If the infestation is light, you can manage them by picking the mealybugs one by one. Dabbing them with cotton dipped in alcohol will also help get rid of these organisms.
Another thing you could do is spray water on the affected portions. Apply enough pressure to wash them off completely.
Aphids are soft-bodied insects that are green in color. You can find them on the terminal ends of the plants where the young leaves and shoots grow.
They love sucking on the sap causing the plant to lose vigor. A plant infested by aphids would develop curling of leaves of the younger shoots.
How to Fix:
You can use horticultural oils and insecticidal soap to spray directly on the aphids. You may also introduce a natural predator such as lady beetles to help reduce their population.
In some instances, removal of the infected portion is necessary to prevent the spreading of the pests to other plant parts.
Another pest that can ruin your Pearls and Jade Pothos is thrips. Although uncommon, this pest can sometimes be a pain to the gardener especially when it starts sucking the plant sap from its tissues. The damaged portion will become white or grayish.
How to Fix:
Physical control of thrips is difficult. What you can do is remove the portion where the thrips have settled in. You may also try to spray diluted insecticidal soap to kill them.
Spider mites are a very common pest for pearls and jade pothos. They’re tiny moving organisms that colonize the leaves of the plant and create webs there. You’re most likely to notice them once the webbing appears.
They damage the plant by sucking the contents of the leaves. The injured portion turns yellow, bronze, or brown which eventually dies. Severe infestation can kill the entire plant.
How to Fix:
Manually picking of the mites is advisable once noticed. They won’t be of any harm to your pothos if there are only a few of them.
Regular removal of any present pest will eliminate the problem. If they continue to multiply, you may use water spray, horticultural oils, and diluted insecticidal soap.
Another problem you may encounter along the way is the outbreak of diseases in your plant. There are three common diseases of pothos according to Penn State University Extension. It includes the following:
Bacterial Leaf Spot
This disease is caused by a pathogen called Pseudomonas cichorii. Once infected, the leaves will show brown spots on their surface that have a yellow halo around them. The leaf center will fall out and eventually, the leaf dies.
How to Fix:
Remove infected parts and discard them. It’s crucial that you detect early signs of infection. Pathogens can bring great damage to the plant if left untreated.
Avoid sprinkling water over the plant because wet foliage is prone to pathogen growth.
Pythium Root Rot
Caused by a pathogen known as pythium, this disease damages the root of the pothos. This is a soil-borne disease that’s why it attacks the roots at first.
You’ll know when the root is rotting when the stems become mushy brown or black and the leaves turn yellow.
How to Fix:
To fix the problem, you’ll need to remove the plant out of the pot and cut off the rotten portion of the roots. Treat the remaining healthy roots with fungicide. Then, replant it in a fresh, sterilized soil.
Rhizoctonia Stem Rot
Another disease caused by pathogen Rhizoctonia leads to stem rot. The stem of the plant which is close to the soil will start to die and decay.
When you check the soil, you’ll notice the appearance of white powdery coating which are the fungi themselves.
How to Fix:
Immediately remove the infected stems and discard them. Apply fungicide to the remaining stems to treat the infection. You may also consider repotting the pothos to another container using clean soil.
Pearls and Jade Pothos Drooping
If your pearls and jade exhibits drooping, it’s most likely suffering from underwatering. Water is responsible for keeping the turgid structure of the plant. When water is deficient, cells will shrink and so the whole plant.
Another possible reason is exposure to high temperatures or strong light intensities. These two things are quite stressful to any plant.
How to Fix:
Water the plant immediately. Ideally, the plant will gain back its turgid appearance after several hours. Also, if it’s too hot and too sunny, relocate your plant to a shadier place.
Pearls and Jade Pothos Leaves Turning Yellow
Yellow leaves in plants can mean a lot of things. It can be a sign of overwatering, nutrient deficiency, presence of pests and infection of a disease. These sources of stress will affect the health of the plant.
When there’s too much water in the soil, there’ll be lack in oxygen causing the roots to die. Eventually, the damaged roots will rot and will no longer be able to transport water and nutrients to the upper portion of the plant.
As a result, the aboveground portion will suffer from water and nutrient deficiency leading them to die as well.
How to Fix:
Once you notice the leaves turning yellow due to overwatering, it’s important that you check the roots first. See how bad the damage is. In severe cases, repotting is necessary.
If the injury is not that much, you may just withhold water for a while until the plant recovers. Allow your pothos to receive generous light so the soil dries out quickly.
This article goes into more detail about saving overwatered pothos.
Every plant needs to have all the essential macro and micronutrients in order to live. If there’s one lacking, the plant will suffer and die. Chlorotic leaves are often signs of nutrient deficiency especially that of iron, manganese, or zinc.
How to Fix:
The solution to this problem is simple. You’ve got to supply the lacking nutrients in order for the plant to recover.
However, you have to learn how to properly diagnose the signs in order to know exactly what the lacking nutrient is.
If the yellowing is on the terminal ends affecting the young leaves, it’s most probably due to iron deficiency.
If it begins from the older leaves, then it must be manganese or zinc deficiency.
Presence of Pests
We’ve mentioned previously that most indoor plant pests love sucking on the sap of the leaves.
If you’ve noticed the yellowing is coupled with lesions and spots, then it must due to pests.
Infection of a Disease
Another possible reason for yellowing of leaves is the infection of a particular disease.
Root and stem rot will most likely affect the health of the foliage. The deter functionality of these parts will cause the leaves not to receive the needed elements for their metabolic processes.
Pearls and Jade Pothos Brown Spots
Brown spots appear as a result of the pests mulching and destroying the tissues of the leaves.
The lesions they leave on the surfaces will mark as spots that turn brown after some time. They can also be due to pathogen problems like the bacterial leaf spot.
How to Fix:
Brown spots damage are irreversible. If you want them out of sight, you have to remove the infected portions. Make sure to treat the problem according to its cause to prevent further damage.
Pearls and Jade Pothos Dying
It’s usually difficult to kill pearls and jade pothos. If yours is dying, then the condition where it’s placed must be in its worst state.
Either the temperature is drastically fluctuating or humidity is consistently low or the soil is very poor.
There are a lot of possible reasons. But mostly, it’s a combination of a lot of stresses that leads the pothos plant to die.
How to Fix:
If your pearls and jade are already dying, the best thing that you can do is save the uninjured portions and plant them separately.
Propagate the plant while you can still save some parts of it. Then, you can leave the rest of the plant to come to its terminal stage.
Pearls and Jade Pothos Black Stem
Black stem is a symptom of root rot or stem rot. These are diseases caused by pathogens. The rotting portion is typically mushy when touched. And most often, the black portion will have a foul smell.
To learn more about the causes and solutions of pothos leaves turning black read this article.
How to Fix:
Repot the plant. Remove the infected portions and discard them. Treat the plants with fungicides.
Pothos, in general, have a toxic property. The majority of the members of the arum family contain calcium oxalates. This compound is crystalline and has a needle-like appearance.
When dogs and cats ingest any part of the plant, the calcium oxalates attach themselves in the oral cavity.
This results in mouth irritation coupled with a burning sensation, hypersalivation, vomiting, and even difficulty in swallowing.
It’s crucial that you consult a veterinarian if you suspect your pets got poisoned.
And as a way of prevention, make sure to keep your pearls and jade out of reach from your dogs and cats.
Protect yourself as well by wearing gloves whenever you handle it.
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Pearls and Jade Pothos Care Tips
Here are some tips you can remember to ensure that your pothos will remain healthy and flourishing:
Use Clean Potting Mix
To avoid future problems caused by soil-borne diseases, always use clean soil. Clean soil is one that’s been sterilized to kill the existing pathogens living there.
Regulate Water Application
Water can sometimes be an enemy, when used excessively. To prevent root rot and other fungal problems, make sure to give just enough water to your pearls and jade.
Don’t Overapply Fertilizer
Overfertilization will lead to root and leaf tip burns. Too much salt build up on the soil will create a dehydrated condition in plants because water is drawn away from the roots. Apply fertilizer only when necessary.
Watch Out for Pests
Although pests are rare when plants are kept indoors, we cannot downplay the possibility.
It pays to regularly check and visit your pearls and jade to look for any foreign organisms.
Eliminate them by using organic methods like hand picking or neem oil.
Prune and Trim As Needed
Pruning is healthy for plants. It will encourage growth of new shoots. It will induce lateral growth and the bulky appearance of your pothos.
Don’t Forget to Repot
Repotted plants will continue to flourish. It’s like giving them a second chance in life. Make it a habit to repot your pothos when there’s a need to so that they’ll continue to live.
Taking care of pearls and jade pothos require no special treatment. It’s just like taking care of a normal pothos plant.
Once the growing conditions are met and maintained, the plant will most likely thrive and flourish.
There’ll be challenges to encounter along the way but there are always solutions to them. Just don’t panic whenever you face one.
And lastly, it’s always better to take preventive measures to avoid experiencing trouble in your gardening journey with pearls and jade pothos.