The Pearls and Jade Pothos, as pretty as its name suggests, is a cultivar of the popular Marble Queen. While lesser known, this gorgeous plant has been gracing our homes for decades, well-loved for its ease of care and whimsical good looks.
Like many plants in the family Epipremnum aureum, the Pearls and Jade has delicate, heart-shaped leaves. However, what sets it apart is its striking white, cream, and dark green variegation and its closely clustered growth habit. Together with this, among its abundant cousin species, it’s also considered a smaller variety of pothos.
If you already have one, or you’re planning on investing in a Pearls and Jade, this article will guide you through everything you need to know to help it grow and thrive. I’ll also show you how to distinguish the Pearls and Jade from other similar-looking pothos, so you can be sure of what you’re getting.
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What is a Pearls and Jade Pothos?
A Pearls and Jade is a small, lab-bred mutation of the Marble Queen Pothos, kept worldwide as a houseplant. Endemic to French Polynesia, it enjoys a tropical climate, which makes it easy to care for indoors. While similar in appearance to the Marble Queen, its leaves are much smaller and grow tightly together.
You may think that if you’ve seen one pothos, you’ve seen them all. But the Pearls and Jade is truly a little marvel. From its humble beginnings in a Florida University lab, it’s taken the world by storm, primarily because of its bright variegation, compact growing style, and immense hardiness.
In appearance, the Pearls and Jade has small, heart-shaped leaves that are roughly 3 inches (8 centimeters) long and 2 inches (5 centimeters) wide at maturity. Its leaves per stem are plentiful due to its clustered growth habit and long trailing vines. Concerning variegation, the Pearls and Jade has dark green leaves patterned with painterly cream and white splashes.
Like most types of pothos, the Pearls and Jade is an evergreen perennial with both ground-dwelling and aerial roots. It can either trail and hang or be trained to climb a trellis or pole. In fact, it is an avid climber, reaching lengths of up to 10 feet (3 meters) in ideal conditions.
However, it must be noted that it is a slower-growing type of pothos, primarily due to its prevalent variegation that does not photosynthesize at the same rate as pure green plants, which contain greater concentrations of chlorophyll.
As is the case with many pothos, the Pearls and Jade is often confused with other cultivars. In the following sections, we’ll briefly examine how to distinguish this beauty from its cousins.
Pearls and Jade Pothos vs N’Joy
The main differences between the Pearls and Jade and the Pothos N’Joy are their variegation and leaf size. The Pearls and Jade has shiny dark green leaves peppered with cream and white splashes, further speckled with lighter bits of green.
The Pothos N’Joy, on the other hand, has larger sections of white that are clear of any speckling or dashing. And interestingly, where the N’Joy is prone to losing its variegation in low light conditions, the Pearls and Jade does not.
Another key difference between the Pothos N’Joy vs Pearls and Jade is their leaf size. The Pearls and Jade has smaller, much more compact leaves versus the N’Joy’s broader, medium-sized foliage.
Pearls and Jade Pothos vs Marble Queen
The Marble Queen has larger patches of yellowish white to the Pearls and Jade’s more delicate, silver-cream coloring. Furthermore, the Marble Queen’s under-leaves are solid light to medium green, whereas the Pearls and Jade’s leaves are splattered with light spots all over.
As the Pearls and Jade Pothos is a hybrid of the Marble Queen Pothos, it makes sense that they are often mistaken for one another. But to the knowing eye, there are clear dissimilarities in their foliage color and texture.
In terms of size and texture, the Pearls and Jade has smaller, more papery leaves that tend to ripple at the edges. Conversely, the Marble Queen has tougher, almost leathery leaves that are much larger.
Pearls and Jade Pothos care
Pearls and Jade have low-maintenance care requirements and are tolerant of a range of living conditions. They’ll generally fare perfectly well with daily access to sunlight, moderate to high humidity rates, and sufficient water. Occasional pruning keeps them healthy and doubles up as a great way to propagate stem cuttings for new juvenile plants.
If you’re looking for an aesthetically-pleasing houseplant that won’t have you spending hours every week on its care, the Pearls and Jade is a perfect choice. This sweet little beauty is far more formidable than its delicate looks let on and, with a straightforward care regime, has no problem thriving in most indoor environments.
As with all indoor plants, it needs lots of sun, regular watering, good soil, and relative humidity. In good news, though, the Pearls and Jade is not prone to pests or diseases (other than root rot) and barely needs any fertilization.
In the following sections, we’ll go into more detail about how exactly to care for a Pothos Pearls and Jade.
How much light do Pearls and Jade Pothos need?
Pearls and Jade Pothos prefer six to eight hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day. That is, because of their variegation, Pearls and Jade pothos need a lot of light to compensate for the lack of chlorophyll in their white patches. Setting them close to an east or south-facing window is ideal.
This is where they can make the most of the morning to early afternoon light without suffering from burning or scorching.
That said, Pearls and Jade manage pretty well in lower light conditions too, and unlike many other pothos, they won’t lose their variegation. The most notable impact of less sunlight is a slower growth rate, with smaller and fewer leaves overall, resulting in a bit of a scraggly aesthetic. This is because they don’t draw in as much energy and thus cannot process the nutrients in their soil as quickly.
To combat this, or if you notice your Pearls and Jade is starting to droop and wilt, you can consider investing in a small grow light to help it on its way.
Find out more: What Are Your Pothos’ Light Needs?
Do Pearls and Jade Pothos like humidity?
At the heart of it, pothos are tropical plants, and so it follows that Pearls and Jade Pothos enjoy high levels of humidity. But even so, indoor environments aren’t always equipped to provide this, in which case it’s a good idea to supplement humidity via other means.
Lots of light and water are excellent places to start, but you can also purchase additional tools like a small home humidifier or a pebble dray (kept damp) to meet your pothos’ humidity needs. On sunny days, treat your Pearls and Jade to some light leaf misting, and where possible, keep it close to other plants, so they can mutually benefit one another.
An important thing to note is that Pearls and Jade don’t enjoy extremes in temperatures, such as artificial cold from air conditioners or heat from radiators. Try to keep them away from these types of devices and from drafty doors and windows.
How often should you water Pearls and Jade Pothos?
The best way to go about watering a Pearls and Jade is to wait until their top inch of soil is dry before topping up. Anything more, and you place your plant at risk of root rot. They’ll likely require hydration roughly every seven to ten days,
However, how often you water your pothos will depend on how hot their environment is and may change with the seasons or their size.
Pearls and Jade Pothos enjoy a lot of moisture, but it’s best to let them lead you in terms of their needs rather than try to hold them to a strict routine. In other words – water them when they’re thirsty.
On the topic of root rot in your pothos, it’s also crucial that you don’t let your pothos stand in pooled water (in their drip trays). Too much water or old water makes their root systems susceptible to bacteria and fungi that can wreak havoc on their health.
What type of soil do Pearls and Jade Pothos need?
The type of soil you give your Pearls and Jade is fundamental to their ability to thrive. All pothos enjoy aroid soil with good air circulation and a fair amount of moisture retention. It also shouldn’t be too heavy or dense, as this will hurt their roots.
If you’re purchasing your Pearls and Jade from a supplier, the chances are high that it’s already growing in good soil. However, if you want to mix your own, you can combine potting soil with some perlite and orchid bark, ensuring it receives adequate oxygen, vitamins, and nutrients.
Can you propagate Pearls and Jade Pothos?
If you can’t get enough of your Pearls and Jade, the good news is that they are great for propagating. All you need is a robust and mature stem with visible nodes and a few leaves to draw in moisture. For your best chance of success, I recommend rooting stem cuttings first in water and then in soil.
That said, they can also grow straight from cuttings placed into ground, provided they have access to plenty of humidity. A little growth hormone on the cutting’s end won’t hurt, either.
Most importantly, you need to ensure your pothos cuttings have lots and lots of sunlight. We cannot forget that Pearls and Jade are a variegated type of pothos, which means they don’t have as much chlorophyll as fully-green plants. This means they don’t convert energy into growth at the same rate as other plants and may not grow or root as quickly.
- 8 Simple Steps to Propagate Pothos Plants Successfully
- 8 Simple Steps to Propagate Pothos Without Leaves
A note on pruning and fertilization
Occasional pruning is a care requirement for all houseplants. Like a haircut, it helps to keep them healthy and stops them from expending energy on trying to revive dead or decaying leaves. Pruning your pothos is also a good way to keep your Pearls and Jade in shape, as thriving plants may start to look a little unruly after a while.
By the same token, indoor pothos can also benefit from a bi-yearly dose of slow-release fertilizer. In their natural environments, the soil around them is full of nutrient-rich matter from the leaves and trees around them, which cannot be paralleled by potting soil.
As mentioned earlier, occasional feeding gives them a little extra boost but should be reserved for their growing seasons, in the spring and summer.
Are Pearls and Jade Pothos rare?
While a relatively new plant, the Pearls and Jade Pothos are no longer considered rare. It is a patented cultivar, which makes it easy to purchase through suppliers. In addition, given its excellent propagation rates, it’s also commonly traded among pothos enthusiasts.
While cases of mistaken identity between pothos varieties can result in some confusion among buyers, learning to distinguish a Pearls and Jade’s foliage and leaf size will make it easier to get hold of one.
The Pearls and Jade is a relative newbie in the plant world, having only entered the scene in 2008 after successful cultivation at the University of Florida. Nevertheless, its charming good looks made it an instant hit, and it had no problem entering the market as a popular houseplant must-have.
Today, Pearls and Jade are easy to find if you know where to look. Many nurseries and garden centers stock them as part of their regular fare, but it must be noted that they are sometimes incorrectly marked. For this reason, purchasing your Pearls and Jade from a supplier is advisable.
Where to find a Pearls and Jade Pothos for sale?
If you’re looking for a very specific breed of plant, I always recommend trying specialist suppliers rather than testing your luck at a nursery (just in case you don’t get what you’re looking for). In their juvenile phases, there is a lot of overlap in how variegated pothos look, too, which can lead to mislabeling.
Generally, suppliers can be contacted via their online platform or through forums. But more and more, you can also find particular plant breeds through online merchant services like Etsy and eBay.
In the case of the latter, do your research on transport to make sure your Pearls and Jade arrives in good stead.
Do Pearls and Jade Pothos trail?
Part of the reason Pothos Pearls and Jade are so popular is because of their trailing growth habit. Despite their relatively diminutive stature, they produce very long stems that look absolutely breathtaking in a hanging basket. Nevertheless, with their aerial roots, they can also be trained to climb.
The growth pattern of a Pearls and Jade is versatile enough to please even the most discerning plant parent. They trail beautifully if left to grow wild from hanging baskets or planters, but this is really up to your personal preference.
If you prefer a more compact, neater plant, you can train your pothos to climb by providing it with a moss pole or trellis. Initially, you’ll need to adhere its stems to the pole with florist’s tape or light twine ties, but in a few weeks, it will naturally grow upwards around its support structure.
Do Pearls and Jade Pothos grow fast?
The Pearls and Jade is not considered fast-growing compared to other varieties in the pothos genus. Research shows that this is a consequence of its high level of variegation and, accordingly, its lower energy rates. However, it’s more likely to produce new stems and leaves faster if all its care requirements are met.
The Pearls and Jade has a leisurely growth rate that matches its refined aesthetic. It’s not a speedy grower size-wise, but it does produce lots of leaves, especially in ideal conditions. This is especially true as it matures and becomes more robust – filling out rather than growing tall and long.
So, while it doesn’t double in size every few months, you should definitely see a difference in its stature over time. If it is not growing at all, consider if it needs more light or humidity or if it might be suffering from ill health.
Why is my Pearls and Jade Pothos dying?
While Pearls and Jade Pothos are low-maintenance plants, a lack of care (or too much care) can impact their health, causing them to wilt, droop, and eventually perish. Most often, these symptoms occur as a consequence of too much or too little water, light, or humidity or because your plant has contracted root rot or a pest infestation.
None of us like to see our plants suffering. But in good news, the Pearls and Jade is a great communicator and will have no problem showing you when it’s feeling unwell.
Any sign of drooping in your pothos is a sign of an unmet need, in which case it’s a good idea to do a diagnostic to figure out what’s gone wrong. A change in environment or care can generally cure minor afflictions, but more severe issues like root rot can be fatal if left untreated.
Why is my Pearls and Jade Pothos turning yellow?
If your Pearls and Jade’s leaves are turning yellow, ensure you’re not giving it too much or too little water. The former causes root rot, and the latter causes root system death. Insufficient access to light can also cause yellowing.
We briefly mentioned wilting and drooping, but the next step – yellowing leaves on your pothos – is more problematic if left for too long.
If the cause of this is insufficient light, this simply means your plant isn’t getting enough sunlight energy to grow and so is turning stagnant. Sunlight should be accompanied by humidity, the combination of which provides additional moisture and hydration.
In rare cases, fertilizer burn can also cause yellow leaves. So, if this is the only thing that has changed in your otherwise thriving Pearls and Jade’s life, hold off on feeding until it has healed. Then, when you’re ready to fertilize again, use half the usual dose until you’re sure it’s adapted.