If you go to your local gardening store asking for a quick fix to spruce up of your living room before your guests arrive, something that adds lushness, something that breaks the monotony of the décor, something easy growing and low-maintenance, and you have no further clues on what you want, chances are that you’ll be handed a Marble Queen Pothos.
That doesn’t lower the status of this stunning evergreen climber as a “must have” in your plant collection and if you look around almost every home gardener will have not one but several pots of it. I certainly do.
Native to French Polynesia, Marble Queen Pothos is now a very common ornamental plant both in the tropical and temperate regions, widely grown for its creamy white and green variegated foliage according to the University of Florida.
The botanical name is Epipremnum aureum but popularly known as Devil’s Ivy or Money Plant. Let’s just stick with Marble Pothos.
My prime interest to grow Marble Pothos is the sheer versatility of aesthetic applications. In warmer tropical climes it is grown as a sprawler for ground cover or as an underplant for large potted plants.
It also readily scrambles up a tree or a wall, growing several feet tall with dramatically large leaves.
At heights the leaves are as big as even 3 ft long fanning out like large elephant ears. In colder climates, home gardeners grow Marble Pothos in hanging baskets, or simply as an indoor potted plant trained up on a peat moss pole.
The fun in Marble Pothos care starts when you realise what a mixture of opposites this plant is.
Think about it. If you grow Marble Pothos in a hanging basket it’s a dangly vine but with support it grows tall, strong and erect. It is a small plant of about 2 ft when grown in a pot but could grow into a 20ft tall monstrosity when it crawl up a wall.
People grow Marble Pothos indoors for its air purifying properties but strangely enough, it is toxic and non-ingestible for pets and humans.
Juvenile leaves are heart-shaped but mature leaves of a large plant are typically pinnated.The list of interesting contradictions keeps me fascinated.
Let’s now dive right into the general Marble Pothos care guide.I’ll be giving you some handy tips on how to grow Marble Pothos successfully.
- 1 Marble Pothos Plant Care Guide
- 2 How to Propagate Marble Queen Pothos Step by Step Guide
- 3 Common Problems with Marble Queen Pothos
- 4 Tips to keep Marble Queen Pothos problem-free
- 5 Frequently asked questions about Marble Queen Pothos
- 6 Conclusion
Marble Pothos Plant Care Guide
There’s a lot of internet material out that tries to complicate the matter of the optimal soil mix for Marble Pothos care. Any well-aerated, quick-draining potting soil is good enough to grow Marble Pothos.
Suppose you don’t think your soil is quick-draining enough, just add a little sand to the mix and that should do. They will thrive in nutrient-rich soil as any plant would, but do equally well in average soil too.
Can you grow Marble Queen Pothos in water?It may be worth mentioning that you can grow Marble Pothos in plain water, in other words it makes a great choice for hydroponic growing.
At homes it quite common to find it grown this way in bathrooms and by the side of kitchen windows.If you choose to grow Marble Pothos hydroponically, make sure to change the water every other week to ensure your plant gets fresh supply of nutrients from the water plus the water doesn’t get murky with algae build-up (happens as a result of exposure to sunlight).
There are a few Marble Pothos care tips you need to keep in mind if you choose to grow them in water.
Before placing your plant in water, carefully prune out any roots that appear to be rotting. Put a drop of hydrogen peroxide to oxygenate the water and to prevent the risk of fungal infection.
Use liquid fertilizer in a very diluted form (diluted at half strength is usually a good way to go about it) once a month.
Once you decide the medium you want to grow Marble Pothos in – soil or water – stick with it forever. They tend to adapt to one medium and not take too well to change.
Basic Marble Pothos care is a no-brainer for beginners mainly because it can survive in pretty much any light condition. However, given its tropical nature it grows faster in medium to bright indirect light.
Just remember that you get better results with the variegation if you grow Marble Pothos in brighter light. They don’t do well in direct sunlight as the sun burns the foliage.
Low light tolerance makes them suitable as ornamentals in offices and low-lit rooms like a bathroom. Just keep an eye out for the variegation.
Only the green parts of the leaves can make energy for the plant, so in low light the leaves will compensate for the lack of light by turning green.
If there is a tricky element to Marble Pothos care it is watering. You need to keep the soil on the dry side. That actually makes them somewhat neglect tolerant and not too keen on over pampering.
I would recommend that you do a drench and dry cycle i.e. I let the soil mix dry out almost 50% between waterings. Drench it completely when you water.
Particularly during the growing months i.e. spring and summer, this method of drench and dry watering boosts plant growth. In the fall and winter, I let the soil stay dry for longer before watering and rely on misting.
Keep a close eye on the leaves. If you notice the edges getting brown and dry then you’re underwatering.
If the leaves turn yellow and the soil feel soggy it could be sign of overwatering.
It is best to grow Marble Pothos in warm temperatures of 65°F – 90°F. It survives the winters without a fuss if it is indoors in room temperature.
As with all tropical plants a humid environment is good to grow Marble Pothos. Certain internet channels on Marble Pothos care recommend avoiding misting. I have to disagree with this.
They love being misted and it helps them stay fresh and clean. You can even go ahead and give the leathery leaves a sponge bath if you like.
When you grow Marble Pothos indoors during colder months watch out for brown leaf tips which indicate air dryness.
Marble Pothos care makes expert gardeners feel irrelevant as they don’t need to worry about fertilizing this plant. Any well balanced general purpose indoor plant fertilizer will do. Organic is the safest. You can administer once a month from spring to Autumn.
If you want to grow Marble Pothos in water then fertilizing becomes important or the plant will show stunted growth.
The amount of fertilizer you use can vary depending on the instructions on your fertilizer’s box and the size of your plant and jar.
In any case, simply cut the concentration and even the frequency down by half and you’ll be safe.
If you want to go a bit more “pro” with your Marble Pothos care you may use compost or liquid seaweed solution for fertilizing the soil at least once a month.
This boosts foliage growth and make the plant look bushier.
Again, make sure you thin down the concentration of the fertilizer to half the prescribed level just to be on the safe side. Under fertilizing is better than over fertilizing.
Remember that you fertilize only in growing month and completely cut back in winter.
These are some of the easiest plants to propagate. They grow readily from stem cuttings and through layering.
Back when I was in school, we had pruned our ground trailing Marble Pothos and thrown away the terminals into the mulching pit in the backyard.
A week later all the terminals had sprouted roots and sprung upright. It’s about that simple. Read on, for a step-by-step guide on how to propagate and grow Marble Pothos.
As mentioned before they are very versatile. Depending on the space you have you can decide how to grow Marble Pothos.
For compact growth mainly used in interior decoration, you can go for a hanging basket or a small pot for the table or in a glass/ceramic for window sides. If you have a garden or a greenhouse you can let it climb a totem or trellis.
If you grow Marble Pothos on a trellis, remember that it is a fairly virulent grower and easily chokes up all the available space constraining other plants nearby. If you live closer to the equator you can let it climb on a mature tree and watch the beautiful gigantic leaves fan out at the top.
I am often reminded of the bean stalk in ‘Jack in the Bean Stalk’ because quite honestly you can grow Marble Pothos right up to the clouds! Oftentimes, the giant pothos vine becomes the main distinguishing feature of the house it is growing in.
Marble Pothos care requires regular pruning to prevent the vines from getting leggy. Trim out any discoloured leaves and stems with a sharp garden scissors for a clean look.
One tip to grow Marble Pothos nice and bushy is to aggressively trim the long vines just before the growing season and to use the stem cuttings to start new plants in the same pot.
You can also twirl back long vines into the pot through layering. Read on for detailed Marble Pothos propagation steps.
Marble Pothos care requires regular trimming and pruning and at least an annual repotting cycle particularly for plants grown in small pots. The roots grow fairly fast and consume all the soil.
You will see them creeping out of the drainage holes. Once they fill the existing pot, remove the plant along with the root ball and move it to a larger pot.
You may need to cut out some roots and loosen the outer side of the root ball before repotting.
For larger plants repotting may be required only once in 2-3 years. Repotting is best done in spring.
How to Propagate Marble Queen Pothos Step by Step Guide
Propagate Marble Queen Pothos from cuttings (in soil)
1. Choose a strong healthy vine from the Marble Pothos mother plant noting the soil end of the vine
2. Cut the stem with 4 nodes and a terminal using a pair of sharp garden scissors
3. Ideally, you should choose a strong thick vine that hasn’t grown very long so that you can cut close to the soil. The nodes near the soil take root reliably. Even better if you can see aerial roots on the nodes of the Marble Pothos cutting at the soil end.
4. Pinch the leaves at the bottom to expose the nodes leaving only the leaves at the terminal.
5. Use the pot of the mother plant. The soil needs to be loosened at least 5 inches deep.
6. If you’re using a fresh pot I recommend using a medium size pot and planting several cuttings together, like say 3 – 5 cuttings. This will result in a bushy pot. Pro tip: don’t plant the cutting wide apart. Plant them as one single bunch right at the centre of the pot.
7. The soil needs to be well-draining because Marble Pothos cuttings are prone to rotting before rooting.
8. You don’t need a rooting hormone for Marble Pothos cuttings because they typically root quite readily.
9. Stick in the stem(s) with at least one node well under the soil and press down the soil for support.
10. Keep the pot in a fairly bright spot but away from direct sun.
11. Water well and keep the soil moist until the cutting is established. This should take 1 – 2 weeks.
12. You’ll know they are set when the terminal leaves perk up.
Propagate Marble Queen Pothos in water
1. Follow the instructions up to step 4 in the above section
2. Select a jar that has a mouth that is at least 3 inches wide and only deep enough that the bottom two nodes of the cutting are under water but the terminal leaves are out. Taller jam jars work well.
3. Pro tip: If the mouth of the jar is too narrow the roots break while pulling the cutting out.
4. Put your cutting in the jar filled with clean water.
5. If the cutting isn’t sitting well in the jar, I use cling foil to cover the mouth of the jar leaving just enough gap to let the cutting through. This should help hold the cutting in place.
6. Keep the jar in spot where there is indirect sunlight and don’t move it around too much.
7. New roots will sprout from the nodes submerged in water after 1 – 2 weeks.
8. You can transfer the cutting to soil once the roots are an inch or two long, or you can let it grow in water.
9. If you decide to grow Marble Pothos in water, pick a good quality balanced liquid fertilizer to feed your plant. Fertilize your plant once every month. Check for instruction in the section “How to fertilize your Marble Queen Pothos”.
Propagate Marble Queen Pothos using the layering technique
1. Choose a strong healthy stem on a mature, well-established Marble Pothos plant.
2. Make sure it’s a longish stem over a foot long and with 4 to 5 leaf nodes.
3. Pinch off alternate leaves to expose the nodes but keep the terminal leaves.
4. Loosen 5 inches on the soil around the mother plant
5. Twirl the prepared stem back into the soil
6. Now carefully pin down the exposed nodes in the loosened soil using hair pins to secure them in place.
7. Cover these nodes with soil and water.
8. Continue with Marble Pothos care as usual
9. The nodes should catch roots within 2 weeks.
10. Pro tip: DON’T constantly check for roots. Your chances of success increase if you forget about it for a few weeks.
Common Problems with Marble Queen Pothos
The best part about Marble Pothos care is that they are relatively pest-free.
Marble Pothos leaves going green
The plant is not getting enough light to maintain the white variegation in its leaves. Marble Pothos care requires a brighter location for the leaves to remain white and green.
Dark patches on the leaves
The temperature may be too low for a Marble Pothos especially at night. Cut away the damaged leaves and move your plant to a warmer location.
This typically happens due to a root rot caused due to over watering the plant. Check the base of the plant immediately.
I would salvage a few cuttings and try to propagate them separately in a fresh pot using sterile well-draining soil.
Yellow leaves / brown leaves
If you notice the edges getting brown and dry then you’re underwatering. If the leaves turn yellow and the soil feels soggy it could be a sign of overwatering.
Stems are too leggy
If left un-pruned, the vines get too long and leggy. You can get a bushy growth through aggressive pruning once a year before the growing season.
Tips to keep Marble Queen Pothos problem-free
These are some hacks for Marble Pothos care that I’ve learnt over the years.
1. Keep room temperature between 65°F – 90°F
2. Less is more when you grow Marble Pothos. Don’t overwater or overfeed your plant. The best grown Marble Pothos plants are ones that are left largely untended with just regular watering and little or no feeding.
3. Marble Pothos does better with a liquid organic fertilizer over a solid one, particularly if you’re growing it in water. Keep it organic.
4. If you want to grow Marble Pothos in tap water, make sure you de-chlorinate it by leaving it out for at least a day in an open container giving the water sun exposure before putting your plant in it.
5. Prune regularly and plant the tip cutting back in the same pot to grow Marble Pothos into a bushy shape
6. Grow several vines in one pot
Frequently asked questions about Marble Queen Pothos
Does pothos grow faster in water or in soil?
In my experience growing Marble Pothos in water slows it down even when fertilized. I haven’t seen a bushy growth out of a bottle grown plant although technically speaking it is suitable for hydroponic growing. So for all practical reasons, I’d recommend soil if you want to grow Marble Pothos big and fast.
Can Marble Pothos live in water forever?
Technically yes, although the water needs to be regularly replenished with the nutrients needed for proper Marble Pothos care.
Are Marble Queen Pothos toxic to cats?
ASPCA reports that Pothos is toxic to dogs and cats. This plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals similar to other plants in the Araceae family. Chewing or biting into this plant will release these crystals causing tissue penetration and irritation the mouth and GI tract. Pets that consume any part of the plant may exhibit vomiting, pawing at the mouth, lack of appetite, and drooling.
Does Marble Queen Pothos purify air?
People grow Marble Pothos for their air purifying properties. These plants help in removing common household toxins from the air, making it a healthy and beautiful addition for your space. The NASA studies on indoor pollution done in 1989 recommends 15 to 18 plants in 6 to 8-inch- diameter containers to clean the air in an average 1,800 square foot house.
Marble Queen Pothos has a place in every garden and every home. Ultimately, the real joy of growing Marble Pothos is that it so generous and forgiving that even novice gardeners can enjoy it in all its lush glory.You can have the same plant growing in two parts of your house and looking completely different which adds to the delight of having it in your plant collection.
If you’re a first time gardener on the lookout for easy growing plants I recommend you go through our houseplant tips.
Or you read our extensive care guide about Pothos Plant Care.