It is not surprising that Pothos plants are some of the most revered species in the plant kingdom. Their enchanting trailing growth habit not only brightens up a room but also makes a bold statement.
Compared to other climbers, such as hoyas, and the string of pearls, Pothos are relatively easier to care for.
This is why I have several pothos species in my plant collection, with one of my favorites being the Pearls and Jade.
With its eye-catching variegated foliage and incredibly sturdy composition, it’s one of the most versatile plants out there.
A slow grower, the Pearls and Jade is also easy to maintain.
Pearls and Jade Pothos Care
To ensure your Pearls and Jade stays happy and healthy, water only when necessary. Allow the top few inches of the potting mix to dry before rewatering. Apply a well-balanced fertilizer during its growing season. Place your potted pothos in a spot with access to bright indirect sunlight. Keep the temperatures at 60 to 85°F (15 to 29°C) and the humidity should be no less than 70%. Prune occasionally to keep it compact and repot it once it becomes root-bound. Lastly, ensure you grow these pothos in a rich, and well-draining potting mixture.
Is this your first time planting the Pearls and Jade pothos? Are you worried about messing up the growing medium? You don’t have to. This plant adapts pretty well to any potting mix that it’s planted in. As long as it’s rich in nutrients, drains well, and has good aeration.
In that regard, typical garden soil isn’t a good option for this plant. It’s too dense and yet Pearls and Jade Pothos require loosely compacted soil.
A potting mixture, it allows the free flow of nutrients, air, and water, which translates to a healthy root system.
So while it might seem like an extra cost, consider investing in a potting mix, more specifically, it should be formulated for succulents and Cacti like this one.
Often, you’ll find that the primary ingredient in a cacti mix is peat moss. This compound helps not only with absorbency but also its ability to release moisture on an as-needed basis.
Other ingredients you’re likely to find in a Cacti-specific potting mixture entail perlite or pumice and sand. Their purpose is to improve the soil’s drainage and aeration.
For the best variegation, place your Pearls and Jade in a spot exposed to bright, indirect light. The kind of light found in a northern or partially shaded eastern window is ideal.
A southern or western exposure can work too, but you’ll have to place your plant a little further from the window. And if you notice your window letting in too much sunlight, consider adding a curtain sheer.
Otherwise, place it indoors then provide it with fluorescent lighting.
When it comes to watering, Pearls and Jade pothos prefers its potting mixture to remain slightly moist.
It means that it shouldn’t be too wet or too dry. But if we were to compare the two extremities, you’re better off erring on the side of underwatering than overwatering.
Pothos plants are highly susceptible to root rot, and the main cause of this is waterlogged soil.
Nonetheless, this doesn’t mean that you go for months without watering your plant.
Here’s the thing, your plant already loses water through transpiration.
So when you forget to water it, its root system undergoes even more stress because it exerts too much effort trying to draw moisture from the soil.
The result? Yellowing of the leaves along with a couple of brown, crispy spots. The good news, an underwatered pothos is easy to restore. Simply increase the frequency and amount of water to revive your plant.
If you want your plant to grow in the healthiest way, be sure to maintain the temperature between 60 and 85°F (15 to 29°C) all through the year.
In winter, however, the temperatures can dip quite low. During this season, look for ways to keep your pothos warm, ensuring the temperature never drops below 50°F (10°C).
What happens during this season is that the cold causes the plant’s cells to freeze, resulting in damage and interruption of the pathways for nutrients and water.
If some of the plant’s parts aren’t receiving enough food and water, the vines will become weak while the leaves start to discolor and wither.
One thing I have learned is the essence of nourishing my Pearls and Jade before winter sets in. This way, it has a stock of food supply and it doesn’t enter this cold season under drought stress.
Although the Pearls and Jade pothos can tolerate dry air, it thrives in high humidity, which is not surprising since it’s a tropical plant. Thus, you’ll want to keep the moisture levels between 50 and 70%.
So how do you know whether your pothos is happy with the present moisture levels? Well, check the coloration on its leaves.
If you notice the leaves’ tips starting to turn brown, it means the air is too dry. Therefore, you’ll have to look for ways to raise the moisture level.
Nonetheless, you have to be very cautious not to add too much moisture to your plant. The pothos species of plants are vulnerable to a fungal disease called Rhizoctonia blight. It’s caused by factors, such as:
- Frequent misting
- Very close spacing of plants
- Insufficient airflow
- Wet leaves or stems
To err on the side of caution, I prefer to relocate my Pearls and Jade pothos to a spot that has a higher humidity level (such as the bathroom) as opposed to misting.
If this doesn’t help, I create a pebble tray humidifier. To achieve this, look for a low-profile tray, and arrange small stones on it, then fill it halfway with water.
Next, take your pothos pot, and set it on the tray, ensuring that its roots don’t come into direct contact with water. Water will start evaporating from the tray, creating a humid environment around your plant.
If you barely get time to tend to your houseplants, you’ll be pleased to know that this pothos is not a heavy feeder. This means that you won’t have to fertilize frequently.
In fact, if you’re using a potting mixture that is already chock-full of nutrients, there’s no need to add fertilizer.
I prefer to add a bit of fertilizer just to enhance its growth. If you decide to fertilize like I do, look for a well-balanced or all-purpose fertilizer, then dilute it to half-strength before applying.
Also, feed your pothos during the growing season only, which typically happens between spring and summer.
In winter, cut back or do away with feeding completely. Since it enters a semi-dormant phase, it grows at a much slower pace; hence, it doesn’t need too much fertilizer.
If you overfeed it during these cold months, this will result in an accumulation of salts and minerals which can scorch your plant to death.
There are numerous methods of propagating; from cuttings to grafting and layering. For the Pearls and Jade pothos, the technique that works best is stem cutting.
The first step to propagating this plant is to cut a section off from the parent plant. Your stem cutting ought to be 4 to 6 inches long and have a couple of leaves on it; a minimum of 4 leaves.
Place your stem cutting in water for about two weeks. When placing your cutting in the water, ensure it’s submerged up to 1 inch above the node. Then, give it ample time to root before transferring it to a soil medium.
If you don’t want to propagate in water, you can plant your cutting directly in a suitable potting mixture. In this case, bury the stem to a point just slightly above the node. It should start developing roots in the next two weeks.
The first thing to note about this plant’s growth is that it happens slowly. Pearls and Jade has the potential to reach up to 30 feet tall. But it could be years before this happens.
On the plus side, it has some of the most beautiful variegation so it’s well worth the wait.
If you’re growing yours indoors, you’re better off keeping it at a manageable height of 6 to 10 feet. Whenever the vines extend too far, prune them to keep your plant compact.
Since it’s a slow grower, it doesn’t need to be repotted very often. You could wait one or two years before transferring it to a fresh potting mix.
Even when you do, don’t go more than a size larger. Remember that it’s susceptible to root rot. If you were to transfer it to an overly-big container, the pot would likely retain excess water, encouraging rotting.
Common Problems with Pearls and Jade Pothos
At times, your Pearls and Jade may come under attack from pests. The most culprits are:
- Spider mites
The majority of these pests damage your plant by sucking sap. The good news is, they’re fairly easy to control. I like to use insecticidal soap to control these insects.
It’s effective, and it eliminates the health risks that arise from using chemical pesticides.
However, you’re free to try out other pest management techniques such as:
- Pruning the damaged plant
- Throwing away or composting the plant
- Removing them physically
Tips to Keep Pearls and Jade Pothos Problem-Free
- The ideal place to grow the Pearls and Jade is indoors, preferably in a brightly-lit spot. While it can tolerate low light, it fares better in bright indirect light
- Keep the potting mixture dry between watering; this plant likes the soil slightly moist but not water-logged. So be sure to allow enough time to dry before watering
- Look for a well-draining soil or potting mix; add ingredients such as perlite to promote aeration and drainage
- Pearls and Jade is not a heavy feeder. But, you can give it a monthly “snack” to boost its growth
Pearls and Jades is an example of Pothos, a collection of plants belonging to the genus Epipremnum.
Native to the islands of French Polynesia, Pothos are known by their more popular name, the Devil’s ivy. The second name is more befitting given their hard-wearing nature, which makes them difficult to kill.
This is exactly what you get from Pearls and Jade, a pothos that’s particularly admired for the variegation on its leaves. It manifests sections of white, gray, and green hues in irregular patterns. Speaking of its leaves, they can reach up to 3 inches long and 1.5 to 2 inches wide.
Frequently Asked Questions about Pearls and Jade Pothos
How can I improve the variegation on my Pearls and Jade pothos?
The variegation on this plant is a key characteristic and one that makes it a true work of art in the plant kingdom.
However, it can only exist under certain conditions. If these aspects aren’t maintained, your pothos could very well revert to having completely green leaves. To avoid this, ensure you:
- Always keep your plant potted- this makes it easy to move it around, in case you need to transfer it to meet its lighting requirements
- Expose your pothose to bright indirect light- it’s crucial that you place this plant on a sunny spot to prevent it from losing its variegation
- Keep the temperature consistent- Pearls and Jade is not the kind of plant that adapts well to sudden fluctuations in temperature. Any abrupt temperature snaps- both hot and cold- can result in the plant losing its beautiful variegation
How is Pearls and Jade pothos pruned?
If your pothos grows too big, your only option is to prune it. Well, not unless you’re planning to take it to an outdoor setting. So, how do you go about the pruning process?
For starters, decide just how far back you’d like to prune your houseplant. You can prune it as much as you want; up to 2 inches (5 cm) from the soil line. If you, however, prefer to leave long vines intact, prune a little less.
Once you’ve decided, take each vine and establish the point where you’ll prune it. The ideal place to cut each vine is about ¼ of an inch above each leaf.
The point where the leaf intersects with the vine is known as a node. It is from this area that a new vine will start growing after pruning.
Be careful not to leave some of the vines leafless. In my experience, such vines don’t regrow efficiently. If you end up with a leafless vine, you can prune it altogether.
Now, repeat this process till you successfully prune every vine and are impressed by the outcome.
If you’re looking for a houseplant that will add a wow factor to your space and is also easy to maintain, the Pearls and Jade pothos is an excellent choice.
It develops dark green leaves variegated with hints of white and silver-gray. Plus, it’s a climbing plant, which makes it perfect for placing in a hanging basket.
Taking care of houseplants and gardening are my greatest passions. I am transforming my apartment into an urban jungle and am growing veggies in my indoor and outdoor garden year-round.