The Marble Queen Pothos is a beautiful, vining evergreen with striking leaf variegation that makes it a must-have for any plant collector.
This plant is native to French Polynesia, but has since become one of the most popular ornamental plants in the world. It is relatively easy to grow and care for and requires little maintenance, making it a good choice for beginners.
In this article, we will discuss the proper cultural care of the Marble Queen Pothos, as well as how to correctly propagate it. So, if you are thinking about adding this plant to your collection and wish to learn more about it, just keep reading.
Marble Queen Pothos care
The Marble Queen prefers to grow under bright, indirect light, but it can survive in most light conditions. However, if you want the variegation on its leaves to be more pronounced, it is best to keep it under bright, indirect light.
Do not place the plant under direct sunlight for extended periods of time, because this can cause sun damage on the foliage.
Because of the plant’s ability to adapt to different light conditions, it makes a great office plant and can also be kept in dimly-lit rooms like the bathroom. Of course, in these environments you should not expect the variegation to be as vibrant as it would be under lots of light. The variegation dissipates because the plant compensates for low-light conditions by producing more chlorophyll, thus turning the white parts of the leaves green.
Keeping the plant near a north- or east-facing window is ideal, but if the only window available is one that lets in harsh light, you can diffuse the light by placing a sheer curtain over it.
During the winter, when the sunlight is scarce, buy a grow light to help the plant get its required daily light.
Watering your Marble Queen Pothos can be a bit challenging in the beginning. It does not like its soil to be constantly damp; in fact, it wants it to be dry half the time. This can be a blessing for plant owners who are a little forgetful when it comes to watering their plants, and an exercise in self-control for those who may be over-attentive.
There is no set schedule to follow with regard to watering the plant. The frequency of watering will depend on several factors, including the local climate, the season of the year, and the current weather conditions. In winter, in a cold climate with lots of snow or rainfall, you will not need to water the plant as often as someone who lives in a warm climate, in the summer, with little to no rainfall.
The best way to determine the need for watering is to touch the soil in the plant’s pot. If the top half of the soil is dry, water the plant, but if the top half of the soil is still a bit damp, wait one or two days and check it again.
A watering technique that works well is to completely soak the soil in the pot, and then let half of the soil dry out before watering it again. This is preferable during the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing. Remember that watering should be done more sparingly in the fall and winter because the soil will take longer to dry out.
Do not let the soil dry out for too long between waterings, because this can lead to underwatering and the leaves will start to turn brown. This may not be fatal to the plant, but it does affect its overall aesthetic.
One of the greatest watering mistakes a plant owner can make is to overwater the plant. Overwatering causes the plant’s roots to sit in constantly soggy soil, and they will drown and die. The dead roots will start to rot, and will become susceptible to opportunistic pathogens. These pathogens will make the root rot even more aggressive, and it will spread through the stems and leaves until the entire plant is affected. Unfortunately, if the plant’s stem and leaves have become mushy and brown, it means the rot has reached them and there is little chance of recovery. It is better to be vigilant enough to catch the early signs of overwatering, so that the plant is still salvageable.
If you suspect that your plant is overwatered, remove it from its pot and wash off as much of the old soil as possible. Do this gently so as not to break any of the roots. Inspect the roots and remove any brown or black rotten roots using a sterilized pair of scissors. Once you have removed all of the rotten roots, there should be only healthy, white roots remaining. Spray these roots with a fungicide and leave them to air-dry for a couple of hours. After the roots have dried, you can repot the plant in a pot that has drainage holes at the bottom, using a fresh, well-draining potting mix.
The Marble Queen just needs airy, porous, well-draining soil mix in order to grow well. Any commercially available indoor plant mix is generally sufficient, but if you want to make the soil even more well-draining, you can add perlite or coarse sand to it.
The soil mix needs to be airy and porous to allow both air and water to permeate easily.
The pot you use for the plant can also affect its growth. Avoid using steel or plastic pots or containers, because these materials are too impenetrable and will not allow air and water to seep through them easily. Choose terracotta or clay pots, which are more porous and breathable.
Make sure the pot has drainage holes at the bottom to allow excess water to flow out in case you accidentally give the plant more water than needed.
The Marble Queen does well at room temperature, so no extra measures are needed when it comes to its temperature requirements. If you grow the plant outdoors, you may need to take it indoors or put up some protection in order for it to survive the winter.
Indoors, as long as the temperature is between 65 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit, the plant should be just fine.
Because the Marble Queen Pothos is a tropical plant, it appreciates a humid environment. You can help the plant with this by keeping it in the bathroom, laundry room, or kitchen, as these rooms are the most humid parts of the house.
You can also mist the plant’s leaves every once in a while to keep them from drying out. Only mist them in the mornings, though, so that there is enough time to let the water evaporate before nightfall. In the evenings, the water droplets might stay on the leaves for too long, and this can encourage the growth of unwanted fungi.
Another technique to increase humidity is to use a pebble tray filled with water. Place the plant’s pot over the pebble tray and, as the water evaporates, it will moisten the soil and the plant’s leaves.
You can also position the plant next to other plants that like high humidity, so that together they can create a microclimate.
If you have the means, you can also buy a humidifier and let the machine regulate the humidity without you needing to worry about it.
Refrain from placing the plant in a spot where warm or cold drafts from heating vents or air conditioners can reach it. The drafts can dry out the plant’s leaves very quickly and this should be avoided.
The Marble Queen does not really need to be fertilized, but if you want to boost the plant’s growth, you can give it an organic indoor plant fertilizer once a month during the spring and summer. Refrain from feeding the plant during the winter, because this can lead to soil toxicity and may do the plant more harm than good.
Marble Queen Pothos propagation
Propagation in soil mix
There are two methods of propagating this plant in soil mix.
In the first method, you take a cutting from the parent plant using sterilized scissors. Make sure you cut the stem a quarter of an inch below the node; this is important because the node is where the new roots will sprout from. Remove any leaves that are too close to the base of the cutting.
In a small pot filled with moistened soil mix, plant the cutting deep enough that at least one node is buried, but make sure no leaves are buried.
Move the pot to a place where the cutting can get plenty of bright, indirect light. You can also help maintain the humidity around the plant by placing a small plastic bag over it. Remove the bag for a few minutes every day to let fresh air in. Try to keep the soil mix moist and never let it completely dry out.
After a few weeks, you can check the viability of the roots. Do this by pulling gently on the plant; if you can feel some resistance, that means that the roots have established well and you can now care for the plant as you would a normal, fully-grown Marble Queen Pothos.
The second method entails removing a long stem from the parent plant that has multiple nodes on it. Use sterile scissors to cut the stem.
You need a container that can accommodate the entire stem laid down across the soil mix. All of the nodes have to be facing downward, into the soil mix. Make sure the soil mix is moist, and push the nodes gently down into the soil. You can fasten them into the soil mix using bobby pins. Once secured, transfer the container to a spot where the cutting can get lots of bright, indirect light. You can place a clear plastic bag over the container to increase the humidity around the cutting and to lock in the moisture. Do not forget to remove the plastic bag for a few minutes a day to let some fresh air in.
After a few weeks, all the nodes on the cutting should have sprouted their own roots. You can check if the roots have grown well by pulling gently on the stem and checking for resistance.
Propagation in water
Propagating the Marble Queen in water is quite simple. You can even leave the plant in the water and let it grow there, but note that it will not grow as fast as a pothos in soil. It is best to only let the plant root in water, and then to transfer it to the soil.
Use a clean pair of scissors to cut the stem off the parent plant a quarter of an inch below a node. Remove any leaves that are close to the base of the cutting. It is vital to include the node because this is where the new roots will sprout from.
Place the cutting in a glass container filled with water, making sure the node is submerged underwater. No leaves should be submerged.
Move the container to a spot where the cutting can get lots of bright, indirect light. Replace the water if it becomes murky and top it up if it starts to get low.
After a few weeks, the roots should be several inches long and you can transfer the cutting to its own pot with soil mix.
The Marble Queen Pothos is a beautiful, vining evergreen plant that is low-maintenance and very easy to propagate. Its variegated leaves make the plant a must-have for any avid plant collector.
This plant likes bright, indirect light, and should be watered only when half of the soil in the pot is dry. It does fine at normal room temperature and likes higher-than-normal humidity and minimal feeding.
Image: istockphoto.com / MAsummerbreak
This plant can be propagated either by planting the cutting directly into the soil, placing an entire stem with multiple nodes onto the soil mix, or by letting the cutting root in a glass of water before transferring it to a pot with soil mix in it.
The Marble Queen Pothos is a great gift for beginner gardeners because it is quite forgiving and reproduces quickly while bringing a touch of beauty to any home.
Image: istockphoto.com / aphichart