Pearls and jade pothos (Epipremnum aureum ‘pearls and jade’) are named for their stunning green and white variegated foliage and are truly one of the more lavish pothos varieties on the market. A sport of the popular marble queen pothos, pearls and jade pothos was developed by the University of Florida back in 2009. While they may be closely related, the marble queen and pearls and jade pothos are quite distinct in appearance. Pearls and jade pothos are known for having much smaller, thinner leaves than varieties such as the marble queen or golden pothos, and their variegation pattern is slightly different as well. However, similar to these varieties and all plants in the Epipremnum genus, pearls and jade pothos are considered toxic to pets.
|Botanical Name||Epipremnum aureum 'Pearls and Jade'|
|Common Name||Pearls and jade pothos|
|Plant Type||Perennial, vine|
|Mature Size||6-10 ft. long (indoors)|
|Soil Type||Moist but well-draining|
|Bloom Time||Spring, summer|
|Flower Color||Green, white|
|Growing Zones||9-12, USA|
|Native Area||South Pacific|
|Toxicity||Toxic to pets|
Pearls and Jade Pothos Care
These variegated plants are known for being slow-growing and easy to care for. For the most part, their care is similar to many of their relatives in the Epipremnum genus, although there are some key differences. Most notably, pearls and jade pothos do not tolerate low light conditions as well as other pothos varieties such as the golden pothos or jade pothos. It is also important to know that while these plants are capable of flowering, it is extremely uncommon for them to flower when grown indoors so don’t fret if your plant is not giving you any blooms!
Pearls and jade pothos require several hours of bright, indirect light every day in order to support their variegated foliage. Avoid placing these plants in direct sunlight as their papery-thin leaves are sensitive to leaf burn. Directly in front of a north- or east-facing window, or a couple of feet back from a west- or south-facing window are all ideal locations for these pothos.
These plants do best when planted in soil that is rich, airy, and well-draining. They enjoy moist conditions but are sensitive to root rot if they are exposed to soggy soil. A mixture of equal parts potting soil, perlite, and orchid bark mix is an ideal mix for pearls and jade pothos.
Like most pothos plants pearls and jade pothos enjoy regular watering but can withstand some drought if needed. Ideally, they should be watered once the top 1 to 2 inches of soil has dried out. The exact frequency of watering will change slightly depending on the time of year. For example, during the spring and summer when daylight hours are plentiful and temperatures are warmer you may need to water your pearls and jade pothos once a week, while in the fall and winter you may only need to water it once every two weeks. Testing the moisture in your plants soil, either with your finger or a moisture meter, before watering will help you to determine whether it is ready for a drink.
Temperature and Humidity
Pearls and jade pothos are tropical plants that do best in warm, slightly humid conditions. For the most part, standard household temperature and humidity levels are fine for these plants, although if your home is on the dry side you may want to provide your plant with some extra humidity to help it thrive. Ensure that your pearls and jade pothos is not exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). While these plants are most common as houseplants, you can grow pearls and jade pothos outdoors year-round in USDA zones 9 through 12 if you wish.
During the spring and summer months, these pothos benefit from monthly fertilization with a balanced liquid fertilizer designed for indoor plants. Stop fertilizing your plant in the fall and winter months when it is no longer actively growing.
Pruning is certainly not a necessary part of caring for pearls and jade pothos but it is likely that you will need to trim your plant at some point in its life to control its growth. Pruning is also a great way to encourage your pothos to have a fuller, bushier growth habit.
It is best to prune pearls and jade pothos in the spring or summer when it is actively growing. Use a pair of clean, sharp pruning shears or scissors and trim off any excess growth. Avoid pruning more than ⅓ of the plant off at a time to prevent sending the plant into shock.
Propagating Pearls and Jade Pothos
Propagating pearls and jade pothos is a great way to fill out your existing plant or grow new plants. These pothos can be easily propagated by rooting stem cuttings in just a few steps. If possible, it is best to propagate your pearls and jade pothos in the spring or summer since the plant is actively growing and can recover better from having cuttings taken.
- Using a pair of sharp pruning shears or scissors, take one or more stem cuttings from a healthy pearls and jade pothos. Each cutting should have between 3 to 5 nodes on the stem.
- Remove the bottom 2 to 3 leaves from each cutting so that the lower nodes are exposed along the stem.
- Prepare a container with fresh water and place the cuttings in the water so that the nodes along the bottom of each cutting are submerged while the leaves at the top are above the surface of the water.
- Place the cuttings in a location that receives bright, indirect light and refresh the water once a week. After a couple of weeks, you should begin to notice small white roots growing from the cuttings. Once the roots are between 2 to 3 inches long you can move the cuttings from water to soil.
- Prepare a small pot (or pots) with well-draining soil and plant the rooted cuttings, watering well after planting. Return the cuttings to a location with bright indirect light and keep the soil evenly moist for the first 1 to 2 weeks to help the new roots acclimate from water to soil. After a couple of weeks, you can begin watering your new plant(s) once the top 1 to 2 inches of soil is dry as usual.
Potting and Repotting Pearls and Jade Pothos
Pearls and jade pothos can tolerate being slightly root bound but should be repotted once they have outgrown their previous potting container. Usually, this is once every 1 to 2 years or so depending on growth. Signs that your plant has outgrown its pot include roots growing from the drainage holes as well as stunted growth. If you remove your plant from its pot and see more roots than soil, this is also an indication that it’s time to repot!
Repotting is best done in the spring or summer when these pothos are actively growing. Choose a new pot that is no more than 2 to 4 inches larger than its previous container (i.e. if it was growing in a 4-inch pot choose a 6 or 8-inch pot). Increasing your plant’s pot size too quickly can lead to issues with overwatering. Remove your plant from its previous container, loosen up the root ball slightly, and pot it in its new container with plenty of fresh, well-draining soil. Water the newly repotted plant thoroughly and return it to its original growing location to minimize shock.
Common Pests & Plant Diseases
These pothos are not particularly prone to any pests or diseases but can be bothered by a few common houseplant pests and diseases. Keep an eye out for pests like fungus gnats, spider mites, and thrips which can quickly spread from houseplant to houseplant. Also, watch out for signs of root rot which can result from overwatered conditions.
Common Problems With Pearls and Jade Pothos
Like most pothos plants, pearls and jade pothos are known for being easy to care for and are generally problem-free houseplants. However, keep an eye out for the following potential issues that should be addressed if you see them.
Yellow leaves are a common indication that one or more things in your plant’s growing environment are not quite right. Usually, yellow leaves are a result of overwatering or a lack of light, but can also result from underwatering or too much light (confusing — we know). Remember that these variegated pothos enjoy several hours of bright, indirect light and prefer to dry out slightly between waterings. Always ensure that you have your plant potted in a well-draining soil mix in a pot with drainage holes to prevent overwatering. While yellow leaves are usually an indication that something is wrong, they can also be a completely normal part of a leaf’s natural life cycle. If you notice that your plant’s oldest leaves are occasionally going yellow and falling off but your plant otherwise looks healthy, you probably have nothing to worry about!
If your pearls and jade pothos is developing brown leaves it is usually a sign that your plant is lacking moisture, either from underwatering or a lack of humidity. While these plants like to dry slightly between waterings and can handle the occasional drought, they do best with consistent watering and may begin to develop brown leaves if they are left to dry out for too long. Similarly, if your home is overly dry or your plant is being grown in a particularly dry location it may begin to develop brown, crispy leaves as a result.
Drooping leaves are a common sign that your plant needs to be watered, but are not necessarily cause for concern. Usually, pothos plants perk back up after a good watering. No harm no foul. In fact, waiting until your plant’s leaves begin to droop a little before watering it can be a good way to avoid overwatering if you are prone to killing your plants with too much love and attention. Just make sure that you don’t let your plant sit around with drooping leaves for too long — you don’t want it to start developing brown leaves or have its roots begin to dry out!
Are n’joy pothos and pearls and jade pothos the same?
While they may look nearly identical to the untrained eye, the n’joy pothos and pearls and jade pothos are actually two separate and distinct varieties of pothos. They can be distinguished mainly by their variegated leaves. Pearls and jade pothos have white variegation with green splashes throughout them, while n’joy pothos does not have any green in their white variegation.
How big do pearls and jade pothos get?
Compared to some of its relatives in the Epipremnum genus, the pearls and jade pothos can be considered a small variety of pothos. That being said, its vines can usually still grow between 6 to 10 feet indoors, although it may take a while as this pothos is notoriously slow-growing.
How can I make my pearls and jade pothos thicker?
Pruning your pothos regularly is one of the best ways to encourage a fuller, thicker growth habit. Also ensure that you are providing your pearls and jade pothos with plenty of light, as these plants will become leggy and thin in low-light conditions.
American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. “Golden Pothos.” Aspca.org. N.p., n.d. Web.