Marble Queen Pothos - how much light?

lme5573August 24, 2013

When I got this plant (grocery store cart jumper) the leaves had very white variegation. It's been six months, and as I potted it up to a bigger pot, I realized the whites were turning to very pale green or yellow. Which brings me to my question - does it need more light or less light to return to white variegation?

It is on a table in front of a south facing large window, but about 2 feet away from direct sunlight. I would say it gets bright indirect light about 50% of the time.

And if you're still reading, here's another question. I look for NJoy Pothos or Pearls and Jade, but all my store has is peperomia. I think. I know it's stupid, but what do I look for to tell the difference? I know, I know, the tag. But the tags all say "Tropical foliage" or some nonsense.

Thanks for looking!

Lennie in Grand Rapids

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eaksqueak(PA 6a)

I have an NJoy. I didn't realize that's what it was until I saw this post, though. It was mislabeled as a marble queen. Got it at walmart. Exotic Angels brand, I think. You are right about it being similar to a peperomia. The leaves are sort of textured and succulent. I think the way to tell the difference is to look at the stem and the way the leaves grow out of it.

Here's mine. Needs watering.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 4:28PM
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Thanks for the picture, that helps. I bet the stem has ridges, too. Last time I was in the store I picked up each peperomia and examined it just to be sure. Gah.
My store carries Exotic Angel, but for some reason we never get the good stuff. Patience, Grasshopper, patience. :-)


    Bookmark   August 24, 2013 at 4:53PM
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My epipremnum had all-green leaves when it was given to me. I grew it upward (intentionally), and kept it in near-darkness for several days (unintentionally -- I was moving), and now the new growth is variegated.

There are some other threads on here about what affects the size, shape, and variegation of pothos.

    Bookmark   August 25, 2013 at 6:16PM
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Thanks, dsws. I have searched and searched the forum and found one other post where someone's marble queen was turning pale green like mine. There was no agreement on why it was happening. Of course, I can't find that post again, so I can't link to it.
We have had cloudy weather for several weeks, and I decided it might need more light. I moved the plant closer to the window. I also took some cuttings, and those are on a south facing windowsill. Hopefully I'll see some white returning to the plant soon. I'll be sure to update, just in case anyone else is interested.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 7:36AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

I'm interested! The only thing you can do with 'wrong' variegation is move the plant to more or less light. Ideally, it would get dappled light in/under a tree all day, so finding the appropriate solid chunk of light can take some maneuvering.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 10:52AM
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I looked around for past posts on pothos (say that ten times fast), and didn't find the link I sort-of remember.

The basic idea is that in the wild, epipremnum grows as a vine that tries to climb trees. When it finds itself on the ground, it grows toward shade. When it has climbed up a few feet, it changes to the more "mature" forms, with the leaves changing shape, the stem getting thicker, and the leaves getting much larger. Somewhere high in a tree, it flowers. When it runs out of room to climb, it changes yet again, to the form it's usually seen in as a hanging houseplant, with much longer internodes.

    Bookmark   August 26, 2013 at 11:27PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

Yes! Growing toward the shadows is called skototropism. Maybe you were thinking of this discussion?

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 8:58AM
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That's the one, thanks. Or the main one, anyway. Discussion tends to spill across multiple threads.

I wonder whether root length has an effect on how the distant parts of the plant grow. Logically, I would expect a plant's behavior to optimize as best it can for its conditions, including how much soil it can reach to grab water from.

My wall-of-lath idea never went anywhere. My epipremnum only climbed a couple feet before I moved to the new apartment. The lath didn't make the move, since the new place is smaller. Now I'm thinking it would be neat to give an elementary-school class a plant with small green lanceolate (oval with pointy end) leaves, and have the kids root cuttings that grow over the course of the school year into plants with large variegated heart-shaped leaves.

    Bookmark   August 27, 2013 at 11:49AM
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Purple, I remember that post you linked to. I wish I were able to let these vines grow outside, I love those huge leaves. I did cobble together a little trellis for my philo that had very small leaves. I put 4 dowels in the pot and wound yarn around to create a lattice. It worked to a point, the leaves are larger, but only 2" leaves. I keep looking for a large trellis, no luck yet.

I also found a post where a woman's Marble Queen was turning yellow. I had to use Google to find it. :-P

I think more light is going to be the solution, but we had another cloudy day yesterday, and gosh, winter is coming soon. It's pretty bad when I can't keep a pothos happy in a south facing window. I have a light stand, and when my cuttings are ready to pot, I will put them next to the light stand, as an experiment.

Lennie in SW Michigan - cloudy again today.

Here is a link that might be useful: Marble Queen Pothos Problem

    Bookmark   August 28, 2013 at 7:10AM
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Hi - It's been about 10 days, and I wanted to update my Marble Queen's progress. I am happy to say that I can see some white variegation returning. The new growth is definitely white, and the older leaves that were pale yellow or green are now creamy white, not yet the bright white it had been.
I moved my plant closer to the window, it's about a foot away now. I am also turning it so both sides get good exposure.
Some of the leaves are staying green, I think those are mostly older leaves. The younger leaves have brightened a lot, and the newest leaves are opening up very white.
So in my case, my Marble Queen Pothos needed more light. The dark greens are greener and the pale colors are getting whiter, but not all at once.
I don't know what I'll do this winter when the lake effect really kicks in. We typically get about 10% sunshine from Nov - January. I may have to make room in the plant stand if I want to keep it white.
Lennie in SW Lower Michigan where the sun is nice today.

    Bookmark   September 6, 2013 at 3:24PM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

That's beautiful!!

What kind of Philo do you have with really small leaves? Micans?

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 8:29AM
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It's just a plain old heart leafed Philo, it has only sentimental value. (MIL bought it for my wedding 40 years ago. not the original, just a piece) It gets lots of neglect and even less light.
Last winter I repotted it and made a little trellis of craft dowels and yarn. The smallest leaves at the bottom are 1 1/2" and now the largest leaf is just over 3".
I think I will build one with dowels for cross pieces and use the yarn to tie them on when I decide to pot it up.
I've included the other one with small leaves. I know it's Satin or Silver but it's not Pothos, I think it's micans. That one had nice leaves when I bought it, but you can see how tiny they are now. It doesn't get enough water, I don't always think of it because it's hanging above my line of sight.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 9:46AM
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Imbe..Wow, your Pothos is beautiful.
You're doing a great job. I'd keep Mr. Pothos where he's been staying the last ten days..

As for variegation. I've always heard variegated plants need more light.
However, brighter light isn't always the correct answer.

It depends on the plant. For instance, my variegated citrus that get several hours of bright light are vividly variegated, but I notice the direct sun theory doesn't apply to my variegated palm AND a couple succulents which normally dote on sunlight.

In fact, some plants in direct or super-bright light lost variegation.
I guess, experimentation is in order.

As far as your Pothos, it looks fantastic.

About n'Joy Pothos. I was given a beautiful 'nJoy. Maybe it was my care, or lack of, but it now has very few leaves. I doubt it'll make it.

For some reason, I found n'Joy much more difficult than any other color Pothos..

N'joy is sold on Ebay. I almost bought one, but held back.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 10:01AM
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I've considered going to Ebay for NJoy, but my husband says we will take a vacation before it gets too cold to camp. He hasn't decided when he can get away from work, so I have held off. Just my luck it will turn cold early this year. LOL.


    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 10:07AM
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Hi Lennie,

I can't think of the seller's name off-hand, but will check if you'd like.

Some sellers are willing to hold an order. It depends..
If it's a large nursery, I doubt they'd wait, but private sellers sometimes agree.

As a matter of fact, even a few large nurseries ask if there's a certain time one would like their order sent..but, you'd need to email.

Other sellers want the $, and rid the plant..Next customer. lol.

One nursery that ships super-fast is Hirt's. I see you're in z5, same as me.
There were times my Hirt's order arrived 2 days later.
'In case you and your dh don't go vacationing tomorrow.' lol

BTW, have a great time. Mind saying where you're going?
If you feel uncomfortable, no need to say...


    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 10:24AM
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We stay in Michigan State Parks these days - no more tent camping in State Forest Campgrounds these days.

We enjoy Hoeft SP on Lake Huron, especially after school starts. This year we will probably stay closer to home. There's a SP in Ionia that stays open later for hunters, and we sometimes go to Fort Custer SP.

We haven't gone to the UP in years, maybe next year we can take a longer vacation and go back to the Porcupine SP.

Lennie in Grand Rapids,
too much information? don't think so.

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 10:35AM
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Lennie...sounds like fun.

Are you saying all campgrounds are off limits now? Sheesh!

We used to go camping every weekend..we found an 'unknown,' secluded area to set up our little tents. :)

The area resembled an island..we named it Cujo Island, after our dog who loved swimming in the Des Plaines/ Kankakee River and play with the beavers in Channahon, IL. We had so much fun.
I made breakfast, lunch and dinner on a 1.99 metal grill. Couldn'd do it anymore though.
The meals were delicious.
We used old wood, not coal brisquits or gas.

We do not hunt in the literal sense, but we used to hunt for look at...not harm..sorry. :)

Lennie, I have relatives in MI. As a child, we'd visit my aunt, uncle and cousins in Allegan, MI..Ever hear of Allegan?
They had a beautiful farm. Think I was 4 or 5 when we first started visiting, that I remember..I also think, browsing large fields of greens initially got me hooked on plants. lol

I remember standing in one field w/zillions of berries. I snuck inside, awestruck.

Anyway, MI is a beautiful state. Well, at least cities, 'I remember Kalamazoo,' not too far from my aunt and uncles farm. Don't know if it's changed.
My aunt and uncle passed away several years ago, but cousins remain in MI.
When my uncle was diagnosed with cancer, they sold the farm, then rented. She once confessed how much she missed the farm.

Sorry, talk about ranting. lol. Funny, we went from Pothos, to camping to MI.

You're lucky you get to travel. Toni

    Bookmark   September 7, 2013 at 11:57AM
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Tiffany, purpleinopp GardenWeb, Z8b Opp, AL(8B AL)

That's funny, DH and I were just saying we need to go camping at the beach when it cools down (but not too cold.) Hope you get to go and have a blast!

The Philo looks fine. The conventional thinking is that the support it grows on needs to be a little more sturdy, thicker, so the aerial roots can grab on, to get bigger leaves. There's a discussion about that here, which reminds me, I never answered Petrushka's question there, and I should add some updated pics of my Philos.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 8:25AM
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Marble queen is one of my favorites...I have several favorite (darn). I noticed with mine that if I fertilize too often the leaves start becoming more green. Also the heat seems to have an effect, the leaves turn a lighter green.

This post was edited by Enterotoxigenic00 on Sun, Sep 8, 13 at 9:25

    Bookmark   September 8, 2013 at 9:20AM
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I've certainly heard of Allegan: I grew up in Otsego. I have a brother who still lives in the Grand Rapids area.

The leaves on my pothos are all variegated. I took a cutting, which happened to include all the thoroughly-variegated leaves it had. New shoots are starting at the last two nodes, and one from right at the soil line. They're all equally variegated, but the shape of the leaves seems to be a bit more similar to the ones near where they're growing from: lanceolate near the soil line and broader from the last two nodes.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 1:11PM
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dsws, you have a golden pothos, right? I don't recall if you posted pictures, but your cutting sounds interesting. I'd like to compare leaf shapes with the pothos below. I got it 8/30 and the label on the pot says "Hawaiian" Pothos. I'm not sure if it is really different from Golden Pothos, or a marketing ploy. The leaves are large, but the new ones look like they will be smaller. The variegation is mostly yellow with a little white splashed in. Many leaves have only a small bit of variegation, and I have it under lights in hopes of getting good color on the new growth. I found a description on the internet that claims the variegation is brighter yellow than Golden Pothos, and "fragmented". Whatever that means.
Feel free to post any Golden Pothos you have, I'm interested in making a comparison.
Unfortunately the color in this pix is bleached by the lights. I could take another one later on.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 3:12PM
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Hi Lennie!

I'm in GR too - I was wondering where you picked up your Marble Queen Pothos. I really like it! I also love your dark green speckled Pothos (or Phylo?) in the 2nd picture. Can you tell me what that is? Did I miss it in the thread? I apologize if I did.


    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 7:37PM
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I have a plant that was given to me by someone who called it a "philodendron". I think it's an epipremnum ("pothos"), but I don't have any idea what cultivar. I'll see about photographing it at some point. I don't know what I did with the battery charger for my camera.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 7:42PM
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@Renee - I got both Marble Queen and Satin Pothos at Meijers. The plants turnover about every other week, and I pick them up when I see something I like. You can also get good plants at Lowe's, but with 28th st torn up, I haven't been there all summer.
Marble Queen was in a 4" pot but Satin Pothos was from Exotic Angel and I splurged for the hanging pot.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:34PM
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Okay! Thanks so much! I never see anything like those at my Meijer - I'm over on the NW side, so maybe I should try the Cascade Meijer. You're right - 28th is a mess! My in-laws live over on that side of town, and I'm constantly navigating around trying to avoid it. :)

I will definitely keep an eye out for both. Thanks again!

    Bookmark   September 9, 2013 at 8:39PM
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Meijer is one of the things I miss about Michigan.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2013 at 10:14PM
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