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Golden Pothos Vs Hawaiian Pothos (Differences and Similarities)

Golden Pothos and Hawaiian Pothos have very similar appearances. When attempting to distinguish between these two, it is easy to become perplexed.

That is why it is critical to carefully consider these two types of pothos when growing them together.

The main visible difference between golden pothos and Hawaiian pothos is the color of the foliage and stems. Golden Pothos, on the other hand, has a much more vivid and intense yellow hue. Hawaiian pothos, on the other hand, is a variegated plant with dark green, yellow, and white streaks. While Golden Pothos prefer low light, Hawaiian Pothos prefer medium to bright light.

The image showing the difference between Golden Pothos and Hawaiian Pothos
Difference Between Golden Pothos and Hawaiian Pothos

Difference Between Golden Pothos Vs Hawaiian Pothos

It’s difficult to tell the difference between these two types of pothos at first glance. The most noticeable difference between these two is their color or variegation.

The following will show you each of their distinct characteristics so you can learn more about them.

Golden Pothos Develop Yellow Vines

 Golden Pothos Develop Yellow Vines
Golden Pothos Develop Yellow Vines

If given enough light, all Goldens will develop yellow vines. The one in this photo is right next to a grow panel. Some of my vines are even variegated.

Hawaiian Pothos, on the other hand, usually develops green stems when all the growing conditions are met. If you’re still unsure about the difference between golden and Hawaiian pothos, take a look at the image below.

Stem Color: Hawaiian Pothos is the one with green stem and a golden pothos is yellow
Stem Color: Hawaiian Pothos is the one with green stem and a golden pothos is yellow

Golden Pothos get Fenestrations

Golden Pothos get Fenestrations
Golden Pothos Get Fenestrations

You might be wondering what fenestration is? Plants like golden pothos and monstera, which are native to dense tropical forests, have leaves that split to allow sunlight to reach the lower leaves.

As you can see in the image above, my golden pothos is now being fenestrated. Their leaves split with maturity in their native habitat, allowing rain and sunlight to reach the roots as they vine through the jungle.

This may not happen frequently to your golden pothos, but if the conditions are favorable, you may be fortunate to have one. Hawaiian pothos will not have this kind of fenestrations.

Foliage Color: Golden Pothos Vs Hawaiian Pothos 

Golden Pothos Vs Hawaiian Pothos 

Golden Pothos

Hawaiian Pothos and Golden Pothos are nearly identical except for the color of their variegation. The leaves of Golden Pothos have dark green, yellow, and white streaks, but they are a brighter yellow.

Hawaiian Pothos 

It has a variegated color with dark green, yellow, and white streaks.

It doesn’t go through an autumnal color change like all other plants. The color remains, but the intensity of the green varies according to how much sunlight the plant receives.

Similarities Between Golden Pothos Vs Hawaiian Pothos

Hawaiian Pothos is the cultivar of golden pothos, so it is not new to learn that they have similar qualities and characteristics.

The following will tell you more about these two variants of pothos.

  • Taxonomy

The scientific name for the pothos family is Epipremnum aureum. Golden Pothos and Hawaiian Pothos belong to the same species.

Their availability is more common in tropical countries since they are also known as tropical vines.  

  • Sheath

Plants like philodendron have this cataphyll—a waxy, thin, and opaque sheath—that covers new leaves. On the other hand, sheaths in pothos leaves do not exist.

New pothos leaves grow on their own by unfurling lighter green color extending from the current leaves. 

  • Growth Habit

All types of pothos are vining with trailing habits. Typically, it can grow from 6 to 10 feet. But pothos in their native habitat can grow from 30 to 50 feet.

You’ll see giant pothos from the forest, where they can trail on higher trunks of trees. 

  • Height and Structure

The arrangement of pothos leaves is alternate. You’ll see there’s only one leaf in each node, while it grows in an ascending spiral.

Pothos has a simple leaf type with a blade length of 4 to 8 inches, 8 to 12 inches, 12-18 inches, and 18-36 inches. 

When it comes to pothos height, it depends on its supporting structure. The longer the structure, the longer it trails to the top.

On the other hand, pothos spread continuously as long as there is a ground where the leaves can multiply.

It grows fast, so having the right height structure based on your preferences is crucial. 

  • Propagating Golden Pothos Vs Hawaiian Pothos 

Pothos—regardless of their types—is easy to propagate. You can multiply it through cuttings, and give them away to your family and friends.

If not, you can have your pothos section in your home to enjoy their lush and trailing appearance. 

What’s more, you can propagate them either in soil or water. To begin, find a healthy vine that is 4-6 inches in length with three leaves, then make a stem cutting above the root node. 

If you want to propagate it in water, prepare a water bottle and pour water into it. Place the cutting and let the cut ends submerge.

Now, if you want to do it in soil, set the cuttings in a small pot with potting soil.

  • Growing Requirements

When talking about the care tips needed for Golden Pothos and Hawaiian pothos, you don’t need to second guess since they are under the family of Epipremnum aureum.

Maybe the only difference is that Hawaiian needs to preserve its color which makes it different from other pothos variants. 

Temperature: Golden Pothos and Hawaiian Pothos have the same temperature requirements. The ideal temperature to grow pothos is between 65°F and 85°F (18°C – 29°C). 

Light: As you base from the pothos culture, they thrive best in a shade where it gets just enough light.

However, when it comes to Hawaiian pothos, you need to put them in a medium and higher light to maintain their variegation. Keep it away from direct sunlight to protect its foliage. 

Soil Requirement: According to the research of Edward F. Gilman from the University of Florida, pothos soil tolerances are slightly alkaline, clay, sand, acidic, occasionally wet, and loam.

Taking care of pothos is popular among beginners since it grows in different types of soil. 

However, keep in mind that this research refers to the type of soil where it can grow, not where it can strive.

Pothos plants hate to sit in wet soil. That’s why you need to make sure that the soil has a well-draining capacity. 

If the soil from your local areas has a clay texture, you can add more perlite, coco coir, and sand to improve the plant’s drainage. 

Pot Requirement: Whether you want to put the pothos in a hanging basket or a regular pot, the choice is up to you.

If you like the idea of trailing leaves from the basket, hanging it on your ceiling might be a great idea. On the other hand, you can use a regular pot, then put a moss pole at the center. 

When it comes to your pot, ensure that it has adequate holes for better drainage. Otherwise, the root might rot in the process. 

Water Requirement: Pothos is not similar to other types of plants where it needs frequent watering. The best rule before watering is to put your finger in the top two inches of the soil to see if it’s already dry.

Allowing the top-soil to dry out before watering prevents root rot while ensuring that roots are still moist.

Too much dryness is not good for pothos, wherein the leaves might start wilting or turning brown. 

Fertilizer: You can use a balanced houseplant fertilizer monthly or bi-monthly to ensure that you are feeding enough nutrients to the potting soil.

Nonetheless, you don’t have to use a heavy fertilizer since pothos isn’t a heavy feeder. 

Final Words

Differentiating two types of plants in the same family can be intriguing and confusing at the same time.

Nevertheless, knowing different types of plants, including their growing requirements can be satisfying. Here are the three key points to summarize everything in this article: 

  • Hawaiian Pothos is a cultivar of Golden Pothos due to selective breeding. Its appearance is recognizable through its speckles of yellow variegation. The stem’s color is also yellow, while the leaves grow larger in time.
  • Although both of the pothos variants have similar growing requirements, Hawaiian pothos need medium or higher lighting. That is to keep its intense yellow color, without compromising or drying out the plant. 
  • The way of propagating the Hawaiian and Golden Pothos is the same. Through cuttings, you can multiply the number of your pothos plants at home. You can either propagate them through soil or water. 

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