Golden Pothos and Marble Queen Pothos are two of the most commonly available pothos varieties. At first glance, they may look similar, but there are key differences between them. In this article, I’m going to take you through these differences to help you decide which pothos variety you should add to your collection next!
The main difference between Marble Queen Pothos and Golden Pothos is the color and pattern of the leaves. The markings on Marble Queen Pothos are much finer than on Golden Pothos and tend to be much lighter in color.
As the name suggests, Marble Queen Pothos has marbled leaves, and Golden Pothos has leaves splashed with gold patches.
Let’s look at the differences and similarities between Marble Queen Pothos and Golden Pothos in more detail:
- Differences Between Marble Queen and Golden Pothos
- Similarities Between Marble Queen and Golden Pothos
- General Pothos Growing Requirements
Differences Between Marble Queen and Golden Pothos
Foliage Color and Variegation
The most obvious difference between Golden Pothos and Marble Queen Pothos is the color of the foliage. Golden Pothos has medium to dark green leaves with splashes of yellow. These yellow patches can be large or small, and some leaves may have more than others.
Marble Queen Pothos has leaves that are creamy white or light green, with a beautiful pattern of yellow and darker greens. These patches tend to be very small and numerous, giving the leaves a marbled effect.
With both varieties, the variegation will be more pronounced if you keep your plant in bright light. If you keep your plant in a darker environment, its variegation will fade, and the leaves will become solid green.
Pothos plants are grown from cuttings, and the variegation of your Marble Queen Pothos depends on the plant from which it was propagated. Some plants have finer markings than others. The most prized specimens have very fine speckles.
- Marble Queen Pothos has cream or light to mid-green foliage with a very fine speckled pattern
- Golden Pothos has mid to dark green foliage with splashes of yellow.
Growth Habit and Plant Size
All types of Pothos plants are vines, meaning that they have a long, trailing habit which is perfect for hanging baskets and interesting, cascading displays. You can also train your Pothos to plant up items in your homes, such as shelving or curtain poles.
As the leaves of Marble Queen contain much less chlorophyll than those of Golden Pothos, your Marble Queen Pothos plant will grow more slowly than your Golden Pothos plant.
This is perfectly normal. If you want to help your Marble Queen Pothos grow more quickly, make sure you keep it somewhere with lots of bright, indirect light.
Although both Marble Queen Pothos and Golden Pothos can reach large sizes in the right situation (up to 40 feet in their natural habitat, up to 10 feet when kept as a house plant), Marble Queen Pothos tends to be smaller, with vines usually reaching around 3 to 5 feet in length.
Golden Pothos is a fast grower. In the right conditions, with plenty of warmth, light, and water, your plant could grow up to a foot a month during the growing season!
- Marble Queen Pothos grows slowly due to the lack of chlorophyll in its pale leaves
- Golden Pothos grows quickly – up to a foot a month in the right conditions!
Golden Pothos is known by many different common names around the world, including devil’s ivy, money plant, and Ceylon creeper. Many of these names refer to Pothos’ incredible toughness – it is virtually impossible to kill.
The name Pothos comes from the scientific name that was originally assigned to the plant in 1880: Pothos aureus. Since then, Pothos has had several different scientific names and is know known as Epipremnum aureum. The ‘Epi’ part comes from the Latin for the stem, and ‘aureum’ derives from ‘aurum’ – Latin for gold.
The ‘Golden’ part of Golden Pothos refers to the beautiful color of the plant’s leaves, which are variegated green and yellow as if the plant has been splashed with gold. Marble Queen Pothos is named for the fine variegation of its leaves, which have an attractive marbled effect.
Because of their highly variegated leaves, which contain very little chlorophyll (the substance that gives plants their green color and allows them to photosynthesize), Marble Queen Pothos needs a brighter environment than Golden Pothos to thrive.
This is because the light parts of your Marble Queen Pothos cannot photosynthesize and so need a lot of bright light to produce enough food.
A position with bright but indirect light, for example, close to a window, but not where the sun’s rays will touch your plant’s leaves directly, is ideal.
Golden Pothos is happy in lower light environments than Marble Queen Pothos, as its leaves contain a larger amount of chlorophyll.
Your Golden Pothos plant will grow best in a position with plenty of bright, indirect light, but it will not suffer if you keep it in an environment with less light. However, if you keep your plant in a very dark environment, the variegation of its leaves will fade.
Golden Pothos is one of the few types of plants that can thrive under fluorescent light. For this reason, it is very popular in indoor situations such as offices and shopping malls.
- Marble Queen Pothos needs lots of bright, indirect light to be able to photosynthesize
- Golden Pothos can tolerate any lighting situation
Similarities Between Marble Queen and Golden Pothos
Because of a genetic abnormality, Pothos very rarely flowers. The last recorded spontaneous flowering of a Pothos plant was in 1964! If you want your Pothos plant to flower, you’ll have to give it a special hormone treatment. However, the real attraction of Pothos plants of all kinds is their beautiful foliage. With leaves this pretty, who needs flowers?
Leaf Shape and Texture
Both Golden Pothos and Marble Queen Pothos have thick, shiny, heart-shaped leaves with a waxy texture. In their native environment, Pothos can grow very large, with leaves reaching a foot or more in length. When kept as a houseplant, Pothos tends to be smaller but can still reach an impressive size if given the right conditions.
All types of Pothos plants are toxic to humans and animals, so it is important to keep them away from curious children and pets. The leaves and stems of Pothos plants contain calcium oxalate – an insoluble substance that forms tiny irritating shards.
If a person or animal ingests these shards, they will cause irritation to the lips, mouth, throat, and stomach and can even cause vomiting or swelling of the airways. Calcium oxide can also irritate your skin, so it is a good idea to wear gloves when you prune your Pothos plant.
Pests and Diseases
Pothos plants are not prone to many diseases. Overwatering is the cause of most of the diseases that could affect your Pothos plant, like root rot.
For this reason, it is vital to keep your Pothos in a well-draining potting mix and never allow your plant’s potting mix to become waterlogged.
Insects are not usually a problem for Pothos plants either. However, as with all houseplants, insect infestation is a possibility.
The most likely culprits are mealybugs and aphids. Luckily, both of these critters are easily dealt with. You can buy an insecticidal soap spray or make your own with dish soap.
Another option is a spot treatment of lightly diluted rubbing alcohol. Just rub the affected parts of your plant with a cotton ball soaked in the alcohol solution.
Both insecticidal soap and rubbing alcohol will kill soft-bodied insects immediately, but you may need a few applications to catch them all.
General Pothos Growing Requirements
Pothos is famous for being one of the easiest house plants to care for. It thrives in the conditions of a typical home and needs very little maintenance.
As Pothos originates from tropical areas, it likes a warm environment. 65°F to 75°F (18°C – 23°C) is perfect. Avoid keeping your Pothos plant in draughty places or situations where the temperature fluctuates a lot as this will shock your plant, causing its growth to slow down or stop.
Your Pothos plant will also appreciate a humidity level of at least 40%. If the humidity level is too low, your Pothos plant will quickly start to suffer from dehydration, causing its leaves to curl and turn brown.
Pothos is not a fussy plant. However, if you keep your Pothos plant in a pot that is too big for it, you could encounter problems such as root rot. When you re-pot your Pothos plant, increase the pot size a couple of inches each time.
If your Pothos plant is a fast grower, you’ll want to re-pot it at least once a year in spring. For slower-growing plants, a new pot every couple of years should be fine. If you notice lots of roots poking out of the bottom of your Pothos plant’s pot, it’s time to get re-potting!
Because of its vining, trailing habit, Pothos is well suited to hanging baskets. It is not fussy, however, and your Pothos plant will be happy in any type of pot.
The most important thing is that the pot has a drainage hole in the bottom to allow water to escape and prevent the potting mix from becoming waterlogged.
Your Pothos plant will be happiest if you use a rich, well-draining potting medium. General-purpose compost mixed with quarter perlite or vermiculite is perfect.
Pothos plants are quite a drought tolerant and prefer to be kept on the drier side. A deep watering around once a week during spring and summer will keep your plant happy.
Set your plant in a tray of water for half an hour or so to allow it to have a drink, then remove it. Don’t let your Pothos plant sit in water, as this will lead to waterlogged soil.
Always check the moisture level of the potting mix before you water your plant. Use your finger or a stick to test the top couple of inches – if they’re dry, you should water your plant. If not, hold off as overwatering and waterlogged soil can lead to problems such as root rot – one of the few ways to kill a Pothos plant!
Pothos plants are quick to droop when they need water, so if you notice your Pothos plant looking a bit sad, this is a sign that it probably needs some water. Still, always check the potting mix as root rot and overwatering can have similar symptoms to dehydration.
Your Pothos plant will appreciate a dose of general-purpose fertilizer every couple of weeks during the growing season (spring and summer). In autumn, reduce this to once a month and stop feeding your plant completely in the winter as it won’t grow much during this time.
Your pothos plant doesn’t need pruning to be happy, but pruning it now and again will help to make your plant fill out and become bushier and stop it from taking over your home!
You can prune your Pothos plant at any time of year, but it will probably benefit the most during spring and summer when growth is fastest. Use clean scissors to snip the stems just above a leaf node.
Let’s sum up the differences between Marble Queen Pothos and Golden Pothos:
|Marble Queen Pothos
|Light to medium green and cream
|Medium to dark green and yellow
|Very fine marbled effect
|Larger splashes of color
|Needs lots of bright, indirect light
|Happy in any lighting conditions
|Vines up to 3 feet
|Vines up to 10 feet
I hope that you now feel confident in being able to tell the difference between Marble Queen Pothos and Golden Pothos.
(Sources: Wisconsin Horticulture)