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Golden Pothos vs Hawaiian Pothos: Stunning Similar Pothos

It’s nice to discover the numerous Pothos species and choose one for your house. However, comparing them to determine which is best will be tricky. The most popular variety of pothos, the Golden pothos, resembles another cultivar, the Hawaiian pothos. There isn’t much that distinguishes the two.

So Golden pothos or Hawaiian pothos, which one should you welcome to your home? This side-by-side comparison will help you make a good decision. Let’s jump in right now!

Golden Pothos vs Hawaiian Pothos: How To Distinguish?

Golden pothos are known as the common Pothos species planted indoors. Homeowners love Golden pothos plants because they are easy to care for and good at purifying the air. Hawaiian Pothos is a cultivar from the same group as Golden Pothos. Caring for these Hawaiian Pothos plants won’t require much work. However, they are rarer than their competitors. Since both plants are known to belong to the Epipremnum aureum family, they have many similarities. However, when looking closer, you will see the differences in their leaves and stems.


Hawaiian will be the later cultivar of Golden. Hence, you may easily notice many similarities between them.

Giant foliage

Most Pothos plants have big, heart-shaped leaves with pointed tips and bases. You can find these features in both Hawaiian and Golden pothos. Where the stem joins the leaf, the foliage gently bends inward, giving it a heart-shaped form. Some cultivars display this form more prominently than others.


Golden pothos as well as Hawaiian pothos are quite hardy and require low maintenance. As a result, they may make excellent houseplants for beginners. 

Growing conditions

Pothos are great plants for beginner gardeners since they demand minimal maintenance and don’t have any specific requirements.

So, no matter if you grow Golden or Hawaiian Pothos, you will follow the same growing and caring practice. Here are some tips to offer your plants the best living conditions:

  • Soil: The best potting mix for the two pothos species is a combination of peat moss, perlite, and universal soil mix. You can also add philodendrons to the mixture.
  • Watering: Both overwatering and underwatering are terrible for Golden and Hawaiian pothos. You need to establish the proper watering schedule for your plant to avoid root rot. Or, only water it when the top two inches of soil have dried out.
  • Temperature: Since pothos are tropical plants, they grow best in warm environments. It is preferable to keep the temperature between 90 and 95°F.
  • Humidity: The ideal humidity range for pothos plants is between 50 and 70%. You can mist your plants to give them enough moisture. 
  • Fertilizer: Since these tropical plants can grow actively, you just need to fertilize them during their growing season. And avoid feeding them during the cold months because they are in dormancy.
  • Propagation: Propagating Golden and Hawaiian pothos will be easy, especially when using their stem cuttings.
Differences between Golden pothos vs Hawaiian pothos lie in their leaves

How To Differentiate Between Them?

Hawaiian and Golden are two different pothos cultivars. This comparison table will help you picture the differences between Hawaiian and Golden Pothos. We will discuss each in this section afterwards.

Criteria Golden PothosHawaiian Pothos
VariegationIntense and large yellow streaks Mild yellow or white streaks 
Leaf sizeSmallerLarger 
Leaf shapeHeart shape Heart shape but more rounded at the tips  
Plant sizeSmallerLarger 
Native homeCentral and South AmericaCentral and South America
Launching timeThe most original pothosLately discovered

Leaf Variegation

Leaf variegation is the most noticeable difference between the two species. It depends on the color and pattern of the leaves. In terms of pattern, both Golden and Hawaiian have streak variegation that essentially matches the veins. They can be thick and long or splotchy.

However, the streaks on Hawaiin pothos leaves are larger, running from the center to the edges. Meanwhile, the patterns on Golden Pothos leaves are often spots or patches. And when it comes to colors, Hawaiian has a milder effect than Golden. Their leaves are bicolored. The combination of light yellow and bright green creates a nice variegation.

The yellow streaks on Hawaiin pothos leaves are not as intense and vivid as their competitors. With improper lighting, they may turn white. On the other hand, the variegation of Golden Pothos leaves is impressive because of the rich yellow patches. They are sometimes golden, hence the name of the plant. Moreover, some Golden pothos leaves have white patches. Then, the leaves are tricolours when paired with green and yellow.

Leaf Shape

Leaf shapes on both cultivars are quite similar. The only distinguishing feature is that Hawaiians have leaves with more rounded tips than Goldens. However, the difference is minor, and the exact shape may differ from plant to plant. Hence, you can use the leaf shape alone to distinguish between Golden and Hawaiin pothos.

Leaf Size

The size of the leaves is another difference between Golden and Hawaiian pothos. Golden has the average leaf size for this species. It may grow to be more than 14 inches long when grown in a tropical environment. When grown indoors, Hawaiian pothos have bigger leaf sizes. The leaves will be enormous if you give them optimal conditions. Large leaf size can be a benefit or drawback. While large leaves have a more striking impact on your home decor, they will take up more space in your house.

Growing requirement

Golden pothos as well as Hawaiian pothos require bright, indirect sunlight. Sun exposure will damage your pothos plants. If possible, only allow them to enjoy the morning sunlight. However, Hawaiian pothos have more subtle variegation. To maintain the yellow variegation, it merely needs slightly longer and stronger sun exposure than Golden Pothos.

Plant size

Golden, as well as Hawaiian, are both climbing plants. They extend upward and grow wide. Some may even have a 30-foot maximum height in the wild. When planted indoors, your pothos plants can grow up to ten feet. Pruning and support height will affect how tall they will be. For example, to limit their plant’s height indoors, some people prune them.

Remember to use sharp, sterile tools for this task if you want. Also, avoid cutting near the node and removing more than 30% of your plant at a time. If you like a large plant, you may prefer Hawaiian Pothos, as it grows vigorously. But if you prefer compact plants, Golden Pothos will be a better choice.

Other Pothos That Are Similar to Golden and Hawaiian Pothos

There are many cultivars of pothos plants. So aside from distinguishing Golden Pothos and Hawaiin Pothos, you will need to identify other cultivars that look similar to them.

  • Marble Queen Pothos: The variegated leaves of Marble Queen have marble-like patterns. They are often cream-colored yet the same size and shape as Golden pothos.
  • Jade Pothos: This species is the most identical to Golden Pothos. You can only tell the difference by checking the slight variegation on its leaves.
  • Neon Pothos: The lime-green leaves of this pothos plant don’t have variegation. Neon Pothos flourish in bright light, giving them a neon color. 
  • Cebu Blue Pothos: Its green foliage has a silver sheen. This pothos plant is also famous for its veined patterns.
  • Manjula Pothos: This plant is rare and expensive, but many homeowners love it because of its creamy color and wavy edges.
  • Jessenia pothos: The leaves have lemon-yellow variegations. You will also notice the marbling effect on its foliage.
  • Snow Queen Pothos: The leaves of Snow Queen Pothos are mostly white with a few green streaks. The white parts of the leaves are often more prominent than the green parts.

Although these plants have some common characteristics in their appearance, some of them require certain growing requirements. Hence, make sure you know what your plant needs to thrive. 

There are other similar pothos species


You can distinguish Hawaiian pothos from Golden pothos after checking their leaves. Hawaiin pothos leaves have more delicate variegation, which can be white or light yellow. You can also find larger leaves in Hawaiian pothos plants. The two pothos species share the same growing requirements. It means that you can apply similar care tips to your Hawaiian and Golden Pothos plants. But please note that Hawaiian pothos demand more light for their delicate variegation.

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. Please feel free to ask for further information about the difference between Hawaiian and Golden Pothos. Thank you for reading! 


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Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence

Kelly Lawrence is the CEO of Swipe Garden. Over 10 years in the writing and passion for gardening, she brings a wealth of expertise and creativity to the world of gardening. Kelly Lawrence has cultivated a community of plant lovers, making gardening accessible and enjoyable for all.