Hawaiian Pothos vs. Golden Pothos: EXACTLY What to Choose!

number 1 with golden font colour and black background

Difference One


number 2 with golden font colour and black background

Difference Two

Care Requirements

number 3 with golden font color and black background


Native Area

You might get lost, walking around a lush garden, trying to find a Golden pothos. You might even confuse it with Hawaiian pothos.


And it’s totally normal because these guys are close cousins in the Epipremnum genus and share a remarkable number of similarities. So, as you learn about these plants, you’ll find your garden becoming a living archive of botanical history where each plant tells its own tail.


Both the Golden Pothos and Hawaiian Pothos belong to the Araceae family, which is known for its lush green leaves and ability to thrive in various environments, so that’s no surprise that these pothos varieties are made for your indoor space.


However, if you ever considered buying a Golden Pothos and ended up CONFUSING it with a Hawaiian Pothos, you can rest assured that you’ll be welcoming an easy-to-care-for plant with more or less the same characteristics! And vice versa!


We’ve made this guide for you so your selections are SPOT-ON.

Hawaiian Pothos vs. Golden Pothos: A Comprehensive Comparison

While Hawaiian Pothos and Golden Pothos may seem similar at first glance, a closer look reveals some distinct differences that might do you wrong.


Let’s empower you to make an informed decision about which one is best suited for you and your indoor garden. 

Taxonomy, or Breaking Down Differences In Classification

Do you want to impress others with your plant skills! Here’s a hack! Get some taxonomic knowledge. It’s not that hard, trust me.


Taxonomy is the science of classifying living organisms, and it helps us understand their relationships and characteristics. 


Both Hawaiian Pothos and Golden Pothos belong to the same family, Araceae.

However, they fall under different genera. 


Golden Pothos, scientifically known as Epipremnum aureum, is classified under the genus Epipremnum. On the other hand, Hawaiian Pothos goes by a rather intriguing scientific name Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Cebu Blue’. 


This unique pothos variety belongs to the same genus as its golden counterpart but has a distinct cultivar name due to its specific characteristics.


So remember that these guys have similar botanical lineage at a broader classification level, but rocks specific species names that highlight their individuality within this plant family. 


So next time you encounter these two pothos varieties in your local nursery or garden center, you can impress others with your taxonomic knowledge!

Diverse Native Areas

It might seem weird that two plants with “partially” the same characteristics have completely different origins and botanical histories. However, that only makes it even more interesting.


The Hawaiian Pothos originates from the tropical rainforests of Southeast Asia.

It is primarily found in regions like the Philippines, Malaysia, and Indonesia where the lush rainforests with their high humidity and abundant rainfall provide a perfect habitat to strive in.


On the other hand, the Golden Pothos hails from the Solomon Islands located in the South Pacific with a wide distribution across various countries in Southeast Asia as well as Northern Australia.


The diverse native areas of these two pothos varieties contribute significantly to their adaptation abilities and growth patterns. That’s exactly why plant enthusiasts are cultivating them worldwide.

Rarity, or How Hard It Is to Find A Golden Pothos, or A Hawaiian Pothos

So Golden Pothos is the type of plant you would find almost anywhere – from local garden centers to online plant shops. It is widely popular and even nicknamed “Devil’s Ivy”. Well, if you’re wondering, that’s due to its hardiness and ability to thrive in low-light conditions, as well as its rapid growth.


On the other hand, Hawaiian pothos are relatively less common. You may need to search a bit more diligently or connect with specialized nurseries or online sellers specializing in rare plants.


However, that doesn’t interfere with its popularity and desirability among avid plant enthusiasts. You just want to consider the rarity factor before making your choice.


Both plants have a slightly distinctive leaf appearance and variegation or color print.


  • Leaf Shape: The leaves of Golden Pothos are heart-shaped with a pointed tip, resembling an arrowhead. They have a glossy texture and are typically 2-4 inches long. As the plant matures, the leaves may develop more pronounced lobes.

On the other hand, Hawaiian Pothos has broader and rounder leaves compared to its counterpart. These leaves have a slightly elongated oval shape and are known for their prominent veining.


Unlike Golden Pothos, which has more uniform leaf shapes throughout the plant, Hawaiian Pothos may display some variations in leaf size and shape within its foliage.


  • Leaf Color: Golden Pothos tends to have a more consistent hue throughout its foliage, with shades ranging from deep emerald green to bright lime green. Conversely, Hawaiian Pothos introduces a contrast by incorporating vivid yellows alongside the ever-present greens.

The cool thing is that both plants can exhibit variegated patterns on their leaves, which means they may have patches or streaks of different colors. 

Plant Size

When I had my first Golden Pothos, I was amazed by its growth sequence. If you’re planning on hanging it, get ready for long vines cascading everywhere or climbing up trellises and walls so fast.


The vines of a mature Golden Pothos can reach impressive lengths, often exceeding 6 feet or more. The leaves of this variety can grow quite large as well, typically measuring around 8 inches in length and 4 inches in width.


On the other hand, the Hawaiian Pothos tends to have a more compact growth habit compared to its golden counterpart. While still capable of growing trailing vines, they are generally shorter, and less sprawling than those of the Golden Pothos. 


A full-grown Hawaiian Pothos may reach lengths of up to 3 feet but is usually more contained and understated in its overall appearance. The leaves of the Hawaiian Pothos are smaller than those of the Golden Pothos, typically measuring around 4-5 inches in length and 2-3 inches in width.


If you’re like me and want to see your Hawaiian pothos grow like a Golden pothos! Well, you can, if you give it good care. I’m talking bright indirect light, regular watering, and proper fertilization. 


However, if your space requires more of a compact plant that fits well in smaller areas, keep your sweet Hawaiian Pothos. So, it really depends on your personal preferences and indoor space. Choose wisely.

Care Differences

pothos plant big green leaves
a zoom in to pothos plant leaves

So while considering purchasing a Hawaiian or Golden Pothos, you might be asking if there’s any extra effort or specific care you should be putting into maintaining  your plant healthy and happy. 


While it can be tough for a busy plant parent to care for their garden, both of these plants are resilient and can tolerate some neglect, But only SOME!

Light Preferences

Golden Pothos can tolerate a wide range of light conditions, so it’s pretty adaptable, and comfortable in different indoor parameters However, like other Pothos varieties they thrive best in bright indirect light.

PS: Avoid placing them in direct sunlight as it can scorch their delicate leaves. 

On the other hand, Hawaiian Pothos strives in bright, indirect sunlight but you can totally count on it in lower light conditions quite well. It is more tolerant of shady spots compared to its golden cousin. 

Watering practices

Each plant has its own moisture needs, so it’s always best to learn about pothos watering and listen to your plant.


Golden pothos like its soil to slightly dry between waterings to prevent overwatering and root rot issues. A general rule of thumb is to water them when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.


On the contrary, Hawaiian Pothos enjoys consistently moist soil but not overly saturated. The soil completely dry out between waterings for optimal health. Every Hawaiian Pothos care guide agrees on this!

Soil preferences

Both varieties appreciate quite the same care here. We’re talking well-draining potting mixes with good organic matter content. A mixture of peat moss, perlite or vermiculite, and potting soil works well for both Golden and Hawaiian Pothos.


The key is to provide them with a growing medium that retains moisture without becoming overly compacted.

Temperature and Humidity Requirements

In terms of atmospheric surrounding, both plants are relatively flexible but have some distinctions worth noting.


Golden Pothos thrives in temperatures ranging from 60°F (15°C) to 85°F (29°C), which is pretty much your casual indoor space vibe. It can tolerate lower temperatures briefly but should be protected from drafts or cold windows during colder months.


On the other hand, Hawaiian Pothos prefers slightly higher temperatures, ideally ranging from 65°F (18°C) to 80°F (27°C). 


Maintaining a humidity level of around 50% is beneficial for both varieties, but, according to my experience, Hawaiian Pothos craves a slightly more humid environment.


Both plants benefit from regular feeding during their active growing season, which typically spans spring and summer. A balanced liquid houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength can be applied every two to four weeks.


However, it’s important to note that Hawaiian Pothos tends to be a bit more sensitive to fertilizer concentration, so it’s best to keep it careful and dilute the solution even further if you notice any signs of nutrient burn. (This is why there’s no general rule of thumb and sometimes it really depends on what you got)


Every plant has its own way of going with the flow and responding to external inputs from its environment, so let these general guidelines shape your knowledge but don’t overlook the individual characteristics and requirements of each specific species.

NOW, Which One Should You Choose?

goden pothos near a window
What a spot to chill in!

Now, let’s tackle the burning question – which one should you choose: Hawaiian Pothos or Golden Pothos? 


I invested some long hours with these plants, and I learned this:


The Hawaiian Pothos can be quite demanding in terms of care. Its extravagant foliage demands attention. If direct light can scorch its delicate leaves faster than you can say “Aloha.” 


So if you’re not willing to give this high-maintenance plant the royal treatment it deserves, perhaps it’s best to look elsewhere.


However, if you’re a busy plant parent aiming for an easy-going companion that will thrive even if you occasionally neglect it (we all have those moments), then Golden Pothos should be your go-to choice.


You know who you are! The choice totally depends on your personal preferences, level of commitment, and the conditions in your living space.


So go forth choose wisely (or perhaps choose BOTH), and let nature’s beauty flourish within your humble abode.


Let’s get one thing straight here – both plants are incredibly low-maintenance. They belong to the same family, after all.


However, in my experience, I find that the Golden Pothos takes the crown when it comes to ease of care. It’s like the laid-back friend who never asks for much but still manages to look fabulous effortlessly.


Hawaiian Pothos can be a bit more finicky and demands a little more attention in terms of humidity levels and consistent watering.

Now, this is purely subjective, but let me share my humble opinion: 


The Hawaiian Pothos steals my heart when it comes to visual appeal. Its glossy leaves with vibrant splashes of yellow-green create an enchanting tropical vibe!


The Golden Pothos may be classic and timeless with its variegated green foliage, but it simply doesn’t have that wow factor that the Hawaiian variety possesses. 

Both Hawaiian Pothos and Golden Pothos are CHAMPIONS in this department. They are vining plants that readily root from stem cuttings placed in water or soil without putting up much resistance (unlike some fussy divas out there). 


So whether you want to expand your indoor jungle or surprise your friends, both Hawaiian Pothos and Golden Pothos will happily be at your service.

Actually, YES! Both Hawaiian Pothos and Golden Pothos contain calcium oxalate crystals that can cause mild irritation if ingested by pets or humans. However, they’re definitely not deadly toxins like some other notorious houseplants. So, keep them away, and you’re good to go!


Related Topics

Marble Queen Pothos, or,(Epipremnum aureum ‘Marble Queen’), the perfect tropical vine for your indoor space and it’s just as low-maintenance.


Is your Pothos plant looking unhappy and thirsty? This guide will help you know EXACTLY how to water your pothos.

Just like the pothos family, pearls and jade pothos are loved for their distinctive foliage and easy care. Here’s your ultimate care guide!

Is your pothos drooping? Don’t worry, IT’S NOT JUST YOU! Lets help you understand your drooping pothos and how to revive it.