Hawaiian Pothos Care: Tips and Tricks That Work

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If you can’t get enough of golden pothos, you’ll love the Hawaiian pothos even better. The plant is a gem with striking yellow variegation on the leaves. Besides, you’ll be excited to know that it’s really easy to grow and care for.

In today’s article, I’m going to discuss everything you need to know about these adorable houseplants including how different they are from the popular golden pothos.

I’ll also discuss their propagation so that you can easily multiply your plants and share them with friends and family; including care tips and tricks that actually work.

I know you’re already pumped, so without wasting time, let’s begin.

Shall we?


Introduction to Hawaiian Pothos

The identification

Hawaiian Pothos plants are a cultivar of golden pothos. They have beautiful dark green leaves with intense yellow variegation.

Besides, the leaves have a shiny texture and grow up to 5 to 12 inches long. The plant has the same poisonous nature as golden pothos so they require similar care.

In comparison to other types of pothos like Cebu Blue, Marble Queen, Satin, and Neon, Hawaiian pothos has huge leaves making them great for vertical accent when growing up a pole (as shown in the main image above) or hanging from a basket.

Hawaiian Pothos Plant Quick Facts

Common name(s): Hawaiian Pothos

Scientific/Botanical name: Epipremnum aureum ‘Hawaiian’

USDA Hardiness zones: 11 -12

Mature Height: 25 - 45 feet long.

Mature Spread: 4 – 8 feet wide.

Growing habit: Broadleaved, evergreen, perennial vine.

Native Area: Tropical regions (Cultivar of Hawaii).

Blooming Time: Inconsequential

Toxicity: Poisonous to pets

Growth Rate: Medium to Fast


Hawaiian pothos are poisonous to pets and children.

All parts of the plant including the leaves, stems, and roots contain calcium oxalate which when ingested can lead to swollen lips or tongue, breathing difficulties, burning sensation in the mouth, nausea, vomiting, and stomach pain.

In animals poisoning from ingesting any part of a plant is common.

But in some cases, it may also result in more severe symptoms like depression, burning sensation of the mouth and throat, excessive drooling or saliva production, vomiting, loss of coordination, increased thirst, increased urination, and body temperature.

So handle with care.

Alternatively, you can spray your pothos with Bodhi Dog Bitter Lemon Spray which is effective in discouraging your pets from chewing on the plants.

Hawaiian Pothos vs Golden Pothos

Most people think Hawaiian and Golden pothos is the same plant.

However, they are very different plants.

For instance, ‘Golden Pothos’ is a very common variety with the classic dark green leaves with yellow and creamy white streaks.

On the other hand, ‘Hawaiian Pothos’ is another similar cultivar with more intense yellow variegation. 

Besides, golden pothos has tiny green flowers with white stamens that bloom twice a year while Hawaiian pothos doesn’t flower at all.

Another difference is their preferred growing conditions. Golden pothos requires moist soil but Hawaiian pothos does well even in dry soil.

How to Propagate Hawaiian Pothos

Hawaiian pothos propagates easily. They’re one of the best plants that you can propagate from cuttings.

So for this purpose, I am going to show you how to propagate these beauties.

Here are a few methods for propagation:

1. Air layering – This is perhaps the easiest method for rooting these plants. To do this, use a sharp knife to expose the stem’s cambium layer and then stuff it with moist sphagnum moss.

Secure the sphagnum firmly to the stem and cover it with a plastic bag that has an elastic band. Secure the top of the bag around the stem but not too tight.

Wait for 2 months or until new roots appear.

2. Cuttings – This is considered to be the easiest way of rooting this plant. You just need a sharp knife to slice off a stem from an existing vine and then remove all the leaves except for 2 or 3 at the tip using scissors.

Plant the cutting in moist potting soil, water it regularly until it roots, and you’ll have your very own plant within 6 weeks.

3. Root plantlets – If are looking for the fastest way of propagation Hawaiian pothos then this method is perfect. You just need to snap or cut off a stem that has upper leaves on it, strip them off leaving 2 intact leaves on top.

Rinse the stem under running water which will remove all its leaves.

Dip it in rooting hormone and plant it in moist potting soil until you see new roots appear.

4. Stem or leaf cuttings – You just need to snap or cut off a stem that has upper leaves on it, strip them off leaving 2 intact leaves on top.

Rinse the stem under running water which will remove all its leaves.

Dip it in rooting hormone and plant it in moist potting soil until you see new roots appear.

Keep in mind that you can also propagate pothos without any rooting hormone.

How to Grow & Care for Hawaiian Pothos in Pots – Step by Step

Step 1: Select an appropriate potting soil.

Hawaiian pothos needs well-drained and loose potting soil.

So select one that is made up of good quality potting mix, coarse sand, vermiculite, and perlite in equal parts.

You can also make your own perfect blend by mixing garden loam with fresh sphagnum peat moss and coarse sand.

If you live in a colder climate then use a good quality potting mix with perlite or vermiculite so that it doesn’t stay wet for too long.

However, if you live in a warmer area then choose a good quality potting soil without any perlite or vermiculite.

Also, you can use soilless potting mix instead of garden loam.

Step 2: Pot planters or hanging baskets.

If you are growing your plants in pots then choose a good quality plastic one that has holes at the bottom for drainage which is around 10 inches wide and 12 inches deep.

If you are going with a hanging basket then choose a good quality one that is around the same size as the potting container.

Since Hawaiian pothos grows as a vine, choose a hanging basket with an open weave to allow airflow and water drainage from all sides.

Step 3: Temperature & Humidity.

Hawaiian pothos does not tolerate frost at all and grows well in warm climates below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or 10 degrees Celsius.

These plants prefer temperatures between 60-90 F or 15-32C.

You can also keep your plants outside in the summer and bring them inside when nights get colder than 50 F or 10 C.

Keep these plants away from drafts, heaters, and radiators as they may cause severe leaf damage.

Also, mist them occasionally to increase humidity around the plant and reduce the chances of pests and diseases.

Alternatively, you can use an indoor plant humidifier to raise the humidity level around your plants. But this is entirely up to you and if your budget allows you.

Step 4: Expose the plants to adequate light.

Growing your Hawaiian pothos in pots is better than directly planting them because you can move them around as per their exposure to sunlight.

These plants do best in bright indirect or filtered light conditions throughout the day that mimics natural sun exposure.

Place them in an east-facing window where they can grow undisturbed.

However, don’t put them under the sun as it may cause leaf bleaching or burn at midday.

Also, keep these plants away from windows on hot afternoons to avoid overheating.

Step 5: Watering your Hawaiian pothos.

Water your plant when the soil is dry to touch.

Never allow the soil to become soggy or dry out completely because it may lead to root rot and eventually kill your plant.

But if you live in a hot and humid climate then you have to water more frequently while in cold climates, watering once a week should be fine.

When you water your plants, use room-temperature or lukewarm water to prevent shocking the roots.

You should also avoid using softened water because it contains salt that can lead to root damage and leaf loss.

If you notice brown leaf tips or leaf curls, then it is a sign of overwatering so reduce watering to compensate for the symptoms.

Similarly, never allow the soil to dry out completely; otherwise, your plant will drop all its leaves, wilt, and die!

Step 6: Applying fertilizers.

Hawaiian pothos are heavy feeders that need high-phosphorous liquid fertilizer every two weeks during the active growth period.

You should also feed your plants once a month for maintenance purposes during fall and winter.

Always use balanced 20-20-20 NPK fertilizer for best results as it provides all the essential nutrients that your plants may require.

But if you prefer slow-release fertilizer then use 10-10-10 or 16-16-16 NPK type for better results.

Also, don’t ever fertilize plants that are wilting because it can worsen the condition and kill them.

Step 7: Pruning your plants.

This is not necessary for every plant though you should occasionally prune them to control their size and branch out.

You can prune your Hawaiian pothos back by up to one-third of the overall plant at the beginning of spring or autumn to remove dead wood and promote growth.

However, don’t cut the plant back severely and remove more than one-third of the overall stem because it will stress your plants.

Also, avoid pruning plants that are suffering from diseases or insect infestations because you can spread the infection while removing diseased leaves.

Step 8: Repotting.

You need to repot your plants every 2 years or as the soil becomes soggy and dirty.

Also, do not use clay pots because these plants prefer well-drained soil and too much water can cause crown rot which is fatal at times.

So, always use plastic containers with adequate drainage holes to ensure proper drainage.

Step 9: Controlling Pests and Diseases.

Several pests can cause serious damage to your plants. So, it's better to control them as soon as possible before they infest other plants too.

You just need to follow a few simple steps:

1. Pests


These are white cottony insects that live in colonies and suck the sap from plant tissue which can cause damage to your plants.

Remedy: Mix a few drops of dishwashing soap in water and spray on infested plants for quick results.

Here's a detailed guide on how to eradicate mealybugs.

Scale Insects

These insects form large colonies under the leaves or branches.

They suck the sap from plants which gradually causes leaf discoloration, browning of veins and leaves, yellowing, wilting, and eventually die back.

Remedy: In case of minor infestation remove damaged parts. But if they cause complete defoliation then apply a systemic pesticide according to the label instructions.

You can also read more on how to get rid of scale insects.


Aphids are pear-shaped, soft-bodied insects that stick to the leaves and branches of a plant.

Remedy: They can be controlled by applying soapy water or neem oil from time to time until all of them have been eliminated. Here are more strategies to deal with aphids.

Spider Mites

These are tiny arachnids with eight legs and an oval-shaped body that pierce the leaves and suck sap which can cause serious damage in a short time.

Remedy: Regularly spray with neem oil to kill them or use pesticides according to label instructions.

Read more about getting rid of spidermites on houseplants.


These insects are tiny black bugs that feed on, leaves, and suck sap from plants causing discoloration and bronzing of leaves.

Remedy: Regularly spray with neem oil to kill them or use pesticides according to label instructions.

2. Diseases

Some of the most common diseases that Hawaiian pothos suffer from are bacterial leaf spot, root rot, and crown rot.

Bacterial Leaf Spot

This is a fungal disease that causes water-soaked lesions on leaves which can turn yellow and drop off prematurely.

Remedy: Remove infected parts of the plant and spray with a fungicide according to label instructions.

Root Rot

It is caused by too much watering or over-watering so always ensure proper drainage in the soil and keep the soil dry.

Crown Rot

This fungal disease is fatal so always inspect your plants for symptoms such as yellowing of leaves, brown lesions, rotten roots, and mushy internal tissue.

Remedy: Remove infected plant parts immediately and repot in new soil with proper drainage holes.

Other Common Problems

Hawaiian Pothos Leaves losing variegation

This is probably caused by sun stress so avoid too much direct sunlight in places where the plant is in bright light.

It may be necessary to provide shade during the hot summer months.

White Residue on Potting Soil

This is mostly caused by salt build-up in the soil but this can also happen in case of overfertilization.

Remedy: Soak pots with a solution of 10% bleach, 90% water for at least an hour, and then rinse thoroughly.

Poor Root Development

This can happen due to poor drainage or overfertilization which causes the roots to rot so always plant in proper soil with adequate drainage.

Remedy: Avoid overwatering your plants and if planting indoors ensure you use the right potting soil.

Hawaiian Pothos Drooping Leaves

This can be caused by too much or too little water, over-fertilization, root rot, changes in temperature and humidity levels, type of fertilizer used, etc.

Remedy: Always inspect your plant for any signs of pest infestation because they can be responsible too.

Leaf Edges Appear Brown or Burned

This can happen if the leaves are exposed to drafts or cold air for too long. Always keep your plant protected from cold drafts.

Remedy: Always keep the soil slightly damp and never let it dry out completely.

Yellow Leaves with Brown Tips

This can be caused by direct light, drafts, cold air, overfertilization, chemical burn from using the wrong type of fertilizer, or incorrect pH levels in the soil.

Remedy: Protect your plant from cold drafts and ensure not to expose it too much to direct sunlight, use a balanced fertilizer, and check pH levels in soil/mix.


Hawaiian pothos are good houseplants that help purify the air indoors by producing oxygen at night.

So, if you want to decorate your rooms with an attractive plant then you need this plant. Keep it in a hanging pot or container and enjoy its beauty all season long.

Above all, follow the steps provided in this article for even better results.

And as always, don't forget to share the post and your plants - of course 😉