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With attractive yellow and green foliage, the Hawaiian pothos is a rare pothos plant that could easily become one of your favorite houseplants. Since it is rare, though, you may believe that these plants need tons of special care. 

Fortunately, you would be wrong because Hawaiian pothos care couldn’t be simpler, and even novice gardeners can grow these plants to become lush, gorgeous houseplants.

Hawaiian pothos produce oxygen during the night, so you and your family can breathe more easily. They will absorb certain harmful chemicals present in your home and leave the air clean and fresh. Hawaiian pothos will also bring beauty and a peaceful atmosphere to your home, and they are the perfect accent for any style of decor.

Hawaiian Pothos Care: The Ultimate Guide

What does a Hawaiian pothos look like?

Hawaiian pothos are gorgeous plants with eye-catching glossy multicolored leaves. These leaves are unusual because they feature bands of green and gold. The leaves can grow very large when the plant is healthy, and the leaves can reach sizes of 5 to 12 inches long.

You can see an example of one in the picture above, which should give you a pretty good indicator of why this type of variegated pothos is so prized in people’s homes.

How do you take care of a Hawaiian pothos?

Hawaiian pothos care is very simple, and in fact, they are one of the easiest houseplants to maintain. They need watering only when the soil is dry. The Hawaiian pothos only have moderate light needs and as long as they have 3 or 4 hours of filtered sunlight per day, they will do just fine.

The beauty of the pothos doesn’t come only from its looks, but also from its ease of care. With some pretty basic maintenance, your Hawaiian pothos will flourish, making it much less temperamental than many other houseplants.

How often do you water Hawaiian pothos?

Hawaiian pothos do not have high water needs. Most pothos plant owners just water their plants when the first inch of soil in the pot is dry. Generally, this works out that a Hawaiian pothos only needs to be watered every 7 to 10 days.

One thing that is great about this plant is that you don’t need to wonder too hard how often to water your pothos as the plant itself will tell you when it has gotten too dry. If you notice that your pothos has droopy leaves, it is the plant’s way of saying that it needs a drink of water.

Hawaiian pothos with water on its leaves
Source: everything_plants_ca

Water the plant by setting it in the sink and running water over the plant until water runs out of the holes in the bottom of the pot. Let the plant sit in the sink for four or five minutes to stop dripping. Then, return the Hawaiian pothos to its regular place.

When you water your Hawaiian pothos, you should use room temperature water to avoid shocking the plant with water that is too hot or too cold. Do not use softened water to water your pothos plants because it contains salts that can build up in the soil and damage the plant over time.

Do not overwater your Hawaiian pothos plant. This can lead to root rot or fungal diseases. Always wait until the first inch or two of the soil is dry before you water the plant again, and do not allow water to sit in the drip pan underneath the pothos plant.

Should I mist my Hawaiian pothos?

Hawaiian pothos plants are tropical plants and grow in the wild in humid climates. For this reason, the dry air of your home can be hard on your pothos plants. From time to time, you may want to lightly mist your pothos plant to help keep it healthy.

You do not have to mist your plant, but particularly in the winter months when the air inside is very dry, a light misting once or twice a week can help the plant stay healthy given how much your pothos likes humidity. Do not soak the leaves or leave them dripping, but instead, just a light spray is all that is needed.

If you mist the plants too much, leaving them wet all of the time, your Hawaiian pothos plant can develop fungal diseases. As with most other things in life, when you mist your Hawaiian pothos, moderation is key.

How much light does Hawaiian pothos need?

These plants are great houseplants because Hawaiian pothos light requirements are very low. As long as you give them three or four hours a day of filtered sunlight, your Hawaiian pothos plant will thrive. They are perfect plants for homes that do not have tons of natural light and windows.

To keep your Hawaiian pothos plants healthiest, you should put it in an east-facing window. If you do not have an east-facing window, however, it will probably be okay anyhow to meet your pothos’ light needs. If you put your plants in an exposed south-facing window, you may want to shield the window with a sheer curtain or some blinds to keep them from being scorched by the sun.

While some houseplants can be moved outdoors in the warmer months, you may want to think carefully before you put your Hawaiian pothos outside. This type of pothos needs deep shade, so if your porch can’t provide that, your plant may suffer. They can quickly become sunburned or overheated in the sun, so consider it carefully before you move them outside.

Hawaiian pothos with big leaves
Source: plants.njoy

How do you prune a Hawaiian pothos?

Every now and then your Hawaiian pothos plant will start overgrowing the space it is in. When this happens, you will want to consider pruning the plant, which does not hurt it at all. To prune the Hawaiian pothos, you will simply take a pair of sharp scissors or shears and snip the vines back.

Over time, a Hawaiian pothos plant will grow too large or its stems will become overly woody. When this happens, pruning will rejuvenate the plant, leading to healthy growth. This should take place at the beginning of spring or autumn.

When you prune your Hawaiian pothos, do not cut the plant back by more than one third. It still needs plenty of leaves to create food for itself. Cutting it back too severely can shock or even kill the plant.

If your plant is diseased or infested with insects, you may not want to prune it until those problems are under control. Pruning at those times may spread the disease or pests. Rectify the problems first, and then you can prune your Hawaiian pothos plant.

What to do if my Hawaiian pothos has yellow leaves?

Yellow leaves are a sign that all is not right with your Hawaiian pothos. The plant may need an adjustment to its sunlight levels, less watering, or some fertilizer. These are easy fixes if you catch the problem in time, so if you see yellowing leaves, the time to act is right now.

The most common reason for yellowed leaves on a pothos plant is overwatering. This will leave the roots soggy and vulnerable to rot. Be sure that you allow the soil to dry out in the first inch before you water the plant and empty any saucers of accumulated water after watering.

You should never plant your pothos in a pot without drainage holes. If your pot does not have drain holes, you should repot the plant or drill holes in the existing pot to keep it healthy.

Find out more here about your pothos’ drainage needs.

Pothos plants that get inadequate sunlight will start to turn yellow. Pothos plants are low light plants, but they are not no light plants.If your plant sports yellow leaves and it has been placed in a dim environment, just move it to a sunnier spot.

Finally, your pothos plant’s yellowing leaves may mean that it needs to be fertilized. If you have been fertilizing your pothos regularly, it may need new dirt because some fertilizers can cause salts to build up in the soil. Repot the plant with new soil.

Related: What’s the Best Soil for Pothos Plants to Thrive?

How to propagate Hawaiian pothos

To create a Hawaiian pothos by using a cutting, you should simply snip off a piece of the plant that is 6 to 8 inches long with 5 or 6 leaves on it. Strip off all of the leaves but the top two and put the stem in a glass of water that is several inches deep.

Because the Hawaiian pothos may be difficult to find, learning how to propagate your plants may be a valuable skill. These plants are very easy to propagate. You can grow them from cuttings or use air layering to create new plants.

Hawaiian pothos growing on moss pole

If you choose to propagate it in water, as per the method outlined above, the stem should have grown some roots after six to eight weeks. At this point, you should put the stem in a pot of rich potting soil and water it well. After another two months or so, it will be a healthy, self-sustaining plant.

To practice air layering to make a new plant, you will need some sphagnum peat moss. On a healthy vine, strip off the plant’s outermost layer with a sharp knife to expose the inner cambium layer of the plant. Create a small bundle by wrapping the peat moss around the stem, covering it with plastic wrap and, in a few months, new roots will appear, at which time you can snip the new plant and pot it up.

When should I repot my Hawaiian pothos?

The best time to repot your Hawaiian pothos plant is in the spring. Usually, these plants should be repotted every one or two years. If you see roots starting to protrude from the drain holes of your plant’s pot, that is a sign that it needs more space and you should give it a larger pot in which to live.

To repot your Hawaiian pothos, gently shake it out of its existing pot. Use your fingers to gently tease apart the mass of roots. Place the plant in its new pot and fill the pot with fresh potting soil, giving it a good watering when you are done.

What kind of fertilizer do I need for my Hawaiian pothos?

Water soluble fertilizer is perfect for pothos plants. However, mixing it at half the recommended strength will help you avoid “burning” your Hawaiian pothos with too much fertilizer. You should pour this water soluble fertilizer on the pothos plant instead of a regular watering once every month.

Your water soluble fertilizer for your Hawaiian pothos plant should be a balanced fertilizer, like a 15-15-15 or a 20-20-20. In the winter months, you can stop fertilizing it until spring time comes.

Variegated Hawaiian pothos leaf
Source: Forest and Kim Starr (CC BY 2.0)

What are some common problems for Hawaiian pothos plants?

Much of the appeal of the Hawaiian pothos is the variegation of green and yellow on the leaves. If your Hawaiian pothos plant begins to lose its variegation, it is likely a sign that it has been exposed to too much sunlight. Move your Hawaiian pothos to a more sheltered spot and it will soon begin to correct this problem.

You may get bugs on your plants, like aphids, spider mites, or mealy bugs. You can find an insecticidal spray at your local garden center to kill these pests. Or you can spray the plant with soapy water which may kill the bugs.

If you get a fungus on the pothos plant, it may be a sign that you are watering it too much. Allowing the pothos to dry out completely should help kill the fungus. However, an antifungal spray from your garden center can help kill the fungus while you are trying to dry out the plant.

How big do Hawaiian pothos get?

Hawaiian pothos plants are one of the larger kinds of pothos plants. This popular, easy to grow plant typically grows about 1 to 2 feet in diameter. The vines of the Hawaiian pothos plant can grow up to 4 feet in length, but if the vines get too long, you can trim them to a more manageable size.

How big do Hawaiian pothos leaves get?

In contrast to many other varieties of pothos plants, the leaves of the Hawaiian pothos can grow very large. When the plant is healthy, the gorgeous yellow and green variegated leaves can grow up to 12 inches in length. The smaller leaves on the Hawaiian pothos plants will be about 5 inches long.

Hawaiian pothos plant
Source: Forest and Kim Starr (CC BY 2.0)

Do Hawaiian pothos grow fast?

Hawaiian pothos plants grow reasonably fast, but some of their growth rate depends on how well you care for your plant. A well cared for plant that has ideal growing conditions will grow fairly quickly. These are great plants for the impatient gardener since you can see a quick return for all of your efforts.

Find out more: How Fast Does Pothos Grow (and How to Make it Grow Faster)?

Can you grow Hawaiian pothos indoors?

While the Hawaiian pothos plant grows outside in the wild in tropical places, it grows very well inside as a houseplant. These plants are great as house plants because they can help filter the indoor air and remove impurities. In addition, their variegation is great for home decor purposes.

Additionally, humans have evolved to crave greenery and Hawaiian pothos can improve one’s mental health when grown indoors.

Can Hawaiian pothos live outside?

In tropical climates, the Hawaiian pothos grow well outside if they have enough cover from the harsh sunlight. In any climate, you can put your Hawaiian pothos outside if you have deep shade on a covered porch for it. However, once the temperatures begin to get colder in the fall, you will need to take it inside.

Hawaiian pothos plants are not cold hardy at all, so if you put your pothos outside for the summer, you should pay attention to the weather forecast when fall begins to draw near. Once the temperature begins to dip below 60 degrees, you should bring the plant inside or it will die.

If you do put your Hawaiian pothos outside in the warm months, be sure that you choose a very sheltered spot. If the plant gets too much sun, the leaves could scorch due to your pothos having sunburn. A shady covered porch is the best spot outside for your Hawaiian pothos.

Hawaiian pothos vine with leaves
Source: Forest and Kim Starr (CC BY 2.0)

Are Hawaiian pothos rare?

Hawaiian pothos are often one of the more difficult pothos plants to track down at your local garden center. They are less common than other kinds of pothos, so therefore they are considered rare. If you manage to obtain one of these plants, you should take good care of it because it may be difficult to replace.

Hawaiian pothos vs Golden pothos

The main difference between the Hawaiian pothos and Golden pothos is that Golden pothos plants have bright yellow leaves with some green, while Hawaiian pothos plants have light yellow and green leaves. Hawaiian pothos also have larger leaves than the Golden pothos.

You can also sometimes notice yellow vines on the Golden pothos when they have enough light, whereas the Hawaiian pothos’ vines will always stay green when they’re healthy. The Golden pothos’ leaves can also develop fenestrations – or holes in the leaves – whereas this won’t happen with the Hawaiian pothos.

That said, you wouldn’t be blamed for confusing the two though (much like how easy it is to confuse the Snow Queen vs Marble Queen pothos), as plenty of people before you have wondered if the Hawaiian and Golden pothos are the same. However, they are different plants, and you should be able to tell them apart if you look carefully. 

Hawaiian pothos vs Golden pothos to see if they are the same plant

Where to find Hawaiian Pothos for sale?

While Hawaiian pothos are considered relatively rare, you may be able to find them with a careful search. You should look at home improvement and garden stores for these lovely plants. If you can’t find them there, you should ask a local florist if they can order one for you at the standard Hawaiian pothos price.