Hawaiian Pothos – Ultimate Growing & Caring Guide

Hawaiian pothos is a cultivar of the golden pothos plant. And, if you look closely, you’ll see some similarities.

Its most prominent features are its large green leaves with yellow variegations. It is a vining plant so its stems will grow longer over time. This allows the plant to reach between 1 to 4 feet long.

As such, it looks very beautiful when allowed to trail from a hanging basket or overflow out of a container.

But, the plant is not just about looks.

One of the reasons it makes a great houseplant for beginners is that it is very hard to kill. Not only is it easy to care for, it is low maintenance, can tolerate neglect and low light as well.

Plus, is cleanses the air in your home of toxins.

Hawaiian Pothos Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Hawaiian pothos thrives in bright, indirect light. It generally enjoys medium to high light. But it is able to tolerate low light as well.

That said, its variegations are obvious when it receives more light.  The dimmer the lighting, the less prominent the variegations will be.

And, because of these lovely patterns in its leaves, it is not able to tolerate as low light as some of the pothos varieties with solid green leaves.

Most importantly, the two places you want to avoid are complete darkness and direct light.

The former will make it difficult for the plant to grow, resulting in stunted growth.

Direct light on the other hand will scorch its leaves.

As such, it is important to keep the plant away from the sun’s rays or areas where it is exposed to long hours of intense sun.

 

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Temperature

When it comes to temperature, your Hawaiian pothos enjoys moderate to warm conditions. Ideal levels run between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.

Since the plant is native to tropical regions, it is more amendable to warm weather than it is cold.

This means it won’t mind as much if temperatures go up to 90 or 95 degrees. But, is more sensitive when the mercury drops to 60 degrees.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that it is not cold hardy. Thus, it cannot live through freezing winters.

Instead, it is hardy to USDA zones 10 to 12. In these parts, you can leave it in a container outdoors all year round or plant it in the ground.

However, in zones below 10, it is essential that you bring the plant indoors once the temperature hits 60 degrees or slightly before that around fall. You can then bring it back outside next summer if you want.

 

Humidity

hawaiian pothos

Humidity is a similar story for the Hawaiian pothos. It prefers humid environments. This stems from its origins in the tropical forests of the South Pacific where the weather is warm and humid.

As such, it favors humidity between 50% and 70%.

Thus, its favorite natural spots in homes are bathrooms and kitchens which are the most humid rooms because we tend to use water quite a bit in both areas.

Luckily, it is also able to tolerate average room humidity without any harm. This means as long as you keep it between 40% and 50% it will be happy.

Depending on where you live, it can likewise withstand the upper 30s. But, not always.

So, if you live in a fairly dry climate, you always want to watch out for browning leaves or dry tips. Its leaves will change into this color or texture if the conditions are too dry for its liking.

Alternatively, you can get a digital hygrometer. This inexpensive device will instantly let you know what the humidity is in any room of your home.

This way, you know beforehand where the environment is suitable or not. And, if you need to take any measures to increase air moisture there.

 

How Often to Water Hawaiian Pothos

Hawaiian pothos need watering about once every 5 to 7 days. However, I prefer to go by touch because there are too many factors that affect how quickly the soil dries up.

The good news is, the plant can tolerate a bit of neglect. So, it won’t fuss if you occasionally miss watering it. But, I suggest not making a habit out of it.

When it comes to lack of water you want to watch out for a droopy, sad looking plant. Its leaves will look dull and less vibrant not just in color but in their overall look.

If this happens, quickly check the soil. You can stick your finger into the soil or use a moisture meter.

Odds are it is not getting enough water.

Fortunately, once you water it, you’ll see it quickly come back to like within the next 24 to 48 hours.

However, the same cannot be said for overwatering.

The plant has a shallow root system. And, it does not like sitting in water.

Thus, too much water or watering too frequently can harm it, or even lead to root rot.

So, you want to avoid soggy soil at all costs.

As a general rule of thumb, allow the top soil to dry at least 2 inches in depth. You can let it dry a bit more if you want to be conservative.

Only then do you water. Watering before then will increasing the odds of overwatering.

This will result in yellowing of the leaves or black spots on its foliage.

 

Soil for Hawaiian Pothos

Hawaiian pothos doe best in neutral to acidic soil. Although, the most important thing about soil is make sure it is well-draining.

I like to use an all-purpose potting mix and add perlite or coconut coir (coco coir) to improve drainage. The two are very different media but they perform similar functions in this case.

If you want to be environmentally conscious, use coco coir as it uses coconut husks.

In addition to the soil mix, it is also a good idea to make sure the pot you put the plant in has drainage holes at the bottom. This way, the drained moisture can get out of the container.

 

Fertilizer

Feeding your Hawaiian pothos is likewise simple. It does not require any special formulation. And, it is not a heavy feeder.

To promote optimal growth, apply a balanced water-soluble fertilizer (15-15-15 or 20-20-20) once a month during the spring and summer. These are when it is actively growing.

As such, during this time, it needs sunlight, water and fertilizer to be able to sustain the growth it wants to achieve.

Come wintertime, you can stop feeding. Or, if you want to continue, cut back to once every 2 or 3 months.

Be careful not to overfeed the plant as it will do more harm than good.

Also, if you get a new plant, do check with the nursery or online store whether the soil they use has fertilizer in it and for how long it will last.

Often plants come pre-fertilized. As such, you may not need to feed it for the first 1, 2, 3 or 6 months depending on how much they put and what kind. So, do ask them when you pick up the plant.

 

Pruning

Hawaiian pothos are vining plants with magnificent variegated leaves. They bear a resemblance to the more popular Golden Pothos (Devil’s Ivy) because it is a cultivar of that plant.

Thus, pruning is needed as the plant gets longer.

It can grow as long as 4 feet out in different directions but often training downwards. As it overflows over your container it can get to as wide as 2 feet from side to side as well.

So, depending on the look you’re going for and how you display the plant, you may or may not want to prune it often. This can come out to about once or twice a year since when well taken care of, it will grow rather quickly.

In containers, it can look more messy as its gets bushier. But, in hanging baskets, your Hawaiian pothos looks majestic as it trails downward.

In addition to shaping and size, make sure to trim any discolored, diseased or damaged leaves and stems as well.

 

Hawaiian Pothos Propagation

hawaiian pothos

Like the golden pothos, Hawaiian pothos are very easy to propagate. This lets you grow more of them at home or give them away to friends as gifts.

Doing so also saves you money from having to buy a new plant.

The best way to propagate it is via stem cutting. You can do so by:

  • Taking a stem cutting that has at least 2 or 3 leaves.
  • Remove the lower leaves.
  • Then place the stem cutting in a jar or glass of water to root.
  • If will take about 14 or so days to start rooting. You can monitor its progress through the glass.
  • Once the roots have gotten to about an inch long, you can move the cutting to a small pot with fresh potting mix.
  • Then, water the soil and keep the plant under bright, indirect light.

 

How to Repot Hawaiian Pothos

Hawaiian pothos generally need to be repot every 1 to 2 years depending on how quickly yours grows. This will depend on different factors including how much sun its gets, the climate conditions, water, feeding and others.

As such, each plant is different.

That said, Hawaiian pothos don’t mind being in a smaller container. And, you can keep it there for a while.

However, keep in mind that repotting does allow the plant to get bigger because it gives it more room to keep growing. On the other hand, keeping it in a smaller container also limits its size.

The best time to repot is spring right before it begins to grow new leaves.

And you only need to do so when you start seeing roots come out of the plant. This is a sign that it needs more room and thus, is seeking for that space outside of its current home.

 

Toxicity

Hawaiian pothos have low toxicity to humans and animals. So, it is not a good idea to keep it around young children, cats or dog who might chew on or ingest parts of the plant.

This can cause stomach, mouth and throat issues. And, can also cause vomiting and nausea if they eat enough of it.

The plant contains insoluble calcium oxalate crystals which is harmful to the body.

 

Pests and Diseases

Hawaiian pothos are generally pest and disease-free. And, if well taken care for , you’ll likely never have to deal with either of these problems.

This is another reason why the plant is very popular among homeowners. Not only is it easy to care for and beautiful to look at, it also does don’t come with a lot of maintenance or hasles.

That said, like any plant, pests can attack at any give time. Among the more common ones that like your pothos are spider mites and mealybugs.

If there are a few of them, you can use cotton soaked in alcohol to remove them. When I’m lazy, I just hose them off so I don’t need to bother picking them one by one.

Another way is to use insecticidal soap when there are more.

Infestations are very rare.

On the other hand, do watch out for bacterial and fungal diseases. Leaf spot and root rot can happen. And, moisture is often the cause of the problem with too much water or not allowing it to drain or dry enough.

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