Marble Queen Pothos vs. Golden Pothos: What’s the Difference?

Marble queen vs. golden pothos what’s the difference between the two? This is a very common question you’ll come across due to the popularity of both houseplants.

And if you don’t look closely, the two plants will look very similar.

This is especially true when they’re kept in similar sizes which does usually happen in nurseries and plant shops.

However, if you observe carefully, you’ll notice that the golden pothos and marble queen pothos have differences. And they’re quite easy to tell apart when you know what to focus on.

The biggest difference between the marble queen pothos and golden pothos are the colors and patterns of their leaves.

Marble queen pothos has green leaves with cream white variegation. And the patterns are fine and patchy but they cover more of the leaves. In fact, some leaves are more cream white than green.

Golden pothos have more green color in their leaves. But they do have small yellow variegation as well.

As such, the marble queen pothos looks more marbled while the golden pothos looks more green with some yellow patterns.

Marble Queen vs. Golden Pothos Differences

In this section, I’ll focus on the Marble Queen Vs Golden Pothos differences.

Once you get to know them, the two plants are actually very easy to tell apart.

And while they have many similarities, there are some very distinct differences between the golden pothos and marble queen pothos to easily identify one from the other.

 

Leaf Colors and Variegation

The biggest difference between the marble queen pothos and golden pothos are their leaf color and variegations.

As such, this is where you want to focus your attention on.

It is easy to tell the difference just by looking at their leaves.

The golden pothos has lovely medium green to dark green colored foliage. And you’ll notice yellow variegations adorning these green backgrounds.

Just as importantly, the yellow variegations are random.

As such some yellow patterns are bigger white others are smaller. And some leaves will have more yellow variegations while others may have very little yellow patterns.

On the other hand, the marble queen pothos has leaves that are primarily light green and creamy white. In some cases, the creamy white color will dominate some leaves.

That said, you’ll also see some darker green leaves with yellow markings as well.

Although, marble queen pothos as primarily the green and cream white.

Because the patches of the marble queen are fairly small but all over the leaves, they’ll look more like marbling.

With both the golden pothos and marble queen, it is important to keep both plants in bright, indirect light. This will allow the variegations to become very prominent.

If left in low light or dimmer locations, the variegations will fade.

A darker environment can likewise cause the variegations to disappear and turn the leaves solid green for both plants.

To summarize this section,

  • Golden pothos has medium to dark green leaves with yellow variegation.
  • Marble queen pothos get their name from a marbling effect of the green and creamy white variegation. The variegation is likewise smaller by more spread out giving you a speckled look.

 

Plant Size, Growth Habit & Rate

Both the marble queen and golden pothos have heart-shaped leaves. This is one similarity they share.

The two plants are likewise vines or vining plants.

Therefore, they will develop long, thin vines that will allow them to climb up a pole or trail down from a hanging basket.

Of course, you can likewise let the long stems overflow over the edges of the pots and sprawl on a tabletop.

However, one noticeable difference between the two are how fast they grow.

Golden pothos grow faster than marble queen pothos. In fact it grow as much as 12 inches per month during its growing period when given the right living conditions.

Why?

They contain more chlorophyll.

Chlorophyll is the compound that makes the leaves have their lovely green color. This is why you’ll see the leaves of a golden pothos contain more green sections whereas marble queen pothos are a better mix of lighter green and creamy white.

More importantly, chlorophyll plays an important part in photosynthesis.

It is what allows the leaves to collect light from external sources like the sun or artificial lighting.

Therefore, the presence of more chlorophyll allows golden pothos to grow faster than marble queen pothos.

As such, if you want to let your marble queen pothos grow faster, make sure to keep it under bright, indirect light.

Similarly, this affects how big both plants get.

Golden pothos and marble queen pothos can both grow into large plants in their native habitats. In fact, they can reach between 20 to 40 feet in size in the wild.

However, when grow indoors in containers, their size is much more limited.

In this situation, the golden pothos will likewise end up bigger than the marble queen pothos.

When allowed to grow to its full potential indoors, golden pothos will usually reach 10 feet as a houseplant.

In contrast, marble queen pothos will only usually get to about 3 to 5 feet long in size as an indoor plant.

 

Taxonomy

Pothos are members of the Araceae family.

As such, while they may look very different from monstera plants and philodendron plants, they are all related. And they are all considered aroids.

Another thing I’d like to point out is pothos have many other names as well.

I’m putting this here to clear things up in case you see different names in store labels.

Many people call Pothos plants as the Devil’s Ivy, Devil’s Vine, Ceylon Creeper, Taro vine, money plant, silver vine and a few more.

The most popular of these is Devil’s Ivy because the plant is difficult to kill.

In some cases, stores is mislabel pothos as Scindapsus plants or even Philodendron plants as well.

That said, one thing that’s important to note is that all pothos are known as Epipremnum aureum. So, no matter what pothos variety you have, its scientific name is technically Epipremnum aureum.

That said, when gardeners, growers and nurseries label Epipremnum aureum they’re talking about the golden pothos.

In short, the golden pothos is the original Epipremnum aureum.

On the other hand, the marble queen pothos is a cultivar of the Epipremnum aureum.

To explain, a cultivar is variety of a plant that was products in cultivation via selective breeding. This means that the marble queen pothos was created via breeding specific parents to try to achieve a unique new variety.

In this case, the goal was to create something that was heavily variegated.

So, the marble queen pothos is closely related to the golden pothos. But it is also different. Thus, scientifically, it has the name Epipremnum aureum ‘Marble Queen’.

In most cases this is how different varieties of pothos are botanically named.

It is also worth noting that some references online and stores will likewise label the Marble Queen Pothos as Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Marble Queen’.

Another interesting thing about the Marble Queen Pothos worth mentioning is it is one of the oldest and most popular pothos cultivars around.

And because of its heavy variegation and unique white/cream colored patterns, it has been used to create new sports as well. These include the Pearls and Jade Pothos and the N’Joy Pothos.

As a result, both of these pothos plants have stunning cream white variegation as well.

However, as beautiful as their variegations may look, keep in mind that they can all revert. When kept in darker locations or low light environments, they can lose their creamy white patterns and turn solid green.

 

Native Areas & Environment

Pothos look very different when grown indoors and outdoors. More importantly, they get much bigger when grown in the wild.

As such, if you see them in the natural habitat, you may not even recognize them because they’ll have much larger leaves.

That said, pothos are native to the islands of French Polynesia.

This makes them accustomed to tropical and subtropical conditions. And for this reason, they are hardy to USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12.

More importantly, they prefer warm temperatures and cannot be left in cold, frosty or freezing winters.

This is why you’ll often see pothos grown as indoor houseplants.

Note that because pothos are very adaptable and spread very quickly, they’re now found in many different forest environments across the world.

As a result, they’ve become naturalized to many different forest regions that have tropical and subtropical conditions including Southeast Asia, Australia, parts of South Africa, the West Indies and more.

For this reason, you’ll see nurseries and other plants shops label their pothos coming from these areas.

Just as interestingly, pothos grow very differently in the wild compared to how we keep them in our homes.

In their native habitat, pothos commonly grow as ground color as scrambling up trees.

They are generally evergreen climbers. And they look very different during their juvenile state compared to when they mature.

In contrast, you’ll usually see pothos grown in hanging baskets or allowed to climb up moss poles indoors.

Outdoors, you want to be more careful with growing pothos.

That’s because they are considered invasive in many regions. This is due to their ability to grow and spread quickly.

As a result, if you grow them in your garden, they can quickly take over nearby plants and keep spreading throughout your backyard or front yard.

The key takeaway here is that golden pothos is usually the variety of pothos you’ll see growing in the wild. It is also the most popular kind of pothos around, and commonly known as the devil’s ivy.

On the other hand, the marble queen pothos is not as common although still popular because of its unique look.

Because it is a cultivar, it was created via selective breeding for the purpose of producing a beautiful, unique looking plant.

This also means you won’t see it in the forests as it did not grow from there.

However, due to its stunning looks and popularity, it is commonly found in nurseries, garden centers and online plant shops.

 

Rarity of the Plant

Neither the golden pothos or the marble queen pothos are rare. That’s a good thing since it makes it easy to get hold of both plants.

Just as importantly, rare plants can be very expensive.

As such, this lets anyone, be it plant enthusiast or beginner, able to find and afford both types of pothos.

Note that of the two, the marble queen pothos is more expensive. Although, it is not very costly, nor is it rare.

In fact, you can easily find both in nurseries, garden centers and online shops.

Of the two the golden pothos is by far more common and the more popular one. In fact, this is the plant that most people refer to when talking about pothos.

The last thing I want to mention here is that once upon a time, when the marble queen pothos was first introduced, it was rare and quite expensive.

But since pothos are easily propagated, the plant became more available which made it less rare and much more affordable in time.

 

Light Requirements

The final difference between the marble queen and golden pothos is light requirements.

Both plants thrive in well-lit locations.

However, the marble queen pothos needs more light. This is due to its more variegated look.

If you look closely at a marble queen pothos leaves, you’ll see that there are more cream white markings covering much of the leaves.

This reduces the amount of the green sections on its foliage.

As a result, the plant does not produce as much chlorophyll.

More importantly, chlorophyll is important in absorbing light from the sun or artificial lights. And it is this light that the plant will use for photosynthesis.

The problem here is that less chlorophyll means less light absorbed. As a result, less photosysnthesis.

Since photosynthesis is how plants, including pothos, produce their own food for energy, it also means that the plant won’t grow as well if it does not create enough food.

As such, it is very important to leave your marble queen pothos is bright lighting.

Because of the fewer green sections on its leaves, marble queen pothos need more light than golden pothos.

This is to compensate for the fewer green parts on its leaves.

If kept in low light conditions, marble queen pothos can easily lose its variegation as the plant will try to produce more chlorophyll as a desperation attempt to survive.

This in turn reduces the visual appeal of your marble queen pothos.

So, avoid low light.

Instead, look for a spot with bright, indirect light indoors or partial shade outdoors.

The simplest way to select an ideal location to keep your marble queen pothos is you want a bright location where the sun’s rays never directly come into contact with the plant’s leaves.

This will allow it to thrive.

On the other hand, golden pothos have more green leaves.

While it has light speckling of yellow variegation, majority of its foliage are very green in color.

This allows the golden pothos to do well in lower light environments compared to the marble queen pothos.

Note that if you want your golden pothos to grow faster, get bigger, produce more leaves and achieve more vibrant variegation, keep it in bright, indirect light as well.

While it can tolerate low light better than marble queen pothos, do not leave it dark or dim locations.

This will affect its growth and foliage production. It will also lose its variegation when there is too little light.

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