Golden Pothos vs Marble Queen: Compare & Find Out Which Is Better

Pothos (Epipremnum aureum) are some of the most popular houseplants due to their low-maintenance and strikingly beautiful foliage. There are many types of Pothos, some very similar, but if you know what to look at, it’s pretty easy to determine them. 

First, you will notice their leaves, which can be shades of green with yellow, white, or cream patterns. If you are a beginner gardener, starting with more common Pothos varieties such as Golden and Marble Queen is a good idea. 

But, can’t decide which one is best, or what plant you have? We’ll do a complete breakdown of Golden Pothos vs Marble Queen pothos, what is common to both varieties, and how to differentiate one from another. That way, you can provide them with the best care and get healthy and happy plants. 

Guide: Golden Pothos vs Marble Queen Pothos

Scientific Names

Both plants come from the genus Epipremnum aureum.

  • Golden pothos’ botanical name is Epipremnum aureum.
  • While Marble Queen pothos is Epipremnum aureum ‘Marble Queen,’ although some incorrectly label it as Epipremnum pinnatum ‘Marble Queen.’

Leaves

pothos brown stems up close in a pot
Golden Pothos

Golden Pothos has heart-shaped leaves. They are dark green, with pure white or creamy white variegation. The variegation often varies, depending on how much light they get. 

The surface of the leaves is shiny and waxy, and they can grow up to 30 inches long. Golden Pothos is a trailing plant and can climb if we provide a moss pole or trellis. We can quickly propagate the plant by stem cuttings.

holding up a marble queen pothos plant.
Marble Queen

Marble Queen Pothos also has heart-shaped, dark green leaves, but it has a marbled appearance that yellow and white streaks give them. 

Leaves are smaller than in Golden Pothos, growing up to 8 inches, and variegation is more pronounced (which creates less chlorophyll). The plant generally has compact, bushy growth habits and stays smaller.

Growth habit 

Golden Pothos is a vine that can grow up to 10 feet long with enough space. It’s a popular houseplant because it can climb trellises and walls. Another way to grow Golden Pothos is in a hanging basket. 

It can also serve as an excellent outdoor ground cover with the right conditions. This type of pothos is a quick grower and can be easily propagated, which makes it an excellent choice for beginners.

Marble Queen, on the other hand, is a bushy, more compact plant. Because of its smaller habit, it is perfect for limited spaces, as a tabletop plant, or grown in hanging baskets. Marble Queen Pothos is a slow grower and less vigorous than the Golden Pothos.

Where They’re From

giant pothos plant outdoors

Golden Pothos (also called Devil’s ivy) is a plant that originates from tropical areas of French Polynesia. It can grow extremely fast, up to 40 ft long, in its natural habitat. However, it is often grown as a houseplant cause of its low maintenance and ability to purify the air.

Marble Queen is a form of pothos plant with more prominent variegation. There are speculations that Marble Queen is a hybrid of the pothos plant and Scindapsus pictus. It originates from Southeast Asia, has heart-shaped, marbled leaves, and similar care requirements to Golden.

Where They’re Happiest

Both plants originate from tropical climates and thrive best in humid, warm conditions. Optimal temperatures are 60-85 degrees F. They survive in a wide range of light conditions, but their variegation and growth depend on the light they receive.

Golden Pothos tolerate lower light conditions and can be successfully grown under artificial light. In low light conditions, growth will be stunted, with fewer leaves. It best thrives in bright indirect light. Too much direct sunlight will cause scorched leaves.

Marble Queen best thrives in bright, indirect light and has higher light requirements than Golden because of its more prominent variegation patterns that cause a lack of chlorophyll.          

If it doesn’t get enough light, it becomes entirely green to compensate lack of light with more chlorophyll. Unfortunately, Marble Queen is also sensitive to direct sunlight, which can cause leaves damage.

Soil Requirements

girl repotting a pothos plant into a pot with no drainage holes

Golden and Marble Queen Pothos need well-drained soil that should be moist but not soggy. Root rot is a big problem with overwatered Pothos. Use high-quality potting mix to provide necessary nutrients. Those are general requirements, but both plants have specific soil preferences.

Golden best thrives in well-drained, slightly acidic soil (pH between 6.1 and 6.5). The soil should be rich in organic matter, for example, peat moss or organic compost. If the soil is too heavy, add coarse sand or perlite to improve drainage.

Marble Queen can thrive in a wider pH range, between 6.0-7.0. It is sensitive to heavy, compacted soil and can benefit from adding organic matter, coarse sand, and perlite to potting mix to improve drainage and aeration.

Watering

watering pothos plants by a window.

These pothos plants are sensitive to overwatering, often leading to root rot. However, they are more tolerant to underwatering than overwatering. 

The pothos pot should have drainage holes for excess water to drain out. The optimal time for watering is early morning to allow the leaves to dry before the temperature drops in the evening.

Golden varieties should be watered when the top inch of the soil dries out. You should water a plant once a week during the growing season, in the spring and summer, and reduce watering in cooler months. 

To keep your pothos roots healthy and prevent root rot, water your plants thoroughly, and let the excess water drain out.

Marble Queen requires less frequent watering due to slower growth and smaller habitus. How often you water depends on the pot size, plant size, temperature, and humidity.

Humidity

houseplant humidifier

Both pothos will benefit from higher humidity levels. It can protect leaves from becoming crispy and brown and prevent pests, like spider mites, that love lower humidity.

Golden Pothos is more tolerant of lower humidity but best thrives in higher humidity. You can mist your plant regularly or install a pebble tray to increase humidity levels. You can also place your plant in a kitchen or bathroom with enough light.

Marble Queen Pothos is sensitive to lower humidity. The humidity level should constantly be around 60%. You can achieve that with regular misting or placing your plant in a terrarium or enclosed space.

Pruning

showing pothos pruning with scissors

The pruning of these pothos plants is generally similar, but there are a few differences to remember.

Golden is a fast-growing plant requiring more frequent pruning than his more compact relative, Marble Queen. 

You should monitor the growth and prune back yellowing or damaged leaves, or overgrown stems, to promote better and healthier growth.

Propagation

showing how to propagate pothos in water

The propagation of both plants is similar, using stem cuttings, division, or layering, but you should consider some differences.

Golden has faster growth and stronger roots, so it’s easier to propagate than Marble Queen.

When propagating Pothos, you can root stem cuttings in the water or directly in the soil. They develop root systems quickly, and you can plant them in separate pots around two weeks after taking cuttings.

Marble Queen may take longer to develop a root system after taking cuttings. For that reason, layering is sometimes a better solution for propagating Marble Queen, as it allows cuttings to establish their roots while they are still attached to the mother plant.

How To Fertilize Them

a pothos plant not growing and one full-grown

Pothos plants are sensitive to overfertilizing, which can cause root burn. When comparing Marble Queen vs Golden Pothos, they both have similar fertilizing needs, requiring feeding with balanced liquid NPK fertilizer during the growing season.

Golden can tolerate more frequent fertilization due to its faster growth. Therefore, you can fertilize your plant monthly during the growing season (spring-summer).

Marble Queen may only require fertilization once in 2-3 months during the growing season, but that will depend on the soil quality, pot, and plant size.

Which Pothos Is Rare, Golden Pothos or Marble Queen?

Of these two plants, Marble Queen is rare, and Golden is much more common in nurseries and plant shops.

Marble Queen and some other rare pothos varieties, such as Manjula Pothos, Jessenia Pothos, and Cebu Blue, are seldom available.  

Wrapping-Up Golden vs Marble Queen Pothos

Golden Pothos and Marble Queen Pothos are popular due to their low maintenance and suitability for outdoor and indoor gardening. They have a lot of similarities but also a couple of differences you need to consider if you decide to grow one or both of them.

But when comparing Golden Pothos vs Marble Queen pothos, know that Golden has a faster growth rate and trailing growth habit and can reach 10 feet if it has enough space. Propagation is also very easy, which makes it a popular plant for beginner gardeners.

Marble Queen has a smaller, bushy growth habit. The leaves are green and white, with more prominent variegation. It grows slowly and is perfect for limited spaces.

FAQ

Which cultivar is better, Marble Queen or Golden Pothos?  

There is no such thing as the best plant variety. Which one you will choose depends on your own taste and growing conditions. Besides Marble Queen vs Golden pothos, there are some others you might consider, such as Jade Pothos, Neon Pothos, Snow Queen Pothos, Silver Satin Pothos, or Harlequin Pothos. 

How can you tell the difference between Marble Queen and Golden pothos?   

Check the leaves. They are usually heart-shaped, with a glossy surface. Color can be dark to light green with white, yellow, or cream variegation. Marble Queen has larger, heart-shaped leaves with white patterns that are less uniform.

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Davin is a jack-of-all-trades but has professional training and experience in various home and garden subjects. He leans on other experts when needed and edits and fact-checks all articles.