Hoyas are also known as ‘wax plants’ due to their thick, waxy leaves that look like they were manufactured, not grown! They are incredibly popular and have lots of variations, making this guide helpful as you start out growing hoyas. These plants are hardy and live long lives, making them perfect for any plant parent.
The hoya plant consists of thick succulent leaves and stems that can store water for long periods. Therefore, the watering needs of this plant are quite low, so you can relax on the watering – just water at least once in a month when the soil has dried up. When watering, it is essential to ensure the pot has sufficient holes to avert potentiality of saturated or boggy soil as this can cause root rot. Yellowish leaves are a sign of too much water, and flaccid ones indicate they are thirsty.
Light and temperature
Hoya plants grow best in bright light and can withstand direct sunlight to some degree – but too much direct light can scorch leaves. Studies show that the plant can also survive in low light conditions, but its growth will be substantially inhibited. For optimal growth and preventing issues like wilting, the plants should be placed near bright windows. People living in temperate regions can grow the plant in pots outdoors during summer and take them indoors during colder seasons. Leaves turning yellow may be an indication of too much exposure to light.
The plant grows better in lightly humid conditions. This implies the plant should be kept away from air conditioning vents, and if possible, it should be located in areas near a bathroom or a kitchen. Though it can tolerate dry air conditions, it is advisable to sprinkle water on the plant when humidity is low.
Soil and fertilizer
The soil requirements for Hoyas are particular. Propagating it in a soil mixture of 50 percent regular potting soil, 25 percent perlite, and 25 percent orchid bark will provide optimal soil requirements for your plant. The soil should support sufficient drainage of water and be loose enough to allow aeration. The Hoya will do well with a once a month supply of diluted regular houseplant fertilizer.
Cleaning and pruning
Hoyas are naturally waxy and shiny; thus, it does not require unique cleaning formulas. When it is dusty, you can gently wipe it with a wet piece of cloth to remove dust particles. The plant does not require regular pruning; however when the need arises, typical pruning tools can be used. Sophisticated protective gear is not necessary since the plant is neither poisonous nor harmful to the skin.
Propagating a Hoya
The plant can be propagated easily by cutting a stem with two mature leaves and rooting it in water. Once the stem has developed roots, it can now be transferred to a well-drained soil medium. The key challenge with this method is that it can take several months before a stem cutting develops roots. The process is also involved since one has to change water weekly. Another simplified approach is propagating from leaf cuttings. This method is suitable for those interested in growing a single heart shape flower. A hoya without a stem is unlikely to develop into a full plant.
Hoyas like being a bit root bound, which means you can rest easy on when it comes to repotting! Unless you have a Hoya heart, in which case keep an eye out for new growth, as that can be a sign it is time to repot.
Pests and Problems
Usually, Hoya plants are resistant to pests and illnesses. But it is essential to pay attention to possible mealybugs attacks. Severe mealybugs attack can cause fungal diseases. Withered stems and leaves should be removed before they can affect other regions of the plant.
Overwatering and prolonged humid conditions can result in rotting leaves. Always be sure to remove drying leaves, kill mealybugs, and move the plant to places with optimum growth conditions.