Hoya Care Guide

These succulent like, waxy leafed plants have been winning over houseplant enthusiast all over the world. When we see them in a store it evokes excited, flailing and maybe even screaming. Hoyas are basically the boy band of the plant species. Sometimes hoya’s get a bad rap for being a little finicky. But, if you give them what they want, they can be very easy. I am going to share with you my tips and tricks to help you be a successful hoya grower too!

Plant Selection

If you are new to owning Hoyas, I recommend starting out with a smaller plant. Hoyas are sought after and that can run the price up on larger and more full plants. If your first go at hoya growing doesn’t go great, you may be less discouraged if you didn’t dish out a lot of money. A great plant to start with is the green hoya carnosa, this is one of the easiest house plants. Really….any of the carnosa culivars are great beginner planst. My personal favorite Hoya is the hoya carnosa compacta, in both green and variegated.

Lighting

Most of us grow our Hoyas indoors. Now, these plants are going to require brighter light, particularly any plant that has variegation in it. This is a plant that you will want to grow closer to a window. If you have a nice sunny spot for a good portion of the day that a cat would like to snooze it, your hoya will probably be happy there too. Hoya leaves to have a potential to burn in too direct like. I have never personally seen this and I do move some of my plants outside during the summer. I do have a huge tree canopy in my yard and most of it is shaded for any direct sunlight for any length of time.

Hoya Carnosa Compacta, Hoya Krimson Queen and Hoya Chelsea soaking up the rays.

Watering

Overwatering has to be the most common reason for hoya demise. These plants have thick succulent leaves and really need to dry out between watering they will not tolerate sitting in wet soil for an expended period of time. Watering frequency will depend on several variables; how much light they are given, type of soil they are grown in, and humidity and temperature of the area they are grown in. This Winter, I am supplementing several of my Hoyas with artificial light. I am finding I am watering more frequently than the Summer because my house is much dryer. A good indicator that you Hoya is thirsty, is if the leaf has a little give to it and if you gently bend it, it wrinkles a little bit. A well hydrated leaf will snap if you try to bend it in half.

Soil

It is imperative for the success of your plant, that Hoyas are grown in a fast draining, very airy, and chunky soil mixture. These plants are epiphytes, meaning they root and grow on other plants and receive water and nutrients from the air or pocket on the host plant. Hoyas have a non-parasitic relation with the host plant. I grow all my Hoyas in a coco coir orchid bark mixture. If you want more information on this check out this post I did about Hoya soil http://soilngreenplants.com/the-best-soil-for-your-hoya/

This Hoya Carnosa Krimson Princess has been a fast grower after I changed the soil to coco coir.

Fertilization

I am of the belief that if a plant has new growth, fertilize it. In the Winter, you may need to hold off fertilizing if you don’t see any new growth. During the growing season, I fertilized about every 2 weeks, which is about how often I water. I only use and recommend organic fertilizers such as fish emulsion. I dilute to about 50% the recommended usage. And be fore warned, this is some stinky stuff.

Temperature and Humidity

If you are growing your Hoya indoors, it will be comfy if you are comfy. Hoyas do great in the typical temperature that we keep our homes at. If you grow them outside, keep an eye on the temperature and if it drops below 60 degrees its time to come in. While, Hoyas will prefer a more humidity, they don’t require anything special accommodations in the Winter. I’m a plant mister and I do mist my Hoyas daily during the Winter months. This won’t bring up the humidity all day long but it will raise it for a short period of time, I also think it keeps the new growth from drying out.

Pests
I always hate writing about pests and hoyas are not immune. Mealy bugs are going to be your biggest pest to watch out for. They are particularly fond of the carnosa compacta or hindu rope and there are a lot of hiding spots in those plants. I recommend taking a cotton swap and getting in all the nooks and crannies of the carnosa compacta. If you find pests you will want to use a spray for the leaves and a systematic treatment for the soil. Checking for pests regularly, like every time you water should be an important plant care routine.

With a little bit of specialized care, hoya plants can be a relatively easy plant to grow. The biggest obstacles are going to be watering and lighting. But, once you get that managed, they can really take off. Give growing a hoya at try and happy growing!!

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