I adore Hoya's as they are not only easy to care for, they are also pretty low maintenance and when they're happy and they bloom, my goodness those perfectly shaped, dainty flowers, are gorgeous! They can fill a room with the most amazing scent, whilst looking utterly beautiful too. So let's take a closer look as to what they need to keep them happy.
Can Hoya grow in low light or full sun?
A Hoya's happy place, is in medium to bright light. They can tolerate some direct sunlight, but avoid direct sunlight in the afternoon, as this is too harsh and will likely turn your Hoya leaves yellow.
They're actually not fussy with their lighting and can tolerate lower light levels. However, this will reduce the frequency and number of blooms that it will produce. So if you've purchased one for it's abundant, fragrant blooms, ensure it's in a well lit place!
A good lit home for your Hoya, will also help the soil dry out quicker, which is a good thing for Hoyas - see more on this below.
When to water your Hoya
Hoya's are classed as a semi-succulent, which means that they like to dry out in between watering. They hold a lot of water in their lush waxy leaves, so don't need frequent watering like most houseplants. In fact, in winter, you want to really reduce your watering to avoid root rot.
If the leaves become "bendy" or the plant starts to look like it's wilting, you've taken the "dry out in between watering," a little too far. I just use my finger to dig down a bit in the soil to check moisture content. If the soil is a darker colour below the top layer, then the soil is still holding some moisture.
There are over 500 species of Hoya and they can prefer different watering needs. Generally speaking though, the thicker the leaf, the less you need to water and if your Hoya has thin leaves, it's likely to be thirstier (as it's retaining less moisture).
So long as you're checking the soil before watering to ensure it has completely dried out and you have a good draining soil (see below), you can't really go wrong. When you water your Hoya, do give it a good drink and let water run through the drainage holes. Don't leave the pot sitting in excess water underneath, you'll want to remove this to allow the soil to dry out.
When should I repot my Hoya?
Unlike some other plants, these don't need regular repotting. They don't have a huge root structure, so will rarely grow out of their pots, but rather require some fresh soil to keep thriving. When repotting, ensure that you are only going up the next size pot as a pot too big, will retain more moisture in the soil, which could lead to root rot.
Hoya need good circulation around their roots. I generally use a mix with equal parts cacti and succulent mix, orchid mix and perlite. This will allow air to circulate around the roots.
A smaller pot can also assist with blooming, so don't repot too regularly - they don't mind it being a little snug. This also helps with accidentally overwatering, as there is less soil to have to dry out.
When do Hoya bloom & why is mine not blooming?
There are a few factors that you need to consider here. Firstly, lighting. As mentioned above, Hoya's need a good amount of light to produce beautiful blooms. Ensure that your Hoya is getting enough light - just not hours and hours of direct afternoon sun.
Watering can also play a part in this too! If you're not letting the soil completely dry out in between watering, this is not providing optimum conditions for your Hoya and therefore it is less likely to bloom.
The age of your Hoya may also be the reason here. They need to be mature enough to produce flowers. This can be a couple of years, to over 5 years! If your Hoya is still throwing out new growth and thriving, patience is all you need at this point.
Hoya's do like some fertiliser to give them a little boost, but I usually give them half the strength and only during the active growing season of spring and summer. Be careful not to overdo it here, they only need a little and not as often as most other houseplants. You definitely don't want to be fertilising during autumn and winter.
Have you ever wondered what those long vines are that grow from your Hoya, but they don't have any leaves? Don't chop them!! They are called tendrils and they grow before flowers appear. You can gently attach them to a climbing frame if you want to keep them out of the way.
Oh...and Hoya's will definitely love you if you give them some Groconut! A natural growth stimulant to give them a boost. If you haven't tried it, you truly haven't found your secret plant care weapon.
Why are my Hoya leaves turning yellow?
This is a sign of distress and you'll need to determine the root cause to rectify the issue, or you risk losing your beloved Hoya.
This is usually due to less than optimal conditions for your Hoya - lighting, watering, soil type or temperature. If you have ruled out all of these as the possible cause and you have an older plant, it could just be aging leaves which yellow and fall to make way for new growth. These are usually the leaves closer to the base of the plant.
Unfortunately, yellow leaves won't miraculously turn green again, so you can remove these to help the plant to recover. If further leaves turn yellow, then you haven't got to the bottom of the original issue and if you suspect it could be due to overwatering, I would recommend a repot to check the roots.
Another reason could be pests, so check undersides of leaves and stem for any creepy crawlers or fine spider webs.
Are Hoya plants poisonous or safe for my pets?
Yipppeeee! Finally a plant that is not only beautiful, easy to care for, but also safe for your fur babies. Really....what's not to love?
So there you have it, a comprehensive care guide for Hoyas. I hope this has helped you to feel confident as a Hoya parent. They really can be easy when you know how!
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