Hoya plants 101 (And 4 Must-Have Varieties)

Though these diverse beauties might not always be among the most viral plants online, hoya plants are charming climbing plants that come in hundreds of varieties and make lovely additions to any plant collection. Hoya plants come in all shapes, sizes, and colours and they grow beautiful, fragrant flowers, so beware! Once you have one hoya plant, you’re likely going to need to make room for a whole lot more.

hoya heart plant care

The hoya plant, also called the waxplant or waxvine, is an evergreen perennial plant native to many countries in South East Asia including Thailand, Malaysia, and the Philippines. In the warmer months, you might be lucky enough to see your hoya plant grow its famous pink or red star-shaped flowers that smell deliciously sweet.

I love hoyas for their great variety. They can have thin or thick, succulent-like leaves, they can be round or pointy, variegated or un-variegated, trailing or shrub-like. There really is a hoya for everyone and every mood!

This post will cover…

hindu rope hoya
Hindu rope hoya

Not all hoyas are the same! Here are some of my favourite hoya varieties:

  • Hoya carnosa rubra aka “Krimson Princess”: This gorgeous variety of hoya has long pointed foliage with cream and sometimes pink variegation in the center. Their pretty, clustered flowers are commonly light pink or deep red. Plus, if you keep these hoyas outside, they are likely to attract hummingbirds and butterflies!
  • Hoya compacta aka “Hindu Rope”: This hoya plant is known for its compact, curled leaves that form a rope-like shape as the plant grows to vine. You can find variegated and un-variegated varieties, available in a range of colourways.
  • Hoya kerrii aka “the Sweetheart Hoya”: This sweet hoya is known for its heart-shaped foliage, making them perfect plant gifts for anyone plant-enthusiast you love!
  • Hoya densifolia: If you’re looking for a hoya plant that doesn’t trail, the Hoya densifolia is a great variety to check out. They grow tall and straight and form pale yellow flowers in the warmer months. Whenever you notice this hoya start to tip over, you can prop it up with wooden stakes or small moss poles.

Hoya Plant Care

To have a happy and healthy hoya plant, there are a few things you will want to consider. Follow these tips, and you’ll have a thriving hoya!

Location

Hoya plants generally love bright, indirect light. If you have a south-facing window, your hoyas will love it, but they’ll also do well with east and north-facing windows as long as they aren’t in direct sunlight.

I recommend not keeping your hoya plant right next to your window no matter its direction. They don’t like drafts (cold or hot) so be sure to keep them a small distance away from your windows, and definitely away from any heaters or air conditioners.

hoya plant
Hoya kerrii

Sun

Bright, indirect light is the friend of the hoya, but some varieties can be a low light houseplant as well! As with any variegated plants, you’ll see less dramatic variegation if the plant is in lower light, and more prominent colouring if they’re kept in a bright space.

If you’re hoping to see your hoya plant bloom in the summer, keep it in a bright, warm room and give it some fertilizer!

hoya plant and coffee cup

Water

The hoya plant doesn’t mind drying out completely between waterings. In fact, they’ll thank you for it! When it is time to water, test the soil with your finger to see if it’s dry, then water thoroughly. Allow all of the excess water to drain completely out of the pot.

Soil

Hoya plants can be a little like succulents, they love a well-draining soil that won’t stay too wet. A rich soil blend of 60% potting soil and 40% cacti soil will make them the happiest!

Another great thing about hoya plants is that they actually like to be quite snug in their pots. There’s no need to replant them the moment you see them fill out! They don’t mind being a little root bound for a while. You can expect to repot these plants only every couple of years.

planting hoya plants

Fertilizer

These plants don’t need lots of fertilizer to thrive. In fact, you can fertilize them only once or twice a growing season (once at the beginning and once at the end) and they’ll be perfectly happy.

If you’re hoping to nudge them in the direction of blooming in the summer, it’s not a bad idea to make sure you haven’t skipped your fertilization at the beginning of the season. This can help them sprout their pretty, clustered flowers.

Common Issues

A common problem with hoya plants is overwatering. If you’ve been too generous with the plant-showers, your hoya plant will yellow and start drooping. Allow the soil to dry out completely before watering again and you should see the plant start to perk up!

On the other hand, if you see your hoya plant go limp, it is likely thirsty! Give them a good drink and they should look better in no time.

If your hoyas have been lucky enough to flower, the nectar from their fragrant flowers can sometimes attract pests. If you have a severe infestation try one of these natural methods to keep those pesky bugs away.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hoya Plants

hoya plant with new roots
How Do You Propagate Hoya?

Most varieties of hoya plants will propagate easily in water. To propagate, select a healthy vine with multiple leaves from your plant, and with a sharp, clean pair of shears or scissors cut the vine half a centimeter above a leaf node. On your original plant, you will see that cut mark dies back, and a new vine will begin to grow from the node you left behind!

Now, to make a fuller new plant, section this vine into multiple parts. Just as you cut the vine from the original plant, cut this vine half a centimeter above every leaf and leaf node until you have multiple little vines, each with at least one leaf.

Put the cuttings all into a jar of water (making sure not to let any of the leaves sit underwater) and keep them in bright, indirect light. Change the water once a week and you should start to see roots form after a couple of weeks if you’re propagating in spring or summer.

After you see roots appear, you can transport all of your cuttings into fresh soil in their own pot, and you’ve got a beautiful new hoya plant for your collection!

Are Hoya Plants Toxic to Dogs?

Good news, pet owners! Hoya plants are non-toxic to cats and dogs. Of course, for the sake of your plant, you don’t want any furry friends eating them up, but if some nibbling happens, you have nothing to worry about.

hoya heart plant

Are you obsessed with hoyas as much as I am now? I hope you too add one of these beauties to your houseplant collection.


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