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Hoya Care Guide

How to care for a Hoya

Hoya Obovata houseplant

This iconic and straight up classic plant is as nostalgic as they come. You might recognize its name or looks from your grandparents house, or your kitchen growing along the crown molding. Behold, the Hoya! Some people refer to this as the wax plant or porcelain flower since the leaves and flowers show thick glossy appearance.  These are native to South East Asia and Australia and tend to vine or trail in trees. The care requirements are straight forward and a very forgiving plant. They grow very slow...like 1-2 leaves every other month kinda slow. However, don't let that deter you as they are super rewarding to have in your home. 


Bright indirect light seems to be their favorite. Direct lighting can scorch their leaves.


For those of us who don't always have time to water, these are a great choice for you! The Hoya in general, are able to pull moisture from the air which allows them to supply their own moisture in dire situations. This doesn't mean you don't have to water them, as they do need supplemental waterings at-least 1-2x a week. Make sure to have a drain hole in your pot, never allowing the soil to get soggy or have "wet feet". Hoyas are very sensitive to over watering. 


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Hoya's in general can range from Epiphytic to soil lovers. With this in mind, we have found great success using a Aroid mix with slightly more perlite for aeration. This allows the water to drain but still allowing vital moisture to remain. Generally any commercial soil works, but make sure there is stuff like pumice, perlite or coco coir chunks.


Choose something that is a balanced liquid fertilizer, we find that using a fertilizer with high nitrogen and/or phosphate is ideal. These help the Hoya bloom and keep them strong and healthy. Look for fertilizers with 2:1:2 or 3:1:2 when in bloom.


Keep these at about 65 degrees to about 85 degrees. Any lower can cause the plant to wilt and cause yellowing leaves, and any higher will cause the plant to stress. 


In general, they can tolerate average room humidity which is 30%-40% humidity and they do just fine. However, these love high humidity and if that isn't an option a daily misting 1x-2x a day will do the trick!


For the most part, any material could work for Hoyas as along as there is proper drainage holes at the bottom. Always look for a size larger when replanting as this is crucial for proper root health and growth development. Try repot your Hoya 1x a year, although they do grow slow so every other year is sufficient. These don't mind being root bound, which is why they are so low maintenance!

Common Pests:

For the most part, pests that will attack Hoyas are sap-suckers! This would include Mealy Bugs, Thrips, Scale, Aphids and Spider Mites. A simple treatment would be weekly leaf inspections (to catch things early) or a simple Neem Oil treatment. 

Trouble Shooting:

If your plant is experiencing yellow leaves, this is a sign of overwatering or nutrient deficient. Try incorporate more nitrogen and phosphorus into your feeding schedule; especially when they are in bloom. If leaves are browning this is a sign of too much sun or too much fertilizer. Try play around with places around your home for appropriate lighting. Generally Hoyas like to be fertilized at least once a month to keep them healthy while blooming. If you encounter pests, try a weekly horticulture oil or spray along with a Neem oil treatment. This should help get the infestation under control and get the plant healthy again. Try rinse the soil 1x a year to help flush excess salts and minerals from the soil which can burn the roots if left untreated. This is why a drainage hole is vital for optimal Hoya health. 


Always take off yellow or dying leaves, especially if they are browning. This will help prevent pests from having hiding spaces and allowing the plant to put its energy into new growth. Try "scout" your plant 1x a week to catch any sings of pests early on. Get on a regular watering and feeding routine that works with your schedule, as this will keep your plant healthy and promote flowers throughout the year. This is such a chill low maintenance plant that is fantastic for a busy lifestyle or the beginner. Regardless these are a beautiful addition to your collection!

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