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How To Grow Hoya | Hoya Propagation From Cuttings

Learn how to grow Hoya indoors and outdoors and how to take Hoya cuttings for propagation how to care for Hoya including Hoys Carnosa, as I am doing in Sydney, Australia.

Hoyas belong to Apocynaceae family, subfamily Asclepiadoideae, which are the milkweeds. Hoya can be grown indoors or outside in warm environments. They are relatively vigorously growing non-fussy houseplants, flowering consistently year over year if looked after correctly.

Hoya Carnosa Flower
Hoya Carnosa Flower

Hoyas are known as “wax plants” or “porcelain flowers” due to the waxy appearance of their flowers and in some cases, their waxy leaves.

Hoya grows epiphytically, that means it grows on another plant and depends on it for support but gets moisture and nutrients from the air.

Hoya Varieties, Types of Hoyas

Hoya Carnosa Plant
Hoya Plant Flowering

There are between 600-700 Hoya species, including the Hoya wax flower (Hoya carnosa), the heart-shaped Hoya (Hoya Kerri) or the twisted gnarled foliage of the Indian Rope Hoya. Hoyas can be classified according to their growing habit.

These types are climbing type like Hoya australis, the pendant/hanging shape like Hoya bella, the erect, bushy type like Hoya multiflora, and a shape in between pendant and bush like Hoya cumingiana.

The leaves of Hoya can be very thin, semi-succulent and very succulent. The Hoyas with thin, dark, larger leaves prefer shade and wet environments (Hoya multiflora), and Hoyas with thick, succulent, light colored leaves need full sun (Hoya diversifolia).

Hoya Flowers

The Hoya flowers have three main parts, the calyx, the corona, and corolla (petals). The petals of the flower may be spreading, revolute, reflexed, bell-shaped, claw-shaped, or urn-shaped. Hoya comes in a wide range of flower colors. The same Hoya plant can have different flower colors. Many flowers are scented, majority of them will smell more at night, while some are actually quite foul.

Bring potted plants indoors to enjoy the blooms when they are in flower. Do not pick the flowers becausethe same bud node will flower each year.

Light and Temperature For Hoya

  1. Hoyas grow in filtered light by choice, and though they will grow well in shade, they won’t flower unless given enough light.
  2. The semi-succulent varieties of Hoya like Hoya carnosa cannot withstand direct, intense light. They grow well in dappled or diffuse light under 50-80% shade cloth to protect from direct sun.
  3. The succulent varieties, like Hoya kerriii, Hoya crassicaulis, and Hoya diversifolia can tolerate higher sun conditions (up to 90%).
  4. The ultraviolet rays may damage the chlorophyll in the leaves turning them to red color (Hoya vitellina).
  5. Grow Hoyas indoors in a well lit spot, away from direct sunlight and outdoors in semi shade spot and protect from strong winds..
  6. Most of the Hoyas cannot withstand temperatures below 10°C (50°F). However, Hoya carnosa is more cold hardy, withstanding cold winter.
  7. Frost and cold sensitive Hoyas do well indoors in a brightly lit spot.

Soil For Hoya

Hoya grows well drained, sandy potting medium slightly on the acid side, does not like to be sitting in water. You can use bonsai mix, orchid mix, coco peat, perlite or a mix of these.

When to Water Hoya

  1. The Hoya plant will not survive in too wet soil for long. But if growing in a free-draining soil mix, then watering Hoya thoroughly may not harm the plant.
  2. Allow the plant to dry out between watering.
  3. Withholding water for Hoya carnosa for 4-5 weeks in spring will help in flowering, as this Hoya type is accustomed to short periods of drought in its native habitat.
  4. If your Hoya dried out for too long, do not overwater it, instead give it a little water frequently.

Humidity For Hoya

  1. Hoya grows well in moderate to high humidity. The succulent thick leaf Hoyas can tolerate less humidity, but will thrive in more humid environment.
  2. Some of the thin leaf Hoya varieties need about 60-80% humidity, so to keep them happy you keep them around a humidifier orenclose them in a plastic bag.

Fertilizer For Hoya Plant

You can feed a slow release fertilizer in flowering season. You can give a liquid fertilizer for indoor plants.

Pruning Hoyas, How to Prune Hoya

  1. Prune any dead, brown stems.
  2. Do not cut the peduncle, the stem of the inflorescence from where the flower will emerge.
  3. Pruning and fertilization can make your Hoya plant look bushier.Fertilize the soil once a month from spring to autumn to boost the foliage growth to look fuller.
  4. Prune the long stems for propagation.

Hoya Not Flowering, How to get Hoya to flower

If your Hoya does not flower, look for the following:
  1. Hoya has sticky sap on the leaves, check if there are any sap-sucking insects, like aphids or mealybugs.
  2. Clean the sticky sap by wiping with a damp cloth.
  3. Hoya has not had enough light, though Hoya thrives in low light, it won't flower. Place your Hoya pot about 4 to 5 feet from a bright window.
  4. Hoya flower from the same point every year, so do not prune off the old flower spikes when they finish flowering.
  5. Feed the plant regularly with a balanced fertilizer to encourage your Hoya to bloom.
  6. Some Hoyas may need some type of stress like cold period, dry period to encourage blooms.
  7. The Hoya buds may fall off before bloom if the potting medium was too dry too dry or too wet for long.

How to Grow Hoya in a Pot

Pots For Hoyas

  1. Most of the Hoya varieties will grow well in quite small pots and are quite at home in a small space. They are also suited to grow in hanging baskets.
  2. They can be grown is small pots and do not need repotting for a few years as they don’t mind being a little rootbound. When it becomes drastically root bound, and then transfer into a container of next size.
  3. You can grow them in any type of pots, but as terracotta pots are porous, can remove water from the potting soil more readily.

Propagation of Hoyas From Cuttings

  1. Propagating Hoyas is relatively easy from cuttings in perlite sphagnum moss dirt. The Hoya cuttings need a 2″ to 3″ section of vine that contains one or two leaves to root. Take cuttings from just above a node. Some Hoyas may need only a node to take root if they have chlorophyll in their stems. Dip the lower part of the stem in a rooting hormone to encourage roots.
  2. Hoya carnosa propagation in water: Remove the lower leaves on the cutting and just put it in water, it will grow roots in a few weeks, which can be planted in free-draining soil.
  3. Hoya Propagation From Leaf. If you put a Hoya leaf in water, it will grow roots, but will not grow into a new plant.

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