Plant care for dummies - Hoya

Plant care for dummies - Hoya

With over 50 varieties the Hoya plant is slowly surely becoming every home gardener’s wish list plant. The sheer variety of foliage, growing patterns, flowers, and the overall look of the Hoya family will surprise you every time.  While the Hoya kerrii or the heart hoya is almost succulent like till it starts shooting stems, the Hoya linearis has fuzzy bean shaped leaves with white and pink flowers.
Hoya is loved as a fragrant, low-maintenance tropical flowering plant. Their slow to moderate growing style makes them easy to manage. The entire Hoya family is pet safe. There is a Hoya for every gardener, whether you like long variegated leaves, rounded fleshy leaves, or twisted rope like leaves, you will find a hoya you love. Despite the varying kinds of foliage, the care remains the same for all hoya plants.
Let’s take a look at its care tips and learn how to make show love to your Hoya plant
Common name: Wax Plant, Porcelain flower plant
Botanical name: Hoya carnosa, hoya kerrii, Hoya australis, etc
Famous plant members: Eskimo, Retusa, Bella, Fitchii, Shepherdii, etc
Sunlight: Partial to bright indirect sunlight
Air: Well ventilated
Soil: Very well-draining soil with organic matter. A mix of equal parts Ugaoo Pot-o-mix and garden soil, with a part of perlite should work well.
Water: When the potting is almost dry. Allow the soil to dry out in between waterings.
Fertilisers: Once every two to three weeks
Issues: Rot due to overwatering and aphids, mealy bugs, and spider mites

Sunlight for Hoya

The Hoya is native to Asia and prefers bright indirect sunlight. It also does good in partial light, with morning or evening sun. It is wise to keep the hoya out of the harsh afternoon sun to avoid leaf burn.

Placement of Hoya

Hoyas do extremely well indoors in bright indirect light. Place them next to a natural light source like windows facing any direction. In case, you have a south or west-facing room, you can keep the plant almost anywhere in the room till its view of the window is not blocked.
Hoyas look great in hanging baskets too, hang them on your windowsills or north and east-facing balconies to enjoy their stunning foliage gently swaying in the breeze.

Watering of Hoya

Hoyas love their soil to be dried out in between to watering sessions. Keep an eye on the soil colour and texture to determine when the soil is almost dry and then water. Don’t let the potting mix remain dry for long.
Hoyas are in a manner of speaking tropical succulents that do better with underwatering than overwatering. However, being tropical they love their occasional misting for humidity.
When watering an extremely dried out soil (visible cracks and soil leaving the planter walls) water in batches. Watering all at once allows the water to simply pass through the soil without getting absorbed.
Every time a plant is watered, water it thoroughly till you see some draining out of the drainage hole, and always empty the under plate.

Soil for Hoya

Hoyas love being root bound in a very well-draining soil mix. A smaller planter ensures that much of the plant’s energy is devoted to flowering and leaf growth rather than growing roots to fill up the large planters.
Hoyas don’t like wet soil and prefer a growing medium that is almost epiphytic in nature. You can use a mix of succulent potting mix with equal parts regular potting mix or a mix of equal parts of orchid potting mix and regular potting mix.

Fertilisers for Hoya

Feed your Hoyas with a generic houseplant fertiliser every three weeks, diluted as instructed on the packaging. Fertilising during the growing period of spring and summer is especially important, as they are slow growers and the growing season must be capitalised upon.
Ensure that the fertilisers have the three major nutrients, nitrogen, phosphorous, and potassium. Ugaoo’s Plant Tonic and NPK are great options for both root and foliar applications.

Pruning of Hoya

When the Hoya flowers have withered away, don’t cut the flower stalk as it might grow some new flowers on the same stalk. If you want to propagate hoya, take a stem cutting with at least two leaf nodes. Strip away the lower leaves and retain only the top one or two leaves, submerge the exposed leaf node either in soil or water and keep it in an area with partial sunlight and wait for the roots to appear.

Plant problems for Hoya

  1. Yellow and floppy leaves mean that your Hoya could be overwatered. Water only when the soil is dry to touch.
  2. Brownish and dehydrated leaves indicate excessive heat and lack of humidity.
  3. A limp hoya is generally a sign of either overwatering or underwatering. Check the soil and err on the side of underwatering.
  4. Etiolated or leggy plants with extra-large spaces in between leaves is a sign of lack of light.
  5. Stalled growth can be either due to lack of light, no nutrients, or hibernation in winters.
  6. The buds in hoya plants fall as a response to watering problems. Do not let the soil dry out for too long and mist occasionally.
  7. Your hoya plant might not flower if you keep them away from the sun for too long. To make your hoya flower, place them in at least morning or evening sun in the flowering season o spring or summer.
  8. Hoyas are vulnerable to sap-sucking pests like aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. Wipe down with soap solution and spray neem oil.
  9. Shift your hoya indoors if you experience harsh winters to avoid leaf loss.

Happy gardening!
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