How to care and grow Hoya plants

To achieve starry, elusive blooms, follow this guide to Hoya plant care

The care of a hoya plant is simple, as the vining succulent can tolerate low lighting and intermittent watering with ease, unlike other tropical species. It can be difficult to get hoya flowers to bloom, as many gardeners have found. You might have to wait for the stars to align before this plant can produce clusters of star-upon-star flowers. You can also follow our tips for flower forcing to get the entire ball of wax. Check out these plant care tips to help your wax plant wax instead of waning.

Hoya Plant Characteristics

  • Common Name: Hoya.
  • Soil: Cactus and succulent-based potting mix
  • Light – Bright indirect light or partial sunlight
  • Water Low
  • Food – Balanced or high-phosphorus fertilizer
  • Temperature & Humidity: Warm winters, moderate humidity
  • Propagation: Tip cuttings
  • Safety – Nontoxic

Although hoya has a succulent look, it was actually born in rainforests and not deserts. The evergreen vine, a member of the milkweed family, dangles from the trees under the rainforest canopy in New Guinea, Australia, and Southeast Asia.

The shape of the thick leaves varies depending on the species. Some can be oval, lance-like, heart-shaped, or even contorted. The long-lasting fragrant flower appears in clusters of 10-30 blooms. Each one is reminiscent of a waxy star placed atop another star or circle.

Many species, including the Hoya Carnosa common, bloom in spring or summer. However, there are also some winter and autumn bloomers. Even with the best hoya care, it can take up to 3 years for a plant to reach “stardom”.

Types Of Hoya

  • The most common species is Hoya carnosa. It has fleshy leaves that are up to 4 inches in length and red-centered, white flowers.
  • The unusually pale-green, heart-shaped leaves of are accompanied by yellow and white flowers.
  • Hoya Finlaysonii has dark-veined foliage as well as white flowers that are maroon-tinged.
  • Hoya memory’s name refers to “memory” and the plant is known for its distinctive speckled leaves and pink and red flowers.
  • Often, has reddish-tinged leaves of between 4 and 6 inches along with yellow or white flowers. However, this hoya type is not always the same.
  • The large, dark-veined leaves of Hoya vitellinoides are complemented by smaller, more showy white and yellow flowers.

Selection of Soil for Hoya Plants

This plant, like many epiphytic species, can get rootrot if it is left too soggy. It should be provided with an “soil” medium that drains easily, such as a succulent and cactus mix or a mixture of standard potting mix, orchid mix, and perlite.

Because hoya flowers best when it is a little root-bound, the pot should have drainage holes. Do not repot your plant until you absolutely need to move it.


Hoya is happy with bright indirect lighting or sunlight, but not more than 2-6 hours per day. You can choose to have your sunnier option. Place your plant on an east or west-facing windowsill, rather than one facing south. This will ensure that the plant receives sunlight only in the morning and late afternoon, rather than the direct sun at noon, which could cause damage.

You can also grow small hoya plants under grow lamps that run 12-16 hours per day. Depending on how long you provide artificial days, they may continue to grow rather than go dormant in the winter months.

Watering Hoyas

Your hoya should be watered every other week during the spring and summer. This could be once the top third of the soil has dried, but not before the mixture is completely dry. It should be irrigated to the point that water runs through the drainage holes to the plant saucer. Then, you can discard any excess.

Reduce watering frequency to once per week in winter and autumn. To encourage spring blooming, some sources suggest that the plant be left without water for a month during winter. Never leave the plant in water.

Fertilizing Hoya Plants

Hoyas do not require a lot of nutrients. This might lead to them producing more leaves than flowers. You should fertilize your plants once a month, for most of the year. Use a balanced food according to the label. You can also feed your hoya twice a week if you prefer. However, only 1/4 of what is recommended for monthly feeding should be used.

Switch to a high-phosphorus, bloom-boosting type of plant food once per 2 weeks during the plant’s heaviest flowering period (April through June for most hoyas). This will help stimulate blooming. After that, you can switch to the balanced fertilizer until autumn. Do not feed your plant during the winter dormant.

Setting the Temperature & Humidity

Hoya likes temperatures between 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit in the day and 60-65 degrees at night. If your plant is a Himalayan species, you should place it in a cooler location during winter. The temperature will remain between 55-60 degrees Fahrenheit. This will encourage the plant to flower in spring.

Despite its succulent appearance, hoya loves humidity. Mist the plant at least once per week with rainwater or fresh spring water. When the plant is in flower, you should not mist it.

Propagating Hoyas

A cutting with two to three leaf nodes is required in order to propagate the hoya. Take the lowest leaf node off the cutting and dip it in rooting powder. It should be placed in a pot of moist and sterile soil, such as a seed-starting mixture. It should take 3-4 weeks for the cutting to root, but new growth may take up to a month.

You can also root a cutting from a strand still attached to the mother plant. To do this, place the “rope” in a nearby pot of damp mixture so that one or several of the leaf nodes are pressed into the soil. Avoid taking leaf cuttings. Although hoya leaves are able to root themselves, they are often incapable of producing new growth.

Potential Diseases and Pests

Do not be alarmed if your plant makes no leaf vines as it grows in spring. These are completely natural and will eventually produce leaves.

You should check for root rot if the leaves nearest to your plant’s base start to turn yellow or black, and fall off. If your roots appear darkened and mushy you will need to remove the rot and repot it in a fresh potting mixture. You can also reduce the amount of water you give the plant.

Even though they are not often attacked by insects in the wild, hoya can be affected by them-especially mealybugs if it is kept too warm in winter. You can kill mealybugs using a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol.


Although Hoya plants can be considered safe for pets as well as people, they could pose a danger to furniture because of their sticky nectar. You should keep your plants clean, especially when they’re in bloom.

When your hoya starts making buds, you should keep them safe. After the flowers have faded, you can keep future flowers safe by preserving the plant’s flowering spurs, or peduncles. The hoya peduncle, which is the stem that holds the flower cluster, can be replaced with new clusters each year.