Hoya Carnosa: Planting and Care Guide

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Hoya Carnosa plants are popular houseplants and a favorite among gift-givers. Hoyas are a favorite due to their deep green, thick, waxy, vining foliage. Hoya plants are commonly referred to as wax plants because of their shiny, waxy leaf appearance. The Hoya Carnosa plant is more than just a greenery plant. They can also produce pink and red star-shaped blooms adding a sense of delicacy to any decor.

The Hoya plant is a relatively simple indoor plant to care for, only requiring a few essential elements to thrive in its environment. If given the right formula of potting mix, light, water, and humidity, your Hoya Caranosa plant will be well on its way towards successful growth.

Hoya Carnosa Origins

Hoya Carnosa Origins

The Hoya plant was deemed its name in honor of a gardener to the Duke of Northumberland, Thomas Hoy. Hoy worked in the garden for the Duke for over 40 years, so the botanist, Robert Brown, knew there was no better name for the Hoya than to cherish the beloved gardener.

There are over 100 species of Hoya plants, but the Hoya Carnosa is the most popular. The Hoya Carnosa is native to Eastern Asia and Australia.

Hoya plants are thriving tropical plants that crave humid conditions. Hoya’s produce beautiful flowers the emit sweet intoxicating fragrances.

Hoya Carnosa Toxicity

Hoya Carnosa Toxicity

The Hoya Carnosa plant is one of the few fantastic houseplants that should not harm our four-legged furry family members. While it is non-toxic to cats and dogs, the Hoya can still cause gastrointestinal upset if much is ingested.

Can You Propagate a Hoya Plant?

You can most defiantly propagate a Hoya plant, and it is relatively simple. Hoya’s do best when propagated in the Spring or Summer while actively growing and not dormant.

To propagate a Hoya correctly, cut a healthy stem about four to five inches in length. Ensure that your stem contains a few leaves on the upper section but remove any leaves from the lower area of the stem.

After you have your stem section, dip the bottom of your stem into liquid rooting hormones. Hormone supplements are not necessary for successful growth but, if able to add them.

Once you have your stem and the hormones added, place your, but they can be beneficial. Next, place your cutting into the potting mix with the few leaves sticking out of the soil. You want the bare end of the stem buried and the leaves facing upwards. Imagine a tiny tree for this step.

Now that your miniature tree is planted move forward with care just as you would an adult plant.

A fun fact about Hoya plants is that they can also be propagated in water bases. You need to gather your stem just as stated above and place the stem with leaves facing upwards in a small water cup. Replace your water regularly when it starts appearing murky. After you notice roots growing, then move your small Hoya plant to your planter.

Hoya Carnosa Indoor Care Guide

Hoya’s are easy to care for indoor plants, and here are the basics needed for your Hoya to thrive.

Soil

Soil

Cactus, Orchid, and Perlite soil mixes are optimal for Hoya plants. They need well-draining, air circulating soil to help prevent too much water retention. Hoya’s only need to be repotted in fresh soil every two to three years.

Water

Water

Always use room temperature or lukewarm water to prevent shocking your Hoya plant. When watering, the goal is to thoroughly saturate the plant and allow the soil a few inches beneath the surface to dry out before rewatering again. To test the soil, insert your index finger into the soil to the second or third knuckle. If it feels dry deep beneath, it is a good time to water.

During Hoya’s active growing seasons, Spring and Summer, constantly monitor water conditions to ensure your plant receives what it needs to grow. It is okay to slack a bit in the Fall and Winter and only give them a small amount of water occasionally just so the soil does not completely dry out.

If your plant is overwatered, it will start to lose flowers, leaves, and become droopy with a soggy plant base.

Light

Light

The perfect placement indoors for a Hoya is in a location that receives plenty of bright, indirect light. Hoya’s can survive in low lighting conditions but, they will not produce flowers and bloom. They do best with light from the morning hours since the harsh afternoon sun can burn their foliage.

Humidity

Humidity

Hoya’s love humid conditions, which can be challenging to cater to indoors since we typically cannot match a tropical region. But we can do our best to raise humidity levels to be sufficient so they will grow.

Increasing humidity indoors for your plants can be done one or two of three ways.

  • Humidity Tray: Adding a humidity tray beneath your plant is a great option. The water will travel to your plant as it evaporates into the air.
  • Misting: Mist your plants routinely. Misting is a debatable topic. Some say it is excellent for humidity, and others say it is useless unless done multiple times daily. If you opt to try misting, try doing so correspondingly with another method for best results.
  • Humidifier: Place a humidifier near your plants. If you have multiple plants in one room, a powerful humidifier can handle the whole room. If you only have a plant or two, you can get away with a small humidifier strategically placed near your foliage.

Temperature

Temperature

Luckily for us, Hoyas do great with ordinary indoor temperatures. Temps over 60 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal. If room temperatures drop below 60 degrees, your Hoya plant will suffer. 

Fertilizer

Fertilizer

Fertilizer is often incorporated into potting mixes for slow-releasing benefits. However, since Hoyas only need to be repotted every two to three years, it will require a fertilizer boost between those periods. Go with a liquid fertilizer every month or so during active seasons to reap full benefits.

Pruning

Pruning

If your Hoya plant needs some trimming, do so before growing seasons. Avoid removing stems with no leaves because these are referred to as spurs. Spurs produce flowers year after year.

Hoya’s are vining plants; they will flow over shelves, windows, trellis, and any location if given the opportunity. Given their nature, you do not have to shape up your Hoya unless you see fit.

Hoya Carnosa – The Wrap-up

Hoyas are dainty, fragile, beloved plants of many, and full of life. You will love the captivating fragrance they produce and the fun, colorful blooms time and time again. Hoyas are inviting plants for an indoor space and can make any area feel cozy and welcoming.

If Hoyas are provided the basic elements for their growth formula, they will thrive in an indoor setting.

FAQ

Initially, you do not have to fertilize a Hoya, and when you repot it in fresh soil, it does not need to be fertilized. However, Hoyas should only be repotted every two to three years; due to that, it is best practice to add in a liquid fertilizer every month or so during the Spring and Summer when Hoyas are in active growth.

Hoyas are not listed on ASPCA’s website as toxic to animals. Even though they are not poisonous and harmful to pets, they can still cause vomiting and diarrhea if excessive amounts are ingested.

Hoya Carnosa’s are tropical plants, and, like most tropical dwelling foliage, they need well-draining sand or perlite-based mixes. If buying from a store, grab an Orchid, Palm, or Cacti soil mix.

Hoya’s will provide beautiful, star-shaped blooms in the right environment. The blooming seasons are during Spring and Summer. Hoyas will not bloom if they do not have optimal light and water. Never overwater a Hoya but do not underwater either. Try to water your Hoya when it becomes dry a few inches beneath the soil. As for light, a Hoya needs bright, indirect sunlight. If your Hoya is not blooming during the active seasons, try to locate a sunnier spot indoors.

Hoya Carnosa’s are fantastic gifts to give. They last for years, are non-toxic, and are easy to maintain indoors.

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