Hoya plants, commonly referred to as waxplants, waxflowers, or waxvines, are a true delight to their owners, not only for their absolutely fabulous appearance but also thanks to their easy-going habits. If you have at least one Hoya plant around your house, then you already know that these plants don’t need much to thrive. With well-draining soil, bright, but indirect light, and warm temperatures, these ornamentals will have the time of their life.
If you did not know already, the friendly nature of Hoya plants extends to the point where they are also super easy to propagate. This feature makes these lovely houseplants perfect for beginner gardeners and plant lovers who enjoy having many plants around. Through propagation, you can ensure that you will get to enjoy your Hoya plants for a very long time, and you will even be able to share them with your friends and family.
Propagating Hoya plants is a very easy process, but these plants are not particularly generous with the variety of propagation techniques that you can apply, as you can only do it by using their stem cuttings. But this is not something to worry about!
This method is all you need to obtain more Hoya plants to fill your home. And if many of your friends or family members want some Hoya plants for themselves, you will still be able to make enough Hoya babies to surprise them with a unique gift.
Propagating Hoya Plants Using Stem Cuttings
Hoya plants are pretty rich in foliage, allowing you to take advantage of their generous nature. Most Hoya cultivars are vine-like species that come along with a trailing habit. This means that you will have plenty of stems to use if you decide to propagate your Hoya companions. In case you are a beginner, do not worry about your lack of experience in the gardening world! This method of propagation is super easy to get through even for those at the very start of the journey.
The first thing you should think about is when it would be the ideal time to propagate your Hoya plants. Without a doubt, doing this in spring or summer will significantly increase your chances of making more healthy Hoya plants for your collection. These seasons are the plants’ active growing period, so they are the most vigorous during this time. This feature will encourage better root development while propagating your Hoya plants from stem cuttings.
You can cut as many stems as you wish but make sure each looks healthy and ready for work. When you find the perfect stems, cut about 4 to 5 inches (10-13 cm) off them with a sharp garden tool. The stem cuttings will naturally have leaves on the lower part. We warmly recommend you remove them to create leaf nodes, these being the points where roots will occur during the propagation process. Likewise, each cutting should contain between two and six leaves on the upper half.
Keep in mind that the best Hoya cuttings are those that feature at least two leaf nodes. These nodes are the exact spots from which the roots emerge. Thus, you cannot skip this part if you want nice results at the end of the propagation process. What you can do, though, is to create these nodes when you get rid of the foliage from the lower halves of your cuttings.
As with most other species, the rooting step is probably the most rewarding part while propagating your Hoya plants. Roots showing up from stem cuttings are an indicator that you are doing everything right and you can expect new, independent Hoya plants. When it comes to how you can make them root, we present you two common ways: in water or directly in the soil.
Root Cuttings from Hoya Plants in Water
Take a glass or jar for each Hoya cutting you want to use for propagation. Fill these containers with water, then place the cuttings in their individual ones to encourage them to develop roots. During this technique, there are more chances for fungal diseases to show up due to the moist propagation medium. It would be wise to change the water of each cutting regularly, about once every two or three days.
Place the containers in a warm, indirect-lit location and you can wait for the magic to happen. When your Hoya cuttings have produced roots of about 2 to 4 inches (5-10 cm) in length, you can go through the next steps of this easy propagation method.
For the following trick, you will need an equal number of pots and Hoya cuttings. You can fill these pots with an all-purpose potting mix, but we have a better option for these cuttings. Hoya plants love moisture and perform amazingly when they experience constantly damp conditions. And this is not different for their cuttings!
If you want to give your Hoya cuttings a great start, we suggest you opt for a spoiling propagation mix. Go to your local garden centre and buy some perlite, vermiculite, and coco-peat. Once you get home, prepare a potting mix by combining one part of vermiculite, three parts of perlite, and 3 parts of coco-peat. This mixture is great at holding water, so you will notice a much better and faster performance regarding the growth and root development of your Hoya cuttings.
Fill the pots with this substrate, then plant each Hoya cutting in its new home. Move the pots to a spot where the cuttings can get lots of bright, indirect light while bathing in warm temperatures. Water the potting mix when you notice that it feels dry to the touch without drowning the cuttings, but keep the substrate evenly moist. With enough patience and love, you will have new Hoya plants for your collection in little to no time!
Root Cuttings from Hoya Plants in Soil
If you are the type of person who values time, rooting your Hoya cuttings directly in the soil is probably a more suitable propagation option for your preferences. This method helps you save a bit of time because it does not include all the rooting-in-water steps of the other technique. Although rooting Hoya cuttings in water is not much of a fuss, sometimes is just not the perfect pick for a gardener. And that’s all right!
First things first, you will have to prepare the exact propagation substrate mentioned above. Mix three parts of coco-peat, three parts of perlite, and one part vermiculite. When you finish, spread this potting mix equally in all the containers you have for your cuttings.
Even if a rooting hormone is not an absolute requirement for this propagation method, it will surely increase the chances of wonderful rooting. Right before the planting part, you can dip the bottom of each Hoya stem in powdered or liquid rooting hormone. Plant each Hoya cutting in its own pot so there is enough stem beneath the soil surface. You will know what depth is just right when you see the cuttings anchoring nicely into the pots.
Secure the Hoya cuttings in place by surrounding them with the remaining potting mixture. After this step, make sure you water the cuttings well, then provide them with drinks again whenever the upper half of the propagation medium has dried out. As before, you must place the Hoya cuttings in a room where they can receive plenty of bright, but indirect sunlight and overall warmer temperatures.
Hoya plants typically grow at a slow pace and so you should expect their cuttings to grow slow as well. It will take some time until you can know for sure that all the effort you put into propagating your plant is worth it. In general, when the Hoya cuttings will begin to show up some growth or leaf development, this is the most common indicator that they have grown a healthy and strong root system.
Starting Hoya Plants From Seed
This can be a fun part while having Hoya plants. As you might already know, these vines can show up with exquisite flowers during their active growing period. If you are lucky, your Hoya plants will reward your gardening work with blossoms that create one of the most beautiful views out there. This is not all, though! The flowers contain seeds that can serve pretty well as propagation material.
Once the blooming has ended, you can collect the dry flowers from your Hoya plants. Remove all the seeds you can find, let them dry for a few days on a paper towel, and then sow them in a seed tray filled with potting mix. Move the tray to a place where warm temperatures and indirect light is present. Water the seeds so the growing medium does not dry out completely.
Starting Hoya plants from seed is chancy but not impossible. Before you start doing it, you should also know that the resulting plants may not be true to the parent Hoya plant. Likewise, if germination does not occur, just remember that is not your fault. You can go on with the safe option and propagate your Hoya plant through stem cuttings.
Common Problems in Hoya Plants
Although Hoya plants do not need much attention to grow healthy and happy and growing them is usually an easy process, sometimes gardeners may encounter the following problems.
- Leaf-blackening, leaf-drop, and stem dieback – This issue is usually caused by watering problems such as soggy conditions, water-logging, and poorly-drained soil. Stem degradation can also be caused by excessive feeding. Too much fertiliser can overwhelm the root system which can become unable to absorb the water, thus causing a salt build-up in the soil.
- Root rot – This is a very common issue that many indoor ornamentals are susceptible to and it usually occurred due to overwatering and poorly drained soil. The only way to rescue your plant once root rot sets in is by taking cuttings of healthy stems as soon as you notice the problem.
- The plant is not producing flowers: Hoya plants grown indoors can sometimes refuse to produce blooms and the most common reason is insufficient light. If you live in a cold climate with long winters and cloudy days, you shouldn’t worry about blooming and simply enjoy the attractive foliage of Hoya plants.
- Hoya plants are not particularly susceptible to pests and diseases but they can be visited by mealybugs, scale insects, and glasshouse whiteflies.
Most Popular Hoya Plants
Hoya Carnosa – Native to Eastern Asia and Australia, Hoya Carnosa is probably the most popular member of the Hoya family. Hoya carnosa has been a staple houseplant for decades and gardeners around the world appreciate it for its curly thin vines and succulent leaves. There are many varieties of Hoya Carnosa available on the market, some are variegated and produce speckled leaves with mixed patterns of green, pink, yellow, and white. In local nurseries, you may find Hoya Carnosa varieties labelled as Hoya Variegata tricolor, Hoya crimson prince, Hoya rubra, etc. Another popular version of the Hoya Carnosa is Hoya carnosa compact which is commonly referred to as the rope plant.
Hoya Kerrii – If you are a fan of small and adorable plants, Hoya Kerrii is a perfect choice. Commonly referred to as Hoya hearts, Sweetheart vine, Valentine’s Hoya, and Lucky heart plant, this type of Hoya is a succulent that will make a perfect gift and that will bring lots of joy. This ornamental is absolutely adorable and very easy to grow. Hoya Kerrii is a sun-loving plant that only needs a little water and well-draining soil. The perfect place for these heart-shaped succulents is a sunny windowsill.
Hoya Linearis – It is absolutely amazing to see the amazing variety of plants in the Hoya family and Hoya Linearis is a perfect example. Hoya linearis is a unique-looking hanging plant, that will surprise you with its curtain-like cascading foliage. Native to the tropical areas of the Himalayas, Hoya Linearis loves humidity and can survive in lower nighttime temperatures as it often experiences monsoon rain in its native habitat. If you are looking for a bathroom plant, this type of Hoya is a perfect candidate, provided it will also get plenty of light.
These are just a few examples of interesting types of Hoya plants, but you should also check out Hoya retusa, Hoya kentiana, Hoya Pachyclada, Hoya serpens, and Hoya polyneura.
Hoyas are ornamental evergreen climbers that thrive indoors. These attractive plants produce pendant heads of waxy flowers which can have a nice scent, particularly in the evening, and glossy unique-looking leaves. Hoyas are among our favourite houseplants and most growers absolutely adore them due to their spectacular look. It is only natural for you to dream about a house filled with different Hoya cultivars, even if they look exactly the same. The good news is that these plants have plenty of propagation material a.k.a. stems that can help you achieve this and save some money along the way. Propagating Hoya plants is a very easy process, so you should try it even if you are a beginner gardener.
Are you growing Hoya plants? Share your experience in the comments!