Hoyas are beautiful and somehow peculiar, with numerous species that caught the interest of many houseplant lovers. Aside from their awesome flowers, fragrance, and foliage – and despite being known as difficult plants, Hoya varieties are an excellent choice for beginners.
It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced gardener or not, these Hoya plants will surprise you. Some types of Hoyas are easier to care for than others, but ultimately, they all require warmth, well-draining soil and ambient lighting.
Labeled frequently as Wax Plants, Hoyas are adored for their radiant foliage and scented flowers. Many plant lovers appreciate their sculptural profile and durability. The Hoya genus comes from Asia and Australia, where a lot of them grow epiphytically in trees. A lot of them are vines, and only a few have bush-like growth.
Hoyas are versatile and distinctive and many gardeners appreciate them for their lovely star-shaped flowers and unique foliage. Hoya blooms look like five-pointed stars, with different shapes, red-toned colours, and sizes. They are sometimes glossy, mate or fat and fuzzy. They change and swell in the process of turning from bud to the actual flower so you will get to experience the magic of nature while growing and caring for a unique-looking plant.
Growing Hoya Plants
When watering your Hoya plants, allowing excess water to drain through the soil is a very important aspect. This helps to fully saturate the soil and remove any residual fertilizer or other contaminants. Hoyas typically thrive in temperatures ranging from 60°F to 85°F (15°C to 30°C). Although they are not typically frost-tolerant, there are some exceptions, particularly among Hoyas that come from high-altitude regions, which can withstand nighttime temperatures that drop as low as 50°F (10°C).
Note: The right temperature and watering conditions are crucial for flowering, and some varieties may need cool temperatures to bloom. If you’re having trouble getting your Hoya to flower, try placing your plant in a cool location and reducing watering during the winter months.
Hoyas, even those species that don’t require high humidity, grow faster with increased humidity. Semi-succulent varieties can tolerate lower humidity levels, but thin-leaved varieties can be challenging to grow if humidity levels don’t reach 60% or more. Hoyas are not heavy feeders, so be sure to feed them lightly. Apply a regular liquid houseplant fertilizer at half strength once a month during spring and summer or feed every two weeks with an organic fertilizer like worm castings or fish emulsion. To encourage blooming, consider increasing the phosphorus content of the fertilizer. Healthy Hoyas are generally not prone to pests, although mealybugs and aphids are the most common visitors.
Hoya Plant Care
There’s this idea surrounding Hoyas, that they are difficult to maintain, but just so you know, some types deserve attention. It all goes down to whether you can properly monitor the moisture of the soil and supply high humidity. With so many types of Hoyas, there isn’t one universal care sheet for all of them. It is very important to discover the specific demands of your type.
Even though they are often referred to as low-light plants, most of them like a lot of indirect light. So, if you have a hanging Hoya, make sure it has the right amount of light on top, so it doesn’t end up being bald. Hoyas adore being placed near windows, where the light is bright. Make sure you don’t place them right near the glass, because you wouldn’t want the hot temperatures to affect them.
An important thing to consider while caring for a Hoya plant is to prune it carefully! New flowers come out of old flowering spurs, so make sure you don’t trim these because your Hoya won’t bloom anymore.
Collecting Hoya Plants
Collecting Hoya plants can be a fun and rewarding hobby as they come in many unique forms. The names of different Hoya varieties are continually being revised by botanists, which keeps growers and retailers on their toes. A former group of Hoyas is now known as Eriostemma, and these plants are identified by their short, soft hairs that cover the stems and leaves. As ground-dwelling plants that climb trees, Eriostemmas can be challenging to grow in containers.
To maximize growth, keep your Hoya plants in small pots until their root systems are fully developed. Once they have reached a significant size, move them to a larger pot. Some Hoya varieties produce nectar during flowering, which is a sticky, viscous substance that can damage fabric and furniture, so be sure to protect your valuables. The growing tips of Hoya stems can easily be damaged by heat, intense light, underwatering, or even handling, so treat them with care. Damaged tips will stop growing and eventually dry out.
7 Amazing Hoya Plant Varieties That Every Gardner Will Love
The 7 Hoya varieties are the ones that we like best and that we are sure you will like as well. They are not sorted and listed by their difficulty levels, because this can vary based on location. It is important to know, however, that even the most unique-looking Hoya species can make perfect companions for a beginner gardener. Don’t let their exotic appearance intimidate you because once you get to know their growth requirements, you won’t have any difficulties caring for them.
1. Hoya Carnosa
Also known as the porcelain flower or wax plant, Hoya carnosa is the first member of this plant family that has earned a spot on our list. The green variety of Hoya carnosa is not as widely available, but you will find many high-quality hybrids. The leaves of Hoya carnosa can be simple or have various textures such as being variegated, crinkled or textured. The blooms are long-lasting and made up of fuzzy clusters of fragrant stars. Hoya carnosa is a hardy and adaptable plant, making it easy to care for and it can tolerate moderate humidity and light conditions better than many other Hoyas. Follow these tips on how to care for Hoya Carnosa to keep your beloved plant happy and radiant.
- Provide bright, indirect light. Hoya carnosa can tolerate some direct sunlight, but too much can scorch the leaves.
- Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Over-watering can lead to root rot.
- Hoya carnosa thrives in moderate humidity but can tolerate dry air. You can increase the humidity around the plant by using a humidifier or by placing a tray of water near the plant.
- Hoya carnosa prefers temperatures between 60-75°F (15-24°C).
- Use a well-draining potting mix. A mix of peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite works well.
- Fertilize Hoya carnosa once a month during the growing season (spring and summer) with a balanced fertilizer.
- Prune Hoya carnosa to control its size and shape. Prune after the plant has finished blooming.
- Repot your Hoya carnosa every 2-3 years or when the plant has outgrown its pot. Choose a pot that is one size larger than the previous pot.
Read our Complete Guide to Hoya Carnosa to learn more about this fascinating plant!
2. Hoya Pubicalyx
Hoya pubicalyx is a popular and attractive type of Hoya that is known for its abundant clusters of small, fuzzy flowers and crisp, ovoid leaves. It’s an easy-to-grow plant that can reach up to eight feet long and has a long-lasting fragrance. Despite its hardiness, it can be a bit rebellious and may require some maintenance to keep it from entangling with other plants. Here are some care tips for Hoya pubicalyx that will keep your plant healthy and happy.
- Hoya pubicalyx prefers bright, indirect light but can tolerate some direct sunlight. Avoid placing it in low light conditions as it may cause the plant to stretch and become leggy.
- Water your Hoya pubicalyx when the soil is dry to the touch. Make sure to not overwater, as this can lead to root rot. Allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.
- Use a potting mix that has in its composition peat moss, perlite or sand to ensure good drainage.
- Keep in mind that Hoya pubicalyx needs a moderate level of humidity. If the air in your home is too dry, you can mist the leaves or place a humidifier nearby.
- Prune your Hoya pubicalyx regularly to encourage new growth and control its size. Remove any dead or yellowing leaves.
- Make sure you fertilize your Hoya pubicalyx every three to four weeks during the growing season using a balanced liquid fertilizer.
- Hoya pubicalyx is easy to propagate through stem cuttings. Simply take a stem cutting with a few leaves, dip it in rooting hormone, and plant it in moist soil or water.
3. Hoya Kerrii
Sweetheart Hoya, or Hoya kerrii, is a popular choice for its distinctive heart-shaped leaves that are light green and have a shiny appearance. If you are reading this article before Valentine’s Day, you’ll be happy to learn that this plant is the perfect gift for your special someone. The plant produces clusters of tiny star-like flowers in pink or red. It grows slowly and is best suited for a small container or if you are patient enough, even a hanging basket. An important aspect that will be an advantage if you are a fan of small plants is that this hoya variety is usually considered slow-growing. Large specimens might be a bit expensive, but specimens with just one heart-shaped leaf are usually quite affordable.
Hoya kerrii is low-maintenance and thrives in bright, sunny spots. To keep your Hoya kerrii healthy and happy make sure you follow these 8 care tips:
- Hoya kerrii thrives in bright, indirect light but can still survive in low-light conditions. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, as it may cause the leaves to get burned.
- It’s important to keep the soil of your Hoya kerrii evenly moist, but not waterlogged. Wait for the soil to dry out a little bit before watering it again.
- Make sure to use a potting mix that includes peat moss, perlite, or sand to allow proper drainage.
- Hoya kerrii prefers moderate humidity, but can also adapt to low humidity levels. If the air in your home is too dry, you can either spray the leaves or place a humidifier nearby.
- Trimming your Hoya kerrii will help keep its size in check and promote new growth. Remove any dead or yellow leaves.
- Fertilize your Hoya kerrii every 3 to 4 weeks during the growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer.
- You can propagate Hoya kerrii through stem or leaf cuttings. Simply take a cutting, apply a rooting hormone, and plant it in moist soil or water.
If you love plants with heart-shaped leaves, you will also become a fan of Hoya kerrii var. albomarginata. This variety of Hoya kerrii will surprise you with its large, succulent leaves that are shaped like hearts and that have light-coloured edges. This ornamental can also be labelled as H. kerrii ‘Variegata,’ as it is a naturally-occurring variegated variety of the previously mentions H. kerrii.
Read our Complete Guide to Hoya Kerrii to learn more about this romantic plant!
4. Hoya Australis
Hoya australis, an Australian native, is a vining plant with long, pliable stems that can either be trained to climb or allowed to trail. The bright green leaves serve as a beautiful backdrop to the year-round clusters of small, star-shaped flowers in shades of pink, red, or white that have a lovely fragrance. This fast-growing plant is also easy to care for, and with the tips below you won’t miss a step.
- Hoya Australis loves bright, indirect light but can also do well in direct sunlight. Placing it in low light conditions may result in a leggy plant.
- Water your Hoya Australis only when the soil is dry, avoiding overwatering which can cause root rot. Let the soil dry slightly between waterings.
- For proper drainage, use a potting mix that contains peat moss, perlite, or sand.
- Hoya Australis prefers a moderate level of humidity, but it can withstand low humidity. To increase humidity, mist the leaves or use a humidifier.
- Trim your Hoya Australis regularly to promote growth and maintain its size. Remove any dead or yellowing leaves.
- Fertilize Hoya Australis every three to four weeks during the growing season with a balanced liquid fertilizer.
- Propagation can be done from stem cuttings, just take a stem with a few leaves, dip it in rooting hormone, and plant it in either moist soil or water.
5. Hoya Lacunosa (Cinnamon Hoya)
Another fun entry-level Hoya, this is the first plant on our list prized mainly for its fragrance. The plant’s tiny, fuzzy blooms have a cinnamon-scented fragrance that fills their space. Sets of leaves grow along pliable stems; the small, canoe-shaped foliage is waxy and outlined with refined dark edges.
Hoya lacunosa makes an excellent low-maintenance houseplant. It’s a cool-weather Hoya that likes a very airy mix. The plant can reach over five feet tall if you care for it properly. Our top tips on how to care for Hoya lacunosa will help your plant grow strong and beautiful.
- The Hoya lacunosa prefers bright, indirect light but can still manage in low-light environments. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight, as it may cause the leaves to get scorched.
- When it comes to watering, wait until the soil feels dry to the touch, and be careful not to overwater, as excessive water can lead to root rot. Make sure to allow the soil to dry out a bit in between waterings.
- To promote good drainage, utilize a potting mix that contains ingredients such as peat moss, perlite, or sand.
- While the Hoya lacunosa prefers a moderate level of humidity, it can still adapt to low-humidity environments. If the air in your home feels dry, consider misting the leaves or placing a humidifier nearby.
- Regular pruning can control the size and stimulate new growth in your Hoya lacunosa. Additionally, remove any dead or yellowing leaves.
- During the growing season, fertilize your Hoya lacunosa each three to four weeks with a balanced liquid fertilizer.
- Propagating the Hoya lacunosa is easy, you can do it either by stem cuttings or leaf cuttings. Simply take a stem or leaf cutting, treat it with rooting hormone, and plant it in moist soil or water.
6. Hoya Bella
Hoya lanceolata ssp. Bella, commonly known as Hoya Bella or the miniature wax plant is another fascinating ornamental that you will fall in love with quickly. The word Bella means beautiful and we promise that the plant lives up to its name.
Hoya Bella is a fast-growing ornamental that grows natively in Australia, China, Indonesia, and India. The plant has the specific waxy leaves that hoya plants are famous for, and will also reward gardeners with its clusters of attractive star-shaped white or pinkish-purple blooms. Hoya Bella usually blooms from May to August and its flowers have a nice, sweet fragrance, which is why in the gardening world, the plant is often referred to as the honey plant.
- Hoya Bella will thrive when grown indoors, in conservatories, and in greenhouses. You can grow it in containers, and hanging baskets, but you can also train it as a climber. It is important to ensure that the container has drainage holes.
- The ideal soil for Hoya Bella is loose and well-draining. To achieve the best results you can amend the soil with charcoal, sand, or grit to your potting mix or you can make a loam-based compost by mixing crushed bark, leaf mould, or horticultural sand. Like most hoya plants, Hoya Bella is quite sensitive to root rot, so it does not appreciate soggy conditions.
- In terms of watering, it is best to underwater than overwater this plant, but ideally, you should water it moderately and adjust the schedule to the plant’s environment. During the cold season, Hoya Bella will go dormant and won’t require too much water. To check whether your plant needs water, always check the soil and only water it when the soil feels dry to the touch.
- Hoya Bella thrives in bright indirect light and it can be quite sensitive to direct sun. This plant will do better in dappled shade but it will appreciate the morning sun.
Hoya Bella prefers the colder temperatures at night and the ideal temperatures for this plant are between 71°F-75°F (22°C to 24°C). The plant can withstand lower temperatures between 55°F-59°F (12°C to 15°C), but not for a very long time, and you should protect your plant from temperatures that go below 41°F (5°C). If you live in USDA hardiness zones 10 to 12, you can grow Hoya Bella as an outdoor plant.
7. Hoya Curtisii
Hoya curtisii is another amazing exotic ornamental that grows natively in Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. Hoya curtisii is an attractive trailing vine that only reaches 2 to 3 inches (5 to 7.6 cm) in height, but it can grow to 1 foot (30 cm) in length. It has small rounded leaves that can also be heart-shaped and resembles a succulent. The most common varieties have olive green foliage, but if you are lucky enough you might find a gray variegated variety. Hoya curtisii produces clusters of red flowers that have a pleasant fruity scent. Perfect for small spaces such as desks or shelves and ideal for hanging baskets, Hoya curtisii will surely win your heart.
- Hoya curtisii will thrive in bright indirect light, and this type of lighting conditions will encourage blooming. It’s best to protect your plant from direct sun, especially in very hot environments. If you can’t find a bright location for your plant, you should consider investing in a small grow light.
- Like most types of Hoya plants, H. curtisii will also thrive in loose, well-draining soil. You can use a cactus and succulent soil mix, or you can ament standard potting soil with orchid bark or perlite to increase drainage.
- The ideal temperatures for H. curtisii are above 60°F (15°C). It is recommended to protect this plant from cold drafts as it is quite sensitive to temperature changes.
- Being an exotic ornamental, H. curtisii will thrive in humidity levels that exceed 50%. If you grow your plants in a dry environment, you can regularly mist the leaves in the morning. It is not recommended to mist excessively or during the night, as this might lead to fungal infections.
- The watering needs of Hoya curtisii are similar to those of other Hoya plants. If you are a gardening beginner, all you have to do is to become familiar with the ‘soak and dry’ watering method. Check the soil in-between waterings to ensure that it is completely dry before you add more water. Hoyas are susceptible to root rot and soggy conditions can kill them, so make sure you water them moderately when the first few inches of soil are dry to the touch.
The Hoya plant family is quite large and we couldn’t possibly mention all its amazing members. We had to make a subjective selection, but there are so many beautiful Hoyas out there that deserve your attention. Other great types of Hoya that make great indoor ornamentals include Hoya krohniana, Hoya kentiana, Hoya carnosa ‘Krinkle’, Hoya linearis, Hoya multiflora, Hoya obovata, Hoya retusa, Hoya shepherdii, etc.
These are just a few of the amazing hoya plants that you can find in nurseries and plant shops. As you become more familiar with these versatile plants, you will be amazed by their appearance and popularity. Plant enthusiasts love hoya plants as they are perfect additions to any dull corner. Hoyas are generally low-maintenance plants that are easy to care for and are ideal for growing in a variety of settings, including hanging baskets, pots, and climbing trellises. They are also great for growing in bright, sunny locations, but they can also be grown in low-light conditions.
In conclusion, hoyas are a diverse group of plants that come in different shapes, sizes, and colours. If you live in a warm environment, you might be able to grow your Hoya plants outdoors, but for most gardeners, these plants are indoor companions. From the classic Hoya carnosa to the unique Hoya kerrii, there is a hoya plant for everyone. So, whether you’re an expert in gardening that loves plants and already has a few Hoyas, or just thinking of buying one for your home, hoyas are a great choice for anyone looking for a beautiful, low-maintenance plant that will provide them with an endless display of beautiful flowers.
What are your favourite Hoya varieties? Share your thoughts in the comments!