Are you a hoya fan? (It's also called wax plant.) If you have a hoya, you’ve probably fallen deeply in love with this plant. If you are new to hoya ownership, get ready for the obsession to catch hold. Here are five tips for raising healthy hoyas.
1. Don’t get overzealous about repotting
You generally repot a plant when the roots are getting too crowded (and may even be growing out of the drainage holes in the bottom of the pot). This is called being root bound. Hoyas are extremely tolerant of their roots being a bit crowded. As long as the pot provides plenty of drainage, you can allow your hoyas’ roots to amply fill in. They can grow happily in the same pot for years. When you do repot, go up just one pot size.
2. Fertilize hoyas in spring and summer
Feed hoyas with a well-balanced fertilizer formulated for houseplants. Here’s how to fertilize houseplants. The best time to feed hoyas is throughout the spring and summer when they are put on new growth.
3. Don’t overwater -- seriously
Hoyas don’t like too much water (most plants will die if you water too much because roots sitting in water will rot). So make sure the top inch of soil in your hoya’s pot is dry before you add more water. Another way to ensure that you don’t overwater your hoya is to plant hoyas in well-draining soil mixes, with perlite or pumice added to facilitate drainage rather than holding the moisture.
4. Give the right light
Indoors, hoyas love bright, indirect light. But that doesn’t mean they like full on direct sunlight. If your hoya is getting too much direct sunlight, it can make their leaves turn yellow. Hoyas also benefit from artificial light. Read more about artificial light options here. If you take your hoyas outdoors for the summer, place them in diffuse light, such as on a front porch with an overhang to protect the leaves from direct sunlight, a screened porch, or a shady patio.
5. Say hello to hoya flowers!
While hoyas are loved most for their waxy leaves and succulent-like demeanor, many happy hoyas will produce flowers. Unlike many houseplants that are known more for their foliage, and thus, their flowers are insignificant, hoya is different. These plants produce often-fragrant clusters of starry flowers. How fun! For hoya fans, it’s exciting to see your plant go through the cycle of life. Generally, plants must reach maturity, which means 5 to 7 years, before you may see a bloom. As your plant matures, make sure it has continuous bright indirect light and fertilize in spring and summer. Light and fertilizer will bring on blooms.
Written by Karen Weir-Jimerson