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How To Grow Hoya Linearis

Hoya linearis originates in southeast Asia and Australasia. Hoyas are also known as wax plants or porcelain flowers. Hoya linearis in the wild hangs down from the branches of the trees. It is not a parasite like mistletoe, but an epiphyte, like an air plant. 

Hoya Linearis

Description of Hoya linearis 

The wax plant has long fuzzy green stems with green needle-like leaves. The leaves are soft and slightly hairy, unlike other Hoyas. Porcelain flowers blooms are white and star-shaped. The Hoya linearis flower has a lemony scent.

The plant gets about twelve inches tall before trailing over the edge of its pot. The long stems can grow to six to eight feet. 

Hoya retusa vs linearis 

Hoya retusa vs linearis 

At first glance, retusa and linearis look alike. Upon closer inspection, however, retusa has flat, narrow leaves. Retusa’s flowers are single instead of clusters. Retusa is easier to obtain and more straightforward to grow than linearis. 

String of Needles vs. Hoya linearis 

String of Needles vs. Hoya linearis 

Again, these plants look similar but are not the same. String of needles is a succulent native to South Africa. The leaves are fleshy and round. String of needles does well even if it is neglected, but Hoya linearis is a fussy plant.

Ceropegia linearis vs. Hoya linearis 

Ceropegia linearis is the scientific name for string of needles. See above for a description of it. 

Uses for Hoya linearis 

This plant is great in a hanging basket. The trailing leaves are also used in larger containers with a mix of other plants as the spiller. If you plant Hoya linearis in a container with other plants, choose ones that require similar light and water. 

Hoya linearis is not toxic to humans, cats, dogs, or other pets. However, it does have a milky sap that is mildly irritating to the skin, so it should be placed so that children and pets won’t break the stems and get the sap on them. 

Hoya linearis Indoor Care 

Hoya linearis has a reputation as a finicky plant. The most common problems are light levels and watering. 

Hoya linearis Indoor Care
Coca Flora

Hoya linearis light requirements 

Wax plants need bright indirect light. Direct sunlight will burn the leaves and can kill the plant. If there is not enough light, the plant won’t bloom. 


Hoya linearis soil needs to be very well-draining. The plant does not tolerate too much moisture in its soil. A good Hoya linearis potting mix is two parts cactus potting mix and one part ground bark or perlite. Make sure that any pot you put this plant in has drainage holes. Try to maintain a soil pH of 6.1-7.5.  

Hoya linearis temperature 

Porcelain flowers thrive at the same temperature as humans. Daytime temperatures of 60-80 degrees F and nighttime temperatures a few degrees lower keep this plant happy. 


Overwatering is the greatest single killer of Hoya linearis. Let the top of the soil dry out between waterings. To water, place the pot in the sink or shower. It is best not to get the leaves wet when watering. 

Instead, apply water directly to the soil until water runs out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Let the plant sit for fifteen minutes, then empty the saucer below the pot and put the pot where it goes. During spring and summer, water weekly. In late fall and winter, reduce watering but never let the plant wilt. 

Hoya linearis humidity 
Dawn Rayner

Hoya linearis humidity 

Hoya linearis likes humidity of 60-70 percent. This humidity is higher than in most households. Misting the leaves can cause them to get diseases. If you must mist the leaves, do it early in the morning, so the leaves are dry by nighttime when the temperature favors fungus and mold on the leaves. 

The best way to increase the humidity is to make a pebble tray. Take a saucer and fill it with pebbles. Fill the saucer to just below the top of the pebbles. Set the pot containing the Hoya on the pebbles. As the water evaporates, it creates a microclimate high in humidity around the plant.  

Pebble trays are not very practical if you have your plant in a hanging basket. Some people use a humidifier in the room the plant is in. You can also put the plant in the bathroom, which is usually more humid than in other rooms.  


Use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer for houseplants twice a month. If the soil is very dry, water it lightly before fertilizing the plant, so the roots don’t get burned. 


Hoya linearis does not require pruning unless a stem becomes damaged. You can trim it and save the cuttings to root if it becomes too long. If you deadhead the blossoms, take care not to damage the base they grow on. The flowers grow out of this base, the peduncles, every year. If damaged, the plant won’t bloom there next year. 

How To Propagate Hoya linearis 

How To Propagate Hoya linearis

It is easy to propagate Hoya linearis:

  1. Take cuttings with three or four nodes on them.
  2. Remove the leaves from the bottom node.
  3. You can root the plant in water or the same potting mix you use for an adult plant. 

To root Hoya linearis in potting mix, place the bottom of the cutting in potting mix and just cover the bottom node with the mix. To propagate the cutting in water, put the node in a glass and just cover the first node with water. 

Using either method takes many weeks for the cutting to develop roots. Keep the soil moist but not soggy. Make sure you place fresh water in the glass whenever the bottom node juts out of the water. With either soil or water propagation, you need to cover the pot or glass with a clear plastic baggy to keep the humidity up.  

Place the cutting in bright light in a warm place. When the roots grow about half an inch long in the water, plant the cutting in potting mix. 

Hoya linearis seeds are very hard to find and may not grow, so it is better to propagate the plant from cuttings. 

Repotting Hoya linearis 

Hoya linearis prefers to be slightly root-bound. While you should replace the potting mix around the plant yearly, you can usually put it back in the same pot with the fresh potting mix. If the roots circle the pot, it is time to move up to the next larger pot. Repot in the spring when new growth develops. 

Diseases of Hoya linearis 

Root rot is the most common disease of plants. This disease is caused by overwatering. Let the soil dry out at the surface before watering. Do not let water sit in the saucer below the plant. Once root rot sets in, the plant usually dies. If you can, take cuttings of the stems so you can grow another Hoya linearis before this one dies. 

Pests of Hoya linearis 


Mealybugs can infest Hoya linearis. Aphids can also be a problem. Most of the time, the presence of pests means the plant is too dry.

Water more often and put the plant somewhere where the humidity is higher. Use insecticidal soap to treat the pests.

Make sure you get the soap on the bottoms of the leaves and stems. Use weekly until the pests are gone, then for two more weeks. 

In a rush? Here are 10 Hoya varieties for beginners to discover:

Hoya carnosa

Hoya Kerrii

Hoya wayetii

Hoya australis

Hoya curtissii

Hoya obovata

Hoya publicalyx

Hoya macrophylla

Hoya lacunosa

Hoya krimson queen

Frequently Asked Questions 

Here are some of the most common questions people ask about Hoya linearis

How Do I Find A Hoya Linearis For Sale? 

While Hoya linearis are becoming more popular, it is still hard to find a plant to buy. Independent nurseries are more likely to have one than big box stores. You may have to purchase a wax plant from an individual. Etsy and eBay both list Hoya linearis for sale. Online nurseries also have them for sale sometimes. 

Why Did All The Leaves Drop Off My Hoya Linearis

A sudden cold draft or spell can cause this. If the Hoya is near a window and it gets cold outside, it may get too cold inside for the plant. Move it somewhere warmer. 

Why Is My Hoya Linearis Bald At The Top? 

As the plant grows, the top gets less light. The leaves drop and leave the top bald. Place the plant where it gets more indirect sunlight. 

Why Does My Hoya Linearis Have So Few Leaves On The Stem?

When the plant does not get enough light, the distance between the nodes increases. This problem means fewer leaves on the stem. So place the plant where it gets more light. 

Why Does My Hoya Linearis Have Yellow Leaves?

You are overwatering. Reduce the watering until the soil dries out on the top of the soil. 

How Fast Does Hoya Linearis Grow? 

This plant reaches maturity in three to five years. 

Why Won’t My Hoya Linearis Bloom?

Hoya linearis does not bloom until it is mature, at three to five years old. The plant only blooms when conditions are perfect. To bloom, it has to have the correct light, water, temperature, and humidity. Keeping the plant pot bound helps, too.