The Hoya plant is most native to Asia, though some varieties hail from nearby locations like Australia. Named after respected botanist Thomas Hoy, this tropical plant is considered low-maintenance and easy to grow. Today there are over 300 known Hoya genus types worldwide.
Hoya Varieties: General Care
Most Hoya plants grow as trailing vines except for a few smaller, compact varieties. Blooming occurs between late spring to fall, depending on the variety.
The flowers often form in clusters of several small blooms, which range in color from white to red. It’s important that expired blooms are not deadheaded.
Future blooms will form from the same spurs and damage to them could affect flowering.
Most types of Hoyas prefer indirect sunlight near a bright window. The darker the leaves of a Hoya variety, the more sun tolerant they are.
No matter the type, all-day exposure to full sun is not recommended. What they do prefer are warm room temperatures and higher humidity.
Temperature and Humidity
Keep the room temperature above 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 Celsius) and 50 percent humidity. Higher temperatures and humidity will encourage growth and blooming. Do not place your Hoya plant where it will touch a cold window, or near hot or cold vents.
Prune long vines if your Hoya plant becomes overgrown. Spring, before vigorous growth begins, is the best time to prune all types of Hoya.
Stems without leaves are called spurs, which is where the plants produce its blooms. Do not prune these spurs or your plant will not bloom. Pruning makes the plant bush out and become fuller.
Hoya plants need fertilizing from spring to fall when growth is active. Add a balanced houseplant fertilizer, like a 2:1:2, once a month for overall health.
To encourage more blooms, use a fertilizer with more phosphorus, such as 5:10:3. If you have repotted a root bound Hoya, do not fertilize for five to six weeks after repotting to give the plant time to adjust to its new home.
Types of Hoya Plants
In a rush? These are the most beautiful Hoya varieties for a beginner houseplant lover.
Hoya carnosa is native to Southeast Asia and Australia and features long, thin vines. The waxy leaves are deep green, often with creamy-white or silver flecks.
These types of hoya produce semi-circular clusters of pink or white blooms. Each cluster contains up to 30 individual flowers.
The star-shaped blooms give off a sweet fragrance. They tend to produce a sticky sap, so be careful when hanging this hoya plant over furniture.
Place your Hoya carnosa in indirect sunlight for best growth. They do not like direct sunlight but also will not thrive in artificial light. Let the soil in your Hoya pot dry out between watering.
Like most Hoyas, they like high humidity levels. Increase the humidity for your plant by misting the foliage. This also cleans the leaves of dust and debris.
The growth rate for this Hoya type is rapid. Prune the leaves if they become too long in the early spring. Do not prune if the plant is in bloom. Repot your Hoya carnosa every two or three years, in the spring, before or after they bloom. This plant thrives when nearly root bound, so choose a pot one or two inches larger than its previous one.
The Hoya wayetii produces trailing vines that grow up to 3 feet (1 m) in length. The leaves of this Hoya variety grow 5 inches (12 cm) in length and are a deep green with red edges.
The more light your plant receives, the redder the edges of the leaves. Clusters of blooms appear in springtime with mauve-colored flowers. The blooms give off a sweet fragrance. New Hoya wayetii plants often do not bloom in the first two or three years, so be patient.
This plant needs more indirect sunlight than other Hoya varieties. Place it near a south-facing window where it will receive at least six hours of bright, indirect sunlight per day. The more light the plant receives, the more it will bloom.
Hoyas, in general, are drought-tolerant plants. Let the top three inches of the soil dry between watering. Water thoroughly, but do not let excess water remain in the pot’s drip tray. This variety of Hoya prefers high humidity of between 60 to 80 percent to mimic its natural habitat. It is a slow-growing Hoya, so it requires less pruning than other varieties.
Native to Australia, Hoya australis is popular world-wide for its beauty. Also known as waxvine, this hardy Hoya variety is a climbing vine that grows to an impressive 13 to 33 feet (4 to 10 m) in length.
The leaves are oval-shaped, shiny, and waxy in appearance. New leaves start out red but turn green when mature. The stunning blooms of the Hoya australis grow in clusters. The star-shaped, white flowers feature a red-hued center and give off a spicy-sweet scent.
As with most Hoya varieties, place this plant in indirect sunlight near a sunny window. Receiving morning or late-afternoon exposure increases blooming. If grown outside, the flowers are known to attract butterflies.
The succulent-like leaves of this type of Hoya plant store water, making it very drought-resistant. Water it no more than every 10 days if the top three inches or more of the soil feels dry.
Water less often during the winter. Growth rate for this Hoya is moderate and it enjoys some natural resistance to pests and disease. It prefers to be almost root bound, so repot only when needed during springtime.
The Hoya kerrii type of the popular Hoya plant is very different from other varieties. It’s also known as the Sweetheart plant, due to its heart-shaped leaves. These plants are often sold as a single leaf, as a novelty. It should be noted this prevents the plant from ever growing further. Buy multi-leaved plants if you wish them to grow like other houseplants.
The succulent-like leaves grow from trailing vines that reach 13 feet (4m) in length. Blooms appear in clusters during spring and summer. The flowers are white with bright-pink centers.
Unlike most Hoyas, Hoya kerrii prefers direct sunlight for several hours a day. Supplement low lighting with a full-spectrum, LED light if enough natural light isn’t available.
Let the soil dry out between watering. Use the leaves as your guide; if they appear thinner and wrinkled, it’s time to water. The plant requires more water during the summer, but much less during winter.
The growth rate for this Hoya is slow. They prefer to be almost root bound for best blooming conditions. Repot only when needed and in a new pot no larger than two or three inches larger than the previous one. This prevents overwatering and encourages healthy roots.
Native to the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia, Hoya curtissii grows smaller than most Hoya plants. It can be used as a compact ground cover if grown outside. As a houseplant, it is a compact, trailing vine with small leaves featuring silver variegation. Blooms appear in round clusters of red flowers with greenish-yellow centers. These Hoya types do not bloom as readily as others.
Hoya curtissii tolerates low lighting to some direct sunlight. Place your plant in bright, indirect light to encourage blooming. Let the top three inches of soil dry between watering. Water no more than twice per week in the summer and once per week during the winter. Drain any excess water collected in the pot’s drip tray to reduce the chance of root rot.
This Hoya’s growth rate starts out slow but increases as the plant becomes established. A typical curtissii will mature at two to three inches (5 to 7 cm) in width and 12 inches (30 cm) in height. Use a well-draining soil, such as the ones containing perlite for cactus, when potting this plant.
Hoya krimson queen
Hoya krimson queen is a variant of the Hoya carnosa variety. It was first patented in the 1950s as Hoya Tricolor. It is a trailing vine that reaches lengths of 5 to 6.7 feet (1.5 to 2 m). The new leaves of this Hoya type begin as bright pink but fade to light pink or white with maturity. Leaves are 1.5 to 2 inches (4 to 5 cm) long with a waxy appearance. The star-shaped blooms of Hoya krimson queen grow in clusters and match the light pink of the leaves.
Place this Hoya plant in either indirect or bright, filtered light for optimal growth. They prefer an east-facing widow when possible. Supplementing with a full-spectrum, LED grow light will boost growth and blooming. Water the plant when the top two to three inches of the soil feels dry. A typical watering schedule is one to three times per week in the summer, and one to two times per week in the fall and winter.
Growth rate is fast when conditions of sunlight, temperature and humidity are optimal. They prefer high humidity of between 70 to 80 percent but will grow in lower levels. Repot this Hoya every one to two years during spring or summer in a pot no more than 2 inches larger than the previous one.
Hoya lacunose is native to Indonesia, Singapore, China, and other regions. Its name is in reference to the sunken veins on the plant’s foliage. Sometimes called Hoya suaveolens, it is one of the smaller Hoya varieties. Vines grow to 5 feet (1.5 m) in length and the small, oval-shaped leaves are green and semi-succulent. Blooms consist of umbels with 15 to 20 small, white flowers. These blooms give off a unique, cinnamon fragrance.
Like most Hoya plants, this variety prefers medium to high light conditions. Place it in indirect sunlight near a bright window for best growth results. Use a full-spectrum, LED grow light if enough natural sunlight isn’t available.
Water your Hoya lacunosa once the top two to three inches of soil feels dry. Once a week is a good guide but adjust the frequency depending on the season and humidity levels. Drain the drip tray once it fills up with excess water to avoid root rot.
The growth rate is moderately fast in optimal conditions. Use a well-balanced, loose soil to promote drainage. Adding perlite or peat to the soil mixture will lighten up heavier soils. Another method to avoid root rot is to water over a sink and let the excess drip out through the pot’s drainage holes.
Hoya macrophylla is native to Eastern Asia and Australia. It’s considered one of the rarer types of Hoya plants. A trailing vine that grows to 5 feet (1.5m) in length, it’s large leaves can reach 4 to 8 inches (10 to 20 cm) long and 1.5 to 4 inches (4 to 10 cm) wide. The dark-green leaves are fleshy and shiny. When they mature a white border appears. Hoya macrophylla blooms in the summer, producing clusters of star-shaped flowers. These white or cream blooms release their scent during the evening and night.
The large leaves of this Hoya plant are sensitive to sunlight. Protect them by placing your plant in indirect light or morning sun for at least four hours per day. An east or west facing window is best. Allow the soil to dry to the bottom of the pot between watering. During the growing season, water once every five to seven days and thoroughly soak the soil. Drain any excess collected in the tray.
The root system on this Hoya grows shallow along the soil’s surface. Its growth rate is slow, and the roots will take time to fill out its pot. Repot only when the plant becomes fully root bound, approximately every two years.
Hoya publicalyx is a climbing vine native to the Philippines and grows 8 to 10 feet (2.4 to 3 m) in length. The long, narrow leaves are glossy and mature to develop a silver-pink tint, which is enhanced by sunlight exposure. Clusters of pale-red blooms appear from late spring to late summer. They release their fragrance in the evenings. It can take two years for new plants to begin producing blooms.
Give your Hoya publicalyx six hours of indirect sunlight per day or two hours of direct, morning sun per day. Lighting with a full-spectrum, LED grow light for 16 hours per day during the growing season also works. Reduce the hours to 12 to 14 hours per day when not in active growth. Water this Hoya three times per week during the growth season and keep the soil moist. During fall and winter, only water when the top two to three inches of soil feel dry.
This Hoya’s growth rate is fast. Use a well-draining soil, like cactus or succulent mix, for best drainage. Repot these types of Hoyas only when they are root bound. If they’re not in a hanging basket, place a trellis in their pot for them to climb.
Hoya obovata is a type of Hoya native to Indonesia. It is a climbing plant that grows 12 to 20 feet (3.6 to 6 m) in length. The thick leaves are large, oval-shaped, and dark green with “splashes” of silver. They bloom in the spring and summer, producing clusters of star-shaped white flowers with bright-pink centers. The plants often take two to three years to mature and bloom.
Place your Hoya obovata near a sunny window to receive indirect light. Direct, filtered light is also acceptable. If possible, choose a south-facing or east-facing window. Water this Hoya plant when the top two to three inches of soil feels dry, then water thoroughly. Reduce watering in the winter months when not in active growth. Always drain excess water from the drip tray to avoid soggy soil and root rot.
This plant has a fast growth rate and blooming increases when it becomes root bound. Use a well-draining soil, which can be lightened with the addition of peat or perlite. Plants growing in pots, and not hanging baskets, need a trellis for climbing.
Hoya varieties come in all shapes, sizes, and colors. Many choose to collect these diverse plants because of each type’s unique beauty. Their care is not complicated, and the reward is a stunning houseplant to enjoy for years.
Hoya plants help to purify the air in your home. They are also easy to propagate through cuttings so you can have many separate Hoya plants from one starter plant.
No. All Hoya varieties are non-toxic and safe for humans or pets if accidentally ingested.
Yes. Hoya plants can be grown outside in warm, frost-free zones. They need moderate light, preferably with some morning sun to encourage blooming. Do not place them in full sun as it will damage their foliage.