Our resident houseplant expert, Joey Green, is here to talk about some of her favorite plants: Hoyas! Watch the video below for an overview of this unique genus and to catch a glimpse of some of the wide variety of leaf shapes and variegation offered by these vivacious vines.
Caring for Hoyas
In nature, Hoyas are primarily epiphytic vines, meaning they grow in and on trees with the help of their specially adapted aerial roots. Because of this, when grown as houseplants, most Hoyas will appreciate being provided with a structural support on which to anchor themselves. (As Joey notes, they also look beautiful cascading from a hanging basket!) Hoyas are adept climbers with semi-succulent leaves that retain moisture, so many of them also prefer to dry out completely between deep waterings. These traits make them great choices for growing in pots as houseplants!
In general, although Hoyas are sometimes marketed as low-light plants, most will be happiest — and flower best — if given bright, indirect light. Some Hoyas can adapt to even brighter exposures, but if you spot a red flush on your Hoya's leaves (the new growth on a "tricolor" variegated Hoya 'Crimson Princess' being an exception) this can be a sign of sun stress — your plant's way of signaling that it would like to be growing a bit further from your light source.
Hoyas are spring and summer bloomers, and although they do not bloom often, their fragrance makes them worth the wait. Keeping your plant happy with the right light, water, and fertilizer is the best way to encourage your plant to bloom.
Hoyas are not particularly heavy feeders, but they will appreciate an evenly balanced houseplant fertilizer (such as a "2-2-2" formula) diluted to half-strength once every six weeks or so in the cooler, darker months. During the active growing season when we experience warmer temperatures and longer, brighter days, this regimen could be bumped up to once or twice a month. When your Hoya rewards you with flowers — which are borne on an unusually-named structure called a peduncle — you can switch to a fertilizer formulated for blooming houseplants that has a higher Phosphorous ratio (the second number listed on fertilizers — for instance a "1-3-1" formula).
With a little care and patience, your Hoya will reward you not only with lovely leaves, but beautiful,sweetly perfumed blooms, too!
We always keep a display well stocked with many varieties of Hoyas at the Farm, in addition to a wide array of other houseplants just waiting to be explored. As always, feel free to ask any of our team members for help in picking out or caring for your plants — Hoyas, included!