Hoya Care Guide
Commonly called 'wax plants', Hoya are a huge genus of plants that typically has colorful, fragrant blooms. They have been commonly kept as houseplants for years due to their ease of care and tolerance for lower light.
Hoya are epiphytic Asian species, meaning they grow on trees and dig their roots into mosses and tree bark to obtain moisture and nutrients. Because of this they don't do well in traditional potting mixes and are prone to root rot. Hoya thrive in long fibre sphagnum-based mixes (we recommend at least 50% sphagnum, the remainder can be coconut fibre, orchid bark, or soil with perlite), and also benefit from very well-draining pots such as orchid pots with many holes. This mimics their natural setting, and allows the roots to dry out between waterings.
When watering most hoya species, soak until the roots are saturated and then allow to drain completely. For thick-leaved varieties (such as hoya carnosa) make sure to let the roots dry almost completely before watering again. For some cultivars (carnosa, obovata, kerri), people may even wait until they notice the leaves looking 'puckered' or dehydrated before watering.
Hoya will tolerate lower light but may grow much more slowly than if provided with bright indirect sunlight. Keep in mind that the less light your hoya receives, the less water it will require (and more sensitive it will be to overwatering!).
A bright windowsill or countertop that doesn't receive more than a few hours of direct sunlight (although zero would be ideal - bright indirect light is best) would be a great location for most Hoya species.
Never prune your hoya's long tendrils unless you're looking to reduce your plants size since this is where new leaves and potentially flowers will emerge!
In our experience, hoya are typically resistant to most common houseplant pests (when kept sufficiently humid) however mealy bugs seem to be particularly fond of them. Luckily these can be easily spotted as white fuzzy spots at leaf nodes or on the stem junctions. Simply remove with a q tip dipped in rubbing alcohol. In addition to mealies, keep your eye out for scale on the leaves or aphids.
We recommend researching the particular species you have purchased (google it's care - or contact us!) incase it varies from this, as hoyas come in all shapes and sizes and many have varying preferences for light, water, and potting mediums. Generally we recommend thick-leaved varieties for beginners since just like succulents they are tolerant of some neglect!