How to Care for Hoya Plants | Platt Hill Nursery | Blog & Advice

Looking for a stylish, long-living houseplant? Hoyas have become one of the hottest houseplants in recent years, but they’ve been a favorite among plant lovers for a long time. Whether you have one already or are looking for a new plant companion, here is your guide to hoya care!  

Hoya plants can bring the taste of a tropical springtime into your home.




What is a Hoya Plant? 

Hoyas have thick, waxy leaves that overflow from a pot in beautiful trailing vines. They bloom in clusters of sweetly smelling flowers like those of their distant cousin, the milkweed. The flowers themselves are dense and waxy, like finely sculpted porcelain, often appearing in pink or white. Native to tropical Asia and Australia, they live a long time and will quickly become some of your favorite houseplants.  


Do Hoya Plants Like Direct Sunlight?

Most hoya plants prefer medium to bright, indirect light. Some do well with about two hours of direct sunlight in the morning or evening, but too much sun exposure may burn their leaves or turn them yellow. They can tolerate low light, but in those conditions, they may focus their energy on growing more leaves rather than producing blossoms. That’s not necessarily a problem, as the thick leaves themselves are beautiful gifts. However, proper light will give them enough energy to bloom. 




How Often Should I Water My Hoya Plant?

Like other
succulents, hoya plants like their soil to dry out completely in between waterings. Some people even wait until their leaves start to wrinkle or pucker slightly before giving them a drink. When you do water, give them a thorough soaking. But make sure it all drains, and remember to remove excess water from the saucer. If the plant is too dry (which is rare), the lower leaves on the vine will start to yellow. If it’s too wet, it will attempt to shed moisture by dropping leaves. During their dormant phase in winter, they’ll need even less frequent watering.




How Do I Get My Hoya Plant to Bloom?

Hoya plants begin to bloom when the plant reaches maturity. At that stage, there are a few ways to encourage it to bloom. 

  1. Ensure it’s receiving the correct light and water requirements, as mentioned above. Try experimenting with more light, if necessary, to find the right conditions it needs. Once the flower buds form, keep the plant in one place, as moving it may cause the flowers to fall off.  
  2. It’s also essential to keep the roots pot-bound and not move it to a larger pot too soon. 
  3. Give it a 4-5 week period of drought during the winter as a way to encourage it to bloom the following spring. 
  4. And finally, when it does bloom, remember not to deadhead the flower stems. Leave them on as this is where your hoya plant will bloom next time around.  


What Kind of Pot is Best for a Hoya Plant?

Hoyas grow well in any plastic,
terra cotta, or ceramic pot. A hanging basket is often a beautiful way to enjoy their trailing branches. As they like to be pot-bound, only repot them once the roots have replaced nearly all of the soil, and only select a new pot that is 1-2 inches larger than the previous one. They are also sensitive to too much water, so make sure to use a well-draining soil mix with plenty of perlite.   




Extra Hoya Care Tips

  • Wondering if you should cut off the long tendrils that don’t have any leaves? Leave them as they are. That is just how the plant grows. They extend bare tendrils first and then sprout leaves and flowers on them after. 
  • Fertilize the plant during the growing season of spring, summer, and fall. Hold off during their dormancy in the winter. 
  • Hoya plants are resilient and are usually not affected by indoor pests unless you already have them in nearby houseplants. 
  • For more indoor growing knowledge, check out our upcoming guide to advanced houseplant care! 

Hoya plants can bring the taste of a tropical springtime into your home. They overflow with lush, juicy leaves and exhale sweet perfume when they start to bloom. They’re non-toxic to pets and easy to maintain. The key to hoya care is to let them dry out in between waterings and give them lots of bright, indirect light. For more seasonal inspiration, download our Winter Garden Guide and visit our garden centers in Bloomingdale and Carpentersville! 

Additional Information:
How to Water Your Plants Indoors and Outdoors

Platt Hill Nursery is Chicago’s premier garden center and nursery.


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