Hoyas belong to the Apocynaceae plant family. There are close to 300 species and they often have phenomenally unique foliage and dazzling flowers when in bloom. They are living wonders of nature and have evolved with the remarkable epiphytic ability of being able to capture the majority of their water and nutrition from air, rain and surrounding leaf debris. Although they produce roots, these are primarily used to secure themselves and they can often be seen clinging to tree branches and rocky cliff faces.
Hoyas are highly adaptable and can be grown well throughout Australia. They should receive bright, indirect sunlight. Outdoors under partially shaded conditions works well but in the colder states protection from winter rains and frost is required so a sheltered undercover or indoors area would be more appropriate. Indoors, an east or west-facing window area is ideal but avoid very hot positions.
As a general rule, a plant in a well-lit, hot position will require watering every few days. In a darker, humid environment watering every few weeks can often be adequate. It is vital that the hoya is planted in a loose, free-draining potting mix and that the pot has an abundance of drainage holes to allow fast escape of water.
Hoyas generally prefer to dry out completely between each watering and must never have water sitting at their base as this will cause the plant to rot.
Every hoya gardener will have their own custom medium recipe! We love Perlite! A 100% natural product, perlite works behind the scenes to prevent soil mix from becoming compacted. As an aid to maintain adequate air or oxygen in the soil, perlite improves drainage and root respiration; two factors vital for hoya health.
Hoyas are highly adaptable and will thrive provided the mix is porous but still able to retain moisture. A basic recipe would be: 50% peat, 20% potting mix and 30% perlite. Alternatively, many hoya collectors happily use Scotts Osmocote Orchid Mix.
Control release fertiliser granules provide all the essential nutrition necessary to promote beautiful blooms, lush foliage and strong root growth. In addition, the regular application of soluble fertiliser will help speed up leaf growth, flowering and keep your plants looking healthy. We have fertiliser options specifically for hoyas and these can be found under Accessories.
It is important to begin training your hoya early and for this we use training clips. Some hoya grow very vigorously and it is wise to contain them on grow ladders or trellises to ensure they do not creep and climb out of control! Others have stems that quickly become woody and hard so it is best to train and hold them in the desired position from early days as later on the stem will snap when you begin to restrain it. Grow ladders and training clips can be found under Accessories.
Generally speaking, hoyas prefer to live in a snug pot, however, in time they will need to up-size. If you notice the plant is becoming dry more quickly between waterings, roots are visible through the pot’s drainage holes or the pot has no ‘give’ when you press in its sides, it is time to give your hoya a new home. The optimal time of year for reporting is early spring to mid-summer. Select a pot that is no greater than 3-5cm larger in both diameter and depth than your hoya’s current home. Pots made of plastic or glazed terracotta are a good choice as they do not dry out too quickly.
Pests and Diseases
Generally speaking, hoyas are subject to few pests and diseases.
The most common pest is aphids which enjoy the sweet juices of the hoya. The root cause of aphids is ants, however, as they farm the aphids. Getting rid of ants is very important for keeping aphids away. Applications of neem oil or an insecticidal soap will easily control aphids.
Mealybugs sometimes attack but they can be easily destroyed with a dab or spray of straight methylated spirits or isopropyl alcohol (70-99%), and by their natural predators – lacewing and ladybug.
Scale insects can also be a problem. They look like tiny blister-shaped domes that generally feed on the underside of new growth. Do not assume that a dry crusty scale is dead – it is full of eggs for the next generation! Remove, crush or spray with an insecticide.
Under extended periods of high humidity, hoyas can fall victim to fungus diseases. This can be prevented / controlled through the promotion of good airflow around the plant and, when necessary, the application of a systemic fungicide.If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org