Hoya Plant Care Instructions

Hoya Hanging Basket

Hoya Care Instructions

Many people ask us for Hoya plant care instructions- a member of the family Apocynaceae. By following these instructions, you should have no problem keeping your Hoya not only surviving, but thriving for years to come. The Hoyas are some of the most popular indoor plants used in homes, offices and interior landscapes due to their attractive appearance, thick waxy leaves and tolerance of poor growing conditions. Hoyas are also appreciated for the star shaped, fragrant flowers they produce. Native to Asia, India, China and Thailand, these plants have grown rapidly in popularity over the last several years.


Hoyas come in many varieties and a range of planting styles. They are available as a bush and sometimes grown as a hanging basket. Generally providing a thick and dense foliage, Hoyas tent to climb and prefer something they can latch onto and wind around. The heights will vary depending on what shape that plant was groomed into. The most common variety of Hoya found in retail stores and indoor landscapes is Hoya Carnosa. Hoyas are also more commonly known as the Wax Plant, Hindu Rope Plant or Wax Vine.

Lighting Requirements

Hoya do best in well-lit locations such as a window sill that has an Eastern exposure. Bright but indirect sunlight is optimal. Many varieties of Hoya also do well in full sun. If your Hoya has been grown indoors and is not accustomed to full sun, be careful to wean it into greater amounts of light a little at a time so that you avoid burning the leaves. If you have less than optimal lighting available, some Hoyas can deal with shadier areas but it is not recommended. In most cases, artificial lighting such as in a windowless office is not ideal for this plant. From our experience Hoya are an excellent choice for medium to bright light situations.

Temperature Requirements

The Hoya is a great interior plant because it prefers the same temperatures that many homes are kept at on a daily basis. Night time temperatures in the lower 60’s and day time temperatures in the 70’s are ideal. Keep in mind that although your home or office are kept at these average temperatures, other factors may play a part in your plant being too hot or cold. Make sure that your Hoya is not directly affected by a heating or air conditioner vent. The direct cold or hot air will surely damage your plant. You also want to keep an eye on the window if you place your plant in one. On very cold days, the glass will transfer the cold – and if the leaves of your Hoya are pressed against the glass, they will become cold damaged. It is never a good idea to have your Hoya up against any window or wall. You will also want to avoid any drafts in colder climates. A cold gust of wind from being placed near a door or window that opens could also damage your plant.

Watering Hoya

The most important thing to keep in mind when watering Hoya are that you want to avoid creating a situation that promotes root rot. In our homes and offices, we keep them in a light, well-draining soil. They prefer to be kept on the moist side, but allowed to thoroughly dry out between watering. Hoya are known to prefer a slightly moist soil in the spring and summer months with a much dryer soil in the winter months. There is not specific amount or frequency of water that we can suggest because the lighting, temperature and evaporation rates differ in every home. You will need to develop a feel for the proper amount of water. Try to water at an even amount of moisture, not letting your plant get soaking wet and then allowing it to completely dry out. Do not let water accumulate in the crown or cups that the leaves. Moderation is key. Any planter that allows for evaporation, air flow and water drainage works well. Once you develop the “feel” for watering, you will be able to judge when to water by picking up the plant. The heavier the plant feels, the more moisture there is in the growing medium. If the plant is too large to lift, a water meter is well worth the investment.

Are Your Plants Leaf Tips Turning Brown?

A common problem with Hoya and almost all indoor houseplants is what we call “tipping” or simply the tips of the leaves drying out and turning brown. This can be caused by a number of factors including over-watering, chemical burn from too much fertilizer, root rot and dry stagnant air. Probably the most common reason your plant is tipping could be in the tap water. Tap water contains salts, chlorine, minerals and fluoride – all of which can build up in the soil of your plant causing the tips of the leaves to burn and turn brown. One way you can reduce this is to use a water filtration system. If you do not have a filtration system available, leaving the water in an open container overnight before using can help relieve some of the chlorine.

Fertilizing Hoya

Do house plant fertilizers work? Definitely. Hoya, like every other living thing need a source of energy. The plants take in their nutrients from the water and potting medium they are planted in. That medium only holds so much, and when the nutrients are depleted, fertilizer is the only source left. People who grow house plants without repotting and fertilizing regularly are essentially starving the plants and holding them back from their full potential. There are many different fertilizers on the market and they come in many forms. There are water soluble fertilizers, ready to use liquid, liquid concentrate, fertilizer spikes, time release granules and many others. Which fertilizer works best? That is up for you to decide. We prefer a ready to use liquid simply for the convenience of use. We also dilute the fertilizer and use every time we water so there is a constant stream of nutrients being fed to the plants.

Are Hoyas Poisonous to Pets and Humans?

Concerns about toxicity are always an important issue when plants are in the presence of children and pets. Hoyas are not know to be toxic – however we always suggest to practice caution and take all steps to avoid the ingestion of any houseplants.

Do you have a question about Hoyas or any other plant that was not answered here? Please feel free to ask in a comment below or contact us at 201-794-4747 and speak with one of our knowledgeable staff members. We would be happy to help.

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