- 1 More information about Sweetheart Hoya
- 2 Sweetheart Hoya care tips
- 3 How to Propagate Sweetheart Hoya
- 4 Common Pest and Disease Problems
Hoyas have so many skeletons in their closet that we need to demystify them shortly. Given its aesthetic aura, you’d be a little afraid to grow it as your first houseplant.
The tropical succulent can stay intact for years, even if it’s grown underwater with modest maintenance routine. In this guide, we’ll go over all of the details you need to know about owning and caring for the Sweetheart Hoya.
More information about Sweetheart Hoya
Hoya kerrii is also Sweetheart Hoya. It is from the genus Hoya and makes the most sales on Valentine’s Day when compared to other houseplants due to its showy heart-shaped leaves. Aside from the adorable foliage, this tropical epiphyte has succulent features that make it relatively easy to care for. Single-leaf cuttings are usually the most sought-after, but you need to know that they will take a while to mature. So be patient if you want to take this route.
This houseplant is native to the tropical parts of Southeast Asia, particularly Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. So it’s pretty obvious that she loves to grow in a damp environment. Even if your area lacks that tropical flair, you can navigate preferred growing conditions and chop them with minimal effort. What’s noteworthy is that propagating this dainty semi-succulent is pretty easy. It doesn’t cost much to buy your Hoya from a commercial gardening store or nursery either. Let’s take a look at the basic pointers you might want to work with after purchasing or propagating the Sweetheart Hoya.
Sweetheart Hoya care tips
Blossom & fragrance
It is not a hassle to make your Hoyas bloom. But if you grow them indoors, the chances of them blooming are pretty slim. The flowers are usually pink in the center and the outer shell is a white star. However, there is no magic pill to make your hoyas bloom. It all comes out naturally. First the plant has to be a few years old.
Next, you want to place the growing medium in a place with enough bright, indirect light. Aside from letting it take root, you will also need to grow your hoya in a damp environment. Use a fertilizer rich in phosphorus for fertilization, as this nutrient promotes flower production during the flowering phase. We’ll discuss the conditions for healthy buds later in this guide.
Growth and Size
Usually the Sweetheart Hoya grows slowly to moderately. If only a single leaf is growing in the container, don’t expect it to have a rapid growth rate. Most often, this houseplant will come in a 4 ‘or 6’ inch grow pot with a hanging device to allow it to grow widely. While the hoya is mostly slow-growing, it has the potential to grow up to 10 ‘inches tall. It can take a few years for some vines and heart-shaped leaves to develop. The vines begin to lengthen further once the plant has reached healthy and strong roots.
Light & Temperature
If you do not illuminate it optimally, your treasure Hoya will develop very slowly. Not to mention that it is growing particularly slowly. It needs bright and natural light, but you want to place the growing medium in a location that will filter out any intense heat during the day. You can put the container on a shelf in your kitchen where there is enough moisture.
We’re going to talk about the plant’s moisture needs in a moment so that you just know. To encourage a polished and hearty foliage color, it’s best to grow your hoya near a window that faces east. Keep it away from the scorching afternoon sun as the leaves are more likely to burn. For this reason, you absolutely want to avoid a north window.
Move the medium to a sunnier spot in winter to prevent the houseplant from growing slowly. You can also make optimal use of LED grow lights in the colder months. For a smaller Hoya type, 6 hours under grow light would be sufficient. If you want to grow your hoya indoors year round it will need a little more light for it to flower.
You need to note that the green tones of the leaves are becoming lighter or yellow, it may mean your hoya is receives too much light so that you have to make all essential adjustments immediately.
With a little digging, we also learned that if you are growing a colorful Hoya Kerrii it will need additional light than those that are completely green in color. You also want to keep the temperature range between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
Soil and Transplanting
After doing some thorough research, I learned that Hoyas thrive in normal potting soil. It must make up at least 50% of the entire medium. The other percentage should ideally be split between orchid bark and perlite or pumice stone. While drainage is paramount, this strain is native to a tropical region and likes to grow in an environment with the right humidity. Because of this, changing the potting soil would go a long way towards moisture retention. You can also use orchid bark only, but you will need to water your hoya more often.
Before planting the cuttings as they propagate, loosen the soil a little so it can do a pretty good job of helping drainage. The best time to repot is in spring or summer. And since we’re dealing with a slow grower, once every 4 years would be just great. If you are buying an already potted hoya, I recommend replacing the old soil with a nutrient-rich soil that will aid drainage as well as moisture retention. And the main reason for this is that you are not sure how long it will sit in the old soil.
The impressive thing about Hoyas is that they can handle neglect relatively well. The soaking method is suitable for this type of houseplant. Make sure the soil is completely dry before watering your Sweetheart Hoya again. During an active growing season, you don’t want to keep the soil completely dry for too long as this houseplant grows slowly. On the other hand, try to avoid overwatering as it can lead to rot alongside a range of fungal infections. Because this plant has succulent-like properties, it can store some water after it has absorbed it from the soil.
For this reason, you need to keep watering intervals apart. Reduce the number of times you water your hoya even more during the winter months. In summer you can moisten the soil once every 7-10 days. In winter, once or twice a month is sufficient, depending on how wilted the leaves look. To prevent your roots from getting stuck in damp soil for too long, grow the houseplant in a pot with enough drainage holes to help drain excess moisture.
Hoyas prefer a humid environment, so you’ll need to mimic the conditions of tropical Southeast Asia, where they come from. And that’s another reason for my many growers to place the growing medium near a window in the kitchen where the humidity is relatively high. Even with this hard-to-care-for preference, Hoyas still thrives in dry air.
An occasional careful spraying of the foliage would help meet its moisture needs. If the foliage looks overstretched, it may mean that the humidity in the area is pretty low. To keep your Hoya from looking stressed out, place a gravel bowl directly under the container and then fill it with water, but make sure the medium has enough drainage holes. The other option is to spray it once or twice a week during the warmer months. Using a humidifier is also an effective way to meet the plant’s moisture needs.
Feeding is not necessary unless you want your Hoyas to bloom to their optimal capacity and have dense green foliage during the seasons. Avoid fertilizing the houseplant in late fall or winter, as the growth hormones tend to go in rest during this time. At the same time, you want to avoid overfertilizing because so much salt will build up in the soil, which will cause the roots to burn.An all-purpose fertilizer like the Dyna-Grow plant food contains all the important macronutrients your Hoya needs and is soluble.
There are two options here. Teaching your Hoya how to raise a trellis is not a demanding task as most of them climb trees without human intervention. Make sure you use a sturdy trellis as some Hoyas will develop newer and bulkier leaves as they age.
Care and maintenance
Hoyas are not fussy house plants, so no intensive care is required. In fact, you don’t have to prune the plant regularly as it grows very slowly. However, you may need to prune back the vines just to keep the houseplant clean. Cut back each vine just above the knot with sterilized scissors to prevent the spread of fungal or bacterial diseases.
How to Propagate Sweetheart Hoya
Propagating Sweetheart Hoya is not rocket science. You can do this even if it’s your first time owning a houseplant. One of the painless ways to propagate this succulent is by using cuttings. Seeds are a perfect option too, but it may take a little longer to show results, while some that are sold may be fake. If you can find the right seeds to propagate your hoya, you can stick with a soilless potting soil with a third serving of pumice stone or perlite.
You want to get cuttings from a mother plant that looks healthy and free of fungus or bacterial infections for better results. Propagating with a leaf without a stem will reduce the likelihood that it will produce more shoots.
Some miniature roots will emerge from the stems, which will allow the cuttings to multiply easily in the water. Each cutting must be between 3′-5 ‘inches long and have at least two leaves on it. Use a stem that is long enough to provide better anchoring when germinating in the pot. Place the cutting in a glass of water and wait for the roots to be at least 3 ‘inches long.
When preparing the potting soil, you can use 3 parts coconut, 1 part vermiculite, and 3. use parts of perlite as additives. You can choose to stick with regular potting soil, but this formula helps a lot with moisture retention. Once the roots are well established, it’s time to pot your cuttings.
Common Pest and Disease Problems
From an aesthetic point of view, you are sure to treasure your Hoyas for a lifetime. However, pest infestation can be a terrible disadvantage that could keep you from enjoying the absolute splendor of this plant. While this houseplant won’t attract too many destructive pests, you should always keep an eye out for mealybugs. They tend to hide and damage the roots and stems.
You should also frequently inspect the underside of the leaves and in the knots for any cotton-like debris. If the damage caused by mealybugs is left unattended, it can escalate into a fungal disease that causes you to get rid of the entire plant.
To maintain the houseplant’s distinctive appeal, pluck any dead or infested stems to prevent disease from spreading. Also, watch out for scale insects and aphids. The other problem that often degrades the overall quality of foliage is overwatering. If the leaves turn yellow, your hoya is most likely suffering from excessive moisture. Uneven watering patterns also lead to root rot.