How to care for a Hoya plant

Talk about a stunner! The Hoya Carnosa is a real beauty. Its flowers have such a sweet smell and the foliage looks so good! It even won the 2018 Garden Merit Award by the Royal Horticultural Society. We were not invited and we're still upset but this is not about us, this is about our friend the Hoya who's a real award-winning plant!

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  • Infrequent
  • Not needed
  • Bright, Indirect to Medium
  • Not Toxic
  • Monthly

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  • The Hoya Carnosa has been cultivated for about 200 years and is a popular plant in India and China, but is actually native to Eastern Asia and Australia.
  • The Hoya is really the perfect housekeeper. A study done by the university of Georgia indicated that the Hoya was great at absorbing volatile organic compounds (VOCs), contaminants emitted by common household items such as old books, carpets and pets. So much better than a Roomba yah!
  • Cats love to chew on the leaves of this plant for some reason. Although they aren't toxic, your pet might throw up if he eats too much of these.
  • Since Hoya plants come and live in environments with not much water, they don't like excess water. Additionally, the plant will even suffer from root rot if there's too much watering. Therefore, water only when the top half of the soil is dry to touch, preferably in spring and summer, which are growth seasons. Don't flood the pot, and allow the soil to dry before watering again.
  • Although it has a tolerance for low temperatures until 16°C, the Hoya prefers higher temperatures, up to and around 29°C. Humidity must also be high, of at least 40% up to 60%. The best place to leave the plant is about 4-5 feet from a south-facing window, with the sunlight filtered through the glass. Other good places are kitchens and bathrooms.
  • Feed it when spring begins until summer, preferably with a plant-based fertilizer applied to the soil. Option to feed a half dose of fertilizer in spring, and no feeding it all during winter.
  • Although the Hoya gets stressed from being root bound, that is actually a good thing: according to studies, this stress is what causes it to blossom. Therefore, unless you don't really care to see the flowers, let it be.
  • Here's how you know if your plant is getting the proper amount of light: if your Hoya is all foliage and no flowers, it isn't. The best time to prune it is after spring, when the plant just blossomed and is entering a growth phase. Clean the plant from the flowers that fade and fall naturally, but leave the short flower stems; new flower buds will grow from there.
  • Susceptible to mealybugs, scale insects and fungus. Use inseticidal soap to prevent the first two pests. If the leaves become mushy or starts to fall, it may be a sign of fungal infection. In that case, repot it in pasteurized soil and prune the decayed roots.

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