Caring for Hoya

A hoya houseplant in bloom.
The hoya is a genus of 200300 species of tropical plants in the family Apocynaceae (Dogbane). Most are native to several countries of Asia such as China, India, and Thailand. There is a great diversity of species in the Philippines, and Polynesia, New Guinea, and Australia. It is a waxy leafed vining plant with star shaped waxy flowers. In non-tropical areas it is typically easy to grow indoors.


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Gold Post Medal for All Time! 858 Posts
August 6, 2005
Hoya in a hangin pot


Does anyone know if a Hoya plant should be kept in a small or larger pot? Also, should they be kept moist or dry? I've had a Hoya for over 10 years and it has never bloomed.



Hoya plants generally prefer to be kept root bound. A rule of thumb is not to repot them until it's unavoidable. Water them enough to soak the root mass, and then let the upper 1/3 to upper 1/2 of the pot dry before watering again.

Water them liberally in summer and only in amounts to prevent leaves from shriveling in the winter. Hoya plants like well-drained, slightly acidic soil, warm temperatures and high-humidity-near saturation. They also prefer higher levels of potassium to bloom.

When kept indoors in centrally heated and cooled rooms they will rarely bloom. Place them outside in partial shade (under a tree) for the summer to encourage blooming. They should receive at least four hours of direct sunlight, but need to be kept out of noonday sun in order to bloom. Too much shade discourages blooming and too much sun will burn their leaves.

Once buds appear the plants should not be disturbed. Also, dried flower spurs should not be removed as next seasons flowers will appear in these same spots.

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6 Questions

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December 7, 2019

I took my hoya indoors a month or two ago because of the cold and now I am noticing this residue over many of the leaves and stems. I'm wondering if this is aphid residue and what I could use to spray on it.

I have tried a DIY spray that I have been putting on it weekly consisting of water, dish soap, and real lemon juice, but there continues to be this problem.

A hoya with aphids.
A hoya with aphids.
A hoya with aphids.


Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
December 8, 20190 found this helpful
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This is a form of aphids and they are growing and laying eggs now. Just spraying alone will not stop them. What you need to do is spray the leaves and use your hand or a soft cloth to wash them off the leaves and steams of the plant.


Get them off the leaves. I have mixed in a small bucket a mild soap and used a rag to wash my plants with it and washed every leaf and the steams. This got rid of them.

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Gold Feedback Medal for All Time! 949 Feedbacks
December 13, 20190 found this helpful
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This is really infected.
If you have not solved your problem you may need to lay your plant on the side of your sink so as much of the leaves and stems are in the sink. Fill this sink with lukewarm water, add a little blue Dawn dish soap and take a small cloth and gently wash the leaves and stems. Drain the water and do the same again. Drain the sink and leave the plant drain for a few minutes. Examine your plant and if still bad you may have to try again.


I would suggest you purchase some organic Neem oil as this is the best fungicide for all kinds of plant problems.
You can find it online and all stores with garden centers.
Use as directed but it takes time to cure.
Try to set your plant where you can spray it without spraying your furniture - either in your laundry room or even your bathtub.

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January 20, 2009

I have a Rope Hoya that is pot bound and receives bright light. Since winter started, the leaves on several of the branches/ropes have been shriveling. Some are falling off closest to the soil. I've had this plant for 2 years. This is the first time I've had a problem. Does anyone know what is going on with this plant? What should I do? Thank you.

Hardiness Zone: 5a

Cindy from Carol Stream, IL


Gold Post Medal for All Time! 846 Posts
January 22, 20090 found this helpful
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Perhaps it's root bound/nutrient deprived and needs to be repotted in a larger pot with fresh soil?

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January 22, 20090 found this helpful
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Hi, I have alot of hoyas. If mine was doing that I would consider that maybe to much water is being used on it.
They like to dry out between watering. Good luck. I have a variegated hoya rope too ! I love my hoyas ! My Obavata is about 8-9 feet long if not longer.



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January 9, 2016

I am curious as to which type of hoya this may be. I don't think it is a carnosa. I saved it from a local nursery, it had ill variegated leaves as if two plants had been put together which I removed.

After some fresh soil and a good drink it's getting new growth.

What Type of Hoya Is This?


Bronze Feedback Medal for All Time! 131 Feedbacks
January 11, 20160 found this helpful

Hello !
You will have to wait for the first flowers to be sure but there is a good chance that it is an hoya carnosa. If your local nursery is not an hoya specialist it is quite sure that it is an hoya carnosa. It is not because it doesn't have the little silvery grey spots on its leaves and that the leaves are light green instead of deep green that it is not a carnosa.


The colour and the silver spots on the leaves depend on the light and the growing conditions. I hope you will soon see its flowers as it may be not so rare but its flowers has one of the strongest chocolate/rose smell. Good luck for the flowers as it is a bit capricious.

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January 17, 20160 found this helpful

Hi Catherine, thank you for your response to my question. I am going to upload another picture of the new growth my hoya has got. I have two leaves that are a deep purple color! This exciting because it's possible I may have got my hands on a pubicalyx. Still may be to early to tell, but another lead none the less.

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January 18, 20160 found this helpful

Hi Catherine, thank you for your response to my question. I am going to upload another picture of the new growth my hoya has got. It has a deep purple or maroon color to it, which is exciting because that opens up a possibility of it being a pubicalyx! I would love e to get my hands on that variety, it may be to early to tell still but is possible.

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May 5, 2014

Is the hoya plant and/or flowers poisonous?

By Judy B.


May 12, 20140 found this helpful

Sap in the leaves and stems may be an irritant for some people. The plant may be poisonous to cats.

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February 19, 2013

This is a page about how to get a hoya to bloom. These vining indoor plants will bloom with waxy clusters of flowers reminiscent of mophead hydrangeas.

Hoya Flowers

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