How to care for Hoya Linearis: Your One-Stop Guide!

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When selecting a Hoya, hundreds of species can choose from; you could virtually purchase a different one every day for the year! Hoya Linearis is the distinctive beauty that we are looking at today.

The plant features long, fuzzy stems that look like a curtain when hanging and are a popular addition in homes across the country. Sounds familiar, but the name is throwing you?

You might have heard it by a different name; the wax plant, wax vine, and porcelain vine are some of its commonly used names.

The Hoya Linearis originated from the Himalayas located in Asia and is one many green finger fanatics love! Sounds like a plant that intrigues you? Want to know more?

Well, you are in the right place! Today Greenery Guide is here to bring you a complete guide to caring for the Hoya Linearis; just keep reading to find out all you need to know about this beautiful plant!

The Hoya Linearis: what is it like?

As we mentioned earlier, the plant features fuzzy stems that can get long and curtain-like.  But what else is there to know about the Asian plant? Well, it can be a little fussy.

Many plant growers find the species to have weak roots, meaning a perfect environment is needed for the plant to thrive.

How can we achieve this? Well, watering when the top layer of soil is dry to touch is a good start. The soil itself should be fertile, well-draining soil, and its best to feed the plant a balanced fertilizer during its growing season.

Now, this variety of plant can be challenging to find; keep an eye on your local plant store for any arrivals and snap them up quickly! Once you’ve found one, it’s the task of caring for it.

For how long, you ask? You can expect your Hoya to reach maturity between 3-5 years, depending on how well you care for it. How will you know? The leaves will be up to two inches long and feature deep grooves on the underside.

The plant will also feature lax umbels roughly 1.5-inches in length and flowers with white flowers. Usually, 10-13 flowers will bloom, often with a pink tint and yellow coronas. Sounds beautiful, doesn’t it?

Now that we have covered the plant and its appearance let’s see how to care for this exquisite beauty!

Plant Care 101:

So how do we care for the Hoya Linearis? The best way is to mimic its natural environment as best as possible; hanging planters are a great start that will show off the green foliage well.

The plant grows as an epiphyte, so maintaining indoor conditions that suit them is best. Now don’t panic; we are here to talk you through the whole process! Let’s break it down into sections and work through them from the soil up!

Soil

It’s best to use a free-draining potting mix when planting your Hoya Linearis. Well aerated and fertile soil will ensure a happy and thriving plant.

You can create this environment yourself, too, using an organic potting mix. Use a 1:1:1 ratio of cacti soil, orchid bark, and perlite to give your Hoya a soil they will love!

The addition of perlite will improve drainage, a must for your epiphyte plant! Some experts suggest a different mixture for your Hoya, using two parts soilless mix and 1 part fine-grain bark mix. You can swap out fine grain for perlite if you wish.

Which mixture you use is your choice entirely! Just make sure the mix is light and airy so that water drains well. When it comes to your Hoya, you want to avoid pooling, as it can lead to root-rot. Aim for a soil pH from 6.1 to 7.5 too!

Providing the soil is correct, the plant will grow easily. Your next task will be maintaining the watering requirements we touched upon earlier. Don’t worry; we have more information on this coming up too!

Hoya Linearis responds well to growing indoors, but for those outdoor growers, pay attention to your surroundings.

A USDA hardiness zone of 11a to 11b is best! Opt for a frost-free area with damp, well-draining soil. You’ll want to place the plant in a sunny location that is sheltered when the midday sun hits!

Fertilizer

Now that we have covered the soil let’s look at the fertilizer. Your Hoya won’t need to be fertilized often but will appreciate the extra boost during the growing season.

Opt for a balanced fertilizer and feed your plant twice a month during the Spring and Summer season.

Dilute the fertilizer according to the label and instructions, as overfeeding can damage your plant! If the potting medium is dry, it’s best to water slightly before feeding.

It will moisten the soil and protect your Hoya’s roots from fertilizer burn, which can cause a whole host of issues.

Select any all-purpose fertilizer that is urea-free and contains the required major, micro, and macronutrients.

Usually, ¼  teaspoon of fertilizer mixed into a gallon of water used during the growing season is best, but be sure to check your fertilizers instructions!

You can also fertilize your plant before the blooming phase. Here a phosphorus-based fertilizer will encourage more blooms on the plant!  It’s best to avoid any fertilizing during October – February, known as the resting period for your plant.

Watering

The watering of your Hoya is vital to ensure it grows and thrives! During the active growth season, moderate watering is best. You will want the top layer of the potting mix to dry out between watering too.

Hoya Linearis hold less water than flat and waxy leaves due to their long and soft leaves, meaning they require less watering. These plants like to dry out in between waterings, so be sure to avoid overwatering!

When you water your Hoya, let the potting medium soak the water thoroughly. Water until the soil is saturated and the excess water has flown through the drainage hole.

In the summer months, water your plant weekly to avoid the plant drying out. In the winter, you will need to water the plant very lightly.

This is because the low light and colder temperatures slow down and can even stop plant growth. In these cases, water lightly to prevent your Hoya from drying out.

You must not overwater your plant. The extra water will damage your plant, as will sitting in standing water.

The water can attract pests and cause root-rot in your beloved plant. It is also worth paying attention to the time that you water your plants.

Avoid watering your Hoya in the night, as the cooler temperatures reduce the rate of evaporation. Instead, it’s best to water your houseplants in the early morning, preventing them from sitting in soggy soil for extended periods.

You can use filtered water or tap water that has sat overnight, allowing chemicals and impurities to dissipate.

Avoid using extreme water temperatures, as these can shock the plant, and some leaves can drop off! It’s best to use room temperature water.

But how much water should you use? It will depend on the temperature, humidity, and local environment. We will get onto these factors later, providing more insight into these plants for you.

Light

Your Hoya needs bright but indirect and filtered sunlight. It is best to avoid direct light as the leaves can burn and shrivel in the sun!

You will also need to make sure that your Hoya Linearis gets light at the top, avoiding low-light conditions. In low-light conditions, the plant can begin to bald, especially without light at the top, so avoid these scenarios!

Generally, Hoya Linearis is a cooler species. While they enjoy the winter morning sun, avoid the hot summer sun as extended exposure can burn the leaves!

As with a selfie, good lighting is essential! It will help the potting mixture dry quickly, a necessary need for the plant!

Keep your Hoya in a room that is well-lit throughout the day, where your plant can receive indirect light for at least half the day.

But it’s not all about the light; your Hoya needs some darkness too! It’s why the bathroom is a fantastic location for your plant to grow! It offers filtered windows and higher humidity that your plant will love.

During the summer months, you might need to diffuse the direct sunlight to protect your plant. A sheer curtain or window blind will suffice to avoid overexposure!

Temperature

Your Hoya can tolerate temperatures ranging from 60-85F and can cope with colder nighttime temperatures.

Naturally, it grows at higher altitudes, so providing the indoor night temperature does not drop below 50F, you will have a happy Hoya!

Humidity

As the Hoya Linearis is native to a tropical environment, it loves humidity! A moderate to high humidity is best; your plant will much appreciate roughly 50-70%!

If the humidity level falls below this threshold, then your plant’s leaves can begin to wither! You must keep the humidity at the right level for your plant. How can you do this? Misting is the best option!

Regularly misting your plant with filtered water simulates a humid atmosphere. Be sure that this is a light misting, and your leaves are not soaked in water.

If misting isn’t for you, purchasing a humidifier can also help. Alternatively, you can group several plants in a small area. These plants will release moisture, naturally increasing the humidity in the area.

If none of these methods are successful, placing a shallow bowl of water near the plant can increase the humidity levels in the room.

Pruning

Now that we have covered how to feed, place, and water your plant, let’s look at how we can prune it! Usually, these plants require little pruning treatment, only to enhance their appearance.

Using a sterilized pair of pruning shear or scissors, you can cut back any dead or dried stems and leaves. When pruning, take care to avoid the woody peduncles that the flowers grow on.

Do not remove the old stalk as this will delay blooming and waste the plant’s energy growing new stalks.

Be sure to take care and wear gloves when pruning the plant, as white latex is released while you trim. The liquid can be an irritant so take precautions to avoid your skin coming into contact with it.

Propagation

You’ll be pleased to hear that propagating your Hoya Linearis is simple and easy to do! The most successful way is with rooting stem cuttings.

Propagating your Hoya Linearis can take a few weeks, so be sure that you cover your cuttings in a humidity dome or plastic bag to maintain high humidity levels.

Although propagation by stem cuttings is straightforward, they require some extra care at the initial stages.

Stem cuttings

To successfully propagate with stem cuttings, follow these steps:

  • Take stem cuttings from healthy Hoya Linares. Choose a stem with 3 or 4 nodes (the node is where the leaf and stem connect).
  • Remove the leaves from the lowest two nodes.
  • Dip the end of the cutting into a rooting hormone and plant the cutting into a pot. Use a soilless mixture, aiming for 30-40% perlite.
  • Regularly water the soil and ensure good drainage; you don’t want the soil to dry completely.
  • For faster growth, give your cuttings lots of indirect bright sunlight and a warm atmosphere. Aim for 75-85F.
  • Within  3-4 weeks, you should see roots.

Ziplock method

You can also try the ziplock method to propagate your cuttings. Choose whichever way best suits you! For the ziplock method, follow the instructions below.

  • Take a regular potting mix, place it in a zip lock bag and add perlite to make it airy. Use water to moisten the mixture slightly.
  • Place your Hoya Linearis cuttings inside and spray some water on the insides of the bag.
  • Seal the bag, filling it with some air. Improve the air circulation every 4-5 days.
  • In one month, new growth should appear; you can transfer it into a pot and continue caring, with the instructions we have mentioned already.

You can also root a Hoya by placing an entire strand onto the surface of the soil. You will see the strand develop roots; the strand’s cuttings can be taken and potted at this point.

This method takes the longest, roughly a couple of months, but you will see each node develop roots and new leaves!

Repotting

Thankfully, Hoya’s don’t need repotting frequently! They enjoy being slightly root-bound, so opt for smaller pots. Where necessary, they can be repotted after a year or two.

Checking for repotting is easy to do. Take the plant out of the pot carefully, brushing away the excess soil around the roots. You can check the base of the plant next. If there are a large number of roots circling the bottom, then it’s time to repot!

It’s best to go one size bigger or increase the pot size by a few inches. When increasing the size, you can also add some orchid bark to regular houseplant potting soil, creating a free-draining mix.

Alternatively, you can use ½ well-draining indoor potting mix, ¼ succulent mix, and ¼ bark chips. Choose the recipe that suits you and is easily accessible.

Repotting a Hoya Linearis is best done in the early spring, actively growing after its rest period.

Repotting in the spring will protect the plant from any shock and provide the roots with an entire growing season to establish a system in their new base!

Blooms 

As we mentioned earlier, the Hoya Linearis has white, star-shaped flowers with a lemony scent. They almost look like tiny candles. You will see these flowers from late summer to autumn, with the blooms lasting for two weeks and longer.

You won’t see any blooms until roughly two years with your Hoya, so be sure to have some patience!

Growth

So how will they grow? Outdoors, Hoya Linearis grows wildly, but indoors, you can see the plant reach up to 2 meters! The growth will depend on the environmental conditions, as we mentioned earlier.

The growth rate for this plant is average to fast, growing both outwards and downwards in direction. It’s the downward growth that makes it a great hanging plant!

New growths on a Hoya Linearis will start white and light green, so don’t be concerned if you see these colors on your plant! If the stems seem stretched, weak, and with smaller leaves, this could be etiolation, meaning your plant is not getting enough light.

Don’t worry; we will cover some more problem areas and how to solve them later!

Tips for Growing your Hoya Linearis

Here are our top tips for growing a healthy and happy Hoya Linearis!

  1. Allow the potting mix to dry out between watering completely. The appropriate potting mix, small pot size, and good lighting will aid this.
  2. Regularly mist them when growing indoors to ensure the epiphytic plant gets lots of moisture.
  3. Always feed the plant room temperature water to avoid shocking your Hoya.
  4. Position your plant into bright light to encourage flower buds to produce. A little direct sun in the morning or evening is best.
  5. Stopping or reducing watering can force the plant to flower.
  6. Take cuttings from the top, diving the stem into 6-inch lengths. Taking cuttings from halfway down will see the plant grow sideways and not hang down well.
  7. Do not disturb the roots or move the plant around too much as it can delay blooming.

Common Problems: 

Before we wrap things up, let’s take a quick look at some of the common problems your Hoya Linearis might encounter and how to solve them!

Scorched leaves

Scorched leaves are caused by too much hot sun and not enough humidity.

Moving your Hoya into a shaded and humid area, such as a bright bathroom, can help to avoid further scorched leaves.

Wilted Leaves

Wilting leaves usually suggest watering issues. Root rot or prolonged under-watering are the common causes.

Examine your plant’s roots; if they are damp and have started to rot, you will need to take cuttings to propagate your Hoya for new growth. If the roots are extremely dry, you can increase watering to save your plant.

Aphids

Hoya’s can attract aphids in arid conditions. Be sure to check your plants when watering; the sooner you notice these pests, the better! Why?

Large aphids infections reduce plant growth, producing honeydew that causes mold and attracts ants.

Aphids are small insects with soft-bodies that suck the juice from leaves, stems, and tender plants. Over 4,000 species range in color from green, brown, golden, red, black, white, or gray.

They reproduce rapidly, and before you know it has overrun your plant! They damage the plant at all life stages, causing leaf stunting, yellowing, and even transferring viruses!

To combat, spray your plant with a  strong jet of water to remove the aphids and mealybugs. Insecticidal soap and horticultural oils also work.

These oils suffocate the insects, whereas soaps destroy pests by damaging their protective surface coating. It’s best to avoid using these on flowers as they can damage them further.

Spider Mites

Spider mites can also infect your plant,  piercing the plant cells and sucking sap. You’ll know if these are about if your leaves have tiny, yellow, or white speckles. In heavy infestations, expect to see foliage dropping.

Spider mites will eventually kill your plant, discolor it, or stunt its growth. They cover your plant with delicate webs, gathering dust. Not all insecticides kill spider mites, so check the label carefully for “miticide” to ensure it will work.

Use Insecticidal soap if the pests are present; check the leaves thoroughly before doing so! You can use the soap weekly and isolate the plant until it is pest-free!

Final Verdict

And like that, we have reached the end of the line! As you can see, the waxy, leafy plant will add an exotic vibe to any indoor space!

Providing your caring for the plant correctly, you can expect it to live happily for several years!

Compared to other plants, it is relatively easy to maintain, just go easy on the watering and offer a humid and bright space! Happy planting!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hoya Linearis toxic?

While the Hoya Linearis plant itself is non-toxic, the milky sap can be irritable.

It is best to keep the plant away from children and pets or opt for growing it as a hanging plant, far out of little paws and hands’ reach!

Be sure to wear protective gloves when pruning to avoid coming into contact with the irritating sap too.

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