Hoya plants usually have large waxy leaves that are very thick, but the hoyas linearis is different because its leaves are soft, thin, and a little bit on the hairy side! All hoyas make great houseplants, but if you want one that looks like a curtain when it hangs and has long fuzzy stems, the linearis is the one to choose. Oh, and did we mention that this is a rare plant as well?
- Scientific Name/Common Names: Hoya linearis/porcelain flower, porcelain vine, wax plant, wax vine
- Origin: The Himalayans in Asia
- Indoor/Outdoor: Either
- Height/Structure: Roughly six feet in length when grown indoors
- Temperature: 60 degrees to 85 degrees Fahrenheit
- Flower Color: Pinkish-white tint with yellowish-white coronas
The long narrow foliage of the hoya linearis gives it a cascade-like, very elegant look. In fact, it is the foliage that people seem to love most about it. If you wish to learn how to care for it, you’ve come to the right place.
The hoya linearis plant is not difficult to care for, but it does tend to have weak roots, which means that you have to put it in the right environment if you want it to thrive. When you water it, just water it when the top layer of soil is dry to the touch. And choose good well-draining soil for planting.
This plant takes three to five years to grow to maturity, and the leaves each get up to two inches in length. They have deep grooves on the underside and have small white flowers about half an inch in size. The flowers have a pinkish tint and coronas that are yellowish-white in color.
The key to being successful at growing a hoya linearis plant is to recreate the conditions it is used to living in when it’s in its natural habitat. Don’t worry; this isn’t difficult, but you do have to abide by certain rules for the plant to grow and thrive. Let’s take a look at some of them.
First of all, the soil you use is important, but you’ll get a lot of luck out of a potting soil that is free draining and well aerated. If you make yourself a combination of cacti soil, perlite, and orchid bark in a 1:1:1 mix, your hoya linearis plant will thank you.
But don’t worry if you’d rather choose a commercial potting soil instead of making your own. As long as it’s a high-quality potting soil and you obey all of the other growing rules, your plant should be just fine.
Whatever you end up choosing, just make sure that the soil is airy and light. Remember that the water has to drain well so that the roots don’t rot from overwatering. Soil that doesn’t drain well means that the plant will be overwatered, and this is not something you want.
If you’d like to test the soil’s pH level, try to get it between 6.1 and 7.5 for optimum results.
Another unique characteristic of the hoya linearis plant is that you can grow it as a houseplant or outdoors in your garden. If you choose the latter, it’ll work best if you live in USDA hardiness zones 11a to 11b. When you plant it outside, make sure that it’s a frost-free area and a sunny location, but one that gets shade in the middle of the day.
While all hoya plants need good watering on a regular basis, you should remember to let the top layer of the soil completely dry out before you water them again. The linearis is different because it doesn’t have large, waxy leaves but leaves that are long, thin, and narrow.
In practical terms, this means they do not hold as much water as the other species of hoya plants. When you’re watering your hoya linearis, water it until it comes out of the bottom of the planter, then stop. It’s easy to go from being too dry to overwatering the plant if you’re not careful.
How often should you water your hoya linearis plant? In the summer, you’ll want to water it once a week and no more. During the cooler months, always test the soil before you water it. If the top inch or two is still damp, it means that you don’t have to water it at that time.
In other words, wait until the top part of the soil is dry before adding more water.
You should also water all houseplants, including your hoya linearis, in the morning hours. In the evening time, the evaporation rate is lighter because of the cooler temperatures. Watering your plants in the morning allows the plants to take full advantage of the evaporation process.
You should use either filtered water or tap water to water your plants. If you choose tap water, let it sit overnight so the impurities and chemicals can dissipate. It’s easier just to use filtered or distilled water, especially since this type of water is so cheap, but this is a decision you’ll have to make for yourself.
You’ll also want to use water that is always at room temperature. Why? Because cold or hot water can shock the plant and cause the leaves to fall off.
The hoya linearis plant has star-shaped flowers that are whitish in color and have a fresh lemony scent. They look like a bunch of tiny candles sitting together. These fragrant white flowers bloom from late summer into the fall and the blooms themselves last around two weeks or so.
But don’t expect to see these flowers when you first get your hoya linearis plant. It usually takes about two years for you to see your first blooms.
In the outdoors, hoya linearis plants grow wild, but when they’re kept as a houseplant, it’s a little different. They can get up to around six feet in length when grown indoors, and they cascade gently to the floor. New growth is usually light green and white then changes to a darker color later on.
As far as light is concerned, hoya linearis plants need bright but indirect light. They also do well in cooler temperatures and in low-light conditions. In fact, this plant actually needs some time out of the light. Some people put their hoya linearis plant in the bathroom for this very reason.
That being said, you don’t want your hoya linearis plant out of the light for long periods of time. This is a cooler growing species but still needs light, albeit indirect light, for most of the day.
And the reason why you’ll want the hoya linearis plant in indirect light is that direct light will scorch the leaves and burn them. If you put your hoya linearis in a hanging basket, make sure that the bright indirect light reaches the very top of the plant, but never put it directly in the sun or under a light.
Ideally, your hoya linearis plant will be exposed to bright indirect light for at least half of the day.
When it comes to the temperature, never put your hoya linearis plant in a room that gets more than 85 degrees Fahrenheit. In fact, the ideal temperature is between 60 degrees and 85 degrees Fahrenheit, although the hoya linearis plant can tolerate temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
This plant does well with cooler temperatures because in the wild, it grows at higher altitudes. And since it is a tropical plant, it also loves humidity. In fact, this particular type of hoya prefers humidity levels of 50% to 70%, which is higher than many houseplants can tolerate.
If the humidity gets lower than 50%, you’ll know immediately because the leaves of the hoya linearis plant will start to shrivel a bit.
If you live in a drier area and you’re concerned about the moisture level of your plants, you have three options. They include:
- Using a humidifier
- Misting the plant lightly with filtered water daily
- Place the plant close to other plants, which releases moisture and therefore increases the humidity level
If you try these three methods and none of them work, take a shallow bowl and fill it with water, then place it near the plant to automatically increase the humidity level. But the important thing to remember is that the hoya linearis plant needs a certain amount of humidity to survive and thrive.
The hoya linearis plant does not need a lot of fertilizer, but if you like, you can give it fertilizer twice a month during the spring and summer seasons (i.e., the growing seasons). Make sure that you dilute the fertilizer according to the directions, and if the soil is dry, make sure that you moisten it a little before adding the fertilizer.
When it isn’t the spring or summer, there is no need to use a fertilizer on your hoya linearis plant.
Regular trimming is also important in order to remove dead or dried leaves and stems. Use sharp scissors or shears to trim these pieces, but don’t remove the old stalk because blooming might be delayed. When trimming the hoya linearis plant, keep in mind that it will release white latex, which can be an irritant. This is why you should always wear gloves when you’re trimming this plant.
If you’re interested in propagating this plant, the best way to do it is with a cutting of the root stem. It may take a few weeks for the stem to start to grow, and in the meantime you’ll have to make sure that it gets the humidity it needs. It can be put in a plastic bag or a humidity dome to make sure.
When choosing a stem cutting, make sure the plant itself is healthy, then choose a stem with three or four nodes on it. (The node is where the leaf and stem connect.)
Remove the leaves at the bottom of the stem, dip the tip in a rooting hormone, and then plant it in a pot. For even better results, add some perlite to the mixture. While it’s growing, water the soil well and let it drain properly.
The roots of the stem usually take around three to four weeks to show up.
Hoya plants do not need frequent repotting; in fact, you can count on repotting them no more than once every year or two. When you repot your hoya, buy a pot that is slightly bigger than the one you’re currently using. You’ll want to use a pot that is just a few inches bigger and no more.
Also, wait until the early spring while it’s still growing season to repot your hoya plant. This means that the plant won’t suffer shock and will have plenty enough time to grow properly from that point forward.
If you love the hoya linearis plant, you’ll love other species of this family of plants. They include the following:
- Hoya lacunosa AKA the cinnamon hoya
- Dee’s Big One
- Hoya camosa
- Hoya bella
- Stringbean hoya
The hoya linearis plant is non-toxic but it does have a milky sap that can be an irritant. Because of this, it is best to keep this plant out of the reach of small children and pets. If you put your hoya plant in a hanging basket, this shouldn’t be a problem.
In conclusion, you’ll want to follow these tips in order to grow your hoya linearis plants successfully:
- Make sure that you have good lighting, a small pot size, and high-quality potting soil.
- When watering, the water itself must be room temperature.
- When you take cuttings, take them from the top of the plant and divide each stem into six-inch pieces. Never take cuttings from the middle or bottom of the plant.
- Regular misting is always a good idea when you’re growing them indoors.
- Never move the plant around too much because it can delay the blooming period.
- If you stop or reduce the watering for a while, these plants will be forced to flower.
- Scorched leaves mean that you’re giving the plant too much sun and not enough humidity.
- Wilting leaves are usually the result of under-watering the plant.
- If you live in a dry area, be aware that the plant can be prone to aphids.