Nature is the best way to connect to your inner self, so why not bring a little of it into your house? The Hoya Rotundiflora is a low-maintenance indoor plant that can do wonders for your space.
Like most other plants, the Hoya Rotundiflora got its name from its shape and the man who first documented the plant – Thomas Hoy. Rotundiflora usually refers to the round flowers that bloom off of the plant. The plant is part of a large family of over 700 evergreen flowering plants, and new species are continuously being discovered.
The Hoya plants are renowned for their thick waxy leaves, and beautifully scented flowers bloom in the warm season. The epiphytic plant belongs to the ‘Apocynaceae’ plant family and originates from Thailand.
Hoya Rotundiflora is a popular indoor plant mainly because it requires very minimal care, plus it adds a nice touch to your home’s décor.
- Scientific name: Asclepiadoideae
- Common name: Porcelain flower plant, wax vine, or wax flower plants
- Origin: Thailand
- Indoor or Outdoor plant: Indoor plant
- Height and Structure: Oblong, dark green leaves. Each flower grows to 15 cm in size, whereas the vine can grow up to 12 feet long.
- Temperature: 95-degrees Fahrenheit
- Flower Colour: White with yellow centers
As with any other plant, the Hoya Rotundiflora requires specific conditions to grow, mature, and thrive. So let’s take a look at some of the things you might need to consider to develop a healthy plant.
The succulent plant usually thrives in warm temperatures. It is recommendable to plant or repot your Hoya plant in summer or spring. This will provide the perfect environment for the plant to adapt to its new home.
The Hoya Rotundiflora requires a substantial amount of light to flourish. Like most other plants, the Hoya perform much better in natural sunlight.
Although the plant can handle direct sunlight, you cannot leave it exposed for extensive periods. Exposing it to direct sunlight for extended periods can cause the plant’s leaves to turn yellow.
You will want to position your Hoya plant in place with bright indirect sunlight for the best results. If you choose to keep it in direct sunlight, you will want to move it to partial shade after a few hours.
You will also want to avoid dark areas or dimly lit areas, affecting the plant’s overall health.
The Hoya Rotundiflora has pretty basic soil demands. For the plant to flourish, you need to keep it moist and well-drained. It performs exceptionally well in any simple potting mixture with a PH range between 6.1 and 7.5.
The plant is epiphytic, which means it has small roots that it does not use as extensively as most other house plants – which are terrestrial. The Hoya tends to climb onto other plants in its natural habitat and sources water and nutrients from the air.
For the best results, you can use a combination of perlite, peat, and orchid mix. You can also choose to use cactus and succulent mix.
Unlike most other plants in the Hoya family, the Rotundiflora grows at a much slower rate. The plant might need a year or even more to grow, mature, and thrive. The drought-resistant succulent plant is tough and sturdy and doesn’t need a lot of care to thrive.
Considering that the plant’s native environment is generally warm, the winter season might pose some challenges for your Hoya. Once the temperatures drop below the average range, the plant might experience periods of stunted growth. During the season, you should reduce your watering frequency and fertilization – this will give it enough time to adapt to the weather changes.
In its natural habitat, the Hoya Rotundiflora grows on trees and other plants. So, once the plant starts growing, you will need to stake it to offer the necessary support. The size of the stake entirely depends on how large your plant is. Mature Hoya Rotundiflora plants can grow up to 12-feet in height – with the required care and support.
Hoya Rotundiflora is a succulent plant with very minimal water requirements. The plant’s thick, waxy leaves can store water for extended periods and thus don’t require frequent watering. During warm summer months, you can water your Hoya only once a week because the atmosphere is usually humid, which causes the soil to dry up quickly.
In winter, the plant struggles and does not require as much water as in the months of active growth. Therefore, you should reduce your watering frequency to once every two weeks.
Under-watering and over-watering should completely be avoided. Squishy leaves are an indication that your plant is not being watered correctly.
The Hoya Rotundiflora requires very minimal fertilizer and can do exceptionally well without any. As such, you should be very cautious about over-fertilizing it.
However, a little fertilizer can be very beneficial for the plant and can help it produce more vibrant flowers and leaves.
It is recommendable to use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer with a 20-20-20 blend once every month during its growing season. You can also opt to go with 3-1-2 or 2-1-2 combinations if you notice that your plant is not producing enough foliage. The higher nitrogen concentration in the formulations boosts vegetation growth. You can also help your plant with flowering by switching to a higher phosphorous fertilizer before it starts to bloom. You will want to do this about two months before the actual blooming season, as this will encourage more production. 5-10-3 is the most recommendable blend for this purpose.
The plant’s natural habitat is very humid. The plant thrives best when the indoor humidity is maintained at 60% or higher. It can also tolerate levels down to 40%, which makes it much easier to care for. Levels lower than 40% will dry out the plant.
Humidity levels in your home are determined by where you live. In the plant native home, there is sunshine all year round, and even in the coldest months, it is still moderately warm. If you live in a chilly area, caring for the plant will be much more challenging. Inconsistent humidity around the plant will upset your Hoya, which might result in stunted growth and flower loss.
A digital hygrometer might prove to be a beneficial investment if you intend to grow more than one plant – you can get a digital one for a few bucks only. You will also want to spray the foliage with some water from time to time to keep the plant hydrated and to reduce the dust levels.
Like most other Hoya species, the Rotundiflora will thrive in a room where the temperature stays between 60 degrees Fahrenheit and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Achieving and maintaining such a temperature in a tropical environment is not difficult at all.
Although you can choose to plant your Hoya plant outside, it is more recommendable to grow it indoors – to protect it from extreme weather and frost in the winter months. The plant cannot tolerate low temperatures – and it will almost certainly die when exposed to cold weather for extended periods. If you like how your Hoya looks on your porch, make sure that you bring it inside the house as soon as winter begins.
For Hoya plants and other succulents, mulching is not very necessary. However, your plant can still reap the benefits of mulching. Rocks and pebbles are the most popular mulch for succulents. They can help control the soil moisture, protect the plant from harsh weather, and add nutrients to the soil. Mulch also makes it more difficult for weeds to germinate and spread.
Trimming and Pruning your plant will encourage healthier and bushier growth, which is what you want with your houseplant.
To groom your Hoya, you first need to disinfect your pruning shears with ethanol. Start by cutting all the brown and old leaves, and then move to the bottom leaves. Finish by trimming all the yellowed branches.
Finding the right pot for your Hoya is essential. You should find one that is not too large and with drainage holes underneath.
The succulent plant has a relatively small root system and enjoys being pot-bound, which means that you don’t need to repot it often when it matures. Like many other succulents, it does not like being moved too often. The only times you might need to repot your Hoya plant include;
- When the roots are protruding underneath the pot
- If you notice stunted growth despite proper growing conditions
- Soil dries extremely fast even after you water your plant
- In case there is root rot, pest infestation, overwatering, or other soil problems that you cannot fix
There are multiple ways you can propagate your Hoya plant, but there are some basic procedures you will need to familiarize yourself with – there are the same for all methods.
First and foremost, you need to sterilize all your equipment to avoid any infections and damages to the plant. You will then need to cut off a suitable part of the plant – preferably a young vine with immature or no leaves at all. Find the point where the leaves of the plant start to grow – node. Finally, cut them from the last node of the leaf. Some people choose to dip the end of the cut stem into a rooting hormone, which helps the plant grow roots at an accelerated rate.
Most people prefer starting the Hoya plant out in the water. It is much easier to manage, and the plant is much more likely to survive and thrive. Propagating in a transparent container also gives you the pleasure of watching your little plant grow from scratch. However, you have to change the water regularly to avoid bacterial activity that can eventually suffocate your plant and cause root rot.
This is much easier than water propagation because perlite is sterile and allows air to flow around the stem more conveniently, preventing root rot. All you need to do is;
- Find a small container to store your stem cutting
- Add an inch of perlite into another container and soak it in water for a few minutes
- Drain the water out of the container when the perlite is evenly damp
- Bury your Hoya stem in the perlite but leave the leaves uncovered
- Air seal the container with a plastic wrap to increase the humidity
- Place the container in a warm and bright area. Away from direct sunlight
The best thing about this propagation method is that you will not have to transplant your Hoya plant at a later stage. After a few weeks, when the plant develops about inch-long roots, you can start caring for it like a regular mature plant. You might also need to report the plant more than once since it grows very quickly when it’s young.
Fungal infections such as botrytis are the most common diseases that affect the Hoya Rotundiflora. However, you can protect your plant against most fungal diseases by watering your plant as advised.
Scales, thrips, aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites are the most common pests that attack Hoya and other succulent plants. Despite their minuscule size, they can cause significant damage to your plant in no time. They usually do so by sucking the nutritious sap off the plant – and once the plant has lost enough sap, it starts deteriorating.
The best way to deal with pests is early detection. By frequently inspecting the plant, you can identify and deal with them before the situation gets out of hand. Once you identify an infested spot, you can use neem oil to repel them. You can also spray the areas with water to wash them off.
There are more than 700 known species, cultivators, and hybrids of Hoya. The Hoya genus is native to Australia and Asia, where many grow on trees. With such a wide variety, many of them have different characteristics and care requirements. However, some of the most popular Hoya’s include;
- Hoya Carnosa
- Hoya Pubicalyx
- Hoya Kentiana
- Hoya kerrii
- Hoya Lacunosa – Cinnamon Hoya
- Hoya Australis
- Hoya Obovata
- Hoya Retusa
- Hoya Bella
- Hoya Wayetii
The plant performs well with other succulent plants, and with a large pot, you can mix several different succulents for an enhanced décor aesthetic.
Toxicity is one of the most pressing concerns for most people when getting a new house plant. You don’t want to get a plant that might bring harm to your family or pets. Hoya Rotundiflora sap contains toxic substances that can cause a severe reaction in the human body. This is why you should handle your Hoya plant with care. Ensure that it is kept away from your children.
Likewise, the plant can also be toxic for animals, and you should keep it away from your pets.
Hoya Rotundiflora is a beautiful tropical vine widely renowned for its waxy, succulent leaves and pretty round flowers. As you have seen, the plant requires very minimal maintenance to thrive and bring a slice of nature right into your home. You can grow the Hoya Rotundiflora in a wide range of spots in your house, in the living room, on the kitchen windowsill, or even in the bedroom. Plus, with just one plant, you can propagate other ‘baby’ plants to add all-around your home.