The Hoya Affinis is a vining plant that can climb onto a trellis or trail down from a hanging basket. It produces lovely green leaves. But it is best known for its stunning flowers.
In the right conditions, this hoya plant will bloom beautiful star-shaped red and while flowers with gorgeous yellow centers.
It will also grow to 4 to 5 feet long making it stunning to look at.
The Hoya Affinis is native to the tropical parts of Asia and Oceania which is why it enjoys warm, humid weather.
How do you care for the Hoya Affinis? Bright, indirect light is essential for it to flower. Maintain moderate to high humidity as well.
Having the plant root bound also increases the likelihood of flowering. And feed it with phosphorus rich fertilizer to encourage blooms. Never overwater it as this can lead to root rot.
Hoya Affinis Plant Care
The Hoya Affinis enjoys bright, indirect light. This plant likes a bit more light compared to other hoya varieties. So, it is a good idea to keep it near a window if possible.
Indoors, it is well-suited for an east, west or north facing window.
You do want to practice a bit more care with a south facing window because that side gets lot of nid-day sun. Unfortunately, the Hoya Affinis can only tolerate 2 to 3 hours of this.
Therefore, if you really like that location, you can position the plant about 2-3 feet from the window opening or use sheer curtains to filter the light coming in.
That way, it won’t be too intense for the plant.
While the Hoya Affinis likes plenty of light, too much can harm its leaves.
Note that the plant will be fine and survive the intense light. However, its leaves will get discolored or even scorched.
This will leave you with an ugly looking Hoya Affinis, which nobody wants.
On the other hand, low light is likewise a no-no.
That’s because this hoya species will grow and get dense producing lots of leaves. Additionally, its biggest attraction are its lovely colorful flowers.
Therefore, I don’t suggest leaving it low light even it will survive there.
You won’t see it grow optimally, it will also have fewer leaves and likely won’t bloom.
The Hoya Affinis can grow indoors or outdoors. However, it prefers warm climate conditions over the cold.
That’s because it is a tropical plant. Therefore, it is used to warm to hot environments. This is why it prefers temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
As such, this makes it easy to grow the plant indoors as far as temperature is concerned.
In fact, you don’t have to make any adjustments since most homes have conditions around the plant’s ideal range.
That said, do watch out for winters especially if your home gets cold during that time.
Outdoors, the Hoya Affinis enjoys USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12.
If you live in these regions, you can keep the plant outdoors all year round if you wish. But anywhere colder, it is a good idea to keep it indoors as a houseplant.
You can bring it outside during summers for some fresh air.
But remember to bring it back indoors once the weather gets cold.
The reason is that the plant has poor tolerance to the cold. It will struggle below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Thus, it cannot be left outdoors in winter as it cannot tolerate freezing temperatures.
Ideal humidity for the Hoya Affinis is 60% to 80%. This is where it will grow at its best.
However, it is also more adaptable compared to other hoya varieties when it comes to humidity.
It can tolerate average room humidity.
So, as long as you don’t live somewhere with dry air it will be find.
If you want to play it safe, try to keep humidity at 40% and above. However, the best way to gauge its humidity tolerance where you live is to use a hygrometer and observe its leaves.
The hygrometer will keep you abreast on what the humidity is at any second in time.
And as long as the Hoya Affinis’ leaves don’t turn brown on the edges and tips, it means it is adapting quite well to the air moisture level in your home.
But if the leaves start turning brown, check the hygrometer.
This will let you know what the plant’s humidity tolerance is. And from there, you’ll know the level to watch out for.
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How Often to Water Hoya Affinis
Water is something you want to pay special attention to when it comes to the Hoya Affinis. This is because the plant likes moist soil but it is also susceptible to overwatering.
Therefore, avoid leaving the soil wet. Soggy or mucky soil is always a warning sign to look out for.
For this reason, knowing when to water the Hoya Affinis and how to water it are crucial.
When should you water the Hoya Affinis?
Allow the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry completely between waterings. This will help prevent overwatering.
By allowing the soil to dry a bit you keep the roots from ending up in too much moisture.
Note that this does not need to be precise.
And you can be late a few days. That’s fine.
But you cannot be early. In short, never water before the top 1-2 inches of soil has dried.
How should you water the Hoya Affinis?
Soak the root ball then let the soil completely drain.
The first part will allow the roots to get as much as they want to drink. So, keep watering until you start seeing it trickle down from the drainage holes at the bottom of the plant.
Also, don’t water over the plant and wet all the leaves.
Instead, water directly onto the soil. This reduces the risk of fungal infections.
Once the water starts trickling out from under the pot, stop watering.
Then let the soil completely drain. This second step ensures that the roots don’t end up sitting in too much water for long periods of time.
It will take 15 or so minutes for the soil to completely drain. So just leave it and let it drip in the sink.
When this is done, you’ll be left with moist soil.
More importantly, the roots got their fill of water. And now have a lot of oxygen since the water has completely drained.
So, there’s no risk of overwatering.
Hoya Affinis Potting Soil
To help prevent overwatering, use well-draining soil with good aeration.
Again, this follows how you’ve been watering the plant above.
Well-draining soil will retain some moisture to keep the roots hydrated. But it will quickly drain out any excess liquid.
This will allow you to avoid leaving the roots drowning in water.
The good news is there are many ways to achieve this kind of soil that the plant needs.
If you prefer getting your soil from the store, then choose a bag of African violet soil. This works very well with hoya plants.
If you’re like me and prefer making your own potting mix, then make sure you include something that provides drainage as well as aerates the soil.
You can use perlite, peat, coco coir, orchid bark or vermiculite just to name a few.
Here are a couple of DIY potting soil mixes you can make that work well for the Hoya Affinis.
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part coco coir
- 1 part perlite or pumice
You can likewise go with:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part orchid bark
In addition to using the right kind of soil for the plant, don’t forget to choose a container that has drainage holes at the bottom.
This will allow any excess liquid that drains from the substrate to drip out of the container.
The Hoya Affinis is a light feeder. But it does need fertilizer to grow optimally.
Plus, giving it the proper nutrients can help it produce more flowers.
That said, be careful about over fertilizing the plant. This is something many growers do with the hope that they can make the plant grow faster or produce more foliage and flowers.
Unfortunately, too much plant food can lead to fertilizer burn which can turn leaves yellow and damage the roots.
So, it is never worth it.
Instead, only feed the Hoya Affinis once a month during spring and summer. There is no need to feed them during the colder months of the year.
For all-around growth and nutrition, you can use a balanced liquid fertilizer. This will give the plant the nutrients it needs.
I do like to switch to an orchid fertilizer once I notice the plant start to bloom or show signs of possibly blooming. You can likewise use a high phosphorus fertilizer as well.
Both contain more phosphorus which encourages flowers to bloom.
Flowers and Blooming
The Hoya Affinis is best known for its red and white star-shaped flowers with yellow centers.
These are not only stunning to look at but they are fragrant as well.
If that’s not enough, you’ll usually find about 10 to 12 flowers growing as a bunch forming a semi-sphere facing outwards.
These make the small 2 inch blooms stand out since collectively they look stunning.
They also add contrast to the green leaves and long stems that the plant has.
That said, note that you do need to do some work to help the plant produce these lovely flowers.
The first thing is to supply it with lots of bright, indirect sunlight. This is the most important thing.
Also, keep humidity at least between 40% to 60%. And leaving the plant slightly root bound likewise helps.
Finally, using an orchid fertilizer or phosphorus-based plant food will encourage the flowers to bloom.
The Hoya Affinis will get long over time. It will usually reach 4 to 5 feet in length.
As such, you have a couple of options on how you want to display it.
And the way you display it will affect how often you may need to prune. Of course, also take into consideration how you want to shape the plant.
In most cases, the Hoya Affinis is grown in a pot and allowed to climb a trellis or some kind of shaped wiring.
This will let the plant go upwards.
And in time it will get quite bushy as well.
On the other hand, you can also grow it in hanging baskets. While not as prevalent for this particular hoya species, it is a lovely and viable option as well.
In all likelihood, you may need to prune a climbing plant more than a hanging basket.
That’s because some vines can grow all over the plant or become outliers. On the other hand, they can only hang downwards from a basket.
Additionally, how often you prune will depend on how big or thick you want the plant to get.
How to Propagate Hoya Affinis
The Hoya Affinis is easy to propagate from stem cuttings. This makes it a good candidate if you want to grow more plants.
And the best time to propagate the plant is during spring to early summer.
The earlier in the spring you do this, the most likely the new plant will have a full growing season to develop before the cold winter arrives.
When taking stem cuttings for this plant make sure each of the cuttings have at least 1-2 nodes and several leaves on them.
Once you’ve selected the stems, it is time to begin propagating.
Here’s how to propagate Hoya Affinis from stem cuttings.
- Sterilize your scissors by using cotton and rubbing alcohol on the blades. Then cut the stems just below the node.
- Allow the stems to rest for a while and callous.
- As they wait, prepare a pot and fill it with well-draining potting soil. You can use the soil mix recipes above.
- Then plant the cuttings into the soil with the nodes buried in under the surface. If you have rooting hormone, you can apply that to the cut end of the stem before planting them.
- Water the soil and keep it moist. You’ll want to let it dry then water again. Never leave the soil wet or soggy.
- Place the pot in bright, indirect light in a warm spot with good humidity.
From there, it will take about one month for the roots to develop.
All you need to do is care for the new plant like you do the mother plant.
Another option to soil propagation is water propagation.
If you decide to go this route, just place the cuttings in water with the nodes submerged. Once the roots reach about 2 inches or longer, then move the cuttings into a pot with soil mix.
How to Repot or Transplant Hoya Affinis
The Hoya Affinis likes being root bound. And this actually helps the plant bloom.
Therefore, don’t be in a hurry to repot it.
In most cases, it takes between 2 to 4 years before you need to repot the plant. So, there’s not need to move it to a bigger container yearly.
More importantly moving it to an overly large container increases the risk of overwatering.
So, wait for the plant to get root bound and take your take.
The best time to repot is during spring to early summer.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
No, the Hoya Affinis is not toxic to humans and animals. This is a good thing as it allows you to keep the plant indoors and display it wherever you want.
This also eliminated the risk of having to worry that your kids of pets end up consuming parts of the plant.
Hoya Affinis Problems & Troubleshooting
Mealybugs, aphids, spider mites and scale are common pests that like to attack the plant give then chance.
Therefore, try not to give them that opportunity.
The Hoya Affinis has good resistance to pests. But this only works when it is healthy. When sick or stressed, the plant will be more prone to these bugs.
Therefore, try to take care of the plant and give it what it requires.
If you do see pests, you can treat them using neem oil or insecticidal soap.
Root rot and fungal or bacterial infections are the biggest things to watch out for here.
These are all caused by overwatering. Therefore, be careful with watering the plant too frequently.
Instead, always allow the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry between waterings. This will help you avoid overwatering the plant and leaving the roots swimming in too much water.
In addition to following the right watering schedule, use well-draining soil and a pot wit drainage holes at the bottom.