Hoya Archboldiana Plant Care – Varieties, Propagation, Watering & Repotting

Hoya Archboldiana

The Hoya Archboldiana is a beautiful hoya species that has a number of varieties. It is best known for its large, long, narrow somewhat crinkles green leaves and its stunning flowers.

Of the two, there’s no doubt that the standout are its blooms.

These aver very unique and they’re large as well (relative to other hoyas). They grow in clusters called umbels. And each umbel is bigger than the size of your hand.

The best part of the flowers are their cupped shape with dark pink colored stars in the middle. Not only are these unique, they’re stunning to look at as well.

It is worth noting that the colors of flowers of your Hoya Archboldiana can differ as there are quite a few varieties. In most cases, the variety name tells you the color of the blooms they produce.

Here are some Hoya Archboldiana varieties you may come across.

  • Hoya Archboldiana White
  • Hoya Archboldiana Pink
  • Hoya Archboldiana Yellow
  • Hoya Archboldiana Red
  • Hoya Archboldiana Variegata

As you would the expect, the odd man out in the list is the Hoya Archboldiana Variegata which has variegated foliage.

Because the plant does get big, you will need some space indoors. This is why some growers keep it outside.

The Hoya Archboldiana is native to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

Hoya Archboldiana Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Hoya Archboldiana enjoys medium to bright indirect light. In fact, the plant thrives with good lighting. Therefore, it is best to keep it in a well-lite room indoors.

However, be careful with very strong, intense light and direct sun. Exposure to both can damage its leaves causing them to dry out, become pale or white in color or even burn them.

Note that the plant can tolerate the excess light and heat. So, it will not die despite this. However, you’ll be left with unsightly foliage that you’ll eventually need to prune.

The worst part is, if the plant does lose all its leaves due to sun damage, it won’t have any for photosynthesis which will harm its health as well.

This make positioning the plant by a window or near one the best spot to keep it indoors (in terms of lighting.

  • East facing window – this is the ideal location. The plant will get lots of morning sun. You can even keep it by the window as the plant can tolerate direct morning sun (it actually appreciates it). in the afternoon, the light becomes indirect keeping it away from the harsh sunshine.
  • West facing window – this received sun from about noon to late afternoon. The Hoya Archboldiana also enjoys gentle later afternoon sun (4:00 p.m. onwards). But it cannot tolerate hours of daily mid-day sun. So, it is best to use sheer curtains here to protect the plant from direct sun.
  • South facing window – this side gets the strongest and longest periods of sun. Unfortunately, the plant cannot tolerate this. So, it is best to distance it from a south facing window. The goal is to keep the plant from the sun’s rays. This usually means about 3-5 feet from the window. However, because of the strength of the sun, you can place it as far as 10 feet away and your Hoya Archboldiana will still get sufficient light.
  • North facing window – the north gets the least amount of light if you live in the Northern Hemisphere. In most cases, the light should be enough. However, I don’t recommend this location especially during the winter or if you don’t have ideal lighting as it may not be enough to keep the plant happy and healthy.

The reason why you want to be wary of the northern exposure is that while the plant can tolerate low light without any issues, it is unlikely to bloom in this environment.

Instead, it needs bright, indirect light to encourage flowering. So, if you want to see blossoms, it is important to find a spot with good lighting.

If you don’t get ideal amounts of natural light indoors, consider artificial lights. The plant is not picky about what kind of light it gets. And grow lights work perfectly well.

 

Temperature

The Hoya Archboldiana does best in temperatures between 60 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. It is a tropical plant hailing from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

As such, outdoors, the plant enjoys USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11 the most. And it will happily stay there throughout the year including winters.

That’s because these regions (in the southern coasts like Florida, Texas and California) had sunshine and no snow even in the wintertime.

Therefore, it is as close as you get to the moderate to hot conditions of the plant’s native habitat.

On the other hand, keep it away from temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit as it cannot stand this cold there for extended periods of time on a daily basis.

Indoors, this also means to keep it away from vents, air conditioners and open windows where cold drafts can enter.

 

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Humidity

Its tropical habitat also means that it is used to humid environments. As such, the Hoya Archboldiana thrives when humidity is between 60% and 80%.

In most cases, this means it is not easy to keep the plant happy with this regard unless you live somewhere with a tropical climate, own a greenhouse, grow cabinet or grow it in a terrarium.

The good news is that its thick leaves do help since they store moisture. Their relative large foliage size (compared to other hoyas) also allows them to store more water to get through periods of dryness.

Thus, the plant can tolerate lower humidity.

Still, try to keep humidity at 40% and higher if possible. It will withstand levels below that. But you do want to watch out for dry, crispy leaf tips the lower you go.

This is especially true if you have hot dry summers or cold winters. Both seasons are known to dry the air. So, you want to keep an eye out for the plant’s leaves during these time.

You can also invest in a digital hygrometer which is very affordable. This will let you get ahead of any humidity changes the weather may throw at you.

 

How Often to Water Hoya Archboldiana

The Hoya Archboldiana’s thick leaves helps it tolerate a bit of drought. Additionally, because it is an epiphyte, you want to be careful with overwatering it.

Thus, it is best to let it dry out a bit between waterings.

This is the biggest difference between hoyas and some other houseplants that enjoys more regular watering.

So, what does this all mean?

It means that you want to allow the soil to dry until about 50% of way down before adding more water. Of course, if you like to water your plants often (I do have some friends you like to do this), wait until at least the top 2 inches of soil is dry.

This way, you avoid watering too frequently which can lead to root rot.

The extra benefit of this is that you’ll automatically adjust how often you water your Hoya Archboldiana.

During the warmer months, this comes out to once every 5 to 8 days. In the winter, the interval will drop to between once every 13 to 19 days.

This variation will depend on how hot or how cold the weather gets and how much sunlight there is.

The more sunshine, the faster the soil will dry. Similarly, the hotter the climate, the sooner the soil will dry. And the opposites will happen when there’s less sunlight and it gets colder.

Alternatively, I also know a few houseplant growers who lift their hoyas to tell whether it needs water.

The pot will be heavier when soil is moist. And it will be much lighter when the soil is dry.

I also have some friends who squeeze the leaves. Because they leaves are fleshy and thick, they’ll feel firm and plump when they have enough water. But they’ll be softer and flatter when they need water.

With the Hoya Archboldiana, you can also check the leaves at the base of the plants. These are the older leaves. In addition to feeling softer, they will get wrinkled as well.

When this happens, it means that the plant needs water.

 

Hoya Archboldiana Potting Soil

The best soil for your Hoya Archboldiana is well-draining potting soil. It needs to be light and airy as well since the plant does not like standing in water. Instead, its roots like having a lot of oxygen.

Additionally, it is a good idea to give it soil with pH between 6.5 and 7.5. This will allow the plant to absorb nutrients more efficiently from the soil.

The reason is that the Hoya Archboldiana is an epiphyte. In its natural habitat, it uses its vines and aerial roots to cling onto larger trees.

As such, it does not necessarily need soil to survive. Although most of use keep it in soil because it is the easiest way to display the plant, give it water and nutrients in the form of fertilizer.

This means you can let it climb onto a bark or cling onto something instead of growing it in soil.

More importantly, it means that in the forest, the plant’s roots are watered when the rains come. They get soaked but will dry quickly because there’s a lot of air circulation going through its roots.

So, you want to give it the same or at least similar environment at home. This is done via well-draining soil.

The best way to water your Hoya Archboldiana is to flood the soil then allow it to completely drain right after. Since the plant is susceptible to overwatering, I don’t let the plant’s roots sit in water for more than 15 minutes.

Thus, the only way to do this is by using fast draining soil.

Similarly, a lightweight, airy soil will allow lots of oxygen to its roots. You also want to avoid soil that will get compacted as this prevents water from easily moving in and out.

You can use perlite, pumice, vermiculite, orchid bark or charcoal (and a few other ingredients) to improve potting soil drainage.

Here are some DIY potting mix recipes for the Hoya Archboldiana that will keep it healthy and happy.

  • 1 part potting with 1 part coco coir and 1 part perlite
  • 2 parts peat moss and 1 part perlite or pumice
  • 1 part cactus mix with 1 part orchid mix and 1 part perlite
  • 1 part potting soil with 1 part orchid bark

 

Fertilizer

The Hoya Archboldiana is a low maintenance plant that does not need a lot of fertilizer. Nevertheless, it does need nutrients provided for by plant food.

Additionally, it is not fussy about what kind of fertilizer it is give.

This means the most important things are:

  • Make sure to give it fertilizer
  • Avoid overfeeding tit

This makes it easy to feed the plant and keep it healthy.

You can use fish emulsion if you want something organic. Although synthetic fertilizers will work as well. You can go with a balanced houseplant fertilizer (use an N-P-K of 15-15-15), an all-purpose product or even a regular houseplant fertilizer.

If you don’t like to feed regularly you can likewise opt for slow release.

The point is, the plant is not picky about it.

The key is to feed it once a month during tis growing season (spring and summer). Stop when autumn arrives and don’t give it any fertilizer in the winter as it tends to rest during cold weather.

Make sure to dilute the houseplant fertilizer to 50% strength when you use it. Ideally choose a high nitrogen formulation since the Hoya Archboldiana is a foliage plant.

However, once you see it begin to bloom, you can go with a bloom booster or bloom fertilizer. These contain more phosphorus which encourages flowering.

 

Flowers / Blooms

The Hoya Archboldiana’s unique flowers are something you don’t want to miss.

Even among hoyas, its blooms are very distinctive. They have a different shape, look and colors as well.

These will usually appear during the warmer months so you want to give the plant ideal living conditions during spring and summer to help it bloom.

Its flowers look like cups with stars in the middle. So, each bloom has a wide deep hole with a star-shape cut out in the middle.

They also grow in clusters more like a bouquet hung upside down.

The most common color is pink. However, you will see white, yellow, red and a few other colored Hoya Archboldiana blooms.

Each of these are different variations so you can actually collect them is you wish.

That said, the plant won’t always bloom. It needs the right environment. And these are the things you want to make sure it gets.

  • Lots of bright, indirect light (it will not bloom in low light
  • Feed with a bloom fertilizer (higher phosphorus content in the N-P-K ratio). Phosphorus is the 2nd number in that set (letter P). And it helps promote blooming and will extend flowering time as well.
  • Don’t deadhead the flowers after they’ve faded. While this works with other plants, it does not with hoyas. That’s because hoya (including the Hoya Archboldiana) grow on old spurs. Therefore, if you cut these spurs off, you’ll need to wait for new ones to grow, which means no flowers for the next growing season or at least until after the spurs have grown back.

 

Pruning

Above, I’ve already touched on pruning.

And this is the most important thing with the Hoya Archboldiana. Don’t prune its leafless stalks (spurs).

As for the plant itself, the Hoya Archboldiana produces larger leaves than most other hoyas. However, they can get a little shaggy looking once it gets bushier and longer.

So, you will need to prune it on occasion.

This makes the plant fairly low maintenance with this regard.

It is also a moderate grower. But the more sun its gets the faster it will grow (and vice versa). This is why you’ll see some Hoya Archboldiana grow much more than others.

The amount of light, temperature, humidity and how often you feed it all influence its growth rate.

 

How to Propagate Hoya Archboldiana

Stem propagation is the most efficient way to grow more Hoya Archboldiana at home. Commercial establishments and shops may grow when by seed because it is easier to scale that way.

However, at home, stem cuttings are the way to go since it is very easy, has high success rates and will root and sprout the quickest among the different methods.

Of course, you can sperate the plant if you feed it is getting a bit big. This is technical the fastest way to propagate since you get another semi-grown plant immediately after.

Similarly, with stem cuttings, you can propagate in soil or in water.

Here’s how to do it.

  • Take a 4-6 inch stem cutting. Choose a healthy stem with at least 2 or more nodes. Nodes are essential as these are where the roots will grow from. Without a node, your cutting will never propagate.
  • You can do soil propagation or water propagation. If you have sphagnum moss, you can likewise root the cutting in that as well. Therefore, you have a few options. (All of which work fairly well so it is a matter of preference).
  • With water propagation, place the cutting in a container filled with water. Glass is the most popular kind as it lets you watch the roots develop by the day.
  • With soil propagation, place the cutting in well-draining potting mix. You can use 50% peat and 50% perlite or other mixes that drain moisture quickly. Water the soil and keep it moist.
  • For best (and fastest) growth, keep the cuttings in a warm, humid spot with bright indirect light.
  • It takes about 4 weeks or more for the roots to develop. They will grow in number and get longer.
  • Once the roots reach 1-2 inches in the water, you can move it into soil. You can likewise wait a little longer and leave it in water. But avoid doing so for too long (8 months or more) as this is when some rotting will start to happen. If this occurs, prune the rotted roots.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Hoya Archboldiana

In general, the Hoya Archboldiana likes being slightly root bound. This means it enjoys being snug in a pot.

Therefore, don’t be in a hurry to repot it as it likes staying underpotted. In fact, it is more likely to flower in a tight pot.

That said, you don’t want to leave it in an overly tight container. After a while, it will get very stressed from this. The roots will also outgrow the soil.

And when you don’t have a lot of space for soil, it means there’s not enough potting mix to hold sufficient water to sustain the plant.

Before this happens, you want to repot.

Often, it will take 2 or 3 years before you’ll need to repot. Again, the growth rate will vary depending on care and your home’s living environment.

You can use a ceramic, terracotta or plastic pot, I haven’ really found much of a difference.

But because my daughter likes to garden with me, I tend to go with plastic. These are much lighter to carry for her and they won’t break if she drops them. Thus, less accident and cut risks.

Whichever container you use, the most important thing is that it has drainage holes at the bottom.

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

No, the Hoya Archboldiana is not toxic to cats, dogs and people. This makes it safe to keep around the house even if you have pets and small children who may end up playing around the plant and accidentally chewing or ingesting parts of it.

 

Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

Insect that like to suck on plants’ sap are the most common pests that will come after your Hoya Archboldiana.

Mealybugs and aphid are usually the most prevalent. Although you may see scale, spider mites and fungus gnats as well.

The key is to regularly inspect the plant so you can spot these insects early.

This makes them easy to eradicate. It is much harder to get rid of them when they’ve become infestations.

Also, infestations are more damaging to your plant because they rob more nutrients and water as they suck more sap (due to their number).

 

Diseases

Diseases are less common but one in particular is very serious – root rot. If left to spread, this can ultimately destroy your Hoya Archboldiana.

Therefore, be wary of overwatering.

Root rot happens when you overwater the soil and the roots end up standing in water for extended periods of time.

From above, you know the Hoya Archboldiana is an epiphyte. Therefore, its roots like to breathe.

So, letting them drown in water prevents this and will eventually lead to root rot.