Hoya Carnosa Freckles Care Guide – Watering & Propagation

The Hoya Carnosa Freckles is also often referred to as the Hoya Carnosa Freckles Splash. In general, the two names are the same except that with hoyas, the term “splash” is added to indicate that the leaves have small speckled markings.

In this case, they resemble water splashes.

As you probably already guessed, the Hoya Carnosa Freckles is a subspecies of the very popular Hoya Carnosa. However, you can easily tell them apart because the latter has solid or all-green leaves, whereas the Freckles has the silver/white speckles.

Also, when you put them side by side, the leaves of the Hoya Carnosa Freckles are bigger than the regular Hoya Carnosa.

Its inflorescence are star shaped with white and cream colors and a pink and red center. While small, they grow in bunches and form spherical clusters which are beautiful to look at.

The Hoya Carnosa Freckles Splash is native to Southeast Asia.

Hoya Carnosa Freckles Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Hoya Carnosa Freckles does well in low to bright light. But it thrives in well-lit conditions.

Therefore, the best lighting for optimal growth is bright, indirect light. Just as importantly, avoid direct sun for long periods as this will affect the leaves of the plant. Too much strong light will burn its leaves.

To give you an example of how light affects the leaves of the plant.

A friend of my kept her Hoya Carnosa Freckles Splash in bright light with some direct sun during its first 2 years. During this time the plant grew well but also had lighter colored leaves.

During the last year an a half, she move the plant to a bright spot with no direct sun. Now, it is producing more foliage and larger ones that that. The color of the leaves is also the dark green that we know the Hoya Carnosa Freckles is known for.

So, as much as bright light is important, you want to keep it away from the sun’s rays if possible. While it will tolerate this, leave development and color will get affected.

If you don’t get enough natural light. you can opt for artificial light. Grow lights will work just as well although you’ll need to keep the plant under these for at least 10-12 hours daily compared to the minimum 5-6 hours with sunshine.

But like sunlight, make sure the plant is at least 8 inches away from the bulbs as the leaves will eventually get burned by the heat they emit.

 

Temperature

The Hoya Carnosa Freckles enjoys moderate to warm weather. To be more specific it prefers temperature between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit.

This makes it perfect for the home as we are most comfortable with this temperature range as well.

As such, if you keep the plant indoors, you don’t need to do anything to help the plant adapt the the conditions.

That said keep it away from anything that can cause the temperature to fluctuate suddenly. This includes air conditioners, stovetops, heaters, radiators, vents or even open windows where cold drafts can enter.

Because the Hoya Carnosa Freckles Splash hails from Southeast Asia, it is not used to cold weather. Thus, it is has problems with temperatures under 50 degrees. Once things get to between 50 and 55 degrees you’ll notice its growth slow down or stop.

This means that the plant is better suited for USDA Hardiness Zones 10 through 12 where you can leave it outdoors all year long since they have mild, sunny winters.

 

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Humidity

The ideal humidity for Hoya Carnosa Freckles is 50% and higher. It is used to these levels as it hails from Southeast Asia which is located around the equator. Thus, the prevailing climate in the countries in the region is hot and humid most of the year.

That said, the plant’s thick leaves allow it to store some moisture which lets it tolerate slightly lower humidity.

Nevertheless, try to keep humidity up as this will help the plant grow faster and produce lovely leaves.

You can use a humidifier or mist the plant regularly to maintain enough moisture in the air around the plant. Alternatively, you can place it on a pebble tray or group it with other plants.

If you do mist the plant, be careful not to wet the flowers or get the leaves very wet as this can cause problems.

Similarly, watch out with overly high humidity. While the plant may appreciate it, the extra moisture also increases the risk of bacterial and fungal infection.

hoya carnosa freckles

source: wikimedia commons

 

How Often to Water Hoya Carnosa Freckles

Watering your hoya is fairly easy and low maintenance because it does not need much watering. The combination of its thick leaves and being an epiphyte means that it does well with dry soil.

This works out well for us because hoyas also happen to be sensitive to overwatering.

Therefore, the best way to water your Hoya Carnosa Freckles is to wait until the soil dries out before watering again.

This way you avoid soggy, wet soil or letting the plant stand in water.

As such, you’ll only need to water the plant once every week or every two weeks. The important thing is to always check the soil before adding water.

Finally, it is worth noting that when the plant is flowering, it will want more water. In general, hoyas get thirsty when they’re blooming.

As such, you’ll need to water more regularly, Still, be careful not to let the soil get too wet or soggy.

 

Hoya Carnosa Freckles Potting Soil

In addition to watering frequency, there are two other things that can put your plant at risk of overwatering. These are:

  • Heavy soils or soils that retain too much moisture
  • Pots with no drainage

For the first item, you want to avoid any kind of soil that holds on to too much liquid. This may be good for certain plants. But it can give your Hoya Carnosa Freckles problems in the long run.

Instead, choose a well-draining mix that is light and airy.

This will get rid of excess moisture and allow the roots to get enough oxygen.

The simplest way to achieve this is to combine:

  • 2 parts peat moss
  • 1 part perlite

This will retain just enough moisture to keep the roots well-hydrated. But it will drain excess liquid quickly preventing wet soggy soil. Doing so will provide good air flow to the roots.

It is also light enough such that it does not get compacted.

The second part to consider is the pot you want to use. I haven’t found a huge enough difference to warrant saying that terra cotta pots are better than plastic ones for aeriation.

While they do help, I just have not noticed enough of a difference to recommend spending extra on them (and having to deal with the extra weight and space they take up).

So, choose whichever kind of pot you want to use.

However, always use a pot with draining holes at the bottom. This will allow the water that has drained from the soil to escape out of the pot.

If you have an outer pot or place a saucer under the pot, check for pooling water and throw that away as they accumulate.

 

Fertilizer

Feed your Hoya Carnosa Freckles once a month during the spring and summer with a liquid fertilizer. The plant is not a heavy feeder nor is it picky about the kind of plant food you give it.

The important thing is that it gets fertilizer because it needs nutrients to achieve optimal growth.

As such, the most important thing here is to avoid overfeeding.

Finally, part of the beauty of the Hoya Carnosa Freckles are its white and pink flowers. Therefore, you want to encourage those to bloom as well.

So while you’ll be using a regular water soluble houseplant fertilizer most of the time for foliage growth, make sure to switch to a bloom booster or orchid food (one that is high in phosphorus) when it is about to bloom.

This will encourage flowering so you get the most colors and the longer lasting ones as well.

 

Pruning

The Hoya Carnosa Freckles is a fast grower. And its vining stems will get longer over time allowing them to reach lengths of 10 feet indoors.

In its native habitat, it is able to climb higher up trees as well.

Because if this, many growers will give their Freckles Splash some kind of support to cling onto and climb.

Similarly, you’ll also see it in hanging baskets as this allows it stems to trail downward.

This means that you will need to trim it every now and then to help it maintain a compact shape. Similarly, this lets you limit its size depending on where you put it.

The best time to trim is during the spring which is when it is growing most rapidly. Here, it can tolerate heavier cutting although avoid cutting more than 30% at a time.

Just as importantly, leave the spurs or peduncles, as that’s where the new flowers will grow from. You don’t want to prune these.

 

How to Propagate Hoya Carnosa Freckles

Stem propagation is the easiest way to grow new Hoya Carnosa Freckles Splash plants at home. Of course, there are other ways you can propagate it like from seed and air layering.

However, propagation using stem cutting is not only simple but also produces very high success rates.

And you can likewise choose between soil propagation or water propagation.

To do so,

  • Take a healthy stem cutting of about 3 to 5 inches long. The most important thing is that the stem cutting should have at least 1-2 nodes. Ideally, it has a few leaves as well.
  • To propagate in water, place the cutting in a glass jar with water. Submerge the stem and nodes in the water and remove any leaves that end up touching the liquid. Replace the water once a week as well to keep it fresh.
  • To propagate in soil, dip the cut end of the stem in rooting hormone. Then plant into moist well-draoing potting soil. You can use 1 part peat moss with 1 part perlite for this. Water regularly to keep the soil moist but avoid adding too much that it ends up soggy.
  • Leave the cutting in warm spot with good humidity. ideally, it should have moderate to bright, indirect light.
  • In about 4 to 8 weeks, the cuttings will grow enough root.
  • With the water propagation, you can move the cutting to a pot with soil once the roots are at least 1-2 inches long.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Hoya Carnosa Freckles

While the Hoya Carnosa Freckles is fast growing, it is still an epiphyte with a relatively small root system. Therefore, at best you’ll be repotting it once every 2 or 3 years.

However, you’ll want to wait if you can because the Freckles Splash enjoys being pot bound. Additionally, allowing it to live int his environment encourages it to bloom.

So, if you want to see it flower, delay repotting.

For this reason you’ll see hoyas in the same pot for 5 or more years.

Of course, it goes without saying that you don’t want to disturb the plant when it is blooming. Therefore, don’t repot when the flowers are growing.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

The Hoya Carnosa Freckles is not toxic to cats, dogs or people even when ingested. It does not have any poisonous component which makes it safe to keep around kids and pets.

Still, note that the plant is not edible so you will notice the usual side effects like gagging and throwing up if consumed.

 

Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

Mealybugs are the most likely pests that will attack your Hoya Carnosa Freckles. But if peat-based soil is kept wet, it will attract fungus gnats as well.

The other bug worth mentioning is spider mites which don’t always come around hoyas. However, when they do, they tend to cause more damage.

Thus, you want to be wary of these pests because they will grow in population quickly.

The easiest way to get rid of them is to spray them off with water. You can use the sink, shower or a garden hose to dislodge them from the plant.

However, make sure to search and spray off the eggs as well as the adults. Otherwise, the eggs will hatch and you’ll be back where you started.

 

Diseases

Disease are less of a problem especially if you are mindful with moisture. Avoid overly high humidity as this will increase the risk of fungal and bacterial infections.

Similarly, allow the soil to dry out before watering again. This will help avoid root rot which is the most serious problem of all.