Hoya Cumingiana Plant Care – Growing Bush Hoya at Home

hoya cumingiana

The Hoya Cumingiana is commonly known as the Bush Hoya. It is a very popular vining houseplant because of its looks.

Unfortunately, it is hard to find. And, some stores will limit your purchases to one per customer household or something similar.

In any case, this is an easy to care for plant that is likewise very resilient.

Thus, it is not only stunning to look at but won’t cause any headaches or high maintenance on your part.

Like other hoya plants, it is a member of the Apocynaceae family.

The Hoya Cumingiana is an epiphytic vining plant that is native to the Philippines. Although, you’ll see it I other tropical Southeast Asian countries like Borneo and Indonesia as well.

This makes it accustomed to warm, humid conditions which means you want to mimic this environment for optimum growth.

Hoya Cumingiana Plant Care

Light Requirements

Hoya Cumingiana thrives on bright, indirect light indoors. It also does not might medium to partial shade. But, the more light the better as long as you avoid direct sunlight.

Ideally, they need 6 or hours of sunlight daily, which makes an east facing window ideal. If you love towards the southern part of the country, they’ll be happy as well in in the north or northeast.

Another great spot for the plant indoors is facing west. Although it needs more protection here due to the sun’s intensity during the afternoons which comes from the west.

To mitigate that, you can use sheer curtains or drapes. Alternatively, keeping the plant 3 to 6 feet from the window also works.

 

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Temperature

Your Hoya Cumingiana comes from the tropical regions of Asia, namely the Philippines. But, you’ll also see it in Borneo and Java.

If you’ve ever been to the Philippines, there’s only one climate there, very hot and very humid.

I remember it being similar to Singapore where temperatures run between 28 to 35 degrees Celsius (82 to 95 Fahrenheit) on a regular basis.

Just as importantly, it felt even hotter because humidity usually was low when it got to 57%. But, there were days when it ran between 72% to over 75%.

As such, this is also the condition your Hoya Cumingiana is accustomed to.

The good news is it has a fairly good adaptability range. Thus, making its ideal temperature between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Of course, it will easily tolerate warmer weather as well.

The one thing to watch out for is the cold. It won’t tolerate 50 degrees Fahrenheit or less, at least without sustaining damage.

So, it can only live outdoors in areas where the weather is warm all year round (USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12). If not, it is a good idea to bring the plant inside before conditions start to cool in the fall.

 

Humidity

As mentioned above, your Hoya Cumingiana also prefers high humidity. Ideal levels is at least 60%. Although it will prefer levels between 70% to even 90% better.

Fortunately, the plant is not too fussy about humidity. Although, you’ll notice it produce more vibrant colored leaves in more humid conditions.

This means you can keep it in average room humidity without any problems. As long as you keep humidity in the high 30s or more, it will be happy.

But, if you find that your home’s level barely ever get above 40%, it is a good idea to try one of these measures to increase humidity around the plant.

  • Mist it (spray with water without overly wetting the leaves) about 3 times a week
  • Group it with other plants
  • Place the plant on top of stones in a water tray
  • Use a humidifier

If you’re not sure what the humidity is in your home, I suggest getting a digital humidifier.

 

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How Often to Water Hoya Cumingiana

Your Hoya cumingiana is a vining epiphyte. As such, it has a small root system that does not need a ton a water. Its vining nature is also why many people are able to shape the plant into different forms like circles and wreaths.

Because of its epiphytic nature, the plant is more susceptible to overwatering. Waterlogged soil or even consistently soggy soil can pose serious threats over time.

Instead, you want to allow the soil to dry before watering.

Wait until at least the top 2 inches of soil has dried before you water. And, you don’t have to worry about letting it dry more than that. It won’t have a problem up to the point where 75% of the soil goes dry.

So between the 2 inch depth until majority of the soil is dry, is the sweet spot for watering.

On the other hand, watering before this level increases the chances of waterlogged soil.

Like above, the plant is used to dry conditions due to the hot weather in its native habitat where rain only really comes in during the rainy season between August and October or so.

Other than that it only rains sporadically.

As such, you’re way better off allowing it to dry out a bit more than to water it too often.

 

Soil for Hoya Cumingiana

Soil plays a supporting role to water when it comes to moisture. Yet, it is very impporant.

Since your Hoya Cumingiana is sensitive to too much water, soil needs to be well-draining in order to get rid of excess moisture.

This prevents the soil from retaining too much liquid, which many heavier mixes do. Thus, you want to avoid that.

Instead, look for light, airy well-draining potting mixes.

There are many ways to achieve this. You can go with commercially packed products or create your own potting mix.

Here are some potting mix recipes I’ve tried with success (amongst others that did not work as well).

  • 33% peat, 33% orchid mix and 33% perlite
  • 33% Cactus mix, 33% orchid mix and 33% perlite

Of course, you can experiment for yourself as well.

 

Fertilizer

When it comes to fertilizer, the Hoya cumingiana is a light feeder. As such, like water, too much causes more harm than that good.

And, less is more is also the motto here.

Still, you do want to feed it because it encourages growth and foliage production.

I like to fee the plant with a balanced water soluble fertilizer (15-15-15) once a month during the spring and summer (its active growing season).

Ideally, you can use organic formulations to lessen the salt residue it leaves behind. But, if you don’t want to spend the extra cash, synthetic fertilizer (as long as it is not cheap or low quality) works just as well.

I do recommend flushing the soil every 4 or 6 months to remove the mineral residue left form the chemicals in fertilizer.

Since hoyas are know for their flowers you’ll want to see how yours is blooming.

If you find that the plant is producing foliage quite well but not flowering as you want it, you may want to switch to a blooming blend. Something like 7-9-5 which is higher is phosphorus will encourage more flowering.

 

Flowering

One of the reasons I love hoyas is they they’re a double threat. Not only do their foliage look amazing, their flowers are distinctively gorgeous.

And, the Hoya cumingiana is no exception.

That said, there are a few things that can help it bloom in case you’re not seeing enough of them.

  • Cooler nights help it flower
  • Shorter days and longer night also helps (which is why some growers artificially cause darkness earlier at night)

 

Pruning

In its native habitat, your Hoya Cumingiana will get to between 7 to 10 feet long and about 3 feet wide. Although, this take between 5 to 10 years to happen.

However, the plant does not get as big indoors, especially when kept in containers which also influences its size.

That said, it is not a small plant even if many photos online make that seem like the case.

The plant is likewise a fast grower.

And its vining nature can mean that it gets messy over time as it gets long and starts growing all over the place.

This is where you want to prune it.

For the most part, trimming it is all about shape and size. But, this will be subjective depending on the look you are going for

Thus, you can check and prune it every spring to see if anything needs to be done.

 

Hoya Cumingiana Propagation

The simplest way to propagate your Hoya Cumingiana is via stem cuttings. This involves taking a healthy stem and growing a new plant from it.

The best parts about it is it is easy and free. You can do it at home without any special equipment.

And, the new plant will be a clone of the mother plant. So, you know what you’re getting as opposed to buying a new one from the store.

The best time to propagate the plant is during spring.

Here’s how to propagate Hoya Cumingiana through stem cuttings.

  • Take 3 to 6 inch stem with a least 2 or 3 leaves on it.
  • Remove the lower leaves as they’ll get submerged into water.
  • Get a glass jar and fill it with water.
  • Place the stem cutting (cut side down) into the jar.
  • Leave the cutting in warm, brightly-lit area that does not get direct sunlight.
  • Change the water every few days to keep it from getting cloudy.
  • After 14 to 20 or so days, you should have some roots growing out of the end of the cutting.
  • Wait for the roots to get about half an inch or an inch long. Then move the cutting into a small pot with fresh potting soil.
  • Water the soil to keep it moist.
  • Then, place the plant in a warm, bright spot with no direct sunlight.

 

How to Repot Hoya Cumingiana

Repotting is needed every 1 to 2 years. This is because its epiphytic roots don’t need a ton of space. But, since the plant is a vigorous grower that can get big, it will still eventually outgrow the container sooner than later.

That said, its care and living conditions also affect how quickly it grows.

As such, in many cases, it will stay happily in the same pot for a few years.

When moving do choose a container that’s one size bigger only. Anything more increases its risk of overwatering.

You also want to supply it with fresh potting  mix.

 

Toxicity

The plant is not toxic and thus safe to keep around young children and pets.

 

Pests and Diseases

The Hoya Cumingiana is an easy grow plant that is very resilient. This reduces the chances of pests and diseases. However, it can still experience aphids and mealybugs which like sucky on the sap of the plant.

As such, you do want to watch out for the creatures.

When you do spot any of them or damage that they’ve caused, it is very important to quickly take action.

Neem oil is a good way to get rid of them. And, so is using insecticidal soap. Spraying is by far the most efficient way. And, you’ll need to do this for a few weeks depending on how many of them there are.

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