The hoya curtisii goes by many names including porcelain flower, hoya Aloha and fung wax flower. It is a member of the Apocynaceae family.
This is a miniature version of the hoya plants you’re probably more familiar with. As such, its sizes lets you grow them in different places. Often, they’re grown as ground cover in the yard. But, they look amazing in hanging baskets.
The plant is well known for its small, roundish green leaves with silver blotches. It also produces fragrant flowers that grow in bunches.
Hailing from Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia, it likes tropical condition. As such, you’ll want to mimic these conditions for the best results.
Hoya Curtisii Plant Care
Hoya Curtisii Light
The hoya curtisii can tolerate different levels of sunlight without any problem. As such, you can give it lots of sun to a good amount of shade. But, you want to keep it away from direct sunlight, especially during the hottest parts of the day and in summertime.
That said, the plant does best when it receives lots of bright light. It will likewise appreciate 2 or 3 hours of direct gentle morning sun from the east. But, nothing more than that, or much more intense than that.
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Hoya Curtisii Temperature
Your hoya curtisii is native to the tropical countries in Southeast Asia, namely Thailand, Malaysia and the Philippines. All 3 have brutally hot summers and the rest of the year runs fairly warm as well.
To give you an idea, you’ll never need anything more than a shirt (or tank top) and shorts because the weather doesn’t really get much colder than that. The only time you’ll need a jacket (more like a windbreaker) is during the rainy season when floods can happen.
As such, the plant enjoys warm conditions. It can likewise tolerate hotter climates if needed. But, it does best when temperature stays between 60 and 75 degrees.
In USDA hardiness zones 10 or higher, it can live outside all year round. If you happen to live elsewhere, you can likewise keep it outdoors until the weather starts to cool in the fall.
Once it drops to the mid 50s you want to bring the plant indoors. If left outside at around 50 degrees, it will need a lot of protection to stay warm. At below 40 degrees, it will have problems.
Hoya Curtisii Humidity
Its tropical natural also means it is used to high humidity. Ideally, keep indoor humidity at 50% or higher. While it can tolerate regular household humidity, how well it does depends on where you live.
If you live in a fairly humid location, like Mississippi, Louisiana, Florida or Hawaii, then you won’t have any problems with humidity whatsoever.
On the other hand, some areas have drier air. Yet, there are those that are in between. That is, it is humid enough most of the year but winter becomes fairly dry.
In these conditions, you’ll either need to mist regularly or use a humidifier. It really helps to have a digital hygrometer on hand.
This allows you to check the humidity in any room in the house almost instantly. So, you know how much you need to increase humidity in that location.
Hoya Curtisii Watering
Your hoya curtisii is drought tolerant. As such, it will survive even if your miss a few watering sessions. In fact, it enjoys being on the drier side.
So, it is a good idea to let the soil dry before you water again. Depending on the time of year, this can be once a week in the summer. And, once every 2 or so weeks in winter.
The one thing you want to be wary of is overwatering. The plant is susceptible to root rot, which can occur if you let it sit in water for long periods at a time.
The easiest to prevent this from happening is to allow the top 2 inches of soil to dry before you water again. Use your finger to check soil moisture.
When watering, soak the entire root ball with water by slowly pouring or using your hose. You don’t want to dump all the water immediately as this often lets is seep through the crevices and the sides. So, what you end up is water just draining through without penetrating the middle and bottom of the soil.
Once the soil is soaked, allow it to drain completely before putting it back into its original spot.
The hoya curtisii is epiphytic. As such, it doesn’t like having wet feet. This means the first and foremost thing to consider with soil is that it drains well.
One option is African violet mix. This have all the features the plant needs to grow optimally.
You can likewise go with other high quality fast draining mixes. Or, amend the soil as needed.
One example is to use Cactus & Succulent soil. Then add perlite to improve drainage.
Similarly, if you already have high quality potting mix at home, you can use that, add some cacti & succulent mix and orchid bark. Compost likewise helps.
Your hoya curtisii doesn’t need a lot of fertilizer. And, it does well with or without fertilizer depending on how you approach things.
If you add compost to the soil and also top dress it again during spring, then you won’t need to use fertilizer. This is what my friend does with hers. She specifically uses worm compost then adds a layer of compost every spring.
With this method, you won’t need to feed the plant fertilizer. This also eliminates the risk of fertilizer burn.
On the other hand, you can go more traditional. Hoya curtisii benefits from fertilizer as long as you give it a light feeding. Be careful not to overdo the plant food as it can lead to root burn.
All you need is once a month feeding during the growing season. And, once every 2 or 3 months in winter when the plant is dormant. Make sure to dilute the formulation to half strength.
The hoya curtisii is a flowering plant. However, it produces beautiful flowers. The only problem is, it is not easy to bloom.
That said, there are a few things you can do to improve it chances so that you can enjoy its unique blossoms year in an year out.
The best thing you can do is give it lots of sunlight. This includes a few hours of direct sunlight as well. Ideally, that inn the morning and keep it away from the intense, harsh sun in the afternoon.
Misting also helps. Doing this on a regular basis helps increase humidity. The higher the humidity, the better the plant grows.
Also keep the plant slightly rootbound. It likes living in tight quarters. This helps it flower. On the contrary, lots of extra root for its roots will deter blooming.
Finally, if it blooms, don’t deadhead after the flowers fade. You want to leave the stalks because the plant will bloom again next season from the same stalks.
Hoya Curtisii Pruning
Hoya curtisii is a slow growing vine. Thus, you won’t need to prune it often, unless it gets too long or starts to become unruly.
Pruning is a good idea if it starts to become leggy. You’ll also want to trim any dead or unhealthy vines.
Other than thank pinching is a good way to promote new growth to make the plant get thicker and fuller.
Hoya Curtisii Propagation
Hoya curtisii can be propagated via stem cutting and from seed.
Seed take a lot longer as you need to germinate them. But, you can easily collect seeds from the pod by opening it after allowing it to dry.
Once you get the seeds, you need to sow them immediately.
Because it takes much less time to grow a plant from stem cuttings, it is what many growers use.
Here’s how to propagate hoya curtisii from stem cuttings.
- The best time to propagate via stem cutting is in spring or summer.
- Here, you’ll want to take a stem cutting that is about 6 inches long. Ideally choose a stem that’s healthy and with at least 2 or 3 leaf nodes.
- Cut the stem with sterile pruning shears.
- Then, place it in water. Remove the leaves that will get submerged into water. And, change the water once or twice a week.
- After a few weeks, you will see roots begin to develop.
- Wait until the roots grow to nearly an inch long or longer. Then, pot in well-draining soil.
- Water the soil and keep the plant in a bright location with warm, humid conditions.
Hoya Curtisii Transplanting & Repotting
You can delay repotting your hoya curtisii as it likes to be pot bound. This condition actually helps it bloom. So, even if you do repot it, don’t go up more than one size larger.
Combine this preference with its slow growth means that you won’t need to repot the plant any time soon, in many cases, it will take 3 or more years before you have to repot it.
In addition to going up 1 or 2 inches only in size maximum, you want to make sure that the pot you use has drainage holes.
It is also a good idea to use well-draining soil like African potting mix or combine Cactus & Succulent soil with perlite.
These will allow it to drain excess moisture so the plant won’t sit in water.
The plant is not toxic. As such it is safe to keep around young kids.
But, you do want to be careful where you put it if you have pets. While it is not poisonous to cats and dogs, their digestive system cannot handle the plants. As such, if they ingest it, they’ll end up throwing up later on.
Pests and Diseases
Your hoya curtisii can be prone to spider mites, aphids and mealybugs. In wet conditions, it will also attract fungus gnats.
Regular inspection is the only way to find these critters when they happen. And, you want to spot them as early as possible.
If you do spot any, apply insecticidal soap. It will take a few weeks to resolve. And, you need to treat a few times a week.
As far as disease goes, overwatering and getting its leaves wet without allowing hem to dry fast enough are things to avoid. This will help prevent root rot as well as fungal or bacterial problems later on.