The Hoya Diptera is a lovely indoor vining plant. You’ll usually see it growing in hanging baskets or climbing up a trellis or wires.
The plant is a semi-succulent with thick, but small leaves. As these leaves get bushier and fuller, the plant will look more impressive.
Like all hoya varieties, the Hoya Diptera is also known for its flowers.
These are small blooms that are fragrant and colorful. Although, they usually bigger than many blooms produced by other hoya species.
The best part is you’ll see many of these yellow flowers with red centers form umbels making up ball-like spheres.
How do you care for the Hoya Diptera? Keep the plant in bright, indirect light as this will promote flowering. Avoid low light and excess intense light.
Additionally, leaving the plant slightly root bound will increase the chances of flowering as well. Make sure to keep the plant in a warm spot with good humidity and don’t overwatering it.
Hoya Diptera Plant Care
The Hoya Diptera enjoys plenty of light provided that it is indirect or filtered light. It needs medium to bright light to thrive.
Sufficient lighting supports its fast growth and allows it to get bigger.
Additionally, good lighting increases the chance of flowering.
On the other hand, I don’t suggest leaving the plant in low light. While it can tolerate this and the plant will do okay, it won’t grow as well and you’ll unlikely see it produce any blooms.
That said, the Hoya Diptera is an epiphyte.
In the wild, it climbs up larger trees to get the light it needs. But it lives under the forest canopy as the larger trees and their leaves block the sunshine.
So, what it receives is filtered, dappled and diffused light.
Therefore, avoid leaving the plant in direct sunlight. it cannot tolerate long hours of this especially very strong, intense sun.
Excess exposure to mid-day sun will not only turn its leaves yellow but can also burn its foliage.
Thus, while the plant thrives in bright light keep it away from harsh, intense sun as this this can damage its leaves.
The Hoya Diptera is native to the tropical forests of Asia. As such, it is used to warm temperatures.
This is why it prefers temperatures between 60 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
The range is fairly large which makes it easy to care for in homes no matter where you live.
That said, you do want to be careful about the cold.
While the plant can tolerate a wide range to warm conditions, the same is not true for the cold. It will struggle below 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
Indoors, keep it away from air conditioners, cold spots in your home and open windows where cold drafts and breezes can enter.
Also, avoid leaving it in areas where nighttime temperature can suddenly drop significantly.
Because of its low tolerance to the cold, never leave it outside during the winter.
However, the plant is well-suited to USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11. In these locales, you can keep them outdoors, if you wish, all year round as the weather stays sunny and warm even during November to March.
The Hoya Diptera likes high humidity ideally between 50% to 80%. Again, this has to do with its native habitat.
The parts of Asia where the plant is from is located near the equator. As such, the weather is not only hot all year round but also very humid.
At its lowest, humidity can drop to about 50% but not much more. For the most part humidity stays between 60% and 75% with highs of 85% and above during a rainy day.
As such, this is what the plant is used to.
And to help it grow and flower, it is a good idea to maintain sufficient humidity.
Unfortunately, this can be challenging for many homes since average humidity usually runs between 20% to 50%.
If you notice that your home’s humidity is not enough, you can mist the plant regularly or get a humidifier.
Other options are to keep the plant in the bathroom, use a pebble tray or a humidity tray.
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How Often to Water Hoya Diptera
The Hoya Diptera only needs moderate watering. On average, one a week watering is ideal.
However, make sure to adjust how often you water based on the weather.
In the tropics, the plant will usually need watering every day or every other day. That’s because the heat is brutal there.
But in more moderate climate locations once a week usually works.
That said, you’ll need to water more regularly during summer when it gets hot. And make sure to scale back significantly during winter when the weather is cold and there is little sun.
The reason is that while the plant does not need a lot of water, it does not like drying out.
More importantly, it is susceptible to overwatering which can lead to root rot.
Of the two, the latter is more dangerous. So, that’s what you watch out for.
To do so, always allow the top layer of soil to dry between waterings. This means wait until the surface feels completely dry before you add any more water.
The simplest way to do this is to feel the soil.
If it feels moist or wet, don’t add water yet. If it feels dry, that’s when you add water.
Hoya Diptera Potting Soil
The Hoya Diptera needs light, airy and well-draining soil.
The plant is an epiphyte so it spends its time in the forest climbing on trees. This means its roots are exposed to the air.
This allows them to get a lot of oxygen. Additionally, when they get wet, they will dry quite quickly as well.
Therefore, I like to make sure that the Hoya Diptera is in soil with good drainage and aeration. To do so, there always needs to at least one component that drains moisture.
And ideally, something that makes the soil chunky as well.
To do this, you can use a combination of:
- Potting soil
- Orchid bark
- Coarse sand
The potting soil allows for moisture retention to let the roots stay hydrated. Perlite, bark and sand increase drainage.
Additionally, orchid bark is chunky which provides for better aeriation to the roots.
If you prefer buying something and using it right from the bag instead of getting one ingredient at a time, you can use African Violet mix instead.
This works well and I have many grower friends you successfully grow their hoyas just on African Violet soil.
Fertilizer is something that your Hoya Diptera does not necessarily need. Therefore, when it comes to hoyas and fertilizing, many growers don’t feed their hoyas at all.
That’s because hoyas can go without fertilizer and do okay.
Additionally, it saves you money if you just skip it since the plant can grow without out.
Finally, there’s always the risk of making mistakes when applying. And often, people tend to over fertilize their plants which results in more damage.
So, you do need to decide on what you want to do.
I like to use fertilizer for the simple fact that it helps my hoyas bloom.
But you don’t need to use a lot. As long as the plant gets the nutrients, that’s the most important thing.
Here, you can use a balanced, liquid fertilizer.
This gives your Hoya Diptera the nutrients it needs to grow well.
To encourage flowering, you can switch to orchid food when the plant is about to bloom. The Orchid fertilizer contains more phosphorus which promotes flowering.
It also helps prolong the blooms.
That said, only feed the plant during spring and summer. Don’t do so in fall and winter.
The Hoya Diptera is a fast growing climbing vine. Therefore, it is a good idea to decide whether you want to allow the plant to:
- Grow in a pot
- Keep it in a hanging basket
- Give it a pole to climb on
All are great options and the Hoya Diptera will do well in each of them.
But you also want to select the look you like for your home.
In the wild, the plant can grow to 40 feet long with fairly dense vines.
I’ve seen a grower in Asia allow her Hoya Diptera grow long and thick in a hanging basket and it was amazing. No question the best look I’ve ever seen this plant have.
That said, in homes it will usually get to 12 feet long or so.
Either way, you will need to prune this plant as it gets longer. Its vines can get messy or go wayward whether you let it climb, sprawl or trail down.
Additionally, you can trim it to adjust how thick and dense you want it to be.
How to Propagate Hoya Diptera
The Hoya Diptera can be easily propagated from stem cuttings. This makes it easy to propagate this beautiful plant.
Since it has a lot of stems, you can grow more than one new plant at a time.
Additionally, you can decide whether to propagate the cuttings in water, soil or sphagnum moss.
Here’s how to propagate Hoya Diptera from stem cuttings.
- Begin by taking a healthy stem cutting. Each cutting needs to have at least 1-2 nodes on it and a few leaves. Don’t pick a stem with a flower.
- Use a sterile pair of scissors or pruning shears and cut the stem just below a node at a 45 degree angle.
- Once you have the stem cutting, dip the cut end into rooting hormone. You can skip this step if you don’t have rooting hormone.
- Prepare a pot and fill it with well-draining soil.
- Plant the cutting into the soil with the nodes buried under the soil.
- Water the soil and keep it moist. Also, leave the pot in bright, indirect light.
It will take about 3 to 4 weeks for the roots to develop.
You can likewise propagate in water.
Here, begin by placing the cutting in water. Submerge the nodes in the liquid.
Once the roots develop to about 2 inches or longer, you can transfer the cuttings to soil mix.
How to Repot or Transplant Hoya Diptera
Don’t rush to repot your Hoya Diptera. That’s because it likes being pot bound.
Additionally, its epiphytic roots are susceptible to overwatering. Therefore, be careful not to overpot the plant.
This is one of the worst things you can do as it causes you to overwater the plant unknowingly. That’s because you think you’re okay allowing the soil to dry between waterings.
However, due to the excessive size of the pot, there’s so much soil that the roots end up drowning in too much water anyways.
As such, you’ll likely only need to repot once every 2 to 4 years.
A lot will depend on how fast the plant grows, which in turn depends on its living conditions and care.
Also, when repotting, be careful with its roots as you don’t want to damage them.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The Hoya Diptera is not considered to be toxic. This makes it safe for humans, cats and dogs.
But keep in mind that its sap is still an irritant. It can irritate skin in some people.
So allowing your pets to chew or consume parts of the plant can cause similar side effects as well.
Hoya Diptera Problems & Troubleshooting
Pests like thick leaves. As such, these bugs will take any chance they can get to feed on the semi-succulent leaves of the Hoya Diptera.
Therefore, you need to be vigilant in terms of regularly checking for these bugs.
The hard part is that the plant has a lot of leaves. And they are not large foliage.
So, it does take a bit of effort to check thoroughly.
Mealybugs, spider mites and scale are among the common bugs that will attack the plant.
Root rot is the biggest threat here. Again, this has to do with the plant’s epiphytic roots and ability to store moisture.
Therefore, overwatering is always at the top of the list of things to watch out for.
Make sure you always allow the top layer of soil to dry between waterings. Also, use well-draining soil and use a pot with drainage holes.