How to Care for Hoya Finlaysonii

hoya finlaysonii

The Hoya Finlaysonii is a beautiful climbing vine that’s known for its stunning leaves. Although in most cases, you’ll likely see the plant living in a hanging basket.

That’s because as its stems grow longer, they look amazing draping down from a hanging container.

The plant features beautiful elliptical shaped green leaves with dark green borders and veins. Its center are lighter green in color.

While its foliage are its main attraction, the plant also does produce lovely blooms as most hoyas do. They likewise produce a sweet aroma.

The plant is native to Southeast Asia and you’ll often find it in parts of Thailand, Malaysia and Borneo. This makes it a tropical plant that loves warm climates and high humidity.

As such, giving it these conditions is the best way to see it grow optimally and produce vibrant looking foliage.

Hoya Finlaysonii Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Hoya Finlaysonii prefers bright, filtered or indirect light. It has medium sized veined green leaves that have become accustomed to plenty of light but away from direct sunlight.

As such, you want to keep the plant away from the sun’s rays as it won’t be able to tolerate hours of this. Similarly, intense or harsh sun is a no-no be it indoors or outdoors.

Too much exposure in any of these ways will damage its leaves and either burn them or turn them yellow.

On the other hand, the plant can tolerate medium and low light. However, you do want to be careful for too little light because it does slow down the plant’s growth.

More importantly, lack of sunlight prevents it from producing its beautiful blooms.

Thus, an east facing window is perfect for this plant. It provides long hours of bright light without the harshness of afternoon sun.

A northeast exposure likewise works. And, you can experiment with a northern window as well especially if you’re on the lower part of the country. The farther north you are, the less light that direction tends to receive.

Typically a west and south windows work well. But, you do need to be wary about afternoon sun which is intense. Thus, using sheer curtains or keeping the plant at least 3 feet from the window is necessary in these spots.

 

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Temperature

Your Hoya Finlaysonii is native to Southeast Asian countries where the weather is hot and humid. More importantly, they experience sunlight all year round.

As such, the plant has gotten accustomed to this kind of living environment.

This makes its ideal temperature between 60 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Although, its sweet spot is around 70 to 80 degrees.

But, it has no problem going all the way up to 95 degrees where it feels very comfortable.

On the other hand, cold climates are a bigger problem.

The plant cannot survive in frost or freezing temperatures. In fact, it is hardy to USDA Zones 9 to 11 which means if you live below zone 9, it is a good idea to keep the plant indoors during the winter.

You can take it outside for some much appreciated sun during the summer although make sure to keep it under partial shade.

 

Humidity

Similarly, the Hoya Finlaysonii’s tropical nature makes it enjoy humid conditions. In fact, it loves high humidity, ideally between 60% to 80% for optimum health and foliage development.

In Southeast Asian, average indoor humidity often stays between the mid 50s to the mid 60s. Although it can easily reach the mid 70s as well.

Unfortunately, the U.S. is across the globe. Thus, it has a completely different climate set.

This makes it challenging for most households here as indoor humidity tends to run between 30% to 50%. If you experience snowy winters, you’ve probably noticed that humidity likewise drops during this time as the cold dries up the air.

This makes it important to help the plant out in terms of moisture in the air.

The simplest solution would be to use a humidifier. But, it also requires some maintenance and will cost a bit more than other options.

Misting is another popular option. But, you need to be consistent. Ideally, the plant will need misting 2 to 3 times a week. Sometimes, more than once a day depending on how low the humidity is in your area.

Two more hands off options that are free are grouping plants together and placing the plant on top of pebbles in a water tray.

You can use either of these and see which one works best for you. I suggest getting a digital hygrometer to know if you’ve done enough to bring up humidity around the plant.

How Often to Water Hoya Finlaysonii

Your Hoya Finlaysonii’s thin leaves are a sign that it will need more water than a plant with thick leaves. The fleshier the leaves, the more moisture the plant is able to store in them. And in doing so, it is able to get through dry periods better.

That’s not the case with this plant.

Similarly, its tropical evergreen nature makes it prefer wetter conditions.

As such, consistently moist soil is ideal. Although, like other hoyas, you need to be wary about overwatering. Wet, soggy or waterlogged soil put it at risk of root rot and other fungal problems.

Thus, it is a good idea to let the top soil (about the top 2 inches) dry out between waterings.

Doing so gives the plant enough moisture to keep it hydrated and healthy. And, is pre-emptively helps you avoid watering too frequently.

Once the cold months come cut back on watering and allow the soil to dry out a bit more before watering again.

Winters increase the risk of overwatering if you don’t cut back on frequency because the cold weather keeps soil wet longer.

 

Soil for Hoya Finlaysonii

Soil plays an important role because of the moisture balance needed by your Hoya Finlaysonii. It wants a good amount of water but cannot tolerate too much water.

Thus, the perfect soil for the plant is something that holds enough moisture to keep it happy. But, drains any excess to prevent its roots from sitting in water for overly long periods of time.

Also, because the plant is an epiphyte, it prefers more air flow to its roots compared to other houseplants which are terrestrial in nature.

As such, in addition to well-draining soil, it is a good idea to choose a loose, well-aerated medium as well.

You can use equal parts of sphagnum peat moss and perlite which holds enough moisture while being chunky to allow air. And, the perlite provides good drainage.

 

Fertilizer

Like other hoyas, the Hoya Finlaysonii does well with feeding. This helps it grow and produce beautiful leaves. IT also helps it bloom.

Use a balanced liquid fertilizer during spring and summer diluted to half strength. Keep in mind that the plant has a small root system which is more delicate that your average houseplant.

As such, be careful not to overwhelm it with to much plant food as this can damage its roots with too much salt residue.

You can opt for organic formulations if you want to reduce the risk of chemical burn. However, they are more expensive.

 

Pruning

In its native environment, the Hoya Finlaysonii will grow to become a big plant. It can reach between 7 to 10 feet when allowed to climb a tree or other vertical structure.

As such, it makes for a good trellis plant in your garden if you live in zones 9 to 11.

The plant is likewise a fast grower if given the right care.

And because its growth habit can become somewhat messy, it will need pruning. However, how often you prune will depend on whether you keep it in a pot or a hanging basket.

The latter affords you to let it grow out much longer without looking untidy.

But as a whole, pruning really comes down to the shape and look you’re going for.

 

Hoya Finlaysonii Propagation

Whenever you have a beautiful plant like the Hoya Finlaysonii, it is always a good idea to propagate it.

The process is free and easy to do at home.

While there are many ways to propagate this plant successfully, stem cuttings are the best way to do so because of its convenience and success rate.

The best time to do this is during spring or early summer.

Here’s how to do it.

  • Take a stem cutting. Ideally you want a healthy stem with at least 2 or 3 leaf nodes.
  • Cut the stem just below a leaf node.
  • Then, remove the lower leaves.
  • Allow the stem cutting to dry and callous. This usually take a day or so.
  • Dip the cut end into rooting hormone although this step is optional
  • Prepare a small container and add potting mix.
  • Plant the cutting into the soil mix and water the soil until moist but avoid getting it soggy.
  • Leave the plant under bright, indirect light or partial shade. You can also use grow lights.
  • To add humidity, cover the plant with a plastic bag (poke a few holes on the bag for air to get in).
  • After 3 to 4 weeks, the cutting will develop roots.

Keep caring for it like you’d normally do the plant. And, over the next few months, you’ll see it start to grow shoots and leaves.

 

How to Repot Hoya Finlaysonii

Your Hoya Finlaysonii will need to be repot once every 2 or 3 years depending on how fast it grows. This in turn depends on its living conditions.

The plant’s small root system means that you don’t want to get an overly large pot for it. Doing so increases the risk of overwatering.

Similarly, it is not a fan of being root bound unlike other hoyas which prefer a more snug environment.

Thus, when repotting, choose a container that is 2 inches wider than the current one.

You can likewise use a terracotta pot as its porous nature will allow some moisture to seep out.

The best time to repot the plant would be during spring to early summer.

 

Toxicity

As with other hoyas, the Finlaysonii is non-toxic to humans and animals. As such, you can keep it anywhere indoors with the peace of mind that the plants don’t pose any ingestion hazard on your family members.

 

Pests and Diseases

Pests are a headache no matter what plant you own. If you ask any gardener, they’ll tell you they’d rather have a world without them.

Unfortunately, pests are one constant concert because they can always attack any given plant no matter how resilient that plant is.

And, there’s nothing you can do until you spot them or the damage they’ve done.

So, regular checking is the only way. Sadly, is a more passive way than an active way to prevent pests.

However, it does keep them from developing into infestations.

Mealybugs are among the most common pests to bother your Hoya Finlaysonii. The easiest way to get rid of these is to wash them away by directing a hose at them.

Although you can use neem oil and insecticidal soap as well. But I find that a good stream of water is the quickest way to get rid of them (at least the ones you see).

On the other hand, disease is often caused by moisture or at least remnants of moisture. Too much water or pools of water increase the chances of fungus infections.

Allowing the roots to sit in water encourages root rot. And, wetting the leaves without allowing them to dry within a certain amount of time puts them at risk of leaf spot and other fungi.

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