Hoya Gracilis Care – Growing Hoya Memoria Plant Indoors

Hoya Gracilis

Hoya Gracilis is also referred to as the Hoya memoria. As such, you’ll see different stores use either name. In many cases, they’ll also label the plant as Hoya Gracilis Memoria or Hoya Memoria Gracilis.

That said, the two are actually different plants. Although they resemble one another, their care is very similar and they both originate and are native to the Philippines.

Because of this the two are always grouped together or used interchangeably.

However, while they do look similar, their flowers are different.

The Hoya Gracilis has light/bright pink colors flowers that are closely bunched up together. They have roundish shapes with yellow trims on the inside along with white borders.

In contrast, the Hoya memoria have darker color pink flowers that are closer to a purple-pink hue. The dark pink is also more towards the middle of the flower while the rounded tips of their star shapes are white/translucent white. In the center there are small specks of white as well.

Either way, both plants are stunning.

They’re likewise vining epiphytes that will grow longer as they get bigger.

Hoya Gracilis Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Hoya Gracilis enjoys a well-lit location. Ideally, it prefers medium to bright, indirect light indoors. This will allow it to grow optimally and produce more foliage.

Just as importantly, it needs 6-8 hours of exposure.

However, you do want to be careful with giving it too much intense light. This includes very harsh light or direct sun. Both of which it cannot tolerate for long periods of time on a regular basis.

If it is left in this kind of environment, it will lose its waxy texture, turn yellow or even sustain sunburn marks. That said, the Hoya Gracilis can withstand gentle direct sun including that in the morning and late afternoons.

This includes the times before 10:30 a.m. and after 4:00 p.m. However avoid the mid-day sun as that gets a bit too strong for the plant to take.

It is also worth noting that the plant’s stems like to follow the vine. Therefore, it is a good idea to rotate it every few weeks so that each side will get around the same amount of light. This way, the plant grows evenly.

Finally, it can likewise tolerate some low light. But like other hoya plants, I don’t recommend leaving it in this environment.

While the plant will do well there, its growth will slow down. And the dimmer the location, the slower it will grow. More importantly, in low light, the plant is less likely to flower.

Temperature

The Hoya Gracilis enjoys temperatures between 60 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. And it enjoys the middle to top half of that range more.

This is in large part due to its origin and where the plant is native to.

It comes from Southeast Asia and is native to Indonesia. As such, it is used to tropical conditions where the weather is hot and humid for the most part of the year.

The reason is that Indonesia is very near the equator. As such, its general climate condition is warm to very hot (especially during the summer).

Another thing worth noting is that there are no winters in that part of the world. By that I mean that there is no snow, frost or freezing temperature between December and March.

Instead, the weather stays very sunny, albeit slightly cooler than the rest of year. Still temperatures generally don’t drop much below 55 degrees Fahrenheit during that time.

So, as you would expect, the Hoya Gracilis is not hardy to cold conditions. if left in temperatures of 50 degrees or lower, it will struggle. This will begin with a slowdown in growth.

But the longer it stays there or the colder it gets its growth will eventually stop. Then cold injury will set in and after a while, it can die as well.

Therefore, if you live below USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11, it is a good idea to make sure the plant is indoors in moderate  to slightly warm temperature as the weather gets colder towards the end of the year.

 

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Humidity

As for humidity, the Hoya Gracilis enjoys 50% to 75%.  Although it is tolerant to lower humidity as well.

This makes it easier to care for as a houseplant.

However, if you can give it the higher humidity it wants, it will appreciate it and reward you with faster growth and larger, more vibrant foliage.

Thus, misting does help with the plant, especially if you live in an area with dry air. The same is true during hot, dry summers and cold winters when humidity tends to drop.

But the one time you want to avoid misting is when the plant is about to flower or is currently blooming.

It is also worth mentioning that it is important to keep your Hoya Gracilis away from certain appliances. Things like air conditioners, headers and radiators tend to dry out the air dramatically.

So, keep it away from rooms that use these appliances.

 

How Often to Water Hoya Gracilis

The most important thing when watering your Hoya Gracilis is to allow the soil to dry between watering.

The plant is semi-succulent in that it stores some moisture in its leaves. As such it can tolerate some periods of dryness.

On the other hand, it is more sensitive to overwatering.

Therefore, you want to allow a good part of the soil to dry before you add more water. This will prevent the roots from standing in water or waterlogged soil.

This means waiting for at least the top 1-2 inches of soil to dry out before you water the plant again. You can stick your index finger into the soil down to the second knuckle.

It the soil feels dry at that depth, you can water again. But avoid doing so before that.

Some gardeners will use light, frequent watering in order to simplify things. This is especially true if they have a lot of plants.

A friend of mine for example has over 500 plants. Therefore, it does not make sense for him to remember when he last watered each plant. So, what he does is water once every 2 to 3 days but doing so lightly.

He can get away with this because he lives in Southeast Asia. Therefore, the weather is sunny all year long. It also means small adjustments in your watering routine since the weather does not change too dramatically between summer and winter.

If you have hot winters and snow in the winter, you’ll need to adjust your watering schedule quite a bit more.

On average the plant needs to be watered around once a week during summer and once every 2 to 3 weeks in winter. Both will vary by a few days depending on how hot the days get during summer and how cold they get in the winter.

 

Hoya Gracilis Potting Soil

The best soil for Hoya Gracilis is lightweight and well-draining. If you’re growing the plant in a pot, choose a soil mix that allows excess moisture to drain, does not get compacted and provides good airflow to the roots.

The plant’s ideal soil pH is 6.0 to 7.5. And it will appreciate amendments that are high in organic matter.

Therefore, you can add a 1/4 inch topdressing of compost to give the plant extra nutrients and loosen the soil as well.

As far as the actual soil mixes go, you have a few choices.

If you prefer picking something up from the store, you can use a commercial cactus mix. Similarly, you can use a good quality houseplant mix that has good drainage.

You can ask the person in the nursery or garden center. You can likewise check the ingredients to look for specific components that will help here.

I prefer to make my own DIY potting mix. This is not only cheaper but also allows you to adjust the components and amounts depending on how the plant is responding.

Here are a few easy DIY potting soil recipes perfect for your Hoya Gracilis.

  • 1/3 potting soil with 1/3 orchid mix and 1/3 perlite
  • 1/2 potting soil and 1/2 cactus & succulent mix. Then add a few handfuls of coco coir and charcoal
  • 2/3 peat with 1/3 perlite (you can add a handful of orchid bark as well for good measure)

I also like to add a ¼ inch topping of worm compost as topdressing.

Does the Hoya Gracilis Climb?

The Hoya Gracilis will climb if you give it a trellis, pole or wire to go up on. In fact, it will also climb up walls.

But because of its long vining stems, you’ll likely see it hung in a pot or basket. That’s because it trails beautifully. Not only does this display method allow growers to save space, it is also the most attractive way to display the plant.

 

Fertilizer

The Hoya Gracilis needs fertilizer but it does not need a lot of it. The most important thing is that it gets the nutrients it needs. And that you don’t overfertilize the plant.

Additionally, it is not choosy about what you feed it.

Although the most efficient way to do so is to use organic fertilizer. This does not use any chemicals.

Therefore, using worm castings, compost or something similar works really well. Plus, you can incorporate it into the soil. If you do this, you won’t need to feed the plant.

However, in most cases, plant owners will just use commercial plant food. It is just more convenient as you pick up the product and apply according to the instructions.

You can use a general purpose fertilizer or a balanced formulation. Both work really well.

Apply once every two weeks during its growing season (spring and summer). Stop early or mid fall and don’t feed the plant in the winter.

Since the Hoya Gracilis is a light feeder, dilute the liquid fertilizer by half strength.

 

Flowers / Blooms

The Hoya Gracilis produces small but striking flowers. These are round-shaped with pink and red colors. The also exude a lovely fragrance which is strongest at night.

Like other hoyas, the Gracilis produces many flowers that are bunched up together. Each group is called an umbel and you can easily get 5 to over 20 of these lovely flowers per umbel.

It takes a while for these blossoms to mature, Therefore, they just don’t suddenly pop out of mid air. Instead, they take about 2 to 3 weeks to grow.

More importantly, they flowers grow from peduncles or spurs. These take even longer to develop.

So while the plant will bloom around spring and summer you’ll likely see the peduncles start developing as early as January.

This thing you want to remember is never to cut off these peduncles as they are perennial. This means that new flowers will grow from the same peduncles season after season.

So if you deadhead the flowers, you can end up cutting off the peduncles and eliminating any future blossoms that may have grown from there.

 

Pruning

In the previous section, I mentioned the most important thing to remember about pruning your Hoya Gracilis. That is, not to remove the peduncles even after the flowers have faded and dropped.

In addition to that, the plant does need some trimming as well.

The Hoya Gracilis is a little bit shaggy to begin with as far as how its leaves grow. And it you let it get longer and thicker, it will also get a bit more messy looking.

As such, you do need to prune the plant a few times a year to keep it looking neat and tidy.

Its vines can growth to 6 feet or so indoors. Therefore, growth control is likely something you’ll want to think about.

Of course, how often you end up trimming your plant will ultimately depend on how you grow it. If you allow it to climb or hang it up, there’s much less pruning involved as you can let it grow longer.

 

How to Propagate Hoya Gracilis

The most efficient way to propagate Hoya Gracilis is from stem cuttings. The cuttings can likewise be rooted in water, sphagnum moss or soil.

This gives you a few options on how you want to propagate it.

Of course, you can likewise start a new Hoya Gracilis plant from seed, by air layering or separating the plant.

But since stem propagation is easy, straightforward, fairly fast and has a high success rate, I have not found any reason to use the other methods outside of testing them out.

The most important thing when propagating using stem cuttings is to take a healthy stem with at least 3 or more leaves. This will give you the needed leaf nodes (after you remove the lower leaves to expose the nodes).

Also, if you can get a stem with aerial roots, all the better.

From there, you can either plant the cutting in well-draining soil. sphagnum moss or place it in water.

It takes about 3 to 6 weeks for new roots to develop.

Therefore, you want to place the cutting in an ideal environment to grow quickly. This is a warm, humid location with bright non-direct sun.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Hoya Gracilis

Repotting is seldomly done as the plant enjoys being slighting pot bound. As such, you don’t need to worry about repotting annually. Instead, it usually takes around 2-3 years before you need to move the plant to a larger container.

That said, it is a good idea to refresh the topsoil once a year.

Outside of emergency situations like root rot, overwatering or uncontrollable pest infestations, the only time you need to repot is when the plant’s roots start coming out of the holes at the bottom of the container.

Choose a pot that is 2 inches larger but avoid anymore wider or deeper. The bigger the container you get the most soil needed to fill it. This also means there will be more moisture when you water (relative to the roots).

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

The Hoya Gracilis is considered to be non-toxic to people and pets. This makes it safe for young children, cats and dogs who may accidentally ingest parts of the plant while playing near it.

However, like anything you’re not supposed to be eating, it can cause the usual side effects. Therefore, try to avoid this if possible.

 

Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Hoya Gracilis will likely attract pests during its lifetime. But with proper care and cleaning, you may never need to deal with any of these bugs.

Unfortunately, there is no guarantee.

Therefore, regular inspection is needed. That’s because it is much easier to eradicate pests when there’s only few of them.

If you wait until they grow into an infestation, it not only become harder to treat but they’re also able to cause more damage to the plant since the pests that the Hoya Gracilis attracts are sap sucking insects.

The most common are mealybugs. Although spider mites, aphids and scales can come as well.

 

Diseases

The Hoya Gracilis is more resistant to diseases. But you need to do your part.

That means avoiding excess moisture by way of not wetting the leaves too much or overwatering the plant.

Watering too often or too much at a time make the plant more susceptible to bacterial and fungal infections.

These will damage its leaves and can destroy its roots (if root rot sets in ).