The Hoya Heuschkeliana is also sometimes called Hoya Heuschkeliana Variegata because it leaves feature the light green variegations against the dark green leaves. Some people even refer to it as the Heuschkeliana Variegata.
Either way, they all refer to the same plant. I just wanted to get this out of the way so you’re aware of them when you see the different names on shop labels.
In any case, the Heuschkeliana Variegata is a rare variety of hoya that looks unique and distinct from most of the more common hoya species.
It is an epiphyte with long trailing vining stems that are adorn with multiple leaves per stem.
What makes it beautiful are its waxy green leaves and the lighter green variegations.
Of course, I’d be amiss not to mention its beautiful clusters of flowers that can appear during the warm months. These looks beautiful with pink and yellow colors. They also produce a caramel-like fragrance.
The plant is native to the Philippines which is located very near the equator. Thus, it has tropical weather that features warm, sunny weather all 12 months of the year.
Hoya Heuschkeliana Plant Care
The Hoya Heuschkeliana is not particular about light in that it does well in low to bright light. But the more light it receives, the faster it will grow.
That said, you want to avoid the two extremes. These are overly strong light or direct sun and dark or dim locations.
Too much light especially from a hot source like direct sunlight or lamps will damage the leaves. Therefore, the plant prefers indirect or diffused light. You can likewise distance the plant from where the light is to reduce the intensity.
So, if you want to keep the plant near a south or west facing window, position it at least a few feet from the opening away from the sun’s rays.
On the other hand, too little will slow the plant’s growth and cause it to produce fewer foliage. That’s because it still relies on light for photosynthesis. Therefore, too little light will affects its growth.
If you don’t get a lot of natural light, you can use fluorescent lighting.
Outdoors, the plant will grow best in partial shade.
The Hoya Heuschkeliana thrives in temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Here, it will grow faster especially during the growing season.
Similarly, because it comes from a tropical environment, it has no problem tolerating warm conditions.
But the same cannot be said with the opposite since it is not used to the cold.
Thus, you want to be more wary lower temperatures. Once things get to 55 degrees, check the plant to see if its growth slows or stops growing.
This is your “early warning notice” so to speak. When this happens, move it somewhere warmer.
Try to avoid 50 degrees and lower as the plant will struggle due to the cold there.
The plant is hardy to USDA Zones 9 to 11. Therefore, you can keep it outdoors all year long if you live in these areas or somewhere with tropical weather.
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The Hoya Heuschkeliana Variegata enjoys humidity of 60% and higher. This is something that it is used to in its native habitat.
As such, the plant is happiest and will grow its best when you keep it somewhere with moderate to high humidity.
Unfortunately, this is not something that is always easy for all homes especially if you experience hot, dry summers or have cold winters. During these two times of the year, the air gets really dry.
So, check to see if it stays humid enough to keep the healthy.
Note that if you want your Hoya Heuschkeliana to flower, it stands a much better chance of doing so if you keep humidity at 60% and above as well.
Therefore, you may need to resort to raising moisture in the air at least in the area where you keep the plant.
Here are a few ways to do this.
- Use a humidifier
- Mist the plant daily or every other day
- Group it with other houseplants
- Place it on a pebble tray.
Of the 4 methods above, only the humidifier will let you control the humidity precisely. As for the others how much they can increase moisture in the air will vary.
How Often to Water Hoya Heuschkeliana
The Hoya Heuschkeliana is an epiphyte. And it has thick leaves where it stores water. Therefore, it does need a lot of water. And you’re better off watering it like you would a succulent than a houseplant.
This means two things:
- Allow the soil to dry a bit more before watering again.
- Use deep watering to saturate the root ball in order to give the roots the drink they want. Then let the excess moisture drain right after that.
To make sure that you don’t water the plant too frequently, always check the soil before adding more water. You can do so by inserting your finger into he soil about 1-2 inches deep.
Only water if the soil at that depth is completely dry, never before that. This will prevent overwatering.
Similarly, while the plant can tolerate some dryness, avoid letting it go completely dry especially for long periods of time. If this happens too often, the accumulation of the small damages will eventually harm the plant in the long term.
On average, you’ll likely end up watering the plant once a week during the warmer months and once every 2-4 weeks in the colder months depending on how low the temperature gets.
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Hoya Heuschkeliana Potting Soil
The best potting soil for your Hoya Heuschkeliana is light, airy and well-draining. This will ensure that any excess moisture is removed and the plant’s roots don’t end up standing in water.
This is important because the plant is an epiphyte and it has a relatively small root system. Therefore, it will easily succumb to waterlogging.
This makes it important to avoid dense soil or any other mix that tends to retain moisture.
Instead, you can use any of the following soils and potting mixes for your Hoya Heuschkeliana.
- African violet mix
- Regular potting mix with orchid mix and perlite
- Cactus mix with perlite and orchid mix
- Potting mix with coco coir and perlite
African potting mix or a well-draining succulent mix works well if you don’t want to make your own DIY potting soil. These are commercially available.
The 3 bottom potting mixes you can make on your own at home. All you need to do is get the ingredients.
The Hoya Heuschkeliana is a light feeder. And because it is a foliage plant you want to ensure that there is enough nitrogen in the fertilizer product you use.
You can use a standard houseplant fertilizer or a balanced formulation during the spring and summer. Apply once a month diluting the dose to half strength.
You can likewise use fish emulsion if you want to go with something more organic.
That said, the Hoya Heuschkeliana is known for its blooms. Once it starts to flower or is able to flower, switch from your high nitrogen produce to a bloom booster, which has higher phosphorus.
This will encourage flowering and allow the plant to focus on its blooms.
Flowers / Blooms
As mentioned, the Hoya Heuschkeliana is known for its beautiful flowers which don’t look like those of many hoyas. This is what makes it gorgeous.
Depending the what variety you get you may see blooms with colors ranging from pink to yellow, although pink is the more common one. They will appear bunched together with as many as 12 in a bunch at times.
The flowers also produce a caramel-like scent although some people don’t like the odor. These blooms stay for about 7 days.
The Hoya Heuschkeliana is a fast grower and a vigorous climber. But unlike monsteras and philodendrons, like to wrap around objects when it climbs. So, you can use a shaped wire or trellis and let it cover that.
Of course, the most popular way to display the plant is with a hanging basket.
Either way, you will need to do some regular pruning with your Hoya Heuschkeliana Variegata. That’s because the vines do get long and the leaves will go all over the place at time causing it look messy.
How often will really depend on the look you’re going for.
However, when trimming, it is better to do regular minor trimmings rather than one heavy pruning session.
Also don’t prune when the plant is flowering.
How to Propagate Hoya Heuschkeliana
The easiest way to propagate the Hoya Heuschkeliana Variegata is through stem cutting. With stem propagation, you can cut one of the stems of the plant to grow a new one.
Since the plant has a lot of stems this makes it very easy to do even if you want to grow more than one new Hoya Heuschkeliana.
Additionally, stem propagation lets you choose to root it in water or in soil.
Here’s how to propagate it from stem cuttings.
- Take a stem cutting with at least 1-2 nodes. You can take a stem tip cutting or a longer stem and cut it into segments if you want to grow more than one new plant.
- To propagate in water, place the cutting in a glass filled with water so the nodes are submerged in the liquid. Remove any leaves that touch the water. And replace the water once a week to keep it fresh.
- If you prefer to propagate in soil, you can plant the stem cutting into moist, well-draining potting mix. You can likewise dip the end of the cutting in rooting hormone first before planting it to speed up the rooting process, although this is optional. Keep the soil moist but avoid overwatering.
- Leave the pot or glass in a warm location with bright, non-direct sunlight.
- It takes about 4 weeks or so for the cuttings to root.
- If you propagated in water, once the roots get to 1-2 inches long , you can pot it up into soil.
How to Repot or Transplant Hoya Heuschkeliana
Repotting is not a regular task with the Hoya Heuschkeliana despite being a fast grower. That’s because it is epiphytic and has a small root system. Thus, it will usually take 2-3 years before you need to move it to a larger container.
That said, when you need to repot, the best time to do so is between early spring to early summer. This will allow the plant to quickly recover.
Make sure to replace the soil as well with fresh potting mix.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The Hoya Heuschkeliana is safe for cats, dogs and humans as it is not toxic even when ingested. This makes the plant something you can keep anywhere around the house even if you have pets or young children.
Hoya Heuschkeliana Variegata Problems & Troubleshooting
Aphids, scale insects, mealybugs and mites are all potential problems when it comes to Hoya Heuschkeliana. Neem oil is good as a preventive measure although make sure not to use too much concentration.
With neem oil, you’ll usually find it in concentrated form which is cheaper (but you need to dilute it before using) and ready-to-use form.
The latter is already diluted so you can just apply by following the instructions. With the concentrated form, make sure to dilute enough otherwise, too much neem oil will damage the leaves.
I’ve had this problem happen twice when I was first using it and it cost me two lovely plants.
When it comes to disease, root rot is what you want to watch out for. Because it works under the soil, by the time the symptoms appear in the leaves and stems, there’s already some damage done to the roots.
Therefore, you want to avoid it altogether. And you can do so by letting the soil dry a bit before adding more water.