Hoya Incrassata Care Tips

Hoya Incrassata

The Hoya Incrassata is a rare, uncommon hoya species. It is best known for tis shiny, green foliage with a very distinct fold in the center. The leaves have an oval shape and can grow to as long as 8 inches in length.

Like other hoyas, its flowers are likewise a big part of its attraction. While they you need for the plant to mature (about 2 years) before they can bloom, these blossoms are worth the wait.

These flowers grow in bunches and you can have as many as 20 to 80 of them per umbel. Each of the blossoms feature a white, cream-yellow star shape with pinkish-red tips and dark yellow middles.

The plant comes from Southeast Asia primarily, Thailand, the Philippines and Malaysia.

Hoya Incrassata Varieties

One thing worth noting is that you may see a number of different looking species labeled as Hoya Incrassata. This can happen because there are quite a few Hoya Incrassata varieties available.

And while they do have similar growth habits, leaf shapes and care requirements, the appearance of their foliage and flowers often vary.

Therefore, you may want to take your pick (if give the chance) among the different Hoya Incrassata varieties. These include:

  • Hoya Incrassata Albomarginata – this is probably the most well-known variety. It features green foliage with white margins. The white patters will hug the edges of the leaves and around the tip. Although each leaf will have varying degree of white colors (some more than others. Meanwhile, its flowers are white-cream in color with some pinkish hues.
  • Hoya Incrassata Eclipse – features long, oval green colored leaves with splashes of light cream-yellow patterns. The patterns are less defined when young but turn into patterns like someone splashed paint on them. Thus, some leaves barely have any variegations while others have half of in in crem-white/yellow color.
  • Hoya Incrassata Variegata – this is a bit tougher to distinguish because many sellers will just lump up all the variegated versions of the Hoya Incrassata and call it Variegated Hoya Incrassata or a Hoya Incrassata Variegata. That said, the Hoya Incrassata Variegata is one of the rarer once featuring cream-colored patterns against it green foliage.
  • Hoya Incrassata Moon Shadow – if you like yellow and green combination this is a good choice. Its variegations will mostly stay in the middle of the leaves. And you get white flowers with pink borders.
  • Hoya Incrassata Moon Stuck – this is very similar to the Hoya Incrassata Moon Shadow. However, its patterns are more white than they are yellow, although these variegations are still focused in the middle of the leaves. if you look closely, you’ll also see its margins are thinner.
  • Hoya Incrassata Golden Ball – the easiest way to identify this plant is to see its flowers. They’re literally, golden balls. They are yellow in color with some white. Although one look and you’ll immediately know where it gets its name.

 

Hoya Incrassata Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Hoya Incrassata enjoys good lighting. And it will grow at its best with medium to bright, indirect light.

This means it is happiest with early morning or late afternoon sun. And it won’t mind direct sunlight as well during these times.

However, avoid leaving it under direct sun between 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. which is when the sun is the strongest. The same is true for summer sun.

It cannot tolerate the rays of the sun during these times.

As such, the best combination for your Hoya Incrassata is early morning sun and afternoon shade.

This makes an east, northeast and southeast facing window ideal.

Similarly, a west facing window works quite well although you need to protect the plant from sun’s direct rays as the western direction receives mid afternoon sun.

On the other hand, the Hoya Incrassata will likewise tolerate low light. But, I don’t recommend this if you want to see the plant grow lots of flowers.

Low light reduces its chances of blooming. And if it does, it will take longer to flower as well (and fewer of them too).

 

Temperature

The Hoya Incrassata is a tropical plant that is native to the rainforests of Southeast Asia. This means that it enjoys warm temperatures all year round.

In that part of the world, the weather is generally warm to very hot. The coldest times of the year are between December and February. Although temperatures will only drop to about 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit there. Not much lower.

Similarly, they don’t experience snow or frost as the region is around the equator.

This is why the Hoya Incrassata enjoys outdoor conditions in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11. These locales include Florida, Louisiana, Texas and the Southern part of California.

All of which have moderate and sunny winter weather with no snow.

Indoors, the plant enjoys temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit the most. Just as importantly, keep it away from cold spots where the temperature can drop under 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

This means avoiding drafty or breezy open windows as well air conditioned rooms.

 

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Humidity

Southeast Asia is known for its hot and sweaty weather. This is due to its high temperature and matching high humidity.

On average humidity stays between 55% to 75% day in and day out. Therefore, the actual heat index easily hovers around 90 to over 100 degrees on many days of the year.

That’s because humidity worsens hot or cold weather. It makes warm climates very hot and cool conditions much colder.

As such, the ideal humidity for Hoya Incrassata is 50% to 80%.

But thanks to its thick leaves, the plant easily adapts to lower humidity as well. Thus, it does fairly well in regular household humidity.

The only exception is if you live in the desert or have very dry air.

If that’s the case, you may need to invest in a humidifier or mist the plant regularly.

 

How Often to Water Hoya Incrassata

The Hoya Incrassata has semi-succulent leaves which means that it stores water in its foliage. This allows to go without water for longer periods of time.

It also reduces the need to regular water the plant.

As such, the plant only needs to be watered once a week on average during the warm months. And once every 2 or 3 weeks during winter.

How often you water your Hoya Incrassata will ultimately depend on how quickly the soil dries. That’s because you want to wait for the soil to dry between waterings.

This prevents root rot.

That said, the plants roots like a good amount of water. So, in order to appease them, it is important to know how to water the plant as well.

The best way to do so is drench the soil until you see liquid trickling down from the bottom of the pot. This will flood and saturate the soil giving the roots lots of water to drink.

However, once the liquid starts coming out from the bottom of the container stop adding water and start letting it drain.

Ideally, you don’t want the roots standing in water for more than 15 minutes as this will drown them (and cause them to suffocate) since they’ll go without oxygen for too long.

As such, letting the excess moisture drain right after flooding it will prevent this from happening. It will also give that plant what it likes (lots of water and lots of air).

 

Hoya Incrassata Potting Soil

From above, you can tell that using the right kind of soil is essential to keep your Hoya Incrassata healthy.

Because you don’t want the roots sitting in water for long after flooding it, it is important to make sure the soil drains quickly.

Thus, the best soil for Hoya Incrassata needs to be well-draining, loose and airy. Additionally, avoid any soil that will get compacted or retains a lot of moisture.

This will allow the plant to get a balance of both oxygen and water, which it needs to stay healthy.

You can use perlite, vermiculate, pumice, orchid bark, pine bark, charcoal and a few other components to improve soil drainage.

This will ensure you avoid waterlogging and overwatering, both of which are detrimental to the plant.

Here are some DIY potting mixes that will keep the Hoya Incrassata healthy and happy.

  • 1/3 potting soil with 1/3 orchid mix and 1/3 perlite
  • 2/3 peat moss and 1/3 perlite
  • 1/2 potting soil with 1/2 coco coir
  • 1/2 potting soil with 1/2 orchid bark

 

Fertilizer

The Hoya Incrassata does not need a lot of fertilizer as it is a light feeder.

Therefore, you want to be careful not to overfeed the plant. The most important thing here is to give it the nutrients it needs, nothing more.

This means feeding it during spring and summer using a weak fertilizer. Or, you can use a regular houseplant fertilizer or balanced formulation and dilute that by 50% strength.

There’s no need to fertilize during the fall or winter as the cold weather will let the plant rest (more than grow).

In general, the Hoya Incrassata is not choosy about the plant food it gets. So, you have many different options to go with including slow release fertilizer, fish emulsion or organic fertilizers.

 

Flowers / Blooms

The Hoya Incrassata is known for its beautiful blooms. The actual colors will vary depending the Hoya Incrassata variety you have.

However, in most cases you’ll see blooms that have a light yellow-cream color with slight pink tips. The centers will be a slightly darker yellow color.

Another popular Hoya Incrassata variety will have white star-shaped flowers with yellow centers and pink borders.

While the individual blooms are small, they’re stunning to look at because they grow in umbels (clusters). Each umbel can have as many as 80 flowers. And they blossoms will last as long as 4 days.

They’ll often appear during spring, summer or fall. And, you’ll get a strong lemon-like fragrance as well. However, the scent is much more intense during the evening and less so during daytime.

One of the most important things to remember is never cut off the peduncles. Flowers will grow from old peduncles so you don’t want to prune them.

If you do, the plant won’t bloom, at least not until new peduncles have developed again.

 

Pruning

The Hoya Incrassata will grow up to 2 to 3 feet tall. It is not a large plant but will happily climb up a trellis and shaped wire. In fact, it looks beautiful this way as the plant will wrap itself around the structure and take its shape.

Additionally, its leaves and stems don’t get messy.

Therefore, minimal pruning is required. You only need to trim it when you see any overgrowth or vines that go in directions you don’t want it to.

Additionally remove any leggy stems as well as discolored or damaged foliage.

 

How to Propagate Hoya Incrassata

The best time to propagate your Hoya Incrassata is spring or early summer. This is because it grows the fastest during this time. As such, the new plant will quickly develop.

Additionally, it will have an entire growing season before the cold weather arrives. This lets it grow as much as possible before things slow down due to the cold climate.

You can propagate the Hoya Incrassata from seed, stem cuttings, air layering and separation.

From these, stem propagation is the most efficient. it is not only the fastest, its simple, has a high success rate and lets you grow many plants at the same time.

Technically, separation is the fastest propagation method. But the size of the plant severely limits how many new plants you can grow and how often you can use this method.

Additionally, with stem cuttings, you can propagate in water or in soil.

Here’s how to do each.

  • Start by sterilizing your cutting too. You can use cotton and wipe down the blades of the scissors with rubbing alcohol.
  • Next, pick a healthy stem with at least 3 or more leaves.
  • Cut below a leaf node.
  • Remove any lower leaves to expose the leaf nodes.
  • If you want to propagate the cutting in water, place it in a glass container with the nodes submerged. Make sure that none of the leaves end up in the water. If they do, remove them otherwise they will eventually rot.
  • If you prefer to propagate the cutting in soil, prepare a pot and add moist, well-draining soil. Plant the cutting in soil and water it to keep the potting mix moist. You can cover the pot with a plastic bag to increase humidity (which speeds up growth).
  • Place the cutting in a moderately warm location with good lighting (no direct sun).
  • It will take about a month for the roots to develop in length and volume.
  • Once the roots of the water propagated cuttings reach 1-2 inches long, you can move them to potting mix. Of course, you can leave it in water longer.
  • However, try not to keep it in water overly long. Once it passes a year or so, you’ll start seeing roots rot on a regular basis. This means you’ll need to keep pruning them.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Hoya Incrassata

Since the Hoya Incrassata will not grow into a large plant and its root system is not deep or extensive, you’ll never need to use a big pot for it.

For the most part the size of the plant comes from its long stems.

It also enjoys staying in a snug pot like many other hoyas do. Therefore, you don’t have to hurry to repot it.

In most cases, it takes 2 or 3 years before it needs repotting. However, how soon will depend on how quickly the plant grows.

This will depend on how much sunlight it gets, fertilizer, kind of temperature, humidity, watering and other factors. All of these will affect its growth rate.

  • When repotting, choose a container that is 1-2 inches wider than tis current container.
  • Be careful when taking it out of the pot as it has a fairly small root system.
  • Next, fill the new container with fresh potting mix up to about 40% or halfway.
  • Then put the plant in and backfill the remaining space.

Make sure to use well-draining soil and pick a pot with drainage holes.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

The Hoya Incrassata is not toxic to people and pets. This makes it safe to keep around cats, dogs and young children.

However, when handling the plant, do be careful especially if you have allergies or sensitive skin. Its sap can cause skin irritation for some people.

 

Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Hoya Incrassata is prone to pests that like to suck on the sap of the plant. This means that there are a few common bugs that like to attack this plant.

They include aphids, thrips, mealybugs and spider mites.

Each of them look different but they all do the same thing. More importantly, they also populate at a very fast rate.

This means that the longer wait or the later your find out about them, the higher the risk of infestation.

Unfortunately, once this happens, it becomes much harder to get rid of these pests. Additionally, they will cause more damage o the plant.

Therefore, early detection is essential.

Once you do spot them, use water to spray off as many adults, larvae and eggs as you can. The more thorough you are the fewer you have to deal with. You can keep doing this a few times until all the bugs are gone.

Similarly, you can use neem oil or horticultural soil to do this.

 

Diseases

Excess water is the plant’s biggest enemy as it can lead to plant death.

Thus, you want to avoid overwatering at all costs.

Additionally, try not to leave its foliage wet for long periods of time either. This makes them prone to infection.

So if you see any abnormal colors, markings or patterns, it is likely some kind of leaf disease. This includes spots, yellow color, stripes and others.