Hoya kerrii leaves curling is never a good sign. That’s because the plant is designed to tolerate periods of dryness thanks to its thick, succulent-like leaves.
As such, it often means that the plant has been neglected for a while or something else is happening.
Therefore, when you notice its fleshy leaves start to curl or wilt, it is important to get down to the root cause.
Why are my hoya kerrii leaves curling? Underwatering and lack of humidity are usually the most common causes for curled leaves in hoya plants.
But you want to be careful since overwatering can also cause this symptom. So, always confirm by checking the soil before you add water.
Besides moisture issues, temperature stress and fluctuation and pest infestations can also cause leaves to curl.
Causes of Hoya Kerrii Leaves Curling
Hoya kerrii leaves curling is not something you’ll see often. That’s because its leaves are thick and fleshy. However, when the leaves curl, wilt or get limp, it becomes very obvious.
One look and you can easily tell something’s not right because the plant will look weird.
If this happens to you, here are the possible causes for the curling leaves on your hoya kerrii
Lack of Water
The most common reason why hoya kerrii leaves curl is lack of water. Underwatering will dramatically affect this plant because of the shape, texture and thickness of its leaves.
Initially, you’ll see the leaves get flatter.
They won’t be as plump or firm as they should be.
But as the plant needs more water and moves towards dehydration, you’ll see your hoya kerrii’s leaves curling.
Additionally, they leaves will turn brown and yellow from their beautiful healthy green color.
That said, it is not common to see this as it can take more than a month without watering before you’ll see these effects start to appear.
How to Fix It
Hoya kerrii will tolerate dry periods. Their thick, succulent-like leaves allow them to withstand periods of dryness.
However, like all plants, there’s a limit to this.
And past that limit, you’ll see changes first appear in their leaves.
Hoya kerrii leaves curling happens when the plant is already short on water. It means it has used up a good chunk of its reserves.
However, you still want to be very careful and confirm before you start watering the plant.
That’s because curling hoya kerrii leaves can also be caused by overwatering.
So, if you mix one up for the other, the results can be disastrous.
Of the two, overwatering is the more serious problem. And if you believe that the plant’s curling leaves is due to underwatering but it in fact its cause was overwatering, you increase its risk of root rot.
Thus, it is very important to always check the soil before adding more water.
If the soil feels very dry, then add water.
But if the soil feels wet or even just a little moist, reassess your diagnosis. In all likelihood, it is not underwatering that’s causing your hoya kerrii leaves to curl.
When watering the plant, do so thoroughly.
Pour water directly onto the soil and not over the leaves. Then keep the water going until you see liquid drip from the pot’s drainage holes.
This is a sign that the entire root ball is not saturated.
As such, it allows the roots to get all the drink they want.
After that, make sure to let the plant completely drain.
Overwatering is another reason for hoya kerrii leaves curling. And in my case, this is always the first thing I check when it comes to houseplant problems including yellow leaves, wilting or curling leaves.
Because it has the worst consequences.
In most of the others, you have the time to fix things.
But with overwatering, once root rot starts setting in, you’re up against time.
Root rot will keep spreading. And it does so at a fast rate. And once things get past a certain point, there is no saving the plant.
Therefore, checking for overwatering always takes priority.
Overwatering can cause hoya kerrii leaves curling because the more water you add while the soil is still wet, the more moisture fills the soil.
It will get to the point where the water will push out all the oxygen from the air pockets or gaps between the soil particles.
And it doing so, the roots are deprived of air and drown in water instead.
Suffocation will soon set in affecting how the roots function. This in turn negatively affects how much water and nutrients the roots are able to absorb.
When the leaves don’t get enough moisture and nutrients like they are used to, they’ll begin to curl.
Since hoya kerrii leaves are thick, this takes a while. But once curling starts, it is very easy to spot and notice because of the very visible difference from its normal form.
That said, the worst part about overwatering is that if it persists, the roots eventually die of suffocation. Then they will rot.
If the water does not dry or drain and you keep adding more water, more and more roots will rot until the point where the remaining healthy roots are not able to support the plant.
This is when overwatering and root rot become fatal.
How to Fix It
There are two things to consider here.
One is if you’re dealing with an overwatered plant. And another is preventing overwatering.
I’ll start with the former.
In case you suspect that your hoya kerrii’s leaves are curling due to overwatering, the first thing to do is confirm it.
You can do this by checking the soil.
Feel the surface of the soil. If the soil feels wet or mucky, then you’re almost sure that it is overwatered.
Whenever I suspect overwatering, I also like to take the plant out of the pot and check the roots.
This will let you know if there is root rot or not.
Doing so gives me peace of mind. It also ensures me of what the next steps I need to take.
If there is no root rot, the goal is to help the plant dry.
Therefore, pour out any excess liquid in the pot if there is any. Then pot up the plant.
The next step is to aerate the soil. You can do this by poking holes into the soil to allow air to get in. This will help speed up the drying process.
Alternatively, you can turn the soil as well to let air get in between the soil particles.
Make sure that you’re using well-draining soil and the pot your hoya kerrii is in has drainage holes. If not repot and make the necessary changes.
As much as possible, leave the plant in bright indirect light with good ventilation. This will help the soil dry as well.
If the there is root rot, then you’ll need to prune the rotten roots then repot the plant in fresh dry soil. The chance of survival will depend a lot on how much of the root system is left that’s healthy.
Finally, to prevent overwatering, always check the soil before you add water.
I like to wait until the top half of the soil has dried before adding water. Again, this has to do with the hoya kerrii’s ability to store moisture in its leaves.
So, there’s no hurry to water it daily or every other day.
Never add water when the soil is still moist.
The hoya kerrii is a tropical plant. And it is used to warm climates. This is why it has thick, fleshy leave that are designed to store water.
The plant as evolved this way to allow it to survive periods of heat and dryness.
When it comes it temperature preference, the plant likes staying between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
More importantly, it has a hard time with the cold.
As such, it is not a good idea to leave the plant anywhere that’s colder than 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
That said, hoya kerrii leaves curling can occur when the temperature goes beyond the plant’s ideal range.
There’s a bit of tolerance up and down from that range.
But once things get too cold (under 50 degrees Fahrenheit), you’ll start to see some side effects. The longer the plant stays in the cold and the lower the temperature gets, the more likely you’ll see its leaves curl.
On the other hand, hoya kerrii are better and withstanding warm conditions.
However, once things get too hot (over 95 degrees Fahrenheit), the evaporation and rate of transpiration increase to the point where the plant is at risk of drying out or dehydration.
So, while the hoya kerrii can tolerate the heat, it is the moisture loss that will cause its leaves curl.
How to Fix It
This is one of the easier fixes.
As long as you keep the plant in its ideal temperature range, it will be happy.
The good news is that most homes have temperatures between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. This makes it easy to care for the hoya kerrii indoors.
Additionally, we like temperatures at consistent levels as well. This helps a lot since the plant hates sudden fluctuations.
However, if you have very hot summers and cold winters, different areas of your home may get very hot or cold during these times.
This is when the plant may get into trouble.
As such, if you’re not sure what the temperature is at different parts of your home during the peak of summer or in winter, it is a good idea to get a digital thermometer.
This is a cheap and easy way to instantly know what the temperature is.
Outdoors, the conditions are more difficult to control. As such, the basic rule is to avoid very hot areas. And to always bring the plant indoors once the things get colder in the fall.
The hoya kerrii will not survive the winter or frost.
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The hoya kerrii likes humidity. It is used to staying in humid climate conditions as it is native to tropical regions.
However, its thick, succulent-like leaves allows it do to well in less humid environments compared to other tropical plants.
In most cases, as long as you keep humidity at 40% to 50%, it will be very happy.
That said, very high or very low humidity are not ideal.
When humidity gets too low, the plant will eventually feel dry. And you’ll later see its leaves flatten out and turn brown on the edges and tips.
Although, this will take longer than other plants because of how thick they are.
Nevertheless, leaving it in low humidity for weeks or months at a time will eventually cause its leaves to curl.
Similarly, very high humidity can cause hoya kerrii leaves to curl as well.
Excess moisture in the air not only make the leaves curl but also causes them to get mushy after a while. Even worse, it increases the risk of fungus gnats and possibly fungal disease.
How to Fix It
Hoya kerrii leaves curling due to humidity issues is a bit more trouble to fix compared to temperature issues.
If you experience too high or too low humidity for the plant, it is a good idea to get a hygrometer.
This is a device that measures relative humidity.
There are many kinds of hygrometers. But the easiest to use are the portable ones since it allow you to move it from room to room in case you want to change where you want to put your plants.
Try to keep humidity between 40% and 60%.
Avoid low humidity as well as very high humidity when it comes to the hoya kerrii.
Above, I mentioned that overwatering is usually the first thing I check when there’s something wrong with my plants.
The next one I usually look for are pests.
This ranks second because pests will damage your plant in many different ways.
What’s worse is that they have short lifespans. This means it does not take long before they lay eggs.
Unfortunately for us, they lay many eggs at a time. And these eggs take but just a few days before they hatch.
In a few more days, the newly hatches pests turn into larvae. And within weeks adults.
As such, they multiply very quickly.
And in a short time, you’ll see just a few bugs turn into a full blown infestation.
This makes them very dangerous for your plants especially since the hoya kerrii seems to attract sap suckers.
As these insects feed on the plant’s sap, it causes yellowing, curling leaves, wilting and eventually foliage drop.
If left untreated, the pests will keep growing in number and later overwhelm the plant as they suck out all its energy.
How to Fix It
Unfortunately, there is no way to avoid pests. Every gardener knows this.
And the only thing you can do it try to keep your plant as healthy as possible for it to have more resistance to them.
Beyond that, it is up to you to regularly check for insects and bugs.
Once you see any, immediately treat to eradicate them.
With the hoya kerrii, insecticidal soap works very well. You can likewise use neem oil which is another very effective treatment.
Make sure to kill all the bugs, be it adults, eggs and larvae.
If you leave any one of these around, the entire cycle will start over in just a few days. That will bring you back to where you started.