How to Grow Hoya Lacunosa (Cinnamon-Scented Wax Plant)

The Hoya lacunosa is also called Hoya suaveolens or Cinnamon-scented wax plant. The latter because the fragrance emitted by its blossoms smell like cinnamon.

It is a member of the hoya genus, which is in turn falls under the Apocynaceae family.

The plant hails from Southeast Asia, primarily Singapore, Malaysia, India and Thailand to name a few. As such, it enjoys tropical conditions as you’ll see in the Temperature and Humidity sections below.

That said, the Hoya lacunosa is best known for its stunningly beautiful flowers.

These have a star shape and are cream, white or tan in color. They likewise grow in clusters which magnifies their small size.

But, while the flowers get a lot of attention, it is the plant’s foliage that gives these blossoms wonderful form and backdrop. You’ll especially notice this if you let it grow longer in a hanging basket.

Hoya Lacunosa Plant Care

Hoya Lacunosa Light

The Hoya lacunosa will do well in different lighting conditions. These include low, medium or bright light. Similarly, you can keep it under artificial lighting and have a healthy plant.

That said, there are a few things you want to remember when it comes to lighting for you Hoya lacunosa.

  • It thrives in bright, indirect light.
  • If you want it to flower, you’ll need to provide it with plenty of bright, indirect light. Medium light won’t cut it. So with low light.
  • Avoid direct sunlight. Some direct sunlight is fine in a north facing window because it doesn’t get intense there. But, in general, avoid long hours of direct sunlight. Also, keep it away from hot, sunny light. Too much intense sunlight or exposure to the sun’s rays will damage its leaves and ultimately its health.

As such, indoors, the plant does best with eastern or western exposure. With the latter, you want to keep it protected from the intensity of the afternoon sun. This is less of a problem with the east as the plant will appreciate an hour or two of gentle morning sunlight.

If you keep it in the south, you want to give it some shade or filter the light. You can also keep it between 3 to 6 feet away from the window.

In summary, lighting is fairly easy for your Hoya lacunosa because it does well in many conditions except too much direct sunlight.

But, it gets a little more trickly when trying to get it to bloom. Here, you want to keep it away from too much sun. But, need lots of bright light to flower. So, there’s a balance between the two needed.

 

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Hoya Lacunosa Temperature

Your Hoya lacunosa enjoys moderate to warm conditions. And, while it can tolerate hotter climates, it has a hard time with cooler temperatures.

The plant is not frost hardy. And, it cannot tolerate freezing temperatures.

As such, don’t leave it somewhere that is colder than 50 degrees. Anything below this level will damage the plant.

Ideally, keep the plant in conditions that are above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

For best growth, it enjoys the range between 65 and 80 degrees.

This makes it do well outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11. If you live in these regions you can keep it outside all year round.

But, if you live below zone 10, you should bring them indoors once it starts to get colder in the fall then through winter.

 

Humidity

The plant likewise enjoys humid conditions. Being a tropical plant, it does best in warm temperature and high humidity. Ideally, 60% humidity or higher.

The good news is it doesn’t have a problem with regular household humidity. So, you can keep it indoors without any problems.

The only hitch here is if you live in a cooler region and winter comes around. Winter tends to dry the air.

Thus, you want to have some kind of plan to increase home humidity during this time of year.

This can involve misting it during the 3 to 4 months of cold or keeping it above pebbles on a water tray.

If you can’t find a natural solution, use a humidifier instead.

The last thing to keep in mind is that humidity affects how much you water. The higher the humidity, the less water you need to give the plant.

 

Watering

Your Hoya lacunosa is an epiphyte. As such, in its native habitat, it clings onto trees. This also means that while it can get a lot of water from the rain, its roots dry fairly quickly as they’re exposed to the air.

As such, you want to mimic these conditions as closely as possible to create the best growing environment for the plant.

This means watering regularly during its growing season. But, allowing the soil to slightly dry before watering again.

The easiest way to achieve this is to wait until the top 1 to 2 inches of soil dries out before watering again. This means some of the lower soil is almost dry. But, it is still a bit away from completely drying out. This also prevents overwatering.

In the fall and winter, scale back on watering as the weather gets colder and the plant goes into a resting period.

This means the soil won’t dry as quickly. So, you can wait longer between waterings.

Also, since the plant is dormant, it doesn’t need much water. So, you can let the soil dry out a little. But, moisten it enough to prevent it from completely drying out.

Similarly, when watering, you want to simulate what happens in the forest.

This means soaking the root ball until it is saturated. This is similar to the plant getting soaked by rainfall. Then, allowing all the excess moisture to drain completely before returning it to its spot.

This is akin to the plant drying off quickly after the rain stops.

The most important thing to remember is to avoid overwatering. Wet, soggy or waterlogged conditions are all bad. And, they can cause root rot.

 

Soil for Hoya Lacunosa

From above, you can somewhat figure out that your Hoya lacunosa prefers well-draining soil. Additionally, it will appreciate light, well-aerated soil.

The plant also grows best in slightly acidic soil with pH of between 6.1 to 6.5.

So how do we put this all into application?

If you don’t want to go through the trouble of making your own potting mix, you can buy one that’s out of the box from your garden center. Here, you have 2 options:

  • Succulent soil
  • Orchid potting mix

Both work well.

That said, you may want to have some perlite on hand as well just in case. If you find that your plant prefers more drainage or the mix you got isn’t draining well enough, you can add perlite.

In most cases you won’t. But if you tend to have a heavy watering hand or use plastic containers, the extra perlite may help.

If you prefer to make your own mix, you can go with peat and perlite. Similarly, you can mix regular potting soil with peat and some pine bark.

Hoya lacunosa do well in containers as well as hanging baskets. So, you can opt for either depending on how and where you want to grow the plant.

 

Fertilizing

Hoya lacunosa doesn’t need a lot of fertilizer. In fact, if you use rich, fertile soil, add compost or organic manure, you don’t have to or only need to use fertilizer to supplement it for blooming purposes.

On a more traditional note, you can likewise go with liquid fertilizer once a month. Make sure to dilute it when you apply. Using ¼ teaspoon per gallon of water is all you need.

It is very important to avoid overfeeding the plant as it can cause fertilizer burn. This is one reason why some growers prefer using the methods mentioned at the beginning of this section. Because they release nutrients slowly, the plant is able to get sustenance in a more even, distributed manner.

That said, you can opt for any of the following products.

  • A balanced fertilizer (15-15-15)
  • A 7-9-5 which has more phosphorus to encourage blooming.
  • You can also opt for lower nitrogen and higher phosphorus and potassium

You don’t need to feed the plant in winter. During this time providing enough moisture is all that’s needed.

 

Flowering

Hoya lacunosa is often grown for its flowers as much as its beautiful foliage.

But, it isn’t always easy to get it to bloom. In fact, there are a few things you need to fulfill to increase its chances of doing so.

As such, if your plant isn’t flowering, here are some things to consider.

  • Make sure that it is at least 2 years old. The plant isn’t going to flower in year 1.
  • The most common is lack of light. It needs plenty of bright light. But, not direct sunlight.
  • Keep it slightly root bound. It likes its roots tightly packed together to flower.
  • Rich soil. If you checked all the boxes above, then consider this. But, make sure to fulfill the one above first. Poor soil makes it hard for blooming. So add orchid food or fertilizer.

 

Pruning Hoya Lacunosa

Your Hoya lacunosa doesn’t need a lot of pruning. Most likely, you’ll just need to trim is when it is getting too long or its starts getting out of control.

Other than that, all you need is maintenance work. this includes removing leggy stems and trimming away dead, damaged or discolored leaves.

Do not prune the fading flowerings. Instead, let them drop on their own. Deadheading or pruning the stalks will cause flowering to be delayed.

 

Hoya Lacunosa Propagation

Hoya lacunosa can be propagated in different ways. The easiest of which is via stem cuttings.

This lets you grow a clone of the parent plant without having to remove it from its container (which it dislikes).

And, in about 2 years or so, you’ll have a new plant with all its beautiful leaves.

Here’s how to propagate Hoya lacunosa from stem cuttings.

  • Pick a healthy stem with at least 2 to 3 nodes.
  • Cut the stem making. You want to take a cutting that’s about 4 to 6 inches long.
  • Dip the stem cutting in rooting hormone. While optional, this helps it root faster.
  • Next, place the stem cutting in well-draining potting mix.
  • Water the soil and keep it moist. Also, keep the plant in bright, indirect light. You can cover it with a plastic bag to increase humidity if you can’t find a humid spot to place it.
  • Roots will grow in about 4 weeks or so.
  • Another option to rooting in soil is to do so in water. This is faster, taking about 2 or so weeks to start seeing root development. The glass container will also let you observe the roots as they grow.
  • Once the roots get to about an inch long, move it from the water into potting soil.
  • In about 3 months, you should start seeing some growth.

 

Hoya Lacunosa Transplanting & Repotting

Hoya lacunosa doesn’t like being moved. It also prefers being root bound which actually helps it flower.

As such, you only want to repot when it overcrowds the container or begins to experience stress due to being stuck in a pot that’s way too small.

It is likewise a good idea to refresh the soil every 2 years or so. Thus, this is a good time to repot if needed.

When choosing new pots, make sure that is has drainage holes.

You also don’t want to go up more than one pot size.

 

Hoya Lacunosa Toxicity

Be careful with your Hoya lacunosa because it is toxic. The seeds, and all parts of the plant are poisonous to humans, dogs and cats. So, you want to avoid kids and pets from ingesting it.

Also use gloves when handling the plant as it can cause skin irritation in some people.

 

Pests and Diseases

Mealybugs and spider mites are two common pests that are attracted to Hoya lacunosa. These are both problematic as they inflict damage to leaves as well as suck its sap.

This makes regular inspection very important as it allows you to spot the pests and their damage as early as possible.

When you do, the easiest treatment often involves spraying with insecticidal soap or a solution of dishwashing soap and water. This lets you cover a larger area.

If there are few, you can use to cotton and rubbing alcohol on each bug you see. But, this can be tedior and can cause you to miss some of them.

Root disease is likewise another issue. While the plant is relative resistant to disease, overwatering can be a big problem as it will leave the plants roots sitting in water.

After a while, this will cause root rot and other issues.

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