Hoya Mathilde Plant Care & Flowers

Hoya Mathilde

The Hoya Mathilde is also called the Hoya Mathilde Variegata or the Hoya Mathilde Splash because of the silver specks that are lightly splashed over the plant’s green foliage.

This is a cultivated hoya plant that’s bred from crossing a Hoya carnosa and a Hoya serpens. And in a way, its care is a mix of the two.

That is, it is not as hard to care for nor fussy as the Hoya serpens. But not as easy as the Hoya carnosa either.

In any case, the Hoya Mathilde is a epiphyte that has small, round shaped foliage that have light speckling. If you look at the undersides of the leaves, you’ll notice they’re a bit fuzzy as well.

In the warm months, they plant will also produce clusters of fragrant, fuzzy, white flowers that have pink middles.

Hoya Mathilde Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Hoya Mathilde has small green leaves with very small white specks. And these grow best and maintain their color under medium to bright, indirect light.

They thrive in a well-lit room near a window as long as you keep it away from the strong, mid-day sun. It appreciates the morning and later afternoon sun and will reward you with prettier foliage and the higher likelihood of blooms.

However, try to avoid direct sunshine between 10:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. when the rays are the harshest. It can only take 1-2 hours of this. And with prolonged, regular exposure, its leaves will turn yellow and even get burned.

Meanwhile, the Hoya Mathilde also does well in low light. However, it is not something I like to keep the plant in. That’s because the less light it receives, the lower the chances of it being able to flower.

Good lighting is the biggest factor when it comes to flower production. So, if you want to see the Hoya Mathilde bloom regularly, it is important to choose a good spot.

 

Temperature

The Hoya Mathilde is a warm weather loving plant. And being a tropical native, it is not hardy to very cold weather including snow and frost.

The lowest temperature it can handle on a consistent basis without any harm is 50 degrees Fahrenheit. At this level, you’ll start seeing its growth slow down.

However, the colder it gets and the longer it stays there, the more stunted its growth gets and the more likely it will experience cold damage.

On the other, the Hoya Mathilde has an optimal temperature of between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This is where it will grow at its best and produce more foliage.

The good news is, this is about the same temperature range that most households have because humans feel most comfortable in this range as well.

Therefore, outside of avoiding cold locations, there isn’t a lot you need to do to keep the plant happy indoors.

Outdoors, it enjoys USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11 the most. That’s because it can stay outside the entire year round without any problem of getting too cold. In these regions, winters are very mild and have a lot of sunshine and now snow.

 

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Humidity

Humidity is not a huge issue with the Hoya Mathilde as it can tolerate regular room humidity thanks to its succulent-like leaves.

If you look closely at the plant’s foliage, you’ll notice that they are thick and fleshy. That’s because they store moisture in their leaves. This allows them to withstand periods of dryness as well as lower humidity.

That said, the Hoya Mathilde has an ideal humidity range between 40% and 60%. And this is where it is able to grow fastest, produce the most leaves and maintain very vibrant color.

As much as it loves high humidity, you also want to a bit wary about that since excess moisture in the air can increase the risk of pests and fungal infections.

hoya mathilde

source: wikimedia commons

 

How Often to Water Hoya Mathilde

The Hoya Mathilde has low to regular watering needs. Again, this is due to its succulent leaves.

On the other hand, it is sensitive to overwatering.

Therefore, when caring for the plant, it is always safer to stay on the dry side than add more water. It does not have a problem with being slightly dry as it can tolerate some drought.

However, just like any other plant, avoid letting it go bone dry for extended periods of time. It this happens regularly, it will sustain damage as well.

So what does this mean?

It means how often you water your Hoya Mathilde will depend on the time of year.

  • During the warmer months, the plant is actively growing. Additionally, the warm weather and good amount of sunlight will cause the soil to dry faster. So, you need to water regularly to keep it hydrated.
  • During the winter, cut back on water as the plant is taking a break from growing. Also, the cold weather along with lower levels of sunlight keeps soil wet longer. So, reduce your watering frequency.

The simplest way to adjust to this is to wait until the top 1-2 inches of soil has dried before adding more water. This way, your watering schedule adjusts to the time of year automatically.

If you do this, how often you water will likely end up coming down to once a week  (give or take a few days) during the summer and once every 2 to 3 weeks in the winter.

Similarly, how you water is just as important.

You want to water the plant thoroughly then allow it to drain right after. This means soaking the root ball until it gets saturated. You’ll know when this happens as the liquid will begin trickling from the holes under the pot.

When you see this, stop watering and allow the soil to drain completely.

This way, the plant’s roots get the water they want without being left standing in water for long periods of time.

 

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Hoya Mathilde Potting Soil

In order to allow the excess moisture to drain from the soil after your flood the root ball, it is important to use the right soil.

The best soil for Hoya Mathilde is well-draining, lightweight and allows for good aeriation.

Since the plant is an epiphyte, its roots enjoy being able to breathe. In the wild, they are accustomed to hanging onto trees. Therefore, their roots get lots of air circulation.

This is why loose, airy soil is essential. Good drainage also ensures that any excess moisture is quickly rid of. This way, the roots are not left sitting in water.

On the other hand, avoid dense soils or anything that retains moisture as this will leave you with waterlogged soil. In this environment, your Hoya Mathilde  is a risk of yellowing leaves and eventually root rot.

Depending on what kind of soil you have at home, you can use either of the following DIY potting mixes for Hoya Mathilde. I like to keep things simple so I go with fewer ingredients whenever possible.

  • 2 parts peat moss
  • 1 part perlite

Or if you have potting soil available:

  • 1 part potting soil
  • 1 part perlite or pumice

The important thing is to make sure the mix has some kind of drainage. In this case, that’s the perlite.

Of course, you can use charcoal, orchid bark, pine bark, vermiculite, pumice or fir bark.

The important thing is that the soil:

  • Drains quickly
  • Allows for good airflow to the roots
  • Is light and will not get compacted
  • Does not stay wet or retain too much water

 

Fertilizer

The Hoya Mathilde has low feeding needs. Still, it does benefit from the nutrients. So, it is important to give it fertilizer during its growing period (spring and summer).

This will allow it to grow and produce more foliage.

You can use a general purpose liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength once every month or two weeks. Start with once a month and observe how the plant is doing.

Remember, more is not always better when it comes to fertilizer. That’s because commercial produces contain salt which plants don’t like. Salt is how the nutrients are transported to the plant.

So, the more fertilizer you add, the more salt you’re giving the plant as well.

Since the Hoya Mathilde is a light feeder, it is a good idea to dilute the dose by 50% to reduce the risk of fertilizer burn from the salt.

You don’t need to feed the plant during winter as the plant will rest due to the cold.

 

Flowers / Blooms

The Hoya Mathilde produces beautiful white, furry star-shaped flowers that are about 15mm in diameter. They have red/pink centers and have a sweet fragrance.

These blooms will last for about 5 days, although it takes about 2 to 3 weeks for them to mature as they do so gradually. This happens between spring and summer.

So, you want to make sure the plant gets a lot of bright, indirect light during this time to encourage it to flower.

The blossoms also grow in clusters called umbels. Each umbel containing anywhere between 10 to 40 blooms.

Probably the most important to know is that the Hoya Mathilde’s flowers grow on spurs. And when the blooms fade, you do not want to deadhead them.

That’s because removing or cutting off the spurs will prevent future flowers from growing.

 

Pruning

Above, I mentioned that it is not a good idea to prune the spurs after the flowers have faded. And this is the most important aspect of pruning when it comes the Hoya Mathilde, at least if you want to see it keep producing flowers.

That’s because the spurs are perennial in nature. That means that new flowers come from the same spurs season after season. So, if you cut them off, you eliminate any future growing potential (which would be a shame).

As for the plant itself, it does not need a lot of pruning.

You may need to give it a light trim every now and then as its vines get longer or start to overlap over one another. But, depending on how you put the plant, you may or may not need to prune a lot.

This is especially try is you let the plant climb up a support or trail down from a hanging basket. Both allow it to grow long in an orderly fashion. Therefore, minimal pruning is needed.

 

How to Propagate Hoya Mathilde

The Hoya Mathilde is usually propagated from stem cuttings. This is an easy way to grow more of the plant. It is free and you can do it at home without not special equipment.

When propagating via stem cuttings, you can root the new plant in water, sphagnum moss or plant it straight into soil.

The most common way is propagating in water as this allows you to monitor the roots as they grow. However, you will eventually need to move the cutting into soil.

Therefore, if you don’t like the extra step of doing this, you can directly plant the cutting in soil.

The most important thing is to make sure the cutting has at least 1-2 leaf nodes since this is where the new roots will come out from.

It generally takes 4 to 6 weeks for the new roots to grow long enough and in volume.

Make sure to keep the cutting under bright, indirect light in a warm, humid spot for optimum growth during the initial stages.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Hoya Mathilde

The Hoya Mathilde seldom needs repotting. In most cases, you only need to do so every 2 years.

The plant does not have a large root system. And its roots will not suddenly experience any growth spurts either.

In fact, the plant is actually happier when kept slightly snug in its pot. And keeping it slightly pot bound encourages flowering as well.

The key is not to let it overstay in a tight pot.

This will eventually stress the plant and affect its growth. So, once the roots are coming out from the holes at the bottom of the pot, you can wait a while more but be ready to repot sometime soon.

The best time to repot is during spring or early summer.

And when you do, choose a pot that is 2 inches wider than the current container. This is more than enough space for it to grow.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

The Hoya Mathilde is not considered to the toxic to pets or humans. This means it is safe to keep around cats, dogs and young kids.

Nevertheless, the plant is still not meant to be edible. Therefore, try to avoid letting them chew or ingest any part of the plant at it can still cause the usual side effects like gagging, choking and vomiting.

 

Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Hoya Mathilde is prone to mealybugs because of its succulent-like leaves. These white cotton-like sap suckers are the most common pests to watch out for. Although, the plant can still get attacked by other insects including thrips, scale and spider mites.

The key to treating them is early detection.

They are easy to eradicate when there are only a few of them. As such, spotting them early is essentially. That’s because they populate very quickly.

So, if you let them be, they can grow into a full-blown infestation fast. This is when they cause significant damage and become a headache to get rid of.

 

Diseases

Diseases are generally less of a problem for the Hoya Mathilde. But excess moisture increases the risk significantly.

Overwatering, waterlogged soil and allowing the leaves the stay wet are the main reasons why stem, leaf and root diseases happen. Each of these vary as they’re caused by different bacterial and fungal pathogens.

However, they do the same thing. That is damage parts of the plant.

Leaf infections including different kinds of mold, blight and leap spot diseases. On the other hand, the more serious root problem is rotting.