Hoya Mindorensis Care & Varieties – Growing Hoya Elmeri

Hoya Mindorensis

The Hoya Mindorensis is also called the Hoya Elmeri. Some people refer to it as the Hoya Elmeri Splash as well. Either way, when you see these names on store labels, they all refer to the same plant.

That said, there are many different Hoya Mindorensis varieties available. And I was surprised as to how many there were when I visited the Philippines a few years back.

Most of them will look somewhat similar but they do have some subtle differences. However, the biggest differences among the different types of Hoya Mindorensis are its their flowers.

These have varying looks and shapes (to some degree). But it is very easy to tell them apart since the colors of their flowers are significantly different. And they’re all stunning combinations.

Here’s a quick list of Hoya Mindorensis varieties I’ve seen so far. Note that this is not a comprehensive list by any means.

  • Hoya mindorensis red
  • Hoya mindorensis red star
  • Hoya mindorensis dark red
  • Hoya mindorensis yellow
  • Hoya mindorensis dark yellow
  • Hoya mindorensis pink
  • Hoya mindorensis pg12
  • Hoya mindorensis cosmos
  • Hoya mindorensis purple star
  • Hoya mindorensis light yellow

That said, the Hoya Mindorensis is an uncommon hoya species that’s easy to grow and care for. It is low maintenance and quite easy to bloom (compared to other hoyas).

With good care, it can bloom the entire year.

Also, the plant is vining epiphyte. As such, its stems will get long over time. This is why it is often hung from a basket or allowed to climb.

Its leaves a green and oval shaped with a distinct mid vein. When places in strong light, you’ll likewise see their green color turn to a blushing pink. Depending on how sun-stressed they are, small or large potions of the foliage can have that pinkish blush.

Of course, its most attractive feature is its flowers which come in spherical clusters.

The plant is native to the Philippines but you can also see it in other countries in Southeast Asia.

Hoya Mindorensis Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Hoya Mindorensis thrives in bright indirect light. And this is something I highly suggest since you don’t want to miss the plant’s stunning blooms.

To explain, it needs sufficient light to flower. As such, while the plant will do well in low light won’t help it bloom. So, this is something you want to consider when deciding where to position the plant indoors.

Similarly, you want to watch out for very strong light.

While the plant enjoys a good amount of light, very intense or direct sun is something it cannot tolerate for long periods of time or on a regular basis.

As such, it maxes out at about 1-2 hours of direct sun on a daily basis. However, if you can find a spot that’s near an east facing window, that would be ideal.

The plant will happily take morning direct sun which is gentle. Avoid mid-day sun between 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. as that’s too harsh for the plant.

If you leave it there on a regular basis, its leaves will eventually turn yellow or even get scorched.

As such, both extremes (low light and too much light) are no-no’s.

Finally, don’t worry if your home does not have a lot of windows or the amount of natural light you get it not ideal.

You can always supplement with artificial lights. Or you can use grow lights on their own.

However, the biggest difference here is the exposure. With artificial light, you’ll need at least 10-12 hours of exposure daily. And closer to 14-16 hours if you want your Hoya Mindorensis to flower.

On the other hand, with natural light from the sun, the plant will be very happy with 6-8 hours exposure daily.

 

Temperature

The Hoya Mindorensis is a native of the Philippines. And this means that it is accustomed to tropical climate which is what this Southeast Asian country experiences.

As a result, the plant is more comfortable in warm environments. Its ideal temperature range is between 60 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. And it will be happier if you can keep it at least 70 degrees and above during the daytime.

Similarly, the Philippines does not have any winter.

Instead, the weather is sunny and moderate during that time of year there. While it is the coolest time of the year, temperature stays around 55 to 60 degrees and don’t drop much lower than that.

This is why the plant has a hard time staying in climates under 50 degrees.

Therefore, avoid leaving it in a cold spot or somewhere cold drafts and breezes can give it a chill. Also, keep it away from air conditioners.

Outdoors, it is best suited for USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11 as these locales have sunny winters with moderate temperatures. They don’t experience snow either.

 

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Humidity

The Hoya Mindorensis is a big fan of humidity. It prefers to live where humidity is 60% and above.

Again, it gets this from its native habitat.

In addition to being hot, the Philippines is also very humid. On an average day, humidity runs between 55% to 75%. It will go up to 85% (or a bit higher) when the rains come).

Therefore, the plant enjoys this kind of environment.

But, the problem is that unless you live in a tropical country, it is unlikely you’ll get this kind of humidity on a regular basis. The only exception is if you live near a body of water like the beach or a lake.

As such, you may need to give the plant a hand with air moisture.

If you’re not sure what the humidity is inside your home, I suggest getting a digital hygrometer. This is any inexpensive device that tells you what the humidity is in any room.

Although you can listen to the weather forecast in your area, note that different rooms in your home will have varying levels of humidity. So, indoor and outdoor humidity don’t always line up.

It also changes throughout the day. And a digital hygrometer will instantly show you this.

When it comes to the plant, you want to check its leaves.

If the air gets too dry, the leaf tips will get dry and crispy. After a while, parts of the foliage will brown as well.

This is your sign to take action.

You can mist the plant, place it on a pebble tray or group with other houseplants. Alternatively, you can invest in a humidifier as well.

 

How Often to Water Hoya Mindorensis

The Hoya Mindorensis is an epiphyte. As such, in the wild, it uses its roots to anchor itself to larger trees and climb up. This allows them to get more light as they go up the tree.

As mentioned above, the more light the plant gets, the faster it will grow. Additionally, it improves its chances of flowering.

As such, climbing upwards in search of more illumination is its way not only to survive but also thrive in the forest.

This also means that the roots get a lot of airflow. And conversely, when they get wet from the rain, they dry fairly quickly.

As such, when you plant the Hoya Mindorensis in a pot (in soil), you want to be careful above overwatering.

The plant’s roots don’t need a lot of water. And they have a problem with being left standing in water.

This means it is very important to allow part of the soil to dry before you add more water. And you should always check how much moisture is left in the soil before adding more water,

Different growers have their own methods. You can choose which one you prefer.

  • Stick your finger into the soil to about the second knuckle – when you take it out, feel the tip of your finger. If it is wet or moist in any way, wait a bit longer and test again in a few days. Only water when the tip of your finger feels completely dry.
  • Lift the pot – wet or moist soil is heavier. Dry soil is much lighter. Although this takes experience, once you get the feel, you can easily tell.
  • Use a wooden stick – you can use chopsticks or other wooden sticks. Just insert the stick down until the bottom of the pot. When you take the stick out, you’ll see where the water level is based on the wet area of the wood. Ideally, it should be at least 2 inches from the top. Although you can wait until the soil is 50% to 75% dry before watering.
  • Moisture meter – if you want a quick, simple answer, just get a moisture meter. It is an inexpensive device you stick into the soil. Then just read the gauge. It will show you dry, moist or wet. It does not get any simpler than this.

Whichever you decide, the important thing is to wait until part of the soil has dried before adding moisture. This way you avoid overwatering.

Additionally, how you water is just as important.

  • Deep watering – is soaking the entire root ball and allowing it to drain right after. This flood and drain method works because that’s what the roots go through when it rains in the forest. The rain will drench the roots. And after the rain stops, it will quickly dry. Thus, by flooding the soil, you drench the roots. And, draining lets them dry soon after. This will also encourage deeper roots.
  • Bottom watering – if you have a hard time with overwatering, then try watering from the bottom. Just place water container under the pot and let the soil absorb the moisture on its own. It usually takes 10 or so minutes. Once the top soil feels moist, take the container out. Again, this reduces the risk of overwatering and encourages deeper roots as the water source comes from below.

 

Hoya Mindorensis Potting Soil

The type of soil you use is very important to ensure that the soil quickly gets rid of excess moisture to let the roots dry soon after getting wet.

This prevents overwatering, waterlogging and the risk of root rot. Again, this is because the Hoya Mindorensis is an epiphyte. Therefore, its roots enjoy breathing oxygen.

As such, the best soil for Hoya Mindorensis is lightweight, well-draining and provides good aeriation (chunky). And you can achieve this by using pine bark, orchid bark, charcoal, and other ingredients.

Here are a few DIY potting mix recipes for Hoya Mindorensis what work really well. I’m leaving you with a few options so you can use the one you prefer or already have ingredients for.

  • 2 parts peat with 1 part perlite
  • 1 part cactus mix with 1 part orchid mix and 1 part perlite
  • 1 part potting soil with 1 part succulent & cactus mix (add some compost and charcoal as well)
  • 1 part potting soil and 1 part orchid bark

Just as importantly, make sure to use a container with drainage holes.

 

Fertilizer

Fertilizer is a big part in helping  your Hoya Mindorensis achieve optimum growth. That said, the plant is a light feeder. So, the worst thing you can do is to overfertilize it.

In fact, not feeding it is actually better than overfeeding it.

The good news is, fertilizing the plant is easy. It is not picky about what kind you use. Instead, as long as it gets the nutrients it needs, it will be happy.

So, you can use a general purpose houseplant fertilizer or a balanced product. I like to use a liquid formulation since this makes it very easy to dilute. You want to use half strength each time.

Only apply during spring and summer. Once a month feeding is all it needs.

Don’t fee the plant during fall and winter.

You can likewise use a bloom fertilizer once you see the plant is about to flower. This will help it blossom and let the flowers last longer as well.

 

Flowers / Blooms

Speaking of which, the Hoya Mindorensis is best known for its blooms.

As I mentioned above, there are many different Hoya Mindorensis varieties. Thus, depending on which one you have, the flowers will look different.

In many cases, the shapes and appearance of the blooms are similar, but some will vary. But more distinctively, their colors are what differentiate them from one another.

You can already probably tell from the types of Hoya Mindorensis varieties above since many of the names are based on the colors of their blooms.

In any case, this is a great plant to get if you haven’t had a lot of luck seeing your hoyas blossom. It is substantially easier to bloom and grow compared to most hoya species.

And when they do, you’ll see cluster the have a ball shape that are about 2 inches in diameter. These are called umbels. And each umbel contains multiple small flowers that are fragrant.

The most common Hoya Mindorensis has dark red-purple flowers with white/silver hues. They are hairy as well with black/gray fuzz.

Probably the most popular one are the red flowers. These have a bright red colored, star-shaped flowers with a smaller white-yellow star the middle. The color combination makes it stunning to look at.

 

Pruning

The most important thing about pruning your Hoya Mindorensis is not to remove the spurs (or peduncles). These are where the flowers grow.

And you’ll see the spurs grow months before any flowers appear.

The key is to never cut them off because the spurs are perennials. Therefore, new blooms will grow from them season after season.

As such, you don’t want to deadhead the flowers even after they’ve faded. Similarly, leave these flowering stalks alone when you prune the plant.

With the Hoya Mindorensis itself, you will need to do some pruning every now and then.

It can grow to between 7 and 10 feet. Although its size primarily comes from tis vining stems.

As such, the two most common ways to growing the plant are putting it in a pot and giving it something to climb up. Or, hanging it in a pot or basket and letting the vines drape down.

Both make the plant stunning to look at. They also save quite a bit of space.

That said, you do need to trim the plant to keep it neat looking. But when hanging or climbing, the amount of pruning is reduced significantly since only minor trim jobs are needed since you can let the stems get longer.

 

How to Propagate Hoya Mindorensis

If you have a Hoya Mindorensis, it would be a shame not to propagate it given its beauty and stunning flowering ability.

The good news is that it is easy to propagate. And roots quite well through stem propagation.

When propagating by stem, you also have the option to let it root in water, sphagnum moss or soil.

Propagating Hoya Mindorensis from Stem Cuttings

  • Select a healthy stem cutting from the parent plant. You’re looking for a stem with at least 1-2 nodes. You also want to have a few leaves with that.
  • Use a sterile cutting tool (scissors sterilized by rubbing alcohol) and take at least a 3 to 5 inch long cutting. This will give you enough stem to submerge part of the stem in water or bury it under soil.
  • Remove the lower leaves to expose the nodes.
  • You can choose to root the cutting in water by submerging the nodes in water. Avoid letting the leaves get wet though.
  • If you don’t want to have to transfer the cutting later on, just plant it directly into soil. Use a well-draining potting mix and moisten it. Then plant the cutting so the nodes are buried under the soil.
  • You can likewise use sphagnum moss. And the process is just the same as with potting soil.
  • It will take about 3 to 6 weeks before the new roots will grow.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Hoya Mindorensis

The Hoya Mindorensis enjoys being slightly pot bound. Therefore, it does not need to be repotted annually.

In most cases, it takes 2-3 years. But I know some gardeners who will extend that to 4-5 years.

The reason is that as long as the plant is healthy and blooming, you don’t need to move it. But once you see signs of stress or the roots have taken over the pot such that there isn’t a lot of soil left, then you need to move it a larger container.

As mentioned above, make sure the new pot you choose has drainage holes.

Also, when you do move the plant, get a container that is at most 2 inches larger. Avoid going much bigger than that since it increases soil volume, which also increases the risk of overwatering.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

No. The Hoya Mindorensis is safe for cats, dogs and humans. It does not pose any poison or toxicity risk to them. This means that you can have peace of mind in case they accidentally ingest part of the plant.

 

Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

The Hoya Mindorensis is prone to sap sucking insects as these are attracted to its succulent-like foliage. Therefore, you want to be on the lookout for aphids, mealybugs, spider mites and scale insects.

Because you can never tell when they’ll attack, it is important to regular inspect the plant.

They like to hide under the leaves and near the nodes so make sure to check those areas.

 

Diseases

Root rot is the most problematic issue here. Although there are leaf diseases like blight, mold, leaf spot and others, they’re much easier to remedy.

With root rot, it is more difficult to spot (at least before its gets too late). That’s because the roots are hidden from sight due to the soil.

So, a good chunk of roots can rot before you see the symptoms in the stems and leaves.

Therefore, avoid overwatering and waterlogged soil.