Hoya Multiflora Plant Care – Growing the Hoya Shooting Star Plant at Home

hoya multiflora

The Hoya Multiflora is also called the Hoya Shooting Start plant. It gets this name from its arrow-shaped flowers that look like shooting stars.

Like other hoyas, the multiflora is known both for its beautiful foliage and stunning clustering blooms. During the spring and summer, it produces many white and yellow shooting starts that grow in bunches clumped up together.

That said, it is a member of the Apocynaceae family. It hails from Thailand and Malaysia thus making it tropical in nature as it loves warm weather.

The Hoya Multiflora can grow as tall as 3 feet high but in most cases it gets to about 1.5 feet long or slightly past that length.

 

Hoya Multiflora Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Hoya Multiflora grows best under bright, indirect light. It needs plenty of light. Ideally 6 or more hours daily. And it an also tolerate direct sun but only in the morning.

However, keep it away from very intense exposure or direct afternoon sun which will burn its leaves or tuning them yellow.

On the other hand, it can likewise adapt to lower light making it easy to care for indoors.

But, when moving it to a position with less light always monitor it for the first 2 weeks or so. Past as certain threshold, the plant will grow slowly and won’t produce its beautiful fragrant flowers due to insufficient lighting.

Outdoors, keep the plant under part shade away from direct sunlight.

 

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Temperature

Because your Hoya Multiflora is native to Thailand and Malaysia, it is accustomed to moderate to hot climate. Southeast Asian countries are tropical in natura as they sit around the equator.

As such, they don’t experience snow in the winter. Instead, they have warm weather all year round.

Thus, this is the type of environment your Hoya Multiflora enjoys.

Ideally keep temperature to between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It can also tolerate levels down to 60 degrees and as high as 95 degrees.

But, you do want to be more cautious on the colder end. The plant cannot tolerate cold conditions. And, if you allow it to stay somewhere with temperature below 55 degrees it will have a hard time.

The lower the temperature goes, the more damage it is experience over time.

As such most growers keep the plant indoors. Or if they take it outside, they bring it back in around fall.

The Hoya Multiflora can only survived winters in places where it is sunny all year round. They are hardy to USDA Zone 9 to 11.

 

Humidity

Due to its tropical habitat, your Hoya Multiflora enjoys high humidity. Ideally, keep humidity at 60% to 80% for optimum growth.

However, it has no problem with average household humidity which runs from 40% to 50%. It will do well in this environment without experiencing any harm.

However, if you notice the plant’s leaves start to wilt or it begins to grow much slower, it is likely that humidity is too low.

This usually happens it air moisture is consistently in the 30s or barely making the low 40s.

You can mist the plant a few times to week to help increase humidity. At times, you might need to do so twice a day.

If you prefer something more hands off, I suggest using a water tray and placing pebbles in the water. Then placing your hoya on the stones so the bottom of the pot sits above the water (so it does not get wet).

Another option if to get a humidifier.

In case you’re not sure what the humidity it in your home, I suggest picking up a digital hygrometer, which is a very inexpensive yet useful device if you’re growing houseplants indoors.

 

How Often to Water Hoya Multiflora

Your Hoya Multiflora seems to do better when neglected a bit. This is especially true when it comes to watering.

You want to avoid watering it to regularly. Instead, allow the soil to dry to about 1 to 2 inches from top before watering again.

It does enjoy a bit more water during the warmer months (spring and summer) as it is growing during this time. It likewise needs additional moisture when blooming (which happens during these times).

To gauge when to water your plant, stick your finger into the soil and feel the soil at about 2 inches deep. You want to wait for that level to become dry before watering.

Doing so before it reaches that depth increases the chances of overwatering. This in turns invites a host of other problems like fungal infections and even root rot.

 

Soil for Hoya Multiflora

Since your Hoya Multiflora is susceptible to too much water, the best soil for it is something well draining. This will help prevent excess moisture from pooling in the container as the soil will facilitate drainage.

Thus, it is likewise important to use a pot with drainage holes at the bottom so the liquid can drip out.

In addition to getting rid of excess moisture, the plant also appreciates light, airy soil that will let its roots breathe.

You can use a variety of potting mix recipes. Here are a few that have worked for me with this plant.

  • 33% each of peat, perlite and orchid mix
  • 33% each of cactus mix, orchid mix and perlite
  • 50% each of potting mix and succulent & cactus mix. Although adding a layer of worm compost on top helps a lot with this one

It is very important to use a light, well-draining mix because if the soil retains too much moisture, your plant will sit in water for long periods of time. This will increase the chances of its roots rotting if these conditions persist.

 

Fertilizer

During the spring and summer, your Hoya Multiflora will appreciate monthly feedings of balanced houseplant fertilizer. Make sure to dilute it to half the recommended strength to avoid over concentration.

Like water, too much fertilizer will cause more harm than good.

Instead of helping the plant grow faster, it can cause the leaves to turn yellow and cause fertilizer burn to the roots.

This is likewise the reason it is important to avoid cheap, low quality fertilizer. These often leave quite a bit of salt residue which can eventually hurt your plant.

Thus, flushing the soil every few months will help remove any mineral accumulation in the soil.

You don’t have to feed the plant during fall and winter as it take s a break from growing.

Since hoyas are primarily foliage plant, a nitrogen rich fertilizer is a good choice to help it grow and produce beautiful leaves.

You can switch to one with more phosphorus right about blooming time to help it grow more flowers.

 

Flowering

hoya multiflora

source: wikimedia commons

The Hoya Multiflora produces its yellow and white flowers during the spring until late summer.

These blossom are amazing to look at because they grow in bunches.

But, unlike other hoyas, they have a more distinctive look. This makes them unique thanks to the numerous arrowhead-like blooms.

This is also where it gets its name, the Hoya Shooting Star plant.

As with other hoyas, its flowers are fragrant. The scent is most prominent at night.

 

Pruning

Your Hoya Multiflora can grow to over 3 feet tall with good sized dark green leaves. In many cases, it will get to only about a foot or so high and look more like a shrub.

It has an upright habit and is fairly compact.

That said, it is a vining plant that will have long stems extending out at an angle. And, with its large leaves can look a bit messy as its gets fuller.

If you find that this is happening, you can prune it to keep its shape. This will allow you to get a bushier plant that does not spread out in an unruly way.

 

Hoya Multiflora Propagation

The good news is you can easily propagate your Hoya Multiflora to grow more of them. This will let you always have at least one without having to buy from the nursery.

The simplest way I’ve found to do this is via stem cuttings, which involves taking a stem or stems and growing new plants from it.

The biggest benefit of this method, besides being easy to do, is it gives you a clone of the mother plant. So, you know exactly what you’re getting.

The best time to propagate your Hoya Multiflora is during spring or early summer.

Here’s how to do it.

  • Take a 3 to 5 inch stem with at least 2 or 3 leaves on it.
  • Use a sterile pair of scissors or pruning shears to cut right below a leaf node.
  • Then remove the lower leaves.
  • Place the cuttings into a jar of water with the cut end down. Make sure that no leaves are submerged into the water.
  • In around 14 to 20 or so days, you’ll see roots developing from the bottom end.
  • Wait until the rotos get to about 0.5 to 1 inch then move them into soil.
  • You can use a small pot with fresh potting soil to plant the rooted cutting.

 

How to Repot Hoya Multiflora

Your Hoya Multiflora does not need regular repotting. It is a slow growing plant that enjoys being snug it its container.

As such, you can leave it in its pot for many years before having to move it.

When the time comes, choose a container that is 1 to 2 inches wider that the current container. And, it should have drainage holes at the bottom to allow water to escape.

Also having fresh potting mix on hand to replace the spent soil.

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

 

Toxicity

The plant is not toxic to people or animals. But, it is likewise not meant to be eaten.

So while it does not pose a poison threat to young children or pets, I advise watching them to avoid them from accidently or playfully eating parts of the plant.

If you have sensitive skin or are prone or allergies, you may want to be wary about the sap of the plant which can bother skin in some people.

 

Pests and Diseases

Like other hoyas, the Multiflora is popular with mealybugs, aphid and spider mites. So, while the plant is fairly resistant, these critters can attack it at any time.

Thus, it is a good idea to do regular inspections as part of your maintenance routine. This will let you spot any changes early on to start treatment. Dong so avoids any infestation from starting.

You can use neem oil or insecticidal soap to get rid of them.

Similarly, the plant can experience diseases as well. In most cases, this is caused by excess moisture. its love for humidity also increases the risk so you do need to be mindful about watering.

Botrytis and root rot are two common problems you want to avoid.

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