How to Care for Hoya Pachyclada – A Complete Guide

hoya pachyclada

The Hoya Pachyclada is a member of the Apocynaceae family. It is native to Thailand, whish is part of Southeast Asia where most hoyas can be found.

It is a vining epiphyte with succulent-like leaves. And, it is known for its beautiful green leaves and stunning flowers.

Like other hoyas, its produces clusters of small fragrant blossoms. This makes it among the unique plants that produce both gorgeous foliage and blooms.

Often, you only get one or the other.

That said, you do need to take proper care of it in order to promote both.

Hoya Pachyclada Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Hoya Pachyclada enjoys plenty of light. However, it can only tolerate 2 to 3 hours of direct sunlight in the morning. Anything more than that or with more intensity such as the afternoon sun or during the peak of summer is too much for the plant. And, it will cause the plant’s leaves to scorch.

As such, it is best to provide your Hoya Pachyclada with indirect, filtered or dappled light.

This makes a spot near an east facing window ideal. It gives the plant long hours of sunlight but nothing overly harsh.

On the other hand, positioning it in west and south facing windows requires a bit more protection due to the intense afternoon rays.

On the other hand, you also want to be careful with too little light. While the plant has no problem with medium to low light, dark or dim areas will prevent it from growing. It wall also cause the plant to become leggy and produce smaller leaves.

Of course, it prevents blooming as well.

 

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Temperature

Your Hoya Pachyclada is native to Southeast Asia, more specifically Thailand. This makes it accustomed to moderate to warm conditions. The region is also known for its humidity.

As a result, the plant thrives when temperature is kept between 70 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. And, it won’t have a problem even if things get over 95 degrees since that happens quite often in Thailand and other parts of Southeast Asia especially during the summertime.

And, this region never experiences snow.

Thus, the plant is not able to tolerate freezing temperatures or frost. This means you need to keep it away from areas where temperature will drop to 50 degrees or lower is it will sustain damage.

If left outside through snowy winters, it won’t survive to see the spring.

This is why most growers keep the plant indoors. Or take it onside only during summertime.

 

Humidity

Similarly, Thailand’s high humidity also means the plants prefers indoor air moisture to stay at 60% or higher.

I remember vacationing through Singapore, Thailand and the Philippines and the humidity was consistently in the upper 50s to as high as 75%. So, these levels are what your Hoya Pachyclada prefers.

Unfortunately, that’s not the norm here in the states. Instead, average household humidity runs between 30% and 50% with most in the mid to lower end of that range.

Cold winters and dry summers are likewise notorious for bringing humidity levels even lower. So, you do have to be wary of these seasonal changes.

An effortless way to know exactly what humidity is on any given day is to get a digital hygrometer. It will tell you the humidity in a specific room that moment. So, there’s no guessing.

This lets you make the necessary adjustments if needed.

In case humidity is too low, the simplest solution is using a humidifier. Although it costs a bit more and there’s some maintenance involved.

Alternatively, you can mist the plant a few times a week. Or, place it on a water tray above some stones.

I prefer the latter because it is free and you only need to refill the water when it is almost out. Thus, it is more hands off.

 

How Often to Water Hoya Pachyclada

Water is easily the most challenging part of caring for your Hoya Pachyclada. That’s because the plant does best with moist soil (especially during the warmer months) but it is likewise susceptible to overwatering.

So, you need to find that balance between the two. And, you need to keep things consistently in this middle ground.

The plant has succulent-like leaves which means it can store water. This also means it can tolerate dry spells.

But, it needs regularly watering during its growth periods to achieve optimum development. Otherwise, the plant will get a bit stunted both in size and leaf production.

The best way I’ve found to keep the plant happy is to allow the soil to dry to about halfway (50%) between waterings. This lets the plant have enough water while avoiding too much moisture which can put the plant’s roots at risk of rotting.

Since the plant stores moisture in its leaves, it gives you a little bit more leeway on the dry side.

When watering, I also like the take the plant outside where I have a large sink in the backyard. This lets me soak the soil by placing the hose on the surface and letting it run gently.

Once moisture starts dripping form the drainage holes at the bottom, I stop the hose and allow the excess water to completely drain out. This takes around 10 to 15 minutes.

I often tend to my other plants while I leave it there to keep dripping. And, only return it to its spot when the excess water has all drained out.

 

Soil for Hoya Pachyclada

The ideal soil for you Hoya Pachyclada is one that is well draining. Light, airy soil likewise helps as it allows the plant’s epiphytic roots to get more oxygen.

In its native habitat, the plant clings onto trees and gets its nutrients and water from the air. As such, they don’t necessarily need soil or grow in soil

Thus, this is an option if you wish. Although most growers do like the keep the plant in containers. As such, using a chunky, well-draining medium is ideal.

Here, you have a few options. There are some potting mixes I’ve tried that work well with the Hoya Pachyclada.

  • Orchid potting mix. You can add charcoal or bark to make it more chunky for better aeration.
  • A combination of peat moss, perlite and pine bark should you prefer to make a mix yourself.
  • Houseplant potting mix combined with a good amount of perlite if you already have potting mix at home and would like to use that.
  • Regular Potting soil with coco coir and compost if you prefer something more environmentally friendly.

 

Fertilizer

The plant only needs fertilizer during its growing period. This is between spring and summer. You can stop feeding in the fall and winter since the plant takes a breather then from all its growing.

For the most part winter is when you just want to focus on managing the water situation to avoid too much watering since the cold and cause soil to take longer to dry.

I like to use a balanced liquid formulation once a month diluted to half strength. Although I know other growers who like to go higher on the nitrogen to encourage more vegetative growth.

If you decide to go with the latter, you can get a 2-1-2 or 3-1-2 blend instead.

Also, if you find that the plant is not producing as much blooms or you want to encourage it to flower more, then you can switch to a 5-10-5 formulation which has more phosphorus (better for flowering) and average nitrogen (less focus on leaf development).

 

Flowering

As with other hoya plants, Pachyclada care is not complete unless I talk about its flowers. These are beautiful and magnificent to look at despite being small in size.

They do make up for their lack of size with their gorgeous colors and growing as a cluster.

If you don’t look closely, they collectively look like popcorn or cauliflower florets. But, the more intently you look, you’ll see they are small individual flowers that grow as a group.

Depending on the variety of Hoya Pachyclada you have the middle can be pink, white or yellow in color.

For the most part, there are about 10 to 30 per cluster. The look great because of their formation. And, they appear during the spring and summer.

 

Pruning

While the Hoya Pachyclada is a vining plant, it does not get as messy as some other hoya varieties. Thus, it requires little pruning besides trimming for shape and length.

More importantly, be careful when pruning as its flowers grow from old spurs. This means trimming off the old flower stems will reduce the chances or flowering or decrease the number of blooms it produces.

Instead, you want to keep these in tact so the same spurs can keep producing flowers year in and year out.

Since the plant is a slow grower, it takes a while for it to grow a foot in length. So, you can focus on removing dead, discolored or damaged leaves in the meantime.

 

Hoya Pachyclada Propagation

Your Hoya Pachyclada is best propagated from stem cuttings. You can choose between rooting it in water or in soil. Both provide good success rates so its more up to your preference and expertise.

Stem cuttings make use of growing new plants from stems of the plants. And, they allow you to get a clone of the other plant.

Therefore, you know what you are getting.

This is not the case if you get a new plant or start from seed. The latter also means a longer wait time with lower success rates due to germination.

The best time to propagate the plant is during spring to early summer as it will quickly root and grow soon after.

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

  • Choose a healthy stem with at least 3 leaves on it.
  • Using a sterile cutting tool snip the stem just below a leaf node.
  • Remove the lower leaves to expose the nodes. These are where the new plant’s roots will grow from.
  • Allow the stem to dry. This will take between a few hours to a day or so.
  • While you wait for the stem to callous, prepare a small pot and fill it with fresh, well-draining potting mix.
  • Once try, dip the cut end of the stem cutting in rooting hormone.
  • Then, plant it into the soil.
  • Leave the pot in a warm location with bright, non-direct sun.
  • You can cover the plant with a plastic bag to increase humidity. But, make sure to poke a few holes in the bag to provide air circulation.

It will take about 20 or more days for the plant to root in soil as opposed to about 14 or more in water.

 

How to Repot Hoya Pachyclada

Thanks to its epiphytic roots and slow growth, repotting is another low maintenance, lower priority task when it comes to your Hoya Pachyclada.

The only time you need to repot is when its roots are sticking out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the container.

This often takes 3 or more years depending on the care and living environment of your plant.

As the plant grows, you’ll notice the vines overflowing over the sides. And, soon, you’ll only see a little part of the pot. Thus, the décor on the pot is not too essential.

Instead, it is a good idea to use a well-aerated container. A terracotta pot works well because of its porous nature.

You can likewise use a pot that has holes on the side. Or if you want to DIY it, use a plastic container and drill some holes on the sides yourself.

This will allow more air to circulate to the soil and reach the roots.

 

Toxicity

Hoya Pachyclada are not toxic to people and animals. This makes them safe to keep around the house even in areas where the kids and pets like to play.

 

Pests and Diseases

The Hoya Pachyclada is susceptible to mealybugs, aphis and other pests that like to suck on its sap.

Unfortunately, there’s no guaranteed way to keep these critters away except to keep the plant as healthy as possible to make it more resistant to them.

As such, regular inspection is your best defense.

It allows you to spot any changes or unwanted presence before these turn into bigger problems.

Neem oil and insecticidal soap are effective ways to treating them if you spot these pests.

If there are a few and you actually see them, you can just hose these off with a stream of water. But, they are not always visible and often stay hidden.

Similarly, diseases can be a big problem. Fungal issues and root rot are among the headaches to avoid. Mold is likewise an issue.

All of these are moisture-related with too much moisture be it on the soil or leaves being the cause of the problem. As such, being mindful of when you water and how much you water are very important.

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