Hoya Polyneura Care Guide – Growing Fishtail Hoya Indoors

hoya polyneura

The Hoya Polyneura is also known as the Fishtail Hoya. This is a lovely plant which is why it has become more popular recently.

Like other hoyas, it is a vining plant that you can grow in a container or hanging basket. Its long stems feature multiple small but beautiful leaves.

It is also known for its stunning flowers which grow in bunches. They come in white color with purple star tops on each bloom.

This makes the Hoya Polyneura not only lovely to look at but also unique from other houseplants.

The plant hails from Southeast Asia where it grows in fairly high elevations (500 to 1000 meters up). That’s about 1640 feet to 3280 feet or so.

While it is a slow grower, it will eventually reach about 1.5 feet long.

Hoya Polyneura Plant Care

Hoya Polyneura Care Summary

 

Light Requirements

The Hoya Polyneura grows best in bright light. And, it needs plenty of it, ideally at least 6 hours each day.

However, avoid direct sunlight as well as very intense exposure like that in the afternoons or during the peak of summer.

The plant can also tolerate medium to a bit of low light. But, you do need to be a bit cautious with the latter.

That’s because the plant needs enough light o grow, produce lush green leaves and bloom. Without it, you’ll end up with a sad looking, pale colored plant that is no only smaller but also has fewer leaves and no flowers.

I’ve found that an east facing window is the best spot for my Hoya Polyneura. The northeast likewise works although you want to be careful with a northern exposure if you live in the higher up states.

In Southern California we get lots of sun even during winter so a north facing window works. But, I suggest observing it if you live in Michigan, New York or Minnesota where sunlight is much more scarce during winter.

Meanwhile, a west facing window is likewise a great spot. And, so is something facing south. The only thing you want to be careful of here is direct sunlight and the mid-afternoon sun which is very harsh.

If you have a tree outside the window providing some shade, then there’s no problem. Otherwise, I suggest keeping the plant about 3 or more feet away from the window or using sheer drapes or curtains to filter the sun.

 

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Temperature

Because the Hoya Polyneura is native to higher elevations in the Himalayas, it is better able to tolerate a bit of cold compared to many other houseplants. But, not by much.

Its ideal condition is between 50 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. It is also able to tolerate freezing temperature (32 degrees Fahrenheit) for short periods of time.

Although I don’t suggest leaving it in conditions that cold.

On the other hand, it starts to struggle once climate goes to 80 degrees or higher.

Thus, is behaves quite differently from many other tropical species because of its native habitat.

 

Humidity

However, when it comes to humidity, the Hoya Polyneura is much like other hoyas.

It loves high humidity. In fact, it thrives when humidity it kept between 80% to 100%. Although it does very well at 60% or higher.

These are ideal conditions that will let it develop vibrant green leaves. And, just as important, it needs these levels to flower.

Unfortunately, most homes run between 30% and 50%, mostly on the mid to lower end of that range. Unless you live in Southeast Asia, Central or South America, you are unlikely to sustain this kind of humidity natural all year round.

The only exceptions are in a greenhouse or in a terrarium.

That said, there are ways around this. You can:

  • Use a humidifier
  • Mist the plant 3 or more times a week
  • Place it on a water tray on top of stones to keep the pot from getting wet
  • Group it with other plants
  • Keep it in the bathroom as long as there is sufficient bright light.

 

How Often to Water Hoya Polyneura

In keeping with straying from its hoya brethren in terms of care, your Hoya Polyneura also enjoys little more water that other species in the genus.

However, like other hoyas, you still want to be wary of overwatering. Wet, soggy and waterlogged soil are likewise to be avoided.

I’ve found that my Hoya Polyneura enjoys watering every 5 to 10 days with he middle being the sweet spot. During the peak of summer, it will go down to about every 5 days. And, on cooler days late in the year up to 10 or a little more than that.

Again, this is for Southern California so the weather doesn’t shift as drastically as most of the country.

Due to its love for more water, avoid letting it go dry for too long. It does not have succulent-like leaves.

In fact, its foliage (if you look closely) are fairly thin so they don’t store moisture.

I always check the soil before watering as I do with all my plants. You can just stick your finger into the soil down about 2 or so inches (it does not need to be exact) and feel the soil.

If it is still moist, allow it to dry at least to that depth before watering.

You can likewise use a moisture meter. Or, if you prefer, lift the pot and discern its moisture level by its weight (which is tougher to estimate what the level is other than wet or dry).

You can water from above or below. Both work, but if you with the former, don’t wet the plant. Instead, water directly onto the soil instead.

Allow the entire root ball to get soaked by pouring until the liquid starts dripping from the bottom of the container. Then, allow it to drain completely.

Never let the plant sit in water.

Besides feeling the soil, monitoring its leaves will also give you clue. Yellow leaves are a sign of too much water. On the other hand, wrinkling, dry looking leaves means it wants to be watered now.

 

Soil for Hoya Polyneura

hoya polyneura

Since overwatering is the main concern with the Hoya Polyneura, you want to use well-draining soil.

I’ve found it difficult to use commercial potting mixes on their own as these tend to retain too much moisture for the plant.

As such, if you want to use regular potting soil, I suggest adding perlite or sand to improve drainage.

You can likewise use a combination of cactus mix, orchid mix and perlite, which seems to work really well.

Another options I’ve see a friend have great success with is Orchid bard, perlite, pumice combined with worm castings.

The key it to make sure the soil does not retain too much moisture.

 

Fertilizer

Hoyas need fertilizer. Unlike other houseplants that can do okay without fertilizer, these do not. In fact, they have problems growing, much less blooming without plant food.

But, the Hoya Polyneura takes it a step even further.

It is a heavy feeder. So, you’ll need to make sure it gets enough of it. Otherwise, you’ll notice its leaves become a little bit paler than they should be.

That’s a sign you need to feed it more often.

I like to use a balanced liquid fertilizer from spring to fall. It won’t need to be fed ruing winter as it takes a rest from all its growing.

On the other hand, if you find that it is growing foliage well but not blooming enough, there are two things to consider.

  • Colder nights increase its chances of flowering
  • Switch up the fertilizer to one with higher phosphorus to encourage blooming
  • Keep it root bound

Try the first and third first, one at a time so you know which works or did not work.

 

Pruning

Like many other hoyas, your Hoya Polyneura is a vining plant. You can allow it to climb up a vertical structure or let it hang from a basket.

Both are amazing ways to display the plant as they feature is gorgeous leaves.

The plant will grow to between 1 to 1.5 feet if allowed to grow out. However, most images of the plant you’ll see are trimmed to keep them shorter, often to about 8 to 10 inches long or so.

That said, it is up to how you want it to look in your home.

Similarly, the Hoya Polyneura has small leaves. But, it has many of them growing per vine. This makes its beautiful when you let the plant grow out and get full, especially because it does not get as messy like other vines.

As such pruning really depends on how long you want it to be.

As always, remove any discolored or damaged leaves.

 

Hoya Polyneura Propagation

hoya polyneura

Hoya Polyneura are among the easiest plants to propagate. I like to use stem cuttings because it responds very well to it.

In fact, if you like timing things, you’ll easily notice it will root faster than most houseplants even in soil.

This makes it simple and efficient to regrow.

I also highly suggest propagating this beauty because in some cases I’ve heard that it can get temperamental after repotting or if you move it a lot (which is does not appreciate).

Fortunately I haven’t had the problem. But, some people have said that that plat may start dropping leaves and stop growing.

Having at least one backup plant gives you some peace of mind in case something happens to the mother plant.

To propagate Hoya Polyneura from stem cuttings:

  • Take a 4 to 6 inch stem with at least 2 or 3 leaves.
  • Cut the stem just before a leaf node.
  • Then plant the stem cutting into a small pot with fresh potting mix.
  • Water the soil and keep it moist.
  • Place the plant under bright, indirect light in a warm spot.

 

How to Repot Hoya Polyneura

Your Hoya Polyneura will need to be repot every 2 years or so. Exactly how long depends on how fast it grows. That in turn, depends on its living conditions including sunlight, water, fertilizer and more.

The plant also likes being root bound. By that I mean it likes staying in a tight or snug container.

This actually helps because the extra creases between the soil and the pot is were water sneaks into and tends to “hide”. As such, it can be a silent plant destroyer if you are not able to allow that to drain.

When repotting, make sure not to go up too many pot sizes. One size (2 inch wider) is enough. This also prevents overwatering which will happen with much larger pots.

 

Toxicity

Your Hoya Polyneura is kid and pet safe. It is not toxic so playful chewing or accidental ingesting by young children, dogs or cats is not a problem although not recommended since the plant is not edible.

 

Pests and Diseases

Hoyas seem to attract pests more that I’d like my houseplants to have. Unfortunately, that seems to be the price of having these double threat beauties (both leaves and flowers are beautiful which is fairly rare with houseplants).

The Hoya Polyneura Is no exception.

And, there are quite a few common critters that are attracted to the plant. These include mealybugs, spider mites, scale, thrips, aphids and fungus gnats.

As far as diseases go, it comes down to watering. Excess moisture, coupled with its love for high humidity are the often culprits.

Thus, you want to avoid too much water and stay on the drier side of things.

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