Hoya Pubera Plant Care – How to Grow Hoya Picta

The Hoya Pubera is also commonly referred to as the Hoya Picta. Some will also call it the Hoya Pubera Nummularioides. Although, it is worth noting that the flowers of the Hoya Nummularioides are different from that of the Hoya Pubera.

Similarly, the Hoya Picta also produces different colored flowers.

At least this was how it was explained to me by a grower in Indonesia. She showed me the 3 plants and each of them having varying colored blooms.

  • The Hoya Pubera has lovely yellow colored blooms. These have a combination of different shades of yellow. And the blooms have a rounder shape.
  • A Hoya Picta has white-cream flowers with light purple-pinkish centers. The centers are also bigger. And they seem to grow more flowers per umbel compared to the other two.
  • The Hoya Pubera Nummularioides has white star-shaped flowers with pink-purple centers. The umbels are quite small. And collectively are about the size of two of your fingertips or something like that.

In any case, the plant is native to Indonesia, Java and Sumatra. It is know for its small leaves and tiny flowers.

The Hoya Pubera is also considered rare and uncommon although if you go to Indonesia, you’ll find quite a few growers there with lots of them.

Hoya Pubera Plant Care

Hoya Pubera Light Requirements

The Hoya Pubera enjoys bright indirect or filtered light. It needs a good amount of this (at least 6 hours a day) for optimum growth.

The reason being light provides the plant the ability to go through photosynthesis, which is the process by which it makes its own energy to sustain itself.

This is why it grows faster and produces more leaves when kept in well-lit conditions.

Another reason why you want to keep the plant somewhere with good lighting is that this helps it flower. In contrast, it is less likely to bloom in low light.

It is also worth noting that the plant is not picky about what kind of light it gets. Although it prefers natural light from the sun, it will be just as happy with grow lights.

In fact, if you don’t get a lot of sunshine in your home, you can use artificial lights and the plant will grow happily and healthily as well.

Artificial grow lights also have an advantage in that will provide the plant with consistent lighting through winter whereas the amount of sun will decrease during this time.

You can likewise grow the Hoya Pubera indoors or outdoors as long as it receives enough light. However, the biggest difference is that outdoors, there are ceilings or walls to block out some of the light. Therefore, it will prefer partial shade.

The reason for this is the plant cannot tolerate long hours of direct sunlight or very strong light. Otherwise, its leaves will sustain damage. They will lose their waxy surface and the heat can even cause leaf burn.

As such keep it away from full sun outdoors and the rays of the sun indoors (especially between 10:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.) when the sun is most intense.

 

Hoya Picta Temperature

The Hoya Picta enjoys moderate to warm weather, ideally between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This is the range where it is most comfortable. It is also why it is easy to keep grow and care for the plant indoors.

The reason for this is that we humans also like these conditions. This is why most houseplants are tropical or subtropical in nature. They easily adapt to the indoor home environment.

Because the Hoya Pubera comes from the islands of Indonesia and around that area, it is used to getting a good amount of sunshine and warmth.

This also means that it does not experience any snow , frost or freezing temperatures because that region does not have winters.

Instead, the temperature is fairly consistent throughout the year (sunny and hot).

So the Hoya Picta is not accustomed to the cold and neither can it tolerate a lot of it. Therefore, avoid leaving in in temperature below 50 degrees.

 

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Hoya Picta Humidity

Similarly, one of the reasons that the island of Indonesia get very hot is its humidity. Humidity works both ways in that it makes high temperature even hotter and cool temperature colder.

This is why Southeast Asia (where Indonesia is located) can get scorching hot during the summers. Humidity is high.

As a result, the Hoya Pubera prefers humidity between 50% and 75%. And if you can maintain this kind of environment for it, it will show you its appreciation by growing faster and producing more foliage.

That said, unless, you live in a tropical region, near a body of water like a lake or ocean, have a greenhouse, grow cabinet or keep the plant in a terrarium, that level of humidity is not easy to maintain.

The good new is that the Hoya Pubera has thick leaves similar to that of a succulent. And it uses its foliage to store water.

Doing so allows it to tolerate lower humidity (which makes it easier to care for in most households). It also allows it to withstand some dry periods.

As such, you can use a humidifier to keep the plant happy. You can likewise mist it, although be careful not to wet the leaves too much as this can cause fungal problems.

Another option it to keep it on a water tray on top or rocks or alongside other houseplants.

 

How Often to Water Hoya Pubera

As mentioned, the Hoya Pubera can tolerate some dry periods thanks to its thick, semi-succulent foliage. However, be careful not to let it get too dry and leave it that way.

Once the plant lacks water, you’ll notice its leaves start to shrivel up. They can likewise turn yellow after a while. From their thick, firm appearance, they’ll be flatter as well.

However, the more dangerous thing to watch out for it overwatering. The plant is sensitive to too much water. And its roots cannot take standing in water for long periods of time.

Therefore, it is not a good idea to water the plant too frequently.

The only exception if to lightly water the plant every 2 or 3 days. That said, the downside to this method is that the roots will stay shallow as they know there’s little water being given.

As a result, the roots won’t be too firmly established into the soil.

So, a better way to water is to:

  • Water less frequently – This means about once every 5 to 8 days in the summer (depending on how hot it gets). And scaling back to once every 13 to 21 days in winter (again, depending on how cold it gets). The simplest way to check is to stick your finger into the soil. Only water if the top 1-2 inches of soil has dried out.
  • Deep watering – because you’re not giving it moisture frequently (in order to avoid overwatering), you want to give it a good amount of hydration when you do water. This means flooding the root ball with water and stopping once the liquid comes out from the bottom of the pot. This way, the roots get enough moisture to keep them happy and healthy.
  • Let it drain after you water – to avoid letting the roots stand in water after you saturate the soil, it is very important to spend the next 10 to 15 minutes allowing any excess moisture to drain completely from the soil. This way you’re left with moist soil (not soggy or wet soil). In doing so, you avoid leaving the roots to stand in water or the risk of waterlogged soil (which can cause root rot).
  • Bottom watering – this is an alternative if you find that you have a problem regulating moisture or end up overwatering the plant. By watering from the bottom, you allow the soil to absorb the moisture at its own pace. This reduces the risk of overwatering. The process does take longer, but it encourages deeper roots (like deep watering) with less risk of overwatering or waterlogging.

 

Hoya Pubera Potting Soil

In order to ensure that the roots don’t end up sitting in water for long periods of time, using the right soil for your potted Hoya Pubera is essential.

The best potting soil for the plant is loose, well-draining, does not get compacted and is chunky. It also has to be able to hold some moisture so the roots don’t completely dry out.

Of all of these features, the most important is good drainage followed by aeration.

That’s because the plant’s roots like to stay dry and dry quickly soon after they get drenched. They also like being able to breathe given that the Hoya Pubera is epiphytic.

Therefore, here are some great DIY potting mix recipes for the Hoya Pubera that will keep it healthy ad happy.

  • 50% potting soil with 50% orchid bark (you can also add some perlite there as well)
  • 50% potting soil with 50% perlite or pumice
  • 50% potting soil with 50% cactus & succulent mix
  • 33% potting soil with 33% orchid mix and 33% perlite

 

Hoya Picta Fertilizer

The Hoya Picta needs nutrients to sustain its growth. This in addition to the right amount of light, temperature, humidity and water will allow it to grow optimally.

Just as importantly, the plant does not need a lot of fertilizer. Therefore, resist the temptation of adding more than needs. This can lead to fertilizer burn since commercial products contains salts (too much of which can damage a plant’s roots).

I like to use a general purpose liquid fertilizer diluted to half strength in the spring and summer. Cut back then stop by early or mid fall as the plant’s growth will slow down as the weather gets colder.

Don’t fertilize your Hoya Picta during winter.

 

Flowers / Blooms

The Hoya Pubera has one of the smallest flowers you’ll see among hoya species. Nevertheless, they are stunning and beautiful to look at.

They grow in clusters and will have varying colors depending on the variety you have.

The Hoya Pubera has circular yellow colored blooms with varying shades of that hue. If you have the Hoya Pubera Nummularioides, you’ll see white flowers that have more of a star shape with a pink and white middle.

The plant tends to bloom during the warmer months of the year. So, you want to make sure it gets enough light during this time as sufficient lighting is the biggest factor in encouraging it to flower.

Avoid leaving it in low light as this reduces the likelihood of blossoming.

 

Hoya Picta Pruning

The most important thing about pruning your Hoya Picta is not to cut off the spurs or peduncles from which the flowers grow from. These are perennial. And as such, new blooms will grow from the same spurs season after season.

So, if you prune these spurs, you’re essentially cutting off their future flowering potential.

As for the plant’s vines, these can grow to lengths of 2 to 3 feet over time. It is a moderate grower so you don’t have a worry about having to prune often.

The Hoya Pubera also has some of the smallest leaves among all the hoya species. And these lovely foliage adorn the long stems. So, you want to leave them there as they make the plant look attractive.

As a whole pruning is a low maintenance task when it comes to the Hoya Pubera. It won’t get too messy and it looks nice with good length and some fullness.

 

How to Propagate Hoya Pubera

The Hoya Pubera is easily propagated at home. And you can use a variety of methods.

Although the most efficient way to propagate it is via stem cuttings.

Of course, you can grow it from seed or use air layering as well if you wish.

I’ve just found that in terms of simplicity, time to growth and propagation success rate, stem cutting gives you more bang for your buck.

When propagating using stem cuttings, you can likewise propagate them in water, sphagnum moss or soil. So, you do have a few options.

Water Propagation

  • Take a healthy stem cutting that’s about 4 to 6 inches long with at least a 1-2 nodes and a few leaves on it.
  • Remove the lower leaves as you don’t want them getting submerged in water.
  • Place the cutting in water. If you want to watch the roots as they develop, you can use a glass container.
  • Submerge the nodes in the water. They need to be in water to root.
  • Make sure to replace the water before it gets murky.
  • Leave the cutting in a bright location with no direct sun.
  • In about 3-4 weeks you should see a good number of roots develop.

Soil Propagation

The thing with water propagation is that after a while you’ll need to move the cutting into soil.

Once the roots are 1-2 inches or longer, you can start to do so.

You can likewise leave them in water a bit longer. But as you pass about a year, you’ll start seeing more rotting roots. As such, you’ll need to keep pruning these roots and letting new ones grow.

Alternatively, if you don’t like propagating in water or don’t want to spend the extra time to transfer from water to soil, you can just plant the cutting straight into soil.

  • To do so, prepare a small pot and fill it with fresh, well-draining potting mix.
  • Water the soil to get it moist. Avoid too much water.
  • With soil propagation, you can skip rooting in water. Instead, just plant the cutting into the potting mix.
  • The same steps apply in that you want to remove any leaves that end up in the soil. And you want the nodes to be buried under the soil.
  • In about 4-5 weeks the cuttings will grow roots.
  • Since the new plant is already in potting mix, the only time you need to move it is when it needs to be repotted.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Hoya Pubera

The Hoya Pubera is better known for its length than its size. So, you’ll see more of its vines get longer and less so its root system.

As such, repotting is not as big a deal since the you’ll only need to move it to a larger container once very 2 to 4 years.

The range varies quite a bit since the timing will depend on fast the plant grows and how long you leave it in the pot.

The reason I mention the latter is that the plant enjoys being slightly pot bound. Therefore, you can leave it snug in a pot for a little longer without any ill effects.

However, make sure you don’t leave it there for too long. After a while, an overly tight container will stress the plant out. When this happens, it will affect its growth then later its health.

Therefore, once you notice growth slowing down and roots coming out from the bottom of the pot’s drainage holes, it is time to move your Hoya Pubera to a larger pot.

Choose a container that is 1-2 inches wider.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

The Hoya Pubera is not poisonous. And it does not pose any toxicity risk to cats, dogs and humans. Therefore, you can have peace of mind when you keep it around the house even with pets and young kids running around.

 

Hoya Picta Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests

Pests are a bother that you may need to deal with when caring for the Hoya Pubera. That’s because sap sucking insects are attracted to the plant’s thick, succulent leaves.

However, that’s not to say that it’s a sure thing that you’ll experience pests.

With proper care, cleaning and some luck, you may never have to deal with any bugs.

The healthier the plant is, the more resistance it has to pests and disease. So, it is important to give the plant the requirements its needs (as listed above).

The most common pests that will come around are mealybugs, thrips, aphids, scale and whiteflies. If you have excess moisture, fungus gnats will also invite themselves in.

 

Diseases

Speaking of excess moisture, this is something you want to avoid. The plant does not like too much water. And if its roots are kept in waterlogged or wet soil, they can rot.

Additionally, leaving its leaves wet also can cause bacterial and fungal infections like leaf spot, mold, blight and others.

So, staying in the dry side will keep the plant safe from these issues.