The Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver is also known as the Hoya Pink Silver and the Pink Silver Pubicalyx. Although, some people refer to it by other names as well, including:
- Pink Silver Vine
- Wax Plant
- Porcelain Flower
As you can already probably tell, the Hoya Pink Silver is a variety of the Hoya Pubicalyx. And if you’re interested, there are a few other Hoya Pubicalyx varieties around as well, including the:
- Hoya Black Dragon – this hoya gets its name from its black flowers that have a reddish center.
- Hoya Red Buttons – this plant has a purple blooms that are red in the middle.
- Hoya Royal Hawaiian Purple – this is probably one of the more popular varieties because of its stunning and distinctive purple, pink, red and black flowers. The colors match really well to create a beautiful combination.
Other Hoya Pubicalyx cultivars include the Hoya Pubicalyx Jungle Garden, Bright One. Dapple Gray, Silver Sheen and a few more.
On the other hand, the Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver gets its name from its green leaves with small silver speckles. With hoyas, any plat whose leaves have speckles is labeled as a “splash”.
This helps you know ahead of time that its foliage have some kind of speckles on them.
More interestingly, the silver splashed turn into pink-silver in color when the plant gets a lot of light. This is similar to some hoyas whose leaves turn red when sun-stressed.
The Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver is originally from the Philippines.
Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver Plant Care
The Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver will grow optimally if you give it medium to bright light. However, avoid very strong light or direct sun as these can scorch its leaves.
Instead, the plant prefers indirect or filtered light. That’s because it is used to getting dappled light in the forest as the canopy of larger trees block out the sun’s rays.
For best growth, the Hoya Pink Silver needs at least 6 hours of sunlight daily. This will allow it to grow faster and produce more stunning leaves with lovely splashes of silver.
Some growers also like to give the plant a little more light because the extra bright exposure will turn its splashed into pinkish silver color which makes the plant more unique looking.
Of course, be careful to tow the line and not overdo it as this can eventually lead to scorched leaves.
It is also worth noting that if you can’t get the plant 6 or more hours of light, try to shoot for at least 2-3 hours of direct morning sun coming from the east.
The Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver has no problems tolerating this kind of direct sun as it is gentler. However, avoid mid-day sun (between 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) as that is too intense. Similarly, keep it away from the summer sun which is very harsh.
On the other hand, the Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver also does well in low light. However, the lower the amount of illumination, the more unlikely the plant will flower.
Unfortunately, there is not hard and fast rule here. So, you can’t really tell when low is too low. Therefore, I just try to avoid low light locations altogether.
But, if you’re not after the Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver’s blooms, then this is less of an issue.
Finally, if your home does not get a lot of natural light, you can use artificial lighting as well. Grow lights work perfectly well. Although, the Hoya Pink Silver will need a minimum of 12 to 14 hours exposure daily. If you want it to bloom, you’ll need to up that to 16 hours.
The Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver is native to the Philippines which is known for its hot weather all year round. It is located near the equator which gives it a tropical climate.
This means that summers get really hot while winters are balmy with lots of sunshine. It also has heavy rain season where typhoons (which is the same as hurricanes).
For some reason, while typhoons and hurricanes mean the same heavy rains and strong winds, when it is over the North Atlantic it is called a Hurricane, while in the Northwest Pacific Ocean, they’re called typhoons.
Additionally, the plant lives in the forest where it stays under the larger trees.
So, while it gets really hot in its native habitat. the Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver does get some reprieve from the strongest heat thanks to the natural overhead shade.
Therefore, indoors, it prefers temperatures between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit, with the ability to tolerate warmer conditions.
However, the opposite is not true since there is no snow or frost in the Philippines. Thus, the plant is ill-equipped to handle to cold.
This means it is a good idea to avoid temperatures under 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Outdoors, it does best in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11 since the weather is similar to that of its native habitat.
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Similarly, the Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver prefers humidity of 60% to 80% which is what it gets in the tropical jungle.
Again, this environment is influenced by the Philippine weather (which is where the plant is native to). In addition to being hot all year round, it is also humid with average daily humidity running between 55% and 75%.
During the rainy season, humidity shoots up to 85% and even to the low 90s.
Fortunately, the Hoya Pink Silver does have semi-succulent leaves. its fleshy and waxy foliage allows it to store moisture for periods of dryness.
This allows it to live happily on low water and humidity.
That said, you do want to try to keep humidity at 40% or higher. The plant can tolerate levels below this, but it also increases the risk of crispy, dry leaf tips.
As such, regular misting or keeping it on a pebble tray is a good idea.
If you decide to go with misting, be careful not to spray too much water on its leaves as this can increase the risk of fungus gnats and leaf infections (if the moisture does not dry soon after).
source: wikimedia commons
How Often to Water Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver
The Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver is an epiphyte. Therefore, it does not need a lot of watering.
However, avoid letting it go completely bone dry especially for long periods of time. While the plant can tolerate some drought due to its waxy, semi-succulent leaves, it will eventually experience some damage with repeated dehydration.
One of the most important things to keep it in mind is not to used a fixed watering schedule. That’s because how often you water will vary during the warmer months and the colder months.
During the spring and summer, you’ll likely be watering once every 5 to 8 days. In the winter, this will stretch to once every 13 to 21 days depending on how cold it gets.
As such, it is more efficient to use the soil as a gauge than to remember when to water the plant. Doing this especially helps if you have a lot of plants. That way, you don’t have to try and remember each one.
How frequent you water will depend on how much you like to water.
- If you tend to overwater your plants (or water more often), try to wait until the top 2 inches of soil is completely dry before adding more.
- If you like to wait a while or are often late a few days, you can wait until the soil is dry between 50% to 75% of the way down.
Anywhere in between this range works well for the plant.
It leaves the roots with enough moisture while prevents you from overwatering your Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver.
I also have a few gardener friends who prefer to lift the pot to tell when it is time to water the plant. if the pot feels light, the soil is dry. Therefore, add more water.
But if the pot is on the heavy side, wait a while longer as the soil is still moist.
Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver Potting Soil
The best potting soil for the Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver is loose, airy and has good drainage. It also enjoys soil with pH between 6.5 to 7.5.
This is important because in addition to knowing when to water your plant, the soil you use will affect what happens to the water in the pot.
If you use a heavy, dense soil which retains moisture, this will leave the plant’s roots standing in water. Over time, this can lead to root rot.
As such, you want fast draining soil. This way, excess moisture will quickly escape so the roots get enough oxygen.
To understand why, it is important to go back to the plant’s epiphytic nature.
As an epiphyte, the Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver does not live in soil in the jungle. Instead, it climbs up larger trees to try to get more sunlight.
Therefore, its roots are exposed to the air instead of stuck in the ground. This means they get a lot of air circulation (which is why soil with good aeration is important).
Additionally, when it rains, the roots get drenched. However, they dry up quickly due to the good airflow. Thus, well-draining soil does the same allowing the roots to quickly drain after you soak the soil with water.
So how do you achieve this kind of soil?
You can use any of the following potting mixes.
- 2 part peat moss with 1 part perlite
- 1 part cactus mix with 1 part orchid mix and 1 part perlite
- 1 part potting soil with 1 part coconut coir
- 1 part potting soil with 1 part orchid bark
Use any one of these combinations. All of them have at least 1 component that is improves drainage. They likewise don’t get compacted.
The Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver is a light feeder. Therefore, it only needs a weak fertilizer. You can likewise use a standard houseplant fertilizer and dilute it to half strength.
Apply once a month or you can increase to once every 2 weeks if the plant is not growing. Remember, less is more here.
As long as the plant gets the nutrients it needs, it will grow well.
Because the Hoya Pink Silver is primarily a foliage plant, you want to use a high nitrogen fertilizer. Since the plant is not picky about what kind, you have lots of options.
Fish emulsion is a great choice if you want to go organic. As mentioned a regular houseplant fertilizer works well, and so will a balanced product (N-P-K of 15-15-15 is a good choice).
This will allow the plant to produce lots of leaves.
That said, part of why people grow the Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver is for its beautiful flowers. So, when the plant is about to bloom, you can use a bloom booster or bloom fertilizer which has higher phosphorus.
Phosphorus encourages flowering and helps prolong the blooms as well.
Flowers / Blooms
Speaking of the Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver blooms, these are not to be missed.
They are stunning to look at and appear as star shaped with pink, purple and red colors. The produce a lovely scent and grow in bunches of half or three-quarter spheres that look kind of like upside down bouquets.
Individually, the blooms are quite small. But their details come to life when bunched up together in their umbels.
The flowers bloom repeatedly, although they’re most likely to appear during the spring and summer. That’s because they enjoy lots of bright, indirect light.
However, it can also bloom during late summer and early fall although less frequently.
Once they appear, you don’t want to touch or move the plant. It becomes very sensitive during this time. So, avoid, repositioning it, repotting, pruning or anything else as this can cause the blooms to drop or abort.
With the right conditions, he flowers will typically last as long as 14 days.
One of the most important things about the Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver flowers is that they grow on old peduncles (or spurs). This means that after the blooms have faded and dropped, you do not want to cut off these leafless stalks.
They are perennial in nature and new blooms will grow from old peduncles. Therefore, if you prune these off, you eliminate any future blossoms from it.
It also means having to wait until new peduncles grow before new flowers will come out again.
With regards to the plant itself, it can grow to between 6 to 12 feet long if given the chance. It grows better when allowed to climb.
It is also a fast growing plant so you will get leaves and vining stems that get long in short periods of time.
In general, the plant will get thick and look a bit messy. Although, its looks will largely depend on how you grow it.
It will usually look neater when allowed to climb up. In pots, will look like a bunch of leaves stacked up as it gets fuller.
Either way, the plant will need regular light trimming to keep it looking tidy.
How to Propagate Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver
Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver can be propagated in a number of ways. These include:
- Stem cuttings
- Leaf cuttings
- Air layering
Of the methods, stem propagation is the most efficient as it is not only simple, but also faster and has a high success rate.
Additionally, you can also opt to propagate the stem cuttings in water or in soil. Both methods work really well as are about the same. So, you can go with whichever method you prefer.
All you need to do is take a stem cutting that’s about 3 to 7 inches long. Make sure it has at least 2 nodes as this is where the roots will grow from.
You can then root the cutting in water or plant it into soil. The biggest difference is that in water, you’ll eventually need to move the cutting into soil.
It takes about 4 to 8 weeks for he roots to grow in number and get longer.
How to Repot or Transplant Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver
The Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver neither has a large, deep or extensive root system. Therefore, it does not need a large pot.
And while it does grow quickly which results in long stems and leaves overflowing over the edges of the pot, the roots like to be kept snug against the pot.
This environment promoted flowering which is why you’ll see a lot of hoyas underpotted.
Therefore, repotting is often only needed once very 2 or 3 years.
And when you move it to a larger pot, only go up one pot size (2 inches wider). Make sure to select a container that has drainage holes as well.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
The Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver is not toxic to people, cats and dogs. You can keep it around the house and not have any toxicity risk.
That said, if you do have allergies or sensitive skin, you may want to use gloves when up cut the plant. Its sap can cause skin irritation. Although this only happens to a small number of people, you still may want to take that precaution.
Problems & Troubleshooting
Pests are always going to be a problem when it comes to houseplants. With the Hoya Pubicalyx Pink Silver, the most common insects are mealybugs, aphids and spider mites.
Mealybugs are the most prevalent. And they look like small balls of cotton.
Fortunately, they are easy to get rid of and you can spray them off with water or use neem oil.
However, the longer you wait, the larger they will grow in number. That’s when they cause more damage as these are sap suckers.
It also takes a lot longer to eradicate infestations.
With disease, overwatering is your number one enemy.
Excess water on the leaves puts them at risk of bacterial and fungal infections. As such, when you seed spots, markings, stripes and yellow color, there’s likely some kind of problem happening.
This can be caused by mold, blight, leaf spot or tons of other leaf diseases.
In soil, overwatering is more dangerous as it can lead to root rot. Once this progresses too far, it can destroy your plant as the plant cannot get enough water and nutrients from the soil to sustain itself.