The Hoya Pubicalyx is a beautiful foliage plant that is popular with indoor plant growers because of its stunning blooms. Better yet, it isn’t fussy and is low maintenance. Thus, making it easy to care for even for beginners.
The hoya pubicalyx is a vining plant that will climb up a pole or vertical structure it is given. Similarly, you can grow it in a hanging basket and let its long, attractive vines cascade down.
It is worth noting that the plant has several cultivars. As such, you can choose those you want to add to your collection.
These can grow to between 8 and 10 feet long with long, narrow, thick leaves that allow them to store water similar to succulents.
Probably the most stunning part of the plant is when it blooms. The fragrant flowers are stunningly amazing to look at. And, while some have similar features, they all look different with varying colors.
As a native to the Philippines, it is used to hot and humid conditions. So, it is a good idea to give it the same living environment to get the most out of the plant.
Hoya Pubicalyx Plant Care
Hoya Pubicalyx Light
Your Hoya pubicalyx does best when given lots of bright indirect light. It needs at least 6 hours of this daily. You can likewise keep it in medium light.
The plant will survive in low light. But, its growth will slow and its leaves will also be smaller.
One of the reasons you want to give the plant as much light as possible is because it needs this in order to bloom. The less light there is, the lower the chances of this happening.
Similarly, more light means a more beautiful hoya pubicalyx plant overall, including its leaves and its vibrancy.
However, avoid direct sunlight. While it won’t mind a couple of hours a day in an east facing window, direct light for long periods daily or when the sun’s rays are very intense or hot, will scorch its leaves and its flowers.
So, while the south is the ideal spot for the plant, it needs some protection from the long periods of direct sunlight here, especially during the afternoons.
You can use sheer curtains or a shade cloth. Similarly, you can distance it a little bit from the windowsill.
Alternatively, you can opt for grow lights.
If you do, you’ll need to give it between 12 to 14 hours of artificial lighting to grow optimally. For blooming, it needs 16 hours.
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Hoya Pubicalyx Temperature
One of the reasons the hoya pubicalyx makes for a great houseplant is that it is easy to care for. Other than lots of light and humidity, it doesn’t need much from you in terms of water or feeding.
This is likewise true for temperature. Since the plant is native to tropical environments, it does well indoors since humans like the same warm temperature.
Ideally, keep temperatures steady between 60 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
This also means that outside, it will be perfectly happy in USDA hardiness zones 10 and 11 all year round.
In other places of the country, you’ll want to move the plant indoors once the weather drops to near 50 degrees. Below this threshold, the plant will start experiencing stress.
Hoya Pubicalyx Humidity
One of the trickier parts of caring for your hoya pubicalyx is humidity. That’s because average household humidity runs between 40% and 50%. In the winter, that drops to between 30% and 40%.
Unfortunately, your hoya pubicalyx prefers at least 60%, ideally 70% or a little higher.
This leaves a gap in most cases.
If you live in a high humidity area, you can go without having to increase humidity. It have a couple of friends whose hoya plants do well without any added help. But, they do live in hotter parts of the country.
This may not be the case for everyone, especially since most of the nation experience winter where the air gets drier.
As such, you can mist the plant, keep it in a bathroom, group it with other plants or place it on a pebble tray. All of these help increase humidity around the plant different extents.
This means you can use one or another depending on how much higher you need to increase humidity by. If it is by a lot, then a humidifier is a better option.
To make things easier to track, I highly suggest picking up a digital hygrometer. It will tell you exactly what the humidity is in any given room.
Finally, keep in mind that the higher humidity is, the less you’ll need to water since humidity provides moisture. This is key in order to prevent overwatering.
Also, keep the plant away from air conditioning, heaters and other vents as these dry the air.
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Hoya Pubicalyx Watering
When it comes to watering your hoya pubicalyx, you want to keep in mind a few things.
- It is drought tolerant
- High humidity (its preference) means you don’t need to water as much
- The plant’s succulent-like leaves store water
- The plant doesn’t like wet feet
- It is susceptible to root rot
All of these things tell you that you’re better off leaning towards being conservative with watering. The first 3 indicate that it is easy to overwater the plant because of is different features and preferred living conditions.
The latter two tell you that overwatering can easily damage the plant or negatively affect its growth.
So, you want to allow its soil to almost dry before watering. This is best in its growing season which runs from spring to the end of summer.
In wintertime, cut back on water as the weather gets cold and it is resting.
The best way to avoid overwatering is to wait for the top 2 inches of soil to dry before adding more water. By sticking your finger into the soil, you can feel for moistness.
Only water if it feels dry at that depth.
You also want to avoid tap water as the plant’s roots are sensitive. Ideally use rainwater, distilled or filtered water. The latter options can get expensive though after a while.
So, I suggest using tap water then allowing it to sit between overnight to 24 hours. This will allow the chemicals to evaporate before you water the plant.
Since your hoya pubicalyx is susceptible to overwatering, using well-draining soil is essential. This allows the excess moisture to quickly drain away. In doing so, it reduces the risk of too much water even if you have a heavy watering hand.
In addition, because the plant is epiphytic, it prefers loose, well-aerated soil. This will allow oxygen to easily reach the roots, which is what is gets in its natural habitat.
Rich soil is likewise a good idea. And, you can use compost and/or worm compost to improve its quality. If you do so, you may be able to get away without having to use fertilizer.
As such, you have a few options when it comes to potting medium. These include:
- Regular potting mix, if you already have some for your other plants. Then add perlite and orchid bark along with some compost.
- Potting soil with succulent mix, orchid bark, coconut coir and compost.
- Peat moss and perlite or vermiculite
If you prefer commercial mixes, you can go with:
- Cactus and succulent mix
- African violet potting soil
- Orchid potting mix
Then add perlite as needed to improve drainage.
Like water, your hoya pubicalyx doesn’t need a lot of fertilizer. As a light feeder, you only need to feed it once a month during its growing season.
I do know some growers who don’t feed their hoyas at all and do well. But, they use compost and add a layer of it every spring to nourish the soil.
On a more traditional front, a balanced water-soluble fertilizer works very well. Make sure to dilute it to half-strength when you do.
You don’t want to overfeed the plant or use an overly concentrated dose. This will cause more damage than if it lacked feeding.
Among the most desirable features of the hoya pubicalyx is its stunning beautiful flowers.
But, they’re not always easy to bloom. And, don’t expect them to do so in its first 1 to 2 years.
As such, it takes patience.
Additionally, you need to have a few things in place to help it along. These include.
- Lot of bright light. But, not direct sunlight
- A small pot. The plant has a better chance of flowering if the roots are packed together.
- Don’t trim the short stalks. Flowers will grow and rebloom on the same stalks. So, cutting them off when pruning will delay the process as the stalks need to grow all over again.
Flowering often happens during late spring to late summer. The good news is, once you know what conditions to give it, it will likely keep flowering year in and year out.
Hoya Pubicalyx Pruning
Little to no pruning is needed for your hoya pubicalyx. This, along with water and feeding make it a low maintenance houseplant.
From time to time, you may need to do some trimming to limit it size and control its shape as it gets bigger. This is likewise the best time to take cuttings if you want to propagate.
Spring and early summer are the best times to prune.
And, while you’re at it, remove the dead, discolored or damaged leaves as well.
Hoya Pubicalyx Propagation
The best ways to propagate your hoya pubicalyx is by stem cutting or leaf cutting. And, the best time to do either is during the spring or early summer. This will allow the plant to quickly start growing.
Also, you can make the cuttings when you’re pruning the plant.
Here’s how to propagate hoya pubicalyx from stem cuttings.
- Choose a healthy vine and take a 4 to 6 inch cutting that has at least 2 leaf nodes on it.
- Use a sterile pair of scissors of pruning shears and make a clean cut.
- Remove the lowest leaves that will get submerged into water.
- Place the cutting into water. Change the water every few days to keep it fresh and clean.
- In about 2 to 3 weeks, you should see roots being to develop.
- Wait until the roots get to about 1 to 2 inches long. Then, move the cutting into moist potting moist.
- Here’s where it will stay for a while.
- Make sure to keep in under bright, indirect light in a warm humid spot.
- After a while, you should see it begin to sprout.
Transplanting & Repotting Hoya Pubicalyx
You don’t need to repot your hoya pubicalyx often. But, that has really less to do with its growth and more to do with its preferences. Here’s why.
- It likes being pot bound.
- Smaller pots that keep the plant root bound increase its chances of flowering.
As such, you don’t want to move the plant as soon as it gets tight. Instead, allow it to enjoy its time there.
The only time you’ll need to repot if when the roots are coming out of the holes of the container or you can see the plant visibly getting stressed.
When you do move it, keep the pot size increase small. This will help it stay is a cozy, slightly tight situation.
Keep the plant away from kids, dogs and cats. Its sap is toxic and can cause allergies and other health problems.
Pests and Diseases
Unfortunately, your hoya pubicalyx is susceptible to pests. This means you need to regularly inspect it for attackers that can damage the plant.
The healthier the plant, the better it will be able to resist these critters. But, it needs your help.
The most common problems include mealybugs, aphids, whiteflies and spider mites.
Once you see any sign of them or their damage, quickly treat it. You can use insecticidal soap or a dishwashing soap and water mixture then spray the plant.
When it comes to diseases, watch out for root rot and other fungal infections. These are caused by moisture-related issues.
And, since the plant likes humidity, you want to be very careful with watering as well.