The Hoya Rosita is a rare, gorgeous hoya species. It is a hybrid bred from crossing the Hoya wayetii and Hoya tsangii. And what makes it beautiful it that it gets the best from both its parents.
The plant features long, ovate leaves that have a tinge of maroon color on its leaf tips. These leaves also transforms its green leaves into brownish-red which are likewise stunning to look at.
Of course, like other hoyas, it also have lovely blooms. These come in red and yellow colors. More importantly, they’re long lasting staying around for the entire growing season.
The plant itself is a climber. And this is how you’ll find it in its natural habitat. However, because of its trailing vines, most houseplant owners will display it in hanging baskets.
Hoya Rosita Plant Care
The Hoya Rosita enjoys bright, indirect sun. And if you want it to flower, it is important to keep it in this environment.
It is also worth nothing that many growers keep the plant slightly sun-stresses. By doing this, it turns the leaves into a reddish brown color from its normal green. This gives it a very unique and gorgeous appearance.
However, like other hoyas, it is not able to tolerate strong light or direct sun for long periods of time. While it will appreciate gentle direct morning sunlight coming from the east, anything more intense for a few hours a day on a consistent basis can eventually burn its leaves.
Therefore, keep it away from direct sunshine between 10:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
As such, a well-lit room is the best location for the Hoya Rosita indoors provided that it is kept away from the sun’s rays.
On the other hand, the plant also does well in low light. However, this is not an ideal place to keep it if you want it to bloom.
Lack of light or insufficient illumination reduces its chances of flowering.
The Hoya Rosita thrives in temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. If you want to keep it outdoors, you can do so in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 and 11 as these locations have sunshine all year round including winters.
As such, the are as close as you get to the natural tropical climate that the Hoya Rosita is used to.
If you live anywhere colder, you can still bring the plant outside during the summer. However, be sure to take it back inside once the weather drops to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
The plant’s growth will slow down at this level. And the colder it gets and the longer it is left there, the more problems it can experience.
Indoors, this means that you want to me mindful of where the cold breezes and draft are in your home. Also, avoid leaving it in air conditioned rooms.
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The Hoya Rosita is used to high humidity environments. However, it does have thick, waxy, succulent-like leaves that store water. Therefore, it is able to tolerate lower humidity without any problems.
This makes it doe well in humidity between 40% and 60%.
Therefore, in most cases, the plant will be okay with regular home humidity. But if you live somewhere with dry air like the desert, this you may need to help the plant out by giving it a boost of air moisture.
The easiest ways to do this is by:
- Using a humidifier– humidifies allow you to control the humidity around the plant or for an entire room, depending on the size of the device you get. Of course, the larger the humidifier, the more costly it gets. Plus, there’s some maintenance work needed to keep the humidifier working.
- Misting the plant – spritzing the plant and the air around it with room temperature water to keep humidity up. The downside with this method is that it is only temporary. So, you need to mist the plant every few days.
Other options include:
- A pebble tray – placing the plant on a tray with water on top of pebbles also works. The key is to have some forms of water under or around the plant. This way, when the water evaporates, it increases the humidity above the plant.
- Grouping the plant with other houseplants – plants transpire much like how people sweat. This allows them to regulate internal temperature. Individually, the amount of transpiration produced by one plant is not able to increase vapor above it by much. But collectively (if you have many houseplants), they’re able to push humidity up.
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How Often to Water Hoya Rosita
Again, the Hoya Rosita’s semi-succulent leaves come to play here. These allow the plant to store water so that it can tolerate periods of dryness.
As such, it does not need to be watered regularly.
That said, you do want to adjust your watering schedule based on the time of year. That’s because it needs more water during summertime.
The reason is that the plant is actively growing during this time. Thus, it needs more hydration and sustenance to help it maintain this development.
Additionally, the soil dries faster in warm weather and when there is more sunshine.
On the other hand, the cold weather and shorter days in the winter mean the plant does not need much water. Also, it takes a break from growing once the cold arrives.
So, you want to allow the soil to dry before adding more water.
This means the best way to water your Hoya Rosita is to check the soil to see how moist it is. Once the top 1-2 inches are dry, you can water. Try not to do so before that because the plant is sensitive to overwatering.
And, if you add water too frequently, it will leave the roots in a damp environment which increases its risk of root rot.
Hoya Rosita Potting Soil
The best potting soil for Hoya Rosita is lightweight and well-draining. This will allow excess moisture to drain quickly after water so the roots don’t sit in water for prolonged periods of time.
In general, I try not to leave the plant’s roots in water for more than 15 minutes. And in order to do this, the soil needs to get able to drain that excess liquid fairly quickly.
Additionally, it is important that the soil allows air to circulate and does not get compacted. This lets the roots get the oxygen they want.
You can use a combination of:
- 2 parts peat moss
- 1 part perlite
Or, if you have potting soil at home, mix:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part cactus & succulent mix
Adding some compost and charcoal will also help.
The Hoya Rosita will appreciate fertilizer as this will provide it with the nutrients it needs. It is not fussy or picky about the kind of plant food it gets.
The important this is that it gets fed.
Also, keep in mind that the plant is a light feeder. So, it does not need a lot of fertilizer. And avoid the temptation to give it more than it needs even if you see it grow faster with more.
Doing this can eventually damage the roots because of the fertilizer salts.
So, the best time to feed your plant is during its growing season (spring to early or mid fall). Apply a balanced liquid fertilizer once a month diluted to 50% the suggested strength.
Don’t feed the plant in winter as it will take breather when the cold climate arrives.
You can likewise use a bloom booster when the plant is about to flower. This will encourage blooming and help prolong the blossoms.
Flowers / Blooms
Like other hoyas, one of the most attractive features of the Hoya Rosita is its blooms. These are round-shaped and red in color with yellow nectaries in the middle.
These flowers are small but their bright color makes them stunning to look at. Additionally, they grow in groups which makes them more visible.
That said, the way they’re clustered is different from most other hoyas.
With the case of the Hoya Rosita, you see the individual flowers space out nicely. In contrast, many hoya species produce flowers that are bunched closely together forming an upside down bouquet or a shape that looks like a parachute.
The other thing worth noting is that the plant needs to mature before it will produce any blooms.
This means if you get a young plant, you’ll likely need to wait around 1.5 to 2 years before you see any flowers come out.
Similarly, it is important to keep the plant under bright, indirect light if you want to encourage it to flower.
Another important aspect of the Hoya Rosita’s flowers is that you don’t want t cut its peduncles after the blooms have faded.
While deadheading helps with many plants, it is a no-no for the Hoya Rosita.
That’s because its flowers grow on old peduncles. Therefore, pruning these flowering stalks will prevent new blossoms from growing.
It also means that you need for new peduncles to grow before any new blooms can arise.
As for the plant itself, it will not grow very large. However, its stems do get long.
This is why the most common way to keeping the Hoya Rosita is in a handing pot or basket. This will allow its vines to get long and drape down, where they’re gorgeous to look at thanks to their lovely foliage.
This also means that you don’t need to trim it a lot making pruning a low maintenance task for this houseplant.
How to Propagate Hoya Rosita
The Hoya Rosita propagates quite easily with stem cuttings. Thus, although you can propagate it in other ways including air layering, seed and separation, I have not found any real need to do these due to the simplicity and high success rate of stem propagation.
To propagate from stem cuttings,
- Take a healthy stem that’s about 3 to 6 inches long. Make sure the cutting has at least a few leaves on it.
- Remove the lower leaves to expose the nodes.
- Place the cutting in water. If your cutting has aerial roots, submerge those into the liquid as well. Aerial roots are likely the first ones to root so you want to take advantage of them.
- Leave the cutting in bright, indirect light with good humidity and warm temperature.
- It about 3 to 6 weeks you should see a good amount of roots develop. Use a glass container so you can monitor the roots as they grow.
- Once the roots grow to at least 1-2 inches long, you can move it to a pot with fresh soil.
How to Repot or Transplant Hoya Rosita
It takes 2 to 3 years before the Hoya Rosita needs to be repotted. The plans does not have a large or deep root system. It also likes being slightly pot bound.
Together, it means that you can wait a while before repotting it.
The only time you need to move it a larger container is when its roots start coming out from the bottom of the container.
- Prepare a new pot that is one size larger than the current one (2 inches wider).
- Also have enough fresh well-draining potting soil on hand to fill the new pot.
- Next, carefully take the Hoya Rosita out of its container. Take your time as you’ll need to navigate through the long vines (if you let them grow long).
- Once out of the pot check the roots and root ball for any abnormalities. You want to see if there are any root rot, pests, damage or anything else happening there. Hopefully, there isn’t .
- Brush off excess soil and dirt.
- Fill the new container with the fresh potting mix up to about 40% of the way.
- Then insert the root ball into the new pot.
- Fill the remainder of the pot with the fresh soil.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
No, the Hoya Rosita is non-toxic to people and pets. It is safe to keep around cats, dogs and young kids. This will let you place they plant where you want to without having to worry about accidental toxicity or poisoning in case your pets or kids decide to chew or ingest on the plant’s leaves or stems.
Problems & Troubleshooting
The Hoya Rosita is prone to mealybugs, which are tiny, cotton-like creatures that are easily spotted on leaves. The suck on the sap of the plant and grow in population quickly.
Therefore, it is important to spot them early, isolate the plant and treat the bugs.
You can spray them off with water using the sink or garden hose. Make sure to get the eggs as well as the adult insects to stop them from growing.
You can likewise use neem oil or horticultural oil spray.
Stem and root diseases are not as common. However, they can happen if there’s excess moisture. Both can become problems although root rot is the one that’s more serious and what you want to watch out for.
It is caused by overwatering. And if left alone, will keep spreading to the point where too many roots have been destroyed.
Once this happens, it will prevent the plant from getting enough water and nutrients from the soil. And after a while, your Hoya Rosita will deteriorate and eventually die.
Thus, avoid overwatering as much as possible.
And if you suspect root rot, unpot the plant and check the roots. If you see any black, mushy or smelly roots prune them off.
Repot the plant with freshy, dry soil to help it recover if needed.