Hoya Rotundiflora – Complete Growing & Caring Guide

hoya rotundiflora

The Hoya Rotundiflora is a unique looking hoya in that its leaves are shaped very differently from most of those in the genus.

It has rectangular-shaped leaves with rounded corners. The leaves are a bit fleshy as well.

But like other hoyas, it is a vining plant that produces beautiful flowers.

It enjoys warm, humid conditions because it hails from Southeast Asia, for the most part Myanmar and Thailand. As such, you do need to mimic the conditions there to a degree indoors to keep the plant happy.

With proper care, this is a lovely plant that makes a great addition to any houseplant collection.

Hoya Rotundiflora Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Hoya Rotundiflora needs a good amount of light to thrive. Ideally, natural light from the sun.

However, it cannot tolerate direct sunlight or long periods of intense exposure. Thus, avoiding the mid-afternoon rays and those during the peak of summer is key to good foliage healthy.

Otherwise, its leaves will likely scorch and change color to yellow.

This means you want to position the plant somewhere there is bright light that’s indirect, filtered or dappled. It can likewise tolerate the morning sun for a few hours a day because this is gentler in intensity.

The plant likewise has no problem with medium light or partial shade. This makes it well-suited for indoor growing.

But, you do need to avoid dark areas or too little light as it will affect the plant’s overall growth negatively.

 

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Temperature

Like other hoyas, the Rotundiflora favors moderate to warm weather. It is accustomed to this kind of climate because it is native to Southeast Asia, particularly Myanmar and Thailand.

Both countries have warm and humid conditions. It gets extremely hot during the summers easily hitting over 90 degrees on a daily basis. And only cools down to about the low 70s during the cold months.

As such, the plant’s temperature preferences runs between 65 to 95 degrees. It can likewise handle levels down to 60 degrees but not much more.

Once you get to around 55 degrees, it will start to experience issues. Thus, it is a good idea to move it somewhere warmer.

This is also why many growers keep it indoors. The plant is hardy to USDA Zones 9 to 11. It cannot withstand frost or freezing winters.

 

Humidity

The other aspect of climate is humidity. Again, its native habitat is very humid.

So, the plant does best when indoor humidity is kept at 60% or higher. It can likewise tolerate levels down to 40% which makes it easier to care for many households.

But, you do want to avoid levels lower than that as it tends to dry out the plant.

Do note that where you live affects humidity levels in your home. And, winters tend to dry out the air so it is more difficult to care for the plant during this time if you don’t experience sunshine all year round.

Southeast Asia never experiences snow. It has sunshine all year round and still fairly moderate to warm during the coldest months that you’ll see people wearing a t-shirt and shorts every day of the year.

Thus, you do need to make adjustments if where you live has snow.

I find it really helpful to have a digital hygrometer at home since it will always tell you what the humidity it in any section of your home. This way, you can make any adjustments if needed.

 

How Often to Water Hoya Rotundiflora

One characteristic of your Hoya Rotundiflora worth remembering is that is has succulent-like leaves. This allows it to store moisture to help it get through dry spells.

As such, you can neglect it a bit when it comes to watering. It also makes it easier to care for if you have a busy schedule and sometimes forget to water.

This also means that short periods of dryness is not a problem.

However, you do want to make sure it gets regular watering during its growing season. This happens during spring and summer when the plant takes on a growth spurt and produces more new leaves.

To help sustain this growth, it needs ample sunlight, water and fertilizer.

On the other hand, growth slows in the fall and takes a breather in the winter. The colder weather also prevents soil from drying as quickly.

So, again, you need to adjust but cutting back on water.

Doing so will prevent overwatering.

Both over and underwatering are not good for the plant. But, because it is able to store more water, you want to be more wary of too much water.

The plant is also better able to bounce back from lack of water faster, typically in a few days after you water it.

But, the opposite is not true.

Overwatering, wet, soggy or waterlogged soil are all problems. They increase the risk of root rot and fungal infection.

As such, you want to wait for the top 1 to 2 inches of soil to dry before you water again.

I like to always check the soil before watering. This goes for all my houseplants. You can do so by sticking your finger into the soil down about 2 inches (2nd knuckle of your index finger). Then feel the soil.

It need to be dry up to at least that point before you water. Otherwise wait.

Alternatively, you can use a moisture meter to test the soil as well.

Similarly, do you want to watch the leaves for hints. Yellow leaves means too much water. So, it is telling you to scale back on water.

Brown, dry edges is a sign of lack of water, which means water me immediately.

 

Soil for Hoya Rotundiflora

The ideal soil for you Hoya Rotundiflora is something that is light, airy and well-draining. The plant is epiphytic in nature. Thus, is has small roots. And, it does not use these roots as extensively as other houseplants which are terrestrial.

Instead, in its native habitat, it tends to cling onto trees and get its nutrients and water from the air. This is why is prefers loose, chunky soil that allows good air flow.

Because of these specifications, I like to create my own mix instead of getting one that’s commercial packaged.

You can use a combination of (equal parts):

  • Peat
  • Perlite
  • Orchid mix

Another options that works quite well is (again equal parts):

  • Potting soil
  • Cactus & succulent mix

I’ve also found that keeping the soil pH between 6.1 to 7.5 helps the plant grow better.

 

Fertilizer

Your Hoya Rotundiflora does not need a ton of fertilizer. As such, always be cautious about overfeeding it.

That said, plant food helps it produce more vibrant leaves. And, if done correctly, it will help the plant bloom more as well.

I like to use a balanced water soluble fertilizer once a month during its growing season. A 15-15-15 or 20-20-20 blend works well.

Another option is to go with either a 2-1-2 or 3-1-2 formulation if you find that the it is not producing as much or large enough foliage. These are higher in nitrogen which boosts vegetation growth.

Like other hoyas, the Hoya Rotundiflora’s flowers are likewise a big deal because they’re very beautiful.

To help the plant along with flowering, you can switch to a high phosphorus formulation before bloom time. You want to do this for 2 months before the actual expected blooming period to encourage more production.

I’ve found that a 5-10-3 blend works well for this purpose.

 

Pruning

The Hoya Rotundiflora is a vining plant with fairly small squarish shaped leaves. Thus, it will grow and eventually overflow out of the sides of the container if you let it.

The plant can get to 12 to 20 feet long although I have yet to see one that is nearly that length indoors (in a container).

But, as the plant gets longer and fuller, you’ll see lots of leaves overlap one another. This can make the plant look a little untidy especially when it begins to sprawl around the container and on the table or countertop.

If it is in a hanging basket, this is less of an issue.

However, I know some people who like this bushy look. So, it is really up to your preference.

As such, how much your trim really depends on the look you’re going for in addition to removing the discolored or damaged leaves.

The only 2 things to remember when pruning this plant are:

  • Prune up to a third at most in any give time. Avoid overdoing it.
  • Be mindful of the spurs. The spurs are small stalks that come out of the main stalks. These are also where the flowers grow from. And, they do so from the same spurs year in and year out (perennials). This, cutting stems with these spurs means less blossoms since you need to wait for the stalks to regrow again before any flowering can happen. That’s at least one growing season with less flowers.

 

Hoya Rotundiflora Propagation

Hoya Rotundiflora can be propagated by stem cuttings. And, you can either do so in water or soil.

Both methods work very well but do so in different ways.

Many home growers like to start in water because it is easier and produces better success rates. Propagating in a glass jar also gives you the satisfaction of seeing the roots grow on a day to day basis.

On the other hand starting in soil allows you to skip having to begin in water then move it to soil, which is where you eventually end up anyways.

In either case, you cut a 3 to 6 inches stem cutting and either place it in water or plant in soil.

Make sure to use fresh, well-draining potting mix.

Withing a few weeks, the plant will root. If you started in water, you can move the cutting to soil once the roots get to about an inch long.

From there, you can care for it like a regular Hoya Rotundiflora.

Although, be ready to repot more often since young plants grow quickly. The process will slow down as it matures.

 

How to Repot Hoya Rotundiflora

The Hoya Rotundiflora has a fairly small root system. And, it enjoys being pot bound. This means you don’t need to repot it often.

Additionally, it is not a fan of being moved too often. So once you find a good spot for it, leave it be.

The only times you’ll need to repot are:

  • The roots are coming out of the container. Lift the pot and check the holes underneath to see if roots are sticking out.
  • The plant is not growing despite proper growing conditions.
  • Soil abnormally dries very quickly even after you water.
  • Emergency situations (overwatering, root rot, pest infestations that can’t get fixed, and other soil problems)

When moving it, choose a container that:

  • Is 1 to 2 inches wider than the current pot. Avoid going any larger abruptly.
  • There are drainage holes at the bottom of the container.

 

Toxicity

The plant is not toxic to people or animals. This means it does not pose a poison risk to young children or pets who happen to ingest its leaves or stems.

 

Pests and Diseases

Mealybugs, aphids, spider mites and scale are among the most common pests that will try to attack your plant. Unfortunately, these are all dangerous to its health despite their miniscule size.

What they lack in size, the make up for in number.

This means you want to keep them at a minimum. In contrast, they cause the most damage when they turn into infestations, giving them the ability to destroy the plant.

They do so by sucking the sap of the plant which delivers nutrients and moisture to different parts of the plant.  As such, losing too much of this eventually destroys the plant.

Sadly, there is no 100% foolproof way to preventing pests from coming around. Thus, regular inspection if your best defense.

Early detection lets you quickly take care of the matter. You can use neem oil to prevent and get rid of them.

If you spot any of them, you can use a hose to wash them off with a stream of water.

Speaking of water, do also do want to be careful with too much water. The plant loves high humidity making moisture (or excess moisture) a constant issue.

Too much water can lead to root rot. And, wet leaves can cause fungus and mold.

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