The Hoya Surigaoensis is a beautiful flowering plant that is native to the Philippines. In fact, it is named after a province in that country, called Surigao.
The plant features long vines that are filled with oval shaped green leaves.
The leaves will also turn red-purple if you keep the plant in bright sunlight. This happens as the leaves are sun-stressed.
Because this look is very beautiful, many growers and gardeners intentionally keep the plant is a it extra sun to achieve this.
Like other hoya varieties, the Hoya Surigaoensis is also known for its beautiful yellow flowers. These grow in clusters of about 20 to 30 small flowers at a time. They collectively look stunning.
How to care for the Hoya Surigaoensis? Keep the plant in plenty of light to encourage flowering. If you like the reddish-purple hues, sun stress the leaves but avoid too much direct sunlight.
The plant thrives in warm, humid conditions. It is also prone to overwatering so always let the soil partially dry between watering.
Hoya Surigaoensis Plant Care
The Hoya Surigaoensis does best in well-lit locations. Ideally, keep it in medium to bright, indirect light for optimal growth.
The plant will grow faster, produce more foliage and more likely flower if given plenty of light.
This is why an east facing window is ideal for the plant. There, it gets lots of gentle morning sun that is not harsh or too intense.
You can likewise keep the plant near a west or south facing window provided that you position it about 2-3 feet away from the opening.
That’s because the light from these sides feature the sun around late morning to mid-afternoon. These are the hottest times of the day.
So, try to keep the plant away from the direct rays of the sun.
Excess exposure to this kind of intensity will turn its leaves yellow or brown over time. It can even burn the leaves.
That said, the Hoya Surigaoensis is much like the Hoya walliniana and the Hoya sipitangensis in that its leaves will turn purple-red when sun stressed.
Although, in this case, the look will be very different as light sun stress will give you a light purple red center or borders.
If you give it more light it can turn the entire leaves purple with the veins still being light green which is really cool to look at.
However, note that you want to watch out when doing this because this takes some balancing. Too much light or sun will eventually burn the leaves.
The Hoya Surigaoensis likes warm temperatures, ideally between 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit. For optimal growth, try to stay in the middle at about 68 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit.
Because it is native to the Philippines, the plant is used to warm to very hot climates.
The Philippines is located in Southeast Asia and very near the equator. As such, its weather is predominantly hot and humid with the rainy season between August to October.
As a result, the plant is used to tropical conditions.
This makes immediately adapt to your home or other indoor environments.
However, the outdoors may be another story depending on where you live.
The Hoya Surigaoensis enjoys the outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 9 to 11 because these areas have very similar weather.
The sun is out and it is moderate to warm most of the year with no winters.
Speaking of winters, keep the plant away from this.
Its temperature tolerance is 55 degrees. And it will struggle below this level.
Therefore, try to avoid leaving it anywhere cold including rooms with air conditioning or cold breezes. Similarly, be careful of any spots in your home where the temperature can drop significantly at nighttime.
Humidity is another important aspect to consider with the Hoya Surigaoensis. It needs good humidity to thrive, ideally between 60% to 80%.
Again, this has to do with its native habitat.
The Philippines averages humidity between 60% and 75% daily. During the rainy season humidity easily hits 85% and can go over 90%.
It does drop to between 50% to 55% during the dry summertime.
As such, the Hoya Surigaoensis likes this kind of moisture in the air.
And for optimal growth, try to keep humidity at 60% to 75%. It can likewise tolerate 50% humidity. And if well-hydrated, you can take that just a little lower.
But avoid going much below that.
The plant will not tolerate low humidity conditions.
And if it does, it is very unlikely to flower. Good humidity is essential for flowering. So, it is important to maintain it for this plant.
If your home cannot maintain this level, you can increase humidity around the plant. Note that you don’t need to increase humidity in the entire house or room, just around the plant is enough.
This is why misting works. But you need to do it regularly since the effects are temporary.
For this reason I prefer using a pebble tray or humidity tray. Both are more hands-off approaches. And of course, if you don’t mind spending some money, you can buy a humidifier instead.
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How Often to Water Hoya Surigaoensis
Don’t overwater the Hoya Surigaoensis. Instead, allow the soil to dry partially between waterings.
The reason is that the plant is an epiphyte.
Therefore, in the forest, it lives on trees, tree trunks and branches clinging onto them. This means its roots get a lot of oxygen.
Additionally, the roots get much of their moisture from the air and dew.
When it rains, the roots also quickly dry since they are exposed in air with good circulation. The sun also helps speed up the drying process.
Therefore, it is very important to ensure that the plant does not end up sitting in water for long.
This is why the best way to know when to water the plant is to check the soil.
If the top 1-2 inches of soil feels wet or even a bit moist, don’t water yet. Instead, wait for this top layer to completely dry, then water.
By allowing part of the soil to dry between waterings, you’re able to prevent overwatering.
Using the soil as a gauge also allows you to automatically adjust your watering during warm and colder months without having to bother about remembering when to water the plant.
Hoya Surigaoensis Potting Soil
Because it is an epiphyte, you don’t need to plant the Hoya Surigaoensis in soil. Instead, you can grow it on a branch or bark.
Of course, if you look at most growers, they’ll keep the plant in soil in a container.
This means the soil needs to produce a similar environment to what the plant is accustomed to. This includes:
- Fast drainage
- Will not stay wet nor soggy for long
- Be light enough and not get compacted
- Have good aeration to allow air to circulate to the roots
This are the ideal soil features for the Hoya Surigaoensis.
Luckily, it is easier to achieve this in real-life than it sounds based on the items above.
In fact, you can easily make the soil yourself with just a few ingredients.
The simplest way is to mix:
- 2 parts peat moss
- 1 part perlite
Note that some growers also use coarse sand for perlite. While this works, I don’t like doing this because sand get compacted after a while.
This will restrict airflow to the roots.
Another good option is to use:
- 1 part potting soil
- 1 part coco coir
- 1 part perlite or pumice
Notice that in each of the soil mixes, there are components that will hold some moisture while other components that will drain the excess water and keep the mix light and airy.
This kind of combination will keep the plant happy.
Alternatively, you can likewise just use African Violet mix if you prefer buying a bag from the store.
If you want the Hoya Surigaoensis to grow long, bushy and flower, fertilizer is very important. It needs sufficient nutrients for this.
So, I like to use a combination of two different kinds of fertilizer.
Note that different gardeners will have their own techniques. So, our feeding routines will vary quite a bit.
And the reason for this is that I like to use a higher phosphorus fertilizer to help the plant bloom when the time comes.
In general, a balanced houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength once a month during its growing season (spring and summer) works really well.
This will give the plant enough nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium to grow and produce beautiful leaves.
However, when the plant is starting to show signs of blooming, I like to switch to an orchid fertilizer. This is higher is phosphorus. You can also use a phosphorus-based fertilizer if you wish.
This helps promote flowering and prolong the blooms.
I know some growers who start early.
They begin using higher phosphorus fertilizer 2 months before the blooming season begins.
Like I said to each their own.
But the one thing to keep in mind is never overfeed the plant.
This is the case for the balanced blend or the orchid fertilizer. Doing so can damage the roots and cause leaf discoloration. It will also cause the plant to fail to bloom.
Flowers / Blooming
The Hoya Surigaoensis is known for producing small but beautiful yellow flowers. These are lovely to look at because they grow in bunches.
Each of these bunches are called umbels. And the flowers will create a semi-sphere shape that’s about 2 inches in diameter.
Each flower is less than 0.4 inches. But collectively they look amazing since you’ll see about 20 to 30 of them per umbel.
These flowers usually last for about 8 days. And they emit a sweet coconut fragrance.
the Hoya Surigaoensis can grow to different sizes depending on care and where it grows. Indoors it can reach between 6 to 10 feet. Although, the plant can get to 20 feet long as well.
This is a faster growing plant compared to other hoya varieties.
As such, you can expect more leaves and longer stems.
However, the vines can get tangled and messy. That’s something I’ve noticed more with this plant. As such, pruning is needed.
While you don’t need to do regularly pruning, trimming it lightly once every couple of months is needed to keep it in check.
Another important thing to keep in mind is to be careful with pruning the peduncles. These are where the flowers come out from.
Don’t prune these even after the flowers have faded!
These are perennial meaning the plant will bloom from old growth (same peduncles) in future growing seasons.
If you prune them, you lose their future flowering potential.
How to Propagate Hoya Surigaoensis
The Hoya Surigaoensis is easy to propagate as it responds well to stem cuttings. Additionally, the plant roots faster than other hoyas as well.
Of course, you can propagate one or more new plants at the same time just by taking the number of stem cuttings you need.
Since the plant has many long stems this is not a problem.
Here’s how to propagate the Hoya Surigaoensis from stem cuttings.
- Cut a healthy stem cutting. Make sure each cutting has at least 1-2 nodes and more than 3 leaves. Ideally you want to get cuttings of at least 4 to 7 inches long.
- Plant the cuttings in a pot filled with well-draining soil
- Water the plant regularly to keep it moist. But don’t overwater it as this will destroy your cuttings.
- Leave the pot in bright, indirect light, ideally in a warm spot with good humidity.
It takes but a few weeks for new roots to grow and develop.
You can leave the cuttings in the pot and care for them like you would the mother plant until it is time to repot them.
How to Repot or Transplant Hoya Surigaoensis
The Hoya Surigaoensis only needs repotting once very 2 to 4 years. Avoid repotting it often. And don’t repot it unless there is a reason to.
The plant does not like being moved. Additionally, it is more likely to flower when kept in a tight container.
It likes being snug in its pot, even slightly root bound.
Also, since the plant is prone to overwatering, don’t overpot it when you choose a larger container. Just go one size up each time.
Don’t forget to replace the soil with fresh, well-draining potting mix. This will ensure the soil has nutrients, is airy and does not get compacted.
Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs
No, the Hoya Surigaoensis is non-toxic to people and animals. Therefore, it does not pose a poison risk to cats, dogs or even children.
Still, I suggest discouraging them from playing with the plant as accidentally eating its leaves can still result in gagging, choking or vomiting in some cases.
Hoya Surigaoensis Problems & Troubleshooting
Mealybugs, spider mites and aphids are the most commons pests that will bother the Hoya Surigaoensis.
While all of these are tiny, they can cause significant damage if you don’t spot them early or treat them quickly.
That’s because they can quickly grow into an infestation.
Since they’re sap sucking insects, they will feed on the sap of the plant which contains nutrients and moisture meant for the leaves.
This will weaken the plant and cause yellow leaves or even holes in the leaves.
I like to use a hose to spray them off which is the fastest way to get rid of them. It can take several sprayings separated by a few days in between.
The key is to be thorough to try and get them all
Other options include neem oil and insecticidal soap. Both work very well too.
Overwatering is the biggest treat to watch out for since it can lead to root rot.
If that’s not bad enough, it can cause bacterial or fungal disease as well as the damp conditions promote the growth of these microorganisms.
Therefore, always let the soil and leaves dry. Be careful with when you water and how you water.
Keep the plant in bright, indirect light and good airflow to speed up drying.