Hoya Vitellinoides Care & Growing Guide

Hoya Vitellinoides

The Hoya Vitellinoides has very distinct looking leaves that are thick, light green in color with very visible dark green veins. The presence of the dark green veins make it very easy to identify.

These leaves will also grow to goo size over time which make them the plant’s most striking feature. Its foliage are thick, broad and long with an oblong shape by the time the plant matures. And they can reach between 6 to 12 inches long and 3 to 6 inches wide.

Due to the much larger size of the leaves (over time) compared to its spherical clusters of flowers, the blooms actually play a secondary role when it comes to this plant.

That’s not often the case with hoyas where the flowers are what growers are after.

That said, the plant does have beautiful white and yellow blooms that are worth mentioning.

The plant itself is epiphytic and a natural climber However, you can keep it in a pot or hanging basket as well.

The plant is native to Southeast Asia where it enjoys warm, humid conditions.

Hoya Vitellinoides Plant Care

Light Requirements

The Hoya Vitellinoides does well in a wide range of lighting conditions. However, it thrives most in a well-light location. Ideally, somewhere with bright light.

That said, avoid direct sun or very strong light as this can burn its leaves.

The thing is, the more light you give the plant, the happier it will be. And it will reward you by growing more leaves and increasing the odds of blooming.

This is why lighting is very important with the Hoya Vitellinoides (and most hoyas in general). Be aware the in very bright light, the leaves can turn reddish or bronze. This works both as a warning sign but you’ll also notice that this is when the plant produces lots of leaves and will flower more.

So, in a way it likes towing that line between very high light and getting burned.

As such, the best place to put the plant is somewhere it gets at least 5-6 hours of light daily. Ideally, it likes morning sun and afternoon shade (or indirect light) which makes an east facing window ideal. Similarly, a northeast location is great as well.

In the north, the plant will likewise grow happily although if you want it to flower make sure there’s enough light coming from that direction since is has the least among the 4 sides.

On the other hand, you want to distance the plant from a west or south window to avoid the rays of the sun. Another option is to filter the sunlight to protect the plant’s leaves from scorching.

Outside, it does best in partial shade which makes a spot under the tree or some kind of cover ideal.

 

Temperature

The Hoya Vitellinoides is used to living in tropical climates as it is native to Southeast Asia. This means that is favors moderate to warm conditions and will tolerate 90 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit much better than it does the cold.

In fact, avoid leaving it below 55 degrees Fahrenheit for prolonged periods of time. And the lower the temperature gets, the more problems it will experience.

This also means that come wintertime, you want to keep it somewhere cozy with as much light as possible. There’s a lot less sunshine during this time as the nights get longer and the days get shorter. Similarly, the intensity of the sun is nowhere near that of summer.

So, if necessary, move it to a brighter location. In fact, it does quite well in a southern exposure during winter since this provides the most light.

If you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 through 12, you can likewise leave the plant outside all year round including winters as the weather stays sunny in these areas, think California, Florida, Texas and the like.

However, if you have snow during winter, make sure to bring the plant indoors before the weather drops under 55 degrees.

 

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Humidity

Ideally humidity for the Hoya Vitellinoides is between 40% and 80%. And while it will appreciate the higher end of that range if possible, it will be happy as long as you keep it between these levels.

Like many hoyas, the Vitellinoides has thick leaves which work very much like how succulent leaves do.

That is, they store water to help the plant get through drier periods. As such, it is able to tolerate lower humidity.

Still, once you get below 40% you want to start monitoring it. Dry, crispy and brown leaf tips can happen once things get too low. Therefore, this is a sign that it needs your help.

You can use a humidifier or mist the plant regularly to introduce moisture into the air. Other alternatives are to move it to the bathroom, place it on a water tray with pebbles or group it with other plants.

 

How Often to Water Hoya Vitellinoides

Because the Hoya Vitellinoides has thick leaves, it can tolerate some periods of dryness. However, don’t the soil go completely dry as the plant does not like being dehydrated.

That said, it bounces back quite quickly from this condition.

The bigger problem is susceptibility to overwatering and root rot. As such, you want to allow the soil to dry a bit between waterings.

Ideally, wait until the top 1-2 inches of soil is dry before adding more water. This way, you don’t water it too often that the soil ends up soggy.

When this happens, the roots will end up in water which prevents them from getting enough oxygen. After a while, they will suffocate which leads to root rot.

Different growers have their own methods of measuring soil dryness. I have a friend who feels the leaves of the plant. She can tell when they’re thinner than usual which means the plant is short of moisture.

Another way is to lift the plant. Like feeling the leaves, this take a some practice and experience. A lighter pot means the soil is dry, whereas a heavier pot means there’s still moisture in the soil.

If you want to play it safe waiting until the soil is dry 50% of the way down ensures that you’ll never have to deal with overwatering.

 

Hoya Vitellinoides Potting Soil

The Hoya Vitellinoides is an epiphyte. Therefore, it does not need soil to survive. In fact, this is how you’ll find it in the forest as it clings onto large trees. There, it uses its roots to absorb moisture from the air and get nutrients from the debris that end up on the tree.

Thus, the best soil for Hoya Vitellinoides needs to be well-draining, airy and light.

This is as close as you get from mimicking the good air circulation the plant gets in its native habitat. It also allows the water to quickly drain so the roots don’t stand in water. Instead, they dry fairly quickly after watering.

Additionally, keep soil ph between 6.1 to 7.5 (mildly acidic to neutral) to allow for optimum growth.

The simplest mix you can use is to combine:

  • 2 parts peat moss
  • 1 part perlite

Another option if you have succulents or cacti is to go with

  • 1 part succulent & cactus mix
  • 1 part orchid mix
  • 1 part perlite

You can likewise substitute the succulent mix with potting soil if you wish.

Does the Hoya Vitellinoides Climb?

Yes! The Hoya Vitellinoides likes to climb and you can train it to do so. It will go up poles although a trellis or shaped wires are often the best because the plant likes to wrap around these.

As such, you can make decorative designs by shaping the wires or using an elaborately designed trellis. Its larger leaves look beautiful as well this way.

However, many growers keep their Hoya Vitellinoides them in hanging pots which seems to be very popular. They woks just as well in containers although do get messier looking faster when displayed this way.

 

Fertilizer

Feed the Hoya Vitellinoides once a month during the spring and summer to encourage growth. It likes plant food and appreciates the fertilizer.

However, it is not a heavy feeder so avoid overfertilizing.

Instead make sure you dilute the dose by half strength every time you use it to prevent fertilizer burn or salt build up in the soil.

Once you see the plant about to flower, switch form a nitrogen-rich fertilizer to one that is high in phosphorus. This shifts the focus of the growth from leaves to the blooms.

 

Flowers and Blooms

One of the shining points of the Hoya Vitellinoides are its beautiful flowers. These hang from the stems and grow in bunches forming spherical balls. Each umbel can have between 10 to 30 small flowers that feature yellow and light green color with white/cream star-shaped background.

They will often bloom during spring to summer and last for about 6 days.

The flowers also have a light, pleasant fragrance.

Note that the Hoya Vitellinoides is not guaranteed to bloom. You have to help it out. It usually will only do so after 1.5 to 2 years so patience is needed.

To encourage flowering, make sure it gets bright, indirect light. The more light it receives, the higher the odds of blooming. Additionally, it also appreciates being root bound which seems to help increase the odds of blooming as well.

 

Pruning

In the wild, the Hoya Vitellinoides will climb and go up over 40 feet depending on the size of the tree to which it is clinging on to.

Its vines are what makes the plant long. So technically, it won’t grow into a large plant. Instead, it is more the length of the stems.

Indoors, the vines can reach between 8 to 12 feet long if you don’t prune them. Unfortunately, they do get messy as well. How untidy they get depends on where you grow them.

In a pot, they’re more likely to get messier. Less is the case if they have trellis or something to climb. And it likewise is easier to keep neat-looking when draping down from a hanging pot or basket.

Nevertheless, regular pruning is needed to keep it short. You can likewise shape the plant and remove outliers that mess up its looks.

 

How to Propagate Hoya Vitellinoides

The Hoya Vitellinoides is easily propagated through stem cuttings. You can also do it through seeds although its takes more time because you need to germinate the seeds.

With stem propagation, you can likewise root the cuttings soil, water or sphagnum moss.

Here’s how to do it.

  • Take a stem cutting with at least 1-2 nodes. If you can get aerial rotos along with the cuttings all the better.
  • Place the cutting in moistened well- draining potting mix. Bury the leaf nodes in the soil.
  • You can cover the container with a plastic bag to increase humidity. Doing so speeds up the entire process.
  • It will take around a month before the roots will develop.

Rooting in sphagnum moss is done following the same steps. But instead of using a DIY potting mix, you use sphagnum moss instead.

Finally, with water propagation, you’ll be using water instead of soil. And you will submerge the nodes and also the aerial roots in the water. The air roots will produce white (soil0 roots faster than the nodes.

 

How to Repot or Transplant Hoya Vitellinoides

The Hoya Vitellinoides is an epiphyte. Therefore, its root system is fairly small and they don’t get as elaborate as that of a philodendron or monsters.

Additionally, the plant likes to stay pot bound. In fact, leaving it this way increases its odds of blooming because it enjoys the tight space.

Thus, repotting is a low maintenance task that you will only need to do once every 2 to 5 years.

 

Is It Toxic/Poisonous to Humans, Cats & Dogs

No, the Hoya Vitellinoides is safe to keep around cats, dogs and young children because it does not contain any toxic elements that can harm your pets or kids.

 

Problems & Troubleshooting

Pests and Diseases

In the best case, try to keep your Hoya Vitellinoides pest and disease-free. This will allow it to grow optimally.

However, it is prone to mealybugs and a few other insects like spider mites and thrips. Therefore, you want to find them early when it happens and treat the bugs immediately.

Similarly, stem and root rot can happen. Both are moisture related to you want to keep an eye out for overwatering.