The Hoya wayetii is a unique looking foliage plant that’s often grown for its pink and purple colored flowers. Because of its trailing habit, growers often keep it in hanging baskets, where it absolutely shines.
The plant does get long, reaching 3 feet in length. So, you may need to prune is depending on the look you’re going for.
That said, as beautiful as its foliage is, its sweet fragrance flowers are what most growers are most interested in. these grown in clusters making them stunning to look at.
They bloom during springtime. But, there is no guarantee that they will each and every season.
You also need to be patient with it as it only blooms after 2 years onward.
As a native of the Philippines, it enjoys warm, humid tropical conditions. As such, do consider this when caring for it.
Hoya Wayetii Plant Care
Hoya Wayetii Light
Your Hoya wayetii needs plenty of bright, indirect or filtered light to thrive. Ideally, you want to keep it somewhere it receives this kind of illumination from the start of the morning until the sun sets late afternoon.
That’s because is nature, the plant’s epiphytic behavior means it is clinging onto trees and larger plants.
This means it lives near the upper canopy of the forest. As such, it gets a lot of bright light all day long. And, much more than the plants that grow on the forest floor.
But, the large branches and clusters of leaves block the sun’s rays. As such, it is used to dappled or filtered light.
So, giving it the same conditions allows it to grow its best. It needs at least 6 hours of bright light daily.
If you can’t find a place that provides that indoors, you can supplement with artificial lighting.
Also, the more light it receives, the more likely it will bloom.
That said, avoid direct sunlight. A couple or so hours of gentle morning sun is fine. But, it will not tolerate long hours of the sun’s rays. Nor can it take direct sun during the hot summers and afternoons.
If it does, you can expect its leaves to scorch sooner than later.
It is likewise important to note that the plant doesn’t like being moved. So, when you find a good spot to which it responds well to, leave it there.
Do rotate it every week or two weeks to even out the sunlight it receives.
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Your Hoya wayetii enjoys warm temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. It is used to tropical conditions so it does well in moderate to hot weather.
This also means it can tolerate temperatures up to 100 degrees. But as you go past 90 degrees, it won’t grow as optimally as it does in the more moderate range.
More importantly, the same flexibility is not true for colder temperatures. While it can tolerate down to about 50 degrees. Going lower than that will make it struggle. If kept there for long periods, you’ll see it quickly deteriorate.
As such, it will not survive snowy winters.
The plant is hardy to USDA zones 10 and 11. So, if you live in these areas, you can keep it outdoors all year round. Otherwise, it is important to move it indoors once the temperature drops around mid-fall.
Indoors, you also want to keep it away from areas where the temperature can fluctuate quickly. This includes vents, airconditioned areas and near heaters or fire places.
Hoya Wayetii Humidity
Humidity is another important thing to consider especially indoors.
It does best when humidity is kept between 60% and 80%. However, it can tolerate lower levels as long as you keep home or room humidity above 40%.
That said, you’ll be able to see a noticeable difference in growth and plant quality when grown in humidity of 40% and around 70% or so. The latter will give you faster growth with a healthier, more vibrant looking plant.
As such, you may want to use a humidifier, group it with other plants or place it on a pebble tray to increase air moisture around it.
The one thing to avoid is low humidity which will cause the plant to stress. Over time, dry air will turn its leaf edges and tips brown.
source: wikimedia commons
Watering Hoya Wayetii
Watering your Hoya wayetii is likely the most tricky thing about the plant.
Here, the most important thing to remember is not to overwater it. This means avoiding soggy soil. And, never allow it to sit in water. Any time there’s water pooling, in the soil, that’s a bad sign.
So, you’re better off keeping it a little drier than wet.
That’s because the plant is drought tolerant. So, it won’t mind you missing a watering session every now and then.
However, the plant does need water. Being an, it is used to being quickly drying up after its gets soaked by rain. That’s because its roots are exposed to the air.
So, the best way to water the plant is to follow it natural habitat.
This means soaking the roots by saturating the root ball. You can do this in the sink or place a hose right on the soil. Then once it starts dripping from the bottom of the pot, allow the excess moisture to drain completely.
This does take a while as the water will slowly trickle out of the plant. You only want to return the plant to its spot when the bottom stops dripping.
This soak and dry method works really well as it is very similar to what the plant experiences in the forest. The draining process also ensures that the plant doesn’t sit in water.
The kind of soil you choose will directly affect how you water your plant.
What I mean by this is that if you:
- Use heavy soil like clay, you can water infrequently and still risk the plant being waterlogged. That’s because heavy soils retain moisture very well.
- Use light, sandy soil, you may end up having to water and water just to keep it hydrated. If you water less, the plant may get dehydrated because the moisture drains so quickly.
Since drainage is key with the Hoya wayetii, you want to use well-draining potting mix. Similarly, because the plant is epiphytic, it enjoys loose, airy soil.
As such, if you use regular potting mix, you want to add perlite and some bark. The perlite and bark will keep the soil loose. They also prevent compacting over time. And, both promote good moisture drainage.
Because the plant looks beautiful when allowed to trail, many growers keep their Hoya wayetii in hanging baskets.
Here, you won’t be able to use heavy material like clay or terra cotta. Most people like to use plastic. Although that’s not a good idea for epiphytes because it blocks out all the air from getting to the plant.
I highly recommend using a basket instead. This allows for good air circulation to help the roots enjoy lots of oxygen. It also prevents overwatering.
Fertilizing Hoya Wayetii
With your Hoya wayetii, using a two pronged approach with feeding is ideal.
That’s because it is a foliage plant that has stunningly beautiful flowers.
As such, a high nitrogen fertilizer helps it keep its beautiful green leaves. But, right before its blooming period, feeding it with high phosphorus plant food helps promote blooming.
Alternatively, you can also use worm compost and add a fresh layer of compost every spring. This will let you go natural and avoid any chemicals as you don’t need to feed the plant.
Hoya Wayetii Pruning
Your Hoya wayetii doesn’t need a lot of pruning.
But, as it grows, you may need to trim it back every so often to limit its size and control its shape. How much will depend on whether you grow it in a hanging basket or container as well as where you’re keeping the plant.
In addition, pruning also promotes new growth, which helps the plant become fuller and bushier.
Finally, remove any unhealthy, dead or dying leaves and stems.
Hoya wayetii is best propagated during the spring and summer. This gives the new plant a chance to immediately grow.
While there are a few different options you can choose from, stem cuttings are the most common method used. That’s because it is straightforward and it doesn’t take as long for the new plant to grow.
Here’s how to propagate Hoya wayetii through stem cuttings.
- Make a stem cutting. Use a sterilized pair of pruning shears or scissors. Then, cut a 6 inch long stem cutting. Make sure the cutting has at least 2 nodes.
- Remove the bottom leaves which will go into the soil.
- Dip the end of the stem (the cut part) into rooting hormone powder. This step is optional but it helps speed things up.
- Plant the cutting into a small pot with well-draining mix.
- Keep it in a humid place that’s warm and receives bright, indirect light.
- After about a month, check to see if it is rooting. You can tug on the plant very gently to test it. If roots are there, it will resist. That’s a good sign.
- You can likewise start in water then move to soil after the cutting starts rooting. This will be faster as the roots will begin to grow in 2 weeks or so.
Hoya Wayetii Transplanting & Repotting
Allow the plant to stay slightly pot bound. It does not like being moved. And, leaving its roots in a tight spot helps increase the chances of blooming.
This also means that when you do move the plant, don’t jump up pot sizes. Go up at most 2 inches larger so that plant stays snug in its container.
Since it isn’t fond of waterlogged conditions, make sure that the new container has drainage holes to allow excess liquid to escape.
The simple rule I follow when it comes to the Hoya wayetii is to only repot when necessary. That is when roots start covering the hole at the bottom or overcrowding the pot.
Otherwise, let it be.
Hoya wayetii is not toxic. But, its sap is. So, while the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) does mention the plant is safe for dogs and cats, ingesting it can still cause irritation as the sap can make them throw up.
This isn’t harmful and has not long term effects. But, it does cause immediate distress.
Hoya wayetii don’t usually experience a lot of pest or disease problems. But, that’s not to say they are immune to them. But, from my experience, I’ve never had to deal with any issues on this front.
The most important thing is to keep the plant healthy. You can do so by giving it the things listed above.
Plants that don’t get the things they need be it sunlight, water (too much or too little), and other features tend to be more susceptible to problems.
That said, mealy bugs can be an issue. Fungus gnats can also happen. But, the latter is more related to overwatering which I’ll discuss more with diseases.
When it comes to diseases, there are three things to get on point. Doing these will limit any problems.
- Avoid overwatering the plant. This prevent fungal and mold problems. It also lets the roots breath as oxygen can get through to them.
- Give it enough sunlight. Lack of sunlight causes problems because plants need the sun to create their own food via photosynthesis. This in turn gives then energy to support all their growth and functions. Similarly, sufficient light helps dry excess moisture.
- Provide good air circulation. This prevents wetness, be it on leaves or soil from sitting there for too long. In doing so, it reduces the risk of fungus, mold and even fungus gnats.
With these in place, you can reduce the risk of root rot as well as root and leaf diseases. Both of which can be problems because of the plant’s love for high humidity.