Hoya macrophylla is a plant that is native to Borneo island in Southeast Asia. Like all other plants of this genus, this plant too has thick branches along with leaves with prominent veins. The leaves of this plant are particularly large in size.
The flowers are small, star-shaped and cream in color and usually grow in clusters. This plant is also called the wax plant or honey plant.
How To Care For Hoya macrophylla
Hoya macrophylla is quite easy to care for and thrives well with just a few requirements. However, creating the ideal growing environment is the best way to get this showy plant to flower its uniquely symmetrical flowers.
Indirect sunlight is your Hoya macrophylla’s best friend. Keeping the plant out of the direct path of sunlight is the best way to get them to thrive. While they may be able to tolerate a bit of direct sunlight during winter, they will scorch in the summer sun.
They prefer bright corners over low-light or shaded surroundings. Place them on the east or south-facing window sills for optimal results.
Hoya macrophylla plants are great for those who have trouble remembering to water plants. Their drought-tolerant nature means they do fine with weekly watering sessions.
During the summer months, they will require more frequent watering—at least two or three times every week. However, you can easily overwater them. The trick to avoiding this mistake is to check the soil for moisture. If the top two inches of the soil layer feel damp, avoid watering, or you will risk root rot.
Since Hoya macrophylla plants have a tropical origin story, they require a different soil mix compared to the rest of your houseplants. Drainage is important for the plants to thrive. Therefore, you will get the best results with air soil that drains well.
Good quality potting soil mixed with ingredients such as peat moss, pumice stone, clay balls, etc., will create looseness in the soil and aid drainage. Look for potting mixes aimed at succulents.
A well-fertilized soil will help the Hoya macrophylla thrive. They do well with organic fertilizer.
However, if you must use a synthetic fertilizer, dilute it well. Make use of a water-soluble, nitrogen-rich fertilizer every month or biweekly during the summer and spring months.
Once the growing months are gone, put a stop to feeding the plants, since the nutrient requirement drops in the non-growing phase and feeding it may result in adverse effects.
These tropical plants love a 70 to 80 percent of humidity level. However, low humidity is not much of an issue for them. They handle mild temperatures ranging from 60°F to 75°F. However, they cannot handle the cold, frost, and higher temperatures.
The most common causes of diseases and pests among these houseplants are overwatering and high humidity.
Overwatering will lead to stem and root rot. Debris in the pot can cause fungal issues. Since they like their humidity, it makes them more susceptible to pests. However, keeping them healthy and well-cared for is a great way to reduce their susceptibility.
Prune the plant before the growing season, i.e., spring begins. Pruning helps clear out damaged and old leaves and keeps the vines in check. Since the plant grows rapidly, its vines will spread and start clinging to any object they come in contact with.
Snip over the leaf node. Be careful not to snip the spur stems if you want flowers.
When potting Hoya macrophylla, choose a pot that has drain holes at the bottom. They thrive in well-draining soils, and the key to a happy hoya plant is an aerated soil and well-draining pot.
Terracotta pots make for great containers because of their porous texture, which can absorb residual moisture. However, other pots work just as well, provided they have drainage holes.
The plants need to be repotted once every season. You can also go two seasons before you re-pot. Do this during their growing phase. Just ensure the plant is not in the blooming phase.
When you re-pot, change the growing medium and fertilize it. Move it to a pot that is one size bigger and not too big.
Propagating Hoya macrophylla
Stem cuttings will help you propagate the beautiful houseplant. The ideal time to do this is during summer or spring.
Select a young cutting without any blooms and just a couple of leaves for your propagation. Snip the stem diagonally under a node with a pair of shears or a sharp knife.
Next, get your rooting medium ready. You can use room-temperature distilled water. If you are opting for soil, prepare the soil with peat moss and moisten it slightly.
Place the cutting in the rooting medium. Ensure that the leaves do not touch the medium to prevent rotting. Keep the cutting in a bright room and wait for its roots to emerge. This may take weeks or months, so patience is key.