As soon as you dive into the Hoya family, you will meet a plethora of delightful plants. Today, we will look at the care of Hoya Lacunosa, a species that is essentially a hanging vine. Fun and beautiful, right? So, if you are a first-time owner, then our complete care sheet will teach you everything that you need to know to keep your potplant healthy.
Table of Contents
Origins and Appearance
Hailing all the way from the stunningly beautiful Indonesian islands, Hoya Laconosa is known for its waxy leaves and drooping vines. This unique perennial can also be bought in different color varieties including specimens with frosty and variegated leaves.
One of the most attractive qualities of Hoya Lacunosa is the plant’s flowers. They appear throughout the year, spreading a spicy scent that some liken to cinnamon. The appearance of the blooms is nothing short of magical. Each flower consists of a fuzzy white ball topped with a waxy feature that is star-shaped.
Temperature and Humidity
This Hoya species does well in bright, indirect sunlight. You can hang its basket indoors as well as outdoors but be careful of cold days – and definitely bring your plant inside during the colder months! As a tropical creature, your Hoya needs a temperature of 60° degrees Fahrenheit or above. Going below 50° is a one-way street towards definite doom.
Humidity is a lesser worry. Your Hoya prefers moderate humidity but will do fine with normal indoor humidity without making a fuss. The problem starts when winter arrives and the humidity drops, so make sure that you have a humid corner or something like a dehumidifier to help keep the humidity levels at about 60 %.
Watering and Feeding
When it comes to watering a Hoya Lacunosa correctly, opinion is very divided. Some say it needs to stay moist while others prefer to train the plant to become drought-tolerant (almost). Then there are those in the middle. But from experience, we have discovered a few tips that work.
- Use potting soil that is well-draining soil so that the roots never “sit” in water for long periods of time.
- Water when the top layer feels dry.
- You can give more water during the warmer months.
- Cut back during winter.
Your Hoya will appreciate an organic, slow-release fertilizer. Never overfeed your Hoya and only give fertilizer about every second week during the growing months.
Soil and Repotting
As we mentioned earlier, this Hoya species adores soil that drains well. In this case, you don’t have to mix your own. Just pop into your local nursery and get a potting mix that is designed for orchids or succulents.
The good news is that you won’t have to buy bigger and new pots every other day. Hoya Lacunosa prefers to be rootbound and when it needs to be repotted, the main reason is to provide your plant with new soil – and thus new nutrients. For the best results, repot your plant every one to two years.
One caveat is when your plant seems to be sick or droopy for no reason. Then you might need to repot or have a look at the roots to see if rot is responsible for your plant’s failing health.
Hoya Lacunosa is unusual when it comes to pruning. Most other flowering species have a straightforward regime of removing flower heads once they die off but not this vine. Since more flowers follow from the same spurs that hold the dead blooms, leaving the Hoya alone means that you will enjoy additional spicy flowers for longer. Once the flowering season is over, you can finally prune the Hoya and this will encourage new growth.
Pests and Diseases
The good news is that Hoya Lacunosa is a low-maintenance plant and this also counts for its health problems. This plant is usually free of any pests and diseases but improper care can lead to problems. Let’s have a look at the most common issues.
Nearly every gardener – especially people who have pot plants – struggle with aphids and mealybugs at some point. They are so common that you will inevitably struggle with them yourself some time in the future and whether you discover them on your Hoya or your roses, the treatment remains the same.
If the infestation is light, the bugs can be removed by hand or with a stream of water. However, the most effective way, especially when they keep coming back, is to use an organic pesticide.
An outdoors plant also needs to be protected from snails, grasshoppers and other critters who might fancy a bite.
Common Diseases and Problems
One of the most common problems that new Hoya owners face is root rot. This is why your plant must never sit in water or live in slow-draining soil. Overwatering and consistent high humidity can also invite a fungus called Phomopsis or even viruses that betray their presence when they fade the stems or cause yellow mottles.
Using a sterile and well-draining mix will prevent most diseases with your Hoya. But if you notice a fungal problem, you can isolate and treat the plant with an organic fungicide. When you notice signs of a viral problem, then you also need to separate the Hoya from all other plants and maybe even consider discarding it.
A Hoya Lacunosa plant can become quite big. This hanging vine has been known to reach a length of 23 feet (7 meters). This makes it a particularly handsome hanging plant.
Yes, this species of plant can be easily propagated at home regardless of your experience with Hoya species. You can grow the seeds or multiply your existing Hoya by taking stem cuttings and rooting them in soil or water.
With its fleshy leaves, this plant is often mistaken for a succulent. However, it is technically more correct to call Hoya Lacunosa an epiphyte. This refers to plants, vines in particular, that grow on other plants and trees.
The short answer is yes. However, as a responsible pet parent always make sure that all your plants (not just Hoya Lacunosa) are never in reach of animals or young children. While this species is said to be pet friendly, one never knows how a particular cat or dog might react when they consume too much of the plant.
Yes, you can. But in order to stay healthy, the plant needs at least 12 hours of this type of lighting every day.