Tip of the Week – Hoya Care

hoya macgillivrayHoyas are climbing, upright and/or hanging plants native to the tropical and sub-tropical worlds of Australia and Southern Asia. The flowers have varied shapes often star shaped & are thick and waxy in mixed colours. The flowers always have a central corona and 5 petals. The leaves vary from miniature through to large and thick to long and narrow. The leaves can be clear of markings, heavily veined through to silver streaked, variegated or painted with chimeras that have red, pink,maroon, bronzed tones.

Hoyas are easy care & not fussy

Light – Hoyas like a water View!

Treat all Hoyas as individuals. Each species has its own dislikes with regard to light requirements. Always tend towards more light to get good growth and flowering. In the jungle of New Guinea we walked transects through the forest and discovered there were no Hoya in the thick forest. Every one of our finds were on the edge of openings in the forest canopy and more specifically on the forest edges overlooking rivers. Here they can get good light and hang or climb as they please.

Some Hoyas will thrive in full sun, like Hoya Australis. Many have not even been tried in full sun to see if they favour this….the difference in the growth and plant features can be dramatic under different light conditions. To be safe do morning sun at the most right down to 70% shade. You can grow & flower them under fluorescent light and indoors near windows.

Potting Mix

Hoyas are epiphytes usually and need an open potting mix. Never overpot an epiphyte or you will most likely kill it. You can keep a hoya flowering in a 70mm diameter pot for years!! Usually a 100-120mm pot is plenty big enough. If you want to kill it, pot it up in a bigger pot!


Let it dry out a little between watering. Don’t overwater especially in winter. They do like humidity but see our note below for cooler country.


Add slow release granules in spring. Use fish or kelp..don’t overdo it.

Cool Country Growing

Follow the above and here are some known performers for southern areas: Hoya carnosa, Hoya Indian Rope, Hoya globulosa, Hoya shepherdii, Hoya diversifolia, Hoya nicholsonii, Hoya pubicalyx types, Hoya australis.

Low Humidity

Go for the H. pubicalyx and H. carnosa types as well as those with thick or hairy leaves.


Let them hang or climb or guide them along tie wires.

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