Hoya Propagation Q&A: Tips and Tricks for Thriving Houseplants

Written by: April Mall
Last Update: May 28, 2023
Tagged:Plant Care

Hoya Propagation Q&A: Tips and Tricks for Thriving Houseplants

Table of Contents

Hey, guys! Today, I want to answer some questions about the way to propagate Hoya plants (also known as wax plants). I'll share some tips, tricks, and cool finds from the greenhouse. So, read on to embark on this journey of learning and growing together! 

Or, Watch the Video:

Choosing the Right Medium for Hoya Propagation

Dischidia Kerrii

One of the questions I received was about the preferred medium for Hoya propagation. Some people mentioned that Stratum and Pon can be expensive, while others expressed difficulty propagating in soil due to issues with dryness or rot. So, what's the right medium?

At our greenhouse, we primarily use Coco Husk and Coco Coir. Let me show you an example. Take a look at the roots of this adorable Dischidia Kerrii pictured above:

Dischidia Kerrii roots

You can see that it's propagated in our husks, and the new roots are already established. The advantage of husks is that they provide room for growth without stressing the plant too much. However, pure husks tend to dry out quickly, especially in California's dry climate.

To combat this, we started incorporating Coco Coir, which dries out faster than soil but retains moisture like soil. By using a mix of 75% Husk and 25% Coir, we strike a balance that prevents excessive drying while still allowing for sufficient aeration. This mix works well for Hoyas, which are epiphytic plants that benefit from a medium that holds moisture without becoming overly wet.

To address the issue of moisture retention and fungus gnats, we also add a small layer of Coco Coir on top of the mix. This top layer dries out quickly, creating an inhospitable environment for gnats to breed. This combination of Husk and Coir provides a good balance for Hoya propagation.

Taking the Cutting from Propagation Medium to Permanent Potting Mix

Vining Hoya Propagations

Many people asked about transitioning from the propagation medium to the permanent potting mix. In our greenhouse, we propagate directly in the medium we intend to use permanently, for both stem cuttings and leaf cuttings. Coco Husk and Coir work well for both propagation and long-term growth. The medium offers good moisture control, aeration, and prevents overwatering.

However, if you prefer using other mediums like Leca or Perlite, it's important to find a balance that suits your needs. When transplanting, the key is to avoid disturbing the roots as much as possible. By keeping some of the existing medium intact and adding it to the new potting mix, you can minimize root shock and ensure a smooth transition.

If you use Sphagnum Moss, which retains a lot of water, it's best to leave it in place rather than trying to remove it. Removing the moss can damage the roots and lead to re-rooting issues. For those who prefer a different temporary medium, propagating in pure Coir in a small container and then transferring the rooted cuttings to the final mix can be a viable option.

Watering Hoyas: Keeping the Right Moisture Level

Hoya Meredithii Round Leaves

Another common question is about watering Hoya props. The general rule is to keep the medium moist, ensuring that the roots remain active. But how do you determine when and how much to water?

Hoyas are forgiving plants, especially when grown in a controlled or humid environment. If you occasionally forget to water or let the medium dry a little, they can tolerate it well. However, the watering frequency depends on the medium you use, and you'll want to be sure the mix doesn't dry completely.

If you don't have a self-watering pot, you can follow these guidelines:

  1. Check the moisture level: Before watering, always check the moisture level of the medium. Check the top level of soil, since your roots need moisture to grow. If it's still moist, hold off on watering for a little longer.

  2. Water thoroughly: When you do water your hoya, make sure to give it a good, thorough soak, with a well-aerated medium. This allows the water to reach the roots and ensures proper hydration, while letting them breathe to prevent rotting. Water until you see it draining out of the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. (Bottom watering can also work for props, to help prevent pests like fungus gnats).

  3. Don't let it sit in water: After watering, make sure to discard any excess water that collects in the saucer or tray beneath the pot. Hoyas don't like to sit in water for extended periods as it can lead to root rot. Always aim for a balance of moisture without allowing the roots to be overly saturated.

  4. Observe the plant's response: Pay attention to how your Hoya reacts to watering. If you notice the leaves starting to droop or become wrinkled, it may be a sign of underwatering. On the other hand, yellowing leaves or root rot can indicate overwatering. Adjust your watering routine accordingly based on the plant's needs.

Remember, it's always better to underwater than overwater Hoyas, but propagations should ideally be kept moist. They can tolerate drought-like conditions for short periods, but overwatering can lead to more serious issues. Regularly monitoring the moisture level and adjusting your watering schedule accordingly will help maintain a healthy balance.

Patience is Key: Rooting Timeframes for Hoyas

Hoya Nova Ghost

Lastly, let's talk about the timeframe for rooting Hoyas. It's important to have patience when propagating these plants as they can take some time to establish roots and new growth.

Depending on the Hoya variety and environmental conditions, rooting can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months. Some varieties root quickly, while others may take longer. Don't be discouraged if you don't see immediate results. Keep providing the right conditions, including proper lighting, warmth, and moisture, and let nature take its course.

Remember, the joy of propagating Hoyas lies in the process itself. Enjoy observing the growth and development of your cuttings as they transform into healthy plants with their unique characteristics.

I hope you found these tips and tricks helpful for propagating Hoyas. Don't forget to check out our YouTube video and other blogs for more hoya and houseplant care tips! 

April Mall

Founder of UPT, fell in love with Hoyas right after acquiring her first Hoya 'Sunrise'. Sharing her love for plants with the world through high quality houseplants

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