Hoya Affinis Care InfographicHoya affinis is the hoya that you’d love as it will grace your garden with the scent of its flowers.

Caring for the hoya flowers is easy as long as you have the right fertilizer. Learn how to feed the plant and more care tips by reading this detailed guide.

What Is Hoya Affinis Plant?

Hoya affinis is a plant has thick leaves and red flowers. The flowers have a sweet smell that attracts beautiful butterflies and other pollinators while the leaves give the plant its beautiful appearance. It is a very beautiful plant that is native to the Solomon Islands, Oceania.

Hoya Affinis Care Tips

Like other plants in the genus hoya, this plant is super easy to care for. Here are the care tips for the affinis:

– Soil Requirements

Hoya affinis plants need a similar substrate to African violet plants, so you can simply grow them in that substrate, which is a well-draining and slightly acidic type of soil. If you are lucky enough, you can find substrates for red wax plants in the gardening shop. You just need to make sure that the substrate is airy, but not too airy so that it can hold water and nutrients.

Regarding nutrients of the soil, it is up to you to amend the potting soil with compost and other nutrient sources for your plants. Note that these products can affect the drainage ability of the substrate and also how often you will feed and water your plants. More details about feeding and watering the plants will be shared later.

– Water Requirements

As a succulent plant, you do not need to water your affinis as regularly as other plants. However, this plant needs a lot of watering in summer. The recommended rates for watering your hoya according to the season are two or three times a week in spring, three or four times a week in summer, and once or twice a week in the winter and fall months.

You must make sure that the pot or hanging basket in which you are growing your hoya is well-drained and has two or more drainage holes. Also, be sure to amend the potting mix with perlite so that excess water can drain easily.

– Light Requirements

Red wax plants are not picky, unlike other succulents that you must grow by exposing them to a lot of sunlight, hoyas prefer partial shade. However, this does not mean that they do not need sunlight.

Hence, make sure that your red waxes get at least four hours of sunlight per day. During the summer season when the sun is intense, you can protect the plants from the sun by using shade cloth.

In case there is not enough sunlight, especially in the fall and winter months, you can continue growing your plants with grow lights. However, note that the plant’s growth rate will reduce as the temperature reduces, so do not panic. 

Nevertheless, the bloom of the affinis plant is special, so you must treat it accordingly. For indoor plants, they may not start flowering quickly like their outdoor neighbors. To encourage bloom, you should increase their exposure to sunlight.

– Humidity Requirements

Many gardeners and plant owners neglect their plant’s humidity needs. Well, even though your plants can grow even outside of their preferred humidity needs, you must know that these plants grow optimally when you grow them at 60 percent humidity and even more. In short, just make sure that the humidity is above average.

Taking Care of Hoya Affinis

You want to make sure that the room is well-ventilated but free from drafts. Even though the room is not as humid as what your red wax plants need, you can increase the humidity by misting droplets of water with a spray bottle or by investing in a humidifier. 

– Temperature Requirements

Temperature is a key factor for plants and you must consider a plant’s temperature needs before you buy it. As a plant that grows naturally in warm climates, you should grow your affinis at 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant is suitable for people who live in USDA hardiness zone 10, so if you live outside this zone, you should search for a variety or another similar species to grow.

Try to grow your hoya at a spot where it can grow at the right temperature naturally, in other words, without you actively controlling the temperature. This plant relies on temperature and light to bloom, so if you cannot get the temperature right, you might miss its bloom.

– Fertilizing Requirements

You want to feed your affinis plants once monthly in their growing season (spring to mid-autumn). The feeding should be regular, especially if there is little or no compost in the potting mix. However, if the potting mix has a source of nutrients for your plants, you can feed the plant once every two months in the growing season.

Red wax plants do not need feeding in winter as they will have a slow growth rate and can make use of the available nutrients in the substrate. Be sure to use an all-purpose fertilizer for indoor plants at half-strength for your hoyas.

Another tip to maintain the wax flower is to feed the plant with products that are rich in phosphorus. Generally, you can make some compost with banana peels or even bone meals for the affinis bloom. As for the hoya affinis leaves, you just need to make sure that there is sufficient nitrogen in the fertilizer.

– Pruning Requirements

When your red wax plants grow out of shape or size, it is up to you to reduce them, you may do so by pruning off the excess leaves and stems. Pruning red wax plants is fairly easy, you only need sterilized or new tools to prevent the risk of contamination. If possible, prune the red wax plants in early spring so that you can use the cuttings for propagation.

 

Propagation

To propagate your affinis, you only need its stem cutting. Note that you should wear gloves and use sterilized cutting tools for the propagation so that you do not mistakenly contaminate the plant. When you have your cutting ready, use any of the propagation methods below:

– Propagating Through Stem Cutting in Soil

When you get your affinis cutting, keep it on a dry surface and wait for the bottom end to dry up. Do not plant it when it is not dry, else you can expose it to contamination. While it dries, you can prepare the pot and potting mix if they are not ready. You should use the same potting mix as discussed earlier.

Plant the bottom two to three inches of the affinis stem cutting into the potting mix. If the bottom leaves are very close to the substrate, prune them off and leave the upper leaves. To water the cutting, mist water directly to the substrate just around the cutting. You may also mist water on the cutting itself if you wish.

As long as you do not see the cutting decaying, you can rest assured that it is growing. Wait for just over a week and you should see new leaves forming. This indicates that the cutting has produced roots. However, you can speed up the rooting process by misting low-strength rooting hormone on the bottom end of the cutting.

– Propagating Through Stem Cutting in Water

This method is more transparent as you get to monitor the root growth. It is both fun and relaxing to see the roots of your hoya cuttings growing. All you need for this method is water and a glass cup. If you want, you can also get a rooting hormone to speed up the process.

After the cutting has been calloused, dip it in clean water. If you have a rooting hormone, you can mist just a little of it into the water. The amount you use should be so small that it does not affect the color of the water. You will need to change this water regularly so that pests and algae do not grow in it.

At this point, keep in mind that you should be seeing the roots growing in less than five days. However, you must wait until you see new leaves growing above before you plant the cutting in its substrate.

In case you do not see any root after a week, check the cutting if it is decaying. Be mindful, that if the cutting is still firm, then leave it in the water and take the glass cup to a place with optimal light and temperature.

The method that you use is totally up to you. Remember that you need patience for your hoya cutting to grow into a healthy plant.

Propagation of Hoya Affinis

Problems

Some avoidable problems that affinis growers face are:

– Falling Flowers

The flowers of affinis plants are their most remarkable feature, so it can be a very big shame when you see the flowers falling. The flowers can fall for many reasons, but the most common of them are lack of phosphorus and not enough light. Also, if the flowers start to fall after you change the location of the plant, it could be caused by temperature.

Remember that plants rely on the temperature, nutrients, light, and other factors to produce flowers. This means that when the plant is no longer in its preferred condition, it might lose its flowers. Well, you should also know that the flowers can fall off after their bloom and it is normal.

To fix this, you want to ensure that the potting mix is rich in phosphorus, so you should amend it with powder bone meal or other sources of phosphorus. Additionally, you also want to check the temperature and humidity to make sure that they are in their optimal ranges.

– Over-fertilizing

Another common problem that affinis growers face is giving their plants a lot of nutrients. Even though these plants need nutrients, you should not be too zealous about it. You can tell that the plants are suffering from overfeeding when their leaves look dry with burnt tips. Also, you should see that the plant is weak generally.

The best way to prevent overfeeding hoyas is to amend their potting mix so that you do not need to fertilize them regularly. When they are growing in a loose substrate that is not nutrient-rich, they need monthly feeding in the growing season. However, if their substrate is nutrient-rich, you can grow them by only feeding them three or four times annually.

You must remember to use low or half-strength fertilizer. Also, the fertilizer should be water-soluble and inorganic so that it will not easily burn the plants. Nonetheless, if you overfed the affinis plants, flood their substrate with clean water and make sure that the excess nutrients and water drain off.

– Root Rot

Root rot is simply the attack of fungi and other microbes on the healthy roots of your red wax plants. This usually occurs when you overwater the plants and their roots start to decay. While the dead roots are decaying, the microbe population soars and they start to attack every root. You can tell that your affinis have root rot when you see them dying slowly, leaf by leaf.

Even though root rot might have a lot of reasons such as contaminated soil, the first reason you should think of is giving your plants more water than they need. Your affinis will likely get root rot in the autumn months, especially when the humidity is high. In those months, you should stay away from watering the plants.

Root rot is deadly and if you do not act quickly, you may not be able to redeem the plants. However, you can save them by carefully digging off their roots and washing them with running water.

Using sterilized pruning scissors, cut off the dead roots, stems, and leaves so that they do not infect others. When the plant is dry, you should transfer it into a new substrate in a new pot.

– Pests

Some common pests that you should watch out for when growing affinis plants are mealybugs, aphids, and snails, of course, if there are snails in your garden. These pests will slowly depreciate the value of your plants by leaving them with ugly leaves or even killing them before they move on to the next plant.

You must prevent the little pests from reaching your affinis plants. To prevent them, you need to get any pesticide product that is safe for your garden and indoor plants. Also, you should remove and dispose of the pests as soon as you see them before they cause any damage.

If you prefer homemade products, you can make use of soapy water to repel pests by spraying it on the plants’ leaves. Nonetheless, you can also use the oil extract of neem seeds, the product that you use is up to you, just make sure that it is safe for your plants.

Problems with of Hoya Affinis

– Chlorosis

You may wake up one morning and discover that your hoya leaves have turned yellow, brown, or pale in color. This is known as chlorosis and it can make you upset, especially when you have put in a lot of effort to care for the plants. Well, chlorosis has a lot of causes, but the first thing that you should think of is the light exposure of your affinis plants.

When plants do not grow in sufficient light, they will slowly lose their pigmentation. The pigment responsible for the green color of plant plants is the chlorophyll pigment, so when the chlorophyll starts to die off, it means that the plant has chlorosis. The major factor that affects plant chlorophyll is light.

You should make sure that your plants, even though in a shaded spot, have enough sunlight. If you are to keep them in a room without access to sunlight, make sure that the room is well-lit with artificial light. To correct this problem, take your hoya affinis outside in a cool location until they get back their pigmentation.

Additionally, keep in mind that you may notice chlorosis or stunted growth for plants that lack nitrogen. For potassium-lacking plants, you may notice stunted growth or discoloration of their leaves. As for those that lack phosphorus, they will mostly have failed blooms.

– Deficiency of Nutrients

Nutrient deficiency affects every plant. The downside of this problem is that plants react to it according to the nutrient that they lack.

As you can see, you may not quickly know that your plants have a nutrient deficiency because the symptoms are the same as those of other plant problems. Remember that you should regularly feed plants that are not growing in a nutritious potting mix.

Remember that your plants that have produced flowers need more phosphorus than other nutrients. You should give your plants the fertilizer that is suitable for them according to their growing phase, else, you may be overfeeding them with a specific nutrient and not giving them enough of another.

Conclusion

This Hoya affinis is super easy to grow and propagate, right? Here are some recaps:

  • The optimal humidity and temperature to grow the affinis is 60 percent humidity and 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You can grow your hoya plant in partial shade. Just make sure that they get at least four hours of sunlight daily.
  • Remember to prune your hoya regularly so that it can stay in the right size and shape.
  • You should use a rope, trellis, cage or stake to control the growth of your hoya so that it can stand upright.
  • To encourage and maintain the plant bloom, support the available partial shade of sunlight with artificial light. Also, feed the plant with phosphorus-rich fertilizers.

Remember to check back on this article just in case you get stuck while growing your plants.

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