Hoya Chelsea Care Infographic
Hoya Chelsea Care Infographic

Hoya Chelsea or Hoya Carnosa Chelsea is a rare Hoya that is popular for its thick, green leaves. It is a great plant for every beginner as it needs very little care.

Read all about its care and growth requirements from our holistic guide. 

What Is Hoya Chelsea?

Hoya Chelsea is a trailing variety of Carnosa native to Eastern Asia and Australia. It is loved for the sweet scent that makes it the perfect plant for all sorts of gardens. The easy-to-grow plant has many other names such as the Honey plant, Chelsea Wax plant, Wax vine, Porcelain flower, and many more. 

Hoya Chelsea Care

Hoya Chelsea is a low-maintenance plant that grows fine for both expert and new gardeners. Read below the plant’s light, water, soil mix, fertilizer, and humidity requirements. 

– Water Requirements

Hoya Chelsea is a drought-tolerant plant and only needs to be watered when the top few inches of the soil have dried up. You can also let the entire soil mix to dry before watering. 

Hoya Chelsea-Easy-to-Grow PlantBefore watering, always check the soil by sticking your finger in the soil till the second knuckle. If it comes out dry, water your plant. If the soil sticks to your finger, hold back for a couple of days and check again, furthermore this method helps in preventing overwatering-related problems. 

The watering schedule is not fixed and depends more on other factors such as temperature and humidity. Watering Hoya Chelsea once a week in the spring and summer months and once every two weeks in fall and winter works well. 

If your plant is kept outdoors in high temperatures, the watering frequency will increase and vice versa. Water is more in the summer months, especially in dry weather, and less in tropical areas where humidity levels are high. 

– Light Requirement

Hoya Chelsea prefers to be in bright, indirect light, it is important to avoid placing it in harsh, direct sunlight especially during noon as it can cause leaf burns. The plant can grow comfortably in morning and evening sunlight. 

Keep the plant in a bright but shaded area such as east and south-facing balconies and windows. Dappled and indirect light through the window works well for the growth of this easy-going plant. 

If your Hoya Chelsea receives too little light, its leaves will start to drop. The plant shows leggy growth when kept in low-light conditions for longer periods. The new leaves grow further apart and will be small in size, as their leggy growth is due to the plant trying to reach the light.

Hoya Chelsea is a tropical plant that grows up on trees in dappled light. If you keep your plant in harsh, direct sunlight, its leaves will turn pale and eventually burn, high temperatures with direct sunlight can kill your plant. 

– Soil Mix

Hoya Carnosa soil should be high-quality and well-draining. Any succulent soil mix works fine for this plant’s growth, however, for the regular soil mix, add perlite or some orchid bark for additional drainage. 

Hoya Chelsea prefers acidic to neutral soil with pH levels falling between 6 and 7.5. You can either use the readily available cacti soil mix or prepare your own by mixing one part orchid bark, one part perlite and one part of garden soil. 

Add organic compost or mulch to your soil mix to make it organically rich and fertile for the plant. Add sand to the mix if it feels too compact. 

– Temperature

Moderate temperatures work fine for the growth of Hoya Carnosa Chelsea. The normal household temperatures are good enough and anything above 70 degrees Fahrenheit is great for this plant. However, with increasing temperatures, you will have to water more. 

Hoya Chelsea is a hardy plant but it cannot survive long periods of frost. It can survive slightly cooler temperatures but anything below 55 degrees Fahrenheit can cause a struggle for the plant, furthermore, in freezing temperatures, bring your plant indoors.

It is both the heat and drought tolerance of this beautiful plant that makes it a great addition to indoor gardens. 

– Humidity

Hoya Chelsea can handle the usual humidity level in homes but it grows the best in high humidity levels, remember that the higher the humidity level, the healthier the plant will grow. Try to keep the humidity level above 60 percent. 

Consider adding a humidifier or a humidity tray around the plant if the humidity levels are low in your area. To prepare a humidity tray, fill one shallow tray with some water and pebbles and keep your plant above it.

– Fertilizer

Fertilize Hoya Chelsea every two months in the spring and summer months. We recommend using a balanced, liquid fertilizer as it reaches the roots properly. Use a phosphorus-rich fertilizer before the blooming season and a regular fertilizer for the rest of the year. 

– Pruning

It is essential to note that the Hoya Chelsea Plant doesn’t need any trimming of its stems, however, remember to water them as you see the leaves turning brown and yellow.

When it comes to Repotting, the Hoya Chelsa does not need to be repotted every year as it can grow happily in the same soil for several years. Repot Hoya Chelsea every few years when its roots start to come out of the bottom drainage holes or when the soil mix starts to decompose. 

The roots peeking out of the drainage holes mean that the plant needs more space to grow. When the soil begins to decompose, it gets darker and looks disintegrated. Look for these signs in your plant and replant them in the new potting soil.

Propagation

It is easy to propagate Hoya Carnosa Chelsea through leaves, stem cuttings and air layering methods. Spring or early summer is the ideal time to propagate this plant, moreover, stem cutting propagation is the easiest and most convenient method of all. Let us know more about them.

– Stem Cuttings

To propagate Hoya Chelsea from stem cuttings, take a cutting from the plant that is at least a few inches long, additionally it should have a few leaves and one or two nodes. A node is a point from where new growth arises. 

Remove the bottom leaves and let the top two to three leaves be on the stem, you can dip the cutting in rooting hormone but this step is entirely optional. Now you can either grow the cutting in water or in soil. 

– Water

Put the cutting in a jar of water and keep changing the water twice a week to avoid rot and to keep the roots healthy, within a few weeks, you will notice the roots developing. Once the roots are about two inches long, you can take the cutting out and plant it in the soil.

Remember to keep the soil moist at all times until the cutting develops roots in the soil. The sudden change from water to soil can make the cutting go into shock. In addition, to protect it from the shock from environmental change, it is advisable to keep the soil mix moist.

– Soil

After taking the cutting from the mother plant, you can also directly plant it in the soil. One disadvantage of this method, however, is that you cannot monitor the growth of roots.

However, this is a foolproof method of propagation because the cutting does not experience any kind of a shock because of change in the environment. Remember that it takes about four weeks for the cutting to grow new roots.

– Stem Cuttings in Sphagnum Moss and Leca

A combination of sphagnum moss and perlite is another great way of propagating Hoya Chelsea. Place the cutting in the mixture of sphagnum moss and perlite and cover the container with a transparent plastic sheet to keep up the humidity level. After a few days, once the roots start to develop, you can remove the plastic sheet. 

Leca propagation is also a great way to propagate Hoya Chelsea. Since Leca absorbs water and helps in providing the roots more oxygen while growing. It is a semi-hydroponic method used for propagation. 

– Through Leaves

Leaf propagation can be done from fallen leaves with small petioles. Ensure that the leaves you select for propagation have a small petiole attached for rooting, as it takes five to six weeks for leaf cuttings to produce roots. 

Place the leaves on a moist soil mix and keep the soil moist at all times until new growth begins to develop. It takes much longer than stem cuttings to propagate Hoya Chelsea from leaves.

– Through Seeds

Propagating Hoya Chelsea is the most time-consuming method of all, although seeds are difficult to source and take much longer to germinate. However, if you manage to get seeds, sow them in a small pot in regular soil mixed with perlite.

Cover the seeds with more soil mixture. Water the seeds from above and wait until they produce some leaves before replanting them in new pots.

– Through Air-Layering

Air-layering is another very successful method of propagation. Hoya Chelsea has flexible stems that make it possible to propagate it by air-layering, fill a small pot with a well-draining soil mix before beginning. 

Choose a healthy stem with nodes and some leaves. Place the cutting on the soil mix and pin it, then water the soil regularly and keep the plant in a warm spot where it can receive bright, indirect light. Once a few roots form on the stem, separate the stem from the mother plant and grow separately in a new pot. 

Problems

Hoya Chelsea is an easy-to-grow plant, nonetheless it can sometimes face some issues. Let us take a look at some of them.

– Overwatering

Overwatering is the common-most problem that happens in Hoya Chelsea. It causes root rot, fungal problems, dark spots and wilting. Symptoms of root rot include the roots getting mushy, dark and gray. 

Check the roots of the plant to see if it has started to rot. If you notice rot symptoms with the roots getting mushy, remove the dead roots and repot the plant in a fresh soil mix. Do not water the plant for a few days and resume normal care once the plant settles. 

Choose pots with sufficient drainage holes and use well-draining soil mix to grow Hoya Chelsea. If your plant is not damaged badly, it will most likely rebound to being healthy. 

– Root Rot

If you notice your plant wilting or brown-black lesions on the leaves, it is probably affected by root rot. Wilting is one of the initial symptoms of rot, additionally the Hoya Chelsea has thick and waxy leaves that do not wilt easily. 

If you suspect root rot, check the roots first to see if there are any black, mushy or dead roots. Remove the dead roots and replant your Hoya in fresh soil. Prune the damaged leaves and any growth that seems wilted. 

– Pests 

Hoya Chelsea is not particularly vulnerable to pests and diseases but due to its scented flowers can attract common pests such as aphids, mealybugs and root rot nematodes. 

– Mealybugs

In Hoya Chelsea, tiny mealybugs appear on the leaf undersides and the stems, these small white pests are easily recognizable because of their soft-cottony body. To control mealybugs, blast them with water using a spray bottle or wipe the affected areas with a wet cloth. 

Using a water spray is generally enough for light to moderate infestation. You might have to repeat the process depending on the mealybug population, it is important to note that an organic solution to this problem is neem oil. 

Mix one to two tablespoons of neem oil with water in a one-liter bottle. Spray the solution on the affected parts regularly and after a few weeks of regular use, you will notice a reduction in the mealybug population.

– Root Rot Nematode

Root rot nematode infestation is one of the worst possible pest infestations in Hoya Chelsea, as it thrives in warm temperatures and high humidity conditions. If Hoya Chelsea gets infected by root rot nematode, there will be a decline in the overall health of the plant and in case of a heavy infestation, the plant will die. 

The only way to save your plant, in this case, is by taking the stem cutting from the top of the uninfected part of the plant and propagating them in a fresh soil mix. Spray the affected parts of the plant with neem oil regularly and see if the plant health improves.  

You can also try spraying insecticidal soap spray solution on the plant but try to maintain good hygiene to avoid any future infestations.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Read some commonly asked questions about Hoya Chelsea. 

– How Is the Size and Growth of Hoya Chelsea?

Hoya Chelsea is a slow-growing plant but can show good growth if kept under proper conditions. It has a distinctive, sweet scent and can grow as tall as 12 feet when kept outdoors.

Hoya Carnosa Chelsea grows as a climber with pink or red stems. The stems are pink when fresh and the puckered leaves have raised veins that give the plant a unique look.

– Why Is My Hoya Chelsea Not Growing?

Slow or no growth in your Hoya Chelsea can be due to many factors such as overwatering, poor soil medium, lack of proper light, or poor airflow around the plant. Look at the signs your plant is trying to show you and change the conditions accordingly. 

– How Are the Leaves of Hoya Chelsea?

Hoya Chelsea has glossy, waxy, and wrinkled foliage. It is because of the wax-like, semi-succulent leaves that the plant is often mistaken as unreal, moreover, the new leaves are small, and even at full size, they do not unfurl. 

The new leaves, light in color, grow from the stem and remain small in size. Over time, they grow to full size and color, however, do not worry if the new leaves are small as they will grow big later. The heart-shaped leaves have dull white spots on their surface.

– Is Hoya Chelsea Slow-growing?

Hoya Chelsea is, in general, a slow-growing plant compared to other houseplants. It goes dormant in the winter months showing hardly any new growth and produces new leaves in early spring. 

– Does the Hoya Chelsea Bloom?

Yes, the Hoya Chelsea produces inflorescences or flowers in star-like clusters on the stems. Flower buds form from spurs on the stems in early summer and the flowers die in winter, furthermore, each bloom is about one inch across and looks like a five-pointed wax star and matures in two to three weeks. 

The Hoya Chelsea flower is distinctive, waxy, and has a flesh-like color, like other Hoya flowers, these flowers too, are unique and you can recognize them from afar. You can see Hoya Chelsea bloom in the months of spring and early summer. 

The flowers come in shades of white, pink, and maroon, additionally, the outer part is generally white while the center is darker in shade.

– How Do I Repot The Hoya Chelsea?

Remove the plant from the old soil and check for any damaged or dead roots. Cut the dead ones off and prune the excess leaves, trimming the foliage helps in encouraging new growth making the plant look fuller, furthermore, use the trimmed cuttings for propagation.

Choose a pot one size bigger than the previous one and prepare new soil similar to the succulent soil mix.

 

Conclusion

Hoya Chelsea is a gorgeous plant and can be the perfect addition to every gardener’s plant collection. Let us sum up everything we have learned about this beautiful plant so far. 

  • Hoya Chelsea is a rare Hoya plant that has thick, waxy foliage. It thrives in bright, dappled sunlight and not the harsh sunlight of noon.
  • Water Hoya Chelsea is a drought-tolerant plant. So water it only when the top few inches feel dry to touch. Plant your Hoya in a rich and well-draining soil mix similar to the one used for succulents.
  • The ideal temperature range for proper growth of this plant is 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Try to keep the humidity levels between 55 and 60 percent to keep the plant healthy. 
  • Fertilize the plant every two to three months during the active growing period of spring and summer. It can face problems such as pests including mealybugs and root rot nematodes and overwatering-related problems.
  • Repot your plant every few years when it has outgrown the existing container. Hoya Chelsea can be propagated from stem cuttings, leaves, seeds and air-layering. 

Add the easy-going Hoya Chelsea to your plant collection and make your home garden worth a sight!

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