Hoya Keysii of the Apocynaceae family is an evergreen vining plant that is easy to grow and can add charm to any space.
It is another form of the australis variant. In this detailed guide, we provide you with all the information about this attractive Hoya genus plant that will help you keep them thriving throughout the year.
Our experts provide in-depth information on plant care, growing, and propagating. So wait no longer and read it all in the below sections to grow the long healthy vines in hanging baskets in your garden.
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- Hoya Keysii Care
- Water Requirements
- Light Requirements
- Soil Requirements
- Temperature Requirements
- Humidity Requirements
- Fertilizer Requirements
Hoya Keysii Care
Hoya Keysii is a tropical vining plant that is perfect to be grown in hanging pots on patios and balconies. Under the right temperature, soil conditions, light, and watering schedule, the slender foliage stays evergreen and healthy throughout the year.
In the below section, you will read each of these aspects in more detail. Read on to find expert tips on what you need to pay attention to for providing the plant with the right environment and nourishment.
Hoya australis ssp keysii is a succulent and thus does not require very frequent watering. It dislikes overly moist or soggy soil and if the roots are stay in water for too long, it stresses the plantt. The ideal frequency would be to water once every two weeks in summer and once a month in winter.
Place the hoya in a pot with well-draining soil and water to just keep it slightly moist. Schedule watering only when you notice the top soil dry by at least an inch. Increase frequency as per the change in season and climatic conditions, with blistering hot days requiring more frequent watering and scaling back on frosty and chilly days.
This hoya variant requires adequate light for growth, to sustain its evergreen foliage and its inflorescence. Ensure that the light is bright yet indirect away from the intense heat of the sun.
The diffused light of the sun is perfect to help it maintain its health and also to protect it from getting sunburnt. Expressive exposure to direct sunlight can result in discoloration of the green leaves along with making them go brittle.
If you are growing your plant indoors, place it near a south-facing window. Choose a warm spot and grow it under artificial LED lights, as being a tropical plant, it will not tolerate excessive cold or frost conditions.
The hoya keysii plant requires soil that will drain out water freely. The right composition will be a potting mix with bark and pumice included in it. As a succulent plant, it prefers a soil pH range between 6.1 to 7.5. Additionally, try keeping the soil chunky with organic matter such as perlite or peat to increase the aeration in the soil and permit water to flow out easily.
The plant will grow in a range of temperatures from 60 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 degrees Celsius) to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29.5 degrees Celcius). As mentioned in the above section this tropical plant seldom tolerates excessive cold weather. Temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celcius) damage the plant making them go weak and limp.
Thus, protect your plant from cold drafts, chilly winds and frost conditions by moving them to a sheltered place. Move them indoors in the cold months and place them under artificial grow lights. Additionally, you could also move them close to a heater, but make sure the direct air from the appliance does not blast on the plant.
This Hoya variant prefers moderate to high humidity to thrive within the ideal range of moisture at around 60 percent. Maintain this level and you should not have a problem with the plant.
The best way to create moisture is to group them with other plants so that they can benefit from the collective humidity. Mist the plant regularly to kick in some moisture around and if indoors use a humidifier.
Keep the plant away from air conditioner vents which tend to dry up the air and hamper the plant’s health. Additionally, you could use a small tray filled with pebbles and water and place it under your pot. This will retain moisture as the water slowly evaporates from the small tray.
Like other hoya variants such as hoya carnosa, hoya obovata, hoya kerrii, hoya curtisii, hoya linearis, and hoya fishtail, this variant also requires just a small amount of fertilizer.
For better foliage, it is recommended to use a formula with high nitrogen and phosphorus that will boost your growth and promote blooms in the plant. You could try a balanced organic recipe, including peat and compost, at the time of flowering buds.
The plant is not known for growing wild; however, you can still consider pruning by trimming the decayed and dead brown stem to retain a pleasing and beautiful appearance.
The plant has moderately vigorous growth, so trim from the sides, but never remove the peduncles from where future blooms appear. Before pruning, always ensure you sterilize your tools with a diluted solution of isopropyl alcohol to prevent the spread of fungal and bacterial diseases.
The hoya keysii can be easily propagated by using stem cuttings. The plant roots in no time and so with just basic tools and beginner-level gardening skills, you will be able to propagate your offset.
In the FAQ section, we discuss the complete details in a step-by-step manner. So if you want to know about it all – from the right season to propagate to the actual method, keep reading.
Below are the propagation steps that you need to follow:
- Let us now discuss the exact way you need to undertake the process of propagation. Follow these steps properly and you should not face any problem in having a healthy new offset.
- Select a healthy mother plant and pick stems that have developed completely. Ideally, you should choose a stem with at least three to five leaves intact on it.
- Snip the section gently with a garden pruner and then dip it in a good quality rooting hormone. Take a small pot and fill half of it with a well-draining potting mix.
- Place the cutting into the soil with at least an inch of the section under it. Water this as you would to a mature adult plant, taking care not to overwater or make the soil go soggy.
- If required, kick in some humidity by sealing a plastic bag over the cutting. Remove after a few days to prevent over-humidity.
- Place this section in a sunny spot with diffused sunlight and in four weeks you will notice it developing tiny roots of its own. Once this happens you can choose to transfer it to a bigger pot if required.
Now you have propagated a healthy offset successfully which is capable of growing into a mature adult plant on its own in a few months.
The hoya variant is easy to grow yet is not devoid of problems. Luckily, these issues are not complicated and can easily be tackled in a hassle-free manner. In the section below we address these very same problems and quick solutions to fix them, so read on.
– Pest Infestations
The plant is very susceptible to common pests such as mealy bugs, spider mites, and aphids. These pests feed on the sap of the plant making the long vining stems go weak and limp.
These insects leave behind a web-like structure or white substance which also attracts ants. What makes the problem more difficult is that we often fail to notice the infections as the common pests hide under leaves and near buds.
Look out for deformed or chewed leaves which are a clear indication of the presence of these bugs. The first thing to do as soon as you spot them is to isolate the plant to prevent its spread to other nearby foliage. Control the spread by spraying an organic solution of neem oil or an insecticide specifically for such pests.
Additionally, a jet spray of water also eliminates them from the infected area. You could also regularly mist the foliage with clean water to prevent the occurrence of these insects.
– Botrytis Blight
Botrytis blight is a fungus infection that discolors the leaves. If you spot gray sections in the middle of the leaf you can be assured that your plant has been infected with this fungal disease.
The main cause for this condition is the presence of high levels of moisture. Further, this virus is quite common in the winter months when sunlight and warmth are low, along with high levels of moisture in the air.
You will find the leaves crumbling and the stems turning mushy with botrytis blight. The best way to tackle it is to snip off affected parts on the leaves, stems, or flowers. Moreover, you can prevent it completely by keeping the plant away from high humidity. Move the plant to a well-ventilated area and water only when the topsoil is dry by at least an inch.
– Fungus Gnats
These are small black insects that thrive near the soil or the lower sections of the stem. They feed on the stem tissues making the vines limp and weak. As soon as they spot these insects, the best thing to do is to immediately apply a jet spray of water over the infected area.
Use a good quality organic insecticide to kill the larva found right beneath the surface of the soil. Additionally, scale back on the watering as soggy soil attracts algae growth which is the main food for these insects.
– Root Rot
Root rot is a common problem of all hoya variants. Caused by overwatering of the plant, if left unattended, it could not only damage the root but also discolor the entire foliage. The stems go mushy and eventually the plant may die.
The best way to tackle this is to transplant the plant from the soggy soil to a fresh well-draining potting mix. Check for blackened sections at the time of transplantation and snip away those sections affected. Keep the plant in airy and porous soil to prevent occurrences in the future.
– Plant Not Blooming
This plant produces white flowers similar to the hoya powder puff. They occur in clusters with a red center. It requires at least three to four hours of adequate diffused sunlight every day to produce such blooms, along with a temperature of 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
You will ideally find hoya keysii flowers in spring to late summer and they seldom bloom in the dormant winter months. Provide them with the right amount of humidity, light and warmth and you will find them blooming – healthy and vibrant.
Avoid over-watering the plant as excess humidity restricts buds from opening up. Moreover, you have to keep pests at bay as these leave behind web-like textures and white substances that attract ants. Ants often feed on the buds making them drop prematurely. Additionally, your plant requires ventilation so choose a spot that is well-lit and airy.
– The Slow Growth of Hoya Vines
If you notice your hoya vines stunted or slow in growth, then it could be most likely due to insufficient light. As mentioned in the above sections, the plant thrives best in adequate bright light. You will need to give it at least four hours of light every day. Do remember to protect it from the direct and harsh rays of the sun.
Additionally, growth can be affected by root damage. A poor watering schedule can cause this condition thus keep the soil just lightly moist to fix the problem. Another cause for slow growth could be nutritional issues. Boost Hoya’s growth by using a well-balanced organic formula.
– Hoya Vines Turning Yellow
If you spot the leaves of your vines turning yellow, it could be due to excessive moisture or overexposure to direct sunlight. Tackle the problem by having a proper water schedule. Do not let the roots sit in water and ensure the pot or container has proper drainage holes to permit the free flow out of water.
Additionally, prevent excessive exposure to direct sun heat as this stresses the plant causing the leaves to turn yellow and brittle. Move the plant to a shaded spot where it can receive diffused yet bright light throughout the day.
Additionally, you could create a greenhouse effect by placing a garden sheet over the plant. It will not only provide it with enough light but also protect it from the sun.
What is The Right Season To Propagate Hoya Keysii?
The right season to propagate Hoya Keysii is typically spring or early summer when the plant is actively growing and the sun is at its fullest. The plant is in its growing season and thus rooting will happen faster in comparison to the winter months when the plant is in a state of dormancy.
When it’s cold, you will find propagation to be slower and the offset may not develop healthily. Thus, utilize the warmth of the summer season and work on the process during the months between early spring to mid-summer.
Which Tools Are Required to Propagate Hoya Keysii?
To propagate Hoya Keysii, you’ll need sharp pruning shears, well-draining soil, rooting hormone, a propagation container, and indirect light.
My Hoya Keysii Blooms Do Not Have Red Centers, Is Something Wrong?
Hoya Keysii blooms without red centers may indicate a variation. It is possible that the variety simply has pale rose coronas instead of red. This is not a cause for concern.
In this guide, you have read in a detailed way how easy it is to grow this Hoya plant.
Let us summarize all that we have learned in the article.
- Hoya Keysii is easy to grow and a complete delight due to its long and vining stems. The plant is perfect for hanging baskets as its perennial foliage stays evergreen.
- The plant produces white flowers that grow in clusters. You will notice a charming red center which adds to its beauty. This makes it a favorite of many gardeners across the globe.
- This variant requires bright and diffused light, well-draining moist soil, moderate to high heat, and humidity at 60 percent to maintain healthy foliage.
- Propagate the plant using stem cuttings. The process is easy and with just a few tools and basic gardening skills, you can achieve success with regards to bringing about a new healthy offset of the plant.
- Most of the problems of the plant can be tackled by keeping pests away, monitoring the watering schedule, and providing the plant with its ideal environmental conditions.
Hoya Keysii, with its long vining stems and white blooms, is a charm in any garden. This plant is stress-free to grow and with minimal time and care you can fill your home with a very attractive plant.