Hoya Meliflua is popular among Hoya lovers for its enchanting flowers that are eye-catching and give the plant a unique yet fascinating look.
The porcelain-like flowers with their chocolate fragrance make the plant an ideal houseplant for all gardeners.
Hoya Meliflua leaves are stiff and glossy which are dark green, stiff, succulent-like leaves that give the plant a clean look with elongated leaves, four to five inches long and one to two inches wide.
Read all about its care tips from our comprehensive care tips.
- What Is a Hoya Meliflua?
- Hoya Meliflua Care
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is a Hoya Meliflua?
Hoya Meliflua is an epiphytic vine native to the Philippines. The plant has very long stems that help it climb on various surfaces. It belongs to the family Apocynaceae. Hoya Meliflua was first described in 1837 by Francisco Manuel Blanco which is why the plant is also sometimes called Blanco Merr.
Hoya Meliflua Care
Hoya Meliflua is easy-to-care-for and does not need much attention. Read on to know all about the Hoya Meliflua indoor care tips.
– Water Requirements
Hoya Meliflua has moderate water needs and prefers evenly moist soil at most times. Water your plant regularly in summers when the temperatures are high and air dry.
Make sure you do not overwater the plant and allow the soil to become slightly dry in between two watering sessions.
Damp soil with no aeration makes the plant susceptible to fungal infections and other diseases. The frequency of watering Hoya Meliflua will depend on the weather-related factors in your area such as temperature and humidity.
– Light Requirements
Hoya Meliflua thrives in bright, filtered light and not direct sunlight. Direct sunlight, especially at noon can cause scorching and burning of the foliage. The plant enjoys direct sunlight in the morning and evening but the afternoon sun has the potential to kill it in summers.
You can keep Hoya Meliflua in direct sunlight in the winter months as the temperatures are very low and the plant benefits from the warmth of the direct sun. Direct sunlight also helps the plant produce flowers.
Avoid placing Hoya Meliflua in dark spaces that do not receive bright light during the day as it makes it difficult for the plant to grow healthy and green foliage. Poor light conditions also make the plant prone to root rot and other overwatering-related issues.
– Soil Requirements
Provide a well-draining soil mix to grow Hoya Meliflua. Prepare a potting medium by mixing peat, sand, coco husk, and perlite. These chunky materials are good at providing adequate drainage along with high moisture retention. You can also use sphagnum moss to grow the plant.
– Temperature Requirements
Hoya Meliflua prefers to grow in temperatures between 65 and 78 degrees Fahrenheit. Since it is not a cold and frost-hardy plant, it is better to shift it indoors to a warm spot in winters. It is only for a limited period that the plant can stand cooler temperatures.
In extremely cold weather, you can shift your plant indoors to a bright, warm spot where it can receive lots of bright light. Exposure to frost can cause shriveling of leaves and make the plant’s growth stunted.
– Humidity Requirements
Humidity levels above 60 percent work well for the growth of Hoya Meliflua. If you live in a dry area where humidity levels are very low, increase the humidity levels by keeping humidifiers or humidity trays near the plant. Since the plant also grows aerial roots, mist them regularly with water to keep them wet.
Remember to keep good air circulation when humidity levels are high. Poor air circulation with high humidity makes the plant prone to root rot. If you are growing Hoya Meliflua indoors, make sure you keep it away from drafty windows and balconies. Dry air from air conditioners and heaters affects this tropical plant’s growth.
– Fertilizer Requirements
Fertilize Hoya Meliflua once a month in spring and summer with a diluted, liquid fertilizer that is rich in phosphorus and potassium. Choose a fertilizer that is low on nitrogen because Hoya is a succulent and nitrogen would just make the foliage soft and watery.
Fertilizing one or two months before the initial blooming of Hoya Meliflua helps in giving large and beautiful blooms.
When you notice the leaves wilting or getting old, prune the branches. Light pruning helps keep the plant in shape and prevents it from getting messy. Do not prune more than one-third of the plant in one go.
Propagate Hoya Meliflua in spring and summer easily from root cuttings, hardwood cuttings, and stem cuttings. Early spring or summer is the ideal time to propagate the plant as it leads to faster root development. Let us discuss each method of propagation in detail.
Propagating Hoya Meliflua from stem cutting is the most convenient and time-saving of all the methods. Hardwood cuttings take an entire season to root, so we would recommend that method only if you have the patience to do it.
We have explained the stem cutting propagation method in soil. But if you wish to see the root growth, you can follow the water propagation too. Simply place the stem cutting with leaves removed in a jar of water and within four to six weeks, you will notice the roots growing.
– Stem Cuttings
Take a healthy stem of about four inches in length from the main plant. Leave the top two to three leaves attached and make sure that you remove the rest of the leaves from the bottom. You can dip the cutting in a rooting powder for faster root development.
In a well-draining potting mixture, place the cutting such that the leaves are above the soil. Water it regularly to keep the soil evenly moist. But do not overwater at this point as there are high chances of the stem rot.
Once the plant adjusts well to its new surroundings, place it in bright, dappled sunlight for proper growth. The roots will grow in a couple of weeks after planting.
– Root Cuttings
To propagate Hoya Meliflua from roots, cut small portions of roots in winters when the plant is dormant and bury these sections in an airy potting mix.
Keep the soil mix moist but not water-logged. Once you see some growth happening above the soil, shift the root cuttings to separate pots.
– Hardwood Cuttings
Hoya Meliflua gets hard branches over time as it matures. Cut some 4 to 12 inches long hardwood cuttings and make sure that each cutting has at least two nodes. A node is a point from where new growth appears.
The cut should be below the bottom node and the top cut should be slightly above the top node. Dip the cuttings in a rooting powder, if you feel like it is essential. Then tie all the cuttings with a rope in a bundle.
Place the hardwood cuttings in sphagnum moss in a plastic bag and put them in the refrigerator. The plastic bag full of sphagnum moss will keep the cuttings moist and the refrigerator will keep them in the dormant stage.
Once spring arrives, take the cuttings out and bury them in the soil with the tops pointing upwards. Keep them buried for the entire season and after fall, transplant them to their final location.
To repot the Hoya Meliflua consider doing so once every two to three years when its roots have grown thoroughly and the soil mix gets old. The ideal time to repot is in early spring when new growth starts to appear. Shift the plant to a bigger pot only when the roots come out of the drainage holes at the bottom.
Pot-bound Hoya Meliflua produces flowers more intensely than Hoyas kept in large pots. Before repotting the plant, ensure that the soil is dry and prepare a new peat-based soil mix that has excellent drainage and moisture-retention capacity.
Choose a pot that is about two inches bigger than the previous one. Avoid repotting in a very large pot as it will make the plant prone to the risks of root rot. After gently removing the plant, check its roots and remove the dead foliage and roots. In the new soil mix, place the plant and firm the soil around its roots.
Do not water the repotted plant at once. Allow the plant roots to settle in the new soil environment and let it grow normally after a couple of weeks.
Hoya Meliflua is not too fussy when it comes to caring for it. But sometimes, it can face pest attacks and various plant diseases. Read on to find more details about them.
– Yellowing of the Foliage
If you notice the leaves getting yellow and mushy, it could be a sign that the plant is being overwatered. If you ignore the problem for too long, the plant will get root rot and other fungal infections. Severe root rot can kill the plant.
To prevent the yellowing of leaves, make sure that you use well-draining soil to grow Hoya Meliflua. Ensure that your pot has sufficient drainage holes so that excess water can quickly drain out and the roots do not have wet feet for long periods.
Thrips are tiny, black, thin-bodied, sap-sucking insects that target plant stems, leaves and fruit. They look like small black threads from afar. If you notice the plant leaves changing color to silvery-brown, look for these pests.
Use neem or peppermint oil to prevent and control thrips infestation. Diatomaceous earth (DE) also works well against thrip infestation.
– Spider Mites
Spider mites are not the easiest pests to get rid of. They can give you a hard time, especially in summers when they thrive in dry and warm weather. They are so tiny that it can be hard to spot them initially.
Prevent spider mite infestation by regularly spraying neem oil on your plants. If you spot the infestation, control their population using an insecticidal soap solution or by rubbing alcohol dipped cotton on the leaves.
Mealybugs are small, sap-sucking insects that attack the leaves and stems and over time weaken the plant. They secrete a sticky substance called honeydew that produces sooty mold and makes the plant prone to fungal diseases.
Mealybugs are not too difficult to get rid of. They can be easily prevented by regularly using neem or peppermint oil and by applying an insecticidal soap solution to affected parts. You can dilute neem oil to reduce the side effects.
Aphids are tiny, soft-bodied, sap-sucking pests that leave honeydew and cause the growth of sooty mold. The plant is highly susceptible to fungal infections in case of an aphid infestation. They look like tiny black dots on the leaves and stems.
One easy way to control them is by spraying water with force on the plant and using neem oil regularly. You can also prepare a homemade insecticidal soap solution to eradicate them. Use diatomaceous earth (DE) when the plant is not in bloom as it can affect the blooms.
Frequently Asked Questions
Let us take a look at some of the frequently asked questions about Hoya Meliflua.
– Is Hoya Meliflua Toxic?
Hoya Meliflua is not toxic to animals and humans. So if you have pets or kids in your home, you can keep the plant inside without any worries. However, we would still recommend you keep the plant at an arm’s length from kids and pets.
– Does Hoya Meliflua Like Being Root-Bound?
Hoya Meliflua does not mind being pot-bound for some time. It blooms intensely when pot-bound. But make sure you shift the plant once the roots come out of the bottom drainage holes and it becomes difficult to control the plant’s health.
– How Big Does the Hoya Meliflua Growth?
Hoya Meliflua grows moderately but can get very large as it matures with its stems growing up to 10 to 13 feet long. It takes about five to seven years for the plant to mature and reach 6 to 10 feet in length.
Its branches turn hard quickly due to which it does not twine well. If you have kept your plant indoors, prune it regularly to maintain its size. It is grown in hanging baskets and as a mounted plant. Since the plant is not good at climbing due to its hard branches, it is easier to grow it in hanging baskets.
Hoya Meliflua has a sub-species called Hoya Meliflua Fraterna that has longer and narrower foliage. Hoya Meliflua leaves are smaller than Fraterna’s leaves which is why it is also called the ‘the little fraterna’.
– What Is the Difference Between Hoya Meliflua and Hoya Treubiana?
These two plants are often confused and sold interchangeably in the market. But they are different in their leaf sizes and blooms. Hoya Meliflua has shorter and narrower leaves than Hoya Treubiana.
Hoya Treubiana flowers are bigger than Hoya Meliflua blooms. Meliflua blooms are darker in color as compared to the creamy, white, and pinkish blooms of Hoya Treubiana.
– Does The Hoya Meliflua Have Flowers?
Hoya Meliflua flower is reddish-orange and has a nectary at the base from which a dark staining sap is produced. The star-shaped flowers bloom in clusters or umbels of 10 to 30 flowers in the spring and summer months.
The name Meliflua is derived from the word “Mellis” which means honeydew and “fluo” which means flow. Meliflua refers to the dark sap that stains the flowers. These long-lasting flowers smell like chocolate.
Even when the plant is not producing bloom, the long and narrow leaves make the plant stand out. If you are planning to grow the plant indoors, it might not be possible for it to bloom but you can enjoy the beautiful leaves.
If you wish to add some color and drama to your houseplant collection, Hoya Meliflua is the one for you. With its exotic-looking blooms, it can add the right amount of fun and uniqueness to your garden.
Let us take a quick look at the most important care guidelines.
- Hoya Meliflua is an epiphytic trailing plant native to the Philippines. It has gorgeous, long-lasting, star-shaped blooms ranging in colors from red to orange.
- It needs bright, indirect light coupled with warm weather and high weather conditions to grow well.
- Do not expose the plant to low temperatures in frost, provide bright light for maximum blooming.
- Repot the plant every few years when it outgrows the pot and roots start coming out of the bottom drainage holes.
- The plant can be propagated by using stem cuttings, root cuttings and hardwood cuttings.
We hope our care guidelines have helped put you in the right direction and now that you know all about the gorgeous plant, it is time you add one of these tropical beauties to your home garden.
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