Hoya polyneura is a popular plant among hobbyists and gardeners due to its good looks and ease of care. If you are keen on including this delightful plant in your garden and wish to grow them in hanging pots, then this detailed guide will help you out.
Our expert tips take you through the complete care process, propagation techniques and the most common issues of the plant. Read on further to know it all.
What Is a Hoya Polyneura?
Hoya polyneura is a tropical vining houseplant that is characterized by dark green leaves and long vining stems. The plant is also termed the hoya fishtail due to its thin leaves that resemble a fishtail. It is sometimes also called the wax plant as the flowers look like they have been made out of wax.
Hoya Polyneura Care
The delicate and ornamental hoya fishtail is easy to care for, nonetheless, you wouldn’t find yourself spending hours ensuring they stay healthy. Just focus on giving them their basic requirements and you will be able to witness lush green and beautiful hoya polyneura bloom.
– Water Requirements
Hoya polyneura does not require frequent watering, you will need to let the soil dry out before you add in more.
The best way to decide whether the plant needs watering or not is to push your finger two inches into the soil and feel the level of moisture. The soil should not be too wet or too dry.
Overwatering and underwatering, both are disastrous to the health of the plant, it is fair to note that in hot and dry summer months, water the plant once in two weeks. Colder months require you to scale back on the watering, hence schedule it once every three weeks in winter.
– Light Requirements
The ideal situation is keeping the plant in bright yet indirect light. When fucsing on its light requirements, Hoya polyneura comes with thin and delicate leaves hence, direct light from the sun can easily scorch the leaves. The plant loves the morning light as it helps it to produce more blooms.
If you are growing it indoors, move it near an east-facing window to get the most of the morning sun. You can also use an artificial glow light set a few inches away from the plant if the light conditions are low.
Hoya polyneura can tolerate low light conditions to some extent, but it will not produce any blooms in this case.
– Humidity Requirements
Hoya polyneura requires a highly humid environment to grow and bloom. moreover mist the plant regularly if you are growing it in dry conditions or indoors. Care to be taken while misting not to overdo it as too much moisture can hamper the growth of the plant. You can alternatively also choose to install a humidifier to bring in the moisture in the air.
Another option to increase humidity is to use a pebble tray below the container, fill a tray with water and pebbles and keep the pot over it. As the water in the tray evaporates the humidity levels around the plant will increase.
– Fertilizer Use
Hoya polyneura is a heavy feeder and you need fertilizers to provide it with the much-needed additional nutrition. The ideal season to fertilize the plant is during the warmer months when growth is more active.
Avoid winter months as the plant stays in a state of dormancy and using over-the-top nutrition can result in excess salt build-up and fertilizer burn. Additionally, note to Fertilize once every two weeks using a gentle indoor plant formula.
– Soil Requirements
The plant requires a well-draining light soil that is consistently moist, care to be taken not to let the soil go completely dry. At the same time, water pooling at the base is disastrous to the plant as it can lead to root rot.
To make the soil porous and aerated, mix perlite with potting soil along with pumice, orchard bark or horticultural charcoal, as this will loosen up the soil thus helping in draining out any excess water. Mixing one part peat-free compost or a simple cactus compost can keep the soil nourished as well.
– Temperature Requirements
The plant does not require a very warm climate to grow in, the temperatures need to range between 45 degrees Fahrenheit to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep the plant away from frost and cold drafts as the thin leaves seldom tolerate excessive cold. Low temperatures can easily kill the plant.
You can use terracotta, ceramic or plastic containers to pot your hoya polyneura. Terracotta pots need to be soaked for a day in water before you begin to use them for the first time.
Ensure the pot has good drainage holes to easily permit the flow out of excess water. Nonetheless, you can also line the bottom of the pot with gravel to keep the soil aerated and well-draining.
Hoya polyneura isn’t toxic. So don’t panic if you find your pet or child chewing a few of the leaves. They may cause minor irritation on the skin, but nothing that one needs to worry about.
The Propagation of the hoya polyneura is easy and you don’t need expert gardening skills for it. It can be done via stem cuttings in water or soil. The ideal season to propagate is early spring to summer. Here are the steps involved in the process.
- Choose a mature stem from which you can pick a cutting. Snip about three to four inches of the stem just above the node with a sterile garden pruner, retaining at least two leaves on it.
- After the stem has been cut, let it sit for some time. This will make the cut end develop calloused ends. Calloused ends promote strong roots.
- Place the cutting in a container of water. You can also choose to plant it in potting soil however, bear in mind rooting in water is often faster. If you are rooting the stem in water, then change the water every day.
- Let it rest in a warm environment for seven days. Water it to keep the soil lightly moist.
- The early roots will begin to grow in a few days. Wait until three or four weeks before you transplant it into a well-draining pot.
- The tender stems need to be packed tight in soil, to hold them in place. Do not bury the roots too deep but place them just a few inches below the surface.
The plant comes with its share of issues, as they are fairly common and can be tackled easily. Let us identify and find solutions for each of them.
– Pest Infestations
Mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites are pests that can infest the hoya polyneura plant. These pests suck the sap and nutrients off the stem making the plant wilt. Large pest infestations can greatly affect the health of the plant and even lead to its death, thus tackling them on time is vital.
Prevent pest infestation by maintaining good plant hygiene, clearing fallen leaves and debris from the soil and keeping the leaves dust-free by misting. Isolate the plant as soon as you see an infestation to prevent its spread. Use a soapy insecticidal spray or an organic applicant like neem oil to repel and get rid of the pests from the plant.
– Fungal and Bacterial Diseases
The common diseases that affect the hoya polyneura are botrytis blight and sooty mold. A botrytis blight infection causes gray-colored patches on the leaves, as it also makes the leaves mushy as the fungal spores spread across the plant. Sooty mold is another very common fungal infection that appears in the form of black growth on the waxy leaves.
Though these diseases do not threaten the life of the plant, they can ruin its look, hence it is important to eliminate the fungal diseases by reducing moisture in the plant. Spray an organic fungicide and snip away affected sections as soon as you spot them, this should considerably lower the spread, if not cure it completely.
– The Plant Was Wrinkled Leaves
Hoya polyneura leaves can bear a wrinkled look if the watering schedule isn’t right. This is a sign of the plant either being too thirsty or of the plant being overwatered. Remember to keep the plant-soil lightly moist. Read our water care section to set the right schedule and you should see your plant springing back to life soon.
– Root Rot
Root rot is a classic result of over-watering. Soggy soil or a pool of water at the base of the plant can reduce the amount of oxygen getting through the soil to the roots. The latter can suffocate the roots and increase the chances of bacterial and fungal growth on them. Root rot makes plants wilt, turn leaves brown and eventually lead to its death.
Tackle root rot by avoiding overwatering. Scale back on the watering as soon as you suspect this condition. Gently remove the plant from the soil and snip away any blackened sections of the root, repot in a fresh potting mix.
– Irregularity in Leaf Shape
If the typical fishtail shape of the leaf is absent, you will need to monitor the temperature the plant is being grown in. Much as the hoya polyneura can tolerate moderately low ranges, temperatures lower than 40 degrees Fahrenheit are going to hamper the health of the plant. Move the plant to a warm spot in your garden to keep it healthy and thriving.
– Yellowing Leaves
Another outcome of overwatering is the yellowing of leaves. Scale back on the watering and keep the soil well-drained to easily fix this issue.
– Shrinking Vines
Are the vines shrinking in size? This is a result of the plant not receiving enough light. Place the plant in bright sunlight to fix the issue.
If the plant is indoors, place it near a window where it receives light through the day and avoid dingy corners where the plant barely receives any light.
The vining hoya polyneura requires repotting as it grows and spreads its foliage, however repotting comes with its advantages. They help the plant in its growth and produce more blooms. Hoya polyneura are moderate growers thus they will need repotting once every two years.
Schedule them in the spring or summer months so that the plants get the warmth of the season to pick up health. However, if you notice any one of the below-mentioned signs, it is time for your hoya polyneura to be repotted.
- Roots are sprouting out of drainage holes.
- The plant is being pushed upwards by the roots.
- There is slow or stunted growth of the plant.
- Soil dries out too soon and requires more frequent watering.
– Steps To Be Followed in Repotting
- Gently remove the hoya polyneura plant from the pot or soil. Loosen the roots and open up the clustered sections inspecting them closely.
- This is the time to check for blackened sections due to root rot. Prune them away and the extra threadlike roots, keeping the main thick roots intact.
- Unbind the roots that are wound together in tight circles. Remove old potting soil attached to the roots and around the plant.
- Take a pot two inches larger than the one you have been using. Do not opt for a very large pot as this puts the plant at risk of being overwatered or the soil getting dry soon. You need just the right size.
- Place the plant in the new container and fill the gap with fresh potting soil. Secure it tight without packing in too much soil, you need to give roots some space to breathe.
- Water gently and place the pot in warm yet indirect light, the plant may bear a withered look due to the stress of transplantation. Give it a day or two and it should limp back to life.
Plants Similar to Hoya Polyneura
Many plants are similar to the hoya polyneura. We give you a quick peek into a few of them to help you differentiate between the hoya polyneura from the rest of the hoya plants. Here they are:
- Hoya bandaensis: Vining hoya with a pleasant aroma and large blooms of white and green flowers. The flowers bear a distinct central scarlet hue.
- Hoya bella: A non-climbing hoya with short leaves and white blooms. The flowers bear a purple central hue. It has shorter stem growth with slender branches which droop as the plant matures.
- Hoya sameonsis: This hoya grows quickly. The foliage is lime green and it produces yellow flowers, especially in the warm summer months.
- Hoya carnosa: Hoya vine characterized by star-shaped pink flowers.
- Hoya kerrii: Distinctive heart-shaped leaves hence it is also called the sweetheart plant or valentine hoya.
- Hoya serpens: Hoya plant with tiny oval leaves that make for a delightful sight when grown in hanging baskets.
- Hoya imperialis: Plant bears medium-sized star-shaped red flowers.
Tips to Grow Healthy Plants
Want to get the best out of your hoya polyneura? Then here are some further tips that will ensure you get the healthiest foliage. Over and above the basic care requirements, pay heed to the below-mentioned points.
- The plant seldom tolerates extreme cold drafts and chilly winds. Thus, in the winter months move the plant indoors and grow them under LED lights that will give them warmth as well as meet its light requirement. The plants may not bloom, but at least they stay protected with their green foliage intact.
- Hoya polyneura flower blooms from spurs. Do not snip them away while pruning. Fresh blooms appear from the same spurs, so removing them would mean the plant will take more time to produce blooms
- Sterilize your pruners and shears before pruning and propagation to prevent the spread of fungal and bacterial diseases. Use a 70 percent isopropyl alcohol formula to sterilize it.
- The long and vining stems of the plant prevent it from standing up straight and upright. You can use straws and sticks inserted into the soil and tie the stems to it to give the plant an upright and erect look.
- And finally, the plant is tropical and the warmth of the sun is the best to keep it thriving and blooming. Place it under dispersed light with the help of filters or a greenhouse, to keep it warm yet block it from the harsh light of the sun.
Frequently Asked Questions
– What are Some Features of Hoya Polyneura?
- Hoya polyneura is native to Southeast Asia, thus prefers a tropical environment to grow. It produces narrow and thin leaves which remain evergreen throughout the year.
- The variegated hoya polyneura leaves are green with dark venerations.
- The plant grows white star-shaped flowers with a purple central portion that bloom through the year in bright sunlight.
- The stems grow into long thin vines to about one to two feet. This makes it a popular plant to grow in hanging baskets in patios and indoor spaces.
- The plant emits a pleasant aroma which is more prominent at night. It is a stress-free and easy to care plant.
You have now understood how easy it is to care for and propagate a healthy hoya polyneura plant. Let us sum up our learning in the below section.
- Hoya polyneura requires bright and indirect light to grow healthy. The temperatures need to be warm and the soil well-draining.
- Watch your watering schedule, adjusting it as per the season to tackle most of the problems of the plant.
- To maintain humidity around the plant, mist the plant regularly or place a dish with pebbles and water below the pot.
- Fertilize the plant once in two weeks. The plant is a light feeder. Do not fertilize when temperatures drop.
- Repot every two years to keep the roots healthy and well established.
Having read our detailed guide you can now confidently grow these delightful plants in your garden and spaces. It is a perfect option for even beginner gardeners or those who lead busy lives, yet seek a green cover around them.
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