The hoya pubicalyx plant is typically low maintenance and hardy so you do not have to have a green thumb to keep it alive.
However, it is good to know a little about the care of your plant for it to thrive.
We will help you with the basics to caring for your hoya.
What Is a Hoya Pubicalyx?
The hoya pubicalyx is a pretty plant from the apocynaceae family with stunning flowers that is easy to grow inside your home. The hoya pubicalyx flower is a tiny pink star with a lighter pink star in the middle and a maroon center. The evergreen hoya pubicalyx leaves are about four inches long and 2.4 inches wide that typically climb to reach about 10 feet high.
Where Does it Originate?
Native to the Philippines, the hoya grows well in a warm and humid environment with minimal care so you do not have to worry too much about it. Because it likes heat, it can handle being outdoors in zones 10 -13 all year long but in other zones, it makes a better house plant.
Your hoya comes in many different cultivars and hybrids and is also known by several other names.
Some of these include:
- Hindu rope
- Krimson princess
- Krimson queen
- Pink silver
- Porcelain flower plant
- Silver pink vine
- Wax plant
How to Care for Hoya Pubicalyx
Caring for Hoya Pubicalyx is not difficult. In fact, as long as it gets some water, a bit of light, and does not get cold, it will grow just fine. But for a gorgeous and healthy plant that grows to its ultimate potential, keep reading.
– Light Requirements
The hoya pubicaliyx prefers to have indirect sunlight but a lot of it. At least six or seven hours a day is recommended in a spot that does not get direct sunlight. Take a walk around your house and see where the sun comes in and place your plant a bit to the side of that spot.
Because this plant is an epiphyte, it likes to grow on other plants or objects. In the wild, they are used to getting dappled sunlight, which is why they prefer bright but indirect light. If they do not get enough light, they will not grow as quickly and with too much they will burn.
– Water Requirements
You should let your plant dry out between watering and then soak it thoroughly until the water drains out the bottom. The hoya needs to be moist but the roots cannot become waterlogged, or they will end up with root rot.
If your hoya gets more sunlight it will need more water and it will need less with less sunlight. It is common for a hoya pubicalyx to be watered twice a week in the summer and once a week in the winter, but it depends on the soil, temperature, and humidity.
One of the best things to do for your hoya is to give it a shower once a month. Stick it in a warm shower for about five minutes, depending on how big it is. Let it drip dry in the shower afterward for 30 minutes and then put it in a warm spot with indirect light to let it dry.
– Soil Requirements
One thing that is vitally important to your hoya is the soil. You have to be sure to get the substrate right, so your plant does not get too wet or too dry. You have to have a well-draining soil, but it also has to be rich in organics.
You can get a premade mix for houseplants that is made with potting soil, orchid grow mix, and worm casting or make your own. To make your own soil mix, combine one third peat, one third perlite, and one third orchid bark.
– Temperature Requirements
Your plant needs to stay warm so keep it between 65 and 85 degrees at all times. But it does not like a dry heat so you cannot just put it by the heater and expect it to be happy. It needs moist heat and does not like drafts or wind.
– Humidity Requirements
The hoya pubicalyx needs humidity and prefers to be in an area with at least 60% humidity. Because humidity is so important to your plant, we recommend you pay particular attention to this factor.
- Humidity tray: A humidity tray is one good option because it is inexpensive and easy as well as efficient. You can make it yourself with a tray and some clean pebbles. Simply fill a shallow tray with pebbles and fill it with water until it reaches right below the top of the pebbles. It does not matter what you use as far as a tray and pebbles. In fact, many people just use a cookie sheet and garden stones. As long as it is easy to dump or drain as needed.
- Humidifier: You can also use a humidifier to keep your plant moist. Combine this with the humidity tray to be sure your hoya does not dry out. However, you do not want a cool air humidifier to be blowing right on the plant. An ultrasonic humidifier is a good choice because it keeps the moisture level steady and does not put out cold air. A warm mist humidifier is excellent since it gives your plant both heat and humidity. An evaporative humidifier is also good as it uses airflow and a wick to produce vapor but not air.
- Misting: Give your hoya pubicalyx a light misting every day to keep it moist and humid. This is especially good in dry areas where you cannot feasibly keep it humid enough. It gives your plant the moisture it needs and when paired with a humidity tray it can be just perfect.
– Feeding Requirements
You do not have to fertilize your hoya during the winter and fall but it does appreciate a bit of liquid food during the growing season. The best choice for your plant is a fertilizer that is high in potassium and you can spray it on the leaves as well to encourage it to flower.
– Growth Rate
As far as hoyas go, the pubicalyx is one of the fastest growers, and tends to be larger than the other types of hoyas so they make good floor plants. Give your plant a trellis or stick to grow on and it can grow up to 10 feet tall with the proper conditions.
How to Propagate Hoya Pubicalyx
1. Stem Cutting
During the active growing season of spring and summer, you can use a clean cutting tool dipped in alcohol to cut a six- or seven-inch stem. Take them from the end of the stalk where you see nodes. After cutting it, remove any lower leaves and place the cutting in a sunny spot for a couple of hours.
Plant the cutting in a pot with the same type of soil as the mother plant and make sure the nodes are buried at least four inches under. Keep the soil moist until they start growing. You can water it three or more times a week and cover it with a plastic bag to keep it moist.
2. Leaf Cutting
Leaf cuttings can be just as effective in some cases but sometimes they just do not propagate like the stem cuttings do. Remove a leaf and plant the stem about 1.5 inches under the soil. After four to six weeks, new plants will sprout from the base of the leaf and you can use them each to start a new hoya.
Like the stem cutting, a leaf cutting needs well-draining soil just like the mother plant. It also needs a lot of warmth and moisture so it will thrive with a plastic bag over it. You can even get it going by placing it in warm water until it roots.
3. Growing from Seeds
Growing hoya pubicalyx from seeds is easy. Place the seeds in a peat moss soil mixture with high humidity and lots of light. Keep them at least 77 degrees and cover the pot with a plastic bag to keep them moist.
It may take a month to five weeks for your seeds to germinate depending on the environment. Be sure to keep the soil moist at all times and protect it from the cold and wind. A greenhouse or indoors is best for your hoya until it is well established.
In addition, a monthly treat of fish emulsion or compost tea is a nice boost for your hoya to get it to flower. Any kind of organic fertilizer will work but with extra potassium, your plant will flourish.
When to Repot Your Hoya Pubicalyx
The hoya pubicalyx actually likes to be root bound so make sure if you repot it, you do not use a pot that is too large. If it is a slow grower, you can leave it in the pot for five years or longer. As long as the soil is still draining well and your plant is healthy, it will be fine.
The Size and Type of the Pot Matters
There are three types of pots including ceramic, terra cotta, and plastic. The plastic pots hold more water and keep it moister, so you do not have to water it as often. A terra cotta pot is best for keeping the roots aerated and resists root rot.
A ceramic pot is similar to the terra cotta pot, but it has the best of both the plastic and the terra cotta. It will give your plant good aeration while also keeping the soil from drying out too quickly. They are inexpensive as well as attractive too.
Although all plants have problems, the hoya pubicalyx is a relatively stress-free plant, especially when grown as a houseplant. However, all plants are susceptible to pests, overwatering, and underwatering. Check the leaves for indications of health problems.
1. Red or Dry Leaves
If your hoya gets too much sun or direct light, it can burn the leaves. Red or dried out leaves are a typical sign of too much sun. Just move your plant to a different location.
2. Yellow or Shriveled Leaves
This can be a sign of mealybugs, aphids, or not enough water or humidity. Keep your plant moist and check it for mealybugs to see what the trouble is.
3. Limp Leaves and Plant
If your whole plant looks limp or unhealthy, the roots may have died because of too much or inadequate water. Check the roots and remove the dead ones. Start a cutting to propagate your hoya just in case.
4. Leaves Falling Off
If the leaves fall off your plant, this typically means that your hoya got cold or is in a windy spot. Move your hoya to a warmer spot with high humidity.
5. No Flowers or Buds Do Not Bloom
Either your hoya pubicalyx is not getting enough light or it is not getting a proper dormant season. Your plant needs cooler temperatures with less light during the winter months to encourage blooms in the spring.
If you keep your hoya warm, moist, and well-watered, you should not usually have a problem with pests. However, sometimes those pests find a way to get to your plant anyway.
1. Fungus Gnats
Because fungus gnats like humidity, these pests can be annoying to your hoya. The best way to keep them away is to make sure the soil is well draining. If the top two inches stay dry, the fungus gnats will not lay their eggs there because it is not good for the larvae.
If your plant does become infested with fungus gnats, remove the first two inches of soil to get rid of the eggs. Use neem or insecticidal soap and place yellow sticky traps to control the gnats.
All plants are susceptible to mealybugs and they are attracted to warmth and moisture so your hoya may be more susceptible than others. These tiny terrors will suck the life out of your plant if you let them so make sure you get rid of them if you see them.
Because they are so small, you often cannot see them until there is a large infestation and the leaves start to turn yellow or shrivel up. They can also infect your plant with fungus. Be sure to get rid of all the pests with a high-powered shower and isopropyl alcohol, neem oil, or insecticidal soap.
Aphids are common on houseplants as well and can be found on the back of the hoya’s leaves. They look like small brown, black, or yellow dots by the base of the leaves. They will also make the leaves curl up or turn yellow like with mealybugs.
To get rid of them, give your plant a good hearty shower or use a high-powered hose to spray them away. Then you should coat the plant in neem oil or insecticidal soap. Repeat the application every three days for two weeks.
4. Root-Knot Nematodes
The most damaging pest for a hoya pubicalyx plant is the root-knot nematode. These pests are dangerous because they infect the roots where you cannot see them. But you can see the damage as your hoya gradually declines until it dies if you do not get rid of them.
One nematode can lay up to 1,000 eggs so these pests can take over your plant’s roots if you do not act quickly. The best way to find out if your plant has nematodes is to remove the plant and inspect the roots. If you see what looks like large knots in the roots, your plant is infested.
The best thing to do is to take a cutting from the top of your plant where it is the healthiest. You can try getting rid of them by removing infested roots and treating the soil, but it does not often work. And the insecticides to kill the pests can kill your hoya too.
Different Varieties of the Hoya Genus
The hoya genus has over 600 species but the most common besides the pubicalyx include:
- Hoya australis is one of the most popular of the hoya genus and grows a lot of fragrant blooms. It grows larger than other hoyas and can reach up to 12 feet in the wild.
- Hoya bella is smaller than the others and is a trailing type rather than a climber. They prefer slightly cooler temperatures than other hoyas.
- Hoya carnosa compacta is also known as a rope plant with curly leaves and draping vines that look like thick rope. The flowers are lush and vibrant with a waxy coat.
- Hoya crimson is a variegated variant with creamy white or pink edges on the large leaves. New leaves are usually bright pink and fade to be a creamy white.
- Hoya kentiana has longer leaves that can be variegated as well. This one can tolerate a lot of light and needs plenty of warmth and moisture.
- Hoya kerrii is also known as the valentine or sweetheart hoya because of its large heart-shaped leaves. It is easy to grow and simple to propagate with any leaf from the plant.
- Hoya lacunose is a compact plant that is similar to the pubicalyx in many ways although it has white or creamy yellow flowers. Also, this is a better hanging plant than a climber.
- Hoya linearis is another trailing plant that looks different than the rest as it has long and skinny leaves with small white flowers. It looks more like a spider plant than a hoya and is spindlier and long.
- Hoya macrophylla is one of the most popular hoyas because of its pretty variegation and long life. The large leaves are waxy as are the flowers, giving it the common name of wax plant.
- Hoya obovate is a compact plant with large thick oval-shaped leaves. The dark green leaves can have silvery specks and can tolerate a lot of light.
- Hoya shepherdii has long pointy leaves with delicate white and pink flowers. It grows best as a hanging plant and can reach about five to eight feet in length.
Because of all the details in this guide, you may be a bit overwhelmed.
So, we are going to break it all down and give you the highlights to make it easier to remember.
- The hoya pubicalyx is a climbing houseplant with evergreen leaves and fragrant pink star flowers.
- Your plant comes from the Philippines and loves a warm and humid environment.
- The hoya pubicalyx is also known as the carnosa, compacta, Hindu rope, krimson princess, krimson queen, pink silver, porcelain flower plant, silver pink vine, and wax plant.
- The hoya prefers about six or seven hours of bright but indirect sunlight.
- Let your plant dry out between watering and then soak it completely as it drains out the bottom.
- Give your hoya pubicalyx a shower once a month for a healthy and well-watered plant.
- Use soil that is one third orchid bark, one third peat, and one third perlite.
- Keep your plant humid with at least 60% humidity at all times.
- Use a humidity tray or humidifier and spray the leaves daily for best results.
- Feed your plant once a month during the growing season with liquid fertilizer.
- Let your hoya pubicalyx grow up a trellis or stick for a tall plant.
- You can propagate your plant easily with a stem cutting, leaf, or seed.
- The hoya prefers to be root bound so do not change pots too often.
- Watch the leaves for signs of water imbalance, too much light, drafts or cool air, and pest infestation.
- Besides the hoya pubicalyx, there are 11 other common hoyas that grow well indoors.
We covered a lot of information about hoya pubicalyx as well as other hoyas so you may be feeling like an expert already.
The good thing is that the plant is easy to grow and propagate so you can feel comfortable getting one of these even if you are new to houseplants.
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