Hoya retusa is an elegant plant for your indoor or outdoor garden. With basic care, the plant can live for decades. Here is everything that you need to know about hoya retusa.
What Is Hoya Retusa?
Hoya retusa is an evergreen perennial vine that belongs to the Hoya plant family. There are 200-300 tropical species of plants in this genus that are native to Asia. Like its relatives, Hoya retusa is also a native from India that has adapted well to various climates.
Hoya retusa acts as an epiphyte in its natural environment and depends on trees to thrive. It climbs up with its adventitious roots and can grow into a self-sustaining vine. This plant characteristic is how it sources nutrients and moisture and finds shelter to grow on its own.
Even when you plant it in hanging pots, keep an eye on your fast-growing, clinging hoya stems.
Let us explore its fantastic features and know what makes it a perfect houseplant.
Hoya retusa is famous for its long, slender, shiny stems and leaves that give it the appearance of a vine. Plenty of green cylindrical leaves on the stems. A mature leaf can be as big as 5 inches in length and adds to its uniqueness. Its slim leaf structure and flat appearance of the foliage give it the name of grass-leafed Hoya.
Hoya retusa grows individual flowers. These appear on the slim stems and fall off when flowering ends, while other hoya varieties grow perennial peduncles that grow bigger each season. The flowers of Hoya retusa are not only beautiful but also constantly changing.
Hoya retusa has an eye-catching white and pink flower. The star-shaped flowers grow triangular petals with another star-shaped corona in the center. Blooms of Hoya retusa have a sweet scent. The plenty of nectar makes it a favorite of pollinators too.
It is interesting to note that hoya may also produce seeds in some conditions. Leave your plants outdoors to encourage good pollination by local insects. Pollination encourages seed production. These seeds grow in twin pods and are light.
Wind displaces them with the help of its silky fluff. You may want to bag your seeds before they escape the pot. Although the seeds of hoya retusa will not stay viable for long, they will germinate fast.
– Hoya and Beneficial Insects
Pollinators like moths, flies, and ants visit the hoya vines often. You will notice ants walk up and down the vine all day to collect nectar if the plant is outdoors. Ants also find shelter under their leaves from the harsh sun.
Other local pollinators and insects are also attracted to the grassy vine. In some parts of the world, Hoya flowers are the main food source for moth colonies. The flowers of Hoya retusa release nocturnal scent around dusk. This attracts butterflies into your garden around that time. Isn’t it a good enough reason to grow your hoya retusa?
Here is everything that you need to know about this easy-to-grow plant.
How to Care for Hoya Retusa?
Let us look at the kind of soil it needs for growing hoya retusa into an impressive vine.
Hoya Retusa needs a well-drained soil mix. You can buy a ready-made mixture or create your own. Peat moss and coco coir-based soil mix with added perlite will make a light soil mix that drains well.
It is a good idea to test soil pH and maintain it between 6 and 7. Too much peat moss can make the soil too acidic. In the case of acidic soils above this range, you can add crushed eggshells to balance it.
The soil must drain well to avoid root rot. If you feel it’s not draining well, add more perlite or coarse sand.
Here is a simple potting mix recipe that will help you grow healthy Hoya retusa:
- 1 part peat moss or coconut coir
- 1 part garden soil, coarse sand, or perlite
- Adding gravel at the bottom of your pots will also assist in roots growing.
Hoya retusa loves indirect light, like in its native Asian growing climates. It adapts well to lower light conditions than the bright sunlight. If your window gets bright direct light, it is a good idea to move your hoya further away from the window. This will make the light milder and perfect for your plants.
Lack of light also affects hoya retusa and may stop it from growing and flowering. Changing location will help you select the best place in the house for your plants.
– Where Should I Place My Plants?
Hanging baskets near a sunny windowsill is the most common spot for hoya retusa plants but don’t have to be. Place Hoya retusa pots anywhere around the house. You have to make sure that your plants do not get direct sunlight. Hoya will love bright, indirect light.
Hoya must also get a chance to be a highlight in your garden, balcony, or rooftop. Hang it on a wall that doesn’t receive direct sunlight. If you place it under an existing tree, the pollinators will also have a treat. A balcony that receives only early morning sun or late afternoon sun will also be a perfect match.
Besides taking care of its light and placement, let’s also learn about its moisture needs.
Watering Hoya retusa depends on its need and the soil mixture you chose. Stick your finger into the soil and feel the moisture. If the top two or three inches of the soil is dry, then it is time to water your plants. When in doubt, skip for another day.
Remember that less is more when it comes to watering hoya retusa. Be modest and cover soil, but make sure it doesn’t get soggy. During winters, Hoya retusa will need much less watering. Once or twice a week during a hot spell is all that it needs. Amazing, right?
Hoya retusa will like water at room temperature, light in minerals. Reuse water from the air conditioning system or distilled water if the tap water is not suitable.
Hoya retusa dislikes fluctuating temperatures that put them in a shock. Maintain lower temperatures. It flowers at night temperatures around 50 degrees Fahrenheit. A consistent temperature between 50 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal.
Do not worry if you live in the hotter climates, remember hoya is native to India? Planting it in a shady spot or indoors gives it the right temperature to flourish.
Maintaining the temperature for hoya retusa is essential. You can place it away from air conditioners, ovens, microwaves, and stoves for this. If you get long, cold winters, bring them closer to a sunny window. These tropical plants prefer balanced temperatures like that of a tropical region. Both extremes will not be suitable for its growth.
Being a tropical plant, Hoya retusa loves humidity. It is a good idea to moisten your plants during a dry spell or a long summer day. A treat of mist is always appreciated by hoya retusa.
There are a few ways to increase humidity when it is scorched in your region.
- Put plants close together and maintain good air circulation
- Mist your plants during a dry spell
- Use humidifier
- Place a humidity mat
Although hoya likes a neutral pH, it needs a light fertilizer once in a while. Be it for its leaves in spring or its flowers, using a little fertilizer can assist your plant’s growth.
The best time to fertilize hoya retusa is in late spring. This time is the growing season that continues until the end of summer. Choose a light fertilizer for your hoya retusa.
Here are some organic options to select from:
- Worm castings or vermiculite
- Banana peel fertilizer to boost flowers
- Coffee grounds
- Used tea
Any fertilizer that is rich in nitrogen will boost its leaf growth. Plant foods with a 2:1:2 ratio of NPK will be ideal for hoya vines. Always use diluted fertilizer for hoya retusa. Use this a day after irrigation to avoid burning its roots.
Hoya retusa are toxic and inedible. That is why it is good to hang it where children or pets cannot reach it. In case of accidental indigestions, the doctor must examine the pet or individual. The symptoms may include a swollen mouth, stomach ache, and shortness of breath.
How Can I Propagate Hoya Retusa at Home?
Propagating hoya is super easy. All you need is a pair of sharp scissors, potting soil, or a glass of water. If done, you will have new hoya retusa plants in no time.
Hoya Retusa is super easy to propagate. Mid-spring and early summer is the best time to do this, like with most plants.
You can propagate it by water or soil, and I will outline the process below.
Here is a step-to-step guide for you:
- Select a healthy-looking stem. Hold it in your hand, and with the help of disinfected scissors, make a 7-inch cut close to the soil.
- Dip the fresh cut in the rooting hormone (optional).
- Place the cutting distilled water or moist soil mix.
- In the case of propagation through water, remember these points. Change the water often, and place cuttings in a warm, bright location.
- Once the roots appear and grow a few inches big, it is time to pot them. Plant the cutting in the soil where they will now grow and thrive.
- Plant your fresh cuttings into the soil, water, and place them in a bright location.
- You can also place a plastic bottle upside down on your cuttings or a jar to maintain moisture.
- Hoya can propagate through leaf cuttings but will prefer stem cutting.
Watch out for signs of pests and disease as the young plants are most vulnerable. But don’t worry, we have got your back! With our guide and the symptom checker, you will become a pro at taking care of your hoya retusa.
Which Pest Can Attack Hoya Retusa?
Hoya retusa is somewhat pest resistant, but mealybugs can invade its leaves. Aphids attack the flowers because of their sweet nectar. A simple water spray followed by an organic neem spray will solve the problem.
Pests might not be the biggest problem. Yet, your hoya retusa may have other problems that you must keep in mind. Here is how you can troubleshoot your hoya retusa.
– Hoya Retusa Symptom Checker
|Leaves are turning red or there are signs of sunburn||There is too much sun||Move it away from the sunlight or change its location|
|Leaves are shrinking or curling||There is a lack of water or humidity||Damaged or dry roots can be a reason too, or there is a mealybug attack|
|Plant looks weak||Roots are dying back due to overwatering||Check the roots. It is best to take a cutting and start a new plant. You can reuse the existing one by repotting in a well-drained soil mix|
|Internodes seem elongated||It’s not getting enough sunlight||Move it close to the light source|
|It has never flowered||Lack of light||Bring it closer to the light. Use light plant food to boost potassium levels that will encourage flowering|
|Buds fall off without blooming||The potting medium is dry or too wet for long periods||Maintain the watering cycle|
|Leaves fall off||The plant is exposed to cold or chill||Make sure hoya retusa is in a warm, humid location|
|There is a sticky sap on plants||Can be because of insects||Use neem spray to keep plants protected|
– Pot Perfect Plants
Hoya retusa needs loose, well-drained soil to flourish. But sometimes, the pot that we selected may be the problem. Any pot with fewer drainage holes, especially if it’s plastic, can add to the problem — ideally, opt for ceramic or terracotta pots. Hanging baskets also perform well.
Hoya retusa may get a little root bound, but that’s okay. It is not necessary to re-pot it often. You can check and see when it’s time to give it a bigger pot. In most cases, refreshing the soil mix once in two years will be enough.
Be mindful of watering hoya when you re-pot it. Make sure that whatever soil mix or planter you chose, never over-water your plants the first time. It is best to water your hoya retusa a couple of hours before transplanting.
Keep these few points in mind while planting your hoya retusa. In no time, you will have pot-perfect plants that you will cherish for a lifetime.
Hoya retusa is an elegant-looking plant with slender leaves and star-shaped single flowers. The grass-like stems add sophistication to any type of garden, and the flowers attract and support many local pollinators. It needs little care but will grow on for a long time, making it worth your effort and love.
Here is a summary of everything we learned above to help you grow hoya retusa like a pro.
- Hoya retusa is a native of India and likes to grow in conditions like the tropics
- It is a perennial vine with an appearance like that of grass
- Hoya retusa likes to grow in the well-drained soil mixture
- It also likes a balanced source of light; too much or too little light affects its growth
- Burned leaves, elongated nodes, and curled foliage may be a sign of it.
- It may survive too little water, but overwatering kills it
- Hoya retusa are ideal as potted plants
- Terracotta or ceramic pots are most suitable for hoya, but any planter with good drainage will do.
- Pots for hoya must have good drainage
- Flowers attract beneficial insects: moths, ants, butterflies, and flies love it because of its sweet nectar
- Hoya retusa can propagate from stem or leaf cuttings. It can also produce seeds that germinate fast
- Pests like aphids and mealybugs also invade the plants
- A spray of water followed by the neem spray can keep pests away
- The main cause of unhealthy hoya retusa begins in the roots of the plants
- Longer dry periods or overwatering can both cause damage to the roots and kill your plants
- Fluctuating light or temperature may also harm the delicate plants
- Hoya retusa is very easy to propagate by taking a branch cutting
- If taken care of, hoya retusa can grow for many decades
Hoya retusa is easy to grow and propagate pest-free plants. The only thing you need to do is pick a perfect spot for your hoya retusa to grow and enjoy it for years to come.
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