Hoya Shepherdii Care Infographic
Hoya Shepherdii Care Infographic

Hoya shepherdii is prized for the bean-like shape of its leaves, and this plant becomes more beautiful as you go closer, making you definitely want it in your home. This unique-looking hoya plant is also called the string bean plant.

Hoya shepherdii may look like ordinary grass from afar, but you will surely appreciate its beauty and other features when you have the chance to touch and feel it. Continue reading this complete guide to learn how to care for it.

What Is Hoya Shepherdii?

Hoya shepherdii is a houseplant with leaves that are dark green, long, thick and waxy. The leaves look like pods of beans and this is why this plant is also referred to as the “string bean hoya.”

This plant can grow up to 4 to 6 inches tall and will trail in different directions. They also produce clusters of star-shaped creamy flowers that have sweet scents.

Hoya Shepherdii Care

Hoya shepherdii plants are common amongst houseplant owners just like other hoya plants. This species is abundant especially in the home of hoya enthusiasts as the hoya genus is a very popular household plant.

While you can grow your hoya shepherdii in hanging baskets, they are more beautiful in short pots where they can trail on the ground on your patio.

the Hoya plant and flowersPlants in the genus hoya are known for one thing — being low maintenance. As a member of the hoya genus, hoya shepherdii is very easy to care for and you need only minimum attention for the plant.

Hoya plants can tolerate a wide range of growing conditions, but you need to get them right for the optimum growth, health and beauty of your plant.

Here are some care requirements for hoya shepherdii plants.

– Soil Requirements

The type of substrate you grow your indoor hoya shepherdii plant is worth considering because if you do not grow it in a suitable substrate, it will not grow properly. For houseplants, you cannot use regular garden soil because it is compacted, heavy and does not allow proper water drainage. Nonetheless, you can amend the soil to become more suitable.

A suitable potting mix for your hoya shepherdii plant is aerated, coarse and well-drained. There are various products available for plants in the “Hoya” genus, but you can always make the potting mix by yourself. A very simple homemade potting mix for hoya shepherdii plants is the mixture of two-part loam, one-part sand and the addition of perlite.

– Water Requirements

Most plants in this genus have the features of a succulent plant, so you must be mindful of your watering rate and intensity. Hoya shepherdii plants can tolerate drought to a certain level, but cannot tolerate a soggy substrate. This means that you must never overwater your plants.

As long as you are growing your hoya shepherdii plants in the right potting mix or amended soil, you can water them once a week and they should be just fine as you expect excess moisture to quickly drain off the substrate.

If you like, you can extend the period between watering your plants and then water them thoroughly by flooding them. Nonetheless, you must ensure that the substrate is well-aerated.

– Light Requirements

A general rule for every hoya plant is that it prefers more sun to less sun. Plants in this genus have optimal growth with more light. Hoya shepherdii plants prefer dappled full sun, which is above six hours of sunlight daily. Just make sure that you filter the afternoon sun from reaching the plant.

Filtering the sunlight does not mean that your hoya shepherdii plants should not receive sunlight in the afternoon. It simply means that you should reduce the amount of sun rays that reach the plants. You can achieve this by shifting the hoyas a few inches away from direct sunlight or by growing your plants under a semi-opaque canopy.

– Humidity Requirements

Even though hoya shepherdii plants prefer dry soil to a wet one, they tend to prefer high humidity to low humidity. The level of humidity influences how a plant can transport water from the roots to the leaves and how they store water in their leaves. Your hoya shepherdii plants prefer high levels of humidity.

The humidity of the room should be between 50 percent to 70 percent. Just make sure that it is above average. Do not keep your hoya shepherdii plants in the direct wind as it can dry them up and spoil their appearance. However, if you want to increase the humidity around your hoya shepherdii plants, you can use a humidifier.

– Temperature Requirements

The most important atmospheric factor that you should consider before buying your hoya shepherdii plants is the temperature. You should only grow plants that are well-suited for the temperature of your region or USDA hardiness zone. Nonetheless, you can grow your plants in a controlled environment if they are not well-suited for the natural temperature.

Hoya shepherdii, like many other hoya species, is a tropical species, so it prefers higher temperatures to lower ones. The optimal temperatures for hoya shepherdii plants range from 50 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Even though these plants love warmer temperatures, you should not grow them near an oven or any appliance that emits heat.

– Fertilizing Requirements

The active growing season of hoya shepherdii plants is the warm months of spring and summer. This plant goes into dormancy or grows very slowly in late autumn and early winter. During the growing season, you want to make sure that your plant has enough nutrients for optimal growth.

You can use a balanced houseplant or succulent fertilizer for your hoya shepherdii plants. Feed them once a month and not more than that. Hoya shepherdii plants can tolerate a nutrient-depleted substrate but cannot withstand one with too many nutrients.

If you notice burnt leaves in your hoya shepherdii plants, you should reduce your rate of fertilizing. Note that burnt leaves in your plant may also be due to other causes.

– Pruning and Repotting

Pruning and repotting your hoya shepherdii plants are the most demanding tasks you can do when you grow this plant. Pruning is very important so that your shepherdii can look and stay beautiful. You can prune it by removing excess, weak, yellow, diseased or dead leaves. Also, check the stem and remove dying parts.

As for repotting your hoya shepherdii plant, you may need to wait for two to three years before you do so. Some reasons why repotting your hoya shepherdii plants is important include:

  • To increase the pot size: There may come a time when your hoya shepherdii roots will feel trapped in the pot because they need more space. This is when you should repot the plant.
  • To change the substrate: If you are growing your hoyas in a substrate rich in organic materials, they can break down in time and change the substrate properties. Changing the substrate is important.
  • To monitor your plant roots: While repotting your hoya shepherdii plants, you get the opportunity to check the roots and prune off diseased ones.

To repot your hoya shepherdii plant, find a bigger, well-drained pot and then carefully plant your hoya in a new substrate in the new pot. Try not to damage the shepherdii roots.

– Suitable Mulch 

You should use inorganic mulch like rocks for your hoya shepherdii plants. You can also use shells, but remember that they will break down later and you may need to change them. Mulch helps to add to your hoya shepherdii’s beauty, so you want to ensure that you properly mulch the plant.

– Bloom and Leaf Care

Hoya shepherdii plants produce flowers usually in the summer months. However, the bloom does not last for more than three days. You do not need any extra effort to care for your hoya shepherdii bloom. All you should do is sit back and enjoy the view of your beautiful hoya shepherdii flower.

As for the leaves of your plant, you want to prevent pests from reaching them. Also, you can keep your hoya shepherdii leaves fresh by misting droplets of water on them in the morning. Make sure that the droplets evaporate from the shepherdii leaves before two hours to prevent the leaves from looking frail.

– Getting Your Hoya Shepherdii

Hoya shepherdii is common and you can easily find it in stores with houseplants. You can even get some shepherdii plants online if you prefer ordering from the internet. However, it is advisable that you buy your hoya shepherdii plants from a nearby store so that you can inspect your plants before you take them home.

Buying your hoya shepherdii from a physical store can help you to select the best plants as well as avoid weak ones. The best hoya shepherdii plant is one without irregular spots or bite marks on its leaves. You should also go for the not-so-tall or etiolated hoya shepherdii plants.

 

Propagation 

The “Hoya” genus is a popular houseplant as it is very easy to propagate. All you need to propagate your hoya shepherdii plant is its stem cuttings. To propagate your plant, look for and collect a stem cutting that is about five to eight inches long. The cutting should contain two or three nodes as these are the points from where growth will occur.

If there is a lot of foliage in the cutting, you should remove most of them except the top ones. After preparing the cutting, it is now ready for propagation. You can propagate your hoya shepherdii cutting in soil or water.

– Propagate in Soil

To propagate your hoya shepherdii cutting in soil, plant it in a suitable substrate and make sure that you water it regularly. Continue to attend to the cutting for three weeks to a month or until the plant shows signs of growth.

– Propagate in Water

Propagation of hoya shepherdii in water is easy and this method is helpful to monitor its growth. Keep your hoya shepherdii cutting in a glass of clean water. Try to make sure that three or more inches of the plant (but not up to half its length) is submerged in water.

Continue replacing the water with clean water every three or four days while you monitor the plant. In less than two weeks, you should notice that your hoya shepherdii cutting is growing roots. After waiting an extra two or three weeks, you can then transplant it to a preferred location.

Problems 

Hoya shepherdii may be easy to grow and care for, but there are certain problems that are common in the plant. Here are some common problems to watch out for when growing hoya shepherdii plants:

– Pest Attack

Pests such as aphids, mites, mealybugs and thrips frequently attack hoya shepherdii plants. These creatures can be disastrous to your plant as they can kill the plant or give it a bad appearance. The good news is that they are easy to control.

To prevent pests from harming your hoya shepherdii plants, you should remove them as soon as you notice them on your plants. You can pick them up with your fingers, or you can spray soapy water on the leaves of the plant to repel the pests.

The best way to prevent these pests is to buy pesticide from a gardening shop and use it as instructed.

– Overwatering

Hoya shepherdii plants prefer dry soil to a soggy one. Overwatering your hoya shepherdii plants can lead to root rot as well as other diseases, so you want to make sure that you do not give too much water to the plants.

Always remember that Hoya shepherdii plants want their substrate to be almost dry between waterings.

If you notice signs of overwatering in hoya shepherdii plants, you should cut back on your watering rate and only water the plant when the soil is dry. If the hoya shepherdii plant has root rot, examine its roots and remove dead ones then plant it in a new pot with a new substrate.

– Insufficient Light

Most plants in the “Hoya” genus want six or more hours of sunlight daily. The hoya shepherdii plant is quite special as it can tolerate a lower amount of sunlight. Even though your hoya shepherdii can grow in dappled sunlight, you should not grow it without sufficient light.

Make sure that your hoya shepherdii plant has at least 6 hours of dappled sunlight daily to prevent it from dying of insufficient light. You can also grow it under 10 or more hours of artificial grow lights if you do not have access to enough sunlight for your indoor plants.

Conclusion

Hoya shepherdii plants are truly easy to care for as long as you pay attention to their growth requirements. Here is the hoya shepherdii care summary you should remember:

  • You should use any nutrient-rich balanced fertilizer for your hoya shepherdii plants. Fertilize your plants once a month during spring and summer.
  • Hoya plants can tolerate a temperature range of 50 to 77 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • You should wait until your hoya shepherdii substrate is almost dry before you water it again.
  • Your plant can look ugly with dead and weak leaves, so remember to prune it regularly.
  • You should protect your hoya shepherdii plants from insect pests as they can be destructive and kill your plants.

You are now officially a hoya shepherdii expert grower. Just make sure you grow your plant in the right conditions explained in this guide.

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