Hoya tsangii of the Apocynaceae family is one of the most beautiful looking species of the genus Hoya. It is also quite low-maintenance and needs only an average amount of care, making it an ideal plant for the busy plant parents out there.
With its green-colored leaves that develop a beautiful coloration under direct sunlight, this is a must-have for all the plant hobbyists and enthusiasts. Learn all about this beautiful hoya genus plant in our expert-crafted guide.
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- What Is Hoya Tsangii?
- Hoya Tsangii Care
What Is Hoya Tsangii?
Hoya tsangii is a unique plant from the Philippines that has oval, velvety, green-colored leaves that turn maroon at the edges under direct sunlight. Its brick-red flowers bloom all year round, provided that adequate care and enough sunlight is provided.
The best thing about this plant is the very minimal care that it needs, making it perfect for beginner hobbyists as well.
Hoya Tsangii Care
Care for Hoya tsangii includes putting it under bright indirect light and watering before the soil becomes halfway dry.
This plant is quite low-maintenance when it comes to watering and doesn’t need to be watered every day.
Water this plant when approximately 50 percent of its soil becomes dry. Don’t allow the soil to remain dry for long periods of time.
The good thing about this plant is that it can easily tolerate a few days of neglect when it comes to its watering needs.
That is why it is considered one of the best low-maintenance houseplants to keep around.
– How To Water
Always water the soil and not the plant unless you want to wash the plant, which should be done only once a month. Water slowly and thoroughly. Keep watering until excess water starts to flow out of the drainage hole.
Don’t overwater your plant as this could lead to the development of a fungal disease called root rot. If the soil feels moist to the touch, then it shouldn’t be watered.
– What Type of Water To Use
Your tsangii plant will grow best when watered with filtered or distilled water. These are the purest waters without any harmful chemicals or toxins in them.
The thing with normal tap water is that it often contains harsh minerals and salts that affect your plant negatively. That is why we always recommend that you get your tap water checked from a reliable laboratory to see how safe it is for plant use.
This plant needs bright direct light during the blooming season and indirect light for the rest of the year to grow.
– Indirect Light During Non-blooming Season
The Hoya tsangii plant can grow healthily under bright indirect light for the whole year except for the time when it is blooming. You can keep this plant indoors in a brightly-lit room.
Remember that the efficacy of light decreases proportionally the farther you move the plant away from the windows, so keep your plant near the windows but away from direct sunlight.
The best window would be the northern-facing one as this window receives indirect light all day. You can safely place your plant right in front of this window and it will not get sunburnt. The most dangerous window would be the southern one. The light that comes in through this window is quite harsh and capable of wilting the leaves of your plant in no time.
– Direct Light During Blooming Season
The Hoya tsangii plant does not bloom unless it is subjected to direct sunlight during the flowering period. Keep in mind that this direct sunlight should also be mild enough for your plant to tolerate. You will need to move your plant to a location where it receives rather direct sunlight.
The best location would be to find an eastern window in the house and keep your plant near it. These windows let in only the mild early morning sunlight for a short while. This should be enough for the flowers of Hoya tsangii to bloom.
This plant grows under high humidity levels ranging from 40 to 60 percent. A hygrometer is an instrument that measures humidity levels accurately. Buying one to keep an eye on your plants is always a good idea.
– How To Increase Humidity
Choose the most humid spot in your house to keep your tsangii in — a bathroom or a kitchen will work just fine. Regularly mist your plant every day.
The afternoon is often the best time to mist these plants.
Make your own DIY humidity trays to keep under the pots. These are shallow trays filled with large-sized pebbles and water. The pot rests on the pebbles without touching the water.
Evaporation of water from the tray increases the surrounding humidity levels that are best for your plant. If you have a humidifier, then simply adjust its setting to the humidity levels you need and see your plant get the moisture content that it craves.
The temperature needed by Hoya tsangii is 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
– What To Do During Winter
During winter, your plant might be able to tolerate a drop in temperature until about 50 degrees Fahrenheit. However, it will not survive the cold below this point.
We always suggest moving the plant indoors during wintertime, and even when indoors, keep it away from open windows or cold drafts of air. Cold shock is an actual phenomenon and your plant might not be able to survive it.
This plant doesn’t generally need to be fertilized too often, but it makes them more healthy and able to resist diseases when they are well-fed. This is especially true during the growing season when the plant is in active need of nutrients.
– How to Fertilize
Use a quality fertilizer and always dilute it prior to use. Your fertilizer should have a balanced NPK ratio so that the plant gets all the essential nutrients that it needs easily. Now fertilization can be done either on a weekly or a monthly basis. If you go for the weekly option, then use an even lower concentration of fertilizer than you would on a monthly basis.
Before fertilizing, water the plant deeply. This saves it from the often-occurring consequence of fertilizer burn. Fertilize near the base of the plant and spare the top portions.
Every month or every other month, give your plant a water bath to flush out toxins and salts that accumulate in the soil due to the regular use of fertilizers.
The Hoya tsangii plants should be potted in soil that is loose enough to allow quick drainage of water as well as the adequate flow of air. Start by purchasing an ordinary potting mix from the market, then add some perlite, orchid bark or sand to increase its drainage capacity.
Make sure your soil doesn’t become more sandy than clay-like, though. Because while this plant needs breathing space for its roots, it also needs root-bound conditions to thrive.
As for the pH of the soil, it needs to be somewhere between neutral to slightly acidic. The range of pH that you should aim for is 6.1 to 7.3.
Pruning is actually good for your plant. The more you prune it, the better it grows. This is because pruning old and overgrown leaves frees up nutrients for the younger growths.
– Tips to Prune Hoya Tsangii
Don’t prune the part of the plant from where flower spurs grow. These are growth sites for flowers. The part of the plant that has been pruned becomes a new growth center from which new branches and spurs emerge.
Always make sure that the tools you use are sharp and sterile. When cutting a piece of stem, start right below the thread node. Don’t let yourself get carried away when pruning. If you cut ⅔ or more off in a single sitting, your plant might undergo shock and even die.
Lastly, make sure that all the old, diseased and dead parts of the plants are removed as well.
The best way to propagate Hoya tsangii is by using stem cuttings and growing them in soil or water as a medium. Make sure you do this gently, as newly-cut plant parts are very sensitive.
– Stem Cuttings
Here is a step-by-step guide to propagate your plant from stem cuttings.
- Cut a piece of stem from the parent plant using sharp gardening scissors. This piece should be 4 to 5 inches long and contain five or six leaf nodes.
- Remove the leaves from one side of the stem cutting. This side will go in the potting medium and roots will emerge from it.
- You can propagate these cuttings in both water and soil. Water works better because you can see the progress with your own eyes.
- When propagating in soil, water the soil thoroughly prior to planting the cuttings. Make sure your potting mix has an adequate amount of perlite or vermiculite in it to make it well-draining.
- Now place the stem cutting in the propagation medium such that the side with the exposed nodes is submerged in the water or the soil and the other side is out in the open.
- Applying rooting hormone to the cuttings prior to propagation will speed up the process of root formation. Your chances of getting a successful propagation will surely increase.
- When propagating using water, don’t forget to change the water every third day or so.
- Lastly, place these propagations someplace where they receive an adequate amount of indirect light. In a few weeks, your new plants should be ready to go.
– When to Repot
Your Hoya tsangii plant should only be repotted under the following conditions:
- When the roots begin to outgrow the pot and start coming out of the drainage hole
- When you start noticing that the roots have begun drying unusually quicker than usual
The roots of this plant likes to grow under cramped conditions. That is why you don’t need to repot this plant every year. Make sure not to use a pot that is larger than the previous one by more than 2 inches when repotting this plant.
This plant often suffers from various types of leaf discolorations, delayed bloom, and tarsonemid pests. A lot of keepers report their Hoya tsangii plants failing to propagate too. Find out how to solve all these potential problems in the upcoming sections.
– Leaf Discoloration
Leaf discoloration often occurs as a result of watering issues. Overwatering this plant will lead to Hoya tsangii leaves that are yellow and mushy. Eventually, they might even start exfoliating.
Underwatering the plant, on the other hand, will lead to dry, wrinkly and brown-colored leaves. This problem will exacerbate in hot and dry weather, so make sure to fix this immediately by watering your plant correctly and establishing a proper watering routine
Improve the watering condition of your plant. If overwatering is due to poor drainage of the soil or the pot, then you will definitely need to repot Hoya tsangii in a better pot and with looser soil.
In case of leaves turning brown due to underwatering, make sure you plant it before its soil dries out completely. In case of dry weather, keep misting the plant regularly.
– Not Flowering
Is your Hoya tsangii plant refusing to flower? Read below to find out why this plant often fails to bloom.
First of all, keep in mind that this plant takes a very long time — two years at least — to start flowering. Your plant might just be very young to start flowering. Hoya tsangii plants will not bloom unless they receive direct sunlight during their blooming period.
Overwatering will also suppress their flowering if it has been occurring for too long. Overfeeding is another common cause behind the delayed or suppressed bloom of Hoya tsangii flowers. A large-sized pot might also be the detrimental factor blocking the flowering of this plant.
Allow young plants time to grow and start flowering at their natural pace. Expose this plant to direct early morning sunlight during the blooming season to help them produce their beautiful flowers.
Being a rather small plant, a five-inch pot is enough for a grown tsangii plant. Refrain from potting in very large-sized pots as this will make it harder for the plant to thrive. Make sure not to over-water or over-fertilize this plant.
– Tarsonemid Mite
This is a microscopic insect that very commonly affects the Hoya tsangii plant. Although you cannot see this pest, the havoc it wreaks on your plant will be quite apparent.
You might notice small brown spots appear on the edges of the leaves. The plant will start appearing weak and limp. These pests will also quickly jump to infect other plants as well.
Isolate the infested plant from all others and wash your plant with a good quality insecticide soap and water to remove these pests. Spray the affected plant with insecticide.
– Propagation Failure
Unfortunately, you might experience this setback more often than you would like to with these plants. Continue reading to find out why your Hoya tsangii plants might be refusing to propagate.
- The nodes in the stem cuttings often simply do not produce roots.
- When the stem cuttings are buried directly in the soil, they often tend to die out.
- If the newly propagated cuttings are placed under harsh light or not watered enough, they will fail to propagate.
It is often best to propagate the Hoya tsangii plants in water until the roots begin to grow. Propagation containers should not be placed under direct sunlight. If you are propagating in soil, make sure to keep it moist and well hydrated.
Does Hoya Tsangii like loose or compact soil?
Hoya Tsangii prefers well-draining soil that is slightly loose, rather than compact.
Can Hoya Tsangii grow from a stem without leaves?
Yes, Hoya Tsangii can grow from a stem without leaves, as long as the stem has nodes.
Why is my Hoya Tsangii growing aerial roots?
Hoya Tsangii grows aerial roots to absorb moisture and nutrients from the air, and to support the plant’s weight.
We understand that this must have been quite a handful of information to digest in one go. Here is a quick recap of all the important points we learned.
- The Hoya tsangii plant needs bright indirect light to grow. However, its flowers will not bloom unless exposed to direct light of moderate intensity.
- Water your plant when its soil becomes dry at least halfway through. This is a plant that loves deep watering. Water generously until excess water starts to come out of the drainage hole each time.
- The Hoya tsangii plant can be propagated in either water or soil using stem cuttings with at least three to four leaf nodes in them. This is not a plant that needs frequent repotting. Only repot once its roots start coming out of the drainage hole.
- This plant needs about 40 percent humidity to grow, as well as high temperatures in the range of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This plant will not tolerate low temperatures below 50 degrees. Therefore, always move it indoors during winters.
- Always plant Hoya tsangii in loose, coarse, and well-draining soil with slightly acidic to neutral pH. Mix potting medium with sand, perlite or orchid bark to increase its drainage.
We think it’s time you order yourself some tsangii bulbs along with a pot and some suitable soil. The foliage and bloom of this plant will surely liven up your living spaces.