Hoya Retusa are one of the easiest plants to care for. They’re practically indestructible. It’s commonly known as the grass leafed hoya due to flat, slim foilage. They sit best in hanging planters, so you can have them trailing anywhere in the home. Let’s take a look at everything you need to know to care for your hoya retusa.
Here’s a quick overview of what you can expect: Providing good care for your hoya retusa is easy. Place it in bright, indirect light and grow it in well draining soil. Only water it once the surface is dry to to the touch. They thrive with regular home temperatures, humidity, and light fertilization.
Hoya Retusa Care Summary
|Scientific Name||Hoya Retusa|
|Common Name||Grass Leafed Hoya|
|Light Requirements||Bright Indirect Light|
|Watering||Normal, when surface of soil is dry to the touch|
|Soil||Well draining soil|
|Temperature||Between 5 and 35°C (41 to 95°F)|
|Pruning||Minimal, trim with secateurs|
|Propagation||Done via cuttings|
|Re-Potting||Every 2 years|
|Toxicity||Yes – Milky sap laden with latex|
Best Location For Your Hoya Retusa
Hoya Retusa can be grown pretty much anywhere in the home. They’re quite hardy so it gives you the flexibility to grow it almost wherever you like. Just remember the main thing is that they should not be exposed to direct sunlight. They love bright, indirect light – but if you’re in doubt, remember they can survive in low light conditions.
It’s not uncommon to grow a hoya retusa near a window and let the leaves trail down to cover it. However, if you’re doing this then you should locate the plant in a room with windows facing south or south-west. This helps reduce the amount of direct light on it. If you can’t do that, then you should think about installing some form of screen to protect the plant.
If you notice some of the leaves browning or curling, this is usually a sign they’re getting too much sunlight. Keep this in mind and adjust the location accordingly if you notice any signs of this problem.
Personally, I like to grow them in hanging planters as this allows the flat leaves to trail down. I think that having them hanging near archways can help create a cozy feel in your home.
Temperature For Hoya Retusa Plants
Soil For Hoya Retusa
If you cant get your hands on any potting mix, it’s pretty simple to make your own. All you need is some peat, garden soil and coarse sand. Mix these together in equal parts and you’ve got yourself a well-draining soil mix.
Watering Your Hoya Retusa
The key component in regards to watering your hoya retusa is soil drainage. It’s susceptible to root rot so it’s essential that the water can freely flow through the planter and out the bottom. If you’re finding that the water isn’t draining through, you may need to drill more holes into your planter. If that doesn’t work, you should try changing to a lighter potting soil.
You only need to water this plant when the surface of the soil is dry to the touch. Give it enough water to just moisten the soil. Never let it get soggy, this is a sign that water is beginning to pool. This will lead to root rot if you’re not careful. When watering, it’s also key that you use room temperature water. Doing this helps prevent the plant from going into shock. If cold water touches the roots of the plant, it can send a shock through it’s system, causing leaves to drop.
Another thing to avoid, which might sound a little strange, is watering your plant in the evening. Ideally, you want to water your plant as early in the morning as you can. This gives your plant a full day to absorb the water. Plus, it allows excess water to evaporate and prevent pooling. A sign too look out for is dark spots on the leaves. This is an indicator for leaf spot, which is essentially a fungus that grows as a result of night time watering.
Humidity For Your Hoya Retusa
As they’re tropical plants, you can already imagine they love humidity. However, they can happily cope in regular home environments so don’t let this put you off. But if you are starting to notice the leaves becoming crisp and brown, this is a sign that the humidity may be lacking. Don’t fret though, simulating a higher humidity environment for it in the home isn’t too complex, plus it will help it to truly thrive.
During drier days, such as during winter, it can seem difficult to get the humidity right. It also gets tempting to give it more water, this is not the solution and will just cause further problems. However, there are a few options to help increase the humidity. So, how can we increase it?
First of all, you can setup a humidifier in your home. Usually you just have to fill them with water and plug them in, pretty simple. They tend to kick out the most humidity and are ideal for the dry winter months or when the summer heat really kicks in. If that’s not an option though, you can simply place it in your bathroom. The water in your bathroom should give it the humidity it needs, helping to simulate its natural environment.
Spritzing your plants leaves with a spray bottle helps too. The finer the mist, the better. Often people make the mistake of directly watering the leaves thinking this will work instead, it won’t. Doing that will just cause issues with your plant. Misting provides just a light coating of water on the leaves, rather than soaking them like watering would do.
If neither of the above options work for you, grouping your plants up can increase the humidity, as plants naturally release water during their growth. Otherwise, you can try filling a shallow tray with pebbles and water. Place this near your plants and this will give them the boost in humidity they need. If that doesn’t resolve it, you can try adding more trays with water.
Fertilizing Hoya Retusa
Repotting Your Hoya Retusa
These plants only require repotting every 2 years. If you’re consistent with this, then you shouldn’t face any issues. But if you do happen to leave it for too long, the growth may become stunted. This is usually due to them becoming root bound, meaning they are unable to grow any further. You can usually spot signs of this by the soil drying out very quickly and the growth becoming stunted.
To repot them, you first need to get hold of a planter that’s a few inches bigger than the current one. Plus some new potting soil, or just use the old lot and add a little extra to fill up the extra space in the new planter.
Then you need to remove the plant from its current home and gently shake away the soil from the roots. Create a hole in the new soil and place it gently in there. Be careful not to pack down the soil, just cover the roots without pressing down. Once you’ve done that, you just need to ensure that you water it well over the next few weeks to allow the roots to settle in properly.
Propagating Hoya Retusa Plants
It’s super simple to propagate a hoya retusa, so you can easily gift one or more to your family and friends. During spring is the best time to do it, whilst you’re repotting helps with this aswell but it’s not necessary. To propagate your plant, follow the steps laid out below.
First of all, you need to prepare a pot of moistened potting soil, ideally as I mentioned previously to give it the best chance growing medium. I’ve found that leaving the soil for a day after moistening it produces the best results.
Once you’ve done that, now it’s time to take your cuttings. Get yourself a sharp knife or secateurs. Now look for a 7 inch section of stem that you can easily cut away, preferably, close to the root of the plant. Next, you can dip it in a root hormone solution to help kickstart the growth. But that step isn’t necessary.
For the next part, you have two options. You can either place the plant in some distilled water, changing it everyday and monitoring it for any signs of growth. Or you can place it directly into the potting soil. With the latter, it’s hard to know if there are any problems until it’s too late. So, I’d recommend that you start the initial growth stage in distilled water. This allows you to monitor it daily for any signs of growth or problems.
Once you start to notice new roots growing, this is where it starts to get exciting and it’s easy to rush into things. First, let them get to around 1 inch long. This helps strengthen them, preventing them from breaking easily when you transfer them. Now it’s time to get them into the potting soil. Carefully create a hole deep enough to cover all the roots and a bit of the stem. Lightly cover it with soil. Do not pack it down.
That’s all, now you just need to keep a close eye on it over the next few months to ensure it’s settling into its new home well. To help it adapt better, try to keep it in a warm, humid environment. Give it plenty of water, but don’t let the soil get soggy, just keep it moist for now. Once it’s matured, follow the guide as I’ve previously informed you for the best results.