The foliage of a Hoya wayetii is particularly beautiful and distinctive, with deep color surrounding the brighter green part of the leaf. These plants stand out in the family for being striking and visually pleasing, and they are particularly popular to keep because of this beauty.
Their flowers are also lovely, with mauve clusters of blossoms that are highly attractive. The Hoya wayetii is sometimes known as the porcelain flower, and it comes from the Philippines. Slow growing and with trailing tendrils, this plant is very appealing to many growers and makes a wonderful addition to most homes.
These plants need high humidity levels, a medium amount of light, and a good space to grow in. They also require well-draining, coarse soil and rare but thorough watering to keep them happy. They don’t need repotting often, as they prefer to be cramped than in too much space, and they are generally considered quite easy to grow.
Indoor vs Outdoor Growing
You can grow Hoya wayetii plants either indoors or outdoors, provided you live in a warm enough part of the world. They are often used to create cover in shady places, and their vines can grow to about thirty inches – so they are not a small plant!
They will readily grow under trees, since they are a trailing plant and do not mind some shade. If you want to create some green spaces, they are perfect for this. They will grow in reasonably well lit areas as well, so they are quite flexible.
Grown indoors, they can be placed in a hanging container and allowed to spill over the edges and trail down, or they can be grown up a trellis or supports of some kind to fill out over a wall. Wherever you want to grow them, you can!
Best Location For Your Hoya Wayetii
These plants like bright but indirect light. They don’t want to be grown in full sun and they can’t handle its intensity. To get your Hoya wayetii to grow well, you need to choose a spot that will not have full sun shining on it for any significant period of time, but will still get plenty of light.
Remember that these plants generally grow beneath the cover of trees, but they don’t appreciate heavy shade. You need to grow them in a place where they will get enough light to photosynthesize effectively, especially if you want flowers.
Any room in your house should be fine for this as long as you can set the plant back from the windows if they are south-facing or get long hours of sunlight. The plant won’t grow well in a dark room, so try to pick one that is airy and bright.
Too much direct sun will damage those beautiful waxy leaves – which are the plant’s biggest attraction, so something that you definitely want to avoid. When choosing a spot, make sure there is not too much light, or see if you can put up a shade of some sort to protect the plant from the full sun. This is important whether you’re growing the plant inside or outside.
Soil For A Hoya Wayetii
Like all Hoya plants and other epiphytes, Hoya wayetii plants prefer well-draining soil and do not handle having wet feet very well at all. That means you need to choose a potting medium that has plenty of drainage material in it.
They also need lots of oxygen around their roots and will suffer if the growing medium gets compacted and starves them of this. You need to select a material that offers lots of structure and will create air pockets around the roots.
Using plenty of perlite will help with any drainage issues, ensuring that the water will swiftly drain away from the plant’s roots and won’t sit around them and cause them to rot. You can buy potting mixes with a high perlite percentage, or you can mix your own and add perlite to it.
Next, to increase the aeration in the soil, add bark and some coarse potting soil. Orchid bark is a good mix to use. You can also include a bit of coarse compost if you want to increase the nutrients available to the plant.
Make sure that your container has plenty of holes to allow for drainage. Hoya wayetii plants do well in hanging baskets, provided there is plenty of drainage and air circulation.
Watering Your Hoya Wayetii
Like most epiphytes, Hoya wayetii plants do not like to sit in water. They prefer to be in well-drained soil and do not need watering too regularly. They prefer a lot of water at once and then nothing for quite some time, rather than light, frequent watering.
You should check that the soil has dried out to about an inch below the surface before you water your plant. You can do this by gently pushing your finger into the soil to the first knuckle. If the soil is damp, it doesn’t need watering yet. If the soil is dry, you can give your plant a drink.
You may find it easiest to water your plant by standing it in a sink full of water and then pouring water over the top. This will thoroughly saturate the soil and make sure the plant gets plenty to drink.
Next, drain the sink, wait for the plant to stop dripping, and then put it back in its usual place. Don’t leave your Hoya wayetii sitting in water, or it may start to rot. A good watering like this should be done whenever the soil has dried out.
How often you need to do it will depend to some degree on where you live and what the weather is like. These plants need less water in the winter than in the summer, so reduce your watering when the weather turns cold, and increase it during sunny spells.
If possible, use rainwater for your Hoya wayetii. This has minerals that will provide the plant with valuable food, and it doesn’t contain chlorine or limescale like tap water does. If you don’t have access to rainwater, allow tap water to sit for a day before using it; this will at least allow the chlorine to evaporate off.
It is always better to under-water than to over-water your Hoya wayetii. You can revive a wilting Hoya wayetii easily enough by watering, even if it has got very dried out, but a Hoya wayetii that has been over-watered will often die due to root rot or pest infestations.
Humidity For Your Hoya Wayetii
All Hoya plants enjoy humidity, but the Hoya wayetii loves it, and you will need to create quite humid conditions to satisfy this plant. That makes it a little harder to manage indoors than some of the other members of the family, but you can still do it if you’re careful.
You will probably want to buy a hygrometer so that you can keep an eye on the humidity levels around your plant. Hoya wayetii plants enjoy humidity between 60 and 80, so if possible, try and maintain something like this all year round.
Many people enjoy spraying their plants in the mornings; this is a relaxing task that can be highly therapeutic, and also gives you a chance to check your plants for pests or diseases. You can simply mist the soil with a spray bottle of water, and the water will slowly evaporate and humidify the air.
However, not everyone has time to do this, especially for a plant that likes humidity as much as a Hoya wayetii. If you don’t have time, you may want to consider either buying or making a humidifier. There are many options available for purchase online.
If you want to make one, you don’t need many materials and it’s very cheap to do – though it may not look so pretty! First, you need a reasonably shallow tray with no holes in it. Next, you need to buy or source some stones.
Fill the bottom of the tray with the stones, and then pour in some water until the level of the water is just a little below the level of the stones. Place the plant pot on the stones, and the water will slowly evaporate over the course of the day and humidify the plant.
It’s a good idea to focus on increasing humidity in the morning, rather than the afternoon or evening, regardless of which method you use. Having wet leaves overnight can leave your plant vulnerable to fungus and mold, and may attract pests. Give your plant time to dry off before cooler night temperatures set in.
Fertilizing Your Hoya Wayetii
Fertilizing your Hoya wayetii in spring and summer will encourage it to grow and maximize its blooming. You should offer it a good feed every few weeks, diluting the fertilizer to prevent root burn or over-feeding.
Hoya wayetii plants like lots of nitrogen in their feed, and phosphorus is important for plants that are in bloom. Choose a fertilizer that reflects this and apply it to your plant throughout the growing season to ensure it has plenty of energy and all the nutrients it needs for healthy growth.
You don’t need to fertilize your plant in winter. It will not be growing much or producing flowers, so it has minimal need for food. When the weather turns cold, reduce your watering and feeding routines and allow the plant to slow down for the winter period.
Remember, when it comes to feeding, too little is better than too much. Over-feeding a plant can damage its roots or lead to it producing lots of leaves but no flowers. If in doubt, dilute more and feed less.
Hoya plants are not considered toxic, and they are safe to handle and grow in households even where there are pets and small children. However, their sap does contain latex, so anyone with a latex allergy should exercise caution if handling a damaged plant where there is a risk of coming into contact with its sap.
If you have a severe latex allergy, you may find that Hoya wayetii are not great plants for you to keep, as there is a risk of breaking a leaf and getting the latex on your hands.
Despite Hoyas being non-toxic, you should not eat them or allow children or animals to eat them. Consumption won’t result in serious symptoms, but could still make the person or pet unwell, and might result in vomiting and nausea.
Avoid this problem by putting your Hoya wayetii well out of reach of any pet or child. You can grow them in hanging containers, which should help to prevent little fingers from being able to reach them. Warn your child away from consuming unknown plants as a matter of habit, but don’t make your Hoya wayetii easy to reach. Its pretty leaves could be very tempting!
Taking cuttings of your Hoya wayetii in spring and summer will result in easy propagation and lots of these beautiful plants to enjoy. Be warned, however, that they are slow growing and although they are easy to propagate, it may take two or three years before the plant will mature enough to flower.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t do it, though! To propagate your Hoya wayetii, you will need some clean, sharp scissors, a new container, and possibly some rooting hormone if you want to increase your chances of success (although these plants do tend to grow readily and may not require the rooting hormone).
You can propagate in water, soil, or by air layering, and we’ll describe each method below.
Water: fill a jar with water and allow some time for the chlorine to evaporate. Next, take a seven inch cutting from your plant, choosing a healthy stem and cutting just below the node of a leaf.
Remove the lower leaves on the stem, and then put the plant in the jar of water and place it in a well-lit place, away from direct sunlight. Every few days, change the water to ensure the plant is getting enough oxygen and there is no stagnation.
Keep an eye out for roots. If successful, you should see them in about a month. Allow the plant to remain in its jar (refreshing the water frequently) until the roots are well-established, and then transplant into soil.
Soil: take a seven inch cutting from your plant, again cutting just below the node of a leaf. Take off the lower leaves and dip the end in rooting hormone (if you like), and then plant it in well-draining soil. Dampen the soil lightly and put it somewhere warm and bright, away from direct sun.
Moisten the soil when necessary, and leave the plant otherwise undisturbed. Roots should appear in about a month, and after a couple of months, the plant should be ready to pot into its proper container.
Air layering: this method can be used with many epiphytes and is a good alternative to taking cuttings (at least directly). It is often the quickest way to propagate.
Start by selecting a long, healthy stem of your plant. Remove some of the leaves, and then gently bend the stem into a new pot and bury it in the soil. Use a clip or small stone to keep the stem under the soil.
Leave it for a month or two to take root, and then gently sever its connection with the mother plant. You now have a new Hoya wayetii plant.
Any of these methods can be successful, so try them out and see which works best for you. Be patient and remember that Hoya wayetii plants are slow growers; you can’t rush them! Don’t try feeding your young plant or putting it in bright sun to make it grow faster. You just have to wait.
These plants don’t need repotting regularly, and prefer to be kept in cramped conditions. You shouldn’t look to repot your Hoya wayetii unless it really needs it, either because its roots are bursting from the container or you’re having to water it constantly to keep it alive.
If it is definitely getting too crowded in its current container, go up a couple of container sizes, but don’t transfer it into something huge.
This is partly because it’s a shallow-rooting plant and doesn’t need a lot of space for water to escape to. Shallow containers are better; deep ones make it hard to tell when the roots are drying out, because the bottom of the container can still be wet, even when the top is dry.
If you do need to repot your Hoya wayetii, simply lift it out and transfer it straight to a new container with fresh potting medium. You shouldn’t try and break up its roots, even if it seems root bound. It won’t mind being crowded and it doesn’t like having its roots disturbed.
Because they grow slowly, you will rarely have to repot your Hoya wayetii. However, you may wish to add fresh growing medium to its pot from time to time, as the original material will break down and lose its structure and goodness. Simply add fresh stuff on top and the plant should be happy.
Here are a few things you might wonder about your Hoya wayetii.
Why Have My Hoya Wayetii’s Leaves Shriveled?
Shriveled leaves are often a sign that you have either over-watered or under-watered your plant. It may seem frustrating that the same signal indicates two opposite problems, but there’s a good reason for it.
When you under-water your plant, the roots can’t bring enough moisture up to keep the leaves full and firm. When you over-water your plant, the roots start to rot – and also can’t bring enough moisture up to keep the leaves full and firm.
That means that an over-watered Hoya wayetii is also suffering from too little water, but for less obvious reasons. You need to take action to work out which issue you’re dealing with, and address it quickly.
Under-watering is easy to fix. Stand your Hoya wayetii in the sink, give it a good watering from both the top and the bottom, and then return it to its spot and the plant should recover.
Over-watering is much harder to handle. If you think little damage has been done, put your plant in a dry place and let the moisture have time to evaporate out of the soil. Don’t mist or humidify your plant during this time.
However, if a lot of damage has been done and the plant’s roots are rotting, you may need to remove your plant from its pot and trim away the damaged root.
Allow the rest to dry out for a few hours before you replant the Hoya wayetii in fresh, dry potting medium. A light watering to settle the roots should be given, and then the plant should be left for a while.
Be warned that a Hoya wayetii that has suffered from root rot is quite likely to die, even if you try and save it. They just don’t tolerate wet conditions well, and your best efforts may not be enough to make the difference.
To give them their best chance, try to keep stressed plants away from direct sun and let them recover for a while. It may be some time before your Hoya wayetii fully recovers and resumes normal growth, if it recovers at all. Always aim to under-water rather than over-water.
Why Does My Hoya Wayetii Have Burned Leaves?
While Hoya wayetii plants will tolerate some sun, they don’t cope well with a lot of full sun. Like other Hoya plants, they are adapted to live in dappled light and will struggle if exposed to strong sun for hours on end.
If you notice burning or patches on the side of your plant that faces the sun, try moving it away from the window, or rigging up a curtain to protect it. If you are growing your plant outdoors, you may have to find some way to shade it a bit.
Sun damage can leave these plants vulnerable to pests and diseases, so you should remove burnt foliage and protect the plant from further injury.