Plants: easy to admire, but difficult to care for if you don’t know what you’re doing. This dichotomy is especially true when it comes to plants few people are readily knowledgable about, such as the Hoya Wayetii plant. Most people haven’t even heard of it outside of a Google search.
That being the case, this ultimate guide is going to give you all the information you need regarding the Hoya Wayetii, including how to take care of it effectively. Don’t worry, it’s not as difficult to take care of as it sounds, even with the exotic name.
What is the Hoya Wayetii?
Before we can even begin getting into how to care for a Hoya Wayetii plant, it would probably be a good idea to be sure as to what it is. Knowing Is half the battle, as they say! First up, the Hoya Wayetii is a vining epiphytic plant within the Apocynaceae dogbane family.
You probably won’t need to know that, but if you ever want the nitty-gritty specifics of caring for a certain family of plants overall, it pays to know these scientific bits.
This plant is native to the Philippines, and has waxy foliage and leaves with a sweet scent. It’s actually a very suitable houseplant, being especially fitting for pots or hanging baskets. That said, the aforementioned sweet scent is unpleasant to some, and the flowers occasionally produce excess nectar.
The Hoya Wayetii itself blooms from spring to sometime in late summer and can produce roughly five to twenty umbels (batches of flowers) of small star-shaped flowers that take roughly two to three weeks to mature fully. The sweet scent of this plant tends to be the strongest in the evenings.
We’ll break down some of the specific parts of the Hoya Wayetii below, all of which you should keep in mind when considering whether or not you want to grow and keep it in the first place.
The leaves of the Hoya Wayetii are a very vibrant green, but they often have dark edges. These dark edges tend to be a shade of red that varies in darkness depending on how much light the plant receives as it grows. These leaves generally grow to lengths between three and eight inches long.
The Hoya Wayetii isn’t toxic per se, but it does have the potential to cause health problems under the right circumstances. That’s because the plant belongs to the milkweed family, meaning it has milky latex that runs throughout its body. This can cause allergic reactions on contact or when ingested. This reaction can be more potent for those that have latex allergies.
Supposedly latex isn’t a problem for animals, but even so, it’s safer to keep the plant away from kids and animals, just in case they have a potentially dangerous reaction to it.
Preferred Growing Environment
The Hoya Wayetti is not a strictly indoor or outdoor plant, though there are some considerations to think about that will be discussed later. They grow particularly well in containers like pots or hanging baskets.
The plant grows both low and dense, which makes it very good for ground cover if you are growing many of them. They are also fairly tolerant plants, capable of growing alongside other plants with similar needs, as well as under trees, so don’t be afraid to mix them with similar plants.
Wherever you choose to plant them, they should be out of direct sunlight, which is generally harmful to the Hoya Wayetii. More on that later.
Variegated Hoya Wayetti
Variegated plants are sort of like mutated plants with special colorations or patterns. So if you happened to grow a second Hoya Wayetti plant from an initial parent plant, it may come out looking exactly the same in color or pattern, or it may come out variegated.
If the plant does end up being variegated, the leaves could be a variety of colors, such as pink or red, and it could even mature to yellow or off-white. Despite any of these interesting variations, there’s no actual difference in caring for the plant.
It will have the same care concerns and needs as any other Hoya Wayetti plant, which we will discuss in further detail now.
Caring for the Hoya Wayetti
While any plant requires some degree of care and thought to keep alive, there are varying degrees of difficulty in taking care of a plant. The good news is, Hoya Wayetti is super easy to take care of and grow. This makes them perfect for people who don’t have a lot of time to dedicate to gardening, or just don’t want to put that much time into it.
Of course, this is not to say that the Hoya Wayetti is water and forget plant that requires no focus or special considerations at all. There are still some things you need to keep in mind if you want your Hoya Wayetti to stay alive.
Of all the different things you have to think about when it comes to the Hoya Wayetti, the most important one in regards to its health and longevity is light. Like all plants, the Hoya Wayetti needs a certain intensity of light and a certain amount of it to thrive.
The Hoya Wayetti requires a great deal of natural light: in fact, it should be able to absorb roughly 70 to 90% of the natural light provided by any given day. Thankfully, being a plant traditionally used in hanging baskets, it is easy to provide it with a great deal of natural light.
However, it is very important to note that this natural light should not be direct sunlight. Much like direct sunlight on human skin, exposure to it for any extended amount of time will ultimately lead to the Hoya Woyetti burning and dying.
What this means is that you need to place the Hoya Woyetti somewhere it will receive a great deal of natural light, but not be directly in sunlight at any point in time during the day. Regardless of placement, the Hoya Wayetti should receive at least six hours of sunlight a day.
That said, six hours is just the bare minimum. There’s is no limit to how much light the Hoya Wayetii can receive every day, and the more light it gets, the fuller its regular blooms will become.
This is actually one of the more complex aspects of caring for your Hoya Wayetii, and it is also one of the things new gardeners mess up the most. Getting the water scheduling perfect is hard for people who are not experienced growing this family of plants.
The main problem is that an inexperienced gardener will feel that the soil is dry, at which point they will add more water to it. However, the water level is actually fine for the plant, and adding more water to it will waterlog it and negatively affect its health. The Hoya family of plants is particularly averse to being waterlogged.
The most basic mistake that leads to this outcome is when the gardener touches the topsoil for their Hoya and finds that it is dry. However, they don’t check any deeper than the topsoil to see if there is still enough water there for the plant to survive. The soil is often still saturated at a deeper layer, and adding more water because the topsoil is dry leads to waterlogging.
Generally, the best way to ensure that you don’t overwater the Hoya Wayetii is to wait until the topsoil is dry, then stick your finger two inches or so into the soil to see if it is dry there as well. If it’s dry even that far down, then it is time to water your plant.
If it is time to water your plant, pour water into the pot until it starts to leak from the bottom. At that point, allow the pot to drain until no more water is leaking out, and put it back where it came from. This is important because, as we said, the Hoya plant hates being waterlogged, so you absolutely do not want it to sit in water.
Personally, we don’t recommend using tap water for the Hoya Wayetti, or any plant really. This is because tap water could potentially have chemicals in it that aren’t great for a healthy plant. You could use deionized water, or boil your tap water and allow it to cool before using it.
Of course, we’re not saying that tap water is guaranteed to kill a plant or anything, but it’s better to be safe than sorry in our books, especially since it’s safe to assume that a plant shouldn’t be getting chemicals in its roots that it wouldn’t have been getting in a natural environment.
Contrary to popular belief, dirt is not universal, and you can’t just put any old plant into any old dirt that you can find. The type of soil you use for your Hoya Wayetii can make the biggest difference in whether or not your plant survives.
There’s not one specific type of soil or brand of soil that you have to use for the Hoya Wayetii, but there is a type you should use. Remember how we said that the plant doesn’t want to be waterlogged? Well, that’s why you need to plant it in a well-draining soil mix.
With a well-draining mix, water will be able to flow through it unrestricted, and the roots of your plant will not become waterlogged, which could kill it.
For our personal recommendation, we suggest bark mix used with soil that is higher in perlite, as it is particularly quick draining, which will greatly improve the health of the root system. Naturally, this is not the soil mix you absolutely have to use, but you want to use something that functions in the same manner.
Because the Hoya Wayetii is a native plant of the Phillipines, which is a tropical environment, there are specific temperature levels to take into consideration when you are taking care of it. As you may imagine, it prefers warm temperatures, which makes winter a potentially hazardous time depending on where you live and if the plant is kept outside.
The absolute minimum temperature that the plant should face is 50 degrees Fahrenheit, or 10 degrees Celsius. However, it would be much better to be well above this temperature at all times, if at all possible.
The best range to keep your Hoya Wayetii plants in is 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, or 15 to 30 degrees Celsius. This is easy enough to manage if you are growing your plant indoors, because you can simply manage the thermostat as needed.
But if you are growing your plant outside, this is a bigger problem since you can’t control the weather. If the temperature is going to be a problem for your outdoor Hoya Wayetii, you’ll need to bring it indoors until the danger has passed.
Considering the native geography that the Hoya Wayetii originates from, it should come as no surprise that it prefers a more humid environment. However, this particular member of the Hoya family prefers even more humidity than all of its kin.
That higher humidity level is actually around 60 to 80%, which is quite high. Needless to say, this is higher than most homes actually have under normal circumstances, so it may be required to use a humidifier in the room you are growing your plants in.
It’s not that your plant will die at a lower humidity level, but it will definitely be healthier if you keep it within the range we just mentioned.
Fertilizer is not strictly necessary for the Hoya Wayetii to grow into a healthy plant. It can grow perfectly fine if the other conditions mentioned above are all met. However, there’s also no harm in using fertilizer.
You could use organic matter as a natural fertilizer, like dried green tea leaves or ground coffee granules. You could place these on the topsoil and allow it to be integrated naturally into the feeding cycle of your Hoya Wayetii.
If you do want to use commercial fertilizer, there are specific fertilizers designed for the Hoya Wayetii available in both liquid and pellet form. You should only use this fertilizer during the growing season, roughly two to three times a month.
When you buy a Hoya Wayetii plant, you usually buy one that has already started growing, which comes in a nursery pot. If you find yourself in this situation, you should try to keep the plant in that nursery pot as long as possible.
You don’t want to re-pot the plant immediately, because this can lead to “shock.” A sudden repotting could negatively affect the plant at this stage.
As for when it comes time to actually re-pot the plant, there are some things to take into consideration. The roots of the Hoya Wayetii may push through the bottom of the pot, making them rootbound. While this is undesirable for many plants, it’s actually perfectly fine for this one and is not a sign of needing to re-pot it.
But if the pot is full of roots or literally bursting, or if you are having to water the plant far more often than usual, that’s probably an indicator that you need to re-pot it.
The plant is a very slow grower (more on that in a moment), so when you repot the Hoya Wayetii, you should simply move to the next size up, which is usually a pot that is two inches larger than the pot you were using.
By using only the next size, you avoid the risk of accidentally putting your plant in an oversized pot, which could not only lead to more frequent waterings but also lead to root rot. Don’t worry: the Hoya Wayetii won’t outpace its new home too quickly.
We mentioned a moment ago that the Hoya Wayetii is a very slow-growing plant. But in case you don’t really understand just how slow we mean, here you go. It can take as long as three years before the Hoya Wayetii actually has its first blooming flowers. It’s definitely not a good plant for someone who wants to see significant growth on a regular basis.
However, once the plant is finally fully grown, it will have blooming flowers on an annual basis.
Propagating the Hoya Wayetii
Alright, so having a single Hoya Wayetii is one thing, but what if you want more? You could just go buy more, of course. But if you already have one Hoya Wayetii, you could also just use that one to grow new ones. Thankfully, this is actually a fairly easy process.
There are two primary ways you can use one Hoya Wayetii to grow more, both of which we’ll cover now.
- Cut off a five to seven-inch stem from the growing end, below the plant node. For every extra cutting, go down an extra two nodes. You’ll want at least five stem cuttings for a bushy plant.
- Remove leaves from the lower ends of the stem, and keep some at the upper end.
- Plant the cuttings about three inches deep in a preprepared, moist pot. The nodes must be under the soil.
- Put the pot in a warm and well-ventilated area, with a moderate amount of indirect light available.
- Mildly water the soil via spray, and do not water it again until the soil is roughly 70% dry,
- It should take about three months for a new Hoya Wayetii to burst from the soil via this method.
Water Propagation Method
- Fill a jar with room temperature water, preferably not tap water. If it must be tap water, boil it first. Dip your stem cuttings’ lower ends into the water, with the plant nodes being underwater.
- Be sure to change the water weekly: it should always be clear, and never murky.
- Root development should be visible by week three or four, and by week five, you should be seeing shoot development.
- After three months of growth, the plant should be ready to transfer to a pot, however, you can leave it to grow in water as well, as Hoyas are perfectly capable of growing in such an environment.
Common Problems to Be Aware Of
Hoya Wayetii will have very, very few problems if you follow the proper care laid out in this guide. However, even if you do everything right, there is one potential hazard that can still rear its ugly head: pests. The two main pests that this plant has to deal with are Fungus Gnats and Mealybugs.
These pests bother all sorts of plants and affect the overall health of those plants. There’s a number of things that make them more likely to target your Hoya Wayetii, but the most common one is waterlogged soil, which is prime real estate for their eggs.
A layer of pebbles around the plant can block off the topsoil from Fungus Gnats, making them less likely to lay their eggs there.
Mealybugs suck juices out of your plant and turn the leaves yellow. They quickly lay many eggs, allowing them to spread alarmingly fast. There are safe pesticides you can use to prevent their presence, or you can try a horticultural oil spray.
If you notice that your plant has any of these pests, you should separate it from other plants until you are sure the pests are eradicated, since that will help prevent them from spreading.
Even if you take care of your plant as directed, there’s always a risk of other things going wrong. To try and catch those before they get too disastrous, be sure to check your plant every day for abnormalities. Put your fingers in the soil regularly to determine when more watering is needed.
Once your plant has a stable growing environment, do your best to avoid moving it again. However, fell free to rotate the container it grows in to equalize the indirect light it receives across all of its leaves. Do these things, and you should be able to avoid most problems with your Hoya Wayetii.