Your Guide To: Hoya Plants

Everything you need to know to care for these perky plants.

Though flirty in appearance, hoyas like to play hard-to-get and do best when you don't shower them with attention. This tropical plant is long-lasting and durable, with leaves that look freshly waxed—hence its nickname, wax plant. Hoyas, like the australis, carnosa, kerrii, and compacta species, are low-maintenance housemates. They bring color, shape, and texture to your space with the right love and care.

How to Keep a Hoya Happy

While native to the tropics, with the right light and humidity, you can make your hoya feel right at home.

How Much Lighting Does a Hoya Need?

Most hoyas thrive in environments that mimic their natural forest habitat, where they grow in the gaps between trees, soaking up dappled, indirect sunlight. Avoid hot, sunny windows and exposure to direct afternoon sun that could scorch their leaves.

If your hoya doesn’t seem to be getting enough light, you can add a fluorescent lamp or even a grow light to its environment to help.

How Do I Know When To Water My Hoya?

Hoyas may resemble succulents with their waxy, sometimes fleshy leaves, but these tropical plants don’t store water the same way. During spring and summer, your hoya may need water weekly. Just be sure to let the top inch or two of soil dry out in between waterings. During fall and winter, your plant may only need water every two weeks.

Don’t let your hoya dry out completely, though. Stick your finger in the soil to test. If the top one to two inches of soil is dry to the touch, it’s time to water. If you’d rather take the guesswork (and your finger) out of it, use a plant moisture indicator from our shop.

To water, use a small container or watering can to pour water out slowly, directly onto the soil, moving in a clockwise motion to evenly water the plant’s roots. Hoya plants do best in pots with trays or saucers so you can dump extra water and avoid root rot.

How Do I Use Plant Food for My Hoya?

Plant food is an important part of fostering healthy growth and new leaves as your plant settles into its new digs. Be sure to follow the directions on the package based on the size of your plant and time of year. In fall and winter your plant will grow more slowly, so you don't need to feed it as often. Yes, even though your plant lives inside, it still experiences the seasons.

What Is a Hoya's Ideal Environment?

Hoyas do like humidity, but they will do fine in most home environments. Misting your hoya a few times a week — only the leaves and never flower buds if it has them — is beneficial. Running a humidifier in the same room is another way to make this tropical plant happy.

For the best growth, keep it in a room that is warm all year, with a temperature that doesn't go below 60 degrees. Do keep it away from heating and cooling vents and far enough from windows that its leaves won't touch cold glass.

How Do I Prune and Maintain My Hoya?

Your Greendigs hoya is fairly low-maintenance. If you'd like to manage its size, you may want to trim with a pair of pruning shears in the spring before its main growth spurt. Or you can let its tendrils grow so they cascade over shelves or train up trellises, poles, or wire hoops.

Each time you water your hoya, rotate the container a quarter turn. This way you'll make sure it gets the same amount of light on all sides. Our plant trivet set makes this easy and stylish, too.

What to Do If You Still Have Questions

If your hoya doesn't seem to feel at home in your space, we're here to help. Chat live with a Greendigs representative on our website or shoot us an email at [email protected].