Hoya Doin’? How to Care for Your Hoya Carnosa
She is truly a style icon—always perfectly glossed, with long, flowing locks, and seen in nearly every home in America in the 1970s! No, it’s not that famous Farrah Fawcett poster—it’s the Hoya carnosa! This shiny trailing houseplant is known for its waxy leaves and adorable candy pink blooms that grow in dome-shaped clusters. Like all vintage styles, the Hoya carnosa faded into obscurity for a while, but now she’s back and more popular than ever! Learn how to care for this timeless beauty with our simple tutorial.
Care Requirements for a Hoya Carnosa Houseplant
Many folks quickly assume that the Hoya carnosa has similar light requirements to succulents since they have such thick, waxy leaves. However, this is not the case! Instead of finding a super bright window with plenty of direct sunlight, Hoya carnosas prefer somewhere with bright, indirect light. An east or north-facing window is perfect, but you can also place them near a west or south-facing window with a thin curtain to filter the light. Direct light beams will scorch their leaves, so if they start looking crunchy and bleached, that’s a sign your Hoya carnosa is getting too much sun!
Hoya Carnosa Watering
During its active growing season, water your plant whenever the top few inches of soil dries out—about once every 7–10 days. When Hoya carnosas go dormant in winter, you can scale back on watering considerably—about once every 2–3 weeks! If the blooms from your plant are dropping, that’s a sign that you’re watering too much.
Soil and Repotting
These plants tend to like crowded roots, so you don’t need to worry about upsizing their pot yearly. Repotting every three years should suffice, and you should use a loose, chunky potting soil—preferably the kind formulated for cacti and succulents.
Fertilize once per month from March until September. A high nitrogen 3–1–2 formula is excellent for overall health, but if you want the best blooms possible, we recommend using a formula higher in phosphorus in April and May. More phosphorous will help stimulate flower production, and once it’s blooming brightly, you can return to the high nitrogen formula you used before. Some people will fertilize their plant at half-strength during the winter, but we recommend holding off on fertilizing during this time so your plant can rest before its next growth spurt.
Hoya Carnosa Propagation
If your Hoya carnosa is getting a little bit too fabulous and those voluminous vines are becoming unruly, you can snip some off and propagate them into entirely new plants! There are two ways to do it:
- Remove a stem cutting at least 5 inches long, with 2–3 leaves. Dip the cut end in rooting hormone, and plant it in a small pot of fresh soil. Ensure the leaves aren’t buried in the potting mix, and water thoroughly after planting.
- Propagate a cutting in a cup of water. Again, use a cutting at least 5 inches long with a couple of leaves on it, and don’t let any leaves remain submerged in the water. Place the cup somewhere with bright, indirect light, and soon it will sprout some roots! Once the roots have developed, you can move it into a pot of soil.
Styling Your Hoya Carnosa
A plant this spectacular deserves to be styled accordingly! You can go au natural and let this bad gal trail downward in a hanging basket—or, if you want to complete the full 70s aesthetic, use a macramé hanger!
If you want your Hoya carnosa to really bring the wow factor, train its vines to grow around a hoop! Just buy a metal hoop-shaped trellis, insert it into the soil, and gently twist the vines around it to create a living green wreath. Groovy!
Are you in search of Hoya carnosas for sale on Long Island? Dees’ has you covered! As for the rest of the decor you’ll need to complete your 1970s aesthetic, we recommend hitting up a vintage store—or possibly your grandma’s attic. Who knew wicker furniture and orange florals would be so on-trend in 2022?