Hoya Heuschkeliana – Complete Care Guide

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance plant with interesting foliage to add to your indoor garden, look no further than the Hoya Heuschkeliana!

Hoya Heuschkeliana is a stunning tropical vine plant that is native to the Philippines. It produces fleshy green foliage with a waxy sheen. It produces clusters of yellow or pink flowers, with a caramel-like scent. 🙂

This species of Hoya is an epiphyte, meaning it is a plant that grows on other plants. It also isn’t prone to many diseases and is easy to care for, which makes it ideal for beginner gardeners.

How to care for Hoya Heuschkeliana

Light

Hoya Heuschkeliana is not too picky when it comes to its light requirements.

It can grow well in both low light and bright light. With that said, however, it does grow much faster in bright light than it does in lower light conditions.

If you’re growing your Hoya Heuschkeliana indoors, we recommend looking for the brightest spot to place your plant. This Hoya loves sunlight and will grow lush leaves rapidly under bright light.

Water

Hoya Heuschkeliana is an epiphyte and a succulent, which means it doesn’t need an abundance of water. In fact, this plant is susceptible to overwatering, which can be problematic for the Hoya Heuschkeliana.

Thankfully, you can prevent this from occurring by allowing the topsoil to dry in between waterings and always checking the soil’s moisture level before watering. This is done by inserting your finger 2 inches (5cm) into the soil and only watering if the topsoil feels dry.

Additionally, when it is time to water the Hoya Heuschkeliana, make sure to do so deeply. This will allow you to properly saturate the root ball, which promotes healthy and strong root growth.

Humidity

Hoya Heuschkeliana thrives in humidity levels of 60% or more. This is because, in its native habitat, the Hoya Heuschkeliana gets an abundance of humidity.

Unfortunately, the average humidity level of most homes is around 30-40%.

The good news is that you can easily increase the humidity level around the Hoya Heuschkeliana by using a humidifier. Alternatively, explore using a pebble tray or other methods to raise humidity levels.

Temperature

The Hoya Heuschkeliana is hardy in USDA hardiness zones 9 to 11, and can be grown indoors as a houseplant if you live outside of these areas.

This tropical plant needs warm temperatures throughout the entire year. In fact, its ideal temperature is between 60-85 degrees F (16-29 degrees C), and this is the temperature at which it will grow best. 🙂

Hoya Heuschkeliana cannot tolerate cold weather, and temperatures as low as 55 degrees F (13 degrees C) can quickly start to impact its growth and overall health.

Growth

Hoya Heuschkeliana has a vine-like growth and can reach heights of up to 9 feet (2.7 meters) or longer in the right conditions.

This succulent is a fairly fast grower, especially during its active growing season, which is in the spring and summer. Its growth rate will start to slow during the fall and winter, but should pick back up when spring rolls around once again.

When mature, it produces clusters of yellow or pink flowers, with a caramel-like fragrance.

hoya heuschkeliana yellow flowers

Soil or Growing Medium

Light and airy potting soil that drains well is the best choice for the Hoya Heuschkeliana. Avoid soils that are compact, as this will cause excess water to accumulate around the roots, resulting in soggy soil and root rot.

Potting soil designed for cacti and succulents will work well if you mix in some orchid mix and perlite. Alternatively, combine equal parts indoor potting mix with perlite and coco coir.

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Fertilizer

Hoya Heuschkeliana doesn’t need much fertilization (less is better!), but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t give the plant a bit of feeding every once in a while.

During the spring and summer when the plant is actively growing, apply a urea-free liquid fertilizer at half strength once a month. Stop all feeding during the fall and winter.

We personally like Dyna-Gro for most of our houseplants.

Repotting

Hoya Heuschkeliana doesn’t require repotting frequently. Even though it is well-known for its fast growth rate, its root system is smaller than typical plants.

Repotting the Hoya Heuschkeliana usually only occurs once every 3 years.

When it is time to repot, make sure to do so in the spring and early summer. This is when the plant is in its active growing season, which means it can handle the stress of repotting much better than one that is not actively growing.

Toxicity

Hoya Heuschkeliana is a safe plant to have indoors since it isn’t toxic to humans, cats, or dogs if ingested.

However, the milky sap that this plant produces could potentially cause a risk. According to the Singapore National Parks, this sap can cause skin irritation in some individuals.

Because of this, it is best to wear gardening gloves when pruning or coming into contact with the sap.

Propagation

Hoya Heuschkeliana is easily propagated with stem cuttings and then rooted in water or soil.

You can even propagate this plant using a healthy stem that you cut off during the pruning process – we love doing this!

Just make sure whichever stem you choose has at least 2 leaf nodes on it. Nodes are where new growth will form. No nodes = no new growth.

Another tip is to propagate in spring, when conditions are ideal for growth.

Propagating stem cuttings in water

  1. Cut off a healthy stem with at least 2 nodes.
  2. As an optional step: you can dip the cut end of the stem into rooting hormone to help speed up the rooting process, but we find this isn’t a requirement to propagate the Hoya Heuschkeliana.
  3. Remove any leaves from the bottom half of the cutting (as this will soon be submerged in water.)
  4. Place cut end of the stem in a water jar, half-filled with water.
  5. Change the water once a week, or whenever it becomes cloudy.
  6. Set the cutting in a location where it will receive bright, indirect light.
  7. It generally takes about 4 or so weeks for roots to appear.

Propagating stem cuttings in soil

If you are rooting in soil, the same general steps apply. After you have your stem cutting, place the cut end of the stem in moist potting mix that drains well.

In about 4 weeks, you can test that roots have developed by giving the stem a very gentle tug. A slight resistance confirms roots have been established!

Pruning

This fast grower can quickly get out of hand if not pruned, and pruning can actually encourage growth.

When you remove the dead and damaged leaves and stems, you are not only making room for new growth, but you are also stopping the plant from putting energy and resources into those dead leaves. This means the Hoya Heuschkeliana can put those extra resources into making new leaves and growing stronger.

When and how often you prune the plant varies on several different factors, including how fast the plant is growing and your personal preference.

Always use a clean and sharp pair of pruning shears when pruning, and make your cuts just above a leaf node. Avoid pruning when the Hoya Heuschkeliana is flowering.

hoya heuschkeliana ready to bloom

Common Pests and Issues

Though not particularly susceptible to pests and diseases, no plant is immune. If your Hoya Heuschkeliana has issues, it is likely due to common sap-sucking pests, or due to root rot.

Aphids, Mealybugs, Spider mites and scale.

Like other houseplants, the Hoya Heuschkeliana can experience sap-sucking insect infestations, such as aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and scale.

While these pests are usually more of an annoyance than a serious problem, they can take their toll on the Hoya Heuschkeliana if the infestation is large enough. Pests reproduce quickly, so early detection is key.

Thankfully, these pests can be controlled using insecticidal soap or neem oil, both of which are considered safer pesticide options.

It’s also a good idea to inspect for pests before introducing a new plant to your home, as infested plants quickly spread from one plant to another.

Root rot

Hoya Heuschkeliana isn’t susceptible to many diseases, but it is sensitive to root rot. Root rot is a fungal disease caused by overwatering the plant, growing the plant in poor draining soil, or a combination of both.

This disease can be a serious one, and there is no cure for it. To make matters worse, by the time the aboveground symptoms appear, it’s usually too late to save the plant. The best defense against root rot is prevention.

To prevent root rot, ensure you choose a well-draining potting mix. Also ensure you only water your Hoya when the top 2 inches (5cm) of topsoil is dry…. if it’s still slightly wet, refrain from watering and check back again in a couple of days.

Being succulent-like, they can endure long periods of drought, so erring on the side of underwatering is better than risking overwatering your Hoya Heuschkeliana.

Troubleshooting

Why does my Hoya Heuschkeliana have yellow leaves?

When your Hoya Heuschkeliana has yellowing leaves, the culprit is usually poor soil drainage or overwatering, both of which can cause your plant to die.

You can easily check to see if this is the problem by feeling the soil. Does it feel soggy? If so, let the soil dry out before watering again.

Also, ensure you are using a well-draining potting soil. A succulent potting soil, with added orchid mix and perlite, is a good combination.

What would cause a Hoya Heuschkeliana leaves to turn brown?

A Hoya Heuschkeliana whose leaves are turning brown is not receiving enough water or humidity.

This can be easily confirmed by looking at its soil. Is it extremely dry and pulling away from the pot? If so, water the plant deeply and thoroughly for several minutes.

Additionally, monitor the humidity level (it needs to be ideally 60% and above) near the plant and increase it if necessary with a pebble tray or humidifier.

Why does my Hoya Heuschkeliana have a grayish mold-like growth on it?

This growth is probably sooty mold, which grows on honeydew. Honeydew is a substance naturally produced by sap-sucking insects, such as the ones that can attack Hoya Heuschkeliana.

Thankfully, sooty mold isn’t usually harmful to plants, but it is a sign that your Hoya Heuschkeliana is infested with pests and will need to be treated. Consult our guide on using neem oil to eradicate pests.

Once the pests are gone, carefully wash the mold off the plant with a soft cloth dampened in soapy water.

topview of a Hoya Heuschkeliana yellow with succulent-like leaves

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I buy a Hoya Heuschkeliana?

We love buying Hoyas from Etsy, which has a great selection from a number of reputable buyers. As always, we recommend looking at reviews and checking shipping conditions before placing an order. 🙂

A starter Heuschkeliana should only cost about US$15-20.

Is Hoya Heuschkeliana epiphytic or a succulent?

The Hoya Heuschkeliana is both epiphytic and has succulent characteristics, which means it grows on other plants, such as trees, and stores water in its fleshy leaves.

Because of this, the Hoya Heuschkeliana is susceptible to root rot caused by overwatering.

Are there different types of Hoya Heuschkeliana?

There are a couple of different types of Hoya Heuschkeliana available. Hoya Heuschkeliana Albomarginata is one such variety that produces bright green foliage with a creamy off-white border.

There is also a Hoya Heuschkeliana Variegata version that has green foliage with a creamy off-white center.

Even though these varieties leaves look a little different, they still require the same care as the Hoya Heuschkeliana.

topview of hoya heuschkeliana variegata, with creamy offwhite center and green border leaves
Hoya Heuschkeliana Variegata

What is the best pot for the Hoya Heuschkeliana?

Because of its trailing nature, the Hoya Heuschkeliana grows best when planted in a hanging basket where its long vines can dangle down or planted in a traditional pot and given a trellis that it can climb up.

No matter which you choose, make sure the pot has proper drainage holes at the bottom.

Similar Plants and Varieties

Here are some other Hoyas we love, and are equally easy to care for:

  • Hoya Bella – a trailing Hoya with clusters of Honey-scented white and pink blooms.
  • Hoya Nummularioides – rare houseplant prized for its succulent-like leaves and clusters of white flowers.
  • Hoya Serpens – this Hoya has round-button leaves and produces clusters of felt-like light green flowers.

Wrapping Up

As you can see, Hoya Heuschkeliana isn’t a hard plant to care for and doesn’t require much to keep it happy. In fact, this plant only needs the following to thrive:

  • Temperatures between 60-85 degrees F (16-29 degrees C).
  • 60% or higher humidity levels.
  • Water when its soil begins to feel dry.
  • Indirect light.
  • Feeding once a month during its active growing period.
  • Avoid overwatering.

If you can meet those simple needs, the Hoya Heuschkeliana will reward you with blooms and new growth. 🙂

Deborah

Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.