If you’re looking for a variegated houseplant that is easy-flowering and doesn’t require a lot of fussing over, we think the Hoya Rangsan is a good choice. 🙂
This tropical houseplant produces narrow waxy leaves that are deep green with silvery or light green splashes. The variegation is different from leaf to leaf.
It also has strong, sweet-smelling light yellow flowers that will emerge after 3-4 months of proper care.
Thankfully, the Rangsan is not prone to plant problems, but does have a few simple requirements for a long and happy life. 🙂
Care wise, the most important things to provide your Hoya Rangsan with are:
- Bright, indirect sunlight – South or West-facing windows are best;
- Water when topsoil is dry, approximately once a week;
- Warm, stable temperatures between 60-85 degrees F (16-29 degrees C);
- At least 60% humidity;
- Light soil that drains well.
Also, use a trellis to support its climbing habit. Let’s dive into the details 🙂
How to care for your Hoya Rangsan
The Hoya Rangsan needs bright, indirect sunlight, but can tolerate some low light conditions. Harsh, direct sun over a prolonged period can cause the Hoya’s leaves to burn and discolor.
A couple of hours of direct sun during the morning or evening hours, however, will usually not cause any issues.
When grown indoors, the Hoya Rangsan gets the best lighting conditions when placed near a South or West-facing window.
During the winter when the days are shorter and darker, you may want to explore using a grow light to supplement the natural light your plant receives, placing it about 12 inches (30cm) away from the light source.
Like most tropical plants, the Hoya Rangsan doesn’t like its roots sitting in water.
On average, this plant will need to be watered deeply about once a week, although this can vary depending on the age and size of the plant, as well as the time of year, temperature, and humidity level.
Hoyas are susceptible to overwatering, which can lead to root rot.
Checking the soil moisture level before watering will help prevent accidentally overwatering the plant. Simply place your finger about 2 inches (5cm) into the soil. If the soil still feels moist (even ever so slightly damp!!), wait a day or two before testing again. 🙂
Only water the Hoya Rangsan when the topsoil is totally dry. This Hoya has waxy leaves that store water efficiently, so if in doubt, err on the side of underwatering.
In our experience, Rangsans are VERY tolerant to dry spells, even more so than the average Hoya.
Because it is native to tropical and subtropical regions, the Hoya Rangsan needs humidity levels that are a bit higher than most people have in their homes.
If possible, you should aim for 60% humidity (with around 80-90% being ideal!!), but this plant can tolerate humidity levels as low as 40%.
Here are a few good ways to increase the humidity level near your Hoya.
A word of caution – though some articles suggest misting your Hoya’s leaves, we don’t recommend misting.
According to PennState University, misting makes a negligible difference in humidity levels and is listed as one of the top gardening myths!
Plus, it can encourage moisture-loving fungi and bacteria to breed on the surface of the leaves, causing more problems.
The Hoya Rangsan needs constant temperatures between 60-85 degrees F (16-29 degrees C).
This plant cannot tolerate cold weather or frost, and exposing it to temperatures lower than 60 degrees F (16 degrees C) can cause this tropical Hoya to go into shock.
Shedding leaves and slow growth is common when the temperatures are too cold.
On the other hand, hot temperatures will discolor and fade the foliage and cause slow growth as well.
Moral of the story? Keep the temperatures warm but stable within the stated range! 🙂
Alas, Hoya Rangsan are not considered fast growers, and new growth is typically only seen every few months.
When grown in its native habitat, the Hoya Rangsan can grow up to 20 feet (6.1 meters) tall.
But when grown as a houseplant, expect your Rangsan to reach its maximum height at 6 feet (1.8 meters).
Being a vining plant, use a simple trellis to support your Hoya’s climbing habit.
One of the best things about being a Hoya lover is seeing the clusters of flowers emerge from your plant. The Hoya Rangsan rewards you with light yellow flowers with 5 petals.
It can take about 3-4 months for flowers to emerge. But it does bloom prolifically (a lot) once it gets started!
Fragrance-wise, the scent is a strong, sweet floral fragrance.
Soil or Growing Medium
Hoya Rangsan needs soil that is light, airy, and drains well while still retaining the right amount of moisture.
We like using a simple mixture of equal parts
- orchid mix
- perlite or pumice
- indoor potting soil.
If you cannot find orchid mix, you can create your own by mixing equal parts perlite, charcoal, and fir bark.
The Hoya Rangsan doesn’t require much fertilization simply because the plant isn’t a heavy feeder.
With that said, you can give them any balanced liquid fertilizer applied at half strength once a month during the spring and summer. Just remember to reduce the fertilizing frequency to once every 8 weeks during the fall and winter.
Repotting and Transplanting
Hoya Rangsans don’t require repotting very often as this plant isn’t a fast grower. That doesn’t mean, however, that you will never have to repot or transplant this Hoya.
The most common reason as to why the Hoya Rangsan needs repotted is that the plant has become root bound, which simply means there is no more room in the pot for the plant’s roots.
A tell-tale sign that the Hoya is root bound is that the roots will start to grow out of the drainage holes. When this occurs, you know it’s time to repot!
Do so in spring, when growth conditions are ideal for your plant to recover from the stress of repotting.
Hoya Rangsan, like other Hoya plants, is not considered toxic. That doesn’t mean, however, that you should let your children or pets chew or consume the plant. 😛
In any case, Hoyas have a milky sap that can be irritating to sensitive skin. So use gardening gloves when pruning.
Like other Hoya plants, the Hoya Rangsan does well when propagated via stem cuttings.
For the best results, make sure to take the stem cuttings from healthy plants only and only during the plant’s active growing period (spring + summer).
- Take a cutting – Select a stem that has several leaves and then cut off about 5 inches (13 cm) from the stem. Make sure to cut the stem just above a leaf node.
- Remove any leaves from the bottom half of the cutting – as this will be planted in the soil.
- Plant the cutting – place the cutting, cut side down, into the same type of soil that the parent plant is growing in.
- Wait a couple of weeks for roots to form – set the cutting in an area where it will receive bright, but indirect light, and then care for the cutting as you would a full-size Hoya Rangsan.
Hoya Rangsan doesn’t respond well to heaps of pruning. Trust us, we overdid it once and stressed our Rangsan out!! 🙁
Aim to prune no more than ¼ of the plant when you do prune, and only prune using a pair of sharp, clean pruning shears.
The best time to prune Hoya Rangsan is during the spring or summer, but NOT when you see flower buds starting to form.
If you see flower buds, let your plant continue to focus its energy on growing flowers. If you prune during this time, the flowers may not develop as your plant will need to spend energy recovering instead.
Prune to remove dead or dying leaves and stems, as well as to thin out any dense growth to keep it looking neat and bushy!
Common Pests and Issues
This tropical houseplant isn’t prone to many pests and issues, but it can still come under the occasional attack from common sap-sucking insects. Scales, spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids are a few of these pests that won’t pass up a chance to feast on your sweet Hoya.
But these pests are more of an annoyance than a serious issue for the Rangsan.
Here’s what to look out for:
- Aphids – these are light green and pear-shaped, about 1/8 of an inch (0.3cm) long. However, there are over 5,000 species of aphids that also come in black, pink, and white.
- Spider mites – they are about 1/50 inch (0.5mm) in size, so it’s not easy to observe them directly without a microscope. Instead, look out for pale, grey stipplings on leaves or fine webbing on leaf undersides and near the stems as signs of an infestation.
- Mealybugs – these sap-suckers look like little bits of cotton wool. While easily recognizable, they like to cluster together in hard-to-reach corners of the plant.
- Scale – scale often look like immobile shell-like bumps that are clustered together, usually between 1/16 (0.2cm) to 1/8 inch (0.3cm) long. They come in many colors.
We recommend the Bonide Insecticidal Soap Spray to kill houseplant pests. Insecticidal soap penetrates exoskeletons and dries out cells. We keep it on deck in case of pest emergencies – it is also convenient to tackle all these pests in one product!
Root rot, however, is a serious problem that can quickly kill your Hoya Rangsan. Root rot is caused by either overwatering, poor soil drainage, or a combination of the two. Thankfully, root rot is a preventable disease that can be kept at bay by simply not overwatering the plant and making sure you use a soil that has good drainage.
Why isn’t my Hoya Rangsan growing?
The #1, without a doubt, most common reason why your Hoya Rangsan isn’t growing is that the plant isn’t receiving enough light. It is true that this plant can tolerate low light conditions, but it will still experience adverse effects on the plant’s ability to grow properly.
Try moving the Hoya plant to an area where it will receive bright, indirect light for at least 6-8 hours a day.
Why does my Hoya Rangsan have yellow leaves?
There are a few different issues that can cause yellowing leaves, but it is most often the result of overwatering.
When you overwater the Hoya Rangsan, the roots cannot properly absorb the water or nutrients in the soil. Root rot will also begin to take hold of the plant and cause the leaves to yellow and start to feel mushy.
However, the occasional yellowing of an old leaf is NORMAL, as old leaves fall away to give way to new growth. There’s a problem only if yellowing leaves start to become widespread throughout the plant.
What would cause a Hoya Rangsan’s leaves to start to turn brown?
Brown leaves, especially if the leaves also feel dry, are a sure sign that the Hoya Rangsan is not getting enough water.
A good way to confirm this is by checking the moisture level of the topsoil with your fingers. Also, look at the pot – if the soil is LITERALLY pulling away from the pot, then you know for sure the Hoya is underwatered.
Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I buy a Hoya Rangsan?
Check out Etsy for reputable sellers. Our little Hoya Rangsan is not common and we haven’t been able to find one at a nursery. They are considered hard to find.
Where does the Hoya Rangsan come from?
The Rangsan is native to SouthEast Asia.
What is the best container for the Hoya Rangsan?
The Hoya Rangsan isn’t picky when it comes to growing containers. It just needs a container that is no larger than 3 times the size of the root ball and has drainage holes at the very bottom (not along the sides).
Can I root a Hoya Rangsan cutting in water?
Yes, Hoya Rangsans can be rooted in water, though you cannot simply place the cutting in water and then forget about it.
Instead, you will need to replace the water once every couple of days or when the water starts to become cloudy.
It can take longer for the cutting to root in water, but this method does allow you to see exactly how the roots are growing. Once the roots reach around 4 inches (10 cm) long, transplant the cutting in soil.
It will not be able to grow indefinitely in water, as it needs nutrients from the soil to thrive.
Other Hoyas To check out
- Hoya Clemensorium – a very rare Hoya with long, narrow leaves and intricate dark green patterned veins. A delicate-looking plant.
- Hoya Pubicalyx – a low-maintenance Hoya with purple-black to pinkish-silver flowers.
- Hoya Obovata – a Hoya with round, button-shaped leaves that are variegated light green-yellow in the middle.
- Hoya Sarawak – an easy-going hoya with round leaves and thin white veins, with pink or fuzzy cream flowers. a slow grower!
Like other Hoya varieties, the Hoya Rangsan is fairly easy to care for and can adapt to a wide array of growing conditions. The most important thing is to ensure your plant isn’t overwatered.
- Bright, indirect sunlight at least 6-8 hours a day
- Water only when topsoil is dry
- Indoor temperatures and humidity preferably >60% but at least 40%.
- Light soil that drains well
When provided with the plant’s ideal growing conditions, the Hoya Rangsan can live for up to 30 years or more!! Of course, the key to this long life, is proper care. 🙂
Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.