Hoya Rotundiflora – (Rounded little Hoya leaves Complete Care Guide!)

sideview of small potted hoya rotundiflora

Hoya Rotundiflora is a little Hoya that originates from Thailand.

This unique plant produces almost rectangle-shaped leaves that are rounded on the edges. 🙂 Let the leaves trail down from its pot.

These leaves are also small and fuzzy, and they produce delicate white, fragrant blooms. Despite its difference in appearance, the Hoya Rotundiflora still shares a lot of the same growing requirements as other Hoya varieties!

In our experience, they are a perfect selection for beginners.

Care-wise, it requires: bright indirect sunlight and high humidity, 60-70% being ideal. Don’t let the temperature fall below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C). Loads of sunlight will help blooming, as will a slightly root-bound plant. Use rainwater or filtered water to avoid water marks on leaves.

hoya rotundiflora flowers - small cluster of white flowers with pink corollas

How to care for your Hoya Rotundiflora 

Light

Like other Hoyas, the Hoya Rotundiflora needs LOTS of indirect sunlight.

East-facing windowsills are an excellent choice, as this gives your plant a couple of hours of bright morning sun and indirect light for the rest of the day.

Exposure to morning sun (which is less harsh) is fine and encourages your Hoya’s foliage to grow vibrant…. and also encourages flowering!

While it is true that the Hoya Rotundiflora can tolerate a bit of low light, in our experience they won’t THRIVE under these conditions. Instead, aim for at least 8 hours of sunlight a day.

Water

Hoya Rotundiflora likes it when the topsoil is COMPLETELY dry before you water the plant.

This is because it has waxy leaves that help retain water for long periods. They hate being overwatered! The actual timeline for when you should water this plant depends on the size of the plant, the temperature and humidity of the room, time of year, and various other factors.

In most cases, however, you will probably water the Hoya Rotundiflora once every 14 days or so during the spring and summer. This amount will change to a little less than that during the winter months, as evaporation levels are lower and your plant’s need for water drops.

So use the 14 days as a guide, but do check that the topsoil (top inch or two of soil) is dry before watering. 🙂

Humidity

Hoyas are tropical plants, which means they get an abundance of humidity when they are growing in their native habitat. The higher the humidity levels, the quicker and lusher your Hoya will grow.

In the wild, Hoya Rotundiflora receives humidity levels >60% or above. Unfortunately, most homes cannot naturally match this higher humidity level. There are things you can do to increase the humidity level. 

Running a humidifier in the room where the Hoya Rotundiflora is will increase the humidity level.

Alternatively, you can place the plant’s pot on top of a drip tray for the same effect. The water evaporates around the plant, increasing the humidity levels.

However, we don’t recommend misting the leaves, as bacterial or fungal leaf spots can result from wet leaves…. NOT worth the risk if you ask us!!

Temperature

Look to provide the Hoya Rotundiflora with temperatures that are warm throughout the entire year. In fact, this houseplant has a temperature range of 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (16 – 29 degrees C).

Hoya Rotundifloras cannot tolerate temps that fall below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C), and can stunt growth and discolor leaves. If you spot a slow-growing Rotundiflora, low temperatures and/or too little sunlight are the main culprits.

Growth & Blooms

If you’re looking for a fast growing plant, you may want to look elsewhere!! Our Hoya Rotundiflora produces leaves only every few months.

This can be both a good and a bad thing, since you don’t have to worry about the plant quickly taking over an area if you live in a small apartment (or have loads of plants like us!!). 🤣

If you do want the Hoya Rotundiflora to grow faster, make sure to provide the plant with an environment that matches it native habitat. When the plant is grown in the wild, it can reach a stunning 20 feet or more (6meters!!) in length.

But when you bring the Hoya Rotundiflora indoors and make it a houseplant, expect the plant to only reach 6 feet (1.8meters) long.

When fully mature, the Hoya Rotundiflora develops clusters of star-shaped white flowers with pink centers. They also give off a sweet-scent. The scent is most strong in the evening, and kind of reminds us of fresh laundry… but let us know what you think!

Here’s a timelapse video of Rotundiflora blooms: Link.

Soil or Growing Medium

Hoya Rotundiflora must have soil that not only drains well, but also retains a LITTLE bit of moisture. Look for soil that isn’t compact, and is instead light and airy.

There are commercially available pre-mixed soils made especially for Hoya plants. These work well, but can be a bit expensive.

Another option is to create your own homemade soil mix by mixing 2 parts garden soil, 1 part coconut coir or charcoal, and 1 part perlite. The coco coir, charcoal and perlite help lighten the soil mix, providing air flow to your Hoya. 🙂

topview of hoya rotundiflora plant

Fertilizer

Don’t expect to feed the Hoya Rotundiflora often, because this plant isn’t a heavy feeder. That doesn’t mean, however, that you can’t fertilize them, but if you do, make sure to use a mild liquid fertilizer.

We recommend using Dyna-Gro Grow for most houseplants, including this Hoya. Apply the fertilizer to the Hoya Rotundiflora at half its strength just once a month during its active growing season (spring and summer months). When the plant stops growing in winter/autumn, cut back the feeding to only once every 8 weeks.

How to Detect Nutrient Deficiency?

There are a couple of tell-tale signs that can alert you of a specific nutrient deficiency in your Hoya:

  • Nitrogen deficiency. If the growth seems stunted or slowed down, or the older/lower leaves turn yellow or fall off, your plant has a nitrogen deficiency. 
  • Phosphorus Deficiency. A phosphorus deficiency in your Hoya will lead to the rusty color appearing on the leaves’ edges. New growth will also stop. 
  • Potassium Deficiency. Potassium deficiency will lead to a tan color appearing on leaves’ edges, and the newer leaves will grow closer together on the stems. 

Repotting

Since this plant doesn’t have a fast growth rate, it won’t need repotted or transplanted very often at all.

In fact, it may take several years before your Hoya Rotundiflora needs repotted, making it pretty low maintenance.

In most cases, the Hoya Rotundiflora will only need transplanted if it is dealing with a disease or the plant has become root-bound.

Toxicity

Rejoice!

Like other Hoyas, the Hoya Rotundiflora isn’t toxic and is considered a safe plant to have in homes with children and pets. That doesn’t mean, however, that the Hoya Rotundiflora can be consumed without any problems whatsoever.

If your child or pet decides to nibble on the Hoya Rotundiflora, they may still experience stomach upset, vomiting, and diarrhea. The good news is that these symptoms are usually mild and will subside within 24 hours.

Another thing to note – Hoyas have a milky sap that can be irritating to sensitive skin. Use gloves when propagating or pruning your Rotundiflora. 🙂

Propagation

Hoyas are fairly easy to propagate via the stem-cutting method.

You can even propagate this plant using a healthy stem that you cut off during the pruning process – we love doing this! Kills two birds with one stone.

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 and recovery. 🙂

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 Rotundiflora.
  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. Use distilled or rainwater if you can.
  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

Hoya Rotundiflora doesn’t require much pruning, although it can help to thin out overly crowded plants while also removing dead or damaged foliage.

If possible, wait to prune the Hoya Rotundiflora until early spring, when it is actively growing, and never prune more than 1/4 of the plant at one time. This Hoya grows best when it is lightly pruned, so keep that in mind. 

Another thing to note is to NOT PRUNE 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.

sideview of small potted hoya rotundiflora

Common Pests and Issues

The main problems that you have to be on the look out for with the Hoya Rotundiflora are root rot and sap-sucking insects.

Sap sucking insects

Check out our guide on sap-sucking spider mites and mealybugs for tips on how to identify and eradicate these pests. You can also use a mild solution of neem oil to prevent these pests from nibbling on your Hoya. This is a good preventative measure!

Root rot

Root rot is a headache for many gardeners. It results from overwatering your plant. If you see your Hoya Rotundiflora’s leaves turning yellow, chances overwatering may be the cause. Check if the soil is damp to confirm.

If your plant is only slightly overwatered, relocate it outdoors, where excess water can evaporate quickly.

However, for more severe cases, you’ll need to dislodge the plant from its pot and inspect the roots.

Healthy roots are thick and white, while brown or black roots are signs of root rot. Roots are unable to breathe as they are drowned out by water.

As a result, they started to decay.

To save your plant, you’ll need to use sterilized shears to snip off the infected roots, then repot them in fresh soil.

Consult our step-by-step guide for details!

Troubleshooting

Why are my Hoya Rotundiflora leaves turning yellow?

When the Hoya Rotundiflora has yellow leaves, you can typically point the finger right at overwatering.

Overwatering is the leading cause of yellow leaves, and it can lead to root rot if you don’t get the overwatering under control ASAP.

With that said, however, it could be caused by too heavy and compact soiled, which creates an overwatering situation since the excess water cannot properly drain out of the pot.

Using a light and airy soil (by adding chunky amendments like perlite, charcoal and coconut coir) and a terracotta pot (which is porous) helps with airflow to the roots.

Can I save an overwatered Hoya Rotundiflora?

If you are facing an overwatered Hoya Rotundiflora, your best option is to immediately quit watering and allow the soil to dry out before watering the plant again.

If, however, overwating is severe, you may have to remove the Hoya from its pot and replant it into a new pot with all fresh soil.

How can I Remove Water Spots from my Hoya’s Foliage?

Water spots may appear on the leaves surface over time. These are mineral salt deposits that appear due to using hard water to water plants.

Here are a few easy steps you can follow to remove water spots from your plant’s foliage:

  1. Dilute a few tablespoons of lemon juice or vinegar with water.
  2. With the help of a soft and clean cloth, wipe the leaves gently with this mixture.
  3. Since deposits are found on the upper parts of the leaves, use this solution to clean that area only.
  4. Do not apply the solution underneath the leaves because that area contains pores and stomata.

If you want water spots from appearing, use filtered water or rainwater to water your plant. 

What can cause the Hoya Rotundiflora leaves to turn brown?

Brown leaves are a common symptom of underwatering the Hoya Rotundiflora. While underwatering isn’t considered nearly as serious as overwatering, it can still stress the plant, increase the chance of pest problems, and even kill it if the lack of water continues.

Thankfully, most Hoya Rotundifloras can snap back from underwatering if you start properly watering them. 

hoya rotundiflora flowers - small cluster of white flowers with pink corollas

Frequently Asked Questions

Is there any way I can make my Hoya Rotundiflora grow faster?

While you cannot change the natural growth rate of your Hoya Rotundiflora, you can help encourage faster growth by giving it SUFFICIENT sunlight (at least 8 hours a day), and high humidity (>60%).

How do you properly water Hoya Rotundiflora?

Here are our top tips:

  • Water the Hoya Rotundiflora at its base (near the soil line) so that you are not splashing soil onto the Hoya’s leaves. There are several pathogens that live in soil that, when splashed onto foliage, will cause potentially damaging disease, such as bacterial leaf spot disease. Using a long-spouted watering can help too!
  • Water your Rotundiflora using rainwater or distilled water to prevent water spots.
  • Only water your Hoya when the topsoil is completely dry. Your Hoya has round, thick leaves that have succulent-like qualities. This means they are hardy against underwatering, and are sensitive to overwatering. If in doubt, err on the side of underwatering. 🙂

Other great Hoyas to check out

Wrapping Up

As you can see, the Hoya Rotundiflora doesn’t need a lot of special care at all. They are fairly hardy! Here’s how to help your Rotundiflora thrive:

  • Bright, indirect sunlight for at least 8 hours a day
  • Temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees F (24-29 degrees C)
  • Humidity levels of >60 percent
  • Not allowing their soil to stay soggy!
  • Pruning lightly only to remove dead or damaged leaves.
  • Use rainwater or distilled water.
  • Fertilize sparingly!
Deborah

Deborah is a plant enthusiast and founder of Gardening Collective.