How to Grow and Care for Hoya Wayetii

Closeup of hoya wayetii flowers

Altocumuli / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0

Hoyas make interesting flowering, vining houseplants. If you're looking for a hardy option, why not give the Hoya wayetii a whirl? This plant stands out for it's thick, deep green leaves that turn red at the margins when they get enough light. Look for the variegated variety, which has striking yellow-white patternation on the foliage. If you're lucky, your Hoya wayetii might also produce a beautiful small cluster of mauve flowers.

With their trailing habit, they're perfect for placing on shelves or in hanging baskets. The tendrils can reach up to 3 feet in length when left to grow. A humidity lover, the Hoya wayetii is an ideal plant for a bathroom that gets enough light.

It's worth noting that this slow-growing plant is sometimes mislabeled as Hoya kentiana in non-specialist stores.

Common Name Wayetii wax plant
 Botanical Name Hoya Wayetii
 Family Apocynaceae
 Plant Type Perennial, Succulent, Vine
 Mature Size Tendrils can reach 3 feet long
 Sun Exposure Full, Partial
 Soil Type Well-drained
 Soil pH Acidic, Neutral
 Bloom Time Spring, Summer
 Flower Color Mauve
 Hardiness Zones 11-13 (USDA)
 Native Area Asia

Hoya Wayetii Care

Hoyas are a little more picky than some succulent species, but the Hoya wayetii is relatively easy to care for, provided you maintain the careful balance with light, water, and humidity. Once you've found the right place, don't move your plant. They don't like to be disturbed.

Light

To see your Hoya wayetii thrive and produce beautiful blooms, put it in a place where it gets bright, indirect light for at least six hours a day. It needs more light than many other Hoya species, but too much direct sun results in scorched leaves, so don't hang your plant right next to a super sunny window. Too much shade, however, makes for leggy, straggly growth and below par blooms—getting the balance right initially can be tricky.

Turn your plant every week to give all the leaves an equal amount of light and to promote symmetrical growth.

Soil

These epiphytic plants need a medium that drains well—they don't tolerate wet roots. Bark, coarse potting soil and perlite are a good combination.

Water

Hoya wayetii can drown in too much water. Over and underwatering can result in wrinkling foliage. The pot or hanging basket should have good drainage. Standing water leads to root rot.

As you would expect with a succulent that holds moisture in its leaves, watering too often isn't a good strategy for these drought-tolerant plants. However, thorough watering once the soil is almost dry promotes the best bloom growth. Dip your finger into the potting mix to check moisture levels. Leaving them dry for too long can stymie flowering.

Distilled or rainwater work best. Tap water is fine but let it sit for 24 hours before adding it to your plant.

Water over a bathtub or sink and watch for the water to stop dripping from the bottom of the pot. That's usually a good sign your Hoya wayetii has had enough.

Temperature and Humidity

The Hoya wayetti is a tropical species that thrives in warm, humid conditions. Daytime temperatures between 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit are ideal. If temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you're better off selecting a different plant.

You need to keep this plant away from blasting, dry HVAC vents. It needs more moisture than some hoya species, and humidity levels between 60 and 80 per cent will give you the best chance of seeing blooms. Investing in a humidifier might be worthwhile if you own one of these plants.

Fertilizer

Bumping up the nutrients once or twice monthly during the growing season helps promote lush foliage and flowers. They do well with organic fertilizers like fish emulsion or a top dressing of tea leaves or coffee grounds.

In terms of commercial options, a diluted half-strength orchid fertilizer works well for hoya species.

Pruning

Your Hoya wayetii won't have a demanding pruning regime. It's just a case of removing dead or damaged foliage or stems.

Propagating Hoya Wayetii


A healthy Hoya wayetii is easy to propagate and should give you lots of baby plants if you have the time to nurture some stem cuttings in water or long-fiber sphagnum moss. Follow these steps to produce more handsome hoyas:

  1. Use sterile scissors or pruning shears to take a cutting. Look for a stem with three healthy nodes at the bottom with at least one leave above them.
  2. Remove the leaves at the bottom of the cutting along the node section.
  3. Cover the cutting nodes with damp sphagnum moss or put the cutting in a tall, clear glass of water. The water should cover the nodes, and the leaves should be above it.
  4. Position the cutting in bright, indirect light. A bag around the cutting will help retain the moisture this species loves.
  5. Refresh the water weekly or mist the sphagnum moss to keep it evenly moist but not saturated.
  6. Wait for the roots to reach over 2 inches long before planting in a well-drained potting mix. It can take around three weeks to get to this stage.

Potting and Repotting Hoya Wayetii

Your slow-growing Hoya wayetii will appreciate being slightly rootbound, so won't need repotting often. Once the roots are sprawling, the pot feels fit to burst, and your watering schedule is increasing, these are good indicators that it's time to repot. Don't select a pot that's too big. One size up, around two inches larger than your existing pot is perfect.

Common Pests and Plant Diseases

A healthy Hoya wayetii shouldn't be troubled by too many diseases. However, fungus gnat and mealybug infestations can sometimes be an issue, especially if the soil is too wet or the plant isn't in tiptop health.

You can get rid of mealybugs by washing them away and then applying an insecticidal soap or neem oil. If your plant has fungus gnats, quarantine it from other plants, let the soil dry out, and get out the insecticidal soap.

How to Get Hoya Wayetii to Bloom

The star attraction of the Hoya wayetii is the sweet-smelling, mauve flowers that grow in small clusters in late spring and early summer.

Be patient, as it can take up to three years before these plants produce blooms. Don't be tempted to remove the flower stalks (called peduncles) after they have finished flowering. Your plant should flower on the same stalk the following year when conditions are right.

For best chance of seeing blooms, keep your Hoya wayetii root-bound in a humid location. Watch out for offering too much light and water and keep up a regular feeding schedule during the growing season.

Common Problems With Hoya Wayetii

If you spot any of the issues below, it might be a sign you're not providing the care this finicky plant needs.

Black Spots

Hoyas are susceptible to a condition called edema. This results in black spots on the undersides of the leaves, often caused by an irregular watering schedule. Keep to a regular schedule, letting the soil dry adequately before watering deeply.

Curling Leaves

One of the first telltale signs that you are over or underwatering your Hoya wayetii is that the leaves start to wrinkle up.

Brown Tips

Bright, indirect light is your Hoya wayetii's friend. Too much direct sunlight, though, can scorch the foliage and turn the tips of the leaves brown.

FAQ
  • How fast do Hoya wayetii grow?

    You'll need to be patient with this slow-growing species. It can take them over three years to reach maturity and start to bloom.

  • How long does the Hoya wayetii live?

    These plants typically live at least five to ten years. You might enjoy their beautiful foliage and flowers for a couple of decades with the proper care.