How to Grow and Care For Hoya Curtisii

But if you’re new to casual botany, it’s best to start with a lower-maintenance plant like Hoya Curtisii. Something relatively easy to care for and harder to kill, if you aren’t blessed with a green thumb.

Hoya Curtisii Leaves

Image Source: Wikimedia (Sesamehoneytart)

Growing houseplants, both indoors and out, is a great way to warm up any space. It can be very rewarding to watch a plant grow and change after giving it the care and conditions it needs. It’s almost like having a puppy, except your plant won’t wake you up early in the morning to be let outside, and it definitely won’t chew the carpeting. 
But if you’re new to casual botany, it’s best to start with a lower-maintenance plant. Something relatively easy to care for and harder to kill, if you aren’t blessed with a green thumb. Take the Hoya curtisii, for example. 
In this article, we’re going to talk a little bit about this plant and how to care for it.

What Is a Hoya Curtisii?

There are many varieties of Hoya plants, also known as “wax plants.” The Hoya curtisii variety originates from Southeast Asia, specifically the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia. They’re considered a succulent variety, and as such are drought-tolerant houseplants. (1)
Not to be confused with a String of Hearts, they’re characterized by green spade-shaped leaves with a random variation in each leaf of an almost silver-like contrast. On the rare occasion the Hoya curtisii flowers, it can offer waxy blooms in a variety of colors. 

Hoya Curtisii vs. String of Hearts

Hoya curtisii and String of Hearts are two very similar plants with few distinct differences. The String of Hearts, however, will grow much longer vines at a much faster rate than the Hoya. (12)
Also, the Hoya curtisii has spade-shaped leaves while the String of Hearts has leaves that are, well, heart-shaped.

How to Grow and Care for a Hoya Curtisii

While this type of plant is beginner-friendly, there are a few specifics to keep in mind when caring for your Hoya. 

Growing Hoya Curtisii Outdoors

If you plan on keeping your Hoya curtisii outside, you’ll want to remember that these are tropical plants. They’re best suited to USDA hardiness zones 9-12. So, as of 2022, if you live anywhere other than most of California, Las Vegas, southern Arizona, or north of Jacksonville, FL, you’ll probably want to keep this plant indoors. If you’re in an appropriate zone for your outdoor Hoya to thrive, make sure you still have it placed where it’s getting dappled or indirect sunlight. 

Water

Be cautious of overwatering by making sure your Hoya’s planter has good drainage holes. Do not water unless the soil is dry through at least the top 1-2 inches. If the entire pot has dried, water thoroughly and do not re-water until the soil has had time to drain and dry out again.

Sunlight

In the wild, Hoya curtisii grow in mostly indirect lighting, so you’re NOT going to want to place this plant in a big bay window that gets direct sunlight all day long. A bright space with plenty of natural light would be best. 

Temperature

The Hoya curtisii will do well in indoor temperatures that most people normally consider comfortable, between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. (5) But if you have yours outside, you’ll want to make sure your outdoor temps aren’t below 40-50 degrees Fahrenheit. (6)

Humidity

As mentioned before, these are tropical plants that like high humidity. You’ll want to make sure your plant’s immediate surroundings are at least 50% humidity. This can usually be accomplished with regular misting. However, if you live in a dry climate, a humidifier would be a worthwhile investment. (5)

Soil

Hoya curtisii are epiphytes, which means they are normally found growing on other plants, like trees. So they don’t need the typical ground-like potting soil of many other plants. Your Hoya curtisii will need good-quality, well-draining soil. A succulent soil blend mixed 2:1 with perlite will work well. (5)

Fertilizer

As time goes on, a potted plant will slowly use up the nutrients in the soil in its pot. This is why fertilizing your hoya is important. You will want to use a liquid fertilizer, and “feed” your plant once a month through the spring and summer. 

Cutting and Pruning

Removing dead leaves or stems is always good for a plant, and pruning can help with guiding the shape a plant will take as it grows. Just make sure you never trim off the peduncle or you’ll have cut off the flowering point of the plant. It’s always safe to remove anything dead, but should you choose to remove a healthy branch or two to modify the shape of your plant, set them aside to propagate new plants! (7)

How to Propagate Hoya Curtisii

“Propagating” a plant simply means to make more plants from the parent plant. These additional plants are great additions to your garden, or they also make great gifts to give away to your friends and family. 

Propagating from Seeds

Hoya seeds can be extremely difficult to come by, but your existing plant may eventually produce a seed pod. This can be used to start a new plant. No matter how you get the seeds, it will take a lot of patience on your part as the plants grow to maturity.
  • Plant the seeds in a small, well-draining pot and make sure they have some space to expand.
  • Keep the soil moist.
  • Once the seedlings have their own set of leaves, they can be repotted. Take care not to damage their roots. (8)

Propagating from Stem Cuttings

If you’ve pruned healthy stems from your Hoya curtisii plant, you can help these trimmings to form their roots and repot them! You can do this using a soil mix or in water, using vines that have several leaves and that are several inches long. 

By Soil:

  • Make sure you select a sphagnum moss potting mix. 
  • Remove the lowermost leaves to expose the leaf nodes. 
  • Plant the vines into the soil mix making sure to cover the nodes in the dirt. 
  • Keep the soil moist but not soaked.
  • Cover the cutting with a plastic bag to maintain the humidity, removing occasionally to give the new plant fresh air.

In Water:

  • Prepare the cuttings in the same way you would for soil propagation, removing the lower leaves of a healthy vine cutting.
  • In a container of water, submerge the base of the vine to make sure the nodes are underwater.
  • Refill or replace the water as necessary.
In either scenario, it will likely take a couple of months for the new plant to develop sufficient roots to be replanted (roots should be about 2-3 inches long). (9) When that happens, you can repot your new propagations into the regular well-draining soil previously discussed.

Propagating by Layering

This method of propagation doesn’t involve cuttings from an existing plant. Rather, the vines remain attached to the “mother” plant until new roots are formed. 
  • Select a vine but DON’T cut it from the plant. 
  • Expose a set of leaf nodes by removing the leaves.
  • Pin the node into the soil adjacent to the mother plant, either in the same pot or, if the vine is long enough, you could also pin it into a separate pot placed next to the main pot. 
  • Give the new roots 2-3 months to establish themselves before cutting the new plant away from the original plant. (10)

How to Prune Hoya Curtisii

Using a pair of sharp, sterilized scissors will minimize damage to the plant and prevent the introduction of disease as you prune the plant. Simply cut the vines to the desired length, and don’t forget to set aside the healthy ones for propagation. (9)

How to Repot Hoya Curtisii

Hoya curtisii don’t need to be repotted regularly and may not always respond well to it. However, sometimes it might be necessary. A few signs that your Hoya curtisii plant needs to be repotted include:
  • Being overly root bound, or the roots have grown completely around the inside limits of the pot.
  • The plant is drying out faster than normal (also a sign of overgrown roots).
  • The plant was planted in improper soil and needs to be repotted into a more suitable substrate.
If you simply need to change the substrate, you can stick with the same size pot. But if your plant is pot-bound or root bound, you can increase the size of the pot. However, remember these are epiphytes, so they don’t need deep soil. A pot with a slightly larger diameter (but NOT depth) will suffice. (11)
To repot your plant.
  1. Remove the plant from the pot and use care to remove soil from around the roots without damaging them.
  2. Place some new substrate mix into the new pot (or the same pot if you are just changing soil).
  3. Add a small amount of the old substrate to the new, as this will help transfer moisture and make the transition a little easier on the plant.
  4. Place your plant into the pot and fill in the spaces with more of the new substrate. Be careful not to overfill. 
  5. Water the plant and return it to its normal place. You’re done! (11)

Common Hoya Curtisii Pests & Diseases

If your Hoya plant looks anything but green and vibrant, with firm leaves and healthy, strong-looking vines, it could be a sign that something is up with your plant. It doesn’t take long for pests and diseases to wreak havoc on a plant and it will usually be glaringly obvious that something is amiss.

Yellowing Leaves/Leaf Drop

There is such a thing as too much water for your Hoya. If you notice the leaves yellowing, it could be a sign of overwatering. (13)

Thinning Leaves

A sure sign of stress for any plant is a noticeable loss or thinning of the leaves. Your plant could be getting too much water, have inadequate drainage, or the soil could be too compacted. (13)

Root Rot

In most cases, this is caused by overwatering or inadequate drainage. Too much moisture around the roots will suffocate and dehydrate the plant. Usually, repotting the plant and trimming any rotted or dead roots in between will help to get rid of root rot. (3)

Pests

Bugs love plants. Plants, however, usually get the short end of the stick in that relationship. Common pests for Hoya curtisii include:
  • Spider mites
  • Mealybugs - may be mistaken for dust around the stems; can be sprayed off or deterred with neem oil. 
  • Aphids - can be sprayed off or picked off by hand, or fended off with neem oil in more persistent infestations. 
  • Fungus Gnats - no fungus, no gnats! You can use neem oil to treat most fungus infestations. 
  • Scale - look like specs of dirt congregating by the leaf veins; treat with - you guessed it - neem oil. (3)

5 Basic Care Tips for Hoya Curtisii

Trying to absorb all this information at once might have you feeling like a Hoya curtisii might actually be higher maintenance than a puppy, after all. But if you stick to a few basic care tips, you’re bound to be successful. 
  1. Water sparingly, only when the soil feels dry.
  2. Place in natural lighting, not direct sunlight.
  3. Mild temperatures of 65-75 degrees Fahrenheit are fine, and higher humidity can help your plant thrive. 
  4. Plant your Hoya in well-draining soil.  
  5. For diseases and pests, when in doubt, use neem oil. 
Once you have a routine established and your plant seems healthy, just stick with it and you’ll be set. 
Where to buy Hoya Curtisii
Check out your local greenhouses or plant nurseries to see if they carry this easy-to-love hoya variety. They may even be able to help you select the right potting mix. You can also find an Etsy shop or two that will allow you to have your new plant shipped right to your door!
Visit Neverland today for more tips and resources! Plants bring lots of joy, so we strive to help you have the best growing experience possible! 

FAQs on Hoya Curtisii

Neverland logo
Let nature be your guide.
Enter Neverland, download the app that helps you explore your green side.™
Neverland QR Code
Neverland surfer