Hoyas can put some people off as their flowers are so elaborate and beautiful, some people assume that these plants are difficult to care for, but this isn’t the case.
They are very easy to grow, and it’s obvious when something in their care or environment is not quite right as the plant gives you clear signs that it’s not thriving.
One of the most compact and beautiful Hoyas is Hoya curtisii, perfect for homes where space is at a premium, or if you have ‘too many’ houseplants already, and you’re struggling for room!
You can recognize Hoya curtisii by its very compact, pointed leaves (getting no larger than an inch across), which are strikingly variegated in shades of silver and deep green on the topside.
You may also know it as the wax flower, which is the common name shared by most Hoya species.
Here’s everything you need to know to make sure Hoya curtisii thrives in your home.
How To Make Sure Your Hoya Curtisii Thrives
The key to getting any plant care right is to understand the growing conditions of its natural habitat, and then mimic them as closely as possible.
In the case of Hoya curtisii, these plants come from tropical parts of Southeast Asia, including Borneo, Thailand, and Malaysia.
So as you might imagine, this plant likes warm temperatures and at least some humidity. Let’s take a look at this in more detail.
Sunlight And Position
This particular hoya needs a bright spot that doesn’t get much sunlight (only a couple of hours of direct sunlight at best), to avoid the plant scorching in bright light, or the growth slowing down considerably in a position that’s too shaded.
Northern-facing windows would work, but Eastern or Western-facing windows are better suited for this plant, as there is more light to be had.
Don’t panic if Southern-facing windows are all you have, as this can work, too. You will need to make some adjustments, but they’re pretty simple.
Move your hoya a little further away from the window than you normally would with a plant; this will ensure the direct sunlight is not too strong.
You will also need to make sure that the plant gets enough water, as the soil will dry out much more quickly.
Don’t let a Hoya curtisii stay somewhere where temperatures drop below 50°F (or 10°C), even if that’s for a brief while, as it will damage the plant.
Hoyas will not visibly suffer as much when the humidity is lower than in an average home (see also Hoya Linearis Plant Care) – when compared to an orchid, for example – but they will grow better in a room that does have higher humidity levels, such as a bathroom or kitchen.
Soil Needs For Hoya Curtisii
As a hoya likes to be completely soaked when watered and then allowed to dry out, it’s important to get the soil right.
When you consider that Hoyas are epiphytes – meaning that they live on other plants rather than in the soil – the drainage needs to be particularly good, to mimic how water drains away from these plants in nature.
But you don’t need anything fancy to achieve this. If you keep cacti or succulent plants, you already have what you need.
Use two parts of commercial cacti and succulent compost mix, to one part perlite, horticultural grit, or pumice. This will give the plant excellent drainage, diverting excess water away from the roots.
This will help stop root rot before it can start.
When To Water Hoya Curtisii
Hoyas are very tolerant of dry spells, which makes them easy to care for. They won’t mind if you forget to water them occasionally, and they do better when you let the soil dry out completely in between watering.
But that doesn’t mean you should only give them a trickle of water when you do water them. It’s best to thoroughly soak the water, which encourages deeper roots, as the roots will follow the water further down into the soil.
Just make sure that all the excess water can drain away, and you don’t leave the plant sitting in water, as this can cause root rot.
So how do you know when to water? You can check by the weight of the pot, and this gets easier with time once you get a feel for it. A dry hoya will feel very light, compared to one that has just been watered.
By far the easiest method is to check the soil with your finger. Push your finger two inches into the soil. If it’s dry at this depth, you could water it, or wait until the soil in the drainage hole is completely dry, in which case it will need a good soaking.
Should You Feed A Hoya Curtisii?
Hoyas don’t need a lot of nutrients to survive, but if you want to give them a hand during the growing season, feed every couple of waters with a balanced houseplant fertilizer.
Do not feed a hoya during fall or winter.
When To Repot A Hoya Curtisii
It’s worth knowing that while many plants don’t like to be in the same pot for years, hoyas are an exception to this rule.
They tend to grow better when they are root-bound, where the roots grow around the pot and take on the same shape as the container, but they will eventually need a bigger pot with fresh soil to keep them going.
With this in mind, it’s vital that when you do repot this plant, only go up one pot size to avoid issues such as overwatering or shock.
If you plant it in something too big, water will take ages to evaporate from the soil, causing root rot and other fungal issues.
But how do you know when to repot? Well, when the growth starts being much slower than usual, or your plant seems unhappy no matter what you do, it’s time to take a look at the roots.
If they are growing all the way around the pot, it’s time to give your plant a new home.
How To Propagate Hoya Curtisii
This particular hoya is very easy to propagate through stem cuttings. Make sure each cutting has one or two nodes on it (and these are easy to spot, the little nodules just under the leaves), and place them in water.
Make sure that no leaves can sit in the water, and wait a while for the cuttings to grow roots. Then you can plant them up as separate hoyas.
How To Encourage Hoya Curtisii To Flower
Hoya plants can take a while to flower, especially Hoya curtisii. If you keep finding yourself searching for flower buds, there are things you can do to help the plant along.
It’s worth pointing out that hoyas are unlikely to flower within the first few weeks of buying them.
Instead, they will use that time to adapt to the growing conditions in your home, and it could be several months before you do see buds if the plant is mature enough.
Most hoyas don’t need a lot of light to encourage flowers, but in the case of Hoya curtisii, it does need higher levels to get the plant to bloom. Give it some direct sunlight for at least part of the day, but watch out for signs of scorching.
If temperatures are significantly lower at night, this can help trigger the flowering process (which also goes for orchids, too.)
Keeping the hoya root bound can also encourage flowers.
Scaling back the watering schedule in winter can help immensely, leaving the plant dry for about a month. This can trigger blooming in the growing season, but just make sure that your hoya isn’t becoming too stressed during this period.
Unlike most plants, it’s a good idea not to deadhead hoyas. They will bloom from the same place every year, so don’t cut them off!
Hoya curtisii is incredibly beautiful and very easy to care for.
It looks a little like a string of turtles with its compact growth habit and leaves packed along the stem, but it is much easier to care for than a string of turtles, and also has the benefit of producing gorgeous flowers when the conditions are right.
Make sure you let the soil dry out at least partially in between watering.