My Hoya needs help..

maark23 TX/8aJuly 14, 2014

Hello all! I have been on the forum for a while but not this section. I didn't know it was here :o

I need help with this Hoya carnosa. I have had it for about 4 years and it has not grown a lot. I repotted it last year thinking it would help, which it did. I got some new leaves. I'm not sure what the problem. Right now I have it bright light, and it receives some morning light. The leaves are very light green. I water once a week, depending on the heat.

Is there anything that can be done?


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Welcome to the Hoya forum! Glad you found it!

Normally we find ourselves saying "give it more light" and "repot to a faster draining soil" and "let it dry out more between waterings", but here is sort of the opposite case, I think.

I see cacti in the background. Hoyas often get compared to cacti and succulents, and they are similar, but they do prefer more water than a lot of C&S do. So, if you are used to growing those, you may be underwatering the hoya, especially in the Texas heat.

After you water (thoroughly, I hope), how soon after do you typically find the soil dry an inch or so deep into the pot?

When was it last repotted? Have you checked how root-bound it is? Here's another cacti difference: hoya root balls tend to be larger. It may have stopped growing because it's way too tight in the pot. They do like it somewhat tight, but there's a limit.

Hoyas also generally need more fertilizer than cacti. How often do you fertilize it? How strong is the solution?

Those are my 3 guesses.

As you also noted, the leaves are indeed very light green, almost white, which does mean it's getting VERY bright light. It's actually pretty cool to see - we rarely see carnosas like this. You have not said anything about it blooming - has it? They normally bloom pretty well in bright light. At 4 years of age, if it hasn't, there may be another problem you may want to sort out - or maybe the same problem as its not growing.

Just looking at the leaves, I'd say giving it a bit LESS bright light may be in order, although I am not sure, hope somebody else chimes in.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2014 at 11:50PM
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Yeah, my wayettii did that when I put it out on my western balcony in full sun last year. It didn't die but it mostly froze in time. It grew like crazy once I moved it back inside tho, so I think it stored up a lot of energy. lol

I wouldn't move yours inside, of course - it's great it can be outdoors in the summer - just back it into a shadier spot and water it more frequently.

I am basically agreeing with everything that GT is saying. I have Hoyas out amongst my cacti and succulents but they definitely need more water and TLC to flourish vs just survive. If you dial it back just a couple notches, I bet your carnosa jumps into action with a bang.

Also, maybe get an australis rupicola - I bet it would dig your conditions, since it grows on rocky sun-baked cliffs in Australia.

This post was edited by greedyghost on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 10:46

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 1:36AM
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Yes, I agree - less light. The few I grow outside in summer either go into full shade or they may get an hour or two of afternoon sun, dappled through other plants. If one starts to get light green like that, I know it's getting too much light and I move it to a shadier spot.

And I would agree, too, that you should be fertilizing regularly, a good one like Fertilome. You could give it a shot of epsom salts (see the URL below) - 1 tablespoon in a gallon of water and water in. It improves the greening of your leaves.

Denise in Omaha

Here is a link that might be useful: Epsom salts in gardening

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 4:30PM
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maark23 TX/8a

Thank you all for you responses!!

I have been treating the Hoya like the cacti not watering as much. I have not checked how fast it gets dry.

I fertilize about once a month with a weak solution of Miracle grow. It has not flowered since I got it. :( I actually have some Epsom salt already, I was using it on my Adeniums and Plumerias. I will try to out on the Hoya.

I repotted to last year it was in a smaller pot and moved up to this one. It was pretty root bound when I repotted the first time. I can repot this weekend and check the roots. I will try to find a shadier spot, maybe under a bench. I really don't want to take it inside unless I have too. I usually take the cold sentive plants inside in the Winter.

I will look into the australis rupicola, Greedyghost. I want to first get the hang of this one before I get anymore. Lol

I will keep y'all updated.

Thanks again.


This post was edited by Maark23 on Tue, Jul 15, 14 at 23:52

    Bookmark   July 15, 2014 at 11:48PM
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