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Did you know that the stunning Hoya serpens is a popular houseplant among the public? It’s because of its gorgeous inflorescences. This plant has distinctive pale green flowers with a beautiful, ethereal scent. They also have light pink and scarlet star-shaped blooms that last for a long time.
Alternatively, this hoya species is known as wax plants or porcelain flowers due to the thick waxy foliage and the peculiar texture of their blossoms.
The table below is the basic information about this wax plant. This information introduces the brief plant hoya plants care.
Botanical Name: Hoya serpens
Common Name: Wax-flower Plant
Plant Type: Climbing Houseplant
Exposure to Sunlight: Bright Indirect sun
Soil Type: Well-draining Soil
Water: Medium Amount
Favorable Climate: Tropical Temperature, Warm Environment
Fertilizer Requirements: Low, once a month feeding
Propagation: Stem Cutting
Toxicity Warning: Toxic
Height: 8-10 feet tall
Origin: Southeast Asia
Plant Care Basics
Do you want to add this stunning, rare plant to your collection but lacks knowledge of how to take care of it? Worry no more because we’ve got your back! Read more below to find it out. We’re glad to share these care tips with you.
A well-draining soil type that is very loose is an excellent choice for the serpens hoya. The soil can be mixed with amendments such as peat moss, perlite, gravel, vermiculite, humus, and charcoal. These materials would help retain enough water, prevent excess water from pooling, and helps the excess water drains quickly.
You also have an option to buy an orchid potting mix when you have enough budget.
For this lovely plant, only a medium amount of water is necessary. You have to keep the soil a little damp but not soggy to prevent root rot. In my case, I water them twice a week. But of course, the frequency depends entirely on what season is prevailing. You can adjust accordingly.
Having trouble when to water? Well, the key is to check the condition of the leaves. A well-hydrated hoya would have perky foliage. So, watch out for signs of drooping.
If you’re a newbie, watering can be a tricky job. Overwatering or underwatering is always a threat. But don’t worry. You’ll learn the proper ways of doing it. Just be patient.
Hoya serpens is naturally a rainforest dweller. In short, they don’t need exposure to direct sunlight. If you’re planning to place this indoors then that’s a perfect choice! Bright indirect light and partially shaded locations are best for hoya plants.
It’s ideal to place this near a window. That way, it receives enough light. At the same time, there’s enough barrier to protect the leaves from the scorching heat. And oh, don’t forget to hang your favorite sheer curtains. They’re a great way to provide partial shade.
Are your hoya plants feeling soggy and the leaves turning yellow? Well, that’s a problem we have there. It’s possible your serpens isn’t receiving enough light. In return, it couldn’t make enough food for itself. It’s time to take it outside and allow it to have a little sunbathing. Or, you can install artificial light sources. That’s a good way to augment the lacking light.
Like other tropical plants, Hoya serpens thrives best in conditions where the temperature is at 13 to 27oC (55 to 75oF). As you see, this range is relatively easier to maintain. If you’re treating them as an indoor plant, I recommend that you keep a thermometer at home to help monitor temperature fluctuations.
Be watchful when the temperature goes below 50oF (10oC). Prolonged exposure to cold temperatures can be a threat. On the other hand, a little higher temperature is tolerable.
Now, this is the time that you really have to put in the extra effort. Hoya serpens is a sucker for high humidity. Sounds familiar? I know because most tropical plants do. It certainly loves those added moisture so be prepared to maintain this condition.
This houseplant should be placed in areas where it’s at least 60% humid. Once the moisture level goes down for a long duration, the growth of your hoya will be at stake. So, make sure to have a humidifier to the rescue. If none, then, be ready to do regular misting.
Some gardeners are very keen on fertilizing their plants. But my advice is that, do it only when it’s necessary. Hoya serpens isn’t a heavy feeder anyway. If you’ve added a slow-release fertilizer on the soil, that’s enough supply to last for months.
But of course, if your hoya is a little bit on the malnourish side, I recommend monthly feeding. A general houseplant fertilizer will do.
Some plants are quite easy to propagate. Luckily, your Hoya. seerpens is one of them. All you need are healthy stem cuttings and you’re good to go!
So, here’s how you do it:
- Sterilize your scissors and pruning shears. This prevents spreading diseases on the wounded portions of your Hoya serpens.
- Clip a 3- to 4-inch portion from below a node on the stem. Remember to choose a healthy and vigorous stem.
- Infuse rooting hormone toward the tips of the cutting and place it in a container with potting soil. Perlite or peat moss can be added as well.
- Water thoroughly after inserting the cutting end into the ground.
- Place the cutting in a warm, dark shady spot. Within three to six weeks, roots should produce. Take the same care with it as you do with the mother plant.
Take note that this plant species is hardy in Sunset’s Climate Zones 11 and 15 through 24. And it wouldn’t tolerate cold temperatures. If your area has a colder climate, be prepared to provide insulation on this plant.
Potting our Serpens
Repotting this hoya plant is necessary, especially that this is a climbing one. Any pot can do well. At times, it wouldn’t mind getting a little root-bound. However, I still recommend that you repot your plant once it’s deemed necessary. This will help rejuvenate the hoyas.
Pruning is necessary since this climber is a fast-growing one.
Hoya Serpens Other Species
There are approximately 300-450 species of hoya plants. One of which is the Hoya serpens. Here are some of the examples of hoya species or varieties that are a bit similar.
The primary form of Hoya carnosa is less common than many of its excellent hybrids ( of which there is a ridiculous number). The foliage can be plain, variegated, crinkled, or otherwise textured. The blooms are long-lasting, fuzzy clusters of fragrant stars.
Pubicalyx is a hardy twining vine that can trail or climb, but it’s a little unruly: you may spend time unwinding the plant from its neighbors. It’s one of the fastest-growing Hoyas and very easy to propagate – just put a cutting in water.
This plant, otherwise known as a Sweetheart Hoya or Lucky Heart, is commonly sold as a single, heart-shaped leaf planted in a small pot. The bright emerald green color of the cute, rounded leaves makes them popular St. Valentine’s Day gifts.
This large, rambling species is prized most especially for its waxy, light green, vein-patterned foliage. Their pointed oval leaves have an interesting 3-D texture. Prominent pale veins run longitudinally across a network of horizontally laid smaller veins.
Common Diseases & Pests
There’s nothing much to worry about when it comes to pests and diseases. Hoya serpens is a tough plant having originated from the Himalayans where living conditions are difficult. Nevertheless, it’s always better to be prepared to face certain enemies.
Regularly inspect the plant for tiny, cotton-like insects. Mealybugs feed on Hoya serpens, causing slowed growth, discolored leaves, and leaf fall. Apply a bit of horticultural oil or insecticidal soap to all plants, including the undersides of the hanging leaves. This would kill the mealybugs.
Reapply the oil or soap four to seven days after the first treatments. Some insecticidal soap and horticultural oil brands require mixing with water. Always use the manufacturer’s recommendation on its label.
Frequently Asked Questions
How fast does Hoya serpens grow?
Normally, the Hoya serpens is a fast-growing plant, especially during the summer season. If yours is taking a long time to grow, you need to check and adjust the growing conditions.
Why are my Hoya serpens leaves' turning yellow and falling off?
Overwatering, underwatering, or lack of sunlight are the most probable reasons why leaves are turning yellow and falling off. You need to figure out which of these is the real cause.
How do you save a dying Hoya serpens plant?
Repot your hoya and place it in an area with bright, filtered sunlight. Before watering the soil, allow it to somewhat dry out. The plant should not be grown in standing water. You can fertilize it to encourage new growth.
Where to buy Hoya serpens?
You can find these pretty little ones here on Plantly. Might as well check out our different houseplants too!