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Hoya Archboldiana Plant Care – Everything You Need to Know

Hoya Archboldiana Plant Care – Everything You Need to Know

The drought-tolerant plant, which was a favorite for the 70s grandmas, is making a comeback.

And it’s easy to see why. Its cup-shaped flower clusters with a maroon corona make a bold statement in any space they’re placed in.

This plant is native to Indonesia and Papua New Guinea according to the Global Biodiversity Information Facility.

Besides, the Hoya Archboldiana plant is one of the easiest plants to care for. All it needs is a snug spot, a little sunshine, and careful watering.

If you’re planning to keep this indoor plant, here’s a detailed guide on how to care for it.

 

 

Hoya Archboldiana Care Guide

 

Soil

When choosing a potting medium for a Hoya plant, the most essential factor to consider is drainage. Ideally, it should be fast draining to prevent root rot.

For my Archboldiana, I prefer to use a blend of premixed potting mix, horticultural charcoal, and perlite. The potting mix that I use is tailored for hardy plants like this Hoya species.

Both the horticultural charcoal and perlite improve the soil’s drainage by absorbing excess water from the roots.

 

Light

This plant fares well when it’s placed in bright, indirect sunlight. Although it requires a sufficient amount of light to grow well, direct sunlight can be damaging. It can cause the leaves to dry out or turn white.

I like placing my Archboldiana on a windowsill. However, when the sun is too bright, I always place it behind a sheer curtain.

I’m fortunate enough to reside in an area that receives sunlight throughout the year. So the only thing I have to do is rotate the plant every few months so that the whole plant is exposed to the sun evenly.

In the event that you’re growing your Hoya in a room with zero access to natural light, artificial lighting is a great substitute.

I recommend the T5 grow lights, in particular. Not only are they energy-efficient, but they also generate a tiny amount of heat.

It means that you can comfortably place them close to your houseplants without worrying that they’ll get scorched.

 

Watering

The rule of thumb is to water your Hoya Archboldiana weekly during its growth stage. This typically occurs in spring and summer. During fall and winter, reduce the frequency to once every two weeks.

Even with these guidelines, figuring out when and how often to water this plant can be tricky, especially if you’re a novice gardener. So here are a few tips that can help:

 

Water when the leaves appear wrinkly

An easy way to know whether you should water your Hoya Archboldiana is to inspect its foliage. If it’s dry, the older leaves- those located close to the potting mix base- will have a soft or pliable texture. The leaves becoming wrinkly is another indication that you should water your plant.

 

Water sparingly when the weather is cool

Like most Hoya species, the Archboldiana is better off receiving little than excess amounts of water. While you can always water a dry Hoya, one that has rotten roots caused by overwatering can’t be dried out.

Now, it’s far easier to overwater this plant when it’s cool than when it’s warm. So pay more attention during this time.

 

Weigh the pot

Another hack that works for me is weighing the pot. Essentially, it weighs more when the soil is wet than dry. So if you lift the pot and feel that it’s very light, it’s probably time to water your plant.

 

Poke the soil with your finger

Feeling the weight of the pot does not always provide an accurate assessment. So I like to follow it up by poking my finger through the soil, at least an inch deep. This way, I can tell whether the soil is completely dry.

 

Temperature

Hoya Archboldiana thrives under intermediate temperature conditions. More specifically, the temperature shouldn’t go below 60°F (16°C), and it shouldn’t exceed 95°F (35°C). To maintain this temperature, don’t place the plant in an area exposed to cold drafts or close to air conditioning and heating vents.

 

Humidity

The Hoya Archboldiana originates from the tropical and subtropical regions. In these areas, the atmosphere is quite humid, meaning you’ll have to replicate the same conditions at home. A humidity level ranging from 60 to 80% is necessary to support healthy growth and development.

During winter, I always make a point of misting my Archboldiana once or twice per week. This is because my home gets really dry as cold air doesn’t hold as much moisture as warm air.

 

Fertilizer

If you’re looking for a low-maintenance houseplant, which doesn’t need to be fed frequently, the Hoya Archboldiana is a superb choice. It grows just fine without any fertilizer.

However, a light application of fertilizer can help to boost its growth. I like my Hoyas well-fed, so I usually add a light layer of compost during spring. Speaking of spring, timing is an integral factor to consider when fertilizing Hoyas.

The best time is when the plant reaches peak growth, which typically happens in early spring to midsummer. Never fertilizer in late fall or winter as this the plant’s resting time.

On the same note, don’t apply excessive amounts of fertilizer. Overfertilizing will only cause salts to accumulate, which will, in turn, scorch the plant’s root system.

Furthermore, never fertilize your Archboldiana if it appears stressed, that is, if it has soaked through or is too dry.

 

Propagation

One thing I like about Hoya Archboldiana is that it’s a versatile plant. You can grow it from the stem or root cuttings. And, you have the freedom of propagating in water or soil.

 

Soil Propagation

I’ve had more success propagating my cuttings in soil, so this is the medium I prefer. If you prefer this route, here are the steps to follow:

  • Fill a container or pot with your preferred potting mix
  • Water generously, then set it aside to drain. Doing so helps the soil to remain evenly moist as opposed to saturated
  • If propagating with a stem cutting, then look for a healthy one about 4 to 5 inches long; should have 2 to 3 leaves
  • Next remove the leaves from the lower section of the stem. Plant the stem in such a way that the leaves are not touching the soil

Now, all that’s left to do is for your plant to root. You can place the bottom part of the stem in liquid hormone beforehand. This boosts the chance of your plant rooting successfully.

After propagating, it’s also good practice to water the soil so as to keep it evenly moist. But as we pointed out earlier, be careful not to overwater as it may cause the stem to rot. You should also place your newly potted plant in a spot with bright, indirect light.

 

Water Propagation

The Hoya Archboldiana can also be rooted in water. To achieve this, start by extracting the stem cutting as I directed earlier.

Next, place it in a jar of water, ensuring the leaves are not submerged. Be patient as your plant takes root. In case the water turns murky, replace it with fresh water.

Also, be ready to transfer the cutting to a freshly-prepared and well-draining potting mix as soon as it roots.

 

Growth

Overall, the Hoya Archboldiana grows at a moderate rate. However, this is subject to changes in its growing conditions.

For instance, insufficient amounts of light can slow its growth rate. Similarly, the growth rate decreases during winter when the temperatures drop.

 

Potting

This house plant doesn’t need to be repotted every other year. In any case, it has a natural tendency to become slightly root-bound.

I had an Archboldiana that I had not repotted for a year. The only reason I ended up repotting is because the medium that I had planted it in, was looking depleted.

So I decided to repot it, and use a fresh mix. Needless to say, the plant thrived in its new environment.

If you’re planning to repot your Hoya, choose a reasonably-sized container. You can go a size up or use the same size of pot that you were using initially.

Also important to note is the type of potting mix. It should have proper drainage. If it doesn’t, consider adding a little bit of pumice and/or perlite to improve drainage.

In terms of timing, spring and summer are the perfect seasons for repotting Hoyas. With longer days and warmer temperatures, your plant has a higher chance of thriving after transplanting.

 

 

Common Problems with Hoya Archboldiana

 

Pests

Although Hoya Archboldiana is generally a healthy plant, it can get attacked by several pests. These include:

 

Scale insects

The scale insect usually discharges a waxy coating, which leaves it looking like reptilian scales; hence the name.

Unfortunately, this is the type of pest that you might not even notice until it’s too late. This is because it’s mostly immobile, and it has a rather odd shape.

To avoid this, inspect your plant(s) from time to time. Pay close attention to the stems and leaves, particularly along the leaf veins, as this is where scale insects tend to gather.

 

Mealybugs

Technically, mealybugs are an example of scale insects. But unlike scale insects, which lose their legs as they develop, mealybugs don’t. This explains why mealybugs are often classified on their own.

These particular insects attack Hoyas by piercing their leaves and stems and sucking sap. This, in turn, causes the leaves to yellow and wilt.

 

Aphids

If you notice some tiny green bugs crawling on your Archboldiana, chances are, it’s an aphid.

Despite their small size, they are some of the most damaging pests for houseplants like Hoyas.

They will suck nutrients from it, leaving it weak; hence, susceptible to all sorts of problems. And, they multiply pretty quickly too. So ensure you take action as soon as you spot them.

In all three cases, the pest control treatment that I’d recommend is insecticidal soap. It’s easy to make at home, super effective, and safe to use around pets and toddlers.

This is the product that I spray on my Archboldiana when it gets attacked by pests, and it works every time.

To make my insecticidal soap, I usually mix one cup of vegetable oil with a tablespoon of dishwashing liquid. You’re free to use any type of oil; be it corn, soybean, or peanut.

Once my insecticide is ready, I add about two teaspoons of this mixture into a spray bottle filled with warm water. I then spray the resulting solution on the affected part of the plant.

 

Tips to Keep Hoya Archboldiana Problem-Free

  • Plant in a rich, and well-draining soil; don’t allow your Hoya to sit in water or soggy soil
  • Water only when the top two to three inches of soil is completely dry
  • Position the planter or pot in a brightly-lit area; preferably one with exposure to natural light
  • Maintain a temperature of 60°F (16°C) to 95°F (35°C) and humidity levels between 60 and 80% in the area where you’re growing your plant
  • Boost the potting medium with fertilizer (in spring or summer)

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Hoya Archboldiana

 

Can a Hoya Archboldiana grow in a poorly-lit area?

This plant species isn’t too fussy when it comes to lighting requirements. However, it will likely grow at a slower rate.

 

Why won’t my Hoya Archboldiana bloom?

There are numerous varieties of the Hoya plant, some of which don’t produce any flowers. However, the Archboldiana is one that blooms. So if it’s not producing any flowers, you should alter some of its growing conditions and check if there’s any difference:

  • Try placing the plant in a spot with brighter light
  • Water deeply, but only when necessary. When it’s time to water- once the top couple of inches of soil are dry- do so generously
  • Use fertilizer with higher phosphorus content. Phosphorus nutrient plays several roles, including promoting flowering and root growth. So invest in fertilizers that have more phosphorus content than nitrogen and potassium
  • Removing old blooms can also help your plant to flower. This way, the plant can focus its energy on developing new buds, ensuring continuous blooming.

 

What is the best pot for growing my Hoya Archboldiana?

One of the most contentious issues relating to Hoya care has to do with the type of pot. While some gardeners recommend plastic pots, others swear by terracotta pots.

The truth is, each one has its fair share of merits and drawbacks. So it all boils down to your personal preferences.

With plastic pots, their lightweight makes it easy to transfer the plant from one location to another.

This also helps in determining whether the soil is wet or dry. However, if the pot is too light, it’s likely to topple over.

Terracotta pots, on the other hand, have ample stability due to their heavyweight. But, if you use this pot without any kind of glazing, it will lose moisture way too fast.

This can cause your Archboldiana to dry out.


 

Conclusion

A favorite for many gardeners, the Hoya Archboldiana plant requires very little in the way of caring. As long as you plant it in rich, well-draining soil, provide bright indirect light, and water only when you need to, you’re guaranteed that it will grow.

To be a little more specific, you should only water when the top few inches of the soil is dry. Failure to let the soil dry between waterings can result in root rot.

Now, also crucial to its growth is a humidity level of 60 to 80%, and light fertilizer application, particularly during spring and summer.

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