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Hoya Chelsea is a perfect plant for your conservatory garden or your living room. It is a Carnosa variety with cupped semi-succulent leaves. Hoya Carnosa plants are not just the oldest but also the best flowerers with easy plant care.
Use a cactus soil mix to plant your Hoya Carnosa Chelsea. Keep it in the bright filtered sun at temperatures from 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 21 degrees Celsius). You should maintain excellent humidity for this variety, around 60% is optimal.
Hoyas are my favorite plants to collect. This hard to find Hoya is surprisingly an easy plant to grow. Many growers find the foliage of this plant interesting compared to other Hoyas.
This evergreen climber will produce not only attractive leaves but also tiny, waxy flowers. Some nurseries refer to this plant as the Chelsea Wax plant.
This plant is natively found in Easter Asia (China or India) and Australia. The heat and drought tolerance properties of this variety make it a great indoor houseplant.
Hoya Carnosa Chelsea Plant Care
Acid-loving plants like Hoya Chelsea will suffer from nutrient deficiencies if grown in inappropriate soil.
You can buy a premade soil mixture, but I like creating my own soil mix. The soil mix should drain freely. The soil should be either acidic or neutral, with pH falling in the range of 6.1-7.5.
You can create your own aerated mixture using orchid bark (1 part), coarse perlite (1 part), and peat-free compost (1 part). All these should be mixed in the mentioned ratio based on volume.
You can also grow Hoya Chelsea in cactus soil that is amended with perlite. Add organic mulch to your soil to help provide organic matter, reduce moisture loss and insulation. You can add sand to your mixture if it’s too compact.
The USDA hardiness zone range for this plant is 9b -11.
Hoya Chelsea has simple water requirements. It needs very little water compared to many other indoor varieties. If you are struggling to find the perfect time to water this plant, just wait for the top 1-2″ of the soil surface to dry.
However, this plant is drought-tolerant; the thick leaves can store plenty of water for dry periods. I forgot to water my Hoya Chelsea for almost one week, and it was still doing good.
Choose a warm, bright room of your house to grow the Hoya Chelsea. Appropriate sunlight will help your plant produce white flowers. However, your plant should be shaded from direct sunlight; else, the leaves and flowers will scorch.
Only place it under bright but indirect light for excellent leaf and flower growth. Your plant will start dropping leaves if you place them more than 3ft away from a light source.
The southern-facing window is the best, but Hoya Chelsea can also adapt to east and west-facing windows.
In outdoor areas, this plant appreciates a location with partial shade.
The perfect place to grow this Hoya is a heated conservatory. This warmth lover will perform well if you keep it at 70 degrees Fahrenheit (21 degrees Celsius) or higher temperature in the day. But at night, the temperature should be between 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit (15.5 to 18.3 degrees Celsius).
This Hoya variety is not frost hardy; therefore, protect it frost damage in chilly weather. In winter, the nighttime temperature should not be lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
The ideal humidity level for the Hoya Chelsea plant is around 60%. However, like other Carnosa varieties, it can also grow in average indoor humidity of 30-40%.
This plant should be fertilized every two months in spring and summer. You can use the following two fertilizers:
- 3:1:2 for regular use
- A high phosphorus fertilizer like 5:10:3 before blooming season
I prefer liquid fertilizer for my Hoya Chelsea because it can easily reach the plant roots.
Once your Hoya Chelsea is double its initial size, it is time to repot. Repotting will restore the nutrient content of the soil.
To repot your Hoya Chelsea, you will need a new pot (preferably one size bigger), a clean pair of shears, and a fresh potting mixture.
Start by carefully removing your plant from the soil. Then trim any damaged parts and transfer it to its new pot.
Pruning is a great way to enhance the beauty of your Hoya Chelsea. It can also help your plant produce new leaves and get rid of the old, damaged ones.
Make sure you prune your plant with clean tools in early spring. You should never over prune your Hoya Chelsea because that can hinder the growth.
The best time to propagate your Hoya Chelsea is from May to August, as it roots faster in the growing season. There are many ways to propagate Hoya Chelsea. My top choices are:
- Locate a healthy stem from Hoya Chelsea. Separate a 4-6 inches (10-15 cm) long vine from this stem using sterilized shears.
- Always remember to take the cutting at an angle.
- The vine should have at least 2 mature leaves on it; it can have a maximum of 6 leaves.
- Your cutting should also have a bare leaf node. If you can’t find one, simply remove one leaf from the lower part. This leaf node plays an important role because it will grow the roots.
- Before planting, the leaf node can also be treated with a rooting hormone for fast growth. You can keep this cutting in soil or water.
- To propagate in water, place your cutting in a glass/jar of water. Allow the roots to grow 2-4 inches (5-10 cm) before transferring the cutting to a pot with soil.
- You can enjoy the progress of the cutting clearly in water but make sure the whole cutting is not inside water. Only the leaf node should be underwater, and all the leaves should be above the water surface.
- Once your cutting is ready to be transplanted, transfer it to an orchid mix.
- To propagate in soil, create a custom mix using perlite, coco-peat, and vermiculite (3:3:1). This mixture is great for young Hoya cuttings because it can hold plenty of water for root growth.
- You can propagate the new cutting in a separate pot or with the mother plant.
- These fresh cuttings will take 4 weeks to produce new roots. But this time can vary on the environmental conditions.
- You can feed the young plant once a month with organic feed.
- Seed propagation is the most time-consuming method since the seeds take weeks to germinate and are even hard to find.
- Collecting seeds from your own plant is also challenging because the seed pods take months to ripe.
- But if you get freshly harvested seeds, sow them in a flat tray or a small pot.
- Prepare your soil mixture beforehand. You can use a regular Hoya mix that is improved with pumice or perlite.
- Always water the seed pots from above. You should also cover the seed with a dry potting mixture.
- It will take several weeks, but the seeds will produce new leaves. You can grow all these new plants in separate pots.
- You can collect fallen leaves of Hoya Chelsea and use them for leaf propagation. I would rather suggest taking healthy leaves from the plant for better results.
- Just make sure your leaves have a small length of petiole attached to them; otherwise, they won’t root.
- Leaf cuttings usually take 5-6 weeks to start rooting.
- Use a knife or blade to make slashes on the lower side of the leaves. Place these leaves on a moist potting mix. You can use the mixtures mentioned in the soil section.
- Keep the soil moist at all times and wait for root growth. This method will also take a long time to produce a new plant, just like seed propagation. Very few gardeners have success with leaf cuttings propagation.
- The most successful and safe method in my experience is layering. The Hoya Chelsea produces flexible stems making it a good fit for propagation via layering.
- For this method, you need a small pot that is filled with a light and airy potting mixture. Moisten the soil mix with water before starting.
- Locate a healthy stem similar to the initial steps of method 1.
- Place this softwood stem on the soil surface and pin it.
- Keep watering the soil every few days and keep the pot in a spot with indirect, bright sunlight next to the mother plant.
- The only consideration is to make sure at least 1 leaf node is resting on the soil surface.
- Once you notice few roots on these stems, separate them from the mother plant and care for them as a young Hoya Chelsea.
This plant is a popular choice for indoor gardens because of its scented blooms. It usually blooms from spring through summer. These blooms grow in clusters in a star shape. The tiny blooms are 1 inch in size.
The blooms are in shades of pink, white and maroon. The outer part of the flower is white, whereas the center is dark maroon.
This beautiful Hoya has heart-shaped green leaves with dull white spots on the surface. It is a flowering climber that will remain green with thick, semi-succulent leaves that trail on the vines. The leaves are puckered with raised veins giving this plant a unique look.
Young stems are pink or red, adding a fresh touch to your plant. This plant is a vigorous version of Hoya plants. A mature Hoya Chelsea will measure 12 ft. (3.75m) in height and 1.6 ft. (0.5m) in width.
You can also grow the variegated variety of this plant. The only difference is that it has dark green leaves with cream-colored borders.
The leaves of the plant help you differentiate it from other varieties and indicate the possible care requirements. The leaves will get soft or become wrinkly when it’s time to water.
Other Popular Variants of Hoya Carnosa
Plant hybridizers and Hoya enthusiasts have created several variants from the original Hoya Carnosa. These variants can be divided into three groups, exotica variety, tricolor variety, and variegata variety.
Krimson Queen – the inside of the leaves is green, whereas the margins are variegated. Sometimes it produces entirely white leaves because of albinism.
Krimson Princess – the leaf shape is similar to Queen, but the variegation is inside. The leaves are creamy yellow from inside, surrounded by a dark green border.
Hindu Rope Plant – this variety has one of the most unique foliage. The green leaves are cupped, twisted, and curled like a rope. It also produces clusters of waxy flowers in pink and orange color.
Hoya Krinkle 8 – this plant is considered a combination of standard Hoya Carnosa and Hindu Rope Plant. It is an Australian native with puckered, folded leaves. The star-shaped flowers are pink and bright red.
Tricolor varieties are created to solve the issue of Albino in the variegated Hoya Carnosa. The Krimson Queen with pink leaves is a tricolor variety.
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Common Problems for Hoya Chelsea
The sweetly scented blooms on the Hoya Chelsea can attract several pests and bugs. The two common ones are mealybugs and root rot nematode.
Mealybugs are tiny insects that appear on the undersides of the leaves and stems of the Hoya Carnosa Chelsea. This pest can be easily recognized by its white cottony body.
Blast the mealybugs with water in a spray bottle. Wipe the remaining with a wet cloth.
Spraying with water once is enough, but you may have to repeat the process depending on the mealybugs population on your plant. I would also recommend spraying your infected plant once with neem oil.
Root Rot Nematode is the worst nightmare for Hoya Chelsea as it likes feeding on plants in warm climates. Once your Hoya Chelsea is infected, it will stop growing, and there will be a decline in the overall health of the plant.
In case of heavy feeding, your plant will eventually die. You can only save your precious plant by taking stem cuttings from the upper portion (the uninfected part). Propagate these cuttings in fresh soil and spray them with neem oil for few days, followed by planting.
Insecticidal soap can help you take care of any pest infection. But to avoid infections in the future, maintain good plant hygiene.
Some common symptoms of root rot on Hoya Chelsea are:
- Black/gray and mushy roots
- Brown or black lesions on leaves
Wilting is the initial symptom of root rot for most plants, but since Hoya Chelsea has thick, waxy leaves, it will not wilt easily. Because of this, root rot is often ignored on this Hoya variety.
Once you suspect root rot, immediately check the roots of the Hoya Carnosa Chelsea. If you can still see some healthy roots, repot your Hoya in a fresh soil mix. Before repotting, prune the damaged or diseased roots.
For a better understanding of root rot, read our guide about root rot symptoms and treatment.
Tips for Growing a Hoya Carnosa Chelsea
- Make sure your Hoya Chelsea is in a shaded spot during the afternoon sun.
- This drought-resistant plant should be at least 2-3 years old to handle the lack of water.
- Mist the leaves on hot days to create tropical conditions.
- For propagation, your stem cutting can have more than one node. Having more nodes increases the growth of the cutting.
- Take your Hoya Chelsea outdoors every month or two for better growth.
- Never place your Hoya Chelsea under the full sun because the leaves will start yellowing.
- Do not trim the spurs of the old flower, as new flowers will grow from them.
- You should water the Hoya Carnosa Chelsea when the leaves turn soft and wrinkly.
- More sunlight means your plant will produce more flowers and leaves, but it will also need more moisture.
- Avoid overhead watering because it leaves the foliage wet and increases the chances of bacterial growth. Water your Hoya Chelsea at the base using bottom watering.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hoya Carnosa Chelsea
What is the best location to grow the Hoya Chelsea?
This plant will thrive in a greenhouse, large terrarium, tropical garden, or a hanging pot on the balcony.
Can I train the Hoya Chelsea to grow on a trellis?
The Hoya Chelsea is a trailing plant. You can easily train it to grow on a trellis or pole.
Where should I place my Hoya Chelsea for maximum sunlight?
This plant requires ample sunlight for healthy growth; therefore, I would recommend placing it on a windowsill.
Can I place the Hoya Chelsea under the morning sun?
Hoya Chelsea loves the morning sun because the intensity of the light is not too harsh. Morning sunlight will help your plant produce more flowers.
This stunning cultivar can thrive in many locations, from greenhouses to simple balconies. This is a must-have for every Hoya collector.
The easy plant care is added bonus to the beauty of this plant. It is perfect for a busy plant parent. All this plant asks for is plenty of sunlight and occasional but careful watering because it will collapse in soggy soil.
This simple plant produces showy white and pink flowers in summer. The dimpled leaves add uniqueness to this Hoya.
There are many other varieties of Carnosa, namely Hoya Carnosa Compacta and Hoya Carnosa Krimson Queen. All Carnosa varieties are great for plant growers who are starting their Hoya collection.
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