(image credits, IG: hoyafix)
Hoya Caudata or Hoya Caudata ‘Sumatra’ is a vining epiphyte belonging to the Apocynaceae dogbane family.
It is also called a wax plant due to the presence of a waxy layer covering the foliage with its sweet-smelling blooms.
This hoya is a tropical and terrestrial plant that uses other plants and trees to grow long and spread.
The Caudata prefers in-direct sunlight where the temperature ranges between 60 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 35 degrees Celsius) and loves well-draining soil. Hoya Caudata is fond of high humidity (more than 60%), but it can also withstand low moisture for a limited time.
It is native to southern Thailand, Peninsular Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, and Borneo, where it usually grows on rocks and stream beds.
The word Caudata in the plant name refers to ‘having a tail or caudate’; it also describes the long pointed foliage and the anther appendage.
Hoya Caudata was one of the last species of Hoya to be discovered in 1883 by Thomas Hoya.
Hoya Caudata preferably grows in a hanging basket as it tends to grow in length and trail up the windows. This plant has gorgeous, exotic blooms, but it tends to bloom less frequently and that too for a few days.
- 1 Hoya Caudata Plant Care Guide
- 2 Common Problems for Hoya Caudata
- 3 Tips for Growing
- 4 Frequently Asked Questions about Hoya Caudata
- 5 Conclusion
Hoya Caudata Plant Care Guide
Hoya Caudata loves moist soil and would highly appreciate it if the soil has good drainage capabilities.
I would recommend using a soil mixture consisting of 1/3 perlite, 1/3 orchid mix, and 1/3 peat, but more items like fir bark or charcoal should also be added.
You cannot afford the soil to be wet for very long; otherwise, Hoya Caudata would rot quickly.
Your preferred soil should provide sufficient airflow to the roots.
The perfect soil pH ranges from 6.1 (mildly acidic) and 7.5 (neutral). Hoya Caudata would thrive outdoors in USDA Hardiness zone 11 efficiently.
Hoya Caudata will need average watering but make sure to water it regularly, specifically in summer and spring.
Ensure not to over-water it; allow extra water drainage. Otherwise, the Hoya Caudata would fall prey to root rot.
This Hoya is highly sensitive to waterlogged soil, so choosing a well-drainage soil also matters.
First, check the soil is dry or not, then when you start watering, do provide gaps in between watering so that the soil can adequately absorb the water and prevent extra water from sitting on the soil surface.
When in winters, water only about once a month or when the soil is dry. Misting can be often done to keep Hoya Caudata moist and hydrated.
Hoya Caudata, just like other Hoya, grows best in in indirect or filtered light.
Although it can withstand the full sun for a short time, leaves would burn. Mostly, the morning or the evening light is fine but do avoid the hot midday sun.
Hoya Caudata must be grown under 50%-80% shade outside.
The most suitable environment in the house for them would be the south-facing windows and the north-facing windows.
But if there are no windows to keep Hoya Caudata healthy, I would suggest you use fluorescent lighting to make sure Hoya Caudata blooms without interruption.
Hoya Caudata thrives in temperature ranges between 60 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 35 degrees Celsius).
The temperature should not go too much below the lower limit, as it would fall prey to frost damage.
It would help if you also avoided higher temperatures because that would lead to scorched leaves and a burnt Hoya Caudata.
Hoya Caudata should be kept away from doorways and drafty windows, especially in winter. Make sure to choose a spot where the temperature is constant.
Hoya Caudata enjoys high humidity ranging from 60%-80% in the morning and the night. Hoya Caudata also has low humidity resistance abilities.
However, being from a tropical region, this plant shows proper growth when it receives sufficient humidity.
But if there is variation in the humidity level, it’s better to use a humidifier or fill a tray with water and add pebbles to it; place it under the Hoya Caudata for constant humidity.
Hoya Caudata would love to feed on liquid fertilizer with high nitrogen content for healthy and lush green foliage growth.
When it is time for blooming, switch to a fertilizer with high phosphorous content as this would help the plant produce more blooms.
Make sure you provide the fertilizers in the growing season that is from spring to summer, monthly.
But when it is fall or winter, withdraw feeding Hoya Caudata because it is resting time.
I would also recommend adding worm castings or compost as these provide nutrients to your Hoya Caudata.
Hoya Caudata doesn’t love to be repotted every year; it loves to stay root-bounded. So, let Hoya Caudata be in the same pot for a few years; this will also lead to extra blooms.
If you want to repot, then the best time would be early spring to summer.
When repotting a Hoya Caudata, it’s best to increase the pot size 2-4 inches from the previous pot and use a good potting mixture or even a charcoal mixture for planting for healthy growth.
Allow the Hoya Caudata to settle in the soil for 2-3 days. Then water it once every week and provide bright indirect sunlight. While in winters, water every 2-3 weeks to prevent waterlogged soil.
It’s unnecessary to prune Hoya Caudata until they become bushy or have dead stems or infected parts.
Make sure you prune the stem area but be careful not to cut the blooms; otherwise, the Caudata won’t blossom.
Prune to the nodes and avoid removing the peduncles for future blooms.
Hoya Caudata is easy to propagate, and not much effort is needed. The best time to propagate Hoya Caudata would be in the growing season that is summer and early spring.
Herbaceous Stem Cutting
- Slice a node on the stem that is about 5 inches.
- There shouldn’t be any leaf within 1.5 inches of the cutting.
- Dip the cutting in the rooting hormone and make sure the cutting is wet as well.
- The pot’s soil can be a mixture of sand and peat moss; this helps to provide sufficient drainage and air ventilation.
- Bury the 1.5 inches of the cutting into the potting mixture.
- Then provide water onto the soil surrounding the cutting; be wary not to over-water it.
- Bathe the cutting in indirect sunlight and cover it with a plastic bag to provide enough moisture for healthy growth.
- Take continuous care of the cutting and ensure the soil is also moist until its roots are customized to the soil.
- The roots will grow in seven to ten days. After that, please take off the plastic bag and look after it usually.
Woody Stem Cutting
- Woody stem cutting is usually done from fall to winter when the plant is resting. Cut about 6 inches of the stem from the plant.
- Dip into the rooting medium and then bury it into the compost soil.
- Cover with a plastic wrap making a small greenhouse for the plant.
- Mist the plant often to keep the compost moist and give enough indirect sunlight.
- Try to remove the plastic wrap every day for a few minutes for air ventilation.
- Try to pull the plant to check for root formation.
- After the roots are formed and new leaves have grown, shift the plant to a new pot or wait for the plant to grow and become root-bound.
- Trim a stem about 3-5 inches.
- Fill a jar halfway with chlorine-free water.
- Put the stem in the jar but make sure the leaves on the stem stay above the water.
- Keep the stem until roots are formed.
- Keep changing water in the jar.
- When roots are seen in about a month, shift the cutting to a pot filled with potting mixture.
- First, allow the pod to dry on the plant.
- Then try to break the pods to get the seeds.
- Sow the seeds into the orchid or compact mixture; otherwise, they would become dry.
- Provide sufficient water and indirect sunlight for the seeds to germinate.
- Cover it with a plastic wrap to provide moisture.
Hoya Caudata flowers look like ornaments as they cluster together in umbel (8-15) flowers.
The flowers are mostly peachy-white as well as red and have purple star-shaped centers. Each flower is about 1 inch (2 cm) in size, but Hoya Caudata bloom lasts for 3-4 days.
They bloom only take place during the spring and the summer season. Hoya Caudata usually blooms mature in 3—4 weeks during the growing season, and their fragrance is quite strong.
Don’t prune the peduncle because the flower will bloom multiple times from it!
Hoya Caudata grows up to be 8-10 feet (2.4-3m) in length, but when they fully mature in an outdoor location, their height can reach 40 feet (12m).
Hoya Caudata leaves are lush green with silver spotting on them, and their underside is red when in sunlight. Their appearance overall looks red, not green.
The leaves have wavy edges while some foliage is stiff, the new fresh ones are soft and have a wax covering them.
The leaves grow up to be 4-7 inches long (9-18 cm), while in width, they are 2-3 inches (4-8 cm), and the stem is about 0.1 inches (0.3 cm) thick.
Hoya Caudata is a slow-growing plant, so it takes over all ten years to reach maturity.
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Common Problems for Hoya Caudata
Aphids are also called plant lice, soft-bodied insects about the size of 1/8 inches. They mostly range from yellow to black and green. Aphids quickly grow in numbers. Aphids are sucking insects that use their mouthpart to suck onto the plant juices, leaving a honeydew residue.
The honeydew then creates a medium for the sooty mold to allow other insects to infect the plant. The symptoms are in the form of withered and dead leaves. To control aphids, I would use yellow sticky traps and repellant spray.
Insecticidal soaps and neem oil can be used against them, while predatory bugs like ladybugs can control them if they are in high numbers.
Thrips are small insects that enter the stem’s cracks or the roots, or even the plant’s flowers. They are about the size of sewing needles 1/25-inch-long; they can only be seen via a magnifying glass. Just like aphids, they are sucking insects that feed on the plant sap.
The plant would look silver and wrinkled, along with dead leaves falling out. They would also leave the residue honeydew that spreads fungal disease like sooty mold in the plant sap. To control thrips, the use of insecticidal soap and neem oil is efficient.
Yellow and blue sticky traps are useful. I would also use the diatomaceous earth (DE) on the leaves of the Hoya Caudata. Also, ensure not to over-fertilize the Hoya Caudata; otherwise, it would lead to a large infestation.
Spider mites are not called insects, but they are closely related to mites; they appear as brown or red spots on the leaves.
When infected, there is the presence of white webs on the surface of the leaves. Spider mites are so tiny that they cannot be seen with the help of the naked eye.
The main symptoms are burned or curled leaves edges; so, it’s better to treat the spider mites as they infest the Hoya Caudata quickly, or it can even lead to death. To control spider mites, use neem oil and horticultural oils on them.
Ensure not to over-water and over-fertilize the plant; otherwise, it would increase the mite population. Insecticidal soaps and predatory insects can be used to control their infestation.
Whiteflies are white and pale insects that feed on the plant’s sap and produce honeydew, leading to sooty mold in the plant system; that slowly infects the plant. They can be easily seen on the leaves, considering they are like white dots.
Whiteflies can be prevented by spraying water onto the leaves, and homemade remedy garlic spray can be used against them but make sure it’s outdoors, not in the home. Insecticidal soaps are also useful.
I would also prefer to use neem oil and horticultural spray while also using yellow sticky traps. It would prevent the larvae from maturing on the plant. It would prevent the foliages from becoming prey to the whiteflies.
Mealybugs are small sucking insects with a white waxy powder covering their bodies to provide protection. Mealybugs also suck on the plant’s sap, leaving residue honeydew that produces sooty mold and infects the whole plant.
Mealybugs can be controlled using insecticidal soaps, neem oil, and predatory insects on the plant to finish them. I would also use the horticultural oils on the leaves to prevent the infestation from getting large.
Tips for Growing
- Don’t over-water Hoya Caudata; provide it as much as the soil can take.
- Ensure to provide a high level of humidity for its adequate growth.
- Prune only the dead leaves and stem, not the buds or the blooms.
- Don’t expose to high environment or frost; it would wilt and die.
- Place in indirect sunlight for healthy foliages and blooms.
- If the stems are all vigorous and outgrown, let them be or put them near a trellis so that the stems can grow with their support.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hoya Caudata
Is Hoya Caudata toxic to pets and humans?
Hoya Caudata sap is poisonous, and it can cause stomach problems. It can also cause skin irritation, so it’s better to place Hoya Caudata in a hanging basket.
How can I control the soil pH with a homemade product?
Coffee grounds are a reasonable option considering they provide a neutral or alkaline environment for the plant.
Why are the leaves on the Hoya Caudata turning yellow?
The leaves turn yellow due to the stress of over-watering. The excess water would lead to root rot and would interfere with the growth of the plant.
Does Hoya Caudata like to be misted?
Misting Hoya Caudata is fine as long as you don’t mist on it when it is blooming or producing flowers and as long as the leaves are drying up quickly.
How to encourage Hoya Caudata to grow?
Hoya Caudata likes to be root-bounded, so it’s unnecessary to change the pot. Let it remain in the pot for a couple of years and provide the right amount of nutrients, sunlight, and water.
Does Hoya Caudata grow fast?
Hoya Caudata is a slow-growing plant, but they grow fast and bloom every year compared to its family members.
Hoya Caudata is a fresh and attractive plant with its fragrant flowers and patterned foliages that show-off its beauty.
The vines of the Caudata grow enough to provide a mini-greenhouse environment in your own house and don’t take up too much space as well.
Hoya Caudata’s over-all appearance makes it look like it’s made out of wax and has been shaped for a calming, nature-fresh atmosphere.
The foliage mesmerizes you with its color-changing ability and makes you admire the plant throughout the year.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.