(image credits, IG: frondofmyplants)
Hoya Fitchii is native to the Philippines based on the information on the National Parks, an online encyclopedia about plant species. It was given its name after Charles Marden Fitch, a noted photographer and the discoverer of the plant; he is also the author of several books about houseplants, orchids, and flowers.
Attractive foliage and flowers make Hoya Fitchii a beautiful addition to the indoor garden. Hoya Fitchii is easy to grow plant with a very resilient personality.
Hoya Fitchii is a low maintenance plant and only requires water when the soil is dry on touching. Give it partial sunlight in the east or west-facing window. Fertilize Hoya Fitchii with a balanced fertilizer during its growing season. It will work fine above a temperature of 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) indoors. The ideal temperature range is between 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 29 degrees Celsius).
Hoya Fitchii belongs to the family of Asclepiadaceae. Hoya Fitchii is also known as wax plant, wax flower, and wax vine. Reliant on the surroundings under which it is grown, its blooms can show extensive variations in color. They can fluctuate from shades of yellow and oranges to pearlescent pinks.
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Basic plant care for Hoya Fitchii
Hoya Fitchii is epiphytic and therefore does not need thicker, more conventional soils. Mostly a blend of pine bark, perlite, and peat moss is ideal for growing your Hoya Fitchii plant. You can create a combination of one part pine bark and two parts peat moss with a touch of dolomitic lime mixed in to minimize the acidity.
Add perlite to lighten the mixture and increase its drainage capability. You can use a commercial potting soil but may need to add up additional perlite to make the mixture lightweight. According to the plant’s requirement, an orchid blend is a good alternative, as it manages to be both light and extremely well-draining.
If you like growing your Hoya Fitchii in an open, outdoor garden, I would suggest the USDA hardiness zones 10-11.
Being an epiphyte, Hoya Fitchii plants naturally live in low-water environments. It is relatively easy to get it overwatered and make it suffer from fungus or diseases, including root rot if kept in soggy conditions.
Spring and summer are the periods when your Hoya Fitchii is thirstiest. In those instances, the plant is going through substantial growth for the year and will need extra water to develop and bloom. Therefore I would suggest checking the soil regularly to find out if it is moist.
If it is dry in the upper inch or two, water to moisten the soil. Do not submerge the pot or allow water to puddle. Allow the soil to dry out entirely for top inches before watering once again.
Hoya Fitchii plant tends to go somewhat dormant in the fall and winter months due to cooler temperatures. During these times, you can water it less frequently. Several indoor growers find that in the fall and winter, they only have to water their Hoya Fitchii about once per month.
For Hoya Fitchii, choose a position that receives bright, indirect light. Do not let their waxy foliage fool you. They’re not succulents, and they can’t bear the harsh afternoon sun. They can develop in conditions of lower light, but they are unlikely to bloom.
When you’re in a less sunny setting, then exposure to the east or west-facing window is perfect. Keep Hoya Fitchii safe from hot sunny windows and direct sunlight in the afternoon. You will have to transfer Hoya Fitchii to a spot with more sunlight in the darker, colder months.
Ideally, ensure a minimum of 6 hours of bright and indirect sunlight every day for your Hoya Fitchii plant. I like using growing lights as a replacement for the sun’s rays.
Maintain indoor temperatures for Hoya Fitchii above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius). Optimal temperatures for your Hoya are within 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 29 degrees Celsius).
It is quite diverse in the natural habitat; those coming from high altitudes do well with cooler nights. If this variety doesn’t flower, even under good quality light, try placing it in a little cooler place at night.
Hoya Fitchii is a tropical plant that grows in humid conditions. To raise the humidity levels, use a humidifier, particularly in winter, when the indoor environment appears to be dry. Misting with room-temperature water also helps.
A saucer with gravel and water also provides humidity when the water evaporates. Hoya Fitchii will grow healthy in humidity levels above 60%.
As the Hoya Fitchii plant is mostly a foliage plant, it requires a lot of nitrogen to spur its growth. The new plant of Hoya Fitchii should be given a high-level nitrogen fertilizer on a routine basis. If fertilizing through a liquid, use a 2-1-2 or 3-1-2 once or twice a month to boost growth.
Once your plant is in the right size, you will want to shift to a high phosphorous fertilizer to promote blooming. Many people choose for a fertilizer that is a 5-10-5, water-soluble fertilizer but simply dilute it.
The Hoya Fitchii will bloom at various times throughout the spring or summer. If you shift to a high phosphorous fertilizer about a month preceding to your plant’s blooming period, it can produce spectacular flowers.
It’s commonly agreed that liquid fertilizers work well for the Hoya Fitchii plant, but only if you practice caution. Too powerful of a liquid fertilizer can burn down the plant and cause damage. If you are concerned about your fertilizer’s strength, you can dilute it to shield the plant. Too little fertilizer is better than too much.
Fertilizing is not as essential for the duration of the winter months when your plant is inactive. Most growers suggest not fertilizing through the winter at all. Nevertheless, if you still wish to feed your plant, use an exceptionally low fertilizer ratio, around 2-1-2. Fertilize no more than once per month.
Unlike most plants, the Hoya Fitchii plant likes to be a bit rootbound to produce flowers. However, it will ultimately outgrow the pot. If you can see roots starting to appear around drainage holes, it’s time to repot your Hoya Fitchii plant.
Hoya Fitchii in a flexible plastic pot can be examined by tenderly pressing counter to the pot’s sides. If it’s strong and has no resistance, it’s time to repot.
Ideally, repot your Hoya Fitchii plant in the spring or early summer, as this is when it is in its effective growing stage. Select a container that is no greater than 1-2 inches wider and taller than your present one. Too much room can actually exploit your plant’s flowering ability and may pose a threat to its roots from extra moisture in the soil.
Do not repot it in a pot any smaller than it was in its previous pot. Although the Hoya Fitchii plant can form roots through stems and leaves, to avoid plant damage such as rot or decay, they often require some airflow around the plant.
While the Hoya Fitchii plant is likely to be very hardy, it will require some light pruning to keep it strong and happy. Get rid of any wilted, injured, or dead branches/leaves. These will have a yellowish or brownish look and will be simple to detect.
Additionally, prune away any part which seems to be diseased. This can give a chalky or dusty glimpse, and in glossy-leaved varieties, it can lead to dull or matted-looking leaves.
Any other pruning is solely cosmetic but must be done with advice. For the Hoya Fitchii plant, new flower development can arise on older flower stems known as spurs. Those spurs will flower year after year. Prevent eradicating those to ensure your plant can go on to flower.
It’s also irresponsible to take away too much of the trailing length of your Hoya Fitchii plant. Not only are those trailing arms pleasing, but they’re also essential. If the plant cannot mature in size, it won’t fill its pot and won’t produce those star-shaped flowers that we all wait for.
I prefer to trim only when there are visible signs of damage or disease.
There are multiple ways to propagate Hoya Fitchii, but the most accessible ways are discussed below:
- Stem cuttings ought to be taken from the softer wood or new plant growth and should be 4-6 inches long with a few leaves.
- You can root stem cutting in water or in a lightly-dampened growth medium.
- Cuttings like this manage to root quite well and will grow more promptly and readily than other types of cuttings.
- You have to provide warm temperature and sunlight for these cutting just like you would for a mature Hoya Fitchii.
- Layering is a procedure where you make use of pins to attach a softwood branch from one plant to the soil to encourage it to grow roots.
- Layering can take a little while but can be quite useful. I recommend doing this by extending the branch to another pot and sticking it there.
- The roots will develop from the stem, and once it seems established, you can snip the branch free from its mother plant and allow it to develop on its own.
- A leaf will be trimmed off just below the Hoya Fitchii plant’s petiole in the leaf-cutting technique and will be placed in a pot to root.
- Though leaf cuttings can form a new plant, this process tends to take much longer than stem cuttings or layering.
- It could take up a couple of months to experience significant growth from your plant if it is from a leaf cutting.
Finally, the Hoya Fitchii plant does produce seeds. Much of the seed isn’t practical, but sometimes it is. It may or may not have the growth patterns of its parent plant. Since it tends to be so unpredictable, most individuals do not try to grow Hoya from seed, but it is undoubtedly an option if you want to try it.
Flowers are borne in ball-shaped clusters. Flowers are 5-petalled; color varies from yellowish orange to pink. Hoya Fitchii flowers are similar to the traditional Hoya flowers because of the waxy appearance and star shape. But this variety is known for its superb copper-colored flower petals illuminated by coral pink centers.
These blooms are incredibly stunning and are always pleasing to the eyes because of the variation in colors. They can be found in various colors, sizes & forms. Do not prune away spent flower spurs as new flowers emerge from old spurs.
The leaves for this plant have a stunning green color with several white veins on the surface. Hoya Fitchii grows to a height of about 12 to 24 inches. Hoya Fitchii is an easy grower and grows really fast.
Common Problems for Hoya Fitchii
Some of the concerns that you might encounter with your Hoya Fitchii are listed below:
The most common disease amongst Hoya Fitchii gardeners is sooty mold. This black mold structures on leaves that are adhesive with plant saps or nectars and the Hoya Fitchii flowers can create ample sweet-smelling nectar to trigger it. Aphids are also responsible for sooty mold due to their creation of honeydew.
Fortunately, sooty mold is very simple to deal with. Simply clean off the mold with a damp fabric. For additional cleaning, you can apply a diluted seaweed fertilizer throughout the area where the mold formed, which seems to strip off mold development.
Botrytis blight can also appear on the leaves of the Hoya Fitchii plant. This begins as greyish fungal blotches near the middle of the plant. As it builds, it can cause leaves to become mushy or to fall. This can be cured with a copper fungicide.
Lastly, there is a fear of root rot for any houseplant. Triggered by moisture in the soil, which encourages fungal development, this can be avoided merely by not overwatering your Hoya Fitchii. If your plant starts to wilt or produce black or brown stem or leaf lesions, root rot may be the reason.
Spray with a copper fungicide together on the soil and the plant itself to try to lessen the impacts of root rot. If the roots are black and mushy, your plant is far from recovery and should be disposed of.
The majority of pests that are going to target the Fitchii plant are sap-suckers. Some of the highly frequent culprits include aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites.
Luckily, all of these pests can be removed with the use of neem oil. Simply spray neem oil on all sides of the plant, and it should lessen or remove the inhabitants of these common pests.
There are other pests that are reputed to attack the Hoya Fitchii plant, but very few of them are common invaders for this plant type.
Whiteflies and thrips can become challenging if they’re in a high population in your yard already, but the Hoya Fitchii plant isn’t their first choice of aim. Similarly, some forms of caterpillars will consume Hoya Fitchii leaves.
Insecticidal soaps can be used to combat whiteflies and thrips, although thrips will also respond well to the use of neem oil. Caterpillars are going to need a different approach. You can use a caterpillar killing pesticide and wipe the surface of your plant.
Tips for Growing Hoya Fitchii
- Keep the leaves of your Hoya Fitchii clean by wiping them with a clean, damp cotton cloth.
- Hoya Fitchii likes to stay in a tight pot, so it will sit in a small pot happily.
- Place your plant in indirect light to give it adequate light but not too much light.
- Water Hoya Fitchii precisely and do not overwater it.
- Use a good fertilizer to feed your pant, so it prospers and grows happy and healthy.
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Frequently Asked Questions about Hoya Fitchii
How much light does Hoya Fitchii require?
Sunlight is essential for the Hoya Fitchii plant, but indirect sunlight is ideal. If the plant hangs directly within your window, it will cause the leaves to burn from the intense heat of the sun.
Is this plant easy to grow?
Suppose you have a decent understanding of how most Hoyas like to be taken care of. In that case, you can find that Hoya Fitchii is a pretty non-fussy houseplant, rising vigorously and continuously flowering year after year.
What sort of nutrient does Hoya Fitchii prefer?
As Hoya Fitchii is primarily a foliage plant, the plant food’s nutrient ratio must have a higher nitrogen volume. Either 2:1:2 or 3:1:2 food is enough to keep the plant in excellent health.
Why is my Hoya Fitchii plant, not flowering?
There are plenty of potential explanations for this. It will not flower if it is too young. Hoya likes to be a little root bound to grow flowers; this could be the culprit if you recently repotted it. The flower spurs from where the flowers grow may have been removed inadvertently by pruning heavily.
Hoya Fitchii is an epiphytic plant, growing in treetops. This means that they prefer to be kept in a small pot with coarse, well-draining soil. Avoid cutting off any long tendrils as they will eventually grow leaves and flowers.
Attractive leaves, flowers combined with the fact that this plant is a rare Hoya species make the Fitchii an exotic houseplant. Hoya Fitchii is an easy growing plant with a perennial life span. The stunning pastel-colored flowers can decorate the boring corners of your house or outdoor garden.
Check out our article about the infamous Hoya Krimson Queen article next.
Daniel has been a plant enthusiast for over 20 years. He owns hundreds of houseplants and prepares for the chili growing seasons yearly with great anticipation. His favorite plants are plant species in the Araceae family, such as Monstera, Philodendron, and Anthurium. He also loves gardening and is growing hot peppers, tomatoes, and many more vegetables.