Today’s flowering houseplant is Hoya Megalaster; it is native to the island of Papua New Guinea, which is famous for its biodiversity. The most favorite part of this Hoya for me is the beautiful, huge pink blooms.
However, that’s not the only reason I like growing it as a houseplant because the leaves are equally gorgeous.
This plant is a vining epiphyte species that comes from the Apocynaceae family. It has succulent leaves with an attractive waxy texture.
Almost every Hoya variety produces scented blooms that vary in color and size, including the Hoya Megalaster.
This plant grows in climbing and vining patterns similar to other Hoyas; however, this one is a difficult plant to grow. I would not recommend this plant for beginners.
This plant is classified as a climbing perennial; therefore, it will keep flourishing in your garden for several years.
Basic Plant Care for Hoya Megalaster
Hoya Megalaster should be cultivated in a fertile, well-draining mix that has perlite, sand, and orchid bark. It likes medium sun with bright, indirect sunlight. You have to maintain a moderate humidity level of 60 to 70% for good growth, especially during active seasons.
When it comes to soil, you have to choose a very well-draining mixture. I have developed the following recipe that is successful for almost all Hoya plants, including Hoya Megalaster.
- Perlite (1/3)
- Grit or sand (1/5)
- Orchid Bark (1/5)
Mix the above ingredients with a good quality potting mix. The quality of the soil matters a lot for your plant’s health. A poor quality soil mixture retains too much water, which is against the requirements of Hoya plants.
The USDA hardiness zone for planting it outdoors is 10a.
The Hoya Megalaster should be kept on the drier side for maximum growth. Therefore water this plant only when the soil has dried out. This plant is also sensitive to overwatering, so never leave the soil sitting in water.
Whenever watering, make sure to water your Hoya Megalaster thoroughly but always allow the excess to drain out of the pot. I always keep a small tray at the bottom of my planters for drainage.
This tray will collect all the excess water and you can dispose of all this water in a sink or garden soil.
Waterlogging is very dangerous for Hoya plants because it leads to the yellowing of foliage, later the plant develops root rot and eventually starts dying.
The amount of water required for your Hoya varies depending on the quality of the potting mix used for planting.
If your Hoya is growing in a heavy, peaty mixture, it needs to be watered more frequently; otherwise, for light, well-draining mixtures, you don’t have to struggle with watering.
This plant likes living in medium sunlight, so you have to choose a spot where it gets bright, indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight should be avoided because it can burn the leaves as well as the blooms.
The Hoya Megalaster will do great under artificial lights. Mine was thriving and blooming under artificial lights (without any sunlight) for the last 3 months, so I can assure artificial lights are an ideal solution if you have lighting issues.
This plant loves temperatures close to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius) during the day; however, maintaining this would be difficult for some growers. You can keep it in a range of temperatures from 60 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 29 degrees Celsius).
This plant is not winter hardy, and the foliage will wither if the plant is exposed to frost or freezing temperatures. The lowest this species can tolerate is 70 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) because, after that, plant growth will suffer.
This plant needs plenty of humidity to start blooming. Most growers consider this a medium-high humidity plant. I would suggest keeping it in 60 to 70 % humidity for best results.
Fertilizers boost immunity and help your plants grow fast and healthy. The Hoya Megalaster also enjoys a monthly feed of liquid fertilizer during the active growth.
This plant should be repotted at least once every year. You should replace the old soil with a fresh substrate that drains very well. You can use the potting mixture discussed in the soil section.
If your plant is staying wet for too long because the soil is taking too long to dry, you have to immediately repot it in new soil because the previous soil is too compacted. A fresh soil substrate helps the plant dry quickly.
Perennial plants are my favorite because they keep you entertained for many years with low maintenance. Hoya Megalaster is an evergreen plant, but the foliage can lose its color due to disease or fungus. The best option is to prune the diseased foliage to maintain the neat, evergreen appearance of your plant.
The ideal time for pruning is before the growing season starts.
I like propagating my Hoya Megalaster with leaf cuttings in the spring and summer seasons.
- Locate a healthy leaf on your Hoya Megalaster. You have to choose a leaf that has at least two nodes.
- Now take a sterilized garden scissor and make a cut below the leaf node. Make slashes on the underside of the leaf. These play an important role in leaf propagation.
- Keep this leaf on top of peat-based soil mixture in a small pot. Make sure the soil is moist.
- You have to water the soil regularly and supply indirect sunlight until you notice some root growth.
- Once the roots have sprouted, your cutting can be transplanted.
This Hoya has one of the most interesting flowers that vary in red and pink color; some parts are light pink while others are dark pink. The blooms are about 1.5 inches in size.
The inflorescence for this plant is made up of multiple flowers, but the only drawback is that these flowers are very short-lived. The flowers grow in a hanging, upright pattern and are grouped in umbels to create a beautiful pink cluster.
The star shape and the waxy texture give the flowers a decorative look. The flowers on this one have a smooth surface, unlike other Hoya flowers that have tiny hairs on them. These flowers are not only brightly colored but heavily scented as well.
The flowers grow from the spur, and each season the plant will bloom from the old spurs. Therefore avoid removing or damaging them while pruning your Hoya Megalaster.
This plant blooms repeatedly, but for that, you have to maintain the necessary levels of heat and humidity. Each season this plant can produce umbels with 5 to 15 flowers. The flowers take 2 to 3 weeks to mature before dying off.
In nature, the flowering period for Hoya Megalaster starts after the rainy season. As an indoor houseplant, the flowering season for Hoya Megalaster is from spring to late summer.
The Hoya Megalaster is a fast-growing climber. Indoors it can reach an adult size of 3.2 to 6.5 ft. (1-2 m). It has large, ovate leaves that are dark green in color. The leaves have strong veining, but the surface is smooth and waxy. Mature leaves have a leathery, glossy texture making this a wax plant.
The stems of this plant are very weak and delicate so handle them carefully while pruning or trimming your Hoya Megalaster.
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Common Problems for Hoya Megalaster
Wrinkled leaves that are very thin indicate that your Hoya Megalaster is stressed. The two main reasons for this are overwatering and compacted soil. I would suggest ensuring that your plant has good drainage.
Another possible cause for wrinkled leaves is that the plant needs more water. You can confirm the actual issue by checking the soil; if the plant has wrinkled leaves, but the soil is still moist, it is overwatered and is suffering from root rot.
Gently remove your Hoya Megalaster from its container and inspect the root system. You should trim the unhealthy, mushy roots because these are stressing the plant.
Sometimes your Hoya Megalaster will produce deformed leaves. This is true for most Hoyas that have thick leaves. This happens because of stress during the leaf formation stage.
There are various reasons for this stress; it could be temperature fluctuations, overwatering, transplant shock, or nutrient deficiency.
Make sure you examine all these one by one and give your plant adequate fertilizer to help it thrive in different growth stages. Once you fix the surroundings of your plant, it will start producing proper leaves.
Several Hoya plants grow leafless vines to reach for a sunny spot that has bright sunlight. These vines help the plant in climbing as well. With proper lighting, these vines will start producing new leaves, so leafless vines are not a big issue.
Sometimes your Hoya plant will consider this vine unusable, and the vine starts dying. If the tip of the vine is withering, I would suggest cutting it to save your plant’s energy.
Do this carefully because you should not be removing the peduncles; otherwise, you are wasting a flowering point.
If your Hoya Megalaster is dropping the new leaves before they reach maturity, your plant is suffering from water stress. Avoid soaking your plant in water very frequently, only water when required.
At the same time, don’t let your plant remain dry for very long in between watering sessions.
You should reschedule your plants watering sessions to eliminate any water stress.
Mealybugs are one of the biggest issues for Hoya Megalaster because of the succulent foliage. These annoying pests are found everywhere, indoor gardens, outdoors, even greenhouses. For indoor plants, these mostly come with newly bought plants.
For this reason, I always recommend buying your plants from a reliable source and checking the plant beforehand for any pests. Mealybugs are just a form of the unarmored scale insects. They spread diseases/fungus, feed on the foliage, and make the plant weak.
These pests attach themselves to any part of the plant for feeding and use a powdery wax to protect themselves. Infected plants will lose their vigor, start browning, and with heavy infections, might even die. If you are inspecting your Hoya Megalaster plant for mealybugs, I would suggest looking in the following places:
- The crotches where the stems and leaf petioles join.
- Undersides of the leaves.
- Insides and underside of the flowers.
Upon close inspection of the above areas, you will notice a white, cottony object. This cottony mass can have about 600 yellow eggs that will soon hatch and join the adult bugs.
Infected plants should be treated as soon as possible because mealybugs will chew your plant and destroy its ornamental look.
To treat mealybugs, I would highly recommend horticulture oils based on my experience. You can use a premade neem or peppermint oil solution. Or prepare your own by mixing the oil in a 1:100 ratio with water. Add some dish soap to help the oil and water mix.
Spray the mixture on all the infected areas and leave it for few minutes (roughly 10 minutes). Finally, rinse your plant with clean water to remove the oil and the mealybugs. Repeat this procedure every 3 days until you get rid of the mealybugs.
You can also use alcohol swabs for mealybugs. Just dab the insects with cotton balls that are dipped in alcohol. This process is time-consuming; therefore, make sure you do not miss any hidden corners.
To avoid mealybugs infection, the first step is prevention. Always quarantine your newly bought houseplants for at least 14 days. Inspect your plant for pests or any other damage before moving it close to other plants.
I would suggest rinsing the foliage with a blast of water to remove any hidden pests or eggs.
Tips for Growing Hoya Megalaster
- This plant can tolerate a few hours of full sun in the morning or evening but always avoid the midday sun because it can scorch and yellow the foliage.
- This species will not tolerate overwatering, so never allow the plant roots to sit in water for too long.
- Hoya Megalaster needs more water during active growth or blooming season compared to the dormant stage.
- This plant should be kept pot bound because that’s how Hoya plants start blooming.
Frequently Asked Questions about Hoya Megalaster
I live in a cold environment; my Hoya Megalaster is growing very slowly, what can I do?
The cold weather is the obvious reason for your plant’s slow growth. Move your plant to a warm area with sun and a heat mat for additional warmth. Your plant will start showing signs of growth within a few days. In general, this plant is a slow grower in winter.
How can I make my Hoya Megalaster bloom quickly?
This species produces several peduncles and blooms quickly under good heat and humidity. Therefore, focus on these two if you want to have more blooms.
Can this plant thrive in full shade?
I would suggest keeping it in semi-shade because this plant does require bright sunlight for flower production and growth.
Can this plant thrive in low humidity?
Hoya Megalaster loves high humidity; therefore, it is difficult for this Hoya to thrive or bloom in low humidity.
My plant is showing no signs of growth; why is that?
This temperamental plant is easily affected by a change in the environment. Slight changes can make the plant go into partial dormancy or to have no growth for several months. You should avoid changing the environment every now and then but if you have bought/moved it recently, give it some time to adjust to the new climate.
My Hoya Megalaster keeps developing yellow foliage, what is wrong?
Yellow leaves on most houseplants indicate overwatering. You can avoid this by giving your plant good drainage and letting the soil dry well in between waterings.
Can I use any horticulture oil or pesticide for my Hoya Megalaster?
Before complete application of oils or pesticides, test on a small area and wait for 24 hours for any browning or discoloration. This will help you identify if your plant is sensitive to any of the ingredients. I would recommend using organic products only to avoid any chemical reaction.
What are the qualities of an ideal potting mix for Hoya Megalaster?
An ideal potting mix drains water quickly, even in winter and dormant periods. The mix should also not be too compact or crumbly.
How would you describe the scent of the flowers on Hoya Megalaster?
The large pink flowers have a rose-like fragrance. You’ll notice the scent mostly in the evening.
I like referring to this plant as ‘pink beauty’ because of the large pink ornamental flowers. The most important requirements for the Hoya Megalaster are heat and humidity; therefore, pay attention to these two if you want your plant to thrive and produce huge blooms.
This Hoya starts shooting new leaves once the root system is well-established. Therefore I would suggest feeding the plant well with fertilizer during active growth. This species can thrive anywhere indoors or outdoors, but I like growing it in humid areas where it is sheltered against the direct sun.
The sap of this plant is toxic, so keep your pets and children away.
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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.