The “fish-tail Hoya” or the Hoya polyneura produces narrow and thin leaves. They resemble a fish-tail, hence the nickname. But the leaves aren’t the only thing they produce. They also create gorgeous star-shaped flowers that blow your mind.
A Hoya polyneura needs bright but indirect light. This plant needs less water than most but moisture is still an important element. Make sure you’re using well-draining soil.
This houseplant is an epiphytic plant. This means that it doesn’t grow under the soil like a normal plant. Instead, these plants wrap their roots around rocks or nearby trees for support.
The Hoya polyneura plant is a great addition to any home. The best part is that despite how fragile it looks, this plant is easy to care for.
We’re going to walk you through everything in this article. You’ll learn what soil to use, how much light this plant needs, and what temperature it needs to thrive. You’ll also learn how to propagate the Hoya and how to troubleshoot issues you may come across.
- 1 Hoya Polyneura Plant Care Basics
- 2 Common Problems with the Hoya Polyneura
- 3 Tips for an Unhealthy Hoya Polyneura
- 4 Varieties of Hoyas
- 5 Hoya Polyneura FAQ
- 6 Conclusion
Hoya Polyneura Plant Care Basics
The Hoya polyneura plant needs well-draining water. As we’ll discuss later, this plant is susceptible to over-watering. Well-draining soil can prevent this issue.
Well-draining soil is perfect at making sure a plant isn’t over-watered. It allows extra water to drain through. You will need a plant pot with drainage holes at the bottom so it doesn’t stand in water either.
At the same time, well-draining soil ensures that your Hoya plant gets all the moisture it needs. It holds onto enough moisture to keep the plant hydrated.
Perlite is the best ingredient to add to your soil to ensure drainage. Perlite loosens up the soil so excess water can drain to the bottom. But since it’s porous, it can also hold onto moisture to keep the plant hydrated.
Bright but indirect sunlight is important for a healthy Hoya polyneura plant. If it sits in direct sunlight, the leaves will burn. They’re super thin and delicate. It doesn’t take much to damage these special leaves.
You can create the right lighting by sitting your Hoya plant in either an east or north-facing window. Your plant is getting light but it’s not sitting in direct sunlight.
Morning light won’t hurt the plant as much. So, feel free to set your plant in direct sunlight in the morning if you’re worried it’s not getting enough. Make sure you move the Hoya polyneura plant once the morning sun is over.
If you use artificial lights, set your plant a few inches away from the light. Don’t let the light blare down on it.
Like most plants, water is essential to keeping your Hoya polyneura plant happy. But unlike other plants, you don’t need to water it as often.
You want to let the soil dry out before you water this plant. Feel around the soil to the bottom before you decide to water. It doesn’t need to be all the way dry but it shouldn’t be very moist either.
In most conditions, you’ll water this Hoya about every two weeks in the warm months. In the colder months, you’ll only need to water it about every three to four weeks.
You want to avoid over-watering this plant at all costs. It’s prone to the different conditions, especially root rot.
Root rot is when oxygen can’t get through the soil because it’s too saturated. So, the roots of your plant aren’t getting the oxygen they need. This leads to the roots rotting away.
Root rot is hard to stop once it starts. This is because most people don’t find out their plant is suffering from root rot once it’s spread. When there are only a few roots affected, you can trim them. But once all the roots are rotten, there isn’t anything you can do for your plant.
A Hoya polyneura plant needs to be in temperatures ranging from 45F (7C) to 75F (24C).
Never let frost form on this plant. According to the University of Florida, the leaves are so thin, frost will burn right through them. If it’s left in temperatures this low for too long, it will die.
The Hoya polyneura loves high humidity. High humidity ensures that it’s lush and the flowers are going to bloom.
High humidity doesn’t have to be difficult to create in your home. The easiest way to do this is by buying a humidifier. It gives you control over how much moisture is in the air.
Another method involves spritzing the leaves of the plant. When the water evaporates, it creates moisture in the air. That moisture goes right to your plant.
But since this plant is prone to over-watering, you want to do this minimally. Otherwise, the water will soak and damage the leaves.
The best way to create humidity in your home is the pebble tray method. You only need a tray, pebbles, and water.
Start by filling the tray to the top with pebbles. Then you fill the tray with water. Make sure the water doesn’t cover the pebbles. Place your pot on top of the pebbles.
As the water evaporates, it creates moisture for your plant. You only need to refill the tray with water once it’s empty. It’s as easy as that.
Fertilizer is super important for a Hoya polyneura plant. Fertilizer makes sure the plant is getting all the nutrients it can’t get from watering alone.
You want to fertilize this plant about every two weeks during the warm months. When the cold months hit, you can skip the fertilizing process.
Most indoor plant fertilizers will work well with the Hoya polyneura.
You can propagate the Hoya polyneura plant using stem cuttings. You can plant these stem cuttings in either soil or water. We’ll walk you through both processes down below.
A Hoya polyneura plant grows to be about eight inches in length. The leaves grow to be only two to four inches in length. The leaves also grow to be about two inches in width.
These are very big plants but they can vine out if given enough room.
The Hoya polyneura plant needs re-potted about every two years. You’ll know by checking the drainage holes of the plant pot. If the roots are peeking out, it’s important to switch out pots right away.
When you do go to re-pot this plant, only get a plant pot that’s a bit bigger than the original. When there’s too much room, the roots will stress out. A stressed out plant is vulnerable to plant diseases and plant pests.
Hoya Polyneura Propagation Steps
Propagating a Hoya polyneura plant is simple. It’s the same process you use for most indoor plants. You can either propagate stem cuttings in soil or water.
Here are the steps for both methods.
Using Stem Cuttings and Soil
- The first step you need to take is to get the perfect Hoya polyneura stem cutting. The perfect stem cutting is between three and four inches in length. It will have at least two leaves attached to it. Make sure you cut right below a leaf node. Before you cut, sterilize your pruning shears. You can sterilize your pruning shears using 70% isopropyl alcohol.
- Once you have your stem cutting, you want to let it sit out. This is called the curing phase. This allows the cut end of the stem cutting to callous over. Calloused ends promote strong rooting. Leave it out for a week in a warm environment to get the end to callous over.
- While you’re waiting go ahead and get your plant pot ready. Remember, you should be using well-draining soil. The pot should have drainage holes at the bottom. Both of these elements help make sure your plant doesn’t become over-watered.
- After a week is up, it’s time to plant your stem cutting in soil. Use your finger to create a small hole in the soil. Don’t place it too far. You don’t want to bury the roots too deep into the soil. They should sit towards the top. Place the stem cutting into the hole. Make sure you pack the soil around it tight to help hold it up.
- If the stem cutting won’t stand up straight yet, there are other methods. You can bury a straw in the soil. Make sure it sticks out of the soil a few inches. Tie the stem cutting to the straw.
- All that’s left is to care for your plant as you would on a normal basis. It should be getting bright but indirect sunlight. And you should let the soil dry out before you water it.
Using Stem Cuttings and Water
- You have to get the correct size Hoya polyneura stem cutting for this method. The stem cutting should be at least three inches in length, longer if possible. There should be at least two leaves attached. It’s best if you cut right below a leaf node. You’ll need to use sterilized pruning shears to get your stem cutting.
- You need to cure the stem cutting before anything else. This callouses the cut end of your stem cutting. To cure it, leave the stem cutting out for at least seven days. It should be sitting out in a warm environment.
- After seven days is up, you need to get a jar or clear vase ready. Place the stem cutting in the jar. Pour or run water but make sure you don’t drench the leaves. They shouldn’t get wet at all. The water should always be room temperature. If you choose to use tap water, make sure you let it sit out overnight. This way any remaining chemicals in the water can dissolve.
- It takes a while for roots to start growing. In the meantime, make sure you change out the water every few days or so. Otherwise, bacteria can grow and infect your Hoya polyneura plant.
- Since you’re waiting for the roots to grow, you can get your plant pot ready. Make sure it has drainage holes. Fill it with well-draining soil.
- In about three or four weeks, you’ll see roots growing from your stem cutting. Once the roots are at least three inches in length, you can move your new Hoya plant to the pot. You don’t want to bury the roots deep into the soil. It is an epiphytic plant. Pack the soil around the plant tight.
- Time to care for your new Hoya polyneura plant. Place it in a window to make sure it’s getting bright but indirect sunlight. Let the soil dry out before you water it. Before you know it, you’ll have flowers blooming alongside the plant’s pretty leaves.
Common Problems with the Hoya Polyneura
Plant pests can be a bit of an issue for the Hoya polyneura plant. But these plant pests aren’t hard to get rid of. A few treatments and your plant will be back to health.
Mealybugs are the biggest plant pest when it comes to Hoya plants. This is because they’re attracted to drier plants like succulents. Since you wait longer to water this plant, mealybugs flock to it.
Mealybugs are soft-bodied pests. They’re covered in a cotton-like substance. This substance is a barrier between them and outside dangers. But it’s doesn’t work as a great barrier which is a bonus when treating your plant.
Mealybugs feed on the sap in your plant. They suck all the nutrients and hydration out. When there’s a large infestation, this can have serious effects on your Hoya plant.
Another common plant pest is the thrip. Thrips are super small and hard to see with the naked eye. They look like tiny little threads littered throughout your plant.
They use their piercing straw-like mouths to feed on your plant. They steal the sap. They thrive off the nutrition that the sap of a plant offers.
You might find yourself with a brown scale infestation. Brown scales breed fast. A small infestation can turn into a large infestation in the blink of an eye. A large brown scale infestation can be deadly for your Hoya polyneura plant.
Treating your plant doesn’t have to be hard. The best method is to use neem oil. It’s a natural oil. It hasn’t been known to hurt plants but you’ll still want to test a small area before covering your plant in it.
Dilute the neem oil with water. Mix these two ingredients in a spray bottle. Then you can spray your plant down with the neem oil. The thick oil suffocates most plant pests. They die within minutes.
Once you see dead pests pop up, wash your plant down with gentle dish soap and water. Treat your plant one more time about three days later.
Tips for an Unhealthy Hoya Polyneura
Like many other indoor plants, the Hoya polyneura is going to come across some problems. You can’t keep your plant happy 24/7.
We’ll discuss the most common issues with the Hoya plant. And we’ll walk you through how to fix them.
Your Hoya Polyneura Plant Has Wrinkled Leaves
It’s difficult to know for sure what’s causing wrinkled leaves in a Hoya polyneura plant. It can be either an over-watering problem or an under-watering problem.
The best way to know is to check the soil. Feel the soil with your fingers. This will give you an idea of how moist the soil is.
If the soil is bone dry, you need to water it right away. Try making a watering schedule to stick to.
If you find saturated soil, switch out the soil. You don’t want it standing in the over-watered soil. While you’re changing the soil, check out the roots of your Hoya polyneura plant. You don’t want root rot to sneak up on you.
Your Hoya Polyneura Plant Has Weird Shaped Leaves
When the leaves on your Hoya polyneura plant start growing weird, there’s a temperature issue.
Like we stated earlier, the temperature shouldn’t be any lower than 45F (7C) in the room. It all shouldn’t be any warmer than 75F (24C).
Install a temperature gauge in the room so you can track the temperature. That way you can adjust it if it gets too warm or too cold.
Your Hoya Polyneura Plant’s Vines are Shrinking Back
If your Hoya polyneura plant has vines that are shrinking back, it’s not getting enough sunlight.
It can be hard to get the perfect balance of bright indirect sunlight. If sitting it in a north or east-facing window isn’t helping, you can place it in a south-facing window. But you have to use sheer curtains. That way your plant is getting plenty of bright sun but the curtains are filtering it.
Varieties of Hoyas
There are over 200 species of Hoya plants. That means if the Hoya polyneura doesn’t suit you, there are other wonderful species.
Here are some of our favorite Hoya species and their awesome attributes.
The Hoya carnosa plant is native to Asia and Australia. This plant vines up and creates beautiful star-shaped pink flowers.
This plant is also called the “Sweetheart Plant” or the “Valentine Hoya”. This is because the leaves are heart-shaped.
The Hoya serpens plant is a fun vine plant. It creates tiny little oval leaves. This plant looks wonderful in a hanging basket.
We love, love, love this Hoya plant. It produces gorgeous medium-sized flowers. The flowers are star-shaped and they’re usually a pretty red.
Hoya Polyneura FAQ
Is the Hoya polyneura toxic?
The Hoya polyneura plant isn’t toxic. So, if you catch your cat chewing on the leaves you don’t need to panic. Your pets will be fine!
Why won’t my Hoya polyneura grow?
Stunted growth in a Hoya polyneura plant might be due to stress. If you’ve re-potted it too often or too early, your plant might be confused.
Can I use a hanging basket for my Hoya polyneura plant?
Yes, you can use a hanging basket for your Hoya polyneura plant. It’s the best plant pot to use. It allows the vines to grow and hang down.
The Hoya polyneura is a unique plant. The leaves alone make it a beautiful plant. But the flowers the plant produces tops it all. You’ll love this floral-scented plant gracing your home.