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Hoya linearis is another super hot plant that growers can’t keep up with demand. There are many types of Hoya out there that are much more commonly available, but Hoya linearis is distinctly unique and quite a bit different.
Challenging to find, they are also reportedly one of the most challenging Hoyas to grow, but I’ve found them to be easy! It is all about knowing what each plant species likes.
If you can give it what it likes, it will be a cinch to grow! Let me show you how I take care of mine.
Where Hoya Linearis Grows
Before I go into how exactly I care for my Hoya linearis, I would like to introduce where this plant grows in nature.
If you can approach the conditions that this plant grows in nature, you will have no problems growing this plant.
This plant grows as an epiphyte (on trees) in the Himalayan region in Northern India and in the nearby vicinity. It actually grows on trees in higher altitudes, and dangles down similar to how Spanish moss grows.
If you can gather from the region that it grows in, it does prefer cooler nighttime temperatures as compared to some other types of Hoyas.
How to Grow Hoya Linearis
This plant is different from many other hoyas in that it doesn’t have large, firm, waxy leaves. Instead, the leaves are skinny, soft, and slightly hairy. It really has a lovely growing habit.
They also will give you white, star-shaped flowers that reported have a lemon scent to them. Mine has not flowered yet, but I will update my post when it does to show you.
Take a look at the difference between my Hoya linearis below…
Compared to my Hoya carnosa below…
In my experience so far with growing this plant, despite the rumors and hype that you may have heard that Hoya linearis is one of the more difficult hoyas, I’ve had no troubles at all!
I strongly believe that this is because I am providing the right conditions for this plant. So what are the conditions that it likes?
Let’s talk about that a little bit, and you’ll want to read ALL of this post because you can’t just get one thing right when it comes to houseplant care. A number of combinations working together will give you true, lasting results.
There are NO shortcuts or magic buttons to houseplant care!
Improper watering and soil moisture conditions is probably one of the most common downfalls in houseplant care.
This is especially the case with Hoya linearis. These are very easy plants as long as you keep the soil on the dry side (but at the same time, you need proper watering habits)!
I do my best to teach people about my watering methods so let me elaborate more on this. Like all hoyas, these plants like to dry out well between watering.
This does NOT mean that when you water, that you’d only want to add a tiny bit of water.
I preach a holistic view on houseplant care. You can’t just get one thing right, and have complete disregard for everything else.
Good watering practices are paramount.
When you water, you should thoroughly soak the potting media. Water until all the soil is saturated and all excess water drains away through the drainage hole. ALWAYS have a drainage hole!
This is especially important for epiphytes, like Hoya linearis, which literally grows hanging on trees. They DEMAND excellent drainage and this is apparent because of how they grow in nature.
Like any hoya though, they like to dry out between watering. So allow the entire potting mix to dry out before you consider watering again.
On that note, feel the potting mix with your finger to know when it is dry. Pick up the pot and also notice when it is very light. You will get to know when the soil has completely dried out.
I strongly caution against the usage of water meters. I’ve known so many people that have devastated their plants because they trust the water meter too much in order to tell them when to water.
Think about it, many epiphytes will get poured on by heavy rains (the entire plant is thoroughly soaked), but since they are epiphytes (growing on trees and exposed to a lot of air circulation), they will dry quickly
In the winter, you can go even longer in between watering since reduced light and perhaps cooler temperatures indoors will slow down, or even halt, growth.
Watch out for signs of stress. You don’t want to push it too far that the plant is stressed and becomes shriveled or dried out.
This brings us to the next point which you NEED to have for hoyas.
POT SIZE and SOIL
Hoyas in general like smaller pots and like to be root bound. My own plant came in a tiny pot and I will leave it in there for quite a while.
As a general rule of thumb, Hoyas need repotting much less frequently than other plants and are content to be in the same pot for years.
Remember the Hoya carnosa I showed you in the picture earlier in this post? I’ve had it in the same pot for over 15 years and it is thriving!
If you’d like to read about how I care for that plant, be sure to check out my blog post on Hoya carnosa for growing tips.
If it comes time to repot a hoya, only go up by one pot size. These plants despise being over-potted and are content in smaller pots for long periods of time.
As far as potting mixes go, light and airy is the way to go. You have a few options that you can use for Hoya linearis, or any hoya for that matter.
A good succulent or cactus mix, to which you add some perlite would make a wonderful mix for this plant. Remember, sharp drainage is important for any plant, but especially for epiphytes.
Horticulture magazine recommends 2 parts of a soilless mix to 1 part of fine-grain bark mix and a good mix for epiphytic plants in general (please don’t use this mix for moth orchids though!). This mix is very appropriate for hoyas.
If you don’t have fine-grain bark mix, you can substitute perlite. I tend to use a good cactus/succulent potting mix and add perlite. Experiment to see what works for you. This blend has worked very well for me.
I always have a succulent mix and perlite on hand myself so I typically use those for most of my houseplants.
I buy the following from Amazon to make my blends:
LIGHT! Another super important topic. I have my own Hoya linearis in my sunroom in the corner of a North and East facing window.
When the sun does decide to come out in Ohio, it does receive morning sun 🙂 . Be sure to keep this plant right in front of a window for best results, and if you can give it morning sunshine, it will greatly benefit this plant, especially in the winter time.
I know it may seem so basic to do this, but you’d be surprised how many people I have to remind that they should have plants right in front of a window for best results.
If you do live in warmer regions, be careful of too much sun, especially extended periods of strong sun. This is a cooler growing species.
As a general rule for houseplants, make sure your minimum nighttime temperature doesn’t go much below 55F.
During the summertime, depending on where you situate your plant, you may want to diffuse the direct sunshine a bit. Just keep an eye on your plant and it will tell you if it doesn’t like something.
And remember, having Hoya linearis in appropriate lighting will help the potting medium to dry out more quickly, which is absolutely critical for this plant.
To keep things simple, I have greatly simplified my fertilizing routine and pretty much consolidated to one fertilizer.
I use Dyna Gro Grow fertilizer and have had great results with all of my houseplants! It’s an amazing all-purpose, urea-free, complete fertilizer that contains all the major micro and macro nutrients that plants need to thrive.
It has become my go-to all-purpose fertilizer that I use for most of my plants (because it works really well and I’m lazy and like to consolidate!)
You can get it easily from Amazon. Click on the image below to purchase.
I simply mix 1/4 teaspoon into a gallon of water, and use it every time I water (or try to at least) during the growing season.
You can mix it as you go, or prepare the solution in a gallon jug to use whenever you need it.
As a general rule, I don’t fertilize any of my plants from about October through February or so. When I notice plants perking up in February or March, I will slowly start my fertilizer routine.
Remember that the key to growing Hoya linearis is allowing its potting mix to dry out completely fairly quickly in between through watering. This can only be achieved by a combination of good light, small pot size, and an appropriate potting mix.
HOYA LINEARIS PROPAGATION
I’ve known people to propagate these plants in water. You can certainly do so, but let me discuss what the International Hoya Association recommends for Hoya propagation.
- Take stem cuttings and ensure that each cutting has 2 or 3 nodes (where the leaf meets the stem).
- Remove the leaf from at least one of the lowest nodes.
- Dip the end into a rooting hormone, and insert each cutting into a pot. The IHA recommends using soilless mixture to which you add 30-40% perlite.
- Water the soil and make sure it drains. Don’t allow the soil to dry completely. Conversely, don’t let the pot sit in standing water.
This is the rooting hormone I like to use when I need it.
If you are able to increase humidity while the plant is rooting, this can be very beneficial. You can place the pot in a clear plastic bag to increase humidity. Keep it out of direct sunlight though while it is rooting so that you don’t cook your cuttings!
The clear plastic bag can help you keep humidity high while it is rooting, but these plants also like to generally grow in higher humidity.
I wrote a blog post on the topic of humidity and I also talk about my favorite humidifier. I’ve tested many humidifiers and this one is by far my favorite!
To check it out, be sure to read my humidity blog post. This is especially important during the winter months when dry air can be big issue!
Do you grow Hoya linearis? Share your comments or questions below! I’d love to hear from you.