Why are so Many People “Hot for Hoya”?

Hoya are making huge waves in the houseplant community.  The plant genus has gained momentum in the houseplant market in recent years and is showing no signs of slowing down. 

But what makes this waxy, trailing genus of houseplant so popular? And why now?

Well, for starters there are hundreds of available species of Hoya on the market.  This makes them the ultimate collector’s plant – or at least a solid option for houseplant collectors.   

There are Hoyas for beginners, Hoyas for the advanced indoor gardener; there are common Hoya and rare Hoya.  Whatever your budget or skill level – you can likely find many options within your range.  Most collectors I’ve seen start out with a common and easy to care for Hoya – like a Hoya Carnosa or a Hoya Pubicalix – and slowly become more and more knowledgeable and, quite frankly, obsessed, buying increasingly hard to find specimens.

There is a thrill to the hunt. 

Another reason why Hoya have taken off in recent years is just how easy they are to propagate.  Propagating houseplants is a great way to share, trade, and grow your collection.  The more the merrier.  Because Hoyas propagate so easily, they are a common plant to trade.  This is also a great way for those Hoya collectors to gather more varieties. 

And lastly, is I suppose, the obvious answer: Hoyas are wonderful houseplants.  Hoya are beautiful, they can be grown as a climbing or a trailing plant, and because of their succulent like leaves they don’t need to be watered very often (for those who tend to underwater their plants, Hoya are a good option).  This makes them very instgrammable.  This stunning genus of houseplant has taken over social media.

This surge is Hoya popularity is, unfortunately, reflected in the houseplant market.  While Hoyas are becoming more common in houseplant shops and nurseries, they are also becoming more expensive. Sometimes this is because supply is lower than demand – but often times this is simply because people are willing to pay higher and higher prices for their prized collectables.  There are ads for Hoya claiming a certain variety is rare when it isn’t as a means of justifying a higher price point.  The market can be daunting, unfair, and sometimes very uncool.  This same shady behavior can be seen with other Instagram popular plants as well. 

But if you can navigate your way around, and find a good price for a beautiful plant, then it is definitely worth it.

In terms of care, Hoya vary from species to species.  But generally speaking, they like extremely well draining soil and bright, indirect light.  They are epiphytic plants in nature, meaning they grow on trees, so a soil mix that is high in orchid bark and either perlite or pumice is a particularly good choice.  They also like to dry out between watering – although this is more true for some species than others.  Remember, it is always better to underwater than to overwater. 

Hoya are addictive. And it is easy to understand why, or at least, once you own a couple it is easy to see why.  They find their way into your houseplant loving heart and bury their aerial roots deep.  Next thing you know you are scouring the internet late at night looking a for a new variety to add to your growing collection. 

I Have Root Rot – Now What?

Most gardeners have seen, at some point in their journey, root rot.  What is it, what causes it, and what can be done?

Roots Require a few things to be healthy and to function properly.  They require moisture, nutrients, and air.  Proper aeration of the soil is essential to prevent waterlogging and suffocation.  If roots remain stuck in heavy, wet soil for too long they can lose essential access to oxygen and begin to decay. This decay is what is commonly called root rot. 

This is an example of rots that have suffered from rot. The plant is sat beside sphagnum moss, used to help regrow the root system.

Prevention is the most effective way to combat root rot, although we will also cover measures that can be taken to try to save a plant with rot.  The best way to prevent rot is the choose or create a soil mixture with proper aeration.  Good houseplant soils will include a healthy amount of perlite, bark, coconut husk, horticultural charcoal, or pumice.  It is ideal the choose a soil with more than one of these amendments.  You can also add these elements to existing soil in order to improve aeration and drainage.  Be sure to also place your plant in a pot with a drainage hole in the bottom. 

If your plant does develop rot, the best thing to do is to first remove your plant from its pot and compost the soil, do not reuse it as the rot can spread to another plant.  On the affected plant trim any rotted root.  Roots that are soft, dark, or falling off should be removed. 

If after this pruning you still have a significant root system, the plant can be re-potted in fresh soil.  If the plant no longer has roots, or has very few, it can be placed into damp sphagnum moss, or in a glass of water, in order to regrow its roots. 

Everyone Gets A Yellow Leaf