Caring for Your Hoya kerrii
So you finally got your hands on a hoya kerrii! Congrats! It’s one of the most sought after plants in the plant community right now after the pilea peperomioides craze. You can probably find a single leaf hoya kerrii easily at your local plant stores but don’t be fooled by those! Single leaf cuttings are cute and what not, but it’ll take a whole world of patience and love before it decides to grow into a whole plant (*assuming it has a tiny bit of the main stem on it*). So I’d say, 90% of the time, your single leaf will only live a long and happy life alone.
Now this post is about how to care for a hoya kerrii with more than one leaf! If that’s what you’re here for, read on!
Disclaimer: I’m not a plant expert, so everything below is solely based on my own experience. I’ve had my hoya kerrii splash since last year (2017) so I’m still learning every single day! I also received a hoya kerrii albomarginata a couple months ago and was able to propagate it without problem.
My hoya kerrii loves the sun. I treat them like succulents because they love light THAT much. As a house plant, your best bet is to place it at the brightest spot you have. Mine resides at my southwest facing window and it receives about 6 hours of direct, bright light, each day during the summer.
If it’s getting too much light, you’ll find that the leaves starts turning yellow but they’ll still feel firm and healthy. If that’s the case for you, just move it a little further away from the sun or put a sheer curtain over your crazy bright window (lucky you!).
If your hoya kerrii is variegated, I’d suggest giving it even more light than the regular, all-green or splash hoya kerrii.
I only water my hoya kerrii about once a month, when the soil is 90% dried, or the pot feels super light. When it’s time, I take the plant to the shower and “rain” on it for 30 minutes on and off to ensure that the whole root ball is saturated. In other words, I’ll water it, wait a minute for the water to drain out, then water it again. I’ll repeat this process at least five times. The main reason I do this is because mine is in a 7 inch pot and the soil gets a little ‘water resistant’ when it dries out.
And don’t worry if you go on a vacation and can’t water it for over a month. This plant takes a long time for it even begins to look thirsty. I’ve never had this problem but you can tell its thirsty when the leaves are soft to touch.
Both of my kerrii are in a soil mix of 50% regular potting soil + 25% perlite + 25% orchid bark. I’m sure you can plant it completely in orchid bark though if you don’t mind watering it more often. Just make sure your soil is draining really well because this plant likes to dry out quick.
Since my hoya lives in a plastic pot, whenever I water it, I also squeeze the pot to loosen the soil a bit first. With my other plants, I’ll also use bamboo skewers to poke and loosen the soil. But for these kerrii, I did’t want to risk damaging ANY of their roots so I’ve never done that for them.
Just a side note, when I first brought this plant home, I actually washed off all the old soil and repotted it with completely new soil. This way, I could also check how healthy the roots were (because you never know!).
Both of my hoya kerrii are in plastic pots and I put them in a pretty, outer pot. With watering and outer pots, be careful to check that your plant is fully drained before returning it to its pot. I make sure to let mine sit in a saucer for at least one week to fully dry out before putting it back. Drainage is really important!
Alternatively, you could use terracotta pots. I have other hoya plants that are in these and I love that they dry out much quicker. In the end, it really is a matter of personal preference. The most important thing is that your pots MUST allow water to drain out quickly.
After a whole year since the first repotting with fresh soil, I started fertilizing my kerrii with diluted Marphyl soil enhancer. I also spray the leaves with AgricultureRx GardenRx Spray. Since it’s a very slow growing plant, I really don’t know if the fertilizer helps — but no damage done!
My favourite thing to do for my hoya is training it to grow up a trellis! This mimics what they do in nature as most wild hoya plants climb on trees and fences. Make sure your trellis is strong; because once I trellised my kerrii, the newer leaves got a lot bigger and heavier! (However, the leaves also grew bigger because it was now receiving less light than when it was in a green house previously.)
New vines also love to coil around the trellis so after a while, your plant may automatically attach itself. But meanwhile, I use soft rubber wires to hold them in plac
(Big leaf photo) I got my hoya kerrii around September 2017, and it literally didn’t do anything for half a year. Perhaps it was growing roots because I repotted it right when I brought it home into a slightly deeper pot. However, I think it was just the typical dormancy that most plants go through during the dark and gloomy winter days. Around Valentine’s Day, it started growing new leaves, but both of them fell off. I immediately moved it to a much bigger window and within weeks, it started growing super fast! Maybe it was the increase of light, but also it was March so it’s was coming out of its dormancy.
Hoyas like to grow vines first. My theory is that it wants to latch onto something before the heavy leaves come in. So, when the long naked stems start growing, don’t cut them off! (Unless you don’t want a bigger plant…)
And here are the results from mine: 13 new leaves and 20 inches of vine between Sep 2017 and June 2018.
My hoya started to produce blooms one year after I brought it home. The first time it bloomed, there was only ONE. SINGLE. LONELY. bloom (consisting of a handful of tiny flowers). The plant was about 3-4 years old and had about 30 leaves. The next summer, it bloomed again! This time, it produced 5 blooms throughout the summer months. I had to bag up the blooms in little clear bags because the nectar would drip all over the floor. During blooming, the plant will slow down or even stop producing new leaves.
Don’t cut the long naked vines! New leaves will grow on them soon! In the wild, this hoya likes to extend its arms to find good support to hold onto before producing leaves because these heart shaped leaves are HEAVY!
Many of you have asked questions on my Instagram posts, so here’s my attempt to answer some of them. Feel free to leave a comment if you have more questions!
I’m suspecting that the soil is too moist for too long.
If you have a hoya plant with a chopped off end, chances are new vines will come in at the last node. However, when the plant is happy and healthy, new vines can grow out of any node alone the vine.
Yes! Mine did absolutely NOTHING between September and January!
I’ve seen hoya kerrii (as a plant, not as a single leaf) at Valleyview Gardens, Kim’s Nature, and Crystal Stars Orchids. Also on Facebook groups here, here, and here!
This happened to me too! Honestly, I don’t know why for sure. But out of my 17 new leaves, only 4 of them fell off this way, so I’m not concerned at all. It could be a lack of light, over-watering, or the plant just deciding that it didn’t want to sustain these new leaves due to growth on another part.
I mentioned the soil mix I use above. When repotting, make sure you don’t go up in size too quickly. All my hoyas are in very tight pots just to ensure that the soil dries out quickly. When in doubt, don’t size it up until your plant to pot ratio is really, really, really out of balance. They don’t mind being root bound,
Give them LOTS of SUN and humidity!
Yes! Some of my kerii leaves has tiny black dots (they literally look like black heads lol) on the underside and part of the connecting stem. I don’t know what they are, but it doesn’t spread or get worse so I don’t do anything about it. I’m suspecting it has to do with the kind of water you use (photo: dots).
I just started doing that but I’m not sure if it does anything haha! I didn’t mist it to begin with and it still put out beautiful growths so I don’t think it really cares. I do have a humidifier near it during the winter when its drier.