Hoya Cumingiana- Essential Care Guide with Top Tips and Tricks

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Are you looking for a vining plant with attractive waxy foliage and sweetly scented flowers? If the answer is positive, then Hoya Cumingiana might be just the one to capture your attention. This adorable wax plant was discovered by Hugh Cuming, which explains its interesting name.

Care guide highlights: Hoya Cumingiana prefers dry soil, humid air, and temperatures between 60 – 85 °F. It doesn’t like being exposed to direct sunlight. When it comes to watering, the best is to wait until the soil dries out completely. Use liquid fertilizer occasionally and repot when it overgrows the current container. You can propagate it in soil, water, and perlite. Inspect it regularly to check if there are any pests or diseases.

Here’s what we shall talk about in this article:

  1. Types of Hoya plants
  2. Does this plant have any specific soil requirements?
  3. Light requirements for Hoya Cumingiana care
  4. How Much Water Does It Need?
  5. Temperature and humidity- ideal levels
  6. Fertilizing Hoya Cumingiana
  7. Hoya Cumingiana propagation tips
  8. Repotting and pruning- how often should you do it?
  9. Common problems and how to deal with them
  10. Frequently asked questions

Now, the top tips and tricks to grow Hoya Cumingiana coming right up, so stay with me and keep reading!

Types of Hoya Plants

Before I tell you all the top secrets on how to properly grow the lovely Hoya Cumingiana, let’s check some basic plant facts and discover some other Hoya types.

They are referred to as tropical and exotic, and people often call them wax flowers or wax plants.

What makes them particularly outstanding are their fragrant flowers. These plants, at least the majority of them, are easy to propagate and easy to grow. They require minimum effort, as they basically feed themselves from the air.

Hoya Cumingiana aside, I believe you’ve come across some other Hoya types too. Accordingly, here you will find the most common ones:

And, almost all the things I said of Hoya Cumingiana can be said of these types too.

Hoya cumingiana flowers

However, since Hoya Cumingiana is our main concern, let’s check…

Does This Plant Have Any Specific Soil Requirements?

This epiphytic plant originates from the Philippines and is used to a specific set of conditions that we’re going to deal with.

The most important piece of info in the last paragraph is that our Cumingiana originates from the Philippines so is accustomed to dry soils and humid air.

Hmm, what does this tell you?

Yes, to begin with, it tells you that Hoya Cumingniana likes its soil as well-draining above anything else. The soil you choose for this Hoya must have these properties, otherwise, you might come to a dead end since Hoyas are susceptible to root rot.

Next, this wax plant prefers the soils that provide optimum air circulation. This will feed your Cumingiana with all the air it needs and it will make it airier. Additionally, this promotes the drying of the soil.

Of course, you can go for the ready-made commercial potting mix that has the properties as said. On the other hand, though, you can give a shot to DIY mixes.

As a lover of plants, you must already have all of the ingredients at hand, so this is a mix you can try. Orchid mix, cacti mix, and perlite, mixed in equal parts, are an excellent soil combo to provide the best soil mix with the right nutrients for your Hoya Cumingiana.

Naturally, this is not the only option. For example, you can also go for the soils that are composed of bark, charcoal, sand, and leaf molds. Again, these should be mixed in equal parts to give optimum care to the HC.

In any case, whichever of the options you go for, take care that the pH of the mixture is more to the alkaline side, i.e. 7.5-9.

Crush some eggshells and add them to the mix to reduce pH level. That should do just fine!

Hoya Cumingiana needs well-drawing soil

Light Requirements for Hoya Cumingiana Care

Well, remember the Philippines?


That’s your answer to the question of how much light does Hoya Cumingiana need.

If you’re still not totally sure, the answer is a-plenty!

But, of course, there is a BUT!

Plenty doesn’t mean direct. Instead, go for the spots where Cumingiana may receive indirect, yet bright sunlight. I mean, the sun is great for it but, still, avoid the direct exposure during the day to prevent yellow spots.

The optimum care tips for Hoya Cumingiana will tell you that a little bit of direct sunlight in the morning and evening will be more than fine. During the day, though, steer clear of direct unfiltered sunlight.

To avoid all kinds of hacks to dim the light, just put the Cumingiana on an east-facing window and you’ve spared yourself a multitude of trouble.

Useful hint: The more sun, the better the bloom!

Hoya Cumingiana needs indirect light

How Much Water Does It Need?

Although the tropical Philippines may lead you to believe that you need to water Hoya abundantly, then, you don’t know the first thing about this plant.

It’s actually quite the opposite – less is more!

After each watering, let Hoya Cumingiana dry almost completely. Only then water again.

Typically, you’d define the watering requirements of a plant by the temperature from the environment but, in this case, check the soil. If it’s almost 80% dry, it’s time to water.

When you pour the precious liquid, let the water run through the soil. Once all the excessive water is collected in the tray, pour it out. Letting the Hoya Cumingiana roots sit in water will lead to root rot and eventually death.

Next to this worst-case scenario, your Hoyita could develop fungus and all kinds of plague, so say goodbye to the extra water.

By the way, you’ll know you’ve watered your Cumingiana way too much once the leaves start dropping. The best you can do at that time is to let it dry out a bit.

To stay on the safe side, differentiate between summer and winter watering schedule. During summer, Hoya Cummingiana will need more water – this is the option where you let the water run through.

As for wintertime, no philosophy here either. Water only to keep the soil slightly, slightly moist. Nothing more than that.

Don't overwater Hoya Cumingiana

In general, as a succulent, Hoya Cumingiana prefers to be in a drier environment so you’ll do more harm with over-watering than under-watering.

The important thing is – relax!

You can’t mess up with watering Hoya Cumingiana; like, there’s no way.

Temperature and Humidity- Ideal Levels

Hmm, it is here where you need to tread carefully.

Hoya Cumingiana is highly temperature-sensitive. So, try not to frost it or fry it, on the other hand.

To translate it into numbers, Hoya C will thrive at a temperature range between 60 – 85 °F. It will tolerate, though, occasional elevations or drops, but try to keep it within the range.

For example, if you were to expose your lovely Hoya Cumingiana to low temperatures, the foliage will greatly suffer from this. So greatly that it might not bounce back.

On the opposite end of the scale, the foliage will take on a “cooked-like” dry look that you won’t be able to bear the sight of it.

So, mind the range.

Of course, sudden temperature changes need to be avoided at all costs. To do so, keep it away from draught, air-condition, and/or heaters.

Directly linked with the temperature is the issue of moisture. Of course, the humidity will depend on the temperature, so the optimum temperature will promote optimum humidity.

Ideally, keep the humidity at moderate to high levels. Hoya Cumingiana can tolerate lower levels at times but don’t bother much about this.

Of course, there are tricks to improve the humidity in your home- get a humidifier, mist the plant, put pebbles in the pot, group plants together!

Hoya Cumingiana needs high humidity

Fertilizing Hoya Cumingiana

I am funny this way – I like to let my plants do the work themselves. So, I let fertilizer go.

Still, it cannot hurt adding it a bit every once in a while.

If you opt for fertilizing your Hoya Cumingiana, I strongly recommend that you go for liquid fertilizer. This one will work best for Hoya and is easy to apply.

Do take care to go for one rich with phosphorous as this one will secure better and lusher bloom.

The first use of fertilizer on Hoya Cumingiana should be before the blooming starts. Afterward, every 2 to 4 weeks is the time to fertilizer.

Be moderate with the fertilizer since here we can’t say the more the merrier.

Hoya Cumingiana Propagation Tips

If you like a plant, of course, you’ll keep searching for ways how to propagate it. I know the internet might say all sorts of things, but the only true way to propagate Hoya Cummingiana is to take the stem cuttings.

You can do this with shears, making the cut on a healthy stem. Make sure that the shears are clean so you don’t infect the plant with some disease. Also, pay attention that you’ve taken a cutting with nodes.

After you’ve successfully taken the stem cuttings, you got three options.

Propagate Hoya cumingiana using stem cuttings

Propagating in Soil

For one, you can try propagating in soil. but, not any soil. Moist sphagnum moss is your best option that will give the cutting all the nutrients it needs. Occasionally check if the roots system has developed and once it has, transfer your Hoya to the pot of your choosing.

Propagating in Water

Next, you can opt for water-aided propagation. Again, take the cuttings as usual and place them in water.

This might easily be the simplest way to propagate and you get to see what’s going on at any given point.

Take care to change the water regularly, that is every 2-3 days. What can be a great aid, is adding sugar to the water. This will additionally feed the cutting.

If you choose to propagate like this, make sure that only the stem part with the nodes should be underwater. The leaves should stay above.

Once you’ve done all of that, all that’s left to do is to find a warm and well-lit place to keep the propagating container until the stem develops a root system.

After that, repot as usual (we’ll get to that).

Propagating in Perlite

Even though the first two options are just fine, if you are a fan of extreme sports then you can give a shot at propagating in perlite.

Before you start, be warned that this one requires more space and effort. I must admit, though, the results are fascinating.

Perlite is great in itself and lets the airflow around. This is awesome for the roots that are yet to develop. It will help you avoid rot.

You will have to use a container filled with perlite up to 1 inch that needs to be soaked for a couple of minutes. Once it’s soaked, drain the extra water and just bury the cuttings taken in the same way as in the first two options.

Preferably, cover up the container with a pierced plastic bag and make sure you keep it in a warm place.

Once the roots are all grown, proceed to repotting.

Repotting and Pruning- How Often Should You Do It?

Last but not the least, we’ve come to the care tips that involve the right repotting and pruning procedures.

The thing is, you already know why these are done – you need to repot to make more space for the roots and you need to prune to shape the plant whichever way you want, to relieve it of any dry/sick/damaged leaves or to propagate.

Now, as we are talking about Hoya Cummingiana, this is how to do these steps to provide the best care for your beauty.

Cumingiana likes to be repotted every once in a while. The best time to repot it is early spring. This is just before the blooming and so is excellent in giving more nutrients to the plant securing it will bloom just right.

What you can infer from the previous is that you should always go a size up with pots if you want to repot to have an effect.

If you wonder how frequently you need to repot Hoya Cumingiana, the textbook answer is each or every other year.

If you’re not sure if it is the time to repot, then take a look at your plant. See what it’s telling you. If it seems lifeless without obvious reason, then yes, it is time to repot.

As for pruning, clean shears or a clean, sharp knife are all the tools you need. Pruning brings life back to your plant. Besides, it lets you shape Cumingiana whichever way you want.

Moreover, pruning helps in getting rid of damaged leaves so the whole plant doesn’t need to suffer while trying to recover a couple of damaged leaves.

Just prune them and your problem is solved. By the way, if you prune healthy stems, use them as cuttings and propagate your plant.

Repot Hoya Cumingiana every two years on average

Common Problems and How to Deal with Them

There comes a time when each plant might struggle with pests and other problems, and this lovely wax plant is not an exception, unfortunately!

As for our Hoya Cumingiana, it is very resistant to pests. The most typical ones that it struggles with are mealybugs and aphids, both typically found near the flowers.

Get rid of these with horticulture oils or synthetic sprays.

As for some other problems, not pests-related, leaves dropping, wrinkled yellow leaves, and damaged foliage are the ones you might encounter.

If the leaves start drooping, then it’s most likely you are overwatering it. Check the watering schedule and let the soil dry out a bit.

Wrinkled and yellow leaves, on the other hand, are an indicator that your Hoyita is thirsty. Give it water!

Buut, this can also mean that the roots are rotting due to excessive water.

I think it’s easy to figure out which one is the case (yes, check the soil!).

Damaged foliage typically means that your plant is under a lot of stress. Most likely this is caused by the environment – freshly repotted, too much water, inadequate temperature. So, check for these first!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How much should I water?

Low to moderate. Avoid excessive watering and always make sure that the soil is almost dry before the next watering.

2. How much sun does Hoya Cumingiana need?

The simplest answer-plenty! However, we are talking about indirect exposure so try not to keep it in strong sunlight the whole day. East window is your best choice for bright morning sun and just the right light intensity for the rest of the day.

3. Is Hoya Cumingiana hard to grow?

No, it’s not. Just pay attention to the watering schedule and temperature and you’re good to go. If you follow these tips and tricks, you will never do any harm to your Hoya Cumingiana.

4. How do I get the Hoya Cumingiana to bloom?

The right care is the precondition for the blooming. So, give it love and caring and it will reward you with plenty of flowers. A good fertilizer which promotes flowering can be your friend in need as well.


That would be all, folks!

Now you have all the top tips and tricks for the proper Hoya Cumingiana care.

So, if you haven’t got one already, go buy it or propagate it from your friend and enjoy its stems and leaves drooping gracefully or climbing up and up to hit the roof!

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