Hoya Kerrii Plant

Hoya Kerrii Care- How to Grow Sweetheart Plant

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Hoya Kerri, commonly known as Sweetheart Hoya, is one of the few plants out there that are perfect for indoor conditions. This plant, which originates from south-east Asia, is an all-time favorite due to its exuberant heart-shaped leaves and beginner-friendly requirements for care.

To sum things up nicely, here is the summary of the hoya succulent care guide: It requires a moderate amount of sunlight. Depending on the time of year, it will need weekly or monthly watering. They want soil that drains nicely, periodic watering, and pots that can provide them with sufficient aeration, keeping in the moisture. They grow very slowly even in ideal conditions, including temperature ranges of 18°C – 27°C (that is easily found in a large majority of homes without any additional equipment) and periodic watering. The plant can be propagated and placed within many different settings. It can accommodate both soil and water mediums for growth. There is no need to invest in expensive fertilizer nor commit to pruning to get the best results.

With everything said so far, let’s get down to business. At the end of this guide, you will be nothing short of an indoor gardening master when it comes to Hoya Kerrii care.

Growth Rate and Size of Hoya Kerrii

The Hoya heart plant is easy to maintain. As ideal as controlled indoor conditions can be, it does not change the fact that its growth rate is relatively slow. It can take many years before one of these plants with a few leaves finally reaches maturity. 

The most considerable waiting time goes to the blooming process. The time needed for the plant to develop pinkish-white flowers is quite long.

Once this heart-shaped cactus establishes a rooting system, however, its beautiful leaves will start appearing more quickly. Over a few years, your heart leaf hoya will turn into a vining plant with lovely leaves, which give it an appearance of a heart shape cactus.

The exception to this rule does exist as a single leafed Hoya Kerrii most likely won’t grow additionally. Speaking of growing, the hoya heart plant can reach up to 13 feet in height.

Did this Hoya catch your attention? Here’s more from this lovely family:

Things to Know about Hoya Kerrii Blooming

When these beauties flower, it is a sight to behold. Hoya heart plants produce star-like blooms that make the entire process of care worth the wait.

Hoya Kerrii care encompasses a substantially long period. It is rare to witness people sometimes spending half a decade tending to their Hoya only to find the results lacking, but that is another subject entirely.

In most cases, whether or not your plant blooms will depend on three different factors:

  • How old your Hoya is
  • How ideal your indoor conditions are
  • If the flower stems have remained (this includes both old and new ones)

In this entire process, the anomalies are one-leafed plants that will remain small and pretty but will not grow.  They are sure cute but won’t be expanding, so don’t get disappointed if your plant does not bloom.

If your plant does not fall in this category yet still does not bloom, try to provide it with higher light levels or simply wait it out! These plants require patience and time to fully mature.

Hoya Kerrii Flowers

Hoya Kerrii Brief Care Guide

Just like I already mentioned, this one is not an overly demanding plant. It requires a moderate amount of sunlight. Depending on the time of year, you’ll have to water it weekly or monthly.

The “lucky heart” prefers soil that drains nicely and pots that can provide them with sufficient aeration, keeping in the moisture.

This plant grows very slowly even in ideal conditions, including temperature ranges of 18°C – 27°C. That is a common temperature for the vast majority of homes without any additional equipment.

There is no need to invest in expensive fertilizer nor commit to pruning to get the best results. You can propagate it both in water and soil.

These were just the highlights, now let’s explore each of the sections a bit deeper!

What Are the Light Requirements for Hoya Kerrii?

The Sweetheart plant prospers best in direct contact with natural sunlight. Their love for bright sunlight is one of the crucial aspects to keep in mind when choosing a spot your plants will inhabit.

It is a good idea to expose them during the early morning and allow them at least 4-6 hours of direct exposure. To optimize the intake of sunlight, feel free to rotate the plant once a week.

All of the aforesaid does not mean that the plant is tolerant of constant exposure to the sun. If it is always out in the sun, especially during hot summer,  the leaves might start going yellow.

Don’t worry, this can be fixed easily, simply put the plant a little bit in the shade. It won’t do any harm, nor will it hinder growth.

Many of these plants grow within the trees’ gaps- quite often between and among treetops, they mostly receive dappled sunlight. For this reason, most people with experience growing Hoyas do it by reducing the sun intake of the plants by 50-80% by using protective cloth.

There are specific varieties, such as Hoya diversifolia and our Hoya Kerrii, that can be placed within areas with 90% sun exposure. However, lowering it to at least 70-80% is your safest option as high-intensity ultraviolet rays can damage the chlorophyll of the leaves.

If, by any chance, your Hoya Kerri becomes variegated, ensure it has more light provided to it. During winter periods, you can mitigate the lack of sufficient light by installing a 30w LED light in the room.

And yes, these ” wax plants” need special treatment to bloom when kept indoors.

Variegated Hoya Kerrii

How Often Do I Need to Water it?

The hoya succulent plant has long intervals between watering. It stores water in adequate amounts quite nicely, mostly due to its waxy leaf structure.

The peculiar trait that extends beyond the heart hoya is that many variations of its genus, which consists of no small part of shrubs and vines, do not like constant moisture. This is why it is standard practice to commit to single weekly watering.

In case you live in colder climates or during winter periods, it would be a good idea to extend watering intervals from two weeks to a month. Take special care in ensuring that your soil is never soggy nor saturated as that can easily lead to root rot.

Some species of Hoya, such as the Hoya carnosa, are excellently adapted to droughts. They can withstand prolonged periods without a drop of water (from 4 to 5 weeks).

Before you do any watering, make sure the soil is not wet. Using your medium’s state as a guide to determine if your plant needs water is more efficient than keeping to a tight schedule. 

Watering should be done exclusively during the early morning. This will ensure your plants are nice and moist during the entire day, and, when nighttime comes, they will remain dry.  During summer and springtime, apply a larger quantity of water.

Among the last things to keep in mind is that you will need to apply water evenly on the soil. This is where good drainage comes into play. As long as the excess water is not pilling up at the bottom, there are no chances of root rot occurring to your sweetheart Hoya.

Overwatering is always an issue that needs special attention, so knowing how to spot overwatering symptoms is of pivotal importance.

Does It Like Humid Environment?

As these plants originated from tropical Asia, you can rest assured that providing adequate humidity is almost as important as watering.  During winter periods, when air can become painfully dry, it becomes crucial to provide sufficient moisture.

Still, they are surprisingly tolerant of average levels of humidity, which is present in most homes.  Your heartleaf hoya will flourish, despite their innate tolerance, in areas with above 40% humidity levels.  As these plants grow slowly (usually over a few years),  this will encourage faster expansion and growth.

It is a great idea to employ air humidifiers to supplement your plant’s indoor habitat. This is especially important if you live in areas where the air is quite dry or cannot provide enough moisture for whatever reason.  You can also get creative with this, as they can be put inside bathrooms or kitchens.

Out of all the Hoyas, Hoya Kerrii variegata is the most infamous in slow growth speed.

Besides good humidity, you will definitely need consistent airflow.

What about Fertilizing?

The slow growth rate, especially among variegated Hoya Kerrii’s, means that feeding should be done at specific intervals and, most importantly, not too often.

You don’t have much room for applying these products too often as Hoyas are sensitive to salt build-up at their roots. During periods of dormancy (plants enter this stage during winter and late fall), fertilizers will be wasteful and harmful. This also extends to situations when it is entirely wet or bone-dry.

If you have a single leaf Hoya that is most likely not going to grow or if the plant is still young, two times a year is the optimal amount.

Sweetheart Hoyas that are starting to bloom and those who have reached maturity can be feed four times a year.

Hoya Kerrii Sweetheart Plant

Sweetheart Hoya Temperature Requirements

An absolute champion among indoor flora that keeps on becoming more and more popular, this plant is the real deal.  The ideal temperature to keep it is 18°C – 27°C.

In most cases, doesn’t require you to change anything in your home for the best results! This is one reason why picking a hoya heart plant is never the wrong decision for your home.

Potting Mix Preference

Picking the right mix for your heart hoya is one of the more significant challenges you might encounter, especially if it is your first time providing care to this plant.  Always keep in mind the universal rule- as long as it drains well, it might be the right candidate.

Combining 1/4 orchid bark and ¼ perlite with a ½ standard potting mix is a great idea, especially if you are unsure of what alternatives to pick. You can combine pine bark, perlite, and charcoal for more specialized combinations to create your custom mix with good air circulation and drainage.

Another popular option is using cactus-based compounds, coconut husk, or sphagnum moss for creating your very own combinations.

As Hoyas are very susceptible to root rot but also accomodating to new environments, you have freedom of choice. You can put your Hoya Kerrii plant in most potting mixes of your choice as long as they fulfill the aforementioned standards.

Pots and Reporting

As the backbone of any good gardener, picking the right point is essential for your plant almost as much as choosing the right potting mix.

You can put these pots in almost any kind of container; they really are not demanding! As long as it has a way to deal with excess water and enough room for aeration, it’s a “qualifying” container.

Don’t worry too much about repotting as most Hoyas are perfectly able to live out their lives within the same pot size for a good 3-6 years. Adding some new substrate every one or two years is a great way of providing your plants with some “refreshment” within their habitat.

Terra cotta containers are very commonly used to house Hoya heart plants. They are durable, offer a fair amount of air circulation, are quite porous. They come in different sizes, still roomy enough to accommodate the sprawling root system.

Plastic pots also see many uses as they are the most readily available out of all the materials. They are also a fine choice due to the most diverse range of sizes and the fantastic ability to preserve water.

Most of these plants are sold in standardized 4″ or 6″ inch containers for the size category. It is easy to stumble upon a wide variety of different options in most markets. You would not be wrong regardless of what choice you pick.

The largest specimens can be 10′ long after a lengthy timespan if you wish for a larger indoor plant.

Sweetheart Plants in Pots

Sweetheart Plant Pruning

Low maintenance attributes of this plant include pruning as a routine activity for getting rid of dead growths or making sure the plant’s size stays the way you want.

You can always supplement your plant’s aesthetic by light running here and there, but pay attention not to cut the short stalks if the plant has flowered. This is because flowers emerge from them, which hugely contributes to the overall beauty of your plant.

Engaging in“hard pruning” hinders your plant’s ability to flower correctly, so exercise caution when you choose to commit to this activity.

Always pick out sterile cutting equipment. Both scissors and specialized tools can do the job.

How to Propagate Heart-Shaped Hoya?

Being such strikingly beautiful and long-lived plants, it comes as no surprise that most owners will want to replicate this wonder of nature as much as possible. The most common methods include stem cutting and water propagation.

During summer or spring, carefully remove two stems that possess two or three leaves (make sure the stems are at least 10 cm long). The lower half should be leafless.

Once everything is set, you can choose where to plant your soon-to-be plant; in a pot or a water container.

If you decide on a pot, adhere to the standard procedures regarding potting mixes for your Hoya Kerrii. Apply a limited amount of water over the entirety of the soil’s surface. Plant your cutting in a way that won’t allow the leaves to make contact with the ground itself.

The water growth option is less common but still a relevant alternative to the before-mentioned method. Place the cutting in the water container while keeping the leaves above the water. Replace the liquid whenever it gets too murky, and you are all set.

Any Issues with Pests?

Excluding mealy bugs, pests rarely present a problem for Hoya plant. These hardy survivors are mostly immune to insects, which will, for the most part, just be a minor nuisance.

Suppose the first signs of an infestation do occur; they do happen sometimes. In that case, you can shake your plant a little or use your hands to manually remove them before placing some Neem or horticulture oil.

Use anti-pest products for at least a week. This is because pests are often sneaky and hard to notice with the naked eye, so taking a safe approach is always recommended.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hoya Kerrii toxic to pets?

It is considered non-toxic to cars and dogs but still keep it away from curious animals. However, this plant produces a milky sap which contains latex. Anyone allergic to latex should handle the plant with care. Gardening gloves are essential.

Does Hoya Kerrii purify the air?

It doesn’t have typical air-purifying properties. This species is mostly kept for its adorable appearance and non-demanding care.

Do I need to mist Hoya Kerrii?

This plant doesn’t require frequent misting but doing it from time to time. That way you will not only refresh the plant, but you will keep the leaves clean.

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