Hoya Macgillivrayi

Hoya MacGillivrayi- Care Guide to Make This Beautiful Hoya Prosper

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Hoya MacGillivrayi was discovered in the Cape York Peninsula, the largest wilderness of northern Australia. It was first collected and named by a physician Dr. Wiliam MacGillivray. It is hard to stay indifferent to the beauty of those dark burgundy flowers, succulent evergreen leaves, and the divine fragrance of this Hoya plant.

Care guide highlights: Hoya MacGillivrayi is a low-maintenance plant, but you would have to provide humid conditions that many tropical species crave. Give it lots of natural light and keep the temperature high. The soil should be left to dry out before the next watering. Repot this plant every two or three years. Mealy bugs and aphids are some of the most common pests that attack this breath-taking plant.

Have I caught your attention? Stay with me, as I will introduce you to the following topics:

  1. Does Hoya MacGillivrayi have any specific soil requirements?
  2. What type of light is ideal?
  3. Watering needs of HoyaMacGillivrayi
  4. Optimal temperature and humidity levels
  5. Is it necessary to fertilize Hoya MacGillivrayi?
  6. Tips for successful propagation
  7. Repotting and pruning- how and when?
  8. Common problems and solutions
  9. Frequently asked question

Keep reading and you will find out how fascinating Hoya MacGillivrayi is, and how to grow it properly!

Does Hoya MacGillivrayi Have any Specific Soil Requirements?

Hoya is an epiphyte, and naturally it is intolerant to clogged soil. You can often buy them packed without the soil, which enables you to carefully pick the right substrate.

 Growing them in a loose, well-draining and moisture-retentive potting mixture is essential.

The soil shouldn’t retain excessive amount of water. Also, make sure it’s not too loose. It should prevent water logging and root rot.

 It is desirable for the soil to be well aerated, rich in nutrients and moisture enough to enable the plant to absorb the nutrients properly. A potting mix that is poorly drained and prevents air circulation will suffocate the roots.

Hoya MacGillivrayi needs well-draining soil

It would be suitable for Hoya MacGillivrayi to use orchid compost with a mixture of pine bark, coarse peat moss combined with perlite for extra drainage.

Wax plants can be grown in a mixture of sandy loam soil. If you opt for that option, I would advise you to add fertilizer and lime juice to the mixture. Lime juice will help to balance the pH level and make the soil more alkaline. The mixture should be mildly acidic in a range from 6.1 to 7.5.

Before we proceed with Hoya MacGillivrayi specific requirements, meet these lovely members of the colorful family:

What Type of Light is Ideal?

To see those magnificent wax flowers grow, you would have to provide abundant indirect light to your Hoya plant. This succulent plant can grow in lower light but is unlikely to bloom. To encourage healthy growth, avoid darkened rooms for this plant.

Protect the waxy leaves from direct sunlight in summer, as they can get burned. Observe the leaves of Hoya MacGillivrayi. If they become more yellow or bleached, it is time to provide more shade to your plant. Otherwise, the leaves retain a beautiful dark green color throughout the year.

During autumn and winter try to provide as much light as possible. This would be a challenge if you live in the North. In that case, consider placing it under fluorescent plant light. It is best to set it for 12 hours of light per day.

If you have one Hoya plant, two neon tubes would do the job. Set them vertically, a couple of inches from the plant, and maintain the distance over time as the plant grows.

Hoya MacGillivrayi doesn’t like to be moved a lot, so it is best to choose a good spot during summer and one during winter. If you keep your Hoya in a growing box or greenhouse with stable conditions, moving it won’t be necessary.

If you have been wondering on which side of the room it is most convenient to place your Hoya MacGillivrayi, it is best to be kept in an east-facing window. It will provide 4 to 5 hours of direct morning sunlight which is not harmful to the plant. You could opt for a south-facing window but only if it is shaded by a mesh curtain.

Hoya MacGillivrayi needs lots of inirect light

Watering Needs of Hoya MacGillivrayi

These succulent plants, including Hoya MacGillivrayi, have very particular watering needs. You don’t have to stress out if you forget to water them for a couple of days. In fact, they would prefer less watering, especially during winter.

In the growing season, it would be best to water your HoyaMacGillivrayi two times a week. During summer and in high temperatures, maintain the same watering routine. You could also mist it every other day to ensure it has enough water and humidity.

As the cold days arrive you should change the plant care routine. Golden rules that will save your Hoya MacGillivrayi during winter are to avoid misting and water less frequently but don’t let it dry out completely.

 It is very sensitive to excessive watering which can result in root rot. It is best to keep it reasonably dry but in humid conditions. This would help them to bloom later. Make sure the soil mixture you use for Hoya MacGillivrayi is roughly draining. Allow the pots to drain and soil to dry out before you re-water the plant.

The coolest tip I got when I was a young gardener is to check the top layer of the soil with my finger first. If the first two inches are dry you are free to add precious liquid again. But if you feel that the soil is still moist, wait a day or two.

The type of water you are using is equally important. It is easiest to use cold tap water when in hurry, but it could hurt the plant. Tap water contains alkaline salt of dissolved calcium bicarbonate that can build up in the soil and damage the roots.

 If you are using rainwater, allow it to reach room temperature before using it on your Hoya MacGillivrayi again.

Don't overwater Hoya MacGillivrayi as it's a succulent

Optimal Temperature and Humidity Levels

This beautiful giant is native to tropical and subtropical regions, so it thrives in high humidity and warm conditions. Daytime temperatures of 80-90°F and humidity levels from 60-80% would make it blossom. However, it could be challenging to maintain those conditions all year round.

Hoya MacGillivrayi can tolerate lower temperatures but not below 50°F, as it could easily develop root rot or drop leaves. It would be good to keep the day temperatures above 70°F and at least few degrees cooler at night. Sudden temperature changes can come as a shock to this Hoya and have consequences.

If you are growing your Hoya in greenhouse humidity levels can be maintained by grouping several plants to create a humid microclimate, and placing them on a tray filled with clay pebbles submerged in water.

For indoor Hoya plant humidity should be maintained high, especially if central heating is in use as it will dry out the air. The best solution is to use a room humidifier and avoid placing the plant near the central heating system. Hoya MacGillivrayi plants are used to humidity levels up to 100% during the night.

A good spot for this species would be the bathroom. It could be decorative and the conditions would be right. Humidity levels are high, but also make sure it has enough light. A humidity meter would help you to accurately monitor the conditions. 

If the humidity levels are low and the temperature is too warm, you might expose your plant to spider mites. Move your plant to another location like a bathroom or laundry room until it recovers completely. They would run from high humidity conditions and a drop in temperature.

Hoya MacGillivrayi prefers higher humidity levels

Is It Necessary to Fertilize Hoya MacGillivrayi?

These tropical plants are epiphytes, so they do not need plenty of fertilizer. Also, be careful as the fertilizer that is too strong could damage the roots. You can choose between a liquid or slow-release fertilizer for Hoya MacGillivrayi.

The slow-release granules would add nutrients to the soil slowly and you could apply it once in nine months. You don’t have to feed Hoya during cold seasons. The nutrient ratio 2:1:2 or 3:1:2 would get the job done.

To encourage wax flowers to bloom add high in phosphate fertilizer in the early spring months. During the blooming season add proprietary orchid fertilizer twice a month. You could also use compost tea or dilute fish emulsion to provide organic nutrition to your Hoya.

If you just want to improve the overall health of your plant, use fertilizer high in nitrogen. Apply the food to moist soil. It will make the absorption more efficient.

It is recommended to flush the pots with plain water to remove built-up salt from the soil.

There are some good homemade remedies to free the plant from uninvited guests. Penetrate the soil with the top part of a few matches. Phosphorus and sulfur are the main ingredients of the matches and they would certainly reject the attackers.

To prevent the appearance of fungus, use copper coins. Put a few coins in the soil around the plant and the copper will destroy all the fungal spores.

Tips for Successful Propagation

Hoyas are commonly easy to propagate even for the beginners. Propagate Hoya MacGillivrayi by using the older stems, cut in 3 to 4 inches length, with leaves and nodes attached. You can take the cuttings throughout the year but it is best to avoid any cutting during the blooming season.

Let the stem sit for a couple of days on dry paper before placing it in the water to develop roots. Cuttings will need at least 3 to 4 weeks to develop roots.

Use stem to propagate Hoya MacGillivrayi

They can develop faster when they are placed in humid conditions and temperatures of 60 to 65 °F. Provide it plenty of bright light and track the progress it is making. When the roots have developed you can place the cutting into the soil mixture.

When Hoya finishes blossoming, don’t cut the flower stalk because it produces flowers on the same stems every year. When you remove the stalk, the plant is forced to waste energy on producing the new stalk. This can postpone blooming.

Another way to propagate is by leaf or roots cutting. It is best done during cold seasons for like fall or winter. In this case, cut a small root section and put it in nutrient-rich soil. Water the soil and patiently wait for the growing season to see the results of your work.

Repotting and Pruning- How and When?

You should know that these plants like to be snug in a pot. Repot your Hoya MacGillivrayi every two or three years. They don’t mind bound roots, furthermore, they will flower more abundantly than those flying in a giant pot.

If the pot is too big, soil can stay moist for too long and cause rot roots. A small pot would make the soil dry out fast and block nutrient absorption and further growth. 

It is best to use the terracotta pot, few inches larger than the last one. Roots will be comfortably situated and you would have nothing to worry about. Terracotta pots are practical when it comes to repotting. You could just simply crack the pot with the hammer and transfer your Hoya to a pot prepared with fresh soil mixture.

Wet the soil before transferring Hoya MacGillivrayi, as it will allow roots to penetrate better and take up the fresh nutrients. Avoid moving the plant during the blooming season as it may harm the young buds. You wouldn’t want to miss out on those rich flowers created in umbels of ten flowers emanating from a central axis.

Hoyas are natural climbers with twining stems. If you provide your Hoya MacGillivrayi a ladder or wireframe, they can grow up to 3m. Many gardeners also usually add bamboo hoops to support the vine.

As for the pruning, do so to maintain it in a good shape and to prevent infections and diseases.

Repot Hoya MacGillivrayi every two to three years

Common Problems and Solutions

Unfortunately, it happens that the plant begins to fade for inexplicable reasons. Small pests, mealy bugs, and aphids, which are difficult to see with the naked eye, can contribute to this. That is the biggest challenge you could face with Hoya MacGillivrayi.

They could damage your Hoya plant if you don’t react soon enough. If you own a greenhouse these sap-sucking insects could endanger all your other plants. You wouldn’t want that issue to escalate, so let’s go through the steps you can take to protect your pest-free collection!

The easiest thing you could do to protect your plants from pests spreading is to keep the new plants isolated for some time. When you are completely sure the newbie is clean and safe, you could move it to the greenhouse or join it with the rest of the crew.

Severe issues could be avoided by regular checking and cleaning. Several systemic and contact insecticides are safe to use to control those pests even if you are an amateur. Make sure to wear a protective suit, for your health and follow the instructions on the container.

Ants aren't among Hoya MacGillivrayi common issues, but mealybugs and spider mites are

The only other issue you may have is stagnation in flowering as a result of root rot. As we already mentioned, root rot can develop if you water excessively and your soil mixture retains too much water.

 If the pot is sitting in water, or you fertilize too much the excess salt will accumulate, and issues will arise. Avoid these mistakes and the roots of your Hoya MacGillivrayi will be perfectly healthy.

Mealy bug

Hoya MacGillivrayi is a mealy bug magnet. They form large colonies and can be a threatening pest, especially in greenhouses. They feed off plants’ juices and release a substance that attracts ants. This can affect the buds to dry and fall out. The bactericidal spray is a solution for this annoying insect.

Spider mites

Some pests like spider mites also feed the flower nectar and draw life energy from the plant. But they are not as dangerous because you could easily remove them with a strong blast of water and treatment with insecticidal spray.

If they come back on your Hoya MacGillivrayi, you can always repeat the same procedure, as it won’t negatively affect the roots. Protect the flower buds while spraying insecticides.


Fortunately, there is one simple trick that allows you to quickly get rid of tiny flies in flower pots. For the procedure, a few ordinary matches will be all that you need. Simply, stick their heads into the ground at a distance of 5 cm from the edge of the pot and water the flowers.

After 2 days, replace the matches with new ones, and after another 2 days, the flies will disappear. From now on you do not have to water the houseplants with insecticides.

How to keep your Hoya MacGillivrayi healthy?

  • Use a well-aerated, loose soil
  • Protect it from direct sunlight
  • Avoid misting during winter
  • Maintain high humidity all year round
  • Keep the temperature above 50F
  • Fertilize during the blooming season
  • Propagate during cold seasons
  • Provide it a ladder to climb

Frequently Asked Question

Are Hoyas toxic to cats?

Hoyas are not poisonous to cats. It is safe to grow Hoya MacGillivrayi or any other Hoya if you have a cat, but be careful anyway. Cats tend to have stomach issues like vomiting and diarrhea when they eat too much of it.

Is Hoya a succulent?

Yes, Hoya is a tropical succulent plant native to South Asia and Australia. You can recognize their succulent nature by the flashy leaves and wax flower clusters.

Can Hoyas be in full sun?

Hoyas can be left in full sun for a maximum of three hours per day because direct sunlight can burn the leaves. You could also leave them in full sun during the winter months or if the window is shaded by a mesh curtain. However, they prefer filtered light.

Do Hoyas like to be misted?

They like to be misted up to five times a week when the temperatures go up during summer. Use lukewarm water when misting. It is harmful to mist during the cold months.

Do Hoyas grow fast?

Hoyas are climbers with twining stems and they can grow fast if the conditions are favorable. They usually start flowering when they are fully mature, but it is worth the wait. It is natural for growth to slow down in the winter.

Do Hoyas like coffee grounds?

Hoya wouldn’t mind coffee grounds. You can add it to your homemade fertilizer. It is important to compost the coffee grounds first so the nutrients can become available. There is a danger of attracting pests.


This Hoya is one of the most spectacular species. It is a member of the Apocynaceae family of giant climbers and many are cultivated as ornamental plants. People who adore Goth décor are obsessed with this plant because of its varieties of burgundy to dark purple flowers. They are mind-blowing, don’t you think?

Hoya will steal your heart with its magnificence, and when you learn to take care of them, you will probably want to grow more. Big oval-shaped thick leaves and vibrant flowers are made of five sepals and five petals in perfect geometry. Well, this decorative climber can make any patio into a divine space for relaxation. Not to mention the aromatic blend of citrus and gardenia fragrance.

It is listed as a rare plant on the 1997 IUCN Red list. So, in the end, I can only advise you to take good care of this plant as it won’t ask for many adjustments, but it will give you wonderful rewards.

The tips I gave you can help you grow it like a truly experienced gardener, so go on and find the perfect Hoya MacGillivrayi for your home!

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