Hoya plant problems

Hoya Plant- Top 3 Problems (And How to Solve Them Easily)

There are more than 500 Hoya species in the world, including all the variations, hybrids and cultivars. With proper care, these plants can happily grow in your house for years to come. However, like any other indoor plants, there are Hoya plant problems that you can encounter while caring for them.

Some of them can be avoided while others are outside your control. All you have to do is find the right solution for them, and that’s where I step in!

In this text, you will find a list of the most common Hoya plant problems along with solutions/fixes for them. These are the topics I shall address:

  1. What to do when its leaves start turning yellow?
  2. What’s the main reason for leaves turning brown?
  3. Wilting leaves- what causes it?
  4. Pests and diseases- learn to recognize and eliminate them

Without further ado, let’s get down to Hoya plant problems and simple fixes!

What to Do When Its Leaves Start Turning Yellow?

There are 7 most frequent reasons for the leaves of your Hoya plant turning yellow.

# 1 Overwatering

The guiltiest one for yellow leaves in Hoya plants is overwatering.  This mostly happens if you are a beginner in plant caring.

We automatically assume that all plants require a lot of moisture to grow, so we overwater.  Too much of the precious liquid can cause your Hoya leaves to turn yellow.

#2 Underwatering

The other common reason is the lack of watering.  Although Hoya plants can withstand more extended periods of drought, it doesn’t mean that that will not take its toll on the plant.  Lack of water can cause the leaves to turn yellow as often as overwatering can.

#3 Poor soil drainage

Soil drainage is important for Hoya plants since they do not like to retain too much moisture between watering. And, even if you are watering the plant adequately, its leaves can turn yellow if the soil does not drain well.  Fix that by purchasing a well-draining soil or mixing your own combination.

The deadly combination is overwatering + moisture-retaining soil + no drainage holes on pots.

And, when pots are in question, make sure that they have well-positioned drainage holes that are big enough not to get clogged.  The result of overwatering and poor drainage is root rot that is quite difficult to solve as it isn’t something that is easily discovered.

Luckily, the solution for poor drainage on a container is easy. Either drill holes to widen them or place the pot on some pebbles to enable better drainage. That’s how you will eliminate one of Hoya plant problems.

Poor drainage can cause many Hoya plant problems

#4 Inadequate lighting

The wax plant enjoys bright and indirect sunlight and warm temperatures. If you place your plant in an area that is too shady, the leaves can turn yellow.

You will know that this is the issue if the side of the plant that is closer to the light source is green whereas the other side – further away from the source is pale green or yellow. Tropical species like indirect light, so do not make a mistake in putting it into direct sunlight.

The solution for any Hoya plant problems caused by improper lighting is simpler than you can imagine. Just rotate the plant occasionally so that each side gets enough sunlight to produce chlorophyll- the chemical that gives the foliage its green color.

#5 Cold and drafts

Another trait that all tropicals share is that they do not like cold air and drafts. Their foliage becomes yellow when they are cold, so make sure that you keep the plant out of drafty areas or ACs. Also, if you live in areas where there are four seasons, make sure that the temperatures in the rooms do not drop below 50°F (10°C).

#6 Inadequate nutrition

Lack of nitrogen and potassium can cause the lower leaves of your plant to turn yellow and eventually fall out. The condition is called Chlorosis. That’s not only one of the most frequent Hoya plant problems, but affects other plants as well.

Inadequate nutrition leads to Hoya leaves yellowing and falling

#7 Age

Getting old is a natural process all living beings go through. The plants are no exception. And as our hair turns grey with age, the leaves turn yellow.

How do you know if the leaves are yellow of old age?  

Well, the lowermost foliage on the plant is the oldest, so it is usually the first in line to turn yellow. This is a process that can’t be stopped or controlled which means that there is no solution for it.  The only thing you can do is to pick the leaves off using sterile scissors, yet sometimes it is enough to just gently pluck it.

Let’s check out some solutions for Hoya plant problems!

If your pots have adequate drainage holes, then the first thing to consider is watering. Try to appropriate your watering regimen before you actually start adjusting your fertilization or moving the plant. Changing the soil and moving the plant is stressful for it. This can cause more damage than good.

On the other hand, if you tend to neglect your plant, just pick up the watering pace, and your plant should bounce back up soon. In case adjusting watering patterns does not do the job, then start thinking about soil and nutrient deficiency.

If the above-mentioned conditions are met, then overwatering is what bothers your plant without any doubt. Adjust the schedule and you can bid farewell to Hoya plant problems- at least some of them.

Yellow leaves should be removed from the plant so that the plant can have its signature plush appearance.  However, if improper lighting or poor nutrition is the reason for yellow leaves, they can go green again when the right conditions are met.

? Wanna propagate your Hoya? Here’s HOW! Hoya Plant Propagation- 4 Popular Methods

What’s the Main Reason for Leaves Turning Brown?

If your Hoya leaves are turning brown, there are 2 main reasons.

#1 Inadequate lighting

We talked about the leaves of your plant turning white due to improper lighting – it happens when your Hoya plant does not get enough sunlight.

However, if you place your waxplant in direct sunlight, it will burn. The sunlight will leave ugly brownish dots on your leaves, the edges will be brown, or the entire leaves will become brown. There is no remedy for this, and all you can do is remove the brown leaves from the plant using sterile scissors or a knife.

To avoid this, keep your waxplant in indirect bright sunlight.

Inadequate lighting leads to Hoya leaves turning brown

#2 Too much fertilization

As too much direct sun causes sunburns, too much fertilization can cause chemical burns. They will manifest in the same way – the leaves will develop brown or grayish, dark spots on the leaves, or the edges will become crispy and brown.

Again, the process is irreversible, but it is avoidable. You will need to use the fertilization according to the packaging. Whatever you do – do not use more than recommended. Otherwise, you will only end up dealing with more Hoya plant problems than you had to in the first place.

Wilting Leaves- What Causes It?

Wilting leaves are a rare sight in Hoya plants since they are thick and waxy (waxplant). However, inadequate watering and some pests can cause the leaves to wilt – i.e., appear tired, go soft, or become limp.

Overwatering and underwatering

As with yellow leaves, the reason for wilting leaves can also be caused by water stress. Too little or too much water will cause the plant to wilt.

It’s understandable that underwatering will cause the otherwise healthy and thick leaves to become limp. The solution will be to just water the plant, and it will go back to its previous glory in a matter of minutes.

On the other hand, how overwatering can cause the plant to wilt is a bit more complicated. Too much water in the soil (due to overwatering or bad drainage) will not allow oxygen to get to the roots and will damage them.

The end result is going to be the same as with underwatering –your plant will starve since there will be no way to transport water and nutrients to it. If you had to choose, it is better to keep your plant underwatered than overwatered. Comparing these two Hoya plant problems, the former one is fixed more easily.

Take time to explore these beautiful Hoya plants:

Pests and Diseases- Learn to Recognize and Eliminate Them

They also belong to frequent Hoya plant problems, but affect majority of indoor plants as well. Pests are usually easy to spot and get rid of, while diseases can develop more serious conditions and are not easily noticed.

Common pests

Common pests that attack Hoya plants are Mites and Aphids. Luckily, these Hoya plant problems aren’t complicated to deal with.

Mites cause the leaves of the plant to curl, be deformed, or stunted in growth. They seem like a dust layer on the plant, so frequent showering or wiping the leaves with a moist cloth is crucial in avoiding them.  Aphids also cause deformities in new foliage and are recognized when sooty mold and honeydew appear.

The solution for it is using neem oil – put it on a cloth and wipe the foliage of the diseased plant from both sides.

Hoya plant common pests


Diseases are more serious than pest infections since it usually takes more time to notice them, and they come as consequences of improper care.

Root rot comes as a result of either overwatering or poor drainage, or the combination of both. Too much moisture in the soil will cause the fungus to develop and attack the root or even the stem near the soil.

To avoid it, make sure that you are caring for your plants properly and adjust your care before it is too late. When it already happens, you will have to inspect the entire root system and remove any section of the diseased root with sterile scissors. The best time to do this is when you are repotting the plant.

If the disease has not taken over too much of the plant, it should bounce back, and if it did, however, you may want to dispose of the entire plant.

Blight affects the leaves in the middle of the plant. They are susceptible since there is a lot of moisture there. The symptoms of blight disease are grayish edges or spots that appear on the leaves.

To avoid the disease, make sure that the humidity levels are adequate. If the disease is already there, you can use copper fungicides to cure the plant.

Final Words

Proper care is the best prevention for any condition that is categorized as Hoya plant problems. Since there are so many Hoya species and varieties, you should learn how to care for each of them individually. If you want to grow more than one.

Yes, some conditions are the same or similar with a lot of them, but there are also some differences among the species. Check out our guides on each Hoya species, and never worry about any problems.

Have you ever experienced any of these Hoya plant problems and how did you solve them? I’d like to hear from you, so don’t hesitate, share your valuable experience with me!