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Native to the Philippines, Hoya pubicalyx, commonly known as Pink Silver” is the real deal for many reasons. It is an excellent plant for beginners, does not demand any outrageously high amount of dedication to care for, and the beauty of its fragrant flowers is unparalleled.
So, how does one care for hoya pubicalyx? The details of optimal care can be daunting, so here is a summary: They adore long, preferably indirect, exposure to the sun. A highly humid environment is excellent, but it will grow as long as it is over 50%. It is not very picky when it comes to the soil as long as it drains quickly and allows air to circulate freely. They thrive in temperatures from 30 to 40°F and you should keep them away from the cold as much as possible. Watering them three times a week during summer and once during winter is quite enough. Fertilizing should be done once a month (excluding winter periods). Pots that drain quickly and allow air circulation are the best for these plants. Pruning is not usually necessary, except for taking out dead leaves and branches.
Regardless of how it might sound at first glance, you will soon find out for yourself that taking care of these beauties is a breeze. Now, let’s see what we need to know before getting down to some gardening.
Hoya Pubicalyx Sunlight Requirements
Taking a walk around a neighborhood that houses a large number of Hoyas, and looking at the treatment they receive might give you an impression that they thrive outside, directly facing the sun.
It is a mistake that occurs all the time, made both by rookies and professionals alike. This is because the leaves, while more resistant to higher temperatures, are still not immune to sunlight.
A good chunk of owners simply place their plant out in the open and leave it out just like that. This is one of the main reasons why an arguably large number of people give up on these magnificent plants.
You can leave these plants out in the sun, of course, and they can even thrive within adequate exposure conditions.
Still, that duration has to be monitored so that the plant’s exposure to the sun is based on its intensity and the moisture of the room the plant resides in.
Although you can work with controlled direct exposure, I propose a different solution, which is indirect exposure.
This is what you can do. Place your plant in a way that will allow them to receive partial, indirect sunlight.
Give your plant 5-7 hours of light each day and. If you notice that certain parts of it aren’t getting enough sunlight, rotate it a few times during the day.
During hotter months, you can reduce the exposure and place your Hoya pubicalyx in more secure locations around the house.
The opposite applies when winter comes around. This is when you might want to put your plant in the most exposed position for maximum sunlight intake.
Now, before we proceed with this Hoya’s basic requirements, I’ve got something for you:
This might be one of the simplest or most challenging parts of acclimatizing this beautiful plant to your home and general Hoya pubicalyx care.
As the large majority of plants you can find on the market are of tropical origin, most will require over 50% humidity to grow to their fullest extent.
When heating systems are working around the clock (such as during winter periods), this becomes a significant issue.
There are several ways to approach this particular problem.
1. Humidity Tray
This particular tool is underused but no less useful. A humidity tray is a cheap but efficient way to provide your plants with additional humidity without breaking the bank.
You can make it within the comforts of your home from simple to find materials. The most commonly employed tray is the pebble tray.
This simple, yet innovative invention has saved millions of houseplants so far. All you need is a tray, some water, and a whole bunch of pebbles.
You can use any kind of rock (including decorative ones), as well as improvised trays from cookie sheets. It also serves the function of a drainage system dump, as excess amounts of liquid will fill the tray during watering.
Fill up your tray with a large number of stones and water, just enough so it rises halfway up the rocks. Next, plant your Hoya pink silver right on top of your stones.
Another fantastic benefit of choosing this method is that it can complement humidifiers, misting, and any other type of strategy you employ to keep your plants in top shape.
This is a common sign within gardens and homes that cannot provide adequate humidity for their plants to flourish.
Before getting into this option, there are a few things to keep in mind. Crucial thing is the precise or almost precise amount of water vapor in your air.
Plants have evolved to adapt to their natural habitat. To grow these plants within indoor conditions, you have to replicate those conditions as closely as possible.
There are three types that you can use:
- Ultrasonic humidifiers use heat to evaporate water and increase the process’s speed by utilizing vibrations. These are excellent for plants that cannot withstand drastic changes in moisture levels and can usually be modified to uphold a specified humidity level.
- Mist humidifiers are the most widespread type. These devices exude a fixed level of moisture by heating the water up to the point it becomes vapor. They are cost-effective and come in a large variety of models.
- Evaporative humidifiers – by exploiting a wicking system’s systematics, they utilize airflow to produce vapor.
You got a ton of options when it comes to making the choice. Still, a large majority of situations will require only a simple mist humidifier.
The ideal percentage of humidity of your hoya pubicalyx is over 70% and not any lower than 60%.
Aside from the ways mentioned above to keep your plants’ moisture to the desired level, you can always mist them from time to time. This will mitigate small differences and shift the plant’s overall humidity to the desired levels.
Hoya Pubicalyx Soil Requirements
First, we will need to cover the essential element of growth, which is, of course, the soil it will reside in.
The main ingredients for success do not differ much from other Hoyas. It can be summed up as a soil that allows for a lot of air to circulate, possesses excellent water-draining capabilities, and is very light.
These plants are epiphytic and prefer to live on an organic-rich surface to meet their needs accordingly.
You can use different combinations for this task, from which there are two most popular combinations:
The first option is an affordable and more easily obtainable mix is made up of the following:
- A substantial amount of potting soil of organic origin
- Worm casting
- Orchid grow mix
This simple to make recipe is excellent due to addressing all of the plant’s most critical needs and is relatively inexpensive.
The second option is a quite popular and all-around solid choice that has withstood the test of reliability and quality. It uses the following ingredients:
- About one – third peat
- Add one-third of perlite
- Finalize the mixture with orchid bark
There are thousands of more combinations that can fit these plants’ bill and produce adequate results in almost equal measure.
Related: Best Potting Soil For Indoor Plants
Temperature Needs for Proper Hoya Pubicalyx Care
As you probably already know, we are dealing with plants that are used to living in tropical or sub-tropical territories. Your goal is to set the temperature of the room your plant resides in to meet these criteria.
However, many plants can tolerate differentiations for both above and below their recommended temperature threshold.
This usually means that between 5 – 10 °F, there won’t be any problems, but any change above the aforementioned can be hazardous to your plant’s health.
There is also the danger of drafts occurring, which will depend on where your plant is placed. Let’s suppose your plants are near windows or doors.
In that case, there is always a chance that opening and closing them can let in cold air, disrupting the plants and even causing long-term damage if it happens for too long.
The most common symptoms range from quick flower death to leaves turning yellow and falling off. Luckily, if you act quickly, you can save your plants before things go out of hand.
In most situations, you will notice one of the first symptoms early (they manifest on your leaves first). Shifting your plants’ location to an area sealed away from outside elements will do wonders for their longevity.
As for your Hoya pubicalyx, it does not tolerate the cold at all! You might as well remove any location of your placement list if its temperature is below 10°F.
Hoya’s, in general, prefer temperatures from 30 to 40°F, so try to shift your focus to those parameters. You will need at least a 10°F higher temperature ratio during winter to keep your plant in fantastic condition.
Watering Hoya Pubicalyx
Just like all other plants, when you care for Hoya pubicalyx, you need to think about having a decent watering schedule.
The frequency of how often you give water to your plant will be heavily dependent on the time of year and conditions that surround the plant.
All in all, you will need to maintain a watering schedule to keep up with the plant’s needs. Make sure that you give your plant clean water.
During hot summertime, when your plant faces direct exposure to the sun for hours, you will want to water it three times during the week.
But if the moisture is high enough and you commit to periodic misting, two times a week will be more than enough.
During winter, since the plant’s growth will pause for a time, your plant will be perfectly content with just a single watering session until winter passes.
The Right Amount of Water for Hoya Pubicalyx Care
When talking about the quantity of water, it can vary much and will depend on the following:
- The soil you are using (if it is a light variant, you can use a larger quantity of water as the excess amount will simply leak out of the holes at the bottom of the pot. If it a heavy variant, you will need to measure the amount per your plant’s needs).
- The temperature in the room your plant occupies (the hotter it is, the more water your plant will want).
- How much light is your hoya getting ( same as high temperature, you will be adding this factor into consideration when determining the quantity of liquid you will need)?
Your pubicalyx will appreciate some time off to properly dry off, and you should always check if they did dry out properly.
You can do this by simply picking up the potted hoya and determine it’s weight – if you feel any added weight due to the presence of water in the substrate, you can withhold watering for a while longer. Also, you can use soil meters to check if the first few inches o the soil have dried off.
The consequence of inadequate water distribution is most often root rot, so always take special care to avoid this.
Fertilizing Hoya Pubicalyx
What goes hand in hand with low maintenance? You guessed it – low costs. With Hoya pubicalyx care, you won’t be dishing out large sums of money on expensive fertilizers. However, that does not mean there isn’t any need for it.
As these plants aren’t heavy feeders by default, this goes further towards indoor owners’ benefit. Within indoor conditions, you can schedule feedings at a monthly interval, excluding winter.
The growth rate sparks from summer to fall. Their growth will bravely depend on fertilizing as it is an integral part of plant care.
The critical quality of the fertilizer that you give to your plants should be high organic content. These fertilizers tend to be quite smelly, so cover it entirely with soil to cover the smell after dispersing it.
Fish emulsion and liquid fertilizers tend to be a trendy choice, often applied two times a month during the summer period.
You can stick to this formula and periodically add products enriched with phosphorus or nitrogen when you notice that your plant is close to blooming.
Although not necessary but useful, you can also add slow-release fertilizers such as worm casting to add some extra speed of growth and quicken the process to that illustrious foliage.
Picking the Right Pot
When you care for Hoya pubicalyx, you can be picky about the pot you will take. But it is a good idea to remember that those that dry quickly and aren’t too much spacious are the best choice. This type of hoya prefers to be root bound.
The best” trio” option you can pick out are Terracotta, plastic, or ceramic pots. The choice can vary, depending on your watering schedule and indoor conditions:
- Plastic pots tend to hold a more considerable amount of water than their clay counterparts, making the soil almost always moist, which means you will need to water your plants less.
- Terracotta pots are one of the best out there on the market for aeration and quick-drying. This option is one of the best ones you can make if you tend to give your plants a larger quantity of water or are simply unsure if you are overwatering or under watering them.
- Ceramic variants are similar to the terra cotta option. They give you good aeration, quick-drying, and can withstand immense temperatures without damage. The affordability and a large number of different aesthetic designs are also a plus.
A snug pot with excellent drainage is the deal-breaker you should look out for, and these recommendations tend to possess above-average qualities when it comes to providing hoya pubicalyx care.
Repotting Hoya Pubicalyx
What you have in your hands is a plant whose main characteristics are fast growth and low maintenance, so your experience will generally be stress-free.
Furthermore, a large number of Hoyas have a diverse range of repotting needs, from once or twice a year to a full decade!
Now, there is a sure-fire way for you to always be aware of your pubicalyx need to be repotted, simply by taking a look at two factors:
- It is starting to dry out a lot quicker than before, and outside factors are excluded
- You notice roots becoming more visible through the pot’s hole at the bottom
When this happens, you should pick a new pot that is at least 1 or 2 inches larger with equal consideration of depth and diameter.
If you pick out new pots that go beyond the recommended size increase, combined with a container that can remain moist for far too long, it can lead to root rot. Just make sure that whatever you pot it in is sterilized.
Hoya Pubicalyx Pruning
This is a pretty straightforward and easy to follow category, as you should commit to pruning when you encounter dead stems or leaves. This is best done during spring or summer, preferably after the blooming season.
Sure, they can get unwieldy from time to time, especially with stems that keep on expanding at a breakneck pace, but this can be fixed by either letting them grow or trimming them back to a node.
Make sure to avoid cutting the peduncle (as your plant must flower correctly), and you should not have any problems maintaining the desired shape of your plant.
Hoya Pubicalyx Propagation
During active growing seasons (spring and summer), you might want to propagate your plant and expand your plant’s beautiful qualities. But how do you do it?
There are two main ways you can propagate Hoya pink silver, and that is either by leaf or stem cutting. Cuttings prosper when planted during the growing season as it will booster plant rooting.
Now, take any kind of cutting tool sterilized beforehand (isopropyl alcohol will do the trick) and aim to take a 6 or 7-inch cutting.
Try to take cuttings at the end of the stalk, which contains nodes. The lower end must have no leaves, so immediately remove them once finished and place your cuttings in a light place for an hour or two.
Once done, carefully plant them while keeping the nodes themselves under the soil for a minimum of 4 inches.
The used soil must remain at least slightly moist at all times until you see the fruits of your labor (new growth) appearing.
Water at least three times a week. The same rules for watering a mature plant don’t apply to those that have yet to develop!
This process, in most cases, takes from three to four weeks. You should make sure that the place your plant resides in is both warm and humid.
It should have indirect light shining gently on the growing plant. After this is done and the cuttings have rooted, you can safely repot the plant.
On a side note, you can also get the same result by using a plastic bag filled with potting soil or sphagnum moss.
Follow the same steps as with the previous method, and you will get yourself a miniature green-house within the plastic bag you can place in a pot later.
As with most plants (especially indoor ones), we cannot ignore the threat of pests, when it comes to Hoya pubicalyx care. This can range from simple nuisances to severe threats to your plant’s health, so it is always a good idea to keep them in mind.
These are the most common types of pests that might attack your plant. They attack pretty much every species of hoya.
Luckily, they are not a serious threat and can be removed using neem oil or a common insecticide. If they are localized within a small area, you can dip a wool ear cleaner into alcohol and gently wipe infected areas.
These small sap-sucking pests are incredibly common in warm climates and are a severe threat to indoor plants.
If left unchecked, your plant’s leaves can go dry and can fall off. To safeguard your hoya red buttons, you will need to use insecticidal oils, soaps, and sticky traps. If possible, try to isolate your hoya if you notice that a possible infestation is occurring.
This is a real nightmare for many people who want to grow hoya pubicalyx within their homes.
If you ever notice that the health of one of your plants is rapidly declining (wilting, yellowing), despite optimal conditions, you might be dealing with one of these pests.
If left untreated, they will most likely die and spread to the rest of your garden. Placing organic material like manure or composted leaves will boost the plant’s ability to fight back.
Still, it might not always be possible to save it. If everything else fails, isolate the infected plant and take a cutting. Then, destroy the plant (if heavily infected), and propagate the cutting.