Hoya Pubicalyx Growing and Plant Care Guide

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  • Date: August 9, 2021
  • Time to read: 8 min.
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Hoya Pubicalyx

What Is Hoya Pubicalyx?

Hoya Pubicalyx, also commonly known as the “satin flower” or by its Latin name Pubic Hoya, is a tropical flowering vine. It is a woody stem plant that has dense leaves and grows to around 6 feet in height. The flowers are waxy-smooth with hairy edges and petals that are yellow when they first open and turn glossy red after a few days. When in bloom, it produces large clusters of fleshy flowers on an upright stem.

Plant Care Tips Creative
Plant Care Tips Creative

Hoya Pubicalyx is very hardy; however, it must be kept indoors during the winter months if grown outside within U.S. Department of Agriculture growing zones 10a through 11 (Ainsworth et al., nd).

In general, Hoyas are grown as ornamental plants within homes.

Hoya Pubicalyx can be grown in a wide range of different growing conditions and on a variety of supports, although it prefers to grow over thin branches or twigs. It is sometimes referred to as the “crotch plant” because it thrives near crotches and other areas that retain moisture, such as urinals.

The flowers hang downward, which is attributed to their origin of growth on tree trunks that lean outward towards the ground (Ainsworth et al., nd).

Hoya Pubicalyx Care & Maintenance:

Hoya Pubicalyx, care, and maintenance are very easy. This particular species does not need a lot of attention or special treatment to thrive in an indoor environment.

However, it requires an understanding of basic plant husbandry techniques, including proper watering, light exposure, and temperature levels.

Tree trunks are actually the ideal place to grow Hoya pubicalyx because they receive all the sunlight that comes through the surrounding trees.

In contrast, growing this vine in direct sunlight can cause damage as well as leaf loss (Ainsworth et al., nd). The leaves are thick and dark green with rusty red veins that make them unattractive if exposed to too much sun (Stamps, 2007).

Light Requirements

Hoya pubicalyx grows best in bright, indirect sunlight. It does not do well near windows that have an eastern or southern exposure which causes the leaves to become sunburned and ultimately damaged.

Also, it is important to keep them about 12 inches away from any incandescent sources of light such as heat lamps because they will burn if exposed directly to the bulbs (Stamps, 2007).

Hoyas should be kept within a range between one-tenth and one-fourth of full sunlight that hits northern or western exposures during the middle of the day, with no direct light hitting them at all throughout their entire length.

Hoya pubicalyx can also tolerate some low levels of fluorescent lighting, although they prefer natural light.

Watering Needs:

Hoya pubicalyx does best when you allow their soil to dry out completely before watering them again. During the winter months, when growth slows down, watering frequency should be reduced accordingly as well. Watering too much and too often can lead to root rot.

Hoya pubicalyx can be watered from the top or the bottom, whichever you prefer. If watering from the top, use a bowl that allows water to filter through slowly and drip down in intervals on different parts of the vine (Stamps, 2007).

It is also important to ensure that there are no standing pools of water on any leaves/branches because this will lead to mold and mildew, which could ultimately kill your plant.

Empty out any standing pools of water daily by using a mister or plant sprayer with warm water, so they do not become infected with disease or fungus (Ainsworth et al., nd).

Temperature & Humidity:

Hoyas are native to tropical climates. Therefore, they thrive in warm temperatures.

Keep your Hoya Pubicalyx plant away from air conditioning vents and electrical equipment to prevent wilting and dropping leaves due to low humidity.

Make sure that you are growing the Hoyas in an area that is protected from drafty areas or cold spots due to their delicate nature (Stamps, 2007).

Temperature levels should be between 65-85 degrees Fahrenheit with a relative humidity level of 40%-60%.

Soil Requirements:

Hoya pubicalyx does best in soil that drains easily. Therefore, the use of a self-draining soil or even an all-purpose potting mix is ideal.

When watering from the top, water slowly so the plant doesn’t get saturated and submerged (Ainsworth et al., nd). Drenching your Hoya too much can lead to root rot which can ultimately kill your vine.

Pest & Disease Prevention:

The majority of Hoyas sustain damage due to improper care. Therefore, it is important that you are knowledgeable about basic horticultural practices before attempting to grow these delicate vines.

For example, overwatering and underwatering are two common mistakes because they cause plants to become susceptible to disease.

One of the best ways to protect your Hoyas is to avoid overhead watering. Overwatering leads to root rot which leads to the eventual death of your plant and all the hard work you put into it.

Ensure that you are providing adequate ventilation by keeping them away from drafty areas or cold spots due to their delicate nature.

Hoya Pubicalyx is commonly affected by mealybugs and spider mites (Ainsworth et al., nd). To prevent these pests, make sure that you check your plants on a bi-weekly basis for any signs of infestation.

The use of insecticidal soap can be used on a weekly basis in order to eliminate an infestation. Pest problems can occur if the plant is grown in high-stress conditions such as low light and lack of water.

Hoya Pubicalyx is susceptible to bacterial blight, which causes damaged leaves with yellow areas that develop brown spots underneath.

If these brown spots are left untouched and continue to grow, your Hoya Pubicalyx will become susceptible to rot and ultimately die. To treat this disease, use a 10% solution of hydrogen peroxide or an antibiotic ointment on each leaf according to label instructions. Never take away any infected leaves because they contain spores and could infect other parts of the vine if not removed properly before they spread any further.

Fertilizing Requirements:

Fertilizing is important for all plants to maintain good health. However, it is especially crucial for Hoyas because they require special feedings that provide slow-release fertilizers.

In order to prevent damage to your Hoya’s leaves, dilute a fertilizer with water according to label instructions and use a mister or plant sprayer, so there are no standing pools of water on any leaves/branches.

If watering from the top, use a bowl that allows water to filter through slowly, so it doesn’t get saturated and submerged. Never fertilize your Hoya if you can feel the moisture in the soil, which could lead to fungus and, ultimately, root rot.

Overwatering: Overwatering leads to root rot which completely ruins the health of your Hoya. The best way to prevent this is by using self-draining potting soil or an all-purpose planting mix that drains well.

As previously mentioned, make sure that you provide adequate ventilation as well because Hoyas are sensitive and belong in draft-free areas.

Determining Gender:

The only way to determine gender for many varieties of Hoyas is through pollination, where you will be able to observe pollen collection on its stigmas. Although time-consuming, it’s free! You just take two individuals with different parentage and cross them together.

However, if you don’t want to wait for the flowers to pollinate, there is a method of determining gender by appearance. It works for all Hoyas as well as other genera in the family.

If you examine your vine closely, you will notice that male flowers have two distinct stamens with white pollen sacks, while female flowers will have a stigma and ovary on the end of a stalk.

Potting and repotting Requirements:

Hoyas are epiphytic plants and don’t require any soil to grow, making them perfect for terrariums or mounted on driftwood. 

They do prefer older bark as their substrate. Most wood is too fresh and will allow excess moisture to seep up into your plant through the exposed roots.

In order to determine if your wood should be used, place it in a pail of water after setting it out for 24 hours so that it can adjust to its new environment.

Wait until you see bubbles coming from the wood itself before placing your vine on top of it because this indicates that it has been completely submerged in the water, and there are no cracks or holes that could be harmful to the plant.

If you can feel a crack or hole in the wood, then it is not safe for your Hoya and should not be used.

Hoya Pubicalyx Propagation info:

Hoyas are easily propagated by cuttings.

Use a razor to make a fresh end on your cutting which is the most important thing when it comes to propagation because if you don’t have a good cut, you will invite disease into its new host.

Before placing in water, allow the surface to dry for about 2 hours so that all of the natural moisture has evaporated from the leaves and apply diluted root hormone and plant food (according to label instructions) directly onto the tip of each cutting just before placing in water or if you want to make sure they’ve been sterilized then place them in boiling water for 10 minutes after applying rooting hormone/plant food.

Hoya Pubicalyx Problems and Diseases:

Fungus and root rot are the most common problems that you will face when caring for your Hoya Plant.  

Overwatering is the main cause of fungus because it will sit directly on top of the soil, which becomes an ideal habitat for fungal growth. This could also lead to root rot if not at a completely preventable level.

Making sure that your plant drains well with proper ventilation should prevent this from occurring.  

Root Rot: Root rot will ruin your Hoyas’ health, killing any flowers or stems in order to divert nutrients to support itself, so make sure you provide plenty of ventilation! It’s best if your potting soil drains well and doesn’t have standing water left for long periods of time.  

Overwatering:  Overwatering is the most common cause of root rot, fungus,s and a number of other diseases as well, so make sure that you only water when the soil has completely dried out.  

Leaf Spotting:    Hoyas are prone to leaf spotting from overwatering or leaving standing water in the pots for too long.  

The fungus will begin to grow on the leaves, causing them to become spotted and turn yellow and brown or even drop off entirely in some cases. Make sure not to let your plant sit directly in water and check it every day if possible when watering because arresting this problem right away is important.

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