Hoya Retusa Care

Hoya Retusa Care Tips & Growing Guide 2023!

Hoya Retusa is a rare, eye-catching plant with stick-like leaves that end in what look like tiny hearts. It’s a great addition to any indoor garden, but you should know the specifics of Hoya Retusa Care to keep this tropical beauty thriving and maybe even blooming! A true standout in any plant collection, Hoya Retusa’s unique heart-shaped leaves and delicate blooms make it well worth the effort to keep it happy and healthy.

The most important aspect of Hoya Retusa care is to not overwater. Water only when the top half of the soil is dry. Additionally, Hoya Retusa requires bright, indirect light, well-draining soil, minimal fertilizer, and moderate humidity. 

Hoya Retusa are typically easy to grow indoors, but read on for the specifics of what your Hoya needs to thrive. A happy plant can even be propagated so you can grow additional plants. Read on for everything you need to know. 

What Must I Know About Hoya Retusa Care?

1. Don’t Overwater

Hoya Retusa can be an excellent plant for beginner gardeners because it can go for long periods without needing water. If you are tempted to overwater your plants, however, you may have to resist the urge with the Hoya Retusa. 

The rule of thumb is to only water when the top half of the soil is dry. You will find that the soil may dry out more quickly in certain conditions, such as in dry climates or very bright locations. 

How frequently you water will also depend on how much drainage you have in your pot and soil. In the summer, you may be watering around once every 1-2 weeks. In the winter, when the plant is not growing, you will probably have to water less.

A good way to water plants like Hoya is to completely soak the soil and let the excess water drain out of the drainage holes. You can do this outdoors or in your kitchen sink or bathtub. This will ensure that the roots of your plant are completely and evenly soaked. You may need to soak the plant more than once to make sure all the soil is damp. 

Some gardeners recommend distilled or rainwater for Hoya. If your plant isn’t thriving, try skipping the tap water or letting tap water sit out overnight before watering.

2. Provide Adequate Drainage

Hoya Retusa roots cannot sit in damp soil for a long time before developing root rot. If you notice black or brown patches on your roots, or you smell a rotting smell from some of the roots, your plant has developed root rot. 

When the roots are damaged, the plant cannot absorb adequate water and nutrients, and you will see the leaves start to turn yellow or brown. 

Root rot can be prevented with adequate drainage. Make sure your pot has at least one drainage hole in the bottom. Never let your plant sit in a dish of water–it will not be able to absorb excess water. 

If you are having problems with drainage, you may want to switch from a plastic, metal, or glazed pot to a terracotta pot, which will provide better evaporation. 

3. Use Well-Draining Soil

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Along with having the correct pot, having the correct soil will help your Hoya Retusa avoid root rot. Hoya may do ok in regular potting soil, though if you have a hard time getting the soil to dry adequately, you may need to add in some extra coarse material for drainage. 

You can start with regular potting soil and add in half cactus or succulent soil, which will provide drainage and aeration. You can also add coarse sand, perlite or coconut coir to potting soil to increase drainage. You can purchase all of these materials at gardening stores. 

If you notice mold growing on your soil, you will definitely need to repot into better-draining soil. 

4. Keep in Bright Light; Avoid Intense Sun

Hoya Retusa isn’t too picky about light and can thrive in a wide variety of lighting conditions. It generally won’t grow well in very low light conditions. If you only have low light and are desperate to grow a Hoya Retusa, you can use a grow light to provide additional light. 

Likewise, Hoya Retusa will get sunburned in very intense direct sun. If you notice your leaves are curling or browning, your plant may be getting too much light. Morning sunlight seems to be better than intense afternoon sun. 

The best place for a Hoya Retusa is in a bright window or set slightly away from a sunny window. If growing outdoors for part of the year, you can place under an awning or in a place that will not see sun all day long. 

Mature Hoya Retusa may bloom in beautiful white stars, though the plant will most likely need long days of bright light to do so. 

5. Avoid Cold Temperatures

Hoya Retusa is a tropical plant that doesn’t tolerate frost or cold temperatures. Other than that, they are pretty well-adapted to most indoor environments. Keep your plant in temps ranging from 50-80℉. 

If you live in a cold climate and are growing your plant outdoors, make sure to keep an eye on the night temps so your plant isn’t exposed. 

Hoya often doesn’t tolerate temperature fluctuations. If you are moving your plant frequently, or if it is by HVAC vents or drafty windows, you may notice stunted growth or yellowing leaves. 

6. Repot Every 2-3 Years

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Hoya Retusa doesn’t need to be repotted very frequently, and can tolerate being a little bit pot bound. That being said, it is a good idea to repot most indoor houseplants every other year or so. 

Make sure you use fresh soil. If you want your plant to grow bigger, you can repot into a new pot that is 2-3 inches larger than the old one. If you don’t want a bigger Retusa, you can divide yours. Just pull apart the roots and stems of your original plant and repot in small pots in fresh soil. 

This plant is so easy to grow you may want one in every room!

This is best done in early spring for faster growth, but it can be done any time your plant is root bound or needs repotting. 

Learn more from a similar post: Begonia Maculata Propagation


Hoya Retusa adds a unique dimension to any home garden–and chances are it looks harder to grow than it is! You can keep this impressive plant alive and well by following these easy Hoya Retusa care steps. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Hoya Retusa a Fast Grower?

In good conditions, with ample bright light, it will grow moderately fast. You can use diluted fertilizer (start with half-strength) to aid growth, though many Hoya grow without it. 

How Often Should I Water My Hoya?

Only when the top half of the soil is dry. This may be as infrequently as every 2-4 weeks in the winter. In the summer growing season you will need to water more frequently. 

Should I Mist My Hoya?

Hoya is a tropical plant that doesn’t like to dry out. If you live in a very dry climate, you may want to add more humidity. The best way to do this is to use a room humidifier or a pebble tray filled with water (don’t let the plant sit in water). You can also put your plant in a bathroom or kitchen. 

You can also mist your plant occasionally, just make sure water isn’t pooling on the leaves and it isn’t over watered. 

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