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Hoyas are among the easiest plants you can grow. They’re adaptable and low-maintenance, making them a terrific choice for beginners.
Most hoya variations don’t even need frequent watering. They simply require adequate amounts of indirect sunlight, less than frequent watering, and well-draining pots.
Yet, many hoya owners are at a loss when it comes to soil choice. So, we rounded up as much information as possible to answer: what is the best soil for hoya plants?
Scroll down to learn everything you need about the best soil for your hoya.
Most types of hoyas are epiphytes, meaning they grow on the surface of tree trunks and other plants in the wild. So, hoyas don’t need a rich growing environment.
Also, hoyas aren’t picky. In fact, one of their best features is how easily they adapt to growing in numerous types of soil. However, there are a few varieties that have a favorite type in which they thrive the best.
We should note that the feature you should focus more on is that whatever soil type you opt for has to be well-draining. Otherwise, your hoya may suffer from root rot and other deadly diseases.
What’s more, the soil shouldn’t be too dry either. A dry growing environment means your hoya is underwatered or dehydrated, which can be an alarming sign.
Additionally, the soil should contain the proper nutrients your hoya needs to grow and thrive. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a complicated mix. A basic mixture of one-part perlite to two parts peat moss will do the job just fine.
The potting mix intended for the African violet works exceptionally well with hoyas. You can use it along with perlite and pumice to make a nourishing mix for your hoya.
Perlite and pumice help with the aeration of the loam and topsoil. This provides the solid with extra space for air to flow through and prevents moisture build-up.
On the other hand, sand isn’t the best option for hoya soils. Sand particles are tiny, so they fill the gaps between the particles, reducing the amount of aeration inside the humus.
For example, you can combine equal parts orchid mix, perlite, and standard potting mix. Another great idea is adding a mixture of cactus mix, perlite, and orchid mix is another great idea.
You can also make your custom hoya soil mix by using the following ingredients:
- Succulent mix
- Cactus mix
- Orchid bark
- Coco coir
- Fir bark
- Pine bark
- Pumice soil amendment
Generally, most hoyas love a slightly acidic growing environment. For these varieties, the perfect pH range should be between 6.1 to 6.5.
Meanwhile, other hoya species have no problem growing at a more neutral pH level. Yet, they’ll have a difficult time surviving in alkaline soil with a pH level above 7.5.
To make your potting mix acidic for hoya plants, you can add a small amount of acidic substance to the soil. Here’s a list of things you can add to increase acidity levels:
- Sphagnum peat
- Leaf mold
However, you must test the pH levels of the soil before adding anything. It’ll help give you a better idea of how much you should add to get the pH just right.
The sphagnum peat is one of the best options for hoya plants. So, start by adding an inch or two of sphagnum peat to the soil. Then, test the pH levels again to assess the difference.
Acidifying fertilizers are another great way to increase acidity while adding nutrients to the humus. Generally, fertilizers that contain ammonium sulfate and ammonium nitrate will be acidic enough to adjust your soil.
Just be careful when using ammonium sulfate. It’s highly acidic and can damage your plant.
You can also use a diluted solution of vinegar or lime, but they’re also highly acidic. So, a diluted solution of two tablespoons of vinegar to a gallon of water should only be used when the soil is highly alkaline.
Hoyas love coffee grounds. Coffee adds a slight acidity to the soil, which hoyas thrive on. So, adding coffee grounds to their growing environment will boost loam content and enhance plant growth.
It’s worth noting that coffee grounds come in two forms: solid and liquid.
For solid coffee, you want to spread the coffee ground on the topsoil. When you water the loam, the coffee ground will break down, releasing its acidity into the ground.
On the other hand, for liquid coffee, you’ll need to grab a 2-quart pitcher and add some utilized coffee grounds. Then, fill the pitcher with warm water and let it soak for around three days.
After that, use a strainer to get rid of the coffee ground and pour the liquid into the humus.
Unfortunately, you might face a few issues while using coffee to acidify the loam. First, coffee retains moisture, which can lead to many issues, including root rot and discoloration of leaves.
Second, spreading coffee grounds on the surface of the soil can increase the spread of fungal infections.
So, the best way to avoid these issues is to put coffee grounds deeper into the ground and not on the surface. Additionally, it might be a good idea to transfer the hoya into a porous pot to ensure that the soil doesn’t retain much moisture.
Hoyas do well in succulent soil, as long as it’s well-drained. The standard cactus/succulent humus mix is a great option for all hoyas.
However, the problem with succulent soil is that it retains water, and they aren’t well-draining. Hence, it increases the risk of root rot.
Hoyas love regular fertilizing during the growing season. So, add a nitrogen fertilizer once a month during spring and summer to encourage foliar growth.
Then, when temperatures drop, avoid adding fertilizer. During this time, your hoyas will go through a period of dormancy where their growth activity slows down.
In the wild, hoyas get lightly fertilized by decaying organic matter. So, they’ve grown to dislike over-fertilization. In fact, using fertilizers too frequently, or adding them in significant amounts, can be harmful to their health.
Too much fertilizer can deplete the healthy microbes in the soil, which can cause the plant to become weak. Other problems brought on by excessive fertilization include leaf discoloration and wilting.
Hoyas are resilient plants. In the wild, they’ve adapted to withstand even the toughest situations. Since hoyas are epiphytes, they can grow on trees and other plants. However, that doesn’t mean they’re parasitic.
These plants, including hoya plants, capture their nutritional needs and water from the air surrounding vegetation.
So, they don’t depend on the other plant for nutrients; they just grow on them. This means your indoor hoya is okay with any type of soil or even none at all. Just as long as it gets its nutrient intake from somewhere, it’ll be fine.
The type of pot you use for your hoya is just as important as the type of soil you’re using. In general, hoyas prefer plastic, terracotta, or clay pots.
Plastic pots are a more common option because they cost less and come in various shapes and sizes. Just make sure that you pick pots with sufficient draining holes at the bottom.
Nevertheless, terra cotta and clay pots are the better options because they’re more porous.
While they’re both great pots, there’s one significant difference between them. Clay is the raw form, while terracotta is the modified version. In other words, terra cotta pots are modeled and fired. As a result, they are more porous and have a better permeable surface.
Thus, they allow for better aeration of the soil, and they allow moisture and excess water to seep out of the pot. These features reduce the risks of water clogging and root rot. That’s why many professional growers recommend them over clay and plastic pots.
One thing worth mentioning about hoyas is that they prefer smaller pots. That’s mainly because a larger pot will require larger amounts of soil.
Therefore, there will be more moisture inside the pot, and you’ll face the risks of overwatering and root rot.
So, what’s the best soil for hoya plants?
Luckily, hoyas aren’t picky when it comes to soil. So, adding a simple mixture of one-part perlite to two parts peat moss will make them perfectly happy. Another great option is to use the soil mix of the African violet plant with some perlite and pumice.
Or, if you prefer, you can also make a custom loam mix. Simply mix succulent mix, cactus mix, orchid bark, coco coir, fir bark, and pine bark to give your plants all the nutrients they need to grow healthy and strong.