Hoya plants have a reputation for adding color and character to homes, thanks to their gorgeous flowers and lush leaves. Depending on their type, these plants can form beautiful vine patterns that typically adorn many homes.
You may also want one on your own or simply expand your hoya collection. The easiest way to do this is through hoya propagation.
Interested in finding out more? Then, keep reading!
Rooting hoya cuttings means allowing roots to form within the ends of the cut. This is a regular part of the propagation process.
That said, you can root hoya cuttings by either planting them in a nutrient-rich, well-draining potting mix or submerging them in filtered water.
Successful rooting requires patience since the hoya plant takes a while to grow. The key is to keep the soil moist and away from direct sunlight.
Two of the fool-proof methods to propagate hoyas are stem-cutting and layering. Here’s a quick look at each method.
Many gardeners believe using stem cuttings to propagate your Hoya plant has a greater chance of success than leaf cuttings. It’s a straightforward method that only requires sharp shears, a well-draining potting mix, and your choice of pot.
When choosing which stems to cut, keep in mind that each one needs to have at least two to three leaves for successful propagation. Plus, the leaves should be at the upper end of the stem.
If the stem has too many leaves, you’ll need to cut the ones on the lower end until you’re left with only two to three leaves left to make room for root development. Additionally, leaving only a few leaves lessens water loss since each leaf requires water intake.
To cut the stems, use a pair of sharp shears and trim a healthy stem to about four to five inches long.
Add just enough water so that the soil feels moist to the touch. Then, place the stems in the soil.
Be careful not to overwater, or the stems will get oversaturated and won’t grow roots. In case of overwatering, simply wait until the soil dries up a bit before placing the stems.
The next step is to bury the stem a few inches into the soil. Then, press down gently on the soil around the stem to ensure it stays upright.
You can also dip the lower end of the stem in a rooting hormone. These chemicals enhance root development in cuttings, such as leaf and stem cuttings.
Alternatively, you can also use aloe vera natural gel for the stem cuttings. Simply mix some fresh aloe vera gel and dip the ends of the stem in the mixture before planting.
Finally, place the pot in a warm area that gets indirect sunlight. hoya plants don’t like direct sunlight, which causes leaf discoloration, especially during propagation.
Keep a close eye on the stem cuttings during this time. Mist the soil every 2–3 days to maintain root development.
After at least one month, there should be signs of new root growth. If you take a stem out during this time, you’ll notice white bumps along the sides of the stem. This is where the new roots will begin to emerge.
However, it’s not advisable to remove stems from the soil because it may slow down their growth. Instead, wait at least four to five weeks to expect some real growth.
The next method involves less cutting than the other two methods. It’s also the fastest and easiest way to propagate hoya plants.
With this technique, you’ll only need another pot with a potting mix with good draining abilities.
The first thing you should do is prepare a new pot with some moist potting mix. Like the other two methods, the mix should be well-draining so the plant doesn’t get soggy.
The starter pot should be beside the main hoya plant. This way, it won’t be difficult to look for longer stems that can bend to reach the starter pot.
For this step, you need to locate stems on the lower parts of the plant. They should be long enough to reach the new pot and low enough to touch the soil.
Next, carefully bend it and lead it to the next pot. Keep in mind that you won’t cut this stem; it should still be completely attached to the parent plant.
Then, anchor the stem onto the soil using some floral pins. You can also use wires to keep the stem firmly in place in the new pot.
This propagating method can take up to several weeks before it roots. However, unlike the first two methods, roots can grow on the soil surface since none of the plant parts are underneath the soil.
Once the roots grow, you can cut the new hoya plant from the main plant and wait for it to mature.
As the name suggests, the leaf-cutting method requires you to cut leaves from your hoya plant. To do this, you’ll need sharp shears, potting mix, and a pot.
Using a clean pair of sharp shears, cut several pieces of leaves from the petiole. This is the spot that connects the leaf to the stem.
When cutting, aim at a 45-degree angle, so the ends become slanted. This angle protects the plant from unwanted bacterial or fungal growth.
You can cut up to five leaves from your hoya plant to increase the chance of these new leaves growing roots.
Newly propagated hoyas need a potting mix with good drainage. There are several good brands on the market, or you can create your own mix using perlite, vermiculite, or peat moss.
Fill the pot a little more than halfway with the potting mix. Make sure the petiole sits under the soil to encourage the leaves to develop roots.
If the pot is big enough, you can position all the leaves together side-by-side. Otherwise, spread them over 2–3 small-sized pots.
Keep in mind that there should be about 1–2 inches between each leaf to give room to grow. Also, position the leaves at a 45-degree angle in the soil.
Once all the leaves are in place, water the soil until the top two inches of the potting mix are moist.
Typically, it can take four to five weeks before any roots start to appear. You may also notice that the roots can grow sideways and poke out slightly through the soil.
The leaf forms its own root system and generates new shoots. Eventually, this leaf disintegrates when the new plant grows from the shoots.
It’s also possible that not all leaves will develop roots. That’s why it helps to start with at least five leaves because the more leaves you have, the better their chances will be at rooting.
After four to five weeks, carefully pluck the leaves from the pot. At this point, you can repot each propagated leaf into larger pots and continue with the proper hoya care until they bloom.
Instead of placing your hoya plant in a potting mix, you can also easily propagate it in water. You’ll need a jar or any large container to hold several stems of your hoya plant.
Much like propagating using the stem cutting technique, you’ll need to cut stems for water propagation.
Ideally, you should have at least two leaves for each stem. This is because stems with only one leaf will often root but won’t mature.
The stem should also be at least several inches long to submerge in the water and effectively start growing roots.
Fill a jar or container with enough water. For this method, it’s best to use filtered water to avoid too much fluorine and chlorine content that can harm the plant.
Place each stem in the water-filled container, making sure that the leaves don’t touch the water. Only the lower half of the stem should be underwater.
For easier placement, you can hang the leaves against the lid of the container to keep them from getting wet.
In the water, hoya stems will take weeks to develop roots. The great thing about this method is that you can clearly see when the roots will start to grow.
Each stem will also have bumps where you can expect roots to form. Some may only have one, while others can contain multiple nodes.
One thing to keep in mind is that you should replace the water every week to encourage growth. Also, place the container under bright, indirect sunlight.
Alternatively, you can place the container in a warm area and under the morning sun. This way, the sun would be less harsh on the plant.
Sometimes, hoya cuttings don’t root due to insufficient light, unhealthy cutting, or an unideal environment. Unfortunately, it can also be hard to tell when the cuttings don’t root, especially at their early stages.
Below are some tips to ensure that your hoya cuttings form strong, healthy roots.
Hoya plants generally like warmth. So, it makes sense that they grow better during the warmer seasons.
Regardless of where you live, it’s best to wait for the temperature to rise above 60 degrees Fahrenheit before propagating your hoya plants. The problem is that hoya cuttings can take longer to root in cold weather conditions. Sometimes, they don’t root at all!
Having the right pot for propagating in the soil can also help in encouraging root formation. For hoya plants, this means choosing a pot with drainage holes.
A good drainage system allows for excess water to flow out. This minimizes the risk of root rot and other fungal diseases while providing the plant with the nutrients it needs to thrive.
Rooting hormones are a great way to speed up the propagation process. They contain non-toxic chemicals that stimulate root growth, prevent rotting, and come either in liquid or powder form.
Before adding these hormones to your plant, read the instructions carefully. They’ll tell you how much to add and when to ensure proper growth.
Sometimes, you have hoya cuttings that you won’t propagate immediately. In this case, minimizing water loss is essential to increase their chances of rooting.
Hoya cuttings can bleed milky or clear sap, especially when freshly cut. When this happens, the plant begins to lose its water intake.
That’s why it’s best to use the cuttings immediately after. If you can’t propagate cuttings immediately after snipping them off the parent plant, then place them in a jar filled with water.
Alternatively, you can wrap a damp paper towel around the cuttings. Then, store them in a plastic bag in a cool, dry place until it’s time to place them in the soil.
The time it takes for hoya cuttings to take root can also depend on their variety. However, they should all show some development within four weeks in both soil and water.
This is usually during their active growth period in the spring and summer. During this time, you may even see roots start to develop within the first three weeks.
On the other hand, if you propagate them in the winter when they’re dormant, root growth can even take longer. In some instances, it may not even happen at all.
Hoya propagation is easy, but it takes time and regular maintenance. So, you need to be patient if you want to see any real progress.
The good news is that there’s more than one propagation method. So, you can customize it according to your preference and plant growing needs.
Whichever method you prefer, remember to prepare the right growing conditions for your plant. Having an ideal environment will ensure proper growth for the parent plant and all future baby plants yet to come.
Growing up with a mom who filled her home (inside and out) with all sorts of plants, Lisa got her start in gardening at a young age. Living now on her own with a home and yard full of plants (including an indoor greenhouse), she shares all the gardening tips she’s gained over the years.