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4 Ways to Propagate Hoyas

Hoyas are great houseplants. There are 4 ways to propagate Hoyas - 2 ways are easy & 2 are tricky plus take time.

a variegated hoya trained to climb up & over bamboo hoops grows in a tall red pot the text reads 4 ways to propagate hoyas

I love Hoyas and know this for sure: if I have 1 of them, then I want more. There are so many fun species and varieties of Wax Plants on the market making it hard to choose. Maybe you have 1 that you love and want to share it with a friend. Here are 4 ways, that I know of anyway, to propagate Hoyas.

Number one:

Let me clarify that by saying I’ve had great success with 2 of these methods, no success with 1 and haven’t tried the last. I’ll start with the “no have tried” method which is by seed. Fresh Hoya seed can be hard to find, difficult to germinate and is the most time consuming way to propagate from start to finish. Enough said on that.

4 Ways to propagate Hoyas:

Number two:

The 2nd way I’ve tried but haven’t had any success with and that is by leaf cutting. I’ve had leaves fall of my Hoyas when repotting and was curious as to whether this method would work for me. The leaves start to root after 5 or 6 weeks but there was no new growth action at all, and I waited a full year.

I started some leaf cuttings again a few months ago, just know that the petiole has to be attached, and once again they all rooted fairly quickly. I’ve read quite a few things about propagation by leaf cuttings and the camp is definitely divided. A handful say they have success with this method and the majority say “no go” – a new plant never appears. I understand that even if you can get new growth to appear, it’s not true to the parent plant. Ixnay on this method also.

hoya leaves along with succulent leaves are being propagated in a small terra cotta saucer 2 hoya leaves with roots & a small trowel sit on either side

These single Hoya leaves all rooted in a terra cotta saucer. This method also takes too time in my book.

Number 3:

Moving on to something I have experience and success with. This makes me happy because it’s the basis of this blog – sharing my knowledge and mostly my experiences. I’ve always had success with stem cuttings whether I rooted them in water or in a mix. The 1 that you see below is a cutting taken with 1 node which I rooted in water. The roots started to appear in about 4 weeks. Right after I filmed the video and took the pictures, I planted the cutting in the planter with the mother Hoya.

close up of a small hoya stem with small roots

The roots forming off the stem cutting.

Make sure you take your cuttings from softwood. This cutting was only about 4″long but I’ve taken them as long as 12″ and they’ve rooted just fine. I always take my cuttings at an angle using clean, sharp pruners. I used a popsicle making container (fancy propagation equipment!) for the rooting because it held the leaves up above the rim. Keep water in the container just above the bottom node and when the roots appear, make certain they’re covered too. You don’t want to submerge the whole stem in water.

You can also root stem cuttings in a mix formulated for propagation which is very light so the new roots can easily form; 1 you make or purchase. I’ve also used succulent and cactus mix which has worked just fine. Some people like to dip the ends of their cuttings in a rooting hormone before planting.  That’s your call. When rooting in a mix, I take shorter stem cuttings – 1, 2 or 3 nodes at the most and strip off all the leaves except those at the very top.

Number 4:

I’m wrapping up the ways to propagate with layering. This method has always worked for me too. Now, I just want to clarify by saying this isn’t air layering – that’s a completely different method of propagation.

Simply take a softwood stem of the plant, which is still attached to the mother, and pin it into a pot filled with light mix. Make sure the mix is thoroughly moistened. Most times you’ll see little roots appearing on the stems and that’s what you want to get on top of the mix.

a very small root emerging off of a hoya stem

I’m pointing at the emerging roots.

If you don’t see roots, just pin the softwood stems down and they’ll appear. Again I use stems no longer than 12″ and have put up to 5 of them in a 4″ pot. Place in bright light (no direct sun) and make sure the mix doesn’t dry out.

By the way, I use greening or floral pins, like you see in the picture below, quite a bit. They’re fabu  for holding down cuttings, making wreaths, flower arranging and training topiaries.

a hoya stem with leaves pinned down on top of a small grow pot with succulent mix

These pins work like a charm, and in most cases, you can reuse them.

If you don’t feel like propagating Hoya cuttings but want a plant of your very own, here’s a Hindu Rope Hoya for you.

Have you ever propagated Hoyas before? What method has been successful for you? Inquiring horticultural minds want to know!

 

 

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17 comments:

  1. I was extremely lucky to get my hands on a seed pod from my Dad’s hothouse after he passed away and have been successful propagating from the seed, I have 5 Hoya plants from planting 10 seeds.I think it has been 5 years, so yes it is a lengthy process. 3 of the seedlings took off in the first year but the other 2 grew a few leaves and hadn’t done much growing until about 6 months ago I am eagerly awaiting flowers from the first 3, hopefully I will not have to wait too much longer.

  2. Hi Monica – I’ve never grown Hoyas from seed so thank you for sharing. I imagine it takes years for them to bloom when grown from seed. I find the blooming varies from year to year with my Hoyas – some years heavy, some not at all. Nell

  3. I went down to Melb. last weekend, when I got back home on wed. I noticed one of the first 3 Hoya’s to come up has started growing a flower spike. Can’t wait to see what colour it will be.

  4. I had stems from my Hoya plant that have produced umbels with flowers even though the leaves had fallen from the plant months ago. I knew that leaf cuttings don’t produce new plants but only a bunch of roots and I am curious if these stems with nodes and no leaves are going to grow roots inside a small container filled with water. I don’t know if the stems do photosynthesize along with the leaves.

  5. Hi – To the best of my knowledge, stems (of plants in general) do photosynthesize as long as they’re green. Stems aid in the photosynthesis process. Hoya propagate by stem cuttings easily as long as a node or 2 is in water. I would imagine that those stems that had leaves would produce them again. Nell

  6. I have a 48 year old hoya plant and it needed to have old leaves and stems removed. I did this last weekend and have some stems rooting now to put back with the mother plant. This is my favorite plant and the blossoms are beautiful.

  7. Years ago l had a huge. Fantastic Hoya. For years it didn’t flower. We moved and it was in a completely different place it flowered beautifully. Then one day someone stole it from our porch!!!! Talking about it to a friend and she has sent for seeds. It will be up to me to propogate them. Will keep you posted. Annie

  8. I love them too Linda – the foliage & flowers are lovely. My 3 are doing well even here in the Arizona desert where I’ve recently moved to. I’m going to be training & propagating my largest 1 soon. Nell

  9. Ann – Stealing a beloved plant … that’s a crime!! I love Hoyas & mine seem to flower when they want to. My large H. variegata topiary is in need of pruning & training. Post & video on that coming soon. Nell

  10. ” I understand that even if you can get new growth to appear, it’s not true to the parent plant.”

    Wrong. The new plant (if you indeed get one to grow this way) will be genetically identical to the plant which the leaf was taken from.

  11. Hi Bob- Thanks for sharing that. I’ve heard otherwise – that if it works, it could go either way. I’ve never gotten any hoya leaves to produce new growth in all the times I’ve tried. Nell

  12. I am not great at gardening or tending for plants. We have one of these in our office at work and it bloomed for the first time sine my manager has had it for 2 years. Its beautiful and smells wonderful, and I have been told it is super easy to care for so I am going to try # 4. My questions are, though, how do we know when it is ready to move to it’s own planter what is the best way to do this without disturbing it? Should the planter be shallow, or is a deep planter ok? Or should it be a basket? AHH so many questions…Thank you!

  13. Hi Jillian – Hoyas are pretty tough & transplant very well. You can leave it in the 4″ or 6″ pot for a while (the one you’re propagating it in). At this time of year when the weather’s warm, they’ll be rooted & ready to cut loose within a couple of months. I’v found them not to be fussy regarding plant size or type but I’d steer clear of a shallow pot. I don’t transplant mine very often. Nell

  14. Hi Nell……

    I recently got a leaf cutting of hoya obavata. It has a good root started but how long before it starts to grow off shoots?

  15. I inherited a Hoya from a 96 year old woman. She had it growing in a brass pot with no drainage. I put it outside last summer and it did amazing, it had been neglected and now it was doing great. No flowers but it was huge. I brought it in for the winter and no, it did not do well at all. I am down to two leaves and a thin leafless viney thing coming out. One piece broke off, the stem was beige and has leaves on it. I researched and ended up here with you experts. I guess I could not root the broken piece as I would imagine it being beige is not ‘new wood’?

    I am not sure what to do to save this poor thing. Such a shock to see it go from a big beefy plant to this diminished state. Any ideas for this good ol plant?

  16. Hi – Hoyas in general aren’t fond of being moved; often at least. Hoyas propagate easily. If roots are showing on the stem, you can pin it down on a small pot of mix & it’ll further root that way. Nell

  17. Hi Nell!

    I have a large hoya compacta and a new hoya carnosa. I would love to get my hands on a established obavata! Have you had experience with hoya linearis? This is one I have interest in but never seen.

    Thanks Freda

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