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How I Prune, Propagate & Train My Stunning Hoya

Hoyas are beautiful plants & notorious for being long-lived & tough. My hoya has been doing great growing outdoors, but it needed a little trim. Here's how I prune & train my hoya which I do every spring. Find out my favorite, easy way to propagate this stunning plant.

close up of a variegate hoya carnosa growing on bamboo hoops the text reads How I Prune, Propagate & Train My Stunning Hoya.

Oh my beautiful, stunning Hoya – how I do love you and how far you’ve come!  Literally.  I bought you in a 4″ pot years ago at Roger’s Gardens  (a horticultural playground) in Corona Del Mar, CA.  You came home with me to Santa Barbara where you soon got transplanted into a 6″ pot and then eventually into a low bowl with bamboo hoops.  Fast forward to your a new home in Tucson and your snazzy red 24″ pot and extended bamboo hoops.  Here’s how I prune, propagate and train my stunning hoya which is happy as can be and has grown like crazy.

This was much more of a light pruning rather than a heavy pruning.  Think of it as a trim as opposed to a haircut.  I only used 3 materials: my Fiskar Floral Nips, natural cotton twine and a vase for the cuttings.  I’ve had my floral nips for years and love them for projects like this.  They’re pointed, sharp and make a clean precise cut which is what you want for any pruning job.  The cotton twine is durable, long-lasting and easy to work with but I’ve used jute twine too.

How I prune, propagate & train my stunning Hoya (which also goes by the wax plant, waxflower & wax vine):

By the way, this gorgeous Hoya carnosa variegata of mine grows outdoors year round. Come spring it puts on a growth surge like most plants do.  I basically pruned the trails that were about to hit the patio floor, those stems that were growing back on themselves, thinned out some of the inner growth and the odd few weak stems. With any pruning job, I do the 1st round on the conservative side. I figure I can always take more growth off but I can’t put it back on!

variegated hoya carnosa cuttings sit on a patio loveseat

These are most of the stems I took off. The weak ones weren’t going to the propagation table. Spring & summer are the best times to prune & propagate your hoya.

variegated hoya carnosa cuttings in a glass vase

I took the stems down a bit & trimmed off the lower leaves. I cut a couple of the stems in half to shorten them. You want to make sure the water in your vase or jar is covering the bottom leaf nodes.

2 variegated hoya carnosa cuttings showing small roots

The rooting process happens fast on some stems. These little roots appeared about 5 days after the cuttings were taken. The other stems were showing roots after 10 days. Hoyas easily propagate in water – my favorite method!

variegated hoya carnosa cuttings which didn't root & died

Fast forward to another week later. The pink stems with the white & pinkish leaves mushed out at the base of their stems. They’re pretty but not for propagating. Has anyone else found this to be true?

How to train your plant to transform into a stunning hoya:

On to the training. Nothing too artistic going on here but I did train the stems on the bamboo hoops so the leaves face outwards and cover up any of the bare spots on the hoops. There were a few areas which were a bit thick so I thinned them out a hair. I like the look of some of the stems trailing down out of the pot and let them grow until they get close to the ground.

close up of variegated hoya stems tied on a bamboo hoop

The twine holds the stems up just fine because the hoops have nodes too. I tie the twine just above a node which secures the stem in place. All that foliage can get heavy so I double-knot the twine to keep it in place.

close up of variegated hoya carnosa foliage

The tops of the 3 hoops were the barest & they’re much more covered up now. I might have to extend the hoops (again!) because this grows like crazy in the Tucson heat. It’s on my covered patio in the bright shade by the way – no direct sun hits this plant.

a beatiful variegated hoya carnosa has been trained to grow upwards on bamboo hoops

Here’s my pretty hoya all pruned & trained. Everyone who sees this plant gives it a big fat compliment. Don’t you just love the variegation in this plant?? And, the foliage tolerates the desert dryness like a champ!

variegated hoya carnosa stems trail over a tall red pot

Did you know that this plant grows as a vine in its natural habitats? I love the look of the trails & when it flowers – oh yes! This stunning hoya just keeps growing and growing!

What do you think of hoyas? My thoughts below:

I plan on taking very good care of this plant because Hoyas are notorious for being long-lived and very tough. I planted it in a very tall container so there’s plenty of room for it to grow. My other hoyas which are growing indoors are doing great too. Is it possible to have too many hoyas? I think not!

Happy gardening,

Nell-Foster-Joy-Us-Garden

 

 

 

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2 comments:

  1. We were moving my husband’s grandmother, and this hoya was sitting neglected, covered in dust, on her front porch. I’ve had it for over 40 years now, hanging inside with bright light around it. It blossoms, with a richly heady fragrance. Because it requires so little water, it is an ideal plant to be here on the Central Coast. Your post on propagating hoyas was timely as I’ve had several people ask for cuttings. Thank you!

  2. Great to hear Emjay! They’re very easy to propagate by stem cuttings in water. Mine did wonderful in Santa Barbara & are doing the same here in dry, hot Tucson. A tough plant indeed! Nell

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