Sweetheart Hoya :  The Perfect Gift for Valentine Day

Sweetheart Hoya plant with flower

Sweetheart Hoya  (Hoya kerrii) also known as the valentine hoya and the lucky heart plant is often referred to as wax plants because of the waxy nature of their heart shaped leaves and flowers. The fragrant star-shaped flowers form gorgeous porcelain-like clusters that come in an array of colors such as red, white and pink, with red crowns that drip nectar.

The slow-growing perennial is a succulent houseplant cultivated to produce large fleshy oval leaves that may be variegated or solid green on long trailing vines. Moreover, you can grow them in hanging baskets and let them cascade, or you can use a small trellis to wrap the vines around for support. They are epiphytes, like orchids, so the potting soil must be must porous.

Furthermore, Hoya Kerrii is a low maintenance tropical plant that is not demanding and does not require much, beyond well-draining soil, bright light and warm conditions. The valentine hoya is ideal for the forgetful gardener and those that like low maintenance plants.  The plant is hardy and undemanding as its succulent qualities enable it to store water in the leaves thereby making it drought tolerant.

The valentine hoya, also known as the love leaf, is native to Southeast Asia, and is often given as a quirky Valentine's Day gift with just a single 5-inch love leaf planted upright in a small pot.

Sweetheart Hoya Care Tips

Light:  Provide bright, indirect light right in front of a window facing east or west as Hoyas thrive and bloom more often in very bright light conditions.   You want to provide your plants with at least four to six hours of morning light in the summertime, being careful to protect them from scorching afternoon heat, as many varieties can sunburn easily.  However, in the wintertime, you may need to provide extra light when the days are shorter and the sunlight  isn't as strong.

Water:   Water thoroughly during the growing season and do not allow water to collect in the drainage saucer.  Make sure to pour out the excess and allow the surface of the potting soil to dry out before watering again.   If leaves begin to pucker, it's a good sign that your plant needs water but if the leaves start to look translucent and soggy, that could mean that the soil is holding too much water. In winter, when the plant is resting, plant can go several weeks without moisture. Make sure the soil is totally dried out before watering; this helps it bloom more the rest of the year. 

Note:  Plant is sensitive to fluorine and chlorine, allow water to sit out 24 hours or more so the chemicals can dissipate.

Temperature:  Keep plants at 70-80 degrees during the day and 60-65 degrees at night.

Humidity:   Low (10% or more)

Fertilizer: Feed your plant monthly with a balanced houseplant food at 1/2 the recommended strength when it is actively growing.

Soil:  Use a well-aerated fast-draining potting soil.  You can make your soil porus by adding a little sand to the soil if it's not draining out quickly. An excellent quality potting soil and mix should contain about 1/3 of an orchid mix (bark, perlite, charcoal.)

Pot:  Plant in small pots that have drip holes in the bottom to prevent over-watering. Keep  your hoya plant rootbound for better blooms.

Propagation: Propagate by seedlings or stem cuttings

Pests:  Check at the leaf nodes for mealy bugs, spider mites, and aphids; if present, spray the entire plant with appropriate pesticide.
In conclusion, the Sweetheart Hoya is a great way to express your love.

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