Understanding How Fast Hoyas Grow – Troubleshooting Guide

Hoyas are magnificent plants that are breathtaking when allowed to cascade out of containers or trailed along trellises and walls. However, growing them to this stage is a challenge many hoya owners face. It isn’t uncommon for hoyas to take years to reach this level of maturity, often leaving hoya enthusiasts scratching their heads and asking ‘How fast do hoyas grow?

Hoyas (wax plants) are notoriously slow growing plants that can take anywhere between 2-7 years to mature and produce those wonderfully fragrant flowers they are renown for. The old adage, good things take time, definitely applies to hoyas. This may not exactly be the news you are hoping to read. However, just because it takes hoyas so long to blossom, doesn’t mean you can’t encourage them to develop more foliage and extend the length of their vines.

How Fast do Hoyas Grow

Welcome to today’s feature article at the Garden Bench Top, where we are going to discuss everything about Hoya growth rates. We’ll explore what you can expect to see in terms of new growth in your hoya. As well as troubleshooting why your hoya may not be growing optimally.

So if you’re ready, grab a hot cup of coffee, and let’s settle in.

How Fast Do Hoyas Grow?

When given the optimal growing conditions, hoyas can actually grow faster than you think.

Obviously, the yearly growth rates will vary between the different varieties of hoyas available.

Some hoyas, like the Krimson Queen Hoya can grow up to 6-7 feet in an indoor environment, or an impressive 15-20 feet in optimal conditions outside. On the other end of the spectrum, smaller varieties, like the Hoya Pachyclada are much slower, only growing 5-8 inches a year, and reaching a maximum height of 24 inches at maturity.

PRO TIP – Do some Forward-Planning

With all that being said, picturing how you want your Hoya to look in the space you have set aside for it helps to avoid future frustrations of slow growing varieties. Conducting a bit of research into the variety of Hoya that will grow to your expectations is also crucial in achieving the overall look and feel of your beautiful garden.

Why Is My Hoya Not Growing?

If you have completed the groundwork and researched the perfect hoya variety for your space. Yet your hoya is still not growing to your expectations. There may be something slightly off in the way you are caring for it.

Don’t feel bad, hoyas are notorious for being drama queens when conditions don’t go their way. They will typically stop growing and take forever to kick into gear, even after the ideal conditions have been met.

credit: tenor

Nevertheless, providing the best care possible is the best way to encourage quick and healthy growth for your hoya. Here is a list of possible issues that may be causing your hoya’s slow growth.

Why is My Hoya plant Not Growing?

Beautiful Hoya with Blooms

Water Stress – Overwatering / Underwatering

One of the main causes for unhappy hoyas is unfavorable water conditions.

This could be either too much water or too little water (we told you they are fussy plants)! When the water conditions aren’t right, hoyas tend to get stressed and stop growing until they feel comfortable once again to resume.

Let’s take a closer look at how to achieve the perfect balance in watering your hoya.

Fool-proof Method for The Perfect Balance of Hoya Watering

As a general rule, we like to practice using the soil finger test method for determining when our hoyas need a water top up, or whether they can go a few more days without a drink. This method essentially tests the moisture levels by inserting your finger into the top few inches of soil. If your finger comes out clean, your hoya needs some water.

Is Your Hoya Not Growing Due To Poor Drainage?

Using a good quality potting mix will also help to retain the necessary moisture your hoya requires to sustain healthy and quick growth. We like to use a sphagnum moss and perlite soil mixture for our hoyas – you can check out our exact recipe HERE.

We love using growing mediums that have the ability to absorb water, but more importantly, also allow any excess water to drain out of the drainage holes in your pots and containers. The materials that will accomplish both of these unique traits are Peat Moss, Sphagnum Moss, and Coco Coir.

Is Your Hoya in the Wrong Pot?

Potted Hoyas

Even with the right potting soil mix, if you have your hoya in a pot or container that is too large for the size of your plant (and its root ball), it can still have negative consequences.

Pots that are too large won’t necessarily slow your hoya’s growth. However, to keep the soil moist enough for your hoya you will have to continually water it to keep it in the hoya happy place. Wet soil that stays soggy for too long, tends to attract unwanted attention – namely pests like fungus gnats and diseases like root rot. And believe us when we say these problems will open a whole new set of issues you don’t want to deal with.

Is Your Hoya Getting Enough Light?

Besides water and soil, the other important element that will determine the growth rate of your hoya is the amount of available light it has to photosynthesize. Without enough light, your hoya won’t be able to produce enough energy to grow, causing stunted growth and an unhappy hoya owner (i.e., you).

Despite what some retailers may list a hoya’s light preferences to be, they perform and grow best in a position that receives plenty of indirect sunlight. The ideal amount of bright light (indirect) would be 6-8 hours per day.

Hoyas can tolerate some direct sunlight, but it should only be for short periods and ideally dappled bright light in the early morning or late evening.

Any direct sunlight during midday or in the summer will be too intense and could cause your hoya to experience leaf burn.

Temperature Stress

One factor that is hard to control is temperature. This is somewhat easier to achieve if you are growing your hoya as an indoor plant. However, even indoor conditions can be tricky if you don’t want an excessive power bill.

Being tropical plants, the majority of hoyas do prefer warm conditions. Some varieties can tolerate mild conditions. However, even those will begin to throw a tantrum and cease growing if temperatures fall below less than ideal levels.

As a general rule, we like to keep hoyas above a minimum of 60° Fahrenheit (15° Celsius). We noticed when temperatures fell below this level, our hoyas not only stopped growing, their green leaves weren’t as vibrant and full as they typically were in normal temperatures.

Temperature and Humidity Stress on Hoya

Lack of Humidity Causing Hoya Growth Problems

If you are experiencing troubles with hoya growth, another factor to consider is humidity.

This issue goes hand in hand with achieving the right temperature. When temperatures drop, so do the humidity levels. Humidity is especially difficult to maintain in climates that experience sub-zero temperatures in winter and at night. If you happen to live in such conditions and plan on owning a beautiful hoya, we suggest only considering the indoor route for where you can offer it protection against frost and freezing temperatures.

As we know, hoyas are tropical, and as such prefer a particular level of moisture in the air similar to their natural habitat. We try to maintain humidity conditions that range between medium to high levels. For those that insist on an exact measurement and use hygrometers, try not to let your humidity levels drop below 40%.

Incorrect Feeding

One last cause for stunted growth in your hoya could be due to incorrect feeding and fertilization processes.

Being a succulent and primarily a leafy plant, you should be enriching its soil with fertilizers that are high in nitrogen, potassium and phosphorus.

Without these critical elements, hoyas will struggle to produce the beautiful waxy leaves they so elegantly display, as well as the stunning blossoms (when they reach maturity).

If you are feeding the incorrect fertilizers at the incorrect times (such as their resting periods in cooler months), it can lead to a build up of salts and minerals in the soil. This build up can actually turn toxic and your hoya can develop what is called fertilizer burn, which will stunt growth and cause yellow leaves.

Final Thoughts on How Fast Do Hoyas Grow

Owning a hoya can be a rewarding and special experience. When they are cared for and treated with respect, they will shower you with a stunning display and beautiful fragrant blossoms.

However, hoyas are sensitive and will stop growing if the conditions they live in are less than ideal. Issues such as water and temperature stress, incorrect feeding and lighting conditions can lead to stunted growth.

By troubleshooting your way through these potential causes, you can find that hoya happy place and continue owning a fast growing, stunning hoya.