Troubleshooting Guide: Why is Your Hoya Dropping Leaves?
Is your hoya dropping leaves? We understand it can be distressing seeing your hoya’s leaves falling and not knowing the cause. This is why we have created a troubleshooting guide to help you identify the possible causes for your ailing hoya.
If leaves are falling from your hoya, it is trying to tell you there is a problem. Causes of hoya dropping leaves include:
- water stress,
- improper ambient conditions (light, humidity, and temperature),
- soil quality and fertilization issues, or even
- common indoor plant pests.
It is difficult to identify the exact problem with only falling leaves. However, with the help of other symptoms that your hoya may be displaying, we can narrow down the potential causes.
From there, we can then treat your hoya, and get it back to a thriving houseplant.
Hoya Dropping Leaves: Potential Causes
Before we begin, we thought we might share some advice to get you headed down the right path and mindset.
For those new to our troubleshooting guides, there is some method to the madness.
We recommend reading through this article in its entirety. Once you have an overview, select the problem that sounds the most likely cause of your hoya dropping leaves. Implement the suggested solution and then wait for any positive changes. If after a week, there is no noticeable change in your hoya’s condition, move to the next likely cause, implement the solution and wait.
As you can appreciate troubleshooting your ailing indoor plants requires patience.
Patience is the key to stopping your hoya dropping leaves.
However, the process will make you a more observant and mindful plant parent – something we all aspire to become.
So, grab your magnifying glass, and let’s begin our investigation.
Water Stress Causing Leaves to Drop
Finding the perfect watering regimen for your plants is one of the hardest concepts to master. Especially when you have so many plants with different water requirements.
Water stress is a common cause of leaves falling off your hoya plant. But is it too much water or too little?
To find out, you need to look at the condition of your soil.
If you are overwatering your hoya, the potting mix will be wet and soggy. You may even see signs of rot beginning to develop, such as brown mushy stems and roots. If you see this check out this article about treating root rot. You may also see soft yellow leaves on your hoya and ground.
On the other hand, if you suspect you are underwatering your hoya, try pushing your index finger into the top layer of soil. Underwatered soil will be hard and won’t crumble and give way. Another sign of underwatering is that fallen leaves will be brown and crispy.
How to Fix Water Stressed Hoyas
The good news is fixing a water-stressed plant is straightforward.
You have two options:
- use the finger soil moisture test to check your hoya’s soil BEFORE you water them. It is an effective method for preventing your hoya from becoming overwatered or underwater.
- purchase a soil moisture meter from your nursery or online. They are budget-friendly options for those that don’t like to get their hands dirty.
If your soil is extremely soggy, we recommend repotting your hoya immediately. Even though it is cumbersome, it resolves the problem immediately and prevents rot from developing.
Improper Ambient Conditions Causing Falling Hoya Leaves
A core ingredient of owning a thriving hoya is getting the ambient environment on point. This includes providing it with an abundance of indirect bright light, plenty of humidity, and warm temperatures between 60-80° Fahrenheit (15-26° Celsius).
If exposed to prolonged periods of direct sunlight, your hoya will quickly become dehydrated. Once your hoya loses too much water, it will show similar symptoms to that of an underwatered plant. The leaves will turn brown and brittle, and eventually, fall off. The soil will also feel hard when prodded.
Fixing Inappropriate Lighting
Monitoring your hoya’s light exposure is a constant chore as the sun changes position throughout the seasons. If you find it is exposed in certain months, place a sheer cloth over the window to filter the light. It will reduce the intensity, while still allowing plenty of indirect light.
Hoyas are tropical plants. As such, they are better suited to warmer temperatures.
However, if temperatures become too cold (below 50° Fahrenheit or 10° Celsius) they will experience temperature shock, and shed their leaves in response.
At the same time, extremely hot temperatures (above 90° Fahrenheit or 32° Celsius) may cause your hoya to dehydrate quickly. Again, this leads to water stress, and your hoya’s leaves will dry up and fall.
Fixing Incorrect Temperature
Move your hoya to rooms that stay within their comfortable temperature range. This may mean bringing an outdoor hoya pot plant inside during the winter. Or moving your hoya to the kitchen which is one of the most used rooms in the household.
Humidity is a hard element to control at the best of times. It can easily fluctuate when the seasons change, and temperatures rise or fall.
Humidity affects your hoya’s internal processes, like transpiration. Without enough moisture in the air, the transpiration process accelerates and your hoya loses water too quickly. As a result, your hoya’s will become stressed, and leaves will drop.
Look out for leaves that appear dried and crispy. These are signs that the humidity levels are too low, and the leaves are drying out.
How to Fix Low Humidity
Fortunately, increasing humidity is relatively easy.
Grouping your hoyas together with other plants gives a natural boost to relative humidity. As each of the plants transpires, the moisture content in the ambient air increases, and everyone is happy.
If you don’t have other plants to group with your hoya. The solution is simple – buy more! Just kidding. You can try using a humidity tray underneath your hoya’s pot. Water evaporating from the tray will boost humidity, and your hoya should become less stressed.
For more ideas for boosting humidity without using expensive humidifiers, check out our solutions HERE.
Soil and Fertilization Problems Causing Leaf Drop
Hoyas require well-draining soils with good water retention properties to provide a sustained water supply between each watering.
Sounds contradictory, however, these are two different, but important, components of good indoor soil.
Your soil should contain mediums that can absorb and retain water to supply your plant’s roots with the necessary moisture. At the same time, they also need to allow any excess water to completely drain out.
If you use poor quality soil, your hoya can experience water stress (too much or too little), which will then lead to falling leaves as described earlier in the water stress section.
Poor fertilization can also cause deficiencies in your hoya, leading to issues in leaf development. The foliage won’t receive the necessary nutrients, resulting in weak and falling leaves.
How to Fix Soil and Fertilization Issues
We suggest repotting your hoya into a good potting soil mix of coco coir or peat moss, perlite, and vermiculite. You can use our recipe for indoor plant potting mix to create your very own Hoya soil.
Like most other indoor plants, we do recommend mixing through slow-release fertilizer for your Hoya to help provide the necessary nutrients and minerals for your plant.
Pests Causing Your Hoya to Drop Leaves
Pests can cause havoc in your hoyas. They can quickly develop into infestations that will stress your hoya and deprive them of essential nutrients and water. The most problematic pests for hoyas are sap-sucking insects. They love to feed on the fleshy foliage, weakening and damaging them and causing them to fall.
An infestation of spider mites can quickly become an issue for hoya plant owners. They will quickly deplete your hoya of its nutritious sap, causing stunted growth and nutrient deficiency. If left unchecked, it could even cause the demise of your beautiful hoya.
Also a member of the sap-sucking group of pests, aphids love to feed on your hoyas. They have specialized equipment to penetrate the waxy surface of your hoya leaves. Aphids can quickly multiply, so if you do spot any on your hoyas, be sure to act quickly to eradicate them.
How to Fix a Pest Infestation
Manual removal of pests on your hoyas is the quickest and easiest solution. Give your hoya a spray with a hose on medium pressure. The water should be strong enough to remove the pests without harming your plant.
Apply an organic pesticide to your hoya immediately after to ensure you eliminate any insects you may have missed.
Hoya Dropping Leaves – Closing Comments
Witnessing a hoya dropping its leaves can be stress-inducing. Is your hoya stressed? What is causing it to lose leaves?
Troubleshooting your hoya’s problem can be tricky. However, with our guidance and patience, you will soon identify the root cause of your falling leaves.
Simply apply the suggested remedies, and watch your hoya regain its strength and vitality.