Today I am writing about a hoya acuta variegata cutting I got from a friend, including a bit of background on the plant (is it an acuta or a verticillata?) and how I rooted and eventually planted my propagated cutting.
Hoya acuta variegata rooting & propagation
Finally getting around to writing about propagating the last hoya cutting I got from my friend—a gorgeous hoya acuta variegata cutting! This one took the longest to root out of all of the four cuttings he gave me.
I have posts about the other three cuttings, too—Hoya Cumingiana Propagation & Care, Hoya Krohniana Silver Care & Rooting, and Hoya Obscura Plant Care. Check those out if you’re interested. They all rooted much faster and are already in soil.
What is a hoya acuta variegata?
In researching this plant, I did find that some refer to it as a “verticillata,” not an acuta. I’m going to refer to it as acuta in this post because that’s what it was given to me as, and I’m not an expert on classifying some of these harder-to-find hoyas!
Hoya acuta comes from Southeast Asia and, like other hoyas, has thick, succulent-like leaves. The variegation on the leaves is unpredictable (much like the krimsons queen and princess). Some leaves can be nearly all white/ivory, while others just have a bit of variegation.
Rooting a hoya acuta variegata cutting
This variegation makes it slower to grow, and that’s likely why it has taken much longer to root the cutting. When I got these cuttings, I put all of them in a clear plastic propagation box on damp moss and perlite. (See my detailed post about rooting cuttings in moss and perlite for more.)
The other varieties I was working on rooting took quickly—the obscura and krohniana first, followed by the cumingiana. But the acuta variegata did nothing for a month or two! Granted we were deep in the thick of winter…but I had them in the box under a grow light in my greenhouse cabinet.
So light and humidity were good. So I decided to help them cuttings out on the temperature front. I invested in a seedling heat mat and put that in the bottom of the Ikea greenhouse cabinet for my propagations.
After I had the hoya prop box on the heated seedling mat for another few weeks, the roots started to go nuts! And that was for all of the cuttings, not just the acuta variegata. I’m basically recreating summer in there with the heat, grow lights, and humidity dome that is the plastic box 🙂
Planting the propagated cutting
After about 2 months, I decided to move the cutting to soil but keep it on the heat mat and under the lights. It transferred beautifully to soil—though I did add a bit of rooting hormone powder to the baby roots before transferring it!
It’s important to keep the soil a bit more moist than you would for an established plant, too. I made sure to water this plant a few days earlier than I would my other hoyas for a few weeks. Since I kept it on the heat mat under the grow lights, the soil lost water a bit faster, too.
After a few weeks more of this, I backed off of the watering. The plant seemed to be doing fine, and I didn’t want to drown it.
Caring for hoya acuta variegata
Hoyas in general like light, well-draining, airy soil. That way they don’t sit in soggy soil after you water the plant. The roots are able to get all of the water they need while still having the air flow necessary to stay healthy.
Because this is a highly variegated hoya, it needs lots of bright indirect light. Look for a sunny window. Too much direct afternoon sun during peak growing season might burn the plant’s leaves, so keep an eye on that.
I’ve never burnt hoya leaves indoors—even in my sunniest windows. But I have “sun-stressed” the leaves on my hoya kentiana, which basically just means the borders darkened a bit. This might not be a look you’re going after.
I water my hoyas when the soil all but dries out. Hoyas enjoy a thorough watering where you completely soak their soil and let all of the excess water drain away. They’ll be happy with that and will store plenty of water in their leaves until it’s time to water them again.
I will update this post as I see growth on my hoya acuta variegata. We’re about a month away from it being safe to say “we’re heading into spring,” so I’m hoping the growth will take off then!