Hoya Australis care is easy, much like other types of hoya plants. Collecting hoya plants can be addicting, and a Hoya Australis is a perfect gateway Hoya. Learn how to care for the Australis, as well as how to propagate it.
How do you care for a Hoya Australis?
The Hoya Australis is a semi-succulent species, also known as a waxvine, Honey Plant, and Porcelain flower. A Hoya Australis makes the perfect addition to your home because it looks absolutely stunning without too much effort.
It can tolerate quite a bit of neglect and has even been known to have air-purifying characteristics. If you are just getting into the houseplant game, or even if you’re an experienced gardener, then the Hoya Austalis is right for you!
Fair warning, though—collecting Hoya plants can quickly become an obsession. Hoyas are some of the easiest plants to take care of. The Hoya genus consists of evergreen, vining plants that are all native to the tropics and subtropics.
They are sometimes known as wax plants because Hoya foliage is plump and shiny, which is where they store water. The Hoya Australis has long, thin stems with glossy succulent-like leaves. It lives for a long time and even blooms fragrant white flowers, though I haven’t had mine bloom yet.
Done reading about hoya australis care and wanna read more about hoyas? Check out my hoya carnosa care guide, my hoya pubicalyx post, my hoya linearis care and propagation tips, and my hoya rope plant (carnosa compacta) care guide!
Where does this plant come from?
The Hoya Australis plant originated in the rainforests of Eastern Asia and northern Australia, hence its name. Rather than growing beneath the canopies of rainforests, Hoya Australis are mostly found on the rocky, outer edges of rainforests.
The Australis was first named in the late eighteenth century on the northeastern coast of Australia, and to this day is still the most commonly grown Hoya in all of Australia. It’s now grown all over the world in all sorts of climates and conditions.
How much light does a Hoya Australis need?
Hoya Australis thrives in bright indirect sunlight and needs these conditions to grow and bloom. These plants are native to tropical climates where they receive tons of dappled sunlight all year long. They are even tolerant of strong afternoon sunlight every once in a while.
Like most Hoyas, however, you should be wary of sunburning the fleshy leaves. Keep it out of direct sunlight all day long. Intense direct sunlight for extended periods of time will scorch the leaves, so it’s best to keep it near a window that provides a good balance of shade and sunshine. Outdoors on a covered porch is nice.
As for lowlight conditions, Hoya Australis will tolerate them, but they won’t bloom nicely and will grow slower. Australis does do well in artificial light, though, so you won’t have any issues keeping it inside, away from any windows if it has a little extra boost.
Want to learn more about using artificial light with your houseplants? See my post all about using grow lights on houseplants for more on the different types of light and the grow lights I use.
Hoya Australis care and watering needs
Hoya Australis plants don’t require too much watering since they are semi-succulent in nature. The reason why succulent leaves are fleshy and plump is because they store water in the leaves, allowing them to go long periods of time between waterings.
You have to water your Hoya Australis only once every 7 to 10 days depending on the time of year and the light the plant gets. The entire upper half of the potting mix should dry out before you water again. Even if you let it dry out a little more than that, the plant will probably be fine.
In the summer, depending on how hot it is where you live, you should water your plant thoroughly, saturating it until water flows out through the drainage hole in the pot. In the winter, it will do fine with being watered only 2 times or so per month.
A sign you are under-watering is when its leaves appear less fleshy and a bit wrinkly, but they will plump back up once you water it again. Sometimes withholding water for too long can do permanent damage to the leaves that cannot be reversed, though.
Check out the sad neglected Hoya Australis plant I saw at Home Depot below. That said,It’s actually better to under-water your Hoya Australis than overwater, because overwatering will lead to yellowing leaves, root rot, and loss of leaves.
What type of soil should I use?
Using the right soil will help to ensure you’re giving your Hoya Australis just the right amount of water. Like most succulents, a well-draining organic soil mixture will work great for your Australis. A succulent or cactus potting mixture will work well since it comes premixed with additional perlite and sand.
If you are using a regular indoor potting mixture, you can throw in some extra perlite and coco coir or fine moss to help facilitate drainage. You can even throw in a handful of orchid bark to help keep the soil nice and chunky. You want to avoid root rot at all costs and prevent the soil from becoming soggy and heavy.
Remember that Hoya Australis climbs other plants and trees in nature, acting as an epiphyte, so your soil should have some organic material to emulate how it grows in nature. This can be achieved by using a high-quality indoor potting soil. Throw in some worm castings for good measure!
Temperature & humidity
Hoya Australis enjoys warm weather year round in Australia, so its ideal temperature range is between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Any extremes below or above that range will stunt its growth and could even kill it. Normal household temps are usually totally fine.
Some Australis plants grow in high altitudes, so they can tolerate chilly nights. However, it’s best to keep your plant indoors if you live in colder climates because they do not tolerate frost. I will move my hoyas outside when the nights stop dipping below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Rainforests are very humid places, so you might be surprised to learn that Hoya Australis can withstand less humidity. It’s best to keep it in a humid environment, and doing so will accelerate growth. But it will do just fine in 40–60% humidity, the lower end of which is about the average household humidity.
If you’d like to artificially increase humidity, you can use a pebble tray with water, mist your plant, or keep a humidifier nearby. You can also consider something like my Ikea greenhouse cabinet, which is an easy project to do and looks great!
Training a Hoya Australis to vine
I mentioned that Hoya Australis plants climb other plants and trees in nature. The plant will naturally begin to climb and vine as a houseplant even without any help. Its vines will start to wrap around one another and stand upright.
Unlike some other Hoyas, the Australis is much less of a trailer and more of a climber. Therefore, I prefer putting it in a pot—not a hanging planter—and giving it a trellis. I have a small wooden trellis to help support mine. You can use a moss pole as well.
How do you propagate a Hoya Australis?
Hoya propagation in general is relatively straightforward and is best done with stem cuttings in soil (though you can also do stem cuttings in water). For the best possible propagation, do it in the summer, and choose a healthy stem with at least two nodes.
Dip the cut end in rooting hormone powder for quicker rooting. As for the soil, you’ll want maximum drainage and moisture, so it’s a good idea to use a mixture of perlite and coco coir or fine moss. This helps soil retain moisture without being too soggy.
Plant the stem cutting node side down in the soil. Cover the pot with a plastic bag to increase humidity and temperature and keep it out of direct sunlight. The plastic bag really jump-starts the rooting process. Roots will appear in about a month, after which shoots will appear, and you’ll have a brand new Hoya Australis in the making!
Orrrr you could use a moss mix like I like to use. This is a mix of damp sphagnum moss, perlite, and a bit of worm castings added in for nutrients. I put this mixture in an old lunch meat container—they are perfect because they still let light through, but you can keep humidity up by putting the lid on!
You can see a few cuttings below in the mixture with hoya linearis cuttings. Also, these australis cuttings look a bit rough. That’s why cut them off my main plant and am trying to salvage them in moss 🙂 I take the lid off to air it out every few days.
Are Hoya Australis plants safe for pets?
Yes! Hoya Australis plants are safe for pets, including cats and dogs. However, this plant isn’t designed to be ingested by humans or animals, so it’s always a best practice to keep plants out of the reach of curious pets and kids. See my post about pet-safe, non-toxic houseplants for more.