Hoya Australis care is easy, much like other hoya plants. Learn about it here!
How do you care for a Hoya Australis?
The Hoya Australis is a semi-succulent plant, also known as a waxvine, Honey Plant, and Porcelain flower. An 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. So if you are just getting into the houseplant game and are looking for something to diversify your collection—or even if you’re an experienced gardener—then the Hoya Australis is worth checking out!
Fair warning, though—collecting Hoya plants can quickly become an obsession. The Hoya genus consists of evergreen, vining plants that are all native to the tropics and subtropics. Hoyas are some of the easiest plants to take care of, and I have a ton.
Hoya Australis care overview
- Excellent choice for both novice and experienced plant enthusiasts due to its low maintenance requirements.
- Thrives in bright indirect sunlight, which is essential for growth and blooming; can also adapt to low light conditions and artificial light, though growth may slow.
- Does not require frequent watering; allow the top half of the soil to dry out first; overwatering can cause root rot.
- A well-draining succulent or cactus mix is ideal.
- Best kept at 65-75 degrees F; can tolerate some cold but not frost.
- Prefers humidity but can adapt to average household humidity levels.
- Naturally climbs; grow in a pot with a trellis or moss pole for support.
- Easily propagated from stem cuttings in a light medium like moss and perlite or a chunky soil.
- Safe for pets but not meant for consumption; keep out of reach of curious pets and children.
Where does this plant come from?
The Hoya Australis hails from 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 (by Western botanists, that is) in the late eighteenth century on the northeastern coast of Australia, and to this day is still the most common 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 sunlight every once in a while—if brief and acclimated properly.
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 low light conditions, Hoya Australis will tolerate them, but they won’t bloom nicely and will grow slower. Since moving, I’ve had mine in a lower light area of my home for about 1.5 years. It has done well, but growth has slowed way down (see below).
Australis does do well in artificial light, though. So you won’t have any issues keeping it inside and away from any windows if it has a little extra boost via some grow lights. (Read more about using grow lights on houseplants for more!)
How much water does it need?
Hoya Australis plants don’t require too much water since they are semi-succulent. 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.
See below for a time a few years ago when I let my Australis go too long without water. I gave it a thorough soaking after taking this photo—and then I waited about a week to see if the foliage rebounded. The leaves that didn’t plump back up, I simply picked off. And vowed to do better in the future 🙂
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!
However, I can say with certainty that my Australis has tolerates very low humidity levels well. In addition to keeping mine in a slightly lower light environment over the last 1.5 years, it has also been in lower humidity levels. I do not have it groups with other plants in my living room, nor do I ever run a humidifier in the room.
How to train 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 babmoo trellis to help support mine.
When the plant was very young, I simply wound some of the vines around the trellis. This is all the plant needs to really get going. The new growth will following the old growth, winding itself around whatever support you’ve provided.
How do you propagate a Hoya Australis?
Hoya propagation in general is relatively straightforward and is best done with stem cuttings in a light, well-draining medium (though you can also do stem cuttings in water). For the best possible propagation, do it in the spring or 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 medium, 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.
Nestle the stem cutting node side down and cover 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!
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 these plants safe for pets?
Yes! Hoya 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 article about pet-safe, non-toxic houseplants for more.
From my experience with various Hoya species, I’ve noticed distinct differences in caring for Hoya Australis compared to its cousins. For instance, while Hoya Carnosa thrives in slightly cooler conditions, Australis prefers consistently warmer environments. Additionally, the watering regimen for Australis is less frequent due to its semi-succulent nature, unlike the more water-demanding hoya lacunosa.
These subtle differences underline the importance of understanding each species’ unique needs for successful cultivation. I hope this guide has helped you come up with a great way forward for you and your plant. Happy planting!