Hoya Australis Lisa is a gorgeous variegated variety of the plain green Hoya Australis, and it’s a stunner! Learn about the plant, as well as how to propagate it, with my guide!
Today we’re talking about Hoya Australis Lisa care & propagation…
When my friend messaged me one night and asked, “do you want a Hoya Lisa?” I was inclined to say no. It was winter, super cold, and I didn’t have a ton of room for more space. But I have grown to absolutely love my Hoya Australis…and Lisa is a variegated version of that!
Plus I have only seen teeny tiny Hoya Australis Lisas locally…for $10 for a tiny plant with only a few leaves. Still gorgeous, but I wasn’t going to spring for that. When my friend told me she only paid $20 for hers, I jumped at it!
It was in great shape, but due to space I decided to size the pot down a bit. Hoyas generally don’t mind being a bit tight in their pots, so I figured it couldn’t hurt. So let’s talk about my new little Lisa.
What is Hoya Australis Lisa?
Hoya Australis Lisa is a variegated type of the solid green Hoya Australis. Australis was first found by collectors in the 1700s in Australis—hence the name. It’s a stunning variety of Hoya that grows in an upright, twisting, vining pattern.
In general, Australis Hoyas don’t trail like many other hoyas do. Instead, they vine and climb beautifully, often winding their stems around one another. I have a u-shaped trellis on my Australis, and it is growing beautifully.
The variegated type of Hoya Australis—the Lisa—has a splashy yellow, cream, and light green variegated that almost resembles a watercolor pattern. While the color of the leaves is different, though, the vining pattern is the same.
Is Hoya Australis Lisa rare?
I wouldn’t say that Hoya Australis Lisa is necessarily rare, but I don’t think you’ll find it at your local big box nursery. I’ve seen it only a handful of times locally at smaller nurseries, and it’s always a small plant.
Your best bet for getting an Australis Lisa is probably either online or through local buy, sell, trade groups on Facebook. I have seen a few posts selling them on my state’s houseplant group!
How do you care for a Hoya Australis Lisa?
Hoya Australis Lisa care is much like Hoya Australis care—and most other Hoya varieties, for that matter. As for light, Lisa enjoys bright indirect light. Unlike some other Hoyas that can tolerate much lower light levels, the variegation on Lisa requires a bit more light.
Think about where Hoyas come from: they are tropical plants, and they grow under the shade of a dense canopy of trees. That means that any direct sunlight is filtered through tree leaves, creating a gentle dappled light that Hoyas thrive in.
It can handle a bit of direct sunlight if it’s gentle morning light, but they won’t do well with too much peak afternoon direct sun. It will burn the leaves. Think bright indirect or bright shade—or dappled sunlight.
You can also choose to add a grow light to supplement light for Lisa. I use grow lights a lot for my houseplants (see my post about how to use grow lights with houseplants for more!). They are especially helpful in the fall and winter!
Water & soil choices
Water and soil go hand in hand, and that’s an often overlooked part of plant care. Soil affects how the water drains, thus affecting how often you should water your plant. Overall, Hoya Australis Lisa needs watered once the top several inches of soil dry out.
Honestly, I pretty much neglect my Hoyas, including my Australis and my newer Australis Lisa. I water them roughly every week in the late spring and summer—every two weeks (or more!) in the fall and winter.
That’s because the thick, succulent-like leaves store water, making them drought resistant and incredibly tolerant of neglect. When I do water the plant, I do so thoroughly, rinsing off all of the foliage and soaking the soil until it drains from the drainage holes.
If you notice yellowing leaves, that likely means you are overwatering your plant or the soil is too dense. If the leaves get thin and wrinkly, it likely means your plant needs some water.
Soil is a critical part of this whole equation because soil facilitates the flow of water. If the soil is too dense, water will not drain out and will drown the roots. If the soil is too well-draining, the plant won’t retain enough water!
I like to use a well-draining houseplant mix for all of my hoyas with a bit of extra chunky perlite and coco coir thrown in. This helps with aeration and drainage. (Coco coir is a great alternative to peat moss, which isn’t super renewable as I’ve recently learned.)
Temperature & humidity requirements
As with other Hoyas, Hoya Australis Lisa prefers normal household temperatures ranging from the 60s to the 80s (Fahrenheit). This plant is not cold hardy and will not do well in temperatures in the 50s or below—and definitely not in frost.
I keep my Hoyas indoors in the fall and winter, bringing them outdoors for the spring and summer to soak up some of my climate’s amazing summer humidity. They always grow really beautifully thanks to the warm temperatures and humidity!
And while Australis absolutely thrives in higher humidity levels, it does just fine in a variety of normal household humidity levels. To help give it a boost, add a humidifier, group it with other plants with similar needs, or throw it in a higher humidity greenhouse cabinet.
Growth rate & pot size
I’ve found my Hoya Australis plants to be pretty average as far as their growth rate goes. They grow fairly fast during the summer when they are happy—and they all but slow to a halt in the fall and winter (to be expected).
The vines can grow many feet long. And those vines can be long and tendril-like—they don’t need to be filled with leaves. That’s one of the things I love about Hoyas. Their long thin vines that wind and climb, helping to support the plant as it grows.
Given the on-again-off-again growth pattern of Hoya Australis Lisa in non-tropical climates, it doesn’t need to be repotted too often. It also doesn’t mind being tight in its pot. I haven’t repotted my non-variegated Australis since I got it about 2 years ago.
When I received my Hoya Australis Lisa, I did repot it into something smaller because it was in need of a better size. Part of the plant that my friend tried to transplant had not taken, which meant it had a lot of soil for the plant size.
I ended up sizing the plant down to a pot a few inches smaller, and I plant on keeping it there for probably a year or so depending on how it does next summer. Let’s hope for some long vines so I can get it running on a trellis!
Fertilizing & how to get a Hoya Australis Lisa to bloom
You generally don’t need to fertilize a Hoya Australis Lisa plant. I mean, you can, but I don’t typically fertilize any of my plants. Much less my Hoyas. They just thrive on neglect!
I throw in some organic worm castings to add nutrients into the plant, but you can use any sort of diluted houseplant fertilizer to feed the plant. Just don’t fertilize in the fall or winter. In the spring and summer, it can help with blooms, though.
In order for a Hoya Australis Lisa to bloom, it must be a well-established plant. It also liked being somewhat root-bound. So if yours hasn’t bloomed, give it a few years of growing and see what happens.
Once it does bloom, I’ve read that the blooms smell like chocolate. They have the same porcelain, wax-flower look as other Hoya blooms have. Looking forward to one of my Australis plants blooming one of these days!
Australis Lisa pruning & propagation
Because the Hoya Australis Lisa can grow some crazy vining stems, you may choose to prune your plant. This is a great time to take a cutting for propagation, too. Just keep in mind that anytime you remove a leaf or snip the stems, some milky white sap will drip out.
This sap can be irritating to your skin, so try to avoid touching it. If you get it on your hands, you’ll be fine—just wash it off. It typically stops dripping from the cut area after a few drips.
To take a cutting you can propagate, make sure you take a cutting with a few leaves and a few nodes. Nodes are growth points, and you can just take a cutting and remove the bottom-most set of leaves to expose the nodes.
I’m personally a fan of rooting Hoya cuttings in sphagnum moss and perlite, but you can also do it directly in damp soil, in water and then transfer it to soil, or in LECA (see my post all about LECA propagation for more.)
The help jumpstart root growth, you can also dip the bottom of the cutting in rooting hormone before putting it in your potting medium. For my Hoya cuttings, I then nestle them down into a damp sphagnum moss and perlite mixture and keep the humidity high.
You can keep humidity levels high by either putting a plastic baggie over the cutting or by using a DIY clear plastic propagation box. You can also use small Tupperware containers, just make sure they have clear lids so that some light can get through.
Keep the cutting in a warm area and bright indirect light. And make sure to keep the moss mixture damp. You’ll likely see root growth within a few weeks. I wait until my Hoya cuttings have roots that are at least a few inches long before I transplant them to soil.
After transplanting, I treat the cuttings as new plants! Sometimes I put some more rooting hormone on the new roots before planting them as a way of minimizing transplant shock. But it depends on the time of year, whether I have it on hand, and whether I remember 🙂
For a more detailed look at Hoya propagation, check out my whole post on Hoya Carnosa propagation!