Looking for hoya linearis care info? This gorgeous trailing hoya plant is hard to find but worth the hunt. Learn how to help it thrive as a houseplant, as well as how to propagate the linearis.
How to care for the rare hoya linearis as a houseplant
Today we’re talking about a plant I first got as a cutting…and then sold…and then re-bought when I saw a large full plant for an amazing price locally. I am increasingly loving hoyas. There are so many of them (more on that in a few), and they are generally pretty easy to care for.
While the linearis variety is a bit on the trickier side, it isn’t all that hard to care for. The harder part is finding it! The hoya linearis is a succulent-like, evergreen perennial. It has long stems that drape beautifully like a curtain when hanging, and it produces white flowers that smell like lemon in late summer.
Rather than large, flat leaves like many other hoyas, its leaves are skinny, soft, and fuzzy. This plant is very popular and sells like hotcakes, so it can be very difficult to find. While there are other hoyas out there, the linearis is arguably the most unique.
Finding this plant is only half the battle, though—growing it is a whole other story! They are known to have weak roots, which means you’ll need a near-perfect environment and attentive care for it to thrive—but the challenge is worth it!
Hoya linearis: Is it a succulent?
Nope, it’s not a succulent. But, like I said, its leaves are very succulent-like. That goes for a lot of hoyas, which is one of the things that makes them easy to care for. The hoya linearis is part of the hoya genus, which was first classified in 1810. Now there are over 500 hoya species, but experts believe there are still hundreds left to name.
They are found throughout Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Since the genus is so diverse, Hoyas can also be found in Thailand, China, Singapore, Cambodia, and even Australia. Many hoya varieties are grown indoors as houseplants around the world.
The hoya linerais specifically originated in the Himalayan region in Northern India. It grows as an epiphyte on tall trees in higher altitudes. This unique epiphyte creates a gorgeous, evergreen curtain. The Himalayan region gets very cold at night, so part of the challenge of growing a hoya linerais indoors is mimicking that.
Do hoya plants like directly sunlight?
Light is an important part of hoya linearis care. The hoya linearis doesn’t do well with too much or too little light. It requires bright, indirect filtered light. Direct light will cause the leaves to burn and shrivel. It’s very particular about the direction it receives light from as well. Since these are climbing plants, they should get light from above, otherwise they will bald and wilt.
The plant should be getting indirect light for about half the day. This is important for growth and to keep its soil relatively dry. Hoya linearis do need some periods of darkness to grow (you can thank their unique origins for this!), and the best location is a bathroom where humidity is highest.
A bathroom isn’t a great option for me since we only have one bathroom with a window, and that gets afternoon sun. I decided to hang my linearis basket in an east-facing window. I hang it from the curtain rod on the window to help ensure it is getting that top-down light, and the morning sun isn’t too harsh for it.
Soil needs for this plant
Light and airy soil is the best kind for a hoya linearis. It should be free-draining, fertile, and most importantly organic. Hoya Linearis are epiphytic which means they grow on other plants. Consequently, they get all their nutrients from those plants (aka, organic matter).
Well-draining, organic compost works best because it will prevent pooling while getting the plant the nutrients it needs. You can add perlite to organic compost or well-composted manure to improve draining. On top of this delicate balance, you should try to maintain a soil pH of 6.1 to 7.5. All that said, I’m going to be totally honest. I just use a regular houseplant soil, and I don’t monitor the pH. Yeah, I’m lazy.
How often do I water hoya linearis?
Hoya linearis have nontraditional skinny leaves, so they don’t retain as much water as larger, flat leaves do. They also have weaker roots, which makes watering all the more critical. During its summer growing season, water it weekly. Let the soil become saturated, then allow it to drain out the bottom.
In the winter when the plant is dormant, water it lightly only to keep it from drying out. Make sure you are watering the plant in the mornings so excess water evaporates, otherwise it will sit in soggy soil. Where they are found naturally, it rains heavily. But because they are hanging plants, they get good air circulation and do not sit in water. Overwatering will cause root-rot and damage the plant.
Temperature & humidity
Hoya linearis originated in the Himalayan region, which has a very high altitude. This means it gets pretty cold at night. These plants grow best in a 60 to 85 degree Fahrenheit range. As a general rule of thumb, never let the temperature dip below 50 degrees for extended periods of time. As an indoor plant, though, this shouldn’t be an issue.
As a tropical epiphyte, this plant loves humidity. Insufficient humidity will cause the plant to wither and the foliage to wilt. You can increase humidity by misting regularly (don’t soak the leaves), keeping it near other plants, putting it on a pebble tray, or running a humidifier nearby. During winter when the air is dry, it’s recommended you move the plant to the bathroom for higher humidity levels.
How to propagate hoya linearis
As difficult as the hoya linearis can be to grow, propagating it is generally quite simple. The best way is via stem cuttings. Take stem cuttings from a healthy stem that has at least 3 nodes (where the leaf connects to the stem). Remove the leaves except for the top two or three nodes.
Use a rooting hormone to dip the end of the stem cutting, and plant this side down in a soilless mixture made of sphagnum moss and perlite. (For more about rooting plants this way, check out my post about rooting plant cuttings in sphagnum moss.)
Cover your pot with a plastic bag to keep the humidity very high, and water regularly—this is one time when you should not allow the soil to dry out between watering. Place the pot in indirect, bright light, at a temperature of about 75-80 degrees. Expect roots to grow in 3-4 weeks.
How fast does hoya linearis grow?
I have not noticed that hoya linearis is a particularly fast grower. In fact, I think it’s a somewhat slow grower, especially when it comes to rooting. Hoyas in general seem like slower growers, especially compared to some other houseplants.
Plants that look like hoya linearis
If you love the look of hoya linearis plants but can’t find one, can’t stomach the price tag, or don’t want to deal with its somewhat needy care routine, there are a few plants that look like hoya linearis. Rhipsalis varieties, for one, remind me a lot of hoya linearis. I have a few varieties of rhipsalis trailing cactus, and they remind me so much of the linearis.
Rhipsalis cactuses (aka “mistletoe cactuses”) are also epiphytes, but they have somewhat easier care needs. I honestly mostly ignore my rhipsalis plants, watering them every so often when they look thirsty. They look gorgeous in hanging planters and grow pretty quickly—they’re also easy to propagate. See my rhipsalis care post for more details!
Is hoya linearis toxic?
Hoyas are not toxic to pets, but that doesn’t mean you should let your animals chow down on them. Especially because you probably paid a pretty penny for yours. They aren’t meant to be ingested, but they won’t hurt your pet if they do have a little nibble. See more about pet-safe houseplants!