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Hoya Linearis Care

Looking for hoya linearis care info? This gorgeous trailing hoya is hard to find but worth the hunt! Learn how to help it thrive as a houseplant, as well as how to propagate the lovely linearis.

How to care for hoya linearis as a houseplant!

Today we’re talking about a plant I first got as a cutting…and then got rid of…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, 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 many hoyas out there, the linearis is arguably one of 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.

woman holding a large trailing hoya linearis plant
gorgeous hanging hoya linearis plant

Table of contents

graphic that provides an overview of the hoya linearis care tips outlines in this post

Is hoya linearis 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 it native to Nepal and China. 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 linearis indoors is mimicking that. 

hoya linearis stems hanging

Does hoya linearis like direct 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 trailing plants, they do appreciate getting 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.

lots of plants in a sunny corner

Where should I put a hoya linearis?

I have had my hoya linearis in four different spots. When we lived at the old house, I first had the plant hanging in my daughter’s bathroom. It had a small window, but it was generally enough.

Once the plant really started to grow, though, I felt that the growth was getting a bit leggy. So I trimmed it up and moved the plant downstairs to my sunniest location—hanging from a south-facing window that got bright light most of the day. However, a lot of the light was blocked from the other townhouses around us, so it wasn’t too much light.

At the new house, I was short on space. So I once again hung it in the bathroom. It had a bigger window, but it’s a north-facing window that didn’t get a ton of light. The plant did pretty good. But not great.

And once our sunroom was done, I moved the plant in there. I chose a south-facing window that gets great light. This spot might end up being too sunny for the plant in the summer, so I’ll just have to monitor things as time progresses. But the plant is touching the floor now!

large trailing hoya linearis

What is the best soil?

Light and airy soil is the best kind for a hoya linearis. It should be free-draining, fertile, and most importantly rich in organic matter. 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 some leaf compost to your potting soil to help with this.

However, you can also grab a high-quality indoor or houseplant potting soil from your local nursery. These are usually packed with the good stuff plants like while balancing drainage and lightweight moisture retention.

I actually haven’t repotted my plant since I purchased it. So I can’t say specifically what type of soil I will use for this plant. However, I will probably need to repot it later this year. Right now it is in something that looks heavily peat moss based.

gorgeous hanging hoya linearis plant

Want more hoyas? Check out my Hoya Lisa Care & Propagation post, my guide about the Hoya Rope Plant, my complete Hoya Carnosa Care Guide, and my tips for Hoya Wayetii Care!

How often should I water my 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 spring and summer growing season, I water it weekly.

Let the soil become saturated, then allow it to drain out the bottom. I generally water the plant in the kitchen sink or bathtub. That way I can thoroughly rinse off the foliage. It would be impossible to clean these small, fragile leaves by hand! Rinsing helps keep things tidy and clean.

In the winter when the plant is dormant, water it lightly only to keep it from drying out. This is usually once every 10-14 days for me. 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 for sure.

gorgeous hanging hoya linearis plant
large trailing hoya linearis

What are the temperature & humidity requirements?

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. Just know that it can do fine with some cold snaps at night if you have it outside. It isn’t cold or frost hardy, though.

As an 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. However, as I’ve shared, my plant has done well in a variety of environments. I tend to prioritize light over humidity with this plant, and it hasn’t been much of an issue.

large trailing hoya linearis

Is hoya linearis a fast grower?

I have read that hoya linearis is generally considered a slow- to moderate-growing plant. However, I have had my large plant for almost 3 years. And I feel like it has been a pretty fast-growing plant. When I got it, it had just started trailing—now it’s like 4 feet long.

It can take several years for it to reach its full size and produce flowers. The growth rate can also depend on the growing conditions such as the amount of light, temperature, humidity and the quality of soil.

Below is an example of my plant’s growth while I’ve had it. The first photo below is not long after I got it. The second plant was taken today. Incredible, isn’t it? It’s my nature curtain 🙂

gorgeous hanging hoya linearis plant
long trailing hoya linearis hanging in a window

How do I make my hoya linearis more full?

One of the things I have done routinely while caring for my plant is to prune it. These plants can get a bit leggy if left up to their own devices—even in ideal care conditions. The leaves are very fragile, too—they can fall off, leaving bare spots.

So whenever I see those areas on my plant, I cut them off. This then encourages the stem to sprout new growth just above the cut point. This grow branches a bit to the side, which over time helps the plant become lush and bushier. You can also use these cuttings to grow new plants!

large hoya linearis plant and the area I'll cut to propagate
woman holding a hoya linearis

How to propagate hoya linearis

As tricky 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. Make sure you keep the moss mixture evenly moist. If it is too wet, the cutting could rot. Place the pot in indirect, bright light, at a temperature of about 75-80 degrees. Expect roots to grow in 3-4 weeks.

roots sprouting on a hoya linearis
hoya linearis cuttings
rooting hoya linearis in moss
rooting hoya linearis in moss
rooted hoya linearis piece

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. (See more about pet-safe houseplants!)

While you’re pruning your plant, be warned that this one produces a milky white sap when you cut the stems and leaves. This could irritate your skin, so make sure to wear gardening gloves and wash your hands after working with plants.

gorgeous trailing hoya linearis plant
gorgeous hoya linearis hanging in a window

Want more hoyas? Check out my Hoya Krinkle 8 Care Guide, my tips for Hoya Sunrise Care, my Hoya Krohniana Silver Care & Rooting guide, and my post about Hoya Obscura Plants!

How do I get my hoya linearis to flower?

My plant has flowered, but it generally does not flower as often as some of my other hoyas. To get your plant to flower, first it has to be mature. So you may need to give the plant some time.

Give it great care—lots of bright, indirect light. I have also read that withholding water from plants in the early spring can help to force blooms. I have not done that with my linearis since the leaves are less resilient than some of my other hoyas, but I might give it a try this year!

linearis leaves
hoya linearis flower

What are some 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!

rhipsalis trailing cactus
Rhipsalis campos-portoana
rhipsalis plant
Unknown variety of rhipsalis
rhipsalis baccifera
Rhipsalis baccifera

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collage that says hoya linearis care and propagation with pictures of the plant
Brittany Goldwyn
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