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Hoya Linearis Care

This article covers caring for one of my favorite plants—the hoya 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. It’s a hoya linearis! I seem to love hoyas more and more every year. 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 can be 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 with a light scent. Rather than large, flat leaves like many other hoyas, its leaves are skinny, soft, and fuzzy.

woman holding a large trailing hoya linearis plant

Hoya linearis care overview

  • Evergreen perennial popular for its long, trailing stems and lightly scented white flowers.
  • Has distinctive skinny, soft, and fuzzy leaves.
  • Thrives in bright, indirect light; excessive direct light can burn leaves.
  • Plant in a light, airy soil rich in organic matter; water when approximately half of the soil dries out.
  • Thrives in 60 to 85°F, preferring high humidity.
  • Generally a fast grower under optimal conditions; pruning helps maintain fullness and health.
  • Propagate using stem cuttings.
  • Non-toxic but is an ornamental plant not meant to be ingested; the sap can be irritating to skin.
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. The hoya linearis is part of the hoya genus, which was first classified in 1810. But 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.

Hoya plants are found throughout Asia and beyond. The hoya linerais specifically is native to Nepal and China. It grows as an epiphyte on tall trees in higher altitudes, creating a unique curtain-like appearance.

Want more hoyas? Check out my guides for Hoya Lisa Care & Propagation, caring for the Hoya Rope Plant, and Hoya Wayetii Care!

hoya linearis stems hanging

What kind of light is best?

The hoya linearis requires bright, indirect light for at least half the day. Direct light will cause the leaves to burn and shrivel. It’s also a bit particular about the direction it receives light from. They do appreciate getting light from above, otherwise they will bald and wilt.

I have had my hoya linearis in four different spots. When we lived at our 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, some 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. I rotate it every few weeks to ensure that different sides of the plant are exposed to the window. I was worried this spot might be too bright for it, but it has truly thrived.

large trailing hoya linearis
Current location in my sunroom

What is the best soil?

Light and airy soil is best 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).

You can add some leaf compost to your potting soil to help with this. You can also just 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 when I do. Right now it is in something that looks heavily peat moss based, so I will probably repot it to my regular houseplant soil mix with a dash of leaf compost.

woman holding a hoya linearis

How often should I water my hoya linearis?

Hoya linearis have skinny leaves, so they don’t retain as much water as hoya varieties with 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 needs?

Hoya linearis comes from 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.

My plant has done quite well in normal household humidity levels, though. I will occasionally mist it or add a humidifier to my sunroom during our dry winters, but I generally do not. And my linearis has adapted to the conditions quite well!

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 about 4 or so years now. 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 5 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 was taken today. Incredible, isn’t it? And I have pruned it several times over the years! 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! See below for an example of a stem I snipped off.

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

How to propagate hoya linearis

Propagating a linearis 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 tutorial about rooting plant cuttings in sphagnum moss.)

Cover the 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
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

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

How do I get my hoya linearis to flower?

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.

The third year I had my linearis, it produces one or two flowers. Then, in late 2023, I was rinsing off my linearis in the sink when I noticed the start of a new peduncle (where the flower grows from–read more about peduncles here). I looked over the rest of the plant and realized it was absolutely packed with new peduncles sprouting.

Have a look at the pictures below—I truly could not believe it. I can say with certainty that I have not used any special fertilizer. I haven’t even repotted this one with fresh soil in years. I give it the same well-balanced organic plant food I give the rest of my plants.

hoya linearis flower

In conclusion…

Hoya linearis is a stunning plant that rewards you with draping growth and lightly scented white flowers. Remember, the key to a thriving linearis is creating the perfect environment and regularly pruning for lush growth.

And in a few years, you might even get those flowers everyone wants! Happy planting, and don’t hesitate to share your own experience with the hoya linearis or ask for advice in the comments below.

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collage that says how to care for the hoya linearis with pictures of the plant

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