Looking for hoya polyneura care tips? This plant’s needs are like most other hoyas, and it’s one of the newer types I’ve added to my collection. Learn more about it here.
Hoya polyneura care tips
I am coming out of what feels like a bit of a houseplant care guide hibernation to tackle the lovely hoya polyneura today! It’s August, and where I live, that means I am deep into gardening season. Houseplants seem to take a back seat this time of year.
So I was delighted to add this lovely little hoya to my collection and get back into the houseplant zone. Commonly referred to as the fish tail hoya or the mermaid hoya, hoya polyneura has medium-sized dark leaves with somewhat prominent veining on them.
This pattern is coupled with the fact that the leaves sprout from the stem in pairs that look somewhat like a fish or mermaid tail. So the nicknames make a lot of sense.
Is hoya polyneura easy to grow?
Hoya polyneura is not a difficult plant, but I’d say it’s somewhat more difficult than the tough-as-nails (in my opinion, at least) carnosa. It’s more on par with the slightly fussy linearis. Though, to be totally honest, I find the linearis to be super easy once you find the right spot for it!
What is the native range of Hoya polyneura?
Hoya polyneura grows in the wild from the Himalayas (Bhutan, India, Nepal, China, and Pakistan) to northwest Yunnan, a land-locked province in southwestern China.
Hoya polyneura care & light needs
Hoya polyneura will do best in bright, indirect light. Some morning direct light is usually fine as the sun is weaker than midday sun. In my area, the sun gets too harsh after about 10AM for my bright, indirect light plants I have outdoors.
Indoors, I generally don’t have too many problems with direct light. Even my hoyas in my sunroom right against my south-facing windows are fine. They show some sunstressing in the leaves, though. Moving your hoya polyneura away from a very bright window should do the trick if the light is too harsh.
This is not a low-light plant, though. Even in medium light levels, the growth will slow. Depending on how low the light levels are, the plant will likely begin producing leggy growth. Such growth occurs when a plant is “stretching” for more light.
The spaces between leaves are larger and the leaves themselves are smaller. This creates an overall less appealing look. For a nice, full plant, trim leggy growth and give your polyneura a bit more light.
What is the best potting mix for hoya polyneura?
Any high-quality, well-draining soil mix designed for houseplants will work totally fine for a hoya polyneura. All soils are different, so sometimes I add in a bit of extra perlite or chunky coconut husks to help lighten a soil up if it feels too heavy.
A well-draining soil is essential because hoyas do not like to sit in soil that is too wet. You should be able to water your plant and let all of the excess water flow from the plant’s drainage holes. The soil will retain what it needs without drowning the plant’s roots.
How often should I water it?
For most hoyas, I like to let the soil dry out nearly completely before watering it again. That means that I water it roughly weekly in the spring and summer and every 10-14 days in the winter.
The amount you water your plant will depend on the soil you have it in, the temperature, humidity levels, the amount of light it gets, and more. Once your plant settles into its new home, you’ll get into a rhythm. I can pick my plant pots up and tell if they need water by now.
When I water my plants, I like to do so in the sink or shower. I water them thoroughly, deeply soaking the soil until all of the excess water runs out of the pot’s drainage holes. Deeply soaking the soil is important because it ensures the roots get everything they need.
Whatever you do, make sure that your pot has drainage holes. Hoyas do not like sitting in water. This will lead the roots to suffocate because they’ll be deprived of oxygen and waterlogged.
What temperature is good for hoya polyneura?
While most hoyas thrive in tropical conditions, hoya polyneura is from higher altitudes in somewhat cooler areas of the world. Temperatures in the 70s Fahrenheit will help this plant thrive.
However, don’t worry if you have it in warmer conditions. Just monitor it for signs of stress and adjust variables as necessary. And know that, while it likes cooler temps, it is not cold or frost hardy.
Does a hoya polyneura like humidity?
Yes! Hoyas worship humidity. Average household humidity levels tend to hover around 30-50% depending on your home, geographic location, and the time of year.
Hoya polyneura will do best in about 50% humidity and will also enjoy higher humidity. You may choose to put this plant in a glass grow cabinet to boost humidity levels—or add a humidifier.
Misting plants does not really do much to boost humidity. It just provides a very temporary increase to the moisture levels in the air around the plant. But it’s fun, so I’m not going to discourage anyone from misting their plants (in the morning, though, and I like a continuous mister!).
What kind of fertilizer is best?
I generally do not fertilize my houseplants that much. I do add some Liqui-Dirt concentrated nutrients to my watering can every few months. And I also occasionally use Fox Farm’s Grow Big fertilizer (affiliate link) in the spring and summer (I use that on my veggies).
If you want to use a chemical fertilizer, just make sure to follow the instructions on the container. If you don’t dilute it properly it can burn the plant’s roots. Oh—and remember that if you’ve just repotted it, the soil you used probably already has some sort of slow-release fertilizer in it.
How often should I repot this plant?
Hoya polyneura grows at an average speed. You shouldn’t need to repot it too often. I recommend waiting until you see roots growing out of your pot’s drainage holes before repotting.
When you do repot, make sure you use fresh soil. And don’t size your pot up more than an inch or so. If you use a pot that’s too big, the soil-to-rootball ratio will be off, and the soil could retain too much water.
How do you propagate a hoya polyneura cutting?
Propagating a hoya polyneura cutting is about the same as propagating a hoya carnosa cutting. Check that post out for the methods I’d recommend—here is an overview.
First take a cutting with a growth point or two. You can take a cutting with a few leaves and remove the bottom-most set of leaves. Then you can either plant the cutting directly in soil and keep the soil moist. Or you can choose the moss and perlite route.
I like rooting hoyas in sphagnum moss and perlite because I can monitor root development. A plastic propagation box is an awesome vessel for this because you can keep the lid on to keep the humidity high, making sure to take it off every day or so to air things out.
If you don’t want to do a prop box, you can simply mix some damp moss and perlite in a cup, add the cutting, and then put a plastic baggie over it. This will help keep humidity high.
Make sure the most remains damp but not wet. When the roots are a few inches long, transfer to soil and water. That’s it!
Is hoya polynerua safe for pets?
Yes, hoya plants are considered safe to have around pets. They do not have any known toxic effects if ingested. However, I always recommend keeping pets and children away from houseplants since they are ornamental and not meant to be consumed.