Today’s care guide is all about the hoya sunrise! This gorgeous variety of hoya is a lovely trailer that grows a lot like the more common hoya carnosa, and hoya sunrise care is just as easy! Learn all about this gorgeous hybrid hoya cultivar.
Hoya sunrise care & propagation
Hey all, I’m going to just jump right into today’s plant care guide—it’s another hoya! Hoya sunrise, to be exact. But what exactly is a hoya sunrise? It’s a hybrid hoya cultivar that’s actually a cross between the hoya lacunosa (subspecies pallidiflora) and the hoya obscura.
Michael Miyashiro created the plant in the early 1990s. It strongly resembles the hoya obscura, in my opinion. The leaves are dark green with a lighter veining and some speckles. It also sunstresses a reddish deep brown, much like the obscura.
Often the leaves on the plant have a reddish-purpleish hue on their underside, too. Both the tops and bottoms of the leaves can be on display if you add some sort of growth support to help the plant climb rather than trail.
How do you care for a hoya sunrise?
Hoya sunrise is a pretty easy plant to care for. It prefers bright indirect light, but it can withstand slightly lower light levels. Much like the obscura, it will remain green in lower and even some bright indirect light levels.
How do I make my hoya sunrise red?
If you want to make your hoya sunrise red, you’ll need more light. This is often referred to as “sun stressing.” Exposing your hoya sunrise (and the obscura) to more direct light will help it develop stronger veining and a reddish hue.
In fact, the leaves can get quite red when they are exposed to bright light. This variety isn’t as prone to leaf scorching in direct light, which means it’s a great candidate for anywhere in your home that get just a *hair* too much light for some other houseplants.
Water & soil needs
In addition to ensuring your plant is getting enough light, water and soil are important parts of your hoya sunrise care routine. If you use the right soil and don’t overwater, your plant will thrive!
Hoya sunrise is an epiphyte, meaning that it grows on other plants for support in nature. Because epiphytes grow up along other plants, they are used to a pretty airy existence. They do not generally thrive in heavy soils.
So when potting your hoya sunrise plant, make sure to choose a very well-draining mixture. Something designed for houseplants should work since it will generally have perlite and other things added in to lighten the soil up and help with drainage.
A succulent or cactus soil also works (see my DIY succulent soil for more). These soils are generally one part soil, one part rocks or perlite, and one part horticultural sand. Just make sure whatever soil you are using is very well-draining.
If the soil is too heavy, it will suffocate the roots. Hoya sunrise is very prone to root rot, and plants can suffer from root rot—even without overwatering—if the soil retains too much water.
Speaking of overwatering, it is the fastest way to kill this plant! You can safely let your plant’s soil dry out completely before watering it again. Its thick, succulent-like leaves store water, making it very drought tolerant.
If you notice the leaves begin to shrivel up, wrinkle, or get thin and flimsy and the soil is dry…it’s probably thirsty! Hoyas can generally bounce back after a bit of pruning, but try not to make it a habit.
Leaves that slowly yellow and get mushy, however, are often a sign of overwatering. Root rot can show itself this way above the soil line. Trim the affected foliage off and back off watering.
Temperature & humidity
Like other hoyas, hoya sunrise is not cold or frost tolerant. It can only be outside yearround during the spring and summer where I live. Temperatures below 50 degrees will not make it happy.
However, it will do well in a variety of normal household temperatures. The ideal temperature for a happy hoya sunrise is in the 70s or 80s Fahrenheit.
This plant will do fine in average household humidity levels, but you’ll notice that its growth accelerates when it is in a warm, humid environment. Add a humidifier by your plant or consider summering it outside if you live somewhere that isn’t too dry!
Is hoya sunrise fast growing?
I have not noticed the hoya sunrise to be a particularly fast grower. I would say it is more of an average grower in ideal care conditions. It does like to be pot-bound, so you shouldn’t have to repot it often.
I only repot my hoyas when their roots either grow out of the pot’s drainage holes or begin circling the bottom of the pot so much that I can lift the whole plant and root ball out together without making a soil mess.
A mature hoya sunrise can grow many feet long in nature. But, like other plants, it is unlikely to reach its full potential as an indoor houseplant. That’s okay, though! It will still look lovely climbing a trellis or in a hanging basket.
Are hoya sunrise and Rebecca the same?
No, they are not the same. But they look really similar…and that’s because they are really similar! I mentioned before that hoya sunrise is a hybrid plant made from hoya lacunosa (subspecies pallidiflora) and hoya obscura.
Hoya Rebecca, which I do not yet own, is a hybrid plant made from hoya lacunosa langawi island and hoya obscura. So, they are both hoya obscura x hoya lacunosa hybrids, but they each come from a different subspecies of hoya lacunosa.
How do you propagate hoya sunrise?
Like many other hoyas, hoya sunrise can occasionally sprout out long unwieldy stems. You can trim these without harming the plant, or you can leave them on. It’s a personal preference and often based on space.
However, if you trim off a piece with a few leaves, you can propagate it to grow another plant. Make sure the cutting has 2-3 leaves and at least 1-2 exposed growth points. You can remove the 1-2 bottom-most leaves to expose growth points.
I generally like to root hoya cuttings in damp sphagnum moss and water (see my sphagnum moss propagation 101 guide for more). Make sure to use a plastic propagation box to keep humidity high—or add a plastic bag over top of it.
Once the plant grow roots that are a few inches long, you can transfer it to soil. Keep the soil moist for a few weeks while the roots begin to grown in the soil. Then back off watering and begin treating the plant like a normal hoya.
If you want to skip moss rooting, you can go straight to soil. But I like to monitor root development, and that’s impossible if you put the cutting straight in soil. I don’t often water root my hoya cuttings, but you can!
Is hoya sunrise toxic to cats?
No, hoya sunrise plants are not toxic to cats. Or dogs or people. However, they aren’t meant to be ingested, so I’d try to keep them up and away from pets or kids who might nibble.
What does hoya sunrise smell like?
The foliage on a hoya sunrise plant does not smell at all. It’s simply decorative. But when the plant sprouts flowers, you’ll notice a sweet scent. Hoya flowers are often quite fragrant. Sunrise flowers are generally white or pink.