Hoya, also known as a wax plant, is a beautiful flowering plant that comes in many different varieties.
They’re popular houseplants that bring lots of bright greenery and a more tropical feel into your home.
Did you know you can make more plants if you, or someone you know, has a healthy hoya already? It’s called propagating, and it’s an easy way to grow your plant collection.
Follow this guide to learn all about propagating hoya, and you’ll be filling your house with new plants in no time!
What to Know to Successfully Propagate Hoya
Propagating hoya is pretty simple overall, and there are just a few things to keep in mind to get you off to a good start.
Propagating hoya involves taking a cutting or removing a small branch from the plant that will grow roots and become its own plant. The best time to propagate is spring and summer, when the plant is blooming and has lots of new, fresh growth.
Always make sure you start with a healthy plant that has lots of robust foliage. This will give your propagated hoya the best chance of success.
If you don’t own the original hoya plant, you’ll need to get permission to propagate from it before you get started. You should never propagate hoya from plants in stores or nurseries that sell it, as this is basically stealing and potentially harming those plants in the process.
Why You Should Propagate Hoya
The best thing about propagating plants of any kind is that it gives you more plants for free!
If there’s a particular plant you really love, it’s worth trying to propagate it. This creates a clone of that plant, so you have the chance to grow exactly the same thing.
This is perfect if you have a plant you love and want more of them or if someone you know has a beautiful hoya and is okay with you propagating from it.
How to Propagate Hoya
Before you begin, make sure the plant you’re using is very healthy so you don’t accidentally harm or weaken it so much that it can’t recover.
Set up a small pot (or several) and fill it with a well-draining soil or soil mixture. You can make your own mix with things like perlite, vermiculite, or sand, or you can purchase pre-made potting soil. Sphagnum moss is also a good choice for propagating hoya.
The pot you use needs to have holes in the bottom to allow excess water to drain out to avoid your propagated hoya from becoming waterlogged.
Once you have your soil in the pot, give it a thorough watering so that all the soil is moist. Just be careful not to overwater until the soil is soggy. You just want an even level of moisture throughout.
Taking a Hoya Cutting
Take a look at your original hoya plant to find the best place to take a cutting.
Choose a healthy stem that’s 5 inches long or more and has at least two to three leaves on it. You’ll also want to look for nodes or small spots where the new leaves will emerge. You will have the best luck with a stem that has two nodes on it.
Using a very clean and sharp knife or shears, cut the stem from the main plant. It’s important that the tool you use will cause as little damage to the original hoya plant as possible. It should be thoroughly sanitized to avoid introducing diseases to the cut flesh of both the cutting and the host hoya.
Remove any leaves on the bottom of your cutting so that you can put it down into the soil without any of the leaves actually touching the soil.
Planting Your Hoya Cutting
With your new hoya cutting ready to plant, create a small hole in the soil you prepared.
Carefully insert the bottom of the cut stem into the hole and fill in the empty space with loose soil. If your cutting has nodes on it, make sure the nodes are buried in the soil while the leaves remain above the surface. You may need to gently press the soil down to firm it up and keep the cutting in place.
Choose an area to keep your cutting in that has indirect light, as too much direct light could end up burning a young plant.
Water your hoya cutting regularly to keep the soil moist, but be careful not to drown your plant. This may take a little bit of trial and error to get the balance just right.
Alternative Ways to Propagate Hoya
Instead of planting it directly into the soil, you can also put your hoya cutting in water until roots emerge before planting it in a pot.
This way, you’ll know for sure if it’s successfully growing roots because you can see what’s going on.
The overall process is the same, but instead of planting it directly into the soil, put the cutting into a glass with water. Make sure any leaves on the stem are above the water, and any nodes are under the surface. Change the water out regularly to keep it fresh and provide enough oxygen to the plant’s new roots.
Once you see roots starting to emerge, you can plant your new baby hoya in potting soil with a lot of drainage, just like the previous propagation method.
Some people will even use leaves to propagate hoya. This works pretty much the same way as using cuttings, as the leaves can also begin to grow roots and eventually an entirely new plant. It can be a bit more challenging, but it’s definitely possible.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why isn’t my Hoya rooting?
Your cutting may not be growing roots for a few different reasons.
If the original plant wasn’t healthy enough, that could cause the cutting to not root. A healthy hoya will give you the best cuttings for propagation.
If the cutting sustains too much damage when it’s taken, it may not be able to root at all either. Not using a clean knife or shears can injure or even introduce bacteria to the cutting that will keep it from rooting. Take your cutting as carefully as possible to avoid these kinds of problems.
You can also check your water or soil to see if that’s causing your issue. A new hoya cutting will need the right amount of moisture and nutrients, so make sure you have well-draining soil and you’re not overwatering. A pot with holes in the bottom will help ensure you aren’t retaining too much water.
You also don’t want to let your propagated hoya dry out too much. Try to let the top layer of soil dry out before you water it again, but not too much deeper than that.
If you’re rooting in just water, be diligent about refreshing it regularly with clean water, especially if the water begins to look murky or dirty.
You can also apply a liquid or powder rooting stimulator if everything else is right and you’re still not having any luck. This uses hormones to encourage the cutting to start putting roots out. You can use a rooting hormone right from the beginning, but it may not be necessary at first.
What’s the best way to propagate hoya?
That’s really up to you!
Taking a cutting from a healthy plant that has nodes and leaves is probably the most foolproof way that will give you the best chance of success.
Leaves are a little more challenging, but it can be fun to give it a try if you accidentally knock some leaves off that are still healthy.
Putting your cutting in water will make root growth easier to monitor, which might be preferable so you know if it’s working or not.
Try the technique that makes the most sense to you, or try more than one and see which one works out the best.
Fill Your Home with Wax Plants
Hoya are wonderful plants to have around the house, and they add lots of color and brightness to your space.
Propagating Hoya is relatively easy to do and lets you create lots of new plants for free. It can be so interesting to watch a humble little stem slowly become a full-on plant right before your eyes.
If you find a method that works well for you, the sky’s the limit! You can continue to create new plants as much as you want as long as the mother plant remains healthy.
Now that you’ve learned how to propagate Hoya, try your hand at planting from seed!