Fertilizing Hoya

Hoyas are a genus of mostly epiphytic plants that produce highly fragrant clusters of flowers once a year in the early to late summer. The plants gather nutrients and moisture from the humid atmosphere in their native growing regions. Although Hoya does not require a heavy feeding schedule, light feedings during the active growing period will support healthy overall growth.


Why Fertilize Hoya

Feeding supplemental nutrients to Hoyas helps the plant to maintain vigorous growth and encourages a larger number of flowers. Although the age of a Hoya is more of a determining factor in when the plant will begin to bloom, feeding with a fertilizer containing phosphorus will support more and larger flowers.

How Often To Fertilize Hoya

Hoya uses fertilizer the most efficiently during spring and summer when the plant produces the most new growth and possibly blooms. Feeding with a diluted liquid feed every 3-4 weeks is ideal. During the darker and colder winter months, Hoya requires far less watering and no supplemental fertilizing. October to February is a period of semi-dormancy when the plant slows growth. 


How To Tell If Hoya Needs Fertilizer

Hoya that needs fertilizing will show signs of yellowing leaves, and slowed or stunted growth. The yellowing of leaves, called interveinal chlorosis, indicates a lack of nItrogen, a mineral that promotes a deep green color. Hoyas have thick leaves that do not show the vein structure like a thinner leaf. Therefore, the leaves of a nitrogen-deficient Hoya will appear entirely yellow, and the plant may stop growing altogether. The reason for these changes is the plant is conserving energy for survival instead of putting on new growth that its root system cannot support.

Best Fertilizer For Hoya

Hoya will grow happily with a balanced houseplant fertilizer. Choose a formula with a balanced NPK ratio, such as 2-2-2, for consistent and strong foliar growth. When a Hoya has begun to flower, switching to a formulation with higher phosphorus will help to support more and larger flowers. A diluted liquid fertilizer for African violets or tomatoes is ideal. Liquid kelp or fish emulsion can also be used with great results, although the strong smell may not be appealing on plants kept indoors. Dr. Earth makes good liquid fertilizers that are easy to add during regular watering.

Hoya Fertilizing Tips

While Hoya plants require little extra fertilizing to maintain healthy and vigorous growth, light fertilizing during the period of active growth in the spring and summer is helpful. Use a product with a balanced NPK ratio for the general good health of your plant.

  • Fertilize only in the spring and summer
  • Use a diluted liquid formulation
  • A balanced, all-purpose houseplant food supports both blooming and foliage
  • Fertilizers with higher levels of phosphorus can be used in the month before a Hoya blooms
  • Overfertilizing Hoyas that are not actively growing will encourage root rot and damage to the plants' root system


-Always wear protective gloves and a face mask when handling chemical fertilizers. 

-Closely follow all directions and storage guidelines that are on the fertilizer label.

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 Author Robbin Small - Published 4-06-2023