How to Care for Hoya Kentiana?
A bit different in appearance compared to other Hoya plants, the Hoya Kentiana has elongated leaves with a creamy color running down the entire length of the leaf.
Like many other Hoya varieties, this too produces fragrant flowers. Its blooms grow in clusters and make this plant a perfect choice for those who want a tropical plant in their home.
Although it may seem like a difficult plant to keep happy indoors, this Hoya variety behaves very much like other Hoya varieties, so you can rest assured there are no unknowns in how to care for this plant.
Yet, there are a few things you must be careful about. I will cover these and many other aspects related to the requirements of the Hoya Kentiana.
If you’re new to Hoya plants, my guide will help you manage your plant’s expectations without fail.
Size & Growth
In optimal conditions, the Hoya Kentiana has a steady growth, and its vines can reach a dazzling length of 12-20 feet.
However, that’s usually not the case indoors. That’s because this Hoya variety does not take well to erratic watering or changing conditions in its environment.
Any noticeable changes in its environment will cause stress and induce a premature dormancy period.
Therefore, if you notice that your plant’s growth is or has been stagnating for quite some time, it’s best to reassess your plant care routine to address any possible shortcomings and help your plant start growing again.
This is a brightness loving plant so I don’t advise getting a Hoya Kentiana for a home with little natural light exposure.
The good news is that this plant grows well under artificial grow lights too, so you can supplement the lack of natural light with artificial grow lights.
The need for bright, but indirect light is essential not only for blooming but also for the growth of the plant. This Hoya variety will also benefit from a couple of hours of direct sunlight in the morning and in the evening.
If the sun is too strong, the plant should be kept out of the sunlight to prevent the scorching of the leaves.
If you’re growing this plant indoors, you can keep it near an east-facing window or a couple of feet away from a south facing window.
I mentioned how erratic watering can cause stress and trigger the dormancy of the plant. Therefore, one of the most important aspects you should pay attention to – besides lighting – is your watering routine.
When trying to understand the watering needs of the plant, it helps to think of the watering of succulents. Like succulents, the Hoya plant enjoys its soil to dry out a bit between two watering sessions.
Too much water coupled with a poorly draining soil will eventually induce root rot. The plant also doesn’t enjoy excessively dry soil either, but it holds up better to having its soil a bit on the dry side rather than drenched in water.
Therefore, you must anticipate its needs based on how dry the top soil gets and environmental conditions such as higher temperatures and lower humidity levels, for example.
The easiest watering method I recommend using for Hoya plants is the well-established ‘soak and dry’ method.
This involves watering the plant only until you notice water draining from the bottom of the pot, then periodically checking the soil for its moisture level until it becomes dry enough to water again.
For Hoya plants, I recommend that you wait until the top inch of the soil is dry before watering next.
But getting the watering schedule right, while important, it’s not enough to keep the plant healthy. You also need a good potting mix that won’t hold onto water, will not compact and allow the roots to be aerated.
You want a good potting mix to prevent root rot in your Hoya plant. Peat based soil mixes are one great solution. Other soil amendments like perlite or orchid bark also work great.
The key is to create a mix that won’t get too saturated with water, only moist enough to keep the plant hydrated.
I strongly advise against using regular potting soil that will definitely get compacted, waterlogged and favor the development of bacteria and fungi when saturated with water.
Use one part perlite, one part orchid bark and one part regular potting mix to create a substrate that will work great for the Hoya Kentiana.
Temperature & Humidity
Ensure temperatures between 65°–80° degrees Fahrenheit for the Hoya Kentiana. Make sure that temperatures stay stable and don’t fluctuate excessively, an aspect that can put a lot of stress on the plant.
In winter, you must make sure not to expose your Hoya plant to temperatures below 45 F. Below this threshold, the plant will surely suffer shock and tissue damage, eventually dying.
And since this is a tropical plant, it appreciates higher humidity levels, in the 50-70% range. If the air gets too dry, you may need to mist the plant or use a humidifier or DIY humidity tray.
If the air gets too dry, the plant will suffer. You should also watch out for hot summer days, when evaporation is faster. Besides ensuring enough humidity, you’ll also need to ensure that the soil doesn’t get too dry.
To boost foliage growth and ultimately encourage blooming, fertilize your Hoya plant monthly during spring and summer. Use a balanced fertilizer diluted to half its strength.
Don’t use more than the recommended quantity or use it more often than once a month. Instead of more growth, you’ll end up causing fertilizer burn, which can even decimate a plant.
In fall and winter, when the plant goes dormant, you should withhold fertilizing and resume again in spring.
Potting & Repotting
The Hoya Kentiana doesn’t mind being a bit pot-bound, so transfer to a new pot only when truly necessary, or periodically every 2-3 years to refresh the potting mix with a new batch.
Schedule repotting to spring so as not to disturb the plant during its winter dormancy. The plant holds up much better to being handled during spring, when it’s actively growing and it’s somewhat more resilient.
And because it doesn’t mind being pot bound, it’s best not to oversize the pot, which should only be larger if the plant has become larger.
How to Propagate Hoya Kentiana?
The easiest way to propagate a Hoya Kentiana is by using stem cuttings, but ones on which the stems aren’t woody yet. These have a better chance of rooting.
Make sure the cutting has leaves on and at least two leaf nodes. To make rooting a bit faster, you can dab the cut end of the stem in a bit of rooting hormone.
To plant the cuttings, use a potting mix high in organics, so that it will stay moist a bit longer, helping the stem cutting push out roots more easily.
Keep the cutting in a warm, humid area, out of direct sunlight, but in a bright location. Mist the potting mix occasionally to keep it from drying out and maintain warm temperatures.
It’s essential to avoid any cold drafts or sudden temperature changes. These could cause the stem cutting to fail, so it’s essential to provide a stable environment.
Within a month, there already should be some rooting activity happening. After a couple of more weeks, you can safely transplant your Hoya to a regular pot and start caring for it as you would care for an adult Hoya plant.
– Does the Hoya Kentiana Plant Bloom?
Yes, the Hoya Kentiana produces fragrant blooms in mid-spring and early summer. Its flowers are star-shaped, have a waxy look, and they’re formed in clusters. The blooms feature a burgundy red coloration with a yellow center.
The flowers are formed at the end of a spur, which can sustain multiple blooming sessions, so don’t cut off these spurs, even at the end of a blooming season.
– Is the Hoya Kentiana Plant Toxic?
Hoya plants are not categorized as toxic by the ASPCA, so the Hoya Kentiana is not toxic to your cat and dog. Ingesting parts of the plant would not cause poisoning, but the risk of choking or an individual allergic reaction cannot be excluded.
Therefore, keep an eye on your pets or children to prevent any unforeseen issues that may arise.
Sensitive to overwatering, temperature fluctuations and strong, direct sunlight, the Hoya Kentiana is a vining Hoya variety that stands out with its elongated leaves and interesting blooms.
If you’re worried about not being able to provide the environment your Hoya plant needs, know this: once you can set everything up for the plant – lighting, soil, temperature, and watering – just stick to it and your plant will be fine.
Once the plant is happy, your job will only be to maintain those conditions throughout the growth season. In winter, the plant enters dormancy and becomes slightly less demanding, at least when it comes to its watering and fertilizing routine.