Hoya Kerrii (Sweetheart Plant / Valentine Hoya): Care Guide

Due to its heart-shaped leaves and minimal upkeep, the Hoya kerrii is a cool-looking houseplant. The popular names for this plant include sweetheart plant, lucky-heart plant, and love heart plant, all because of the heart leaves on this species of Hoya. On Valentine’s Day, leaf cuttings in tiny pots are common presents to signify love and devotion. The succulent heart cactus is a kind of heart-shaped plant that isn’t a cactus. In most indoor settings, they are very simple to look after as they develop.

How to care for Hoya kerrii: In bright direct light, well-draining loose soil, a sweetheart plant thrives on little watering. Keep these succulent heart plants in a temperature range of 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C) and humidity levels of 40%. During the growing season, fertilize up to four times a year.

The genus Hoya (also known as wax plants) contains the climbing vine Hoya heart plants. Long, trailing stems can reach up to 13 feet (4 meters) long, and the thick, succulent heart-shaped leaves grow on them. Individual leaves root easily in the soil to create a unique plant in the shape of a heart, and each heart leaf is roughly 2.3″ (6 cm) wide.

It’s a challenge to locate mature Hoyas Kerrii plants. These lucky heart plants are typically very costly if you find them. Sweetheart hoyas growing in a small pot as a single thick leaf are most people’s first experience with them. These slow-growing novelty plants rarely grow above the cutting in the pot. To propagate a vining Hoya kerrii, you’ll need to cut the stem.

Bright-green succulent leaves in a perfect heart shape are the most common hoya heart plant. Variegated, green, and creamy-yellow leaves characterize other Hoya Kerrii cultivars. The variegated Sweetheart Hoya and the Hoya Kerrii ‘Reverse Variegata’ are the two most common types of lucky-heart plants.

You’ll learn how to grow a heartleaf Hoya plant at home in this article. You’ll find out how to cope with any issues that might arise with this adorably diverse Hoya species at the conclusion of the article.

How to Care for Hoya Kerrii (Lucky-Heart) Plant

Although the Sweetheart Hoya plant is a popular Valentine’s Day present, it may take many years to grow. The succulent heart-shaped leaf can sit on a bright windowsill and survive with minimal care, despite the fact that it grows very slowly. The mature Hoya kerrii climbing plant leaves are popular around Valentine’s Day.

How Much Light Does Hoya Kerrii Need?

Sweetheart hoya or Valentine hoya is the name given to Hoya kerrii because of its heart-shaped leaves. It flourishes in light that is brighter. Sweetheart Hoya plants prefer bright light and may tolerate some direct sunlight since they are a kind of succulent. These heart-like plants, on the other hand, can thrive in low-light environments. Complete shade inhibits these sluggish plants, and darkness affects their development.

Hoya kerrii plants can take years to create new heart leaves even in bright, indirect light and ideal conditions. Therefore, to maintain the plant in bright light while still protected from the sun’s direct rays, you’ll need to be patient. You’ll need to put your variegated Sweetheart Hoyas on a bright windowsill if you have them. To keep the variegation on the plump heart leaves vibrant, adequate light is required. The Sweetheart Hoya plant may wilt if it is exposed to sunlight for too long.

Valentine Hoya plants are limited in size, and no bigger than the ones you purchased. You can’t grow more Sweetheart Hoyas from a single leaf cutting, even if the leaf cutting roots in the soil.

The Best Soil for Growing Hoya Kerrii Indoors

In well-draining soil, grow hoya kerrii. Sweetheart Hoya plants require loose, quickly-draining soil to thrive, as seen in the picture. Orchid pot soil, sphagnum moss, coconut husk, or cactus mix are the best mediums for growing this species of Hoya. By mixing potting soil, perlite, and orchid bark together, you may also make a potting mix for Hoya kerrii.

Water should swiftly drain through the soil when it comes to cultivating these climbing hoya plants. Succulent-like plants like Hoyas need better drainage than ordinary houseplants, and the right soil for them has to have it. Soil that dries out fast is required by sweetheart hoyas, which include mature plants and single leaf cuttings.

The plant Hoya kerrii can exist in a soilless environment. You’ll have to water the heart leaf vine more often than if you use a potting soil mix, for example, if you’re using an orchid potting mix. A loose, loamy soil that is mostly dry is ideal for you if you have a single leaf Sweetheart Hoya.

Watering Requirements for Hoya Kerrii to Thrive

Your hoya heart plant requires little watering since it is a succulent. Mature Sweetheart Hoya plants have succulent leaves that retain moisture, as seen in this picture. As a result, they don’t need much water. Nonetheless, whenever the potting soil in these darling plants dries up, you should water them. In some cases, such as during the winter, this could be every four weeks or even less. To thoroughly hydrate the roots, it’s best to soak the soil.

When the leaves start to wrinkle is one indication that your Sweetheart Hoya needs hydration. Nonetheless, try to follow the potting soil as a guideline when caring for your Hoya darling plant. Before giving the plant a full watering, make sure that the soil around the drainage holes is almost dry.

It is critical for proper development to allow the potting mix of the Hoya to dry out between watering. If sweetheart Hoya plants are kept in soggy, waterlogged soil, they are susceptible to root rot. A fast-draining potting mixture and plenty of water are required for your Hoya kerrii to achieve rapid development.

Indoor Humidity Needs for Sweetheart Plant (Hoya Kerrii)

Unlike many other cactus and succulent species, Sweetheart Hoyas prefer dry conditions and warm temperatures. Humidity above 40% encourages quicker development of this notoriously sluggish-growing plant, despite the fact that Hoya Kerrii can tolerate dry air and warm temperatures.

Air moisture, according to some Hoya experts, aids stem cuttings in rooting and development. You may cultivate Hoya Kerrii plants in a bathroom or kitchen because they like warmth and humidity, as well as low light. Use a room humidifier or place the pot on a humidifying pebble tray to help increase moisture for Sweetheart Hoyas.

Temperature Range for Growing Sweetheart Wax Plants

In warmer temperatures, Hoya kerrii grows quicker. Sweetheart plants thrive in average room temperatures, which is why Hoya Kerrii ‘Variegata’ is featured in the photograph. For optimum growth, keep the indoor temperature between 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C). Heart-shaped leaf Hoyas usually grow faster in warmer climates. The cold below 50°F (10°C) makes these succulent-like plants unhappy.

Hoyas kerrii plants, which resemble their native environment of Southeast Asia, may thrive in warm humidity and may be grown outdoors in USDA zone 11. If you reside in temperate areas, you may also cultivate Sweetheart plants in pots outdoors throughout the summer. When the temperature drops below 60°F (15°C), bring the Hoya plant indoors.

Feeding a Hoya Kerrii

Another reason why Sweetheart Hoyas are such simple houseplants to maintain is because they are light feeders. Apply a diluted regular houseplant fertilizer to your mature Hoya kerrii with long stems. Once a month, all you have to do is feed the Hoya Sweetheart. Feeding is not required for a small Hoya plant or a single leaf sweetheart plant. Only once a year, in the spring and then again in the summer, can you feed the plant.

Hoya Kerrii Propagation

Stem Cutting with Dormant Bud is used to propagate Hoya Kerrii. Since it doesn’t have a dormant bud, a leaf cutting rarely produces any stem. Stem cuttings with at least two heart-shaped leaves are the best way to go. Wait for new roots to develop before you root the cutting in water. But, it may take many months for a fresh stem cutting to root.

How to Propagate Hoya Kerrii:

  1. Make sure there are two or three leaves on the stem you cut from a Sweetheart Hoya just below the node.
  2. Put the cutting into a jar of water, then into a well-lit area.
  3. Weekly water changes are recommended.
  4. Little roots should start to occur from the stem within a few weeks.
  5. Transfer to a pot with a loose, fast-draining potting soil when the roots are 1″ to 2″ (2.5 to 5 cm) long.

It’s vital to keep in mind that growing a rooted stem cutting will take a long time. Your heart-shaped Hoya plant may take a number of years to flower with porcelain-like flowers. Sweetheart hoya propagation via leaf cuttings is attempted by certain people.

A hoya kerrii leaf, on the other hand, is exceedingly uncommon in producing additional stems or leaves. Since it doesn’t contain a dormant bud, a single leaf is difficult to propagate. As a result, it is known as ‘blind cutting’. Your hoya heart leaf cutting may survive for many years without developing a stem and other leaves if you take care of it.

When a little bit of stem was coupled to the leaf that had a tiny dormant bud, it might happen after several years of cutting that a leaf clipping would develop a stem.

Repotting Hoya Kerrii Plants

Hoya kerrii is a low-maintenance plant that only needs to be repotted every few years. Your hoya kerrii should be repotted every couple of years, using a slightly bigger container each time, because it is a slow growing plant. To encourage your Sweetheart Hoya to flourish, repotting is required. Transplanting to a bigger container gives the roots more space to develop as the roots fill up the pot. For mature vining Hoya kerrii plants to bloom, they must be rootbound and growing in bright light.

There are a few things to think about when deciding on the best kind of pot to grow sweetheart plants. A plant can be at risk of root rot if a container is too big. Large pots retain too much moisture for tiny plants, so the potting medium must be fast-draining.

When repotting Hoya Kerrii sweetheart plants, the pot’s materials should also be considered. The growing medium dries quicker because terracotta or clay pots allow moisture to evaporate quickly. You don’t have to water as often since the plant is at more danger of suffering from soggy soil, and a plastic or ceramic pot retains moisture.

To repot a heart-leaf hoya, all you have to do is remove it from its current pot. Fill a new, slightly larger pot with the appropriate potting mix. Fill the pot with soil and set the plant inside. In the spring, when growth is vigorous, is the best time to repot houseplants, such as lucky-heart hoyas.

Hoya kerrii plants need to be repotted every few years in most cases. Because the leaf produces just a root system, a single heart-shaped leaf hoya never needs to be repotted. When planted in a small pot, the hoya heart leaf does not grow any larger.

Hoya Kerrii Growth Rate

Slow-growing succulents such as Hoya kerrii Hoya kerrii ‘Albomarginata’ on the left, Hoya kerrii ‘Splash’ on the right. It might take a long time for a little plant with few leaves to maturity. With its pinkish-white blooms, a mature plant takes even longer to bloom. In a sunny area with humidity above 50%, a Sweetheart Hoya grows faster.

A stunning plant is a mature Hoya kerrii vine with its meaty, thick, heart-shaped leaves. Heart leaves grow profusely on the thick stems. The stems may reach a length of around 6 feet (1.8 meters) indoors. The variegated cultivar, Hoya kerrii albomarginata, with its yellow and brilliant-green leaves is even more stunning than the ordinary Sweetheart Hoya.

Do Hoya Kerrii (Sweetheart Valentine) Plants Flower?

The Sweetheart Hoya plant is a tropical blooming plant that flowers as it grows. Due to their lovely pink and white blooms, Hoyas are also known as wax plants or porcelain flower plants. Every summer, clusters of star-shaped flowers bloom on mature plants. The little blossoms also have a nice fragrance.

Pests That Can Affect Hoya Kerrii

The Sweetheart Hoya, for example, is resistant to pests in most forms. Mealybugs and aphids, on the other hand, can infect your plants from time to time. On the heart-shaped leaves of mealybugs, cotton wool-like pieces appear. Aphids are little, pear-shaped insects that can suck the nutrients out of your plants.

When you notice signs of houseplant pests, you must act swiftly. To get rid of your pests, you can use a neem oil solution or an insecticidal soap. For more information on how to naturally control plant pests, read this article.

Hoya Kerrii Plant Care: How to Prevent Diseases

Sweetheart Hoyas are a kind of tough houseplant that is resistant to ailment. Excessive moisture in the soil is linked with the majority of diseases that plague a Hoya kerrii. Fungal and bacterial infections are common on roots in wet soil. As a result, only water your Sweetheart Hoya when the soil is dry.

Are Hoya Kerrii Plants Toxic?

Cats, dogs, and other pets in the household are not harmed by Sweetheart Hoyas.

FAQ About Growing Sweetheart Hoyas (Hoyas kerrii)

Hoya kerrii ‘Splash,’ with pale green speckles on heart-shaped leaves, is the right image.

What are black spots on Hoya kerrii leaves?

Fungal infection can cause black or dark green specks on Sweetheart Hoya leaves. Black spot leaf infections can be caused by a number of factors. Overwatering, for example, is a frequent cause of this. Fungal spores can also grow in cool temperatures and a humid atmosphere. Hold off watering until the soil is completely dry, then put the Hoya in a warm environment to help treat fungal infections.

Why are Sweetheart Hoya leaves turning yellow?

Overwatering or too much direct sunlight may cause the leaves of Hoya kerrii to turn yellow. Move your heart-leafed plant out of direct sunlight and see if you’re watering your sweetheart plant correctly. Variegated Hoya kerrii, on the other hand, may fade in color if exposed to direct sunlight for too long. You’ll end up with mostly green leaves in these situations.

How can I save a dying sweetheart plant?

You should try to determine the cause of a Hoya kerrii’s weak condition in order to revive it and restore its color. Your only option would be to repot the hoya heart leaf into moist, sterile soil if it has grown in soggy soil. You’ll need to use neem oil to get rid of the bugs if they’ve infested your plant.

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