Hoyas are drought-tolerant and can forgo watering but have a soft spot for healthy soil. So, opting for the correct Hoya plant soil is crucial to keep the plants fit and fine!
People think Hoyas, as an epiphyte, can keep up without soil, but contrary to this belief, they need substrate for additional water and nutrients. So, let’s learn about picking the correct Hoya plant soil that can suit their growth habit!
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What is the Appropriate Hoya Plant Soil?
Almost all Hoya varieties enjoy well-draining, fluffy, and porous soil with lots of organic matter to encourage the growth of healthy microbes and prevent water retention.
Since Hoyas have shallow roots, they cannot dig deep if the soil is compact.
This hinders root growth, and the plant cannot take up water and nutrients.
Furthermore, while preparing the soil for Hoyas, avoid mixing sand as it retains much water, making the ground extremely soggy.
But, along with a perfect soil texture for Hoyas, you must ensure the soil meets the slightly acidic need of the plant and the appropriate temperature.
1. Soil pH
Most Hoya varieties prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH from 6.1 to 7.3, but some can grow in a pH of around 6.1 to 6.5.
So, you must confirm with your supplier if the Hoya plant you are buying likes growing in acidic or basic soil.
Adding an inch of sphagnum peat to the 5-6 gallon potting mix will make the soil acidic.
However, you can also use coffee leftovers or compost rich in organic matter to make the soil acidic.
2. Soil Temperature
Houseplants like Hoya loves warm soil conditions, which is essential for the blooming and composting processes.
Hoyas ideally thrive in the soil temperature around 60-85°F during the daytime and above 60°F during the night.
Moreover, they may start dying when exposed to temperatures below 55°F.
Can You Use Regular Garden Soil for Hoya?
As mentioned, Hoyas are picky about the soil, so you must select the appropriate ingredients to infuse in the potting mix.
So, using garden soil directly is unfit for the plant for the following reasons.
- Garden soil carries eggs or spores of pathogens and pests, which can harm the delicate Hoyas roots.
- Soil from the garden is compact and non-porous, creating waterlogging issues due to less porosity. Chances are Hoyas can suffer from root rot.
- Backyard soil lacks nutrients (preferably nitrogen, sulfur, and potassium), rendering the plant nutrient deficient.
Best Hoya Plant Soil
The soil must have nutrient-holding capacities and should be reliable for use every time during repotting and propagation.
Therefore, you can choose the potting mix for Hoyas from the choices below.
- Miracle-Gro Potting Mix
- Espoma Organic Potting Soil
- Miracle-Gro Succulent Soil
- Hoya Plant Potting Mix
Make Your Own Potting Mix
You can easily prepare a potting mix for Hoya Plants at home by mixing a few ingredients.
Some options to choose from are as follows.
- Equal parts of Orchid Mix, Cactus Soil, and Organic Perlite.
- Soil, Draining Elements (LECA Balls/ Orchid Bark/ Horticultural Charcoal/ Dust Pumice), and Sphagnum Moss in a 2:1:1 ratio.
Prepare the ingredients to fill a 3-gallon pot with drainage holes with at least 20 pounds of potting soil and follow the instructions below.
- First, add orchid mix at the base, with orchid bark chunks.
- Next, add the cactus mix and water, and stir to blend evenly.
- Then add perlite or pumice along with some charcoal.
- Add the organic compost (cow dung or vegetable leftovers), moss, and LECA balls to the topsoil.
You can also follow the video to learn the details of the process.
How Does Fertilizer Affect Soil Quality?
Hoya plants need fertilizing once or twice during spring and summer.
However, they do not enjoy overfertilization, so consider avoiding fertilizers during fall and winter when the plant is dormant.
Too many nutrients in soil deplete the healthy soil microbes, cause Hoya leaves to suffer from fertilizer burn and leaf drops.
How to Properly Fertilize a Hoya Plant?
Keep these points in mind when fertilizing your Hoya.
- Use a high phosphate fertilizer for 2 months following winter, encouraging profuse and larger blooms.
- Stop feeding the phosphate fertilizer once the plant starts blooming.
- Switch to 3-1-2 liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength before application to encourage green foliage.
How Does Watering Affect Soil Quality?
Hoya enjoys watering every 2 weeks in spring and summer to keep the soil slightly moist.
But cut back on watering in fall and winter (every 3-4 weeks).
This is because frequent watering can cause waterlogging issues such as yellowing of lower leaves, bud drops, wilting, and limpy leaves due to root rots.
Contrarily, underwatering can bring out yellow leaves that slowly turn brown and crispy.
How to Treat Overwatering Issues in Hoya Plants?
- Refrain from watering if probable symptoms of overwatering are visible.
- Place the plant in direct sunlight until the soil dries.
- Unpot the plant, cut away the affected roots and change the soil to fix the root rot problems.
How to Treat Underwatering Issues in Hoya Plants?
- Place wilted plants with dry soil in a water tray and remove them once the soil is moist.
- During watering bouts, water until the soil feels moist, and the excess water runs out of the drainage holes.
- Check the top 1-2 inches of soil for dryness using a finger dip test.
- Mist the leaves to rejuvenate the plant quickly.
- Prevent the plant from keeping in direct sunlight or windy spot.
Signs of Using the Wrong Hoya Plant Soil
It is often difficult to tell if you use the wrong potting mix for Hoyas because the tell-tale signs may appear way later.
Some common symptoms of using the wrong potting mix are as follows.
- Rotten or fishy smell from the soil. It indicates the growth of anaerobic bacteria.
- The appearance of tiny crawling bugs on the soil surface or around the stem or roots. It stipulates the presence of gnat larvae.
- Growth of dusty, green, yellow, or white substance on the topsoil. This signifies molds.
- Yellowing of leaves and leaf fallout. This stipulates nutrient depletion or compact soil.
Here are a few ways you can prevent a wrong potting mix.
- Use the potting mix as soon after preparing it. Avoid storing it for days because it will quickly lose its quality.
- Mixing your regular potting soil with aerating components provides an ideal growing medium.
- When repotting your plant, use a fresh and sterilized potting mix.
FAQs About Hoya Plant Soil
Do Hoya Plants Need Deep Pots?
Hoya Plants need wide pots, but since they don’t have a shallow root system (a consequence of epiphytic habit), they don’t need deep planters.
Can you use Orchid or Cactus Mix for Hoya Plant Soil?
Orchid or Cactus Mix has a good balance of aerating and water-retentive components, fitting for the sensitive Hoya roots.
How to Sterilize Soil for Hoya Plants?
You can sterilize the soil or potting mix using steam inside a pressure cooker for at least 30 minutes at a temperature of 180-200°F.
From Editorial Team
Be Mindful About Repotting!
Along with proper soil, Hoyas also need repotting with new pots to encourage free legroom growth. So, select a pot 1-2 inches wider with bottom drainage holes.