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Ultimate Care Guide to Grow & Propagate Hoya Polyneura [Updated 2023]

Are you looking for a plant with easy-going care requests that would trail around your house with unique fish-tail leaves while giving out a floral scent?

Look no further; the plant you’re looking for is Hoya Polyneura.

Generally, Hoya Polyneura requires 6 hours of bright indirect sunlight, 50-77°F temperature, 50-60% humidity, well-draining soil, and weekly or biweekly watering care. Also, offer balanced fertilizer every 2 weeks throughout spring and fall, occasional pruning, and biennial or triennial repotting.  

The article addresses how to keep your Hoya Polyneura free from trouble and what you should do to get the most out of your plant.

Hoya Polyneura: Plant Overview

Belonging to the Apocyanacea family, Hoya Polyneura is an epiphyte and climbing sub-shrub. This indicates that it wraps its roots around trees or rocks in the area.

Additionally, Hoya Polyneura is a unique plant with gorgeous creamy reddish flowers with a sweet smell and fishtail-like leaves with noticeable veins.
Image represents a potted Hoya Polyneura plant
Hoya Polyneura have oppositely arranged elliptical to rhomboid-shaped leaves with deep veins.

Due to its popularity, the plant has some variegated forms like Hoya Polyneura ‘Variegata’ with creamy white to yellow variegations along its leaf edges.

The plant is native to subtropical biomes of Southeast Asia (Central Himalayas to China), thriving at altitudes of about 1000-1400 meters.

Let’s look at some outstanding features of the plant from the table.

Common NameFishtail Hoya

Scientific NameHoya polyneura
Native RangeSubtropical Regions of Southeast Asia
Plant HabitEvergreen Perennial Epiphytic Climbing or Trailing Sub-shrub
LeavesLime-green or dark green lanceolate to rhomboid-shaped with prominent lateral and slender veins
FlowersInflorescence: Axillary Umbel

Creamy reddish pedunculate flowers arising from a single flowering 'spur'
ToxicityNon-toxic to pets and humans
USDA Zones10-11

Complete Holy Polyneura Care Guide

This plant has a delicate venation of short, thin leaves that mimic a fish’s tail. As a result, it’s known as ‘Fishtail Hoya.’

But it isn’t just the leaves that they generate. They also make stunning star-shaped blooms.

Despite its delicate appearance, the plant is simple to maintain but sometimes encounters health problems due to unstable circumstances.

1. Sunlight & Temperature

Daily Sunlight: Dappled sunshine for 6 hours or 12-16 hours of grow lights to cope with uneven daylight needs.

Ambient Temperature: Roughly 50-77°F (prevent temperature drops below 45°F).

Excessive Light & Temperature Effects

  • Foliar discoloration (yellow or brown leaf tips and edges)
  • Wilting or droopiness, or curling of leaves and vines

Low Light & Temperature Effects

  • Leaf and flower fallouts
  • Curling and yellowing of foliage
  • Leggy vines with sparse leaves

Hoya Polyneura will require bright but indirect minimally for 3 hours.

Tips to Maintain Proper Lighting & Temperature

  • Keep your plant near an east-facing window to ensure indirect sunlight for the entire day.
  • For the required time, you can also keep the plant near a curtained south-facing window.
  • Don’t let the leaves touch the window pane during spring and summer.
  • Simply rotate the plant weekly in quarter turns to ensure consistent sunlight diffusion.
  • Keep the plant away from chilly north-facing windows, radiator, and heating vents during winter.
  • Use frost blankets to shield outdoor plants and offer protection from winter dew.

2. Watering & Humidity

Watering Care: Every 1-2 weeks in spring, summer, and fall and every 2-3 weeks during winter.

Surrounding Humidity: Around 50-60% at all times.

Excessive Watering & Humidity Effect

  • Soggy soil with a foul or fishy smell
  • Black or pulpy roots (root rots)
  • Yellow, floppy, and distorted leaves
  • Brown  and mushy foliage

Less Watering & Humidity Effect

  • Crispy leaf margins and tips
  • Yellow, wrinkly, and limp leaves with vines
  • Fewer blooms and leaf drops
  • Erratic flowering frequencies

Tips to Maintain Watering & Humidity Care

  • Use pots with drainage holes and lay pebbles at the planter’s base while repotting to aid drainage.
  • Employ a bottom-up watering method that saturates the soil to deeper layers.
  • Keep the plant in a humidity tray to moisturize the leaves during heat spells.
  • Admix the soil with organic perlite to boost the porosity.
  • Throw away the water from the pot plate after each watering session.
  • Utilize finger dip tests to check the soil moisture before watering the plant again in winter.

3. Soil & Fertilizer

Soil Type: Well-draining & highly porous organic soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.

Fertilizer Demands: Balanced liquid fertilizer every 2 weeks throughout spring and fall.

Effect of Using Wrong Soil

  • Lack of drainage and aeration
  • Deoxygenated potting environment
  • Root rots and waterlogged soil

You can also prepare a DIY mix by blending 1 part of worm casting and 2 parts of orchid bark, organic perlite, and succulent pumice.

Overfertilization Signs

  • Fertilizer burns (leaf tips and marginal browning)
  • Shrievling of roots due to chemical burns
  • Accumulation of fertilizer salts in the topsoil

Underfertilization Signs

  • Chlorosis and foliar color changes
  • Stunted growth, smaller leaves, and less flower production
  • Irregular flowering and fewer blooms

How to Fertilize & Provide Proper Soil?

  • Leach out the mineral salts by flushing the potting soil with distillate water every month. 
  • Control fertilizer application during fall and winter.
  • Dilute the fertilizer before applying it during the growing seasons.
  • Apply fertilizer after each watering course to percolate the minerals to deeper soil layers.
  • Top the soil with LECA balls to offer the roots adequate aeration and porosity.
Image illustrates Hoya plant problems
Irregular watering, changes in light intensities, temperature fluctuations, and wrong use of fertilizer and potting soil are the major problems in Hoya Polyneura.

4. Repotting Care

Pot Requirement: 1-2 inches wider and deeper terracotta planter with basal drainage holes.

Repotting Time: Every 2-3 years during spring or early summer.

Repotting Signs

  • Poking of roots from the drainage holes
  • Roots shooting out from the topsoil
  • Rapid drainage of water without stagnation
  • Yellow leaves due to lack of oxygen

Steps to repot Hoya Polyneura

  • Take a new container to add a foundation layer of pebbles
  • Afterward, fill it one-third with the potting mix.
  • Water your plant generously for 1-2 days before repotting.
  • Pull the plant out of the container and untangle the roots. 
  • After, remove the decaying or damaged roots using sterilized pruners.
  • Following this, align the plant in the center of the new pot over the soil.
  • Then, fill the pot by adding more soil from the sides.
  • And water thoroughly once you’ve settled the soil.

5. Occasional Pruning

Pruning Time: Periodically or annually during spring using sterilized pruners.

Why prune Hoya Polyneura?

  • To reduce the pest incidence, such as aphids, scales, whiteflies, and spider mites.
  • For controlling diseases such as blight, rots, and spots.

Tips for Pruning Hoya Polyneura

  • Remove any stems or leaves that are dead, damaged, diseased, or unproductive.
  • Cut off any twisted or wayward stems, particularly those growing away from the support.
  • Cut the vine to a bud or stem pointing in the direction you want it to grow.
  • Make clean cuts, but don’t leave a stub inviting pests and pathogens.
  • Use Q-tips dipped in neem oil to dab the pests and set sticky traps to kill hovering bugs.
  • Spray copper-rich fungicides to keep the diseases at bay.

Hoya Polyneura: Growth Rate & Flowering

Like all Hoya varieties, Hoya Polyneura has a fast growth rate, but it takes at least 5-7 years for the plant to mature.

The thin, delicate vines can reach 2-4 meters long when fully grown. Outdoor vines can reach a height of around 6 meters.
Image represents Hoya Polyneura flower
Hoya Polyneura flowers smell sweet honey-like and are borne in clusters on a flowering ‘spur.’

Additionally, each leaf is 4-6 inches long and bright to dark green with conspicuous green veins.

Further, new vines should be seen at least every few months during spring, summer, and fall if properly cared for during the growing season.

The sweet aromatic Hoya Polyneura flowers are known for their fishtail-shaped leaves and mesmerizing star-shaped waxy porcelain blooms.

These blooms are richly pigmented in the middle and have a strong pleasant smell. They bloom mainly in the period from late spring to late summer.

Toxicity of Hoya Polyneura

As ASPCA mentioned, waxplants like Hoya Polyneura are non-toxic for pets and humans.

Although the plant is not harmful, it is not edible.

Therefore, pets or children may swallow the plant parts, which may cause a choking hazard.

In case of emergency, try contacting any of the following helpline numbers.

Hoya Polyneura Propagation

You can multiply Hoya Polyneura using stem sections, leaf cuttings, and viable seeds

But stem cuttings are the fastest way possible. Also, the optimal time to start propagating is during mid-summer.

Image represents stem section of Hoya Polyneura
Hoya transplants must have at least 1 set of top leaves.

Propagate Hoya Polyneura from Stem Cuttings

You can propagate Hoya Polyneura using stem cuttings in water to root and then transplant them in the soil.

1. Taking Stem Cuttings

  • Choose vines with nodes, immature leaves, and covered with root hairs.
  • Then, locate a node and cut from the last node with leaves below the section.
  • Then, make a clean 45° cut, but be careful not to damage the vine or leaves you leave behind.

2. How to Propagate Hoya Polyneura Cuttings in Water?

  • Put your cutting with nodes plunged inside a jar with rooting hormone solution.
  • Furthermore, refill the water every 2-3 days to prevent fungal or bacterial growth.
  • However, use separate jars for propagating the cuttings and place the set-up near a dappled light source.
  • Within 3-8 weeks, the cuttings shall develop new roots, after which you can transplant them to the soil when they grow 1-2 inches long. 
Image represents rooted Hoya stem cuttings
Water propagation ensures quicker root development in the cuttings, but the roots must be sturdy enough before transplanting into the soil.

3. How to Propagate Hoya Polyneura Cuttings in Soil?

  • Fill a terracotta pot with potting mix and place the cuttings individually.
  • Add soil from the sides to fix them in place.
  • Then, cover with plastic wrap to secure the moisture and warmth for the cuttings.
  • Place the cuttings in bright indirect sunlight for at least 6 hours daily to encourage new leaves.
  • Continue with normal care once the plant takes up good growth.

Hoya Polyneura for Sale

To have your own Fishtail Hoya plant, check the following sites to bring it home.

Shops/ SitesDelivery/ Shipping Dates
AmazonWithin 4-5 days after placing an order
EtsyWithin 2-10 days after placing an order
Gabriella PlantsWithin 2-4 days after placing an order

Hoya Polyneura Varieties

Hoya Polyneura has several varieties with identical leaf arrangements, shapes, flowers, and growth habits.

However, the leaf coloring and variegations are different in all varieties, which are the distinguishable traits of these varieties.

1. Hoya Polyneura ‘Broget’

Leaves with speckled light green, lime green, and dark green flecks.

2. Hoya Polyneura ‘Splash’

Leaves with creamy yellowish marginal to central or speckled variegations on a light green backdrop.

3. Hoya Polyneura ‘Silver’

Leaves with shiny or silvery light to dark green matte.

Image illustrates Hoya Polyneura varieties
You can differentiate between the Hoya Polyneura varieties from their leaf colors and variegations.

4. Hoya Polyneura ‘Albomarginata’

 Leaves with creamy yellow margins and central dark green glossy tint.

5. Hoya Polyneura ‘Albo’

Leaves with creamy yellow margins and central light green to lime green polished hue.

From Editorial Team


Hoya Polyneura needs misting and proper nurture of lighting, along with the proper surrounding temperature.

To multiply this beautiful foliage plant, make the right choice of using stem cuttings!

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