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Hoya Serpens: Where to Buy, Growing Guide and Care Tips

Most plant enthusiasts favor Hoya serpens as an indoor plant because of its green blossoms with a purple tint at the center.

New plant growers can find it challenging to care for the Hoya serpens, leading to stunted growth, pest infestations, and diseases.

Generally, Hoya serpens thrive best in bright indirect sunlight with temperatures ranging from (55 to 75°F) and high relative humidity levels of at least 60%. They need a well-draining soil mix, and organic fertilizer applied twice a month is sufficient to meet their growing requirements.

There are various types of Hoya species globally. Similarly, their care requirements differ accordingly.

Follow the care tips mentioned in the article to grow healthy and vibrant Hoya serpens.

Overview of Hoya Serpens

‘Wax Flower’ is the iconic name for Hoya serpens due to its unique waxy leaves present in the plant.

Hoya serpens plant with attractive glossy foliage.
Hoya serpens produces a wide range of colorful flowers ranging from red, white, or pink colored.

Hoya serpens grow pretty quickly and often bloom consistently after every year.

Common NameWaxflower plant
Scientific NameHoya serpens
OriginSoutheast Asia
USDA ZonesUSDA 9-11
FlowerLime green, white
FoilageWaxy, round green leaves with white flowers.
Blooming TimeSummer to spring.
Height8-10 feet tall
ToxicityToxic to humans and pets
FragranceSweet smelling

Where to Buy Hoya Serpens?

These plants can be grown in pots or hanging baskets, which adds to their ambiance and makes them even more attractive.

Have a look at the different stores and websites from where you can buy Hoya Serpens from:

StoreDelivery Services
Happy ForestDelivery within 4 to 6 days
My Home NatureDelivery within 7 to 10 days
Grow JungleDelivery within 5-7 days

Hoya Serpens: Ultimate Growing and Care Guide

Here is a quick guide on the different parameters and the favorable conditions required for its growth.

FactorsOptimal Conditions
Sunlight and Location4-6 hours of indirect sunlight
Watering RequirementWater the plant two times a week
Ideal Tempreature13-27 °C (55- 75° F)
Humidity Requirements60%
Soil MixturePeat moss, vermiculite, humus and charcoal
Soil pH6.0-7.0
Feralization Requirements2 times in a month
Growth Habits8-10 feet maximum height
Flowering SeasonSummer
Pot TypeTerracotta container
Propagation seasonSummer and Spring
RepottingEvery two years
PruningEvery two years

1. Sunlight and Temperature

Hoya Serpens grows best with 4-6 hours of indirect bright light with a temperature of 13-27 °C. 

These plants can tolerate more hours of sunlight, but it may affect the leaves and cause sunburn, and scorching marks, which are difficult to remove.

You can also use window blinds and thin linen clothing to allow only minimal sunlight to reach your plant.
However, insufficient lighting leads to the yellowing of leaves and the dropping off of the whole plant.

The plant cannot survive at temperatures lower than 10°C for an extended period.

But if the temperature exceeds 30°C, it can cause plants to lose metabolic functions due to excessive transpiration and evaporation.

Practical Solutions

  • Install artificial lighting sources using LED, GROW, or fluorescent lights when the plant lacks light during winter or cloudy days.
  • Increasing humidity around the plant when the temperature is high would help.
  • Place the plant near south-eastern facing windows that receive early morning light.
  • You can also cover the plant with plastics or insulating bags if you keep the plant outdoors in the winter.

2. Watering & Humidity

Ideally, watering the Hoya serpens twice a week is enough for optimal growth. 

But the plant’s water requirements also depend on the sunlight it receives, the temperature, and humidity levels.

Hoya plant survives in moderate humidity of around 60% and thrives in locations with above 90%.

Moreover, Hoya serpens goes dormant during the winter and does not require much water. Only water them once a month during the winter.

Wilting, yellowing, or browning foliage are some signs of improper watering.

Practical Solutions

  • Use the soil moisture meter to check the moisture level in the soil and water according to its requirements.
  • Mist the leaves of your Hoya Serpens to increase humidity, or use a humidifier.
  • Use distilled water or rainwater while watering the plant as it is free from all the harsh chemicals like chlorine and calcium oxides in the tap water.
  • Place a wet tray below the pot. It increases the overall humidity level around the plant when the water evaporates.

3. Soil & Fertilization

Hoya serpens prefer soil mixtures with pH 6.0-7.0 containing perlite, peat moss, and organic substances like vermiculite, humus, and charcoal. 

Lack of proper soil mixture may lead to waterlogging of the root, which may cause root rot diseases and fungal infections.

Using coffee grounds mixture in the soil mix can be beneficial to make the soil more acidic.

You can fertilize your Hoya serpens with 2-1-2 liquid fertilizers monthly during the active growing season. 

You can also prepare your soil mixture by mixing orchid bark, compost, and perlite mix in a ratio of 1:1:2.

Or, use Miracle-Gro Indoor Potting Mix and Hoya Potting Mix to boost plant growth.

Moreover, be careful when fertilizing your plant, as it can lead to overfeeding the plant, which leads to stunted growth, yellowing, and wilting of the leaves.

Practical Solutions

  • Water your Hoya serpens before fertilizing them. Moisture causes nutrients to pass throughout the root system.
  • Do not fertilize during the mid-winter season, as the plants are dormant and may suffer chemical burning.
  • Use Osmocote Smart-Release Plant Food or Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food (Liquid) for the best results.
  • Make sure to dilute the fertilizer to half-strength.
  • Cut off the fertilizer application when the plants are dormant.

4. Potting and Repotting 

On average, Hoya serpens should be repotted every two years, depending on the environment and its growth rate. 

Hoya serpens plant
The new container for repotting should be around 1-2 inches bigger in diameter than the original container.

You can change their potting mixture yearly to make the plant grow even quicker. Repotting helps prevent excessive salt, minerals, and water accumulation in the roots.

Do not use a much larger container for repotting compared to the original. It can lead to excessive energy for root development, ignoring the shoot growth.

Use a terracotta pot for repotting, as it is the most suitable for the plant. It helps maintain the soil moisture while preventing overwatering of the soil.

Tips to Repot Hoya Serpens

  • Hoya is a toxic plant, so you must put on safety measures like goggles, masks, and gloves.
  • Take a clean container 2 inches wider in diameter than the earlier container. Also, ensure you take a container that has suitable drainage holes.
  • Create a base using rock pebbles at the bottom of the container.
  • Fill the container with 2/3 of the prepared potting mixture, which should be well-draining.
  • Avoid filling the container with the potting mixture. Instead, leave some space to add compost in the future.

5. Occasional Pruning 

Pruning the plant once or twice every two years is enough to maintain its good look. 

If left unmanaged, the plant can also have uneven and significant stem growth, which is not pleasing for any plant enthusiast.

Moreover, pruning the damaged plant parts helps prevent the spreading of diseases and pests.

Mealybugs, aphids, and Sooty mold are a few of the pests and diseases that disturb the growth of most Hoya species.

Things to Consider Before Pruning Hoya Serpens

  • Since this plant is toxic, wear gloves, goggles, and a mask.
  • Remove only dead, dry, discolored, or infected foliage with sterilized tools.
  • After pruning, clean the area and wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Dispose of the pruned sections immediately to avoid contact with children and pets.

Practical Solutions for Pests & Diseases

  • Use horticultural neem oil or isopropyl alcohol over the infected surface.
  • Keep your Hoya serpens separate from other infected plants.
  • Apply fungicides Bonide and Azoxystrobin to tackle fungal infections.
  • To avoid fungal and mold growth, avoid spraying the plant at night.

Growth Habits

It can reach a maximum height of 8-10 feet within 2-3 years if it receives the proper growth conditions.

The attractive foliage and waxy star-shaped flowers of the Hoya serpens are the most beautiful part of the plant.

Tiny, glossy foliages of Hoya serpens.
Hoya serpens is an epiphytic plant that belongs to the family apocynaceae.

It is recognized by its almost perfect round green leaves and colored flowers. The unique shape of the leaf makes it quite popular among plant enthusiasts to add to their indoor collection.

When most flowers open in summer, it produces an even stronger fragrance. The flowers are lime and plain green colored. The plant also has a small white crown on the inside.

Additionally, the Hoya plant tends to become dormant in winter with decreasing temperatures.

Hoya Serpens Propagation Methods

Propagating is the most convenient and affordable way of producing new plants through asexual reproduction, identical to the original plant.

The serpens plant can be propagated using the stem cutting method, which means we primarily require a healthy stem cutting.

The summer and spring seasons would be best for propagating the plant.

Ensure the availability of Gardening knives, gloves, Hoya potting mix, Perlite, Rooting hormone, and Terracotta pot before the propagation. 

Propagating Hoya Serpens by Stem Cuttings

Stem cutting is the most convenient way of propagating Hoya Serpens.

To propagate Hoya by using stem cuttings, follow the steps mentioned below:

  • Choose a healthy stem 4 to 6 inches long with at least 3 to 4 leaves and cut it using a sterilized garden knife.
  • Remove the lower leaves from the stem and put some growth hormones.
  • Dip the stem cutting in potting mix without letting the leaves touch the soil.
  • Water the plant regularly after potting to ensure proper growth.
  • Place the container in bright indirect sunlight until proper root development.

The roots will begin forming after 3-4 weeks of propagating.

Toxicity of Hoya Serpens

Hoya Serpens comes filled with latex, a skin irritant, and is toxic when consumed by humans or pets.

Placing the plant away from children; animals reach high shelves or tabletops.

Overfeeding and fertilizing the plant can also make it more toxic, so be careful while applying fertilizer.

Ingesting the leaves may lead to gastrointestinal tract irritation, and contains chemicals that dogs and cats cannot break down, leading to serious health issues.

Contact your local veteran doctor or call the ASPCA at (888) 426-4435 if your pet ingests any leaves, stems of Hoya Serpens.

Frequently Asked Questions About Hoya Serpens

1. How can I Make my Hoya Serpens Grow Faster?

Fertilizing the plant every two weeks can help maintain rapid growth for the plant.

Placing the plant in its ideal environment (warm temperature, high humidity, and proper water moisture) also helps grow the plant faster.

2. Why is my Hoya Serpens Plant, not Flowering?

Frequent repotting can lead to transplant and repotting shock, leading to delayed growth and not flowering.

Insufficient sunlight is another primary reason the plant might not bear any flowers. Placing the plant in indirect sunlight can help remove this issue easily.

3.  Are Hoya Serpens Rare?

Hoya Serpens is a unique and rare slow-growing plant native to South East Asia and found only in a warm, humid, and moist environments in other parts of the world.

From Editorial Team


Being a Himalayan plant, factors like temperature, sunlight requirements, and fertilizing needs are easy to maintain in-house.

But on the other hand, it requires a high humidity level which can be difficult to maintain.

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