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Plant Profile: Hoya kerrii

There are hundreds of varieties of Hoya, all descending from various regions. One of my favorites is the Hoya kerrii, native to the south-east of Asia. Known for its cute heart-shaped leaves, Hoya kerrii is nicknamed the ‘valentine Hoya’ or the ‘sweetheart plant.’

In today’s world, Hoya kerrii are often sold or gifted in a small pot with a singular leaf. The unique shape of its leaf creates a cute and quirky arrangement for a gift. The downside of propagating H. kerrii this way is that it may never grow. Hoya produce new leaves and roots from nodes on the stem of the plant. If the Hoya is only a singular leaf, it is not attached to a stem, therefore, cannot produce roots

Young Hoya kerrii plants grow slowly. Once they have matured with a good root system, growth becomes more consistent (however still on the slower side compared to other houseplants!)

As I mentioned before, the common form of Hoya kerrii is small and miniature but under the right conditions, H. kerri can be a large, vining plant. When mature, the plant is very charming because cascading vines appear as overflowing hearts!

Mature vines are woody and quite stiff. This is a result of the lignin designed to support a heavy climbing plant. It does not take long for the vines to thicken, making them near impossible to bend. If you want to shape your plant in any way, begin training it early on (H. kerrii look beautiful on a trellis or an arch!)

If your plant has already matured but you want to train it differently, dehydrating the plant will provide a degree of flex in the vines. Be careful while doing this because carelessly bending the plant can cause damage. You can attempt to shape your plant after a couple of weeks of not watering.

Hoya kerrii’s thick succulent looking leaves store water so they can be watered way less frequently than your average green-foliage houseplant. H. kerrii can tolerate as little as one watering a month. You don’t want to totally neglect these plants however, they still need water to grow. Water when the soil is completely dry, and if you miss a watering don’t stress, your Hoya sure isn't!

Characteristic to Hoya, H. kerrii produces stunning flowers. They give a wonderful annual display, usually flowering in the summer. To read on how to get Hoya to bloom, click here.

H. kerrii are easy to propagate, making them easy to grow. They’re a great gift to loved ones or anyone who enjoys an easy houseplant!

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