Hoya Polyneura is a wonderful plant that has gained popularity in recent years, but it is somewhat different from other plants to care for. It is a little picky and you certainly have to know what to do to ensure healthy growth and colorful foliage.
This article covers:
- What Hoya Polyneura is and what it looks like
- How to care for it including the right amount of water, size of pot, and type of soil
- Common problems you may encounter and what to do about them
Table of Contents
What is Hoya Polyneura?
Hoya Polyneura, also known as Fishtail Hoya, is a type of Hoya that offers thin leaves that look somewhat like a fish’s tail. They also bloom into lovely flowers that are shaped like stars.
As an epiphytic plant, it doesn’t grow under the soil like other house plants. The Hoya Polyneura actually wraps its roots around support features like rocks or trees.
The flowers have a deep red hue that is wonderful and can add to any aesthetic. The plant is originally found in the Himalayas, which is why it doesn’t need as much water as some plants and prefers indirect light.
While they are a little harder to care for than some other types of common house plants, if you know how it shouldn’t be a problem to get the plant to bloom into lovely red and beige flowering stars.
To see what it looks like when the Hoya Polyneura grows throughout a month, check out this neat video:
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How to Care for Hoya Polyneura
To care for Hoya Polyneura, you must know the conditions that make it thrive. In addition to supplying the optimal amount of light and water, you should also know what type of soil, fertilizer, and temperatures the plant prefers. In addition, the size of the pot is a concern with this variety of Hoya as well.
Like other Hoya types, the Fishtail Hoya likes bright light as long as it is not too direct. Direct sunlight, especially during the middle of the day during the growing season, can harm the plant and scorch the foliage. However, it does need quite a bit of light in order to bloom into the lovely flowers you will adore.
Typically, it is best to place the Hoya Polyneura in an East-facing window, but just make sure that it doesn’t get too much light during the middle of the day and that the shade is sufficient.
South-facing windows can work as well, but you may need a little shade to protect it against direct rays of sunlight.
In general, you will want to water Hoya Polyneura plants once a week or so. It is critical that you don’t leave it completely dry for very long, but overwatering is more of a concern than underwatering.
You can feel the soil to make sure that at least the top portion is thoroughly dry before watering each time. Always avoid small watering because this can stress the plant out.
It will need more water during the Spring and Summer, especially if you want it to bloom. However, too much water can cause root rot and actually impede growth.
While once a week during the growing season and once every two weeks during the Fall and Winter is a good guideline, you will need to adjust depending on the temperature, light, and size of your plant.
With Hoya Polyneura, you want well-draining soil since it is prone to overwatering. If you are purchasing soil to use, make sure that it contains perlite. Otherwise, you will want to use perlite when making your own soil for your Fishtail Hoya.
Perlite ensures aerated and loose soil that can drain excess water, but also holds enough moisture for proper hydration.
If you plan on making your own soil mixture, then we recommend using one part worm castings, and two parts perlite.
You can also add orchid bark, pumice, or horticultural charcoal which can help with draining as well.
Feeding Hoya Polyneura with the right type of fertilizer is essential for proper, healthy growth. You want to have a scheduled routine for feedings throughout the growing season and then cease fertilizing during the Winter.
Use a well-balanced organic fertilizer once every two weeks during the Spring and Summer.
Temperature and Humidity
Hoya Polyneura plants like cooler weather with temperatures getting into warmth. They normally thrive in temperatures between 45 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (7 to 24 degrees Celsius).
Even though they like it fairly cool, they can not withstand any frost and it will burn right through the skinny leaves.
They prefer high humidity as well and low humidity can lead to missed blooming or inadequate blooms. If it is not humid enough, the best way to create the optimal environment is to use a pebble tray underneath the pot.
Spraying the leaves is not recommended for Hoya Polyneura because they are susceptible to overwatering.
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While Hoya Polyneura likes to have room for growth, it does like a tighter, less spacious pot than most other types of houseplants. This is because the snug home for the Fishtail Hoya prevents too much moisture that can harm your plant or contribute to root rot.
One of the most important things is to make sure that the pot has holes in the bottom to allow excess moisture and fluids to drip through.
Common Problems with Hoya Polyneura
There are some common problems with Hoya Polyneura to keep in mind. They range from mild inconvenience to serious issues that can kill your plant. Things like pests, wrinkled leaves, and discoloration are common problems that you should know how to deal with when they arise.
Hoyas of all types, including the Hoya Polyneura, seem to attract pests like crazy. All sorts of pests from scale and aphids to fungus and gnats can be a concern for this plant. The good news is that they aren’t too difficult to eliminate when you do get an infestation.
Mealybugs are probably the biggest concern with Fishtail Hoya since you have to wait longer between waterings.
Thrip is also a common problem with Hoyas. Both will feed off of the sap and take the nutrition away from it. Brown scale can multiply quickly as well.
Neem oil is the best method to eradicate pests because it won’t harm the plant. Dilute it with water and carefully spray the solution onto the plant. It will kill efficiently and effectively. Treat again three days later.
Wrinkled leaves are a common issue with Hoya Polyneura and the issue that arises for many owners is that it can be caused by both overwatering and underwatering.
This can be a predicament if you don’t know which one, but the best way to discover the solution is to check the soil. If there is moisture, then overwatering is the likely culprit. If it’s bone dry, then underwatering is probably to blame.
For overwatered Hoya Polyneura plants, you need to switch the soil out. When doing so, check the roots to look for mushy rotting portions and remove them before putting them back into a new pot.
Weird Shaped Leaves
If the leaves stop looking like fish or mermaid tails or start looking thicker and awkward, then you surely want to figure out what the problem is quick.
It is a simple issue that occurs very often with Hoya Polyneura plants, especially for people who just started growing the plant. The underlying cause is temperature.
The cause can be either temperatures that are too low or high or temperatures that fluctuate too much throughout the day and week.
Install a temperature gauge in the same area of the room to make sure that it is staying at the same temperature and to determine which adjustments you need to make. Remember, you want to strive for 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
If you see the vines of your Hoya Polyneura shrinking back, then it isn’t getting enough light. While direct sunlight can be a concern, they still need a lot of indirect light to grow properly. If you already have the plant in a window facing the North or East, then try moving it to a South-facing one instead.
You can also use sheer curtains to filter the light to prevent scorching and other issues that can occur after making a lighting change.
Yellow leaves are almost always caused by excessive water. Direct sunlight may turn them yellow as well but is more likely to cause scorching and brown crisp leaves.
Too much water on the other hand makes leaves solidly yellow and is a very common problem with Hoya Polyneura. Make sure that the soil is draining enough and that you are only watering once the top portion of the soil is completely dry.
Final Thoughts on Hoya Polyneura
Hoya Polyneura can be a wonderful plant that has unique, star-shaped flowers. While they are somewhat picky about the size of their pot, the amount of water, indirect sunlight, and other conditions, but once you get it right they are lovely and spruce up any room.