The hoya kerrii plant, better known as the sweetheart plant, is a stunning little houseplant that has really grown in popularity in recent years.
These plants originate in South East Asia and have a unique appearance thanks to their heart shaped leaves.
But since the hoya kerrii came along as something of a fashion trend, there’s still a lot of uncertainty around its care.
That isn’t to say you can’t successfully keep on; you just need to make sure you provide it with everything it needs.
In This Guide – We’ll tell you everything you need to know to make your hoya kerrii plant thrive.
Table of Contents
A Note About Single Leaf Hoya Kerri Plants
Before we get into the nitty gritty of caring for a hoya kerrii plant, it’s worth touching on the single leaf plants that are often sold.
You’ll find them in places like Ikea and when Valentine’s Day comes around, they’re in abundance in shops and boutiques around the world.
This is owing to those heart shaped leaves.
However, the problem with these plants is that they’re not usually potted in soil but rather sphagnum moss which doesn’t allow them to take root.
For This Reason – You won’t end up with a long lasting plant but only something that’ll survive for a few months. It’s massively more of a novelty.
Do Hoya Kerrii Plants Flower?
While the hoya kerrii plant is famed largely for its unique looking leaves, this plant also blooms some beautiful flowers.
They’re star shaped and come in shades of pink and white. However, not all hoya kerrii plants will flower and when they do, it can be totally random.
Of course, taking good care of your plant will improve the chances of it flowering and you shouldn’t expect this to happen off the bat.
You see, hoya kerrii doesn’t flower until it is at least a few years old so you’ll need to be patient.
Make sure that you give the plant lots of bright, indirect light and make sure that the humidity levels remain high.
You’ll also need to ensure that you properly fertilize the plant using something with high phosphorus levels. These plant foods are more likely to encourage flowering so check the packaging before buying.
What to Avoid – When your hoya kerrii blooms, it can be tempting to remove any old flowers but try to resist the urge. Doing this will discourage future flower growth as the blooms come from the same spot every time.
What’s The Best Soil For Hoya Kerrii?
When you first get your hoya kerrii, you will need to make sure that it has a good start and much of this comes from the type of soil you use.
You’ll need to make sure that you use a high quality indoor potting mix that is very well draining.
Products that contain perlite are particularly good.
Also, remember that the hoya kerrii is semi-succulent which means that the soil should remain loose.
The roots will need to have excellent airflow and tightly packing it reduces this drastically.
Hoya Kerrii Placement
It’s important to make sure that you choose the right spot for your hoya kerrii as this will hugely impact its health and growth.
These plants prefer a location that is bright but not in direct sunlight. If the sunlight does shine directly on the leaves, this will burn them.
That said, make sure that you don’t try to over protect your plant and place it somewhere with very low light as this won’t do it any favors.
As well as considering the light levels, you’ll also need to ensure that the hoya kerrii plant receives the right amount of heat.
Generally Speaking: These plants require temperatures between 65ºF and 80ºF Any cooler than this and the plant will cease growing.
Watering Your Hoya Kerrii
Because the hoya kerrii is a semi succulent, you don’t have to be quite as rigid with your watering schedule.
It’s ok to allow the plant to get dry before you water it. This is because water is stored in the leaves which will feed the plant even after the soil has lost a lot of its moisture.
That said, you want to make sure that the soil doesn’t completely dry out and you especially don’t want to let the leaves dry out.
If you notice that they have started to crease or wrinkle, this is a bad sign and should be dealt with as soon as possible.
Make sure that you check your soil before watering by pushing your finger in to see how far down the dryness goes.
The surface may look dry but there could be moisture lying just underneath. If you add more water, this could result in root rot.
As well as ensuring good watering habits for your hoya kerrii, you will also need to make sure that the humidity levels are kept right.
These plants love humid environments which comes as a surprise since they are semi succulents so most people assume they prefer an arid desert.
But this isn’t the case; in the wild, these plants grow in tropical regions. Placing a humidifier in the room is a great way to increase the levels.
What’s More – It requires very little maintenance on your part. However, it is also possible to mist your plant should you need to.
Feeding Your Hoya Kerrii Plant
How often you feed your hoya kerrii plant depends on its size and age.
For older plants, you may need to feed them a little more frequently. Typically around four times a year is more than enough.
However, for smaller plants, especially single leaf hoya kerrii, you might only need to feed them every six months.
Repotting Hoya Kerri
There’s a lot of debate across the internet between hoya kerrii owners as to whether you really need to repot these plants.
Of course, there are times when you will need to so it’s worth keeping a good check on your plant as this will tell you everything you need to know.
Generally speaking, if you have a young plant that is just starting to sprout new shoots then this should be repotted.
However, if the plant has a few leaves but shows no signs of new shoots, then you might only need to repot it every couple of years.
As your plant starts to grow and becomes more mature, you might consider repotting it every two years.
Each Time You Do – Be sure to move it to a larger pot to accommodate any new growth. It’s super important to make sure that your hoya kerrii isn’t planted in a pot that is too small, otherwise this will diminish the chances of it flowering.
How Quickly Does Hoya Kerrii Grow?
If you’re looking for a very quick growing plant then you should move along because the hoya kerrii is known for how slowly it grows.
Moreover, if it doesn’t have the right conditions then you’ll find that it stops growing entirely.
That said, once it starts, you will notice that new vines show up rapidly and this means more leaves.
When this happens, it tells you that you’re doing something right so keep caring for your plant in the same way you have up until now.
But this does bring us back to those single leaf hoyas that don’t have a stem.
In this case, it’s unlikely that the plant will ever change. Although, there is a small chance it could take several years before you notice anything.
Hoya kerrii plants that do grow are climbers. Some people keep them solely in a hanging basket or pot and that’s fine but if you really want to see what they’re capable of then letting them climb is a must.
Works Fine: You’ll obviously need the right support for the plant and training them to grow up something like bamboo is a great choice. Just make sure you secure it with twine.
Pruning Your Hoya Kerrii
If you’re going to let your hoya kerrii climb then you probably won’t want to prune it.
On the other hand, if you have a very slow growing plant then there’s going to be very little need to prune it anyway.
However, if your plant does have some out of control vines then you can simply snip these off using a clean, sharp pair of scissors.
Just make sure that you don’t cut any part of the plant that has previously flowered as this will stop it from flowering again in the future.
Hoya Kerrii Pests And Diseases
Part of successfully caring for any type of plant is being aware of what pests and diseases might affect it.
The good news is that hoya kerrii plants are pretty resilient and you won’t generally have too many problems with them.
However, there is one thing that can cause an issue and that is mealy bugs.
You’ll see these as small white spots on your plant that resemble pieces of cotton.
But Don’t Worry! It’s pretty simple to deal with and can be treated by spraying the plant with neem oil. Don’t be afraid to be very thorough when doing this, you won’t do any harm to the plant.
Moreover, don’t think that a single application will be enough; this is a treatment that you’ll need to do over and over again for a good few weeks.
Even if the problem appears to have gone away, you’ll still need to continue to make sure that any tiny bugs are not left behind.
If you’re looking for a unique and beautiful house plant then the hoya kerrii is a great option.
However, caring for a full sized plant isn’t the same as looking after the novelty gifts that so many places sell.
These slow growing climbers need good care and just the right conditions if you want them to thrive.