When someone asks me this question, I always say: “Just root them in a medium you feel the most comfortable with”. Like most plants, hoyas will root in water, perlite, leca, moss, or directly in the soil mix. I tried all of this and all methods work. I just don’t like moss too much, simply because it sticks to the tiny roots and it can cause a root rot later on.
But let’s start at the beginning!
Take a cutting
When you take a cutting from a hoya, make sure it has at least one node:
You will want your stem to be as long as possible. This will give you better chances of saving the cutting in case it starts rotting:
When you take the cutting, you need to wait for a few hours before putting it in any medium. Let it heal first and callous over well, otherwise, it will start rotting when in contact with moisture.
Pot it up
My preferred method for rooting hoyas is directly in the soil mix. Why? Because it is less work for me and less stress for them. Everybody wins. 🙂
I pot the cuttings up in the smallest containers possible. They will remain in these containers until they are seriously root-bound. With this method, you can avoid stressing the plant by repotting and changing the medium once it is rooted. This means the cutting will be happier and start pushing out new growth faster.
However, I did find that rooting some soft-leaved hoyas sometimes works better in water, for example, I rooted hoya lockii in water because it was miserable in the soil.
When potted up, I water the cutting well. I like to add the Superthrive when watering for the first time because this vitamin solution really helps with the rooting.
Be careful not to let the substrate dry out too much while the cutting is rooting. Keep it evenly moist, not too dry, and not too wet. When you see that a hoya is pushing out new growth and has established the roots, begin with letting it dry out between waterings.
Provide the optimal environment
There are three things that hoyas absolutely need when rooting:
- High humidity
- Enough light
If you can provide all three, you can successfully root hoyas all year long, not just during the spring and the summer.
For high humidity, I put my cuttings in transparent storage boxes. I keep the lid slightly opened so they get some air and I take the lid off for a few minutes at least every second day (usually when checking if they need watering).
To keep them warm, I put the boxes on the heat mats. These are the ones I use. The heat mats are turned on for as much time as the lights are on, this means approximately 13 hours a day. This is due to the fact that I keep all of them connected to the same timer. I didn’t do much research on whether it would be better to keep the heat mats turned on all the time, so if you have any information on this, let me know in the comments! I thought turning them off during the night would be a good imitation of the conditions in nature. The cuttings seem to like it.
I’ve come to learn that hoyas really do need tons of light – when rooting and otherwise. If you can’t keep them directly on the window shelf, you will probably need to arrange some grow lights for hoyas to really thrive, grow, and bloom. There’s no need for anything super-fancy and definitely no need for the red light district! 🙂 I absolutely hate pink lights so I am not using any. These are the three types of lights I use:
- LED grow light 15W from Sansi (buy from US, buy from EU)
- 150W grow light shaped like fan blades (buy from US, buy from EU)
- LED stripe – cold white (buy from US, buy from EU)
Please be mindful of how you place the plants under the lights. The LED stripe is not very strong so it works best when very close to the plants, for example under the shelves. The other two are fairly strong, so be careful not to burn your hoyas.