Hoya Leaves Turning Yellow – Reasons and How to Fix

You must have been captivated by the glossy thick leaves and clusters of waxy blossoms that resemble the stars of the hoya plant. However, when hoya leaves turn yellow it takes away the beauty of waxy plants.

So, if you notice the leaves on hoya turning yellow, you are in the right place. Let me walk you through all the possible reasons and how to fix yellowing hoya leaves in this article.

There are several reasons why hoya leaves turn yellow. Yellow leaves can be caused by nutritional deficiency, temperature stress, ageing, illnesses, etc., and once you know what caused them, fixing them would be simple. 

After spending years with my plants, I have figured out how to keep the yellow leaves at bay. It’s just a matter of keeping your plant care routine up to date. In this article, you will learn how to take care of and provide the right conditions for your hoya plant. After reading the article, you will surely preserve the beauty of your hoya plant. That being said, let’s talk about all the reasons and solutions for yellowing hoya leaves.

Reasons For Hoya Leaves Turning Yellow

Hoya leaves usually turn yellow when they are not given the required nutrients to grow and have high-stress levels. These hoya plants are originally from tropical and subtropical regions and are adapted to their warm and humid temperatures. Also, the change in the stress level of the hoya plant causes its leaves to turn yellow. We have discussed some reasons below why the hoya leaves turn yellow!

1. Light exposure to hoya plants

Sunlight is essential for all plants. It helps the plant in the process of photosynthesis, through which the plant prepares its food. However, the light exposure for the plants differs according to their light. Hoya plants are tropical region plants and require warm temperatures around them. Moreover, the light should be appropriate. It should not be too much or too little as that can cause changes in the plant’s stress level.

Hoya plants are sometimes known as gap plants. They are called so because they make use of woodland openings where light periodically filters through but is still dappled. So, the ideal lighting for the hoya plants will be bright indirect sunlight.

Solution: Choose a location that receives bright, indirect light. It is best to expose them to direct sunlight for about two hours in the morning or evening, but too much exposure may burn their leaves. Low-light situations will grow them, but blooming is unlikely.

2. Excess lighting to hoya plants

Although plants require light to produce chlorophyll, too bright conditions will cause the leaves to turn yellow or brown. Plants stop making more chloroplasts, which is where chlorophyll is made when exposed to too much light. Excessive light may cause brown tips and borders. The leaves start to yellow and fade after being exposed to light for a long time.

However, do not forget that lighting at home changes every season. During summers, place your hoya plants near the window to get as much sunlight as they can but at a limit. And in winter, keep the plant inside in a warm room or near the heater to provide it with an appropriate amount of light.

3. Low Lighting to hoya plants

In contrast to overly bright conditions, plants adjust by producing more chlorophyll in low light conditions. Your plants will initially become greener as they attempt to absorb enough light. However, the Hoya will eventually lose its capacity to withstand the low light and become yellow. The fresh leaves will be affected after the elder leaves.

The sign of low lighting is visible in the plants when the leaves turn a darker shade of green. Usually, the yellow leaves are not considered the reason for low lighting. However, due to less lighting, the hoys plants will not be able to hold their foliage for a long period and will gradually wither away.

Also, reduction in photosynthesis slows growth and produces leaf yellowing as a result of poor sunlight. Additionally, in low light, the water in your pots dries slowly. Furthermore, Waterlogging caused by prolonged water retention can turn leaves yellow.

Solution: Plants should be kept out of direct sunlight and in well-lit locations to avoid yellowing caused by poor lighting. Try placing the Hoyas close to windows that face east or west for the best lighting. Depending on the Hoya type, you can try artificial lighting for a few hours in areas that are darker. Everything depends on how your plant adapts to the environment around it and the requirements it has.

4. The temperature of hoya plants

Hoyas are native to the tropics thus, they can withstand hot weather better than cold weather. The ideal temperature range for Hoya plants indoors is between 18 to 23 degrees Celsius. The plants, however, can only withstand temperatures of 10 degrees Celsius in chilly winds and up to 32 degrees Celsius in hot weather.

If you keep your Hoya outside as the cool fall nights approach or put it next to a drafty window, it can go through a lot of stress. As a result, you need to make sure that the temperature in the vicinity of the plant remains constant. Hoya plants can also endure extremely hot conditions.

However, the issue with high temperatures for Hoya plants is when they are exposed to warm gusts, it usually causes local humidity levels to drop in addition to increasing temperature stress. This may cause dry, yellow leaves as well as brown leaf tips and edges.

Hence, to avoid any yellowing of leaves by temperature will be to maintain a constant temperature around the plant and also be careful during winters so that the plant does not wilt away due to lack of heat in the chilly season.

5. Improper Watering

Improper watering can also cause hoya leaves turning yellow. Water the plant properly, not too much or too little. A long period of time in a drought-like environment can kill the Hoya plant.

To make food, plants need water to move nutrients up to foliage. A lack of water will cause the leaves to wilt, dry, and yellow. 

Additionally, an excessive amount of water can reduce oxygen levels in the soil, damage the roots, and even cause them to rot. Plants with injured roots cannot absorb water from the soil. Furthermore, the plant’s growth is stunted and its leaves discolor.

Solution: Only water your Hoya plant when the soil is completely dry. Use a moisture meter or lightly poke the soil to check the moisture level. It is best to wait for two or three inches after the soil is dry to water it again.

The following factors influence plant watering:

  • Larger plants require more water.
  • Plastic pots usually dry out faster than clay pots.
  • In a bright environment, soil moisture evaporates faster.
  • In winter, plants need less water than in summer.

6. Overwatering to hoya plants

This is considered one of the most common reasons for the hoya leaves to turn yellow. Overwatering usually in any plant causes many problems like root rot, the invitation to insects and fungus due to damp soil, and many more. Also, when the soil is excessively wet or doesn’t drain well, the roots can’t function normally, which is bad for the entire plant. Hence, overwatering is not healthy for plants as it hampers their growth.

Too much water causes roots to suffocate and become oxygen-deprived, which hampers how well they respond. Additionally, the leaves don’t get enough of the nutrients necessary for photosynthesis.

Due to this deficiency, the oldest leaves are the first to yellow. So, to identify the sign of overwatering, check if your soil is damp. Usually, soggy soil indicates the presence of root rot, and to fix this, you should repot your plant.

Solution: Also, check the tips of the leaves, if they are turning brown or yellow, which will indicate overwatering. However, to prevent overwatering, the best method is the drainage system. You should have drainage holes below your container to remove any excess water. The holes under the pot also help you avoid root rot formation. Furthermore, it will be better if you limit your watering towards the plant to avoid overwatering.

7. Underwatering Hoya plant

For any plant to grow, water is essential. Plants use it to transport nutrients from their roots to their leaves. 

Your hoya plants will start wilting and yellowing when they get too little or no water. No doubt hoya plants have thick leaves that are succulent-like and can withstand prolonged droughts. However, these last only a short time, and too little water will eventually cause the leaves to yellow.

Solution: A dry potting mix could indicate underwatering leading to yellow leaves. To determine if the soil is too dry, check the top 2-3 inches. It is time to water and revive your hoya plants if the medium is dry.

8. Water Quality

Water Quality

It takes more than just proper watering techniques to make the Hoya plant thrive. It is also important that they receive filtered water that is free of harmful chemicals. 

There is no immediate effect of ingesting adverse substances. Eventually, it will build up and accumulate. Sooner or later, the leaves of the Hoya plant will have yellow or dark spots. As a result of chemicals inhibiting photosynthesis, the foliage discolors.

Solution: For quality water, follow these tips

  • Fluorine is naturally found in tap water. Avoid it.
  • If you only have tap water, let it sit for a few days. By doing this, you will evaporate some chlorine.
  • Use rainwater, or distilled water to water hoya.
  • Invest in a filtering system. Both humans and plants will benefit from this investment. 
  • Lukewarm water is best. Hoya plant don’t like extremes of heat or cold. 
  • Get a quality check on your water from a local authority. Your water will be better understood if you follow this procedure. You will also receive information about the substances in your water as part of the results. 

9. Incorrect Potting Mixture to hoya plants


In their natural habitats, hoya’s roots expand into tree crevices rather than the ground. Because of this, the potting soil you use for your indoor Hoya plants needs to be well-drained and aerated. A poorly drained soil mixture could be the source of the excess water in your pots.

If the soil holds onto the water for too long, the roots won’t be aerated and will rot. Plant yellowing is an indication of damaged roots. The overwatering issue won’t be solved by setting up a watering schedule. The correct potting soil must be used if you don’t want your Hoya’s leaves to become yellow. It will stimulate healthy development and make it far more difficult for you to overwater your plant. The most important element of a good potting mix is excellent drainage.

You can blend the different components to make a delectable concoction or you can change a pre-made substitute. The ideal potting mix contains a third of each of the following: perlite, house plant compost, and cactus mix. Hoyas will gain from soil that drains well as a result.

10. Poor Soil Drainage

A well-drained potting mix is important. Your hoya will benefit from this as it will prevent overwatering issues. Aside from that, it will help Hoya plants thrive and grow healthy. The proper drainage of the soil also enhances the aeration of the roots and prevents yellow leaves.

In most cases, watering plants is difficult when the soil has poor drainage. Overwatering or underwatering is more likely to occur.

Due to the lack of draining, excess water may form a pool inside the container. A waterlog can result in poor aeration of roots. As a result, the roots do not function properly.

Solution: Use about one-third of perlite, cactus, and houseplant compost. A potting mix containing these ingredients makes for an ideal environment for your hoya plant. When repotting your indoor plants, choose a larger container. This allows your houseplant roots to spread out and avoid tangling.

11. Nutrient Deficiency in hoya plants

Nutrients are very important for plants. Especially nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus are minerals that are usually needed by the hoya plants. Hoyas have dense foliage and require an abundance of fertilizer to thrive. However, the two most common dietary deficiencies that result in skin yellowing are deficits in potassium and nitrogen. Your plants may become yellow from other micronutrients like phosphorus and magnesium.

Chlorophyll is produced by the leaves during photosynthesis, which requires nitrogen. the chlorophyll that gives leaves their green color. The oldest to youngest leaves start to turn yellow when your plants are lacking in these nutrients. Also, it is important to keep in mind that the majority of houseplant potting soils contain enough nutrients to prevent nitrogen deficiency for up to several years. If you’ve just given your plant a new container or fertilized your Hoya frequently, nitrogen deficiency won’t be a problem.

Solution: The easiest approach to avoid any nutrient deficiencies is through fertilization. Fertilizers are typically applied to indoor plants since their soil lacks the nutrients phosphorus, potassium, and nitrogen. So just begin fertilizing your Hoya houseplant with a diluted fertilizer solution every 4 to 6 weeks.

For better growth, this should be done during their growing season, which is from summer to spring. Although a specialist fertilizer may be used for indoor plants, a standard, balanced plant fertilizer applied at half strength is the optimum fertilizer.

12. Fertilizer Problem

Fertilizer Problem

It is beneficial to fertilize your Hoya plant, but you should avoid over-fertilizing. Using too much fertilizer leads to a buildup of minerals and salt. By altering the soil pH, this formation makes nutrients less available to plants. 

In addition, too much fertilizer can cause plants with weak roots to grow suddenly. In some cases, it can even cause toxicity, causing the plant to develop slowly. If you overfertilize your plants, they will be damaged and the leaves will turn yellow. 

Solution: The following tips will help you avoid overfertilizing your Hoya plant

  • Two or three times a month, feed the Hoya plant fertilizer. It is usually best to use liquid fertilizer in a 2:1:2 or 3:1:2 ratio on them. If you want to encourage blooming, use a high phosphorus fertilizer once it has established itself. 
  • Feed your hoya by considering the volume of soil and the intensity of light. Large pots and high light intensity both require more fertilizer. 

13. Old Hoya Leaves

Throughout plants’ lives, ageing is a natural and inevitable process. As your plant’s age, they will shed their old leaves to grow new ones. Eventually, old leaves yellow, dry out, and fall off the plants. If all other causes of yellowing leaves have been ruled out, yellowing should not be an issue.

Solution: Use sterile tools to prune off older leaves so the plants can concentrate on growing new leaves. Also, you can wait until the leaves fall off naturally.

14. Acclimation to New Environment

Plants usually show this when you first bring them home from the store. In the plant nursery, the plant likely grew in perfect conditions, but when it comes into your home, the environment is likely to be less ideal.

As a response, the hoya plant may shed some older foliage, which will usually turn yellow first, and then fall off.

Solution: Give your Hoya plants the right conditions, relax, and let nature do its thing. Eventually, the plants will recover from the shock and become healthy again.

15. Pests to hoya plants

Hoyas are frequently resistant to pest infestations, although an affected plant from poor growth conditions will be more vulnerable to one. Hoyas are susceptible to scale, aphids, mealybugs, thrips, spider mites, and thrips.

Due to the damaged leaf where the pests have eaten, these sap-sucking houseplant parasites typically generate an uneven pattern of leaf yellowing. In addition, it’s always a good idea to check your Hoya plants every time you water them for any bugs. Examine the leaf surfaces and the stems. Rapid infestation control can prevent serious damage to a plant.

Solution: Controlling the pests is necessary as they can cause more damage if not taken care of. You should always check your plants regularly and clean them to prevent any infestation of insects. So, in case you find any infested part, you can simply isolate or remove that much part of the plant to not let it affect the other parts.

You can use insecticidal sprays to treat your plants for extreme infestations of a particular pest. When you see that your Hoya plant has been severely damaged, get rid of it by burning it or burying it far below the surface of the ground.

16. Diseases of hoya plants

Diseases of hoya plants

Hoya plants often have stronger disease resistance than many other houseplants. This is due in part to the waxy cuticles on their leaves, which provide some measure of protection. However, it can deteriorate and become susceptible to illness if it has been overwatered or is under a lot of stress from bad growing conditions. The Hoya disease that causes yellow leaves the most frequently is root rot.

The primary cause of root rot is overly damp soils that encourage the growth of fungi. Suffocation results in the roots turning brown or black, which impairs the roots’ ability to transport nutrients to the leaves. You only notice the yellowing of the leaves in the disease’s later stages.

Solution: To check for root rot disease in the subsurface components, the plants must be lifted out. If the roots are not significantly damaged, trim them with sterile scissors before repotting the plant in fresh soil. To stop the disease from infecting other plants, it is important to remove any badly infected roots.

How To Save Hoya Plants Leaves From Turning Yellow?

How To Save Hoya Plants Leaves From Turning Yellow?

Hoya leaves can turn yellow because of irrigation, stress from light and temperature, aging, acclimation, nutrient deficits, pests, and diseases. If you provide your plants with the ideal amount of water, bright but indirect sunlight, comfortable temperatures, and protection from insects and diseases, they will flourish. After that, enjoy the long, spreading vines and fragrant flower clusters on your sturdy Hoyas.

Also, there is just one way to preserve yellow hoya leaves. It would be advantageous to identify and address the cause of the yellowing. Unfortunately, yellow leaves won’t become green again. They can be removed by pruning, or you can be patient and wait till the leaves naturally drop. After the issue is resolved, the newly sprouting leaves will be healthier and the yellowing problem won’t come again.


Q1. Can yellow Hoya leaves turn green again?

Ans. Chlorophyll is what gives a leaf its green color. When the plant stops making chlorophyll and begins utilizing the leaf’s remaining nutrients, it discards the leaf. Because of this, once a leaf turns yellow, it usually cannot be turned back into green.

Q2. Does Hoya need full sun?

Ans. The majority of hoya plants prefer moderately bright indirect light. Some thrive in roughly two hours of morning or evening direct sunshine, but too much sun exposure can scorch or yellow their leaves.

Q3. Should I cut the yellow leaves off?

Ans. Only when the entire leaf has become yellow should you remove yellow leaves from the plant. This might be caused by aging, pests, illnesses, a lack of water, inadequate sunlight, or a lack of nutrients. By removing these leaves, the plant is signaled to direct its nutrients to the vibrantly green leaves.

Q4. What deficiency causes the yellowing of leaves?

Ans. As a component of chlorophyll, sulfur plays an important role. There is yellowing of the leaves and stunting of growth as a result of sulfur deficiencies.


Now, you might have understood why the leaves of the hoya plants turn yellow. Hoya plants are easy to take care of but you have to regularly pay attention to them and give them all the required nutrients and amenities to avoid any damage. You have to always first identify the issues with your hoya plant before performing anything on the plant. 

I hope the above-provided information was helpful to you and cleared all your doubts regarding the same. I’m thinking of getting more hoyas for my little indoor garden space when I find some that catch my attention. 

Are you a hoya-obsessed lover like me too? Never enough I say!

I hope my article is informative to you and if you like my article, please comment down below, and don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family!

Happy gardening to you!

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