Hoya Polyneura – How to Grow, Care, Propagation, and Other Problems

People these days have recognized gardening as a very popular pastime. A lot of people have taken the liberty to go about decorating their homes with beautiful greens. We know that Hoya is a popular pretty choice to go ahead with but the next question in line is which Hoya? 

With over 50 choices to choose from, Hoyas can often confuse people with their beauty and variety. Of course, you would want to bring every one of them back with you but that is rarely possible. You need to know about each Hoya before you go ahead and get yourself one! 

In this article, we will help you know realize if the plant you need is a Hoya Polyneura.

What do we know about Hoya Polyneura?

This Hoya is a perky, exclusive Himalayan variety that dons pairs of narrow, thin leaves with quietly understated dark vein patterns. Paired on vining stems, the leaves form a pattern that appears to be a fish’s tail.

This, however, doesn’t make an ideal beginner’s plant. Hoya polyneura doesn’t ship well or adapt that easily. If you own one, you should know that it is prone to turning yellow and disintegrating after a move. 

It requires humidity and consistent moisture and wouldn’t tolerate under or overwatering The leaf loses pigment and with yellow highlights in brighter light.

The plant originates from China and the Himalayas and belongs to the Apocynaceae family. Hoya polyneura tends to grow in a suspended, epiphytic manner. This implies it tends to wrap its roots around trees and rocks in the area. 

Hoya polyneura happens to be a very unique plant with gorgeous blooms and foliage with a high color value. 

The plant, as was mentioned, is native to Southeast Asia, and thrives at relatively high altitudes (500 to 1000 meters). It can ultimately grow around 1.5 feet long, despite its slow growth.

Hoya, as a lot of us know, is a genus comprising ornamental flowering plants that are sometimes referred to as the ‘wax plant’. The start-shaped creamy flowers are yellow and red and the leaves look like they are made of wax! 

And keep in mind the fact that these tiny little beauties have a very pleasant fragrance to them. 

The “Fishtail” Hoya, Hoya polyneura, has become a popular plant over the last couple of years. These are quite low-maintenance plant, and it looks gorgeous when grown in a hanging basket! Hoya polyneura is an epiphytic plant that dons thin, light green leaves and dark green fishbone veins that are delicate and pendent in appearance. 

The Hoya polyneura plant is definitely a great addition to any home. The happiest part about owning a Polyneura is that despite how fragile it looks, this plant is easy to care for.

Caring for a Hoya Polyneura

This plant is known to have a delicate venation of short, thin leaves that mimic a fish’s tail. This is where it gets its name from. But it isn’t just the leaves that stand out. They also bloom with stunning star-shaped blooms that will take your breath away.

Hoya polyneura is a beautiful addition to your plant family. The best thing is that, despite the dainty appearance, this plant is simple to maintain. Here is everything you need to know.

Adequate lighting

Like basically every Hoya, this light is bright but not direct mid-day sunlight. You can place it on a south-facing window that is shaded by an old birch tree, so it has strong light but not the scorching sun. 

If you put your plant in a window that receives somewhat southern exposure, it works best if you do not put it directly in front of the window. 

You can use a sheer curtain to protect it from too much direct sunlight. Mother thing you need to know is that if this variety of Hoya doesn’t get enough light it won’t have lush foliage, will start getting discolored, and definitely won’t bloom.

Hoya Polyneura is known to appreciate morning light, so, if you have the time to go the extra mile, you can replace the houseplant every morning to let it get some sun (but it may cause some additional stress to your friend).

If the plant is not receiving the right amount of light, the following problems will arise:

  • Wilting, yellowing, and curling leaves start showing up as the first signs of damage.
  • In the long run, it will begin to grow slowly if placed in damp conditions where light is insufficient.
  • Too much bright light has the potential to cause your plant’s leaf to burn since it is very delicate.

Tips for correct lighting

  • Start by rotating the plant now and then to ensure that each side receives enough sunlight.
  • Keep your Polyneura in indirect lighting for at least 6 hours for optimal growth.
  • There’s no problem if a tree in your outdoor garden is providing you with some shade. Otherwise, it is recommended that you keep the plant at least 3 feet away from the window and filter the light with the curtains.
  • If it is workable, select the light before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
  • Avoid exposing it to bright sunlight or cold air. Keep it indoors throughout the winter.

Watering requirements

These beautiful residents of the tropics prefer moist soil. Water the soil until you see it is completely saturated, then let it dry before watering it again. Ensure that you water the plant as soon as the upper layer is dry, rather than allowing it to dry out. 

Always keep in mind that wet, damp, or waterlogged soil is a death sentence for plants.

During the Spring and Summer months, you should water once or twice a week is a reasonable estimate. In the colder months, however, you can go ahead with once every fourteen to twenty days is sufficient.

Aside from conducting a finger test on the soil, keeping an eye on its leaves will also provide you with information. Too much water results end up giving your plant yellow leaves. Wrinkling, dry-looking leaves, on the flip side, are an indicator that it needs to be watered right now.

Try to the best of your ability not to overwater your Hoya Polyneura. This plant, like a lot of other Hoya plants, is prone to root rot and a few other conditions, so you would want to avoid overwatering at all costs. Also, never let the Hoya sit in water for too long.

Ideal Temperatures

Temperatures ranging from 50-77°F are ideal for a Polyneura. It does possess the ability to withstand temperatures as low as 45°F. The reason for this is that the Hoya is indigenous to Tibet and India’s Himalayan regions, where it is rather cold compared to normal.

This beauty, however, should never be exposed to temperatures that are further cold. You should never let frost form on this green friend. The leaves on this Hoya are so thin and delicate, that such cold will literally burn them. 

Because the leaves are so thin and sensitive, they will potentially be burnt by the frost. It can develop faster than that if the temperature is too high. This is why the plant grows more rapidly in the summer.

But keep in mind that the Hoya polyneura will start to struggle once the temperature goes to 40°F or lower as well as 80°F or higher. As a result of the given temperatures, plants’ water and nutrient uptake can be hindered, causing damage to plant components. Your plants will wilt, and not just the leaves but the vines too!

The best ways to take care of the temperature

  • The most crucial part of this is to have stability at room temperature. A Polyneura, like any other plant in your garden, doesn’t like temperature fluctuation.
  • You can buy a radiator for this is the best thing for indoor planting since you can change the temperature based on your plant’s requirements.
  • During well-lit and high-temperature months, opt for shaded curtains.

Proper Humidity

When we talk about humidity requirements, this Fish Tail hoya will grow lush leaves and flowers if the humidity levels are just right. On drier days, the plant tends to need additional attention. 

Increase the amount of moisture in the room by keeping a pebble-water tray near the plant, getting a humidifier, or grouping plants. To prevent the loss of moisture, spray the plants lightly once in a while.

If the humidity levels are improper, the soil keeps drying quickly. In addition to this, the growth of the plant is also compromised. The vines may start to droop, and leaves may become yellow and ultimately fall off if the humidity needs are not met.

Spritz the pants moderately every once in a while to minimize moisture loss. As long as the plant is receiving enough indirect light, the best humid place inside your home would be your bathroom. 

When misting your plant, make sure that the water doesn’t sink into the leaves because this will harm the plant in the long run.

Soil Mix

The Polyneura plant is known to enjoy well-draining soil. As has been mentioned before, this plant is susceptible to overwatering. Well-draining soil will help prevent the diseases that are borne due to overwatering.

Well-draining soil is the best mix and works best at making sure a plant isn’t overwatered. It, as the name suggests, helps all the extra water to drain through. Along with the soil, you will need a plant pot that has drainage holes at the bottom so it doesn’t stand in water for too long.

Along with this, well-draining soil ensures that your Hoya plant is getting all the moisture it needs. It holds onto just the right amount of moisture to keep the plant hydrated.

Perlite is the best material to add to your soil to ensure proper drainage. Perlite tends to loosen up the soil so excess water can drain to the bottom. And since it is porous, it can also hold onto moisture to keep the plant hydrated.

You can even make your very own soil mix. All you need to do is mix one part worm castings with two parts perlite, orchid bark, and pumice or horticultural charcoal if you’ve got some on hand.

The Right Fertiliser 

For the healthy growth of this dainty pretty mind, regularly applying fertilizer is critical. You need to make sure that you are a responsible plant parent and that your Hoya polyneura gets adequate food because they’re large feeders. You’ll start to notice that its leaves get dimmer than they should be if you don’t.

A spoonful of fish fertilizer diluted in one gallon of water is the best to be used to address the nitrogen deficit. The solution thus made can then be sprayed over the Hoya’s stems and leaves to hydrate it. 

Fertilizer is extremely crucial for a polyneura plant. Fertilizer is the best way to ensure the plant is getting all the nutrients it can’t get from watering alone.

You will need to fertilize this plant about every two weeks during the warm months. When the cold months are around the corner, you can skip the fertilizing process. Most indoor plant fertilizers suit the Hoya polyneura just fine and work to their full potential.

Chlorosis is a disease that causes the plant’s leaves to become yellow. It is generally caused by nutritional deficiencies, most predominantly nitrogen and potassium, which are macronutrients in plants.

Calcium, iron, manganese, and sulfur, along with potassium and nitrogen, are needed to synthesize green pigment, also known as chlorophyll.  Hence the deficit of these nutrients can induce yellowing and restricted development of new leaves.

Common mistakes in fertilizing the plant

  • Giving the plant more fertilizer than necessary is a significant problem. While giving your plants a good dosage of organic fertilizer is beneficial, feeding them way too much of the same might have unanticipated repercussions on your Hoya.
  • If you use low-quality fertilizers that contain many unnecessary and somewhat harmful chemicals or those that come from less-than-ideal sources is another mistake plant owners make.
  • Not fertilizing at the right time gives rise to a new set of problems. Following a proper fertilization schedule shouldn’t be overlooked.

The repercussions of improper fertilizing habits

  • There will be a significant fall in the number of vines and foliage production.
  • There is a visible disruption in the nutritional balance of your plant which becomes visible as hindered growth.
  • Over-fertilization can end up in rapid plant growth which is supported by an inadequate root system to feed the plant with enough water and nutrients.
  • Hoya polyneura cannot receive all sorts of nutrients by water alone, so feeding too little plant food can result in impaired growth and a dull showcase of the vines.
  • Using too many kinds of harsh fertilizers also tends to end in the depletion of minerals in the soil.


This variety of Hoya plants grows to be about eight inches in length usually. The leaves can grow to be only two to four inches in length. The leaves also grow to be about only two inches in width. As was mentioned, these plants do have very tiny leaves.

Contrasting to the leaves, these tend to be very big plants but they can vine out if given enough room. Each full leaf is 4 inches long, a maximum of 6 inches. The leaves also are bright to dark green, a characteristic of most other Hoays that we know of.

New vines are to be seen at least every couple of months if you properly care for the Hoya during the growing season. Even with a couple of months’ thing going on, the growth of vines is relatively slower during the colder time of the year.

Potting and repotting 

Hoyas have a liking for the tight-fitting container to protect their roots from being too damp. If you are planning to plant a Hoya in a container with too much space, the additional potting mix might end up absorbing water, keeping the roots moist for lengthy periods, and causing root rot.

Medium-sized pots with just the right number of drainage holes at the bottom should be used, and repotting needs to be done every two years. If the container does have drainage holes, you may properly and successfully grow your Hoya polyneura in terra cotta, plastic, or glazed ceramics.

Pots that have no drainage apparatus create wet soil, which ends up rotting the Hoya polyneura’s root. After you’re done repotting your plant, be mindful of the fact that it may cease growing for a period. 

As soon as the tiny green friend and its roots have adjusted to its new surroundings, it will begin to thrive one more time, till its time for the next repotting.

Steps to repotting the plant

  • Get a new container and go on to add a foundation layer of dirt before placing the Hoya polyneura inside to give the roots more room to develop. Give enough space for your plant to grow in the pot without spilling over the edge.
  • Your Hoya polyneura now needs to be watered properly. Make sure you water it very carefully before repotting it. This can keep the rootball together and keep the plant healthy.
  • Now is the time for you to take your Hoya polyneura out of its old container.
  • Go ahead to turn the plant upside down and place your palm over the top of the container to get a hold of the plant instead of pulling it out.
  • Loosen it up carefully with your fingers and let it fall out. You can do this by rotating it a few inches in both directions. You can also opt for a knife to extract the plant from the pot.
  • Give your hoya plant a new home in the latest container.
  • Pay attention to the fact that the plant is aligned and erect before firmly pressing it into its new home and filling it with dirt.
  • Water it nicely once you’ve patted it down to let the soil settle in peace.


Because the Hoya polyneura is known for its unique and numerous tiny leaves growing on a single vine, it appears appealing when you let it grow out and become fully grown because its delicate leaves will never be as untidy as other vining plants.

Most gardening enthusiasts, however, prefer to keep these plants cut shorter because it tends to appear neater that way. It’s entirely up to you how you want it to present the plant in your house.

Both of these ways are fantastic methods to exhibit the plant since it looks stunning, whether pruned or not. Spring and summer months happen to be the optimum times to trim your Hoya polyneura if you’re a tidy freak.

The general tradition is to improve the health and appearance of your Hoya, don’t forget to remove any discolored or damaged leaves.

You need to remove any stems or leaves that are dead, damaged, diseased, or unproductive. Then go on to cut off any twisted or wayward stems, especially the ones growing away from the support.

You can also cut the vine to a bud or stem and go ahead and point it in the direction you want it to grow. Make sure you make a clean cut and be careful as to not leave a stub, which is an open invitation to pests and pathogens to attack the plant.

The flowers on Hoya Polyneura?

One of the many things that make Hoya Polyneura stand out from the race is the delicate flowers. The flowers are grouped to form an umbel. These tend to be a creamy yellow color with a reddish center. 

These lovely blossoms happen to be star-shaped and look as if they are covered in wax, justifying the plant’s name.


An umbel of the Hoya can have anywhere between 5 and 15 flowers that typically need 2-3 weeks to fully mature. The surface of these flowers is extremely smooth. A lot of other Hoyas are known to have tiny hairs on their flowers, but that’s not what happens in the case of the Fishtail Hoya.

By the way, these little stars are also heavily scented. The smell is pleasant, but it might be a bit of a disaster for people that are too sensitive to different scents. By the way, the smell is strongest in the early evening.

Fortunately, your green friend is most likely to bloom during the warmer months which happen to be from spring to late summer. Hence, if anyone of the family members is intolerant to the smell, you can place the plant outside for the summer.

If you give the plant proper attention, it will repay you by yielding flowers that bloom almost as rapidly as the vines. They have purple pigment in the middle and are known to have a strong scented pleasant aroma.

For it to flower, the Polyneura needs to be exposed to cooler temperatures. However, make sure that the temperature doesn’t go below 45 F.

This beautiful Hoya is known to flower from spurs, something common to a lot of other Hoyas. Don’t remove these things when you are pruning and try not to damage them as each year the flowers appear from the same spurs as the previous.

Ways of propagating Hoya Polyneura

These are some of the quickest Hoya cuttings that you can come across to root and put out new growth. It is fairly impressive, the rate at which the plant progresses. You can take a 4-6″ cutting, shove it into the potting mix with a light amount of fertilizer in the bottom, and water them as often as you had been watering the parent plant. 

They always take root in the soil and within no time you’ll see new growth on your Hoya. Here is everything you need to know about propagating them.

Via Stem Cuttings

Stem cutting might possibly be one of the simplest ways to proliferate these plants. You can propagate either in water, soil, perlite, or sphagnum, all of the mediums being as easy as the next one. We will walk through each of the mediums in the following paragraphs.

Step 1 – Taking A Cutting

As you might have guessed, this is the first and most crucial step in taking decent cutting is to choose a vine. If possible, choose a vine that isn’t exactly growing actively and has immature leaves. Go ahead with vines already covered with root hairs so that a robust root system may be formed as soon as possible.

The next step in the process is to locate a node. The leaves of a Hoya are known to sprout from the nodes. You’ll want to start by cutting from the last node with leaves below the section. 

Scissors or cutters, or any other equipment that you use, should have been sterilized before being used. Be careful to make a swift, clean-cut, being careful not to damage the vine or leaves you’re leaving behind for the mother plant.

The perfect Hoya Polyneura stem cutting is usually about 3-4 inches long and has a minimum of 2 leaves attached to it.

Step 2 – Selecting a Medium

As you have guessed, there are a few mediums that you can choose from. These are the options that you can explore.

Water as a medium
  • You need to have the correct size of polyneura stem cutting for this method to work. The stem cutting needs to be at least three inches in length, even longer if possible. As was mentioned, there need to be at least two leaves attached. It’s best if you cut right below a leaf node. Sterilize the equipment that you use for the process.
  • You need to let the stem cutting heal before anything else. This callouses the cut-out ends of your stem cutting. To help recover from it, leave the stem cutting out for at least seven days. It should be kept out in a warm environment.
  • After a week is up, you need to get a jar or another container for the plant. Place the stem cutting in the container. Pour or running water but make sure you don’t drench the leaves. You should be careful to not let it get wet at all. The water used should always be at room temperature. If you are planning to use tap water, make sure you let it sit out overnight. When you do this, any remaining chemicals in the water can dissolve.
  • It takes a while for roots to start growing back again. In the meantime, make sure you go ahead and change out the water every few days or so. If this is not done, bacteria can grow and infect your Hoya polyneura plant.
  • While you’re waiting for the roots to grow, you can get your plant pot ready. Ensure that the container has the right number of drainage holes. Fill it with well-draining soil.
  • In about a month or so, you’ll start seeing roots growing from your stem cutting. Once the roots look at least three inches in length, you can move your new polyneura plant to the pot. You should be careful not to bury the roots deep into the soil. Pack the soil tightly around the plant.
  • It is high time that you care for your new Hoya polyneura plant. Place this plant near a window to make sure it’s getting bright but indirect sunlight. Make sure that you let the soil dry out before you water it. And before you know it, you’ll have blossoms alongside the plant’s pretty leaves.
Perlite as a medium

One of the better techniques for making offspring of your Hoya polyneura is perlite propagation.

Perlite is a relatively sterile medium when compared to water, and enables a lot of air to pass over the cutting, preventing decay, and can be left alone for extended periods without the fear of rotting.

These are the steps you need to follow:

  • Make use of a container that is the right size for the plant. You may even go ahead with either a disposable container or a plastic container, both of which work nicely.
  • Add about an inch of perlite to the container and soak for a few minutes in water.
  • Place the cutting you acquired on the perlite. You can bury the plant’s stem in the moist perlite, but try to keep the leaves as exposed as possible.
  • To keep the humidity intact in the container, you can place it in a plastic bag.
  • Put the container in a bright, warm location, away from direct sunlight.
Sphagnum as a medium

Fill a small container with sphagnum moss and place it in indirect sunlight. Place the Hoya cutting into the sphagnum and keep the moss hydrated with the help of a spray bottle.

It helps in providing good air circulation and prevents rot, but it needs to be watered regularly.

Step 3 – Pot your Hoya

The cutting can now be placed in a suitable growth medium once it has formed at least one 2cm long root.

Within the first few weeks of potting the cutting, use a very well-draining soil suitable for the Hoya and water the plant more regularly, but just wet the substrate around where the roots are growing.

Via Seeds

Although stem cutting is the easiest and probably the most viable method of propagating a polyneura, it can be propagated from seeds as well if you want to try this method.

If you put the seeds in sort of semi-dry soil, a new plant will develop from them.

After the mature seed pods of a Hoya plant, that has been grown using seeds as a method, stem cuttings, or leaf clippings have burst, you can harvest the seeds.

Here’s what you need to know about propagating Hoya polyneura from its seeds:

  • Look for a high-quality potting mix. Potting mix optimal for Hoya polyneura has been mentioned beforehand in this article.
  • Fill an appropriately sized container with potting soil and a drainage hole. With the help of your index finger, poke little holes in the potting soil, about 1-inch deep.
  • Fill the holes with seeds.
  • Cover the container and the holes with a layer of dry potting mix and, if necessary, add water gently.
  • Wait until your seedlings develop with proper leaves. Once they’ve grown, dig up each new plant and place it in its own individual container.
  • You can cultivate new Hoyas from their stem cuttings once your plants have grown significantly strong roots and matured after having gone through a full blooming cycle.

Via Leaf

Leaf-cutting is a method that takes a lot of patience and perseverance because it happens to be one of the most difficult ones. You need to wait for at least five weeks for a root to grow from the leaves in the soil.

Use the following steps to propagate from leaves:

  • Place at least five to six leaves in the soil, only slightly covering the tips to allow roots room to grow.
  • Make sure you give enough space between the leaves in the container for the roots to spread out as they occur.
  • Also, ensure the leaves are seated at a 45-degree angle to allow for growth.
  • It’s natural to feel excited when you start observing the roots growing from the leaves. However, you shouldn’t get too happy since your cuttings may not transform into the plants you want to cultivate and propagate even with these roots.
  • You can even consider using a rooting hormone that will assist in the root process if you wish to help this tough technique of proliferation.

Out of all the ways of propagation that have been discussed, stem cutting is the easiest and fastest way of propagating Hoya polyneura. Not only that, but it is also the most sure-shot method. It can even be opted for by beginners and might reap results.

Common problems with Hoya Polyneura

Hoya Leaves Turning Yellow

Due to incorrect watering methods, combined with inadequate attention to the lighting and other environment-related characteristics, the Hoya might end up yellowing. Yellow leaves sometimes happen to be the product of aging rather than any underlying issues. 

The lowest leaves on the plant usually tend to be the oldest, and they will turn yellow and fall off over time anyways.

Wilting Leaves

Wilting is a phenomenon where a plant’s leaves start becoming limp and hang lifelessly from the stems of the plant as a result of low water and/or nutrition levels in the plant.

There are two possible reasons behind the wilting of your Hoya polyneura leaves; watering stress and pests. Watering stress tends to include under and overwatering, which have been talked about in the previous paragraphs. 

Common Pests

Plant pests can be a bit of an issue for any Hoya plant and your Polyneura is no exception. But these plant pests aren’t that hard to get rid of. With a few treatments that are washing and spraying with jets of water, your plant will be back to health.

Mealybugs happen to be the biggest plant pest when it comes to Hoya plants. This happens because they’re attracted to drier plants like succulents. Since you wait a while longer to water this plant, mealybugs flock to it.

Another common plant pest for this variety of Hoya is the thrip. Thrips are known to be super small and hard to see with the naked eye. They appear to be like tiny little threads littered throughout your plant.

They use their piercing straw-like mouths to prey on your plant. They steal the sap from the plant. They live off of the nutrition that the sap of a plant offers.


What is the right soil pH for the plant?

The right pH value for this variety of Hoya is what ranges between 6-7 in level.

Why does my Hoya have weird-shaped leaves?

If the leaves on your Hoya don’t look like fishtails anymore, the temperature is most likely the issue.

If the temperature of the place is lower than 45 F or higher than 75 F, the plant will suffer and its leaves will change their appearance.


As what might have been established now, taking care of these beautiful plants isn’t too tricky. Even beginners to gardening, who are just getting started will enjoy this companion.

Be careful to take note of whatever seems important for the plant so that you can enjoy the beauty and utility of this pretty little Hoya.

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  • Manish Lakhera

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