Hoya Linearis Care: How To Grow Needle Leaf Wax Vine Plants

The Hoya linearis is a plant native to the Himalayas in northern India. In that climate, it grows on trees and dangles down like Spanish moss but flourishes in pots.

While there are hundreds of species of Hoya, the linearis is very distinctive with its long stems that hang like a curtain.

Hoya linearis Inflorescence
Star shaped flowers of the Linearis Hoya | BotBln-Wikimedia Commons

Hoya linearis, pronounced [HOY-a lin-AIR-iss], belongs to the Apocynaceae family. It is a perennial with no common name. Like all Hoya plants, it is called “wax plant,” “wax vine,” or “porcelain flower.”

Hoya Linearis Care Tips

Size & Growth

Hoya linearis grows in long tendrils covered with skinny, slightly furry leaves. Leaves can be as long as two inches and are deeply grooved underneath.

In the right environment, the plant can grow about 6′ feet long. It grows outward and downward, so hanging it high enough to allow this free growth is imperative. 

New growth is white or very light green. The plant may look sick, but it is just growing. If the new leaves look too thin or stretched out it may appear that the linearis is sick.

If this happens, make sure it is getting enough indirect light, and it should regain its health.

Flowering and Fragrance

Lax umbels give way to about ten small white flowers that bloom in late summer and continue into autumn. For flowers to bloom, the linearis Hoya prefers bright, indirect light.

This typically comes from south facing window light, but other exposures could also work if they are bright enough.

Light & Temperature

Hoya linearis prefers bright, indirect sunlight. Direct sunlight will burn the leaves and cause them to wither. Hang your Hoya at a level where it will still get sunlight at the top of the plant; otherwise, it will start to look bald.

All of the hoyas need to get indirect light to grow evenly. 

Linearis loves cooler temperatures and flourishes in the morning sun during winter months. The hot summer sun can be too much for this plant. Be sure to monitor light exposure during that season.

Some darkness is good, many plant owners find that the bathroom is the best home for theirs!

Watering and Feeding

Hoya linearis doesn’t require much water. Water when the soil is dry to the touch. A watering schedule would typically be every week in summer. Allow the soil to dry out between watering.

In winter, with less sunlight and cooler temperatures, the plant will be dormant and should be watered only when necessary. 

Since the leaves of linearis are so unique, they don’t hold as much water as more typical, flat plant Hoya leaves do. Water your plant in the morning. At night, the cooler temperatures will cause quick evaporation.

Make sure the Hoya’s planter encourages draining, so there is no root rot. Use room temperature water. Water that is either too hot or too cold will shock the plant and damage it.

Misting the leaves with water will also help keep the leaves healthy. If Linearis is hanging in a room with cooler temperatures and low humidity, mist your plant lightly.

Another option is to use a humidifier or even place a shallow bowl of water near the plant to mimic humidity.

The plant doesn’t need much fertilizer. But a diluted fertilizer mix is good to use every two months during spring and summer to help boost your plant’s growth.

Don’t fertilize Linearis during its winter resting period. It does not need the extra nutrients while it’s dormant.

Soil & Transplanting

Use a well-drained, light potting mix when potting or replanting. Replant old Hoyas only when absolutely necessary. A soil made for African violet with some extra perlite added is a good growing medium.

A good well draining potting mix is:

  • 1 part peat moss
  • 1 part perlite
  • 1 part cactus mix

Handle the root ball with care. Always use pots with a drainage hole.

Small pots are good as linearis likes to be root-bound. If you check the roots and see them clustered together or circling around the bottom, replant into a slightly bigger pot size.

This is best done in early spring in active Hoya growing season.

Grooming and Maintenance

Groom Hoya linearis for appearance’s sake. Use pruning shears to remove any dried leaves or stems.

Wear gloves when caring for your Hoya linearis because it releases white latex milky sap when trimmed. This sap might irritate your skin, so take precautions.

Do not remove any of the umbels that help flowers bloom. Removal will delay blooming. It makes the Hoya spend energy on regrowing what was cut off instead of naturally growing new leaves and flowers.

More on Hoya Care

How To Propagate Hoya Linearis 

Propagate new plants by rooting stem cuttings. Keep the cuttings at a warm temperature with high humidity. Loosely cover the cuttings with a plastic bag to mimic humidity.

To best root stem cuttings, clip a bit of the stem with at least four leaf nodes, and remove the bottom two leaves. Plant the cutting in a pot and water frequently so the soil doesn’t dry out.

Ensure the potting soil can drain, but make sure it stays moist. Moist soil and the plastic bag covering will make the humidity needed to help the cutting root.

Keep the cutting in indirect bright light for three to four weeks, until roots start to appear. Once roots begin to grow, transplant the hoya cuttings into new pots.

Hoya Pests or Diseases

Hoya can be susceptible to aphids. Keep an eye out for clusters of these pests on your plant’s leaves. Brush the aphids off, or use a solution of castile soap and water to dehydrate them without harming your plant’s leaves.

Spider mites also target this plant because of the juicy leaves. Their mouths pierce the leaves and make tiny white speckles. They also weave webs around the stems.

Try using natural Neem oil insecticides for control. When using chemical pests controls they must specifically mention spider mites on the label.

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