Even when not in bloom, Hoya callistophylla is a plant worth growing just for its beautiful leaves.
Hoya callistophylla T.Green
The specific epithet "callistophylla (kal-lis-toh-FIL-uh) means "the most beautiful leaf" and refers to the beautiful veins of leaves.
Hoya callistophylla is a beautiful plant with slender stems bearing large, very hard, attractively patterned leaves. The stems can grow up to 16.4 feet (5 m) long. The leaves are lime green with dark green to almost black venation. They are thick, elliptic to lance-shaped with irregular, rough margins and measure up to 10 inches (25 cm) in length and 4 inches (10 cm) in width.
During the spring and summer, the plant produces pretty fragrant flowers with yellow to red-purple corolla and white corona. They appear in hemispherical clusters, each cluster with 20 to 40 flowers. Unfortunately, the flowers only last for up to two days. The podlike fruits are up to 4.8 inches (12 cm) long.
How to Grow and Care for Hoya callistophylla
Light: Even if this plant can tolerate lower light levels, it may become weak and leggy if the light is too low, producing fewer leaves and flowers. Therefore, it is best to keep it indoors in bright indirect sunlight.
Soil: Well-draining soil that provides excellent aeration and does not hold too much water is most important for growing a healthy plant.
Temperature: Hoya callistophylla thrives in hot and humid climates, so keep it away from drafty windows and doorways during the colder months. It grows best in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 11a to 11b, with average minimum winter temperatures ranging from 40 to 50 °F (4.4 to 10 °C).
Watering: As this plant is sensitive to overwatering, soak the soil thoroughly during the spring and summer, but allow it to dry out before watering again. Otherwise, you will increase the risk of root rot, and your plant will not be happy. It is relatively dormant during the fall and winter and needs only moderate watering.
Fertilizing: While Hoya callistophylla is not a particularly heavy feeder, it can benefit from high-potassium fertilizer at half strength every two weeks during the growing season.
Repotting: As an epiphyte, this plant has shallow root systems and does not require a deep container, nor it needs to be repotted frequently. As it prefers to be slightly rootbound, repot it in spring only if it outgrows its container.
Propagation: Although layering is the easiest, using stem cuttings is the most popular method of propagating Hoya callistophylla. Using leaf cuttings can be more challenging, while starting it from seeds is the simplest but the most time-consuming method. For best results, take cuttings only when the plant is actively growing and sow the seeds in spring and summer.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Hoya.
Toxicity of Hoya callistophylla
Hoya callistophylla is considered non-toxic, so having it around kids and pets is safe.
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