Hoya elliptica Hook.fil.
Turtle Shell Hoya
This species is native to lowland areas of Thailand, Borneo (Kalimantan and Sabah), Malaysia, and Sumatra, where it grows as an epiphyte.
Hoya elliptica is a beautiful vine with long, wiry stems and unique olive green leaves with raised lighter veins resembling the markings on a turtle shell. The leaves are fleshy, elliptical, up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, and 2.4 inches (6 cm) wide.
The sweetly scented flowers are up to 4 inches (1 cm) in diameter, with a white to near white corolla with five spreading to recurved lobes covered with short, soft hairs and a glossy, white corona with a dark pink center. They appear in dense rounded clusters from spring to late summer and last 5 to 7 days. The umbels typically have about 25 flowers.
The specific epithet "elliptica (ee-LIP-tih-kuh)" means "elliptical" and refers to the shape of the leaves.
How to Grow and Care for Hoya elliptica
Light: H. elliptica grows well indoors in bright indirect light but will tolerate pretty low light levels, although it becomes weak and leggy, produce fewer leaves, and may not flower without bright light.
Soil: Whatever soil you plant your H. elliptica in, it should be well-draining, provide excellent aeration, and not hold too much water.
Temperature: As a tropical plant, it thrives in warm, moist, humid climates. Keep it away from drafty windows and doorways during the colder months. H. elliptica can withstand temperatures as low as 40 °F (4.4 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 11a to 11b, 40 to 50 °F (4.4 to 10 °C).
Watering: Water regularly in spring and summer. Soak the soil thoroughly until the water drains out of the drainage holes. Then let the soil dry out between watering. H. elliptica is relatively dormant and needs only moderate watering in fall and winter.
Fertilizing: This plant is not a particularly heavy feeder. However, it appreciates some extra micronutrients and macronutrients. Therefore, feed with half-strength high-potassium fertilizer every two weeks or so during the growing season.
Repotting: As an epiphytic plant, H. elliptica has quite shallow root systems and does not require a deep container, nor it needs to be repotted frequently. It prefers growing a bit tight in its container. Therefore, repot in spring if it outgrows its container.
Propagation: You can easily get new plants from your existing H. elliptica by stem cuttings. Leaf cuttings can be more problematic. The best time to take cuttings is spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. The easiest method of propagation is by layering. Starting this plant from seeds is the simplest but the most time-consuming way of propagation. Sow the seeds in spring or summer in well-draining soil.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Hoya.
Toxicity of Hoya elliptica
H. elliptica is non-toxic to humans and pets.
Hybrids of Hoya elliptica
- Back to genus Hoya
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