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Hoya kerrii (Sweetheart Hoya)

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Scientific Name

Hoya kerrii Craib

Common Names

Sweetheart Hoya, Sweetheart Plant, Valentine Hoya, Porcelain Flower, Heart Leaf, Lucky Hearts, Wax Hearts, Wax Plant

Synonyms

Hoya obovata var. kerrii

Scientific Classification

Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Tribe: Marsdenieae
Genus: Hoya

Description

Hoya kerrii is a slow-growing, semi-succulent plant with perfectly heart-shaped, bright green leaves that emerge on vining stems up to 13 feet (4 m) long. The leaves are up to 4 inches (10 cm) long, up to 3 inches (7.5 cm) wide and up 0.2 inch (0.5 cm) thick. The flowers are small, star-shaped and creamy-white with pink to rose-purple centers. They are produced in clusters along the stems. It is most commonly sold only as a single rooted leaf around Valentine's Day.

Photo via bezogrodek.com

Hardiness

USDA hardiness zones 11a to 11b: from 40 °F (+4.4 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).

How to Grow and Care

Hoyas don't ask for much, beyond the well-draining soil and the warm humid conditions that many tropical flowers crave. They don't like wet feet or heavy soil and as many grow as epiphytes in nature. Give them at least a half day of sunshine and bring them indoors when temperatures drop below 50 °F (10 °C).

When your Hoya finishes blooming, leave the flower stalk, as it may produce new flowers. Removing the stalk forces the plant to produce a new stalk, which delays blooming and wastes the plant's energy. These plants are light feeders and a monthly drink of compost tea or dilute fish emulsion provides all the nutrition these tropicals need. Hoyas like the security of a snug pot and plants that are a bit root bound will flower more prolifically than those that are swimming around in a giant pot.

Propagate Hoyas by cuttings of top growth or by leaf cuttings. The average cutting or leaf will produce a blooming plant in 2 years or less. The easiest method of propagation is by layering.

Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Hoya.

Origin

Hoya kerrii is native to the south-east of Asia.

Subspecies, Varieties, Forms, Cultivars and Hybrids

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