Hoya Carnosa, otherwise known as the Wax plant, has fragrant and pretty flowers.
Native to countries like Japan, Taiwan, and China, Hoya Carnosa is a house plant that can decorate your rooms (or gardens) and give them a nice touch, especially when it blooms.
You can propagate Hoya Carnosa in water, in soil, or a ziplock bag. The ideal Hoya cutting has the node from which the leaves grow and a base, which is a part of the stem going all the way to another node. If you see white bumps around the Hoya’s base, that’s a sign of roots.
Soil propagation involves propagating the Hoya cuttings directly in the soil. You use a small container, and once the plant is as tall as the pot is deep, you transplant it into a larger pot.
Water propagation uses water as the growing substance. Once the Hoya cuttings root, you transplant them to a soil pot.
Ziplock bag propagation uses a combination of water and air as the growing medium. You will need a ziplock bag, perlite, and water.
Each option has its perks and downsides. This article explains each of the methods of propagating Hoya Carnosa with a step-by-step guide and videos.
Let’s start with how to propagate Hoya Carnosa in soil.
Soil propagation involves planting the cuttings into a smaller pot or container filled with soil, perlite, and potentially other growth boosters.
While this method is generally an excellent way to propagate Hoya, it has its cons. It is at increased risk of overwatering, which again leads to the rotting of the roots.
Things you will need to grow Hoya Carnosa in soil:
- The plant cutting
- A smaller pot or container
- Some perlite
- All-purpose growing soil
- Some compost or other rich soil mixture (optional)
- Root growth hormones (optional)
- Water (to water the soil)
1. Prepare the cuttings
So, you have your Hoya and would like to either propagate it or help your friends get their hands on some fresh cuttings?
We’ve got your back!
Here’s your step-by-step guide on how to prepare the Hoya Carnosa cuttings yourself.
1. Pick the ideal cuttings
A suitable Hoya Carnosa cutting contains the node from which the leaves grow and a base which is basically a part of the stem going all the way to another node.
A node is this knuckle or joint out of which the leaves grow, separating potential cuttings.
A base is a part of the stem that goes from one node to another, indicating the roots’ area.
2. Check for signs of roots
If you can see some white bumps forming on the sides of the Hoya’s base, this is a good sign. This is where the roots will come out once the cuttings start to grow.
Though this step is not compulsory, it can significantly increase the odds of picking the cuttings which are almost guaranteed to root under the right conditions.
3. Make the cut
Before cutting the Hoya, make sure that the scissors or the knife you use are sterile and sanitized. You can use any sanitizer or rubbing alcohol to clean it.
Cut your Hoya Carnosa right above the node. Do not cut any leaves as they are part of another cutting.
And there you have it!
You have learned to pick the ideal cuttings and make the cut.
Now go ahead and start propagating them.
2. Prepare the container for propagation
It is imperative to make sure there is proper drainage in the pot or the container.
Make a few holes at the container’s bottom if there aren’t some already (purchased growing pots already come with drainage holes).
As you will be watering your cutting, the water needs a route out of the container. Otherwise, you will overwater your plant, leading to rotting of the plant roots.
If your drainage holes are too big, put a metal net to the bottom to prevent the soil from falling out or the water draining too quickly.
3. Fill the container with the soil and other growing boosters
When you have the container ready, you will want to fill it up with the all-purpose growing soil and some perlite.
Mix the soil, perlite, and other growth boosters to distribute and evenly layer them throughout the container. Then fill up your container.
If you put all of the perlites at the bottom and all of the soil at the top (or vice versa), the plant will find it hard to make good use of the soil and the perlite, respectively.
Feel free to mix in some nutrient-rich premium soil or other growth boosters to make the mixture more fertile.
4. (Optional) Use the root growth hormone on the cuttings
Dip about half an inch of the cutting’s bottom into the growth hormone. Growth hormones increase the spread and rate at which your cutting grows roots.
VERY IMPORTANT! The root growth hormone is usually toxic and a skin irritant. Be very careful when handling it, and always wear protective gloves when manipulating it.
Essentially what you do is take the cutting and dip the bottom of it into the root growth hormone. The hormone is usually a white powder.
You want to cover about an inch of the cutting with the growth hormone, as this is generally the area from where the roots will grow.
Feel free to adjust this according to the size and length of your cutting.
5. Plant the cuttings into the container
Once both the cuttings are ready and the container is filled up with soil, go ahead and plant the cuttings.
Stick your Hoya cutting into the soil as far as the node is, which is the knuckle or joint part of the cutting from which the leaves grow.
You can plant multiple cuttings into one container, just use your discretion and don’t overfill the container so the plants have enough space to root in.
6. Water the cuttings and keep them humid
Now that your cuttings are planted, you can go ahead and water them.
Water your Hoya Carnosa so that the soil is wet, but don’t overwater them. Use just enough water to hydrate the soil.
Henceforth, make sure that the cuttings have a period of 1-2 months where you keep them humid so that they can take root.
You can put a plastic cover over them to keep the moisture in and let the light through. Avoid direct sunlight because it can dry out your soil quickly.
Here is a video for you to watch on how to propagate Hoya Carnosa in soil.
How to propagate Hoya Carnosa in water
Propagating Hoya Carnosa using a water method is very simple and perhaps also the most popular method.
Instead of soil, you will use water as the growing substance. Once the Hoya cuttings root, you transplant them to the soil.
While this method is perhaps the most popular one, it is not without its drawbacks. The water roots are prone to rotting and take time to get accustomed to the actual soil once you are ready to transplant them.
Things you will need for this method:
- A container (preferably glass or other see-through material, which is durable). You want to see the roots growing for diagnostic purposes and progress checking.
- The plant cutting
1. Prepare the container for propagation
Before filling the container with water, sanitize it with an all-purpose sanitizer or rubbing alcohol. Use anything that makes sure the container is clean and doesn’t contain any contamination.
When it’s properly sanitized, you can proceed to fill the container with water. Don’t fill it up completely, as that would cause the cuttings to float and fall out of the container.
2. Put the cuttings into the water
Refer to the soil propagation method on how to prepare your wax plant cuttings.
When propagating Hoya Carnosa in water, the bottom of the cutting goes into the water while the node and the leaves go above the level.
Again, make sure you don’t overfill the container with cuttings so they have enough room to spread their roots.
3. Let them take root. Be patient
This stage may test your patience a little bit.
Depending on the health of the cuttings and other such factors, it takes a couple of weeks for your Hoya to root.
It is hard to say precisely how long it will take for the cuttings to root.
4. Make sure to keep the water clean
The roots need to have clean water; otherwise, they might begin to rot.
When the water starts to have a distinct tint, it is an excellent indicator to change the water.
Be careful not to damage the roots when you do this, as that could lead to delayed root growth and, although quite unlikely, even killing the plant ultimately.
Here is a video for you to see the Water propagation methon in action
How to propagate Hoya Carnosa (The Ziplock Bag Method)
When propagating your wax plant in a ziplock bag, you use a combination of water and air as your growing medium. The ziplock bag creates a humid environment in which the Hoyas prosper.
This is seen as the best method, as it stimulates the Hoya’s natural growing environment.
Only use the water to let the perlite soak in as much as possible and pour out the excess water. The one downside of this method is that the Hoya is susceptible to root breaking if not handled carefully.
Things you will need for this method:
- The ziplock bag
- The cutting
- Some perlite
- Some water
1. Add the perlite to the ziplock bag
The amount of perlite largely depends on the number of cuttings you have and the bag’s size.
However, make sure the bottom of the bag is covered.
2. Add water to the bag
Now is the time to add some water to the perlite in the bag.
The key here is to let the perlite soak in all the water it needs and pour out the rest. If you don’t pour out the excess water, the cutting and the roots will rot.
3. Put the cuttings into the bag
After the perlite is well hydrated, you can proceed to put the cuttings in the bag.
Gently place the cuttings in the bag with the leaves facing upwards. Zip the bag closed apart from a small space to let in air. Gently blow some air through the hole into the bag as if you were inflating balloons. Then close the bag all the way.
Blowing air prevents the cuttings from touching the bag’s walls as that could increase the chance of rotting.
You should open the bag every few days so that some new air can come in.
4. Put the bag in medium light
Avoid direct sunlight or places that are too dark.
The ideal place for the Hoya’s is in indirect light and around room temperature.
Open the bag every few days to refresh the air and check for signs of mold or rotting.
Also, check for signs of mold or rotting. If you see any mold or rot, try to save the plant by cutting off the molded or rotten parts.
If you find the perlite is too dry, rehydrate it by adding some water. Make sure you add the water gradually, so there is no excess water when you’re done.
Here is a video that demonstrates the Ziplock Bag propagation Method
You can propagate Hoya Carnosa cuttings in soil, water, or a zip lock bag. A suitable cutting has the node from which the leaves grow and a base which is basically a part of the stem going all the way to another node. If you see white bumps around the Hoya’s base, that’s a sign of roots.
Soil propagation involves planting the cuttings into a small container filled with soil, perlite, and other grow boosters.
With water propagation, you will use water as the growing substance. Once the Hoya cuttings root, you transplant them to the soil.
When propagating in a ziplock bag, you use a combination of water and air as your growing medium. The ziplock bag creates a humid environment in which the Hoyas prosper.
Which method will you choose to propagate your Hoya plants?