The Sweetheart Plant’s “Dating Profile”
Likes: Bright, direct (but not intense) indoor sunlight, preferably 1 to 3 feet away from a south-facing window
Dislikes: Bright, direct, harsh outdoor unfiltered sunlight
Likes: Warm, humid, airy environment
Dislikes: Dry, cool or cold or damp or drafty environment
Likes: Lightly damp, loose, well-draining soil with a dry spell between waterings
Dislikes: Compact, wet, soggy soil
…Its Actual Plant Profile And Care Tips
Hoya Kerrii originates from tropical/semi-tropical regions in Asia and the South Pacific. In the wild, it likes warmth, filtered sunlight and humidity. It likes to vine up tree trunks using aerial roots, and can be trained onto a trellis as a houseplant. Healthy vines excrete a white sap when cut. It prefers a light, well-drained soil similar to orchids. In the wild, it only needs a small amount of growing medium before trailing up a tree. As a houseplant, it does not mind being a little root bound in pots and can go 2-3 years before needing repotting. It should be treated like a succulent by allowing the soil to dry out in between waterings.
How To Tell If Your Hoya Kerrii Is Happy
- A plant with an established root system that is growing about 1 1/2 inches or more per month during spring and summer
- It’s leaves are uniformly dark green
- The plant’s leaves are plump, fleshy, and firm
- New leaf growth is no more than 4-6 inches from the previous set of leaves on vine
Signs That Your Hoya Kerrii Is Not Happy (and what to do)
Wilting leaves – most likely root rot; the soil is too dense, too moist or draining poorly, and environment too cool (see below)
Edges of leaves are yellow and curled but center of leaf healthy green – possibly cold stress (below 45 degrees) if stem is otherwise firm and roots look healthy
Black specks on leaves – leaf edema (soil is too moist) or fungal infection (treat with Neem Oil)
Uniformly yellow, faded but firm leaves – not enough sunlight (but rule out root rot just to be sure)
Yellow-brownish, soggy leaves – root rot (remove and discard soil; trim off decayed roots and treat with Neem Oil or other fungicide; replant in fresh, slightly moist soil in sunny window)
New leaves are dropping off but mature leaves are fine – sudden drop in temperature or cold spell, too dry, or insufficient sunlight
Leaves are shriveled or “puckered” looking – lack of moisture or humidity
Large brownish-orange or white hard spots on leaves – sunburn
Large brownish-orange-yellowish soft spots on leaves – fungal infection
Vines are leggy and new leaves are further apart – not enough sunlight
Why Is Your Single Leaf Hoya Kerrii Not Growing
Single leaf Hoya Kerrii plants are very popular around Valentine’s Day and are marketed as a “Sweetheart Plant”. These plants are a single, possibly rooted, leaf from the Hoya Kerrii, but they were likely not propagated with a stem node. And as a result of not having a stem node it will likely not produce a vine or additional leaves. It is, however, an adorable little plant and conversation piece that will live for many years with proper care.
How To Propagate Hoya Kerrii
Hoya Kerrii is relatively easy to propagate using vine cuttings.
- Select a 2″ to 3″ section of vine that contains one or two leaves.
- Dab a bit of honey or cinnamon on the cut ends to discourage bacteria.
- Let the cuttings dry out on an open surface for a day to facilitate callus formation at the cut ends.
- The plant’s vine has small raised bumps (nodes) which would normally produce aerial roots. These nodes will also produce regular roots while being propagated in water or soil
- If you are rooting the cutting in water, oxygenate the water 24 hours in advance using 1 tsp hydrogen peroxide to 1 cup water. Change the water frequently to discourage root rot.
- If you are rooting the cutting in soil, use a loose potting mix that is only lightly damp and provide humidity until roots form. Mist several times a day or cover loosely with a plastic bag. Do not let the bag touch the vine or leaves of the cutting. If you are using ziplock bags, do not seal the bag completely closed and prevent the bag from touching the cutting.
- Monitor the cuttings every few days to make sure that all parts of the cutting are still healthy and green.
- If you see any changes in color, inspect the cutting for signs of root rot. If the vine/stem becomes discolored or soft, cut away any rotted areas along the stem until you see white sap (the healthy portion of the stem). Treat the end with fungicide, dab on a bit of cinnamon, and change the potting medium or water.
- You should see new root formation within 14-18 days of propagation.
Treat the cutting just like the parent plant. Provide a good amount of humidity, but not soggy conditions. Once you see 1/2 inch or more of new roots, pot up the cutting in a pot filled with a loose soil medium. You should see new growth within 4 weeks after transplant.