Hoya Macrophylla Care + Growing Guide!

By Andrea Beck | Updated: May 19, 2023

Scientific name

Hoya latifolia

Common name

Hoya Macrophylla


Indonesia and the Philippines

Checked by Jennifer Schutter, Certified Master Gardener

Hoya Macrophylla


Allow soil to dry before watering


Bright light


Aroid mix, perlite, orchid bark, peat moss






Balanced liquid fertilizer during growing season


Bright light




Balanced liquid fertilizer during growing season

If you’re searching for a charming new houseplant companion, look no further than Hoya macrophylla.

Hoya macrophylla, often referred to as the “Large-Leaved Hoya,” is a fabulous addition to any indoor garden. Known for its striking veined leaves and dazzling, fragrant flowers, this plant is a true statement-maker.

We’ll cover all the basics of Hoya macrophylla care, from keeping it healthy to encouraging its blooms.

Don’t let this plant’s stunning appearance fool you — it’s not as high maintenance as its looks might suggest.

Hoya Macrophylla Plant Care Guide

History, habitat, and characteristics

Hoya macrophylla, sometimes known as Hoya latifolia, calls the tropical regions of Borneo and Java in Indonesia its home. Unlike most houseplants, which prefer a neutral to acidic soil, this plant enjoys its stay in alkaline soil, typically found in limestone regions.

Hoya macrophylla is an epiphytic plant. Its talent lies in getting nutrients from air, rain, and debris while growing on other plants or trees without harming them. It’s the perfect houseplant for those who want a touch of the tropics without needing a great deal of space.

The leaves of Hoya macrophylla boast a beautiful yellowish-green hue with lighter margins on the outside. Some varieties even have variegations on the inside, giving your plant an extra wow factor. Under the right conditions, the plant may also display delicate, fragrant flowers that bloom in clusters.

The unique venation, which starts from the petiole (the leaf’s attachment to the stem) and meets at the tip of the leaf, makes Hoya macrophylla stand out among other houseplants.

Hoya latifolia also features a very curious quality that’s only found in a few plants: its leaves can turn some unbelievable hues when sun-stressed. So when you consider placement, remember that too much direct light for this plant might just be a good thing!


Hoya macrophylla ‘Variegata’: A captivating variation of the classic Hoya macrophylla, known for its mesmerizing foliage. This delightful plant sports splendid leaves that feature a creamy-white or pale yellow variegation along the edges, contrasting beautifully with the deep green at the center.

Similar to its non-variegated cousin, Hoya macrophylla ‘Variegata’ thrives in well-draining soil, bright indirect light, and consistent humidity. The main difference between the two is the captivating splash of colors presented by the variegated variety. You may also notice that it needs slightly more light, which is true of most variegated plants.

Hoya macrophylla ‘Snow Queen’: Large, waxy, and oval-shaped leaves, boasting a gentle blend of green and creamy white. The variegation creates a striking contrast that sets ‘Snow Queen’ apart from all other hoyas. Very pest-resistant.


When it comes to providing the ideal indoor lighting for your Hoya macrophylla, striking the right balance is crucial.

This rare plant, also known as the wax plant, prefers moderate light and thrives when placed near north-facing windows with ample sunlight. Be cautious with south or west-facing windows, though — direct sunlight might be too intense for your hoya plant.

Unlike other variegated plants, Hoya macrophylla doesn’t have leaves that will turn completely green in lower light conditions. This does make their variegation easier to maintain, but also means it can be trickier to spot issues with lighting early on.

If your Hoya macrophylla isn’t getting enough light, you might observe slow, leggy growth, and may even see the plant reaching out and angling its leaves toward the closest light source.

On the flip side, too much light can result in scorched leaves. It can also encourage some beautiful red and yellow hues as they become sun-stressed . . . just don’t let them bask for too long, or you’ll have crispy leaves that dry out.

Our lighting tips:

  • Position your Hoya macrophylla about 2.5 feet away from a southwest-facing window if a north-facing window is not an option.
  • Avoid exposing your Hoya macrophylla to direct sunlight, which may scorch the leaves, causing them to fade.
  • During the warmer months, think about relocating your hoya plant outside for better access to natural light.
  • Keep an eye on your Hoya macrophylla; if it seems to be reaching for more light, don’t hesitate to move it to a brighter spot.


It’s crucial to get the watering just right for your Hoya macrophylla. This tender perennial plant needs to strike a perfect balance between moist and soggy conditions.

Hoya macrophylla doesn’t like wet soil. To keep yours happy, water it thoroughly without overdoing it. A terracotta pot will draw away excess water, preventing your plant from hanging out in damp conditions.

Every couple of weeks, give your Hoya macrophylla plant a proper watering using filtered water, but check the leaves beforehand. Firm leaves mean it’s not thirsty. Remember to let the top two inches of soil dry out before watering again.

Overwatering can lead to a nasty case of yellow and black leaves, mushy stems, or soil that just won’t dry. It’s a sign you’re giving your plant too much love. Ease up on the watering, and let the soil dry before its next drink.

On the other hand, when your Hoya macrophylla is a bit parched, you’ll notice leaves that are soft and droopy. They might even change color and fall off in extreme cases. To tackle this, just up the watering a bit, and watch as your plant bounces back.

Watering tips:

  • Opt for a terracotta pot to help control moisture levels.
  • Use filtered water.
  • Feel the leaves to tell when your Hoya macrophylla is thirsty.
  • Allow the top two inches of soil to dry out before watering again.

Temperature and humidity

Care for Hoya macrophylla can start to get tricky when you have to start balancing temperature and humidity, but we’ll help you get that calibration down.

Hoya macrophylla can tolerate a variety of humidity levels thanks to their waxy leaves, which protect them from losing water through transpiration as much as other plants. They don’t require high levels of humidity, but especially when propagating Hoya macrophylla, they do appreciate some extra moisture.

In general, a humidity level of around 40%-60% is sufficient for your hoya plant. If you notice your Hoya macrophylla’s foliage getting wrinkled or dull, it could be a sign that humidity is too low, while yellowing or rotting leaves may indicate excessive humidity.

Hoya plants prefer warm temperatures, so maintaining a range of 65-80°F (18-27°C) is ideal. When propagating Hoya Macrophylla, a heat mat may speed up the rooting process. Be cautious of exposure to cold drafts – this can lead to wilting or drooping leaves. Similarly, avoid placing your Hoya macrophylla in areas with fluctuating temperatures or directly in front of air conditioners.

Temperature and humidity tips:

  • Keep Hoya macrophylla in temperature ranges between 65-80°F (18-27°C) and away from windows or drafty doorways.
  • Aim for an average air humidity of 40%-60%.
  • Increase indoor humidity by placing a tray of water and pebbles beneath the plant or using a humidifier.
  • When propagating, consider using a heat mat to encourage faster rooting.
  • Regularly inspect your Hoya macrophylla plant for signs of too much or too little humidity or temperature, adjusting the environment as needed.

Soil and planting

Hoya macrophylla thrives best when provided with the ideal soil composition, potting, and fertilizer requirements.

Replicating Hoya macrophylla’s natural habitat will promote its growth and overall health. To achieve this, sweeten the soil by making it more alkaline with crushed eggshells or crushed oyster shells. A well-draining substrate like a combination of regular potting mix, cactus soil, and orchid bark will help avoid soggy soil.

Terracotta pots, with their porous nature, provide additional drainage. When propagating Hoya macrophylla, use a mix specifically for rooting, such as sphagnum moss, and once the roots have developed, transfer the plant into a regular hoya medium. It’s vital that the pot has a drainage hole.

Keep in mind that sphagnum moss (even though it makes a fantastic growing medium) is considered to be ecologically problematic, to say the least. It’s naturally harvested from peat bogs, which are delicate ecosystems that take thousands of years to form.

The extraction of sphagnum moss contributes to the destruction of these habitats, as well as the release of significant amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. As a more sustainable alternative, consider using materials such as coco coir.


Hoya macrophylla doesn’t require intense feeding. During the growing season (spring and summer), use a gentle organic fertilizer twice a month. If using synthetic fertilizer, dilute it to half the recommended strength and apply it monthly.

To encourage Hoya macrophylla’s flowers, increase the phosphorus content within the fertilizer. Look for a fertilizer with a higher middle number in the NPK ratio, such as 5-10-5.

Too much fertilizer can harm your Hoya macrophylla, causing symptoms like leaf burn, wilting, and root damage. If you suspect too much fertilization, reduce the frequency and strength of the fertilizer application, and give the plant a thorough watering to help flush out excess nutrients.


You can prune your Hoya macrophylla to encourage bushier growth and maintain its overall shape and size. Use sterilized shears or scissors to trim any unwanted growth, targeting leggy or damaged stems. Pruning is best done in early spring before the growing season begins, to keep the plant healthy and promote healthy new growth.


Hoya macrophylla propagation is a breeze, and we’re here to show you how to do it using stem cuttings in water.

  1. Pick a healthy stem from your Hoya macrophylla, making sure it has a few nodes and some nice-looking roots. Just grab your trusty sterilized shears and snip between the nodes, close to the main stem.
  2. Let the cuts chill out for a few hours. This gives them time to form a protective callus, which will help keep pesky germs and macrophylla pests at bay.
  3. Pop the cuttings in some water using a small container or glass jar. Just make sure the nodes are submerged; that’s where the magic (roots) happens. Now, don’t go crazy on the container size — bigger isn’t always better. We want those rooting hormones to stay concentrated for the best results.
  4. Find a cozy spot with bright, indirect sunlight for your cuttings to call home. Keep the water fresh and clean by changing it every 2-3 days. This will make sure the cuttings have a clear, bacteria-free environment to grow the best roots they can.
  5. Keep an eye on those roots as they start growing. Check in on them weekly, and once they reach about 2 inches long, you’re ready to move your little plant babies into some potting soil. Treat them to moist, loose soil and regular watering for the first few weeks, but don’t go overboard — hoya doesn’t like soggy feet!

Common Issues

Hoya macrophylla plants can suffer from a lot of the same issues that most hoya plants experience. That’s what makes them common issues!

What’s fortunate is that common issues often have common solutions, so let’s get right into the problems we see the most.

Dropping leaves

Most of the time, this issue is caused by overwatering, underwatering, or sudden changes in temperature or lighting. Start by checking out the soil’s moisture. If it’s too soggy or bone-dry, it might be time to rethink your watering routine.

If the soil isn’t the culprit, try tweaking the plant’s position to keep its temperature and lighting steady. A terracotta pot is a nice choice for promoting healthy drainage and preventing leaves from bailing on you.

Yellow leaves

The usual suspects behind this discoloration include overwatering, lack of nutrients, or excessive sun exposure. First things first, assess your watering habits to make sure you’re not accidentally drowning your green buddy.

If that’s not the issue, maybe it’s time to find a shadier spot with indirect light. And don’t forget, providing a steady supply of balanced fertilizer will keep those leaves vibrant, lively, and anything but yellow!

Pests and diseases


Although this species isn’t usually plagued by pests, these tiny white, fluffy monsters can sometimes set up camp on your beloved plant. They feast on the sap, which can cause the leaves to turn yellow, wilt, or even fall off.

To spot these critters, look for minuscule white insects that seem like a gathering of tiny cotton balls. A sticky residue called honeydew might also appear; this can bring in other insects and cause sooty mold to grow on the plant.

To get rid of mealybugs, start by swiping them off with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. This will kill the bugs and help remove them from your Hoya macrophylla.

Next, make a simple yet effective solution by mixing water and mild liquid soap (like everyday dish soap). Give the plant a thorough spray, covering both the leaves and stems .

Repeat this treatment every few days until your Hoya macrophylla pests are gone.

To prevent any future mealybug family reunions, keep your Hoya clean by routinely wiping down the leaves and checking for signs of pests. Make sure not to overwater your plant or let it sit in damp soil, as this invites mealybugs.

Root rot

Root rot is a pretty common issue for the Hoya macrophylla. It happens when fungi decide to have a party in overwatered or poorly drained soil, attacking your plant’s delicate shallow root system.

If your Hoya seems to be struggling with yellowing, wilting leaves and a general lack of energy, it might be battling rot. Carefully take your plant out of its pot and have a look at the roots. Healthy roots are white and firm, while rotting roots are dark, mushy, and have an unpleasant smell.

To tackle root rot, start by cutting away any sick roots with sterilized pruning shears. Then, repot your Hoya macrophylla in fresh, well-draining soil and a clean pot. Don’t forget those crucial drainage holes to prevent water from pooling!

The secret to avoiding root rot is all about proper watering habits. Make sure you’re using well-draining soil and let it dry out between waterings. Good air circulation can also help keep those pesky fungi under control.


That’s a wrap on our Hoya macrophylla plant care guide! With your newfound knowledge, you can confidently care for and grow this beauty.

Hoya macrophylla care summary:

  • Provide bright, indirect light and avoid direct sunlight.
  • Maintain a temperature range of 65-80°F (18-27°C) and a humidity level of 40%-60%.
  • Use well-draining, alkaline-rich soil and a pot with drainage holes to prevent rot.
  • Fertilize twice a month with a gentle organic fertilizer or monthly with diluted synthetic fertilizer during the growing season.
  • Propagate using stem cuttings in water.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us — we’re here to help! And if you found this guide useful, don’t forget to share it with fellow plant enthusiasts.

Take care, and happy growing!


What is Hoya macrophylla now called?

Hoya macrophylla has undergone a bit of a name change and is now commonly referred to as Hoya latifolia. While this might cause a little confusion at first, just remember that our lovely heart-shaped Hoya buddy has simply donned a new moniker. Don’t worry, though, its care requirements and charming appearance remain the same!

Can it climb or be put in a hanging basket?

Absolutely! Hoya macrophylla is quite versatile and adaptable, making it a fantastic candidate for climbing or showing off in a hanging basket. Its vining nature allows it to gracefully twine around a trellis or support, adding a touch of elegance to your indoor garden. When placed in a hanging basket, the Hoya’s cascading foliage creates a captivating, waterfall-like effect that brightens up any space.

How can you encourage a Hoya macrophylla bloom?

Temperature and humidity play a significant role in encouraging your Hoya macrophylla to show its flowers. Keep the plant in a warm area with temperatures ranging between 60-75°F (15-24°C) during the day and slightly cooler at night (around 55°F or 13°C). You’ll want to keep things humid, so either place a humidifier nearby or add a pebble tray underneath.

Hoya macrophylla does respond well to liquid fertilizer, just start slow and decrease the dilution over time.

Is Hoya latifolia a fast grower?

Hoya macrophylla isn’t exactly a speed demon when it comes to growth, but it’s slow and steady, with moderate growth rates that will delight you over time. While it might not race up your trellis in the blink of an eye, it will eventually spread out and make a stunning display.

Is Hoya macrophylla toxic?

Hoya macrophylla is generally considered nontoxic to humans and pets. This means that you can enjoy the beauty and charm of this plant without worrying about it causing harm to your furry friends or family members.

How fast does Hoya macrophylla grow?

Hoya macrophylla typically has a moderate growth rate. Under ideal conditions, it can grow anywhere between 1 to 2 feet per year. However, the actual growth rate depends on various factors, such as the plant’s age and the amount of light you give it.

Is Hoya macrophylla rare?

It’s not rare, but it’s certainly less common than other Hoya varieties (like Hoya carnosa or Hoya compacta). You should have some luck finding it at a local gardening center, but you can also look online, where it’s widely available for shipping.

Is Hoya macrophylla ‘Variegata’ care the same?

Largely! Hoya macrophylla ‘Variegata’ is, as the name sounds, a variegated form of Hoya macrophylla, with creamy white or yellow markings on the leaves. The care for Hoya macrophylla ‘Variegata’ is similar to that of the standard Hoya macrophylla. Both varieties require well-draining soil, proper lighting, and watering, and can benefit from infrequent fertilization.

Many plants labeled as Hoya macrophylla ‘Variegata’ are actually just regular Hoya macrophylla but with sun-stressing. So be careful when purchasing, because they can revert and propagations won’t contain the same features.

You might think that Hoya macrophylla ‘Variegata’ would require bright light just to maintain its variegation, but as we mentioned earlier, it actually retains variegation even in lower light conditions. Still, it’s helpful to provide this plant with bright, indirect sunlight to ensure it stays healthy, despite having less chlorophyll available in its leaves. ‘Variegata’ also tends to burn more quickly in direct sunlight.


Our Expert
Jennifer Schutter

Jennifer Schutter is a certified master gardener with over 14 years of gardening experience. Her expertise is in indoor plant propagation and home ecology.