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Hoyas and Humidity: How Much Do These Plants Need?

by a Friendly Gardener
Do hoyas like high humidity

Last Updated on August 20, 2023 by a Friendly Gardener

Often referred to as the ‘Wax plant’ beautiful Hoya plants with their vividly colored flowers and succulent foliage add a delightful touch of color to outdoor and indoor gardens alike. Hoyas are a favorite among indoor houseplant gardeners because of those brightly-hued blooms which add so much to indoor décor.  But aside from watering, light, and temperature, humidity levels can be a big factor in how healthy a houseplant is and these are often overlooked when evaluating environmental conditions.

Fast-growing and low-maintenance, Hoyas are vining plants that naturally climb or trail. They are natives of Asia but found their way around the globe thanks to Scottish botanist Robert Brown. The plant gets its name from the 18th century botanist, Thomas Hoy.

Deep green succulent leaves and fragrant, star-shaped flowers in pinks and scarlets characterize these popular plants, but one very attractive feature is their extended lifespan. When well cared for, they can last for years, even tens of years.


Do Hoyas Like Humidity?

Hoya plants humidity

As tropical natives, hoyas enjoy regular rain showers and moist environments in general. Hoya species not only like humidity, but they also love humidity! They require much higher levels of humidity than many other popular houseplants. Gardiners need to plan on humidity levels ranging between 60% and 70 % to keep a hoya both healthy and happy. The ideal location is a kitchen or bathroom windowsill where humidity levels tend to be higher. When humidity levels are average at best, your plant will survive but may not grow as fast.

One thing to keep in mind is that the hoya plant group is quite diverse with many different cultivars so there may be some variation in hoya plant humidity preferences. A good rule of thumb is that hoyas need at least 50% humidity. Some species will prefer higher humidity levels, so it’s essential to consider the kind of hoya plant that you are cultivating. Know the specifics of the plant you have selected or been given.


What Kind of Hoya Prefers High Environmental Humidity?

Hoya plant humidity

While there are numerous varieties of hoya out there, two kinds that are known to require higher humidity levels are the hoya wayetii and the hoya patella. They require so much airborne moisture that cultivation is recommended in greenhouses or conservatories. Still, many hoyas types will appreciate humidity levels at 60% or more.

If you are purchasing a hoya from your local nursery or garden center, ask for precise care requirements and make it a point to ask about recommended humidity levels.


Are There Hoyas that Require Less Humidity?

Yes, several hoya plants do not require high humidity levels. One example is the Hoya carnosa. This type of hoya plant will do fine with average household humidity levels. They may suffer during the winter when heating kicks in and dries out the air somewhat.


How to Provide Adequate Humidity Levels for My Hoya

Hoya plant in pot

Increasing humidity levels in the area where your hoya is located is possible and there are several ways to do so. Raising humidity levels above 60% within an entire home is not recommended. So, when caring for plants that require higher humidity levels within the home can be quite a challenge. Most homes will have humidity levels between 30% and 50% unless the geographical area where you live offers more.

Unfortunately, very high levels of humidity can promote mold growth, so you do not want to raise indoor levels too high. If you are cultivating a hoya or another high humidity-loving plant, you need to concentrate on raising the humidity only in a specific area where your plants are located.


Plant Humidifiers

For many of us, a plant humidifier is the easiest choice. These devices can be purchased at home improvement stores and department stores, perhaps even in gardening centers. These are small humidifiers designed specifically for plants and will raise the level of humidity in a specific localized zone without during your entire home into a greenhouse. Generally, these devices are not particularly expensive and will accomplish your hoya plant’s humidity needs. Once in place, you will not need to do much more.


Pebble Trays

An easy solution with materials that you may already possess is the use of a pebble tray. Take a tray and fill it with pretty stones or pebbles. The tray should be large enough for the plant container to sit on top of it. Fill the tray containing stones with water so that at least half of the stones are submerged. The top half of the stones should not be underneath the water. Place the plant on top of the stones in the tray. This will raise the humidity in the immediate area of the plant as the water evaporates. Trays will need to be refilled occasionally as well as clean. Plant containers should not touch water, as a container directly in contact with water may absorb too much and create the conditions for root rot.


Daily Misting

Do hoyas like humidity

Misting your Hoya is another way to raise the humidity in the area of the plant. Procure a spray bottle of some type with a nozzle that can produce a very fine mist. Do not shoot your plant with streams of water. Mist the plant or the area of the play a couple of times daily. Misting may prove to be insufficient for plants that require exceptionally high humidity especially if you live in an arid climate.


Some people suggest a terrarium which will function nicely for some plants, but not for most hoyas. Terrariums are better for small plants that need very high humidity.


A Final Thought

How to care for hoyas

Yes, they do, although various kinds of hoys will have differing humidity needs. If you are uncertain about your indoor humidity levels, consider acquiring a hygrometer to measure the humidity in the area where your hoya and other houseplants are located.  Ask your local garden center for information about the type of hoya you are cultivating and its specific environmental humidity needs.

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