Belle's Green House
Hoya Australis is a wonderfully hardy, climbing, twining vine with lots of personality. They grow at a moderate pace and have some resistance to disease, pests, drought, and cold. This rambling epiphyte lives naturally in rocky areas and along the edge of rainforests in East Asia and Australia. It’s a long-lived member of the Apocynaceae family that was first officially collected in 1770 from the coast of northeast Australia. Other common names include Porcelain Flower, Waxvine, and Honey plant.
The Australis is equally happy climbing a support or trailing from a basket: its slender vines can reach 13-33 feet long (4-10m)! The plant blooms in lovely clusters of white, red-tinged flowers that have a spicy-sweet fragrance and are prized for attracting butterflies. Their scent is strongest in early evening.
Light: Hoyas are often advertised as tolerant of low light, but this isn’t quite the full picture. Hoya australis can survive in less light than they need for strong growth and flowering. They won’t bloom in a dim corner, though. Increasing light is the first aspect of Hoya australis care to adjust if your Hoya isn’t producing flowers. If you want to see your Australis bloom – and you do! – make sure it gets plenty of bright lumens during the growing season.
One quirky thing about the Australis is that its tendrils are quite active … they travel in circles looking for something to climb. They move well over a foot a day, so it’s a lively plant.This behavior, multiplied by the number of tendrils waving in all directions, can be seen as charming or eerie and Medusa-like. If the wayward tentacles unnerve you, give each searching vine a cord or other support to climb—it’s better than cutting them off and stifling the plant’s growth.
Watering: Hoya australis has medium to low water requirements and can take short droughts without an issue. As an epiphyte, it prefers having well-oxygenated roots.The plant has deliberate adaptations to low water conditions. Its leaf pores, or stomata, close during the day to conserve water; they open at night to breathe. Their leaves store (a little) water, too. Underwatering is always better than overwatering for providing good Hoya australis care; avoiding root rot is a horticultural priority. Yellow leaves are an early warning sign the plant’s roots are struggling with too much water.
The plant requires different watering schedules for different times of the year.
Summer – Your Hoya australis is a thirsty plant during the growing season. In warm weather, it wants the soil to stay slightly moist. Wait until the top one to three inches of soil dries (depending upon the pot size) … when it’s time to water, saturate the mix well. Run extra water through to flush it.
Winter – The Australis enters sleep mode during the colder months and uses little water. Continuing with the same schedule will lead to overwatering. Instead, let the soil dry out more before watering again, and only give the plant enough to moisten the rootball as needed.