Hoya Kerrii: How To Grow and Care For Sweetheart Hoya


Hoya Kerrii [HOY-a, KER-ee-eye] is a tropical succulent vine from the family Apocynaceae that includes Adenium obesum (Desert rose), Mandevilla, and Periwinkles.

Its distinctive heart shape, single leaf makes it one of the most sought after houseplants. 

heart shaped leaves of Sweetheart Hoya kerriiheart shaped leaves of Sweetheart Hoya kerrii

This beautiful green heart shaped plant is particularly a popular choice as a Valentine’s Day gift.

This plant is native to south-east Asia, specifically in Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam.  

Hoya Kerrii ‘Variegata’ is a variety with variegated leaves. 

Like all Hoya plant varieties, it’s a low maintenance indoor plant. Click to learn more about wax plant care.

The common names of this heart shaped leaf plant include:

  • Variegated Sweetheart Hoya
  • Variegated Hoya Kerrii
  • Wax Plant
  • Wax Hearts
  • Lucky Hearts
  • Heart Leaf
  • Porcelain Flower
  • Valentine Hoya
  • Sweetheart Plant
  • Sweetheart Hoya

Hoya Kerrii Plant Care

Size & Growth

Hoya kerrii are slow-growing and take some years to grow into vining plants filled with heart-shaped leaves. 

Once the plant establishes a healthy root system, the vines, and new leaves start forming quickly.

However, if your plant has a single leaf without a stem, it might stay like this.  

Flowering and Fragrance

Mature Hoya plants start sprouting flowers in the summer season. 

These clusters of flowers create a star-shape pattern. 

The blooms often have a strong fragrance, which changes as they age.

Light & Temperature

Valentine Hoya needs plenty of light to grow properly. 

It will still perform well in a shady place with indirect light. 

Make sure to avoid placing it in dark spots. 

For optimal results, position Hoya inside your office or house.

These succulent plants are hardy to USDA Hardiness Zone is 11. 

The growth slows down if the temperature gets cold. 

Maintain temperatures between 65° – 80° degrees Fahrenheit (18° – 27° C).

Watering and Feeding

The Sweetheart Plant, like other succulent plants, can store water for a long time. 

Therefore, the watering needs of this plant are low. 

Make sure to let the soil dry out before you water again. 

The soil should not be watery or saturated, as this will cause rotting. 

Be cautious if the pot doesn’t have any drainage holes.

Sweetheart Hoya doesn’t need much feeding, especially if it only has a single leaf. 

Fertilize twice a year to aid the growth.

Soil & Transplanting

The H. Kerrii prefers a soil mix well-draining, neutral, and mildly acidic. 

Ideally, use an orchid pot soil or chopped coconut husk to grow this plant. 

Make sure the mix you use is moisture-retentive.

Over time, all the potting mix fails as they start breaking down and lose their moisture-holding abilities. 

As a result, the roots will start rotting. 

You must repot your Hoya kerrii every two years to avoid this problem.

Grooming and Maintenance

The Sweetheart Plant should be repotted during the spring season as needed. 

Make sure you use the pot, which is 1” to 2” inches larger than the previous container. 

Using a pot too big for the plant will store a higher amount of water, leading to root rotting.

Use garden ties or florists vine to support the growing vine of this plant on a trellis. 

Opt for a hanging basket to properly show off its hanging heart leaves.

How to Propagate Sweetheart Hoya

The propagation of this plant is done with stem and leaf cuttings.

The plant won’t grow any bigger when using leaf cuttings method, but will still root. 

Make sure to include some stem when taking the cuttings.

The stem cuttings method creates aerial roots more quickly if you plant it in a moist medium. 

Be sure to let the cuttings dry for at least a day before you plant.

Sweetheart Hoya Pest or Diseases

Hoya kerrii plants are generally pest and disease-free. 

However, be on a lookout for mealybugs as they tend to attack both the root and stem. 

If left untreated, it leads to a fungal disease. 

Make sure to remove any dying or dead stem before the other stems get infected too.

Over-watering and prolonged humid conditions lead to the rotting of leaves. 

This rotting may also be caused by exposure to freezing temperatures. 

Be sure to adjust the temperature or move the plant to a warmer location to avoid this problem.

If you witness the leaves of the plants shriveling, then it is a sign of under-watering. 

However, if you have been watering this plant properly, there might be root rot. 

Check for signs and treat them immediately.

Hoya Kerrii Uses

These pretty houseplants look great in a pot on office desks. 

The Sweetheart Plant works well when planted with Hoya Carnosa. 

This plant also helps in removing pollutants when growing indoors. 

Hoya plants are also used to make perfumes, lotions, and other skin products.

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