Why Is My Hoya Kerrii Not Growing (Causes and Solutions)

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Hoya kerrii is well known for its heart-shaped bold leaves. For this type of unique appearance of leaves, it is also called Sweetheart Hoya, or Valentine’s Hoya. It is also easy to care for and simple to maintain. But I found people often complaining that their Hoya kerrii is not growing.

The most common reason for which your Hoya kerrii plant is not growing is the fact that it is not a complete plant, rather it is just a single leaf with a few roots. There is no stem attached to the leaves, which restricts the vine growth. The other reasons for which the plant is not growing are watering issues, improper lighting conditions, and lack of proper growing conditions.

This article will help you to know more about the topic and help you to understand more about the Sweetheart Hoya plant.


Why Is My Hoya Kerrii Not Growing?

Hoya kerrii, commonly known as Sweetheart Hoya, is a tropical succulent native to Asia and Australia. The Hoya plant belongs to the family Apocynaceae. The genus Hoya includes more than 300 species under it. Among them, Hoya kerrii is well known for its heart-shaped leaves and low maintenance requirement.

It is an ideal plant for beginners. But the growth rate is a bit slower. You can not find significant growth for your Hoya kerrii plant, as you normally find in the case of your other houseplants.

Now let us discuss some common problems which are preventing your Hoya kerrii plant to grow, and how to tackle them.

Your Hoya kerrii consists of only a single leaf

People often find a single-leaved Hoya kerrii plant in garden centers and gift stores on various occasions like Valentine’s day. These are the only single-leaved plants kept in a small pot, as shown in the image below.

Image credit- Mokkie, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Hoya kerrii plant put out roots from a single leaf and those types of leaves can survive for years. But the fact is that these leaves will not grow to become a vine, unless and until they have a part of the stem attached to them.

The leaves along with a stem will grow to a vine. From the nodes of the stem, new leaves will eventually emerge. But if there is no stem attached to the leaves, there will be no further growth.

But don’t worry, your single Hoya kerrii leaf will remain green in the pot, as the leaf itself can develop a few rootlets for its survival. As long as your giving proper attention to the plant, and taking care of it, it will remain green and alive, enhancing the beauty of your little jungle.

If you really want a big Hoya kerrii vine, I will advise you to choose your planting material properly. Select a leaf along with a stem attached to it. The stem should contain a few nodes. It will then gradually form new leaves and give a new Hoya kerrii vine.

You have to be patient, as the growth rate of Hoya kerrii plant is very slow.

If you only want to increase the beauty of your home garden, then you can choose the single-leaved Hoya kerrii plant available in the garden centers. Their unique appearance will surely enhance the beauty of your indoor garden.


If you really want to grow a Hoya kerrii vine, then buy a small Hoya kerrii plant from the local garden centers, which consists of both leaf and stem. The stem should also bear some nodes so that new leaves can emerge from the nodes.

You can also check them online, either from any social media group or e-commerce platforms.

Never wait for a single leaf to grow into a complete plant. It won’t do so.

Apart from this primary issue, there are several other issues, which will prevent your Hoya kerrii plant to grow. They are mostly related to inappropriate growing conditions.


As discussed earlier Hoya kerrii plant is a tropical succulent plant. They are epiphyte in nature. They grow on big trees and most of their root parts are hanging in the air.

They are very efficient users of water. Like other succulents, they need less water and the potting soil should be dry in between two waterings.

Overwatering is a serious issue for this plant. Applying too much water regularly or keeping the potting soil waterlogged always is harmful to the plant. This kind of situation will hamper the proper functioning of roots, and cause root rot.

Roots once started rotting will then make the plant grow slower. It might also prevent the growth of your plant. In the worst situations, due to extreme rotting, your plant may die. It is very rare. But due to overwatering, your Sweetheart Hoya might show physiological stress and grow slowly.

Preventive measures

Here are some preventive measures you can take to enhance the growth of your Hoya kerrii plant, which is suffering from overwatering.

  • Let the potting soil dry out completely before going for watering. You can check it by poking your finger into the top two-inch layer of soil. If it is not dry then don’t go for watering. Wait for few more days. When the soil feels dry to your hands, then you are free to go for watering.
  • Choose a well-draining potting soil for your Hoya kerrii plant. We will discuss more this aspect later in this blog post.
  • The pot should have sufficient drainage holes so that the extra amount of water can easily escape out.
  • Change your watering schedule according to the water requirement of the plant, season, and ambient temperature. For example, during the winters you have to water less frequently, however during the summers you have water more frequently.

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Lack of a well-draining potting soil

Potting soil plays a major role for any plant. Like all other succulents, the Hoya kerrii also love well-draining potting soil. Otherwise, the waterlogging condition will hamper the growth of the plant as discussed earlier.

Proper watering schedule and well-draining potting soil, both are equally important for the Hoya kerrii plant. Both of them are complementary to one another and if you can get both of them right, then you are all set to go.

Best potting soil for Hoya kerrii

Potting soil with excellent drainage is ideal for the Hoya kerrii plant. You can easily get a succulent potting mix from Amazon. It is good potting soil for all your succulents.

Also, you can make your own potting soil that is draining well. Take 2 parts of normal potting soil. Add 1 part of perlite or pumice, and 1 part of orchid bark. Mix them well. Your well-draining potting soil for all types of succulents plant is ready.

The selection of pot is also important. A pot having proper drainage holes is ideal for the Hoya kerrii plant. Also, don’t choose a very big pot for your Hoya plant. The Hoya kerrii plant loves to be root-bound. A single pot can hold your plant for many years.

Get an idea about How to make potting soil for indoor plants

Lack of proper humidity levels

Like all tropical plants, Hoya kerrii also loves a humid environment. This plant generally found on the big trees, as epiphytes. The humidity levels in the tropical forests are generally high. So this plant is adapted to survive in such conditions.

To provide an ideal growing condition for your Hoya kerrii plant to grow is to provide it a good humid environment.

You can use a humidifier to increase the humidity levels. Also, a pebble tray will do the work for you. Regular misting can also be found effective to keep the surrounding humid.

Humidity levels are not detrimental for the Hoya kerrii plant, however, it increases the rate of growth of the plant, by providing a suitable homely environment.

Lack of proper lighting conditions

Lighting is an important aspect of the Hoya kerrii plant. Lack of proper lighting conditions will definitely slow down the growth of the plant.

Hoya kerrii plant loves to grow in an area with bright indirect sunlight. Morning direct sunlight for a few hours will be ideal. Placed near an east-facing window (for morning sun) or west-facing window (for evening sun) would be ideal for this plant.

Too much direct sunlight will slow down the growth. And too little light will hamper the process of photosynthesis.

If your plant is getting too much light, you can shift your plant away from the window. Also, you can use a curtain to filter the light.

If not getting proper light, then use a grow light.

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How to grow Hoya kerrii

Image credit- Mokkie, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

To achieve the desirable growth for your Hoya kerrii plant, you have to take care of the following aspects.

  • Light- Bright indirect light is ideal for this plant. Placing near an east-facing or a west-facing window is ideal.
  • Potting soil- Choose a well-draining potting soil. The plant doesn’t like wet feet. Therefore, a well-draining potting soil ideal. Otherwise, you will end up rotting the roots of your Hoya plant.
  • Humidity- The plant loves a humid environment.
  • Temperature- The plant will grow well at a temperature range of 65°F and 77°F (18°C to 25°C).
  • Watering- The potting soil should be dried in between two watering. Don’t overwater your Hoya kerrii plant.
  • Fertilizer- The plant doesn’t demand any special nutrients. A balanced liquid fertilizer common for all house plants will be sufficient to feed the plant.
  • Pest infestation- Hoya plants can often be infested by the sucking pests like spider mites, mealybugs, and aphids. You can control them by spraying neem oil.
  • Repotting- It doesn’t need to be repotted very often. Repotting once in 2-3 years, when the plant fills up the current pot.
  • Propagation- Plant can be propagated using cuttings.

Final thoughts

Growing a Hoya kerrii plant is not at all a difficult task. Only providing an ideal growing condition will improve the growth rate of the plant.

It is a slow-growing plant. It will take its own time to show some significant growth. You have to keep patience and provide all that the plant needs. The beauty and charming appearance worth the effort you are going to put into it.

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