Hoya Kerrii Plant Care: Tips for How to Water Sweetheart Hoya

If you love your Hoya Kerrii plant but wonder how often to water it, you are not alone! This is a widespread question when it comes to this unique plant. 

In this post, I’ll give you helpful tips on how often to water Hoya Kerrii so you can keep it looking beautiful in your home.

Photo of three small hoya kerrii leaves in three small black plastic pots.
Lined up Green Hoya Kerrii, Lucky-Heart, Sweetheart or Valentines Hoya plants on the pots for sale. A row of Heart Leaf Hoya in the pot for decoration.

Before getting started, I want to stress one thing: unlike other types of hoya, the hoya kerri variety will only grow as a single leaf, so don’t expect it to grow as a trailing vine!

It can, however, live a very long time, so that’s the good news!

(Also, propagation is tricky, so keep that in mind if you’re keen on propagating plants. To propagate successfully, a heart-shaped leaf should be rooted with a portion of the stem with a node, where new growth will emerge. Without this, the plant will remain a single leaf.)

Now, back to a bit of hoya kerri background info.

This lovely plant is also known as sweetheart or Valentine hoya and is celebrated for its thick, heart-shaped leaves.

It’s usually sold in a tiny pot at garden centers and grocery stores.

They’re widely available around Valentine’s Day; they make the perfect gift for plant lovers!

One thing you should understand is that Hoya Kerrii is a succulent plant.

Why is this important? Great question! It’s important because succulents store water in their leaves and stems. It’s what makes them so drought-tolerant and low-maintenance. 

Unfortunately, it’s also what makes them sensitive to overwatering.

This water-storing capability is what helps hoya kerrii plants survive periods of drought.

So if you forget to water your plants often, consider opting for hoya kerrii or succulents. These plants are very hardy, making them an excellent choice for those who don’t have a lot of time to care for plants.

Small single leaf hoya kerri plant potted into an orange plastic pot, against white background.
Heart shaped plant in a red pot over white.

Plus, hoya kerri is a slow-growing plant, and it doesn’t need to be watered as frequently as some other houseplants.

On the opposite spectrum of underwatering is overwatering.

Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes people make with hoya kerrii.

Watering too frequently can cause root rot and other problems that can harm your plant.

So, how often should you water your Hoya Kerrii?

The answer depends on several factors, including: 

  • the size of your plant 
  • whether the pot has a drainage hole
  • the type of soil it’s planted in (it should be a well-draining mix, like succulent soil)
  • the environment it’s growing in, such as where it’s placed in your home and how much sunlight it gets
  • the season, temperature, and humidity level

Hoya Kerrii Care Requirements

Native to Southeast Asia, hoya kerrii grows best in bright, indirect light and well-draining soil.

To help your plant thrive, give it plenty of light!

Avoid placing it in a dark or dimly lit corner of your house.

Instead, keep it in an area that receives medium-light or indirect sunlight daily.

Always remember that bright light is crucial for the growth and health of your hoya plants, so if natural light is unavailable in your home, use a grow light.

As far as watering goes, the general rule of thumb is to water hoya kerri when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch.

Your watering frequency will likely change as the seasons change, too.

During the plant’s growing season (spring and summer), you may need to water your plant more frequently.

In the winter, when growth slows and the plant enters its dormancy phase, you won’t need to water very often.

As with other succulents, it’s best to underwater than to overwater.

You should only water this plant when the soil feels dry one or two inches deep into the pot.

Below, I’ll go over a few things to help you understand when and how to water.

Determining Watering Frequency

It’s crucial to balance not overwatering and not underwatering your Hoya Kerrii plant.

When determining how often to water your plant, consider factors such as the type of plant, its size, and the humidity of its environment.

The points below will help you determine when it’s time to water!

Small, green hoya kerri plant planted in small terra cotta pot. The single leaf is green and shaped like a heart.

Check the Soil for Moisture

This is the easiest and fastest way to determine whether your Hoya Kerrii plant needs water!

Insert your finger about an inch deep into the soil and feel for moisture.

If the soil feels dry, it’s time to water your plant!

If the soil still feels a bit moist, hold off on watering for a little while longer and check back in a few days.

Hoya kerri plants, like succulents, can do just fine indoors when the soil goes completely dry inside the pot.

So if you skip a week, it can survive, but you don’t want to let the soil stay dry for very long – this is where you’ll run into problems caused by underwatering.

Consider the Growing Environment

What environment is your plant being grown in? The environment greatly affects how often you need to water it.

If your Hoya Kerrii is in a warm, dry room with plenty of sunlight, it will likely need to be watered more frequently than in a cool room with more humidity or low light.

Also, be mindful of heating vents during the winter, as they can dry out indoor plants very quickly.

Try Putting Yourself On a Simple Watering Schedule

Putting yourself on a watering schedule can be incredibly helpful when it comes to plant care.

This doesn’t need to be complex – pick a day out of the week, put it on your calendar, and set a reminder for yourself!

For instance,  I designate Saturday or Sunday as my “soil checking day.”

I walk around my home checking all my indoor plants’ soil; it’s become a habit I enjoy because it means I’m helping to keep my plants in a good state.

I quickly place my finger into the pot to feel for moisture, letting me know which plant needs water ASAP. 

If the soil feels dry, I know I need to water it. If the soil still feels moist, I wait a few more days or until the following Saturday.

You can either water your plant once a week or commit to checking the moisture once a week.

It’s also essential to monitor how your plant reacts to your watering schedule and make necessary adjustments. 

Does it look like it likes being watered weekly, or does it perform better when watered every two weeks?

A healthy hoya kerri leaf will feel plump and firm when properly watered: this is how you’ll know it’s happy with your current watering schedule.

Seasonal Changes Can Affect Watering Frequency

The seasons play a significant role in determining how often to water your Hoya Kerrii.

During the summer months, when temperatures are high, your plant will require more water than during the winter months when temperatures are lower.

Keep a close eye on it, checking it weekly to ensure it’s doing well as the seasons change.

Plant Size and Growth Stage

The size and age of your plant also factor into watering frequency.

Quick Tip: The smaller the pot, the more often you’ll need to water it. Small pots don’t contain a lot of soil and thus can’t hold a large amount of water. They dry out quicker than larger pots.

Smaller pots also have smaller root systems.

The larger the pot, the more soil and the larger the root system. This means you can water less frequently, and the plant is better equipped to withstand more prolonged periods of drought.

Signs of Overwatering and Underwatering

Signs of Overwatering

Overwatering is a common mistake in Hoya Kerrii care. The following are some signs that your plant may be overwatered:

  • Yellowing leaves: If the leaves of your Hoya Kerrii are turning yellow and falling off the stem, it could be a sign of overwatering. The plant’s roots may be rotting due to sitting in excess water. Plants can’t take in the nutrients they need without a healthy root system.
  • Wilting leaves: They’re likely overwatered if they are soggy or wilting. The lack of oxygen in the soil is caused by too much water. This leaves the roots unable to take in the oxygen they need to survive.
  • Mold or fungus: Mold or fungus is an obvious sign of overwatering. You might see it on top of the soil or affecting the stem. A black or mushy stem is an obvious sign of a rotting root system. This means you’ve been watering too frequently and not letting the soil dry out between waterings.

Signs of Underwatering

Underwatering can be just as harmful to your Hoya Kerrii plant as overwatering, especially if it goes on for weeks or months. The following are some signs that your plant may be underwatered:

  • Brown or crispy leaves: If the leaves of your Hoya Kerrii are turning brown or crispy, it could be a sign of underwatering. The root system isn’t getting enough water to send up to the leaves.
  • Stunted growth: Underwatering can slow down growth in your Hoya Kerrii plant. If you’re not seeing much growth during its growth cycle and enough time has passed, you’re likely not watering often enough.

By watching closely for these signs, you can address the issue before it’s too late.

Super Simple Tips for Proper Watering

Here are some quick tips for proper watering that’ll help you avoid both overwatering and underwatering!

1. Water the soil ONLY when it feels dry to the touch

Always check the soil moisture level first before watering. Stick your finger about an inch deep into the soil. If it feels dry to the touch, it’s time to water! If the soil feels moist or wet, wait a few more days before watering.

2. Only use room-temperature water

When watering your Hoya Kerrii, use room temperature water to avoid shocking or scalding the roots. And NEVER use ice cubes to water your hoya plant or any other plant. It’s unnatural and too harsh.

3. Water thoroughly and make sure excess water drains

When watering your Hoya Kerrii, water thoroughly until water starts draining from the drainage hole.

Only to water the soil, NOT the leaves or stems.

Once you’re done watering, throw out the excess water that collects in the pot’s saucer. This is SUPER important!

If you don’t discard that water, the bottom of the pot where the root system lives will sit in a pool of water for too long.

This is one of the quickest ways to end up with root rot. Not good!

4. Adjust your watering frequency based on the season

Seasons are another significant factor in how often you water the hoya kerrii plant.

It’s pretty simple: water hoya kerrrii more often in the spring and summer and less often in the late fall and winter.

Summer brings higher temperatures and humidity, which means the soil in your hoya kerri pot will dry out faster; you’ll need to water more frequently.

In the late fall and winter, however, you can water less often due to lower temperatures (just be mindful of heating vents, as they can dry out the soil quickly, too).

Well, there you have it – those are all the tips you need to understand how and when to water your hoya kerrii plant!

Once you grow accustomed to watering it throughout the year, keeping it healthy and happy will be easier!

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