Ask a Question forum: Hoya with leaves turning yellow.

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Oct 16, 2016 3:59 PM CST
My Hoya plant moved with me to this address ten years ago, although it is much older than that. It has always been happy in my conservatory, having had over 100 blooms, both times this summer. It is now about twelve feet high and has a spread of about ten feet. Just lately a lot of its leaves have very suddenly turned yellow, mostly they are at the base of the plant although there are a few more dotted throughout the plant. I have never fed it - just gave it rainwater, but now I think it desperately needs some first aid of some sort. Please help.

Name: Laurie b
Western Washington (Zone 7b)
Houseplants Region: Pacific Northwest Sedums Orchids Tropicals Region: Mexico
Oct 16, 2016 4:15 PM CST
Repost in the houseplant forum, or even cacti and succulent, @RedScott. I am summoning the experts I can think of for you here. @mjsponies and @plantladylin, any ideas?
Name: Lin
Southeast Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Deer Region: Florida Charter ATP Member Million Pollinator Garden Challenge I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Garden Procrastinator Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Oct 16, 2016 5:37 PM CST
I'm not an expert by any means; I'm a very lazy plant caretaker and never remember to fertilize my plants. I've said for years that to survive under my care (or lack thereof) plants must thrive on neglect. I'm fortunate to live in a climate where my hoyas can stay outside year round where they love the heat and humidity.

Yellowing leaves can be caused by many things; too little water, too much water or possibly something is going on from the root level, upwards. Hopefully one of the more knowledgeable Hoya growers will be able to offer advice and tips on what to look for as the cause. Also, the type of Hoya and a photo of the plant in question might help to identify the issue.
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot! ~

Name: Daisy I
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
Oct 16, 2016 7:37 PM CST
I REALLY want to see a photo!

Hoya are epiphytic, meaning they live in a treetop somewhere, their only soil being whatever catches in the roots or tree niches and decomposes. With epiphytes, fertilizer is always a big question mark. I have two: one is over 50 years old and one is only 20 or so. I very rarely think about fertilizing and neither has been re-potted. The over 50 year old is in a pot with soil that closely resembles cardboard but how would you repot a plant like that? Once in awhile, I fill in the voids with fresh soil.

If you can't repot (and I think a very old, very large Hoya fits into that category), than fertilizing is dangerous. Salts will build up in the soil and will affect the health of the plant. When I do fertilize, I mix to at least 1/4 strength (or weaker) and spray the leaves, not necessarily the soil.

As you have not fertilized, salt burn is not the problem. But, mine always lose leaves near the base in the fall and winter - is this just fall/winter leaf fall? If it were, you probably would have noticed before. So maybe it does need a little fertilizer.

Mine also gets yellow leaves that drop on the sunny side of the plant. Has anything changed light wise? If this plant is in a conservatory, does it get a lot of sun? Shade is not good if you want it to bloom but sun is not good either.

I think we need to see a photo of your plant with one of the whole plant (and surrounds) and then some close-ups of the problem areas.
Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming...."WOW What a Ride!!" -Mark Frost


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