Hoya Kerrii 'Variegata'
Botanical Name: Hoya Kerrii ‘Variegata’
Common Name: Heart Leaf Hoya, Variegated Hoya Kerrii, Sweetheart Hoya
About Hoya Kerrii 'Variegata
Hoya Kerrii (the non-variegated form) can be found outdoors in its native habitat of Southeast Asia, notably in Cambodia, Laos, and Thailand. In nature, they grow up to 12 feet long, indoors their maximum length is considerably less maxing out around 5 feet. Hoya Kerrii ‘Variegata’ is a cultivar of Hoya Kerrii, meaning it has been selectively crossed and bred to produce its variegation which are the creamy white colored portions of the plants leaves seen in the photo below. As Hoya Kerrii ‘Variegata’ is a cultivar it is not found in nature like its all green counterpart.
In addition to being aesthetically pleasing with its striking heart-shaped leaves, this is also a fairly low maintenance plant. Requiring little more than a brightly lit spot and the occasional watering to stay happy. Making it a perfect choice for the busy plant parents out there. I mostly ignore my Hoya Kerrii ‘Variegata’ and she seems to enjoy it that way, continuously pushing new growth.
Preferring a brightly lit spot and at least some direct sun, Hoya Kerrii is sun lovers. The variegated version even more so than its all-green counterpart. They will thrive in a south-facing window where an abundance of direct sunlight is present, east and west-facing windows will also be sufficient. I would recommend against placing your Heart Leaf Hoya in a north-facing window, as it won’t provide enough light for the plant to thrive.
Hoya Kerrii prefers to stay on the drier side of life, watering once their soil has completely dried through is a good rule to follow. The succulent nature of this Hoya enables it to withstand longer periods of drought, calling upon its water reserves once the soil has dried. A telltale sign your Hoya Kerrii ‘Variegata’ requires water are crinkling leaves, if you notice these on your plant it is past time for the next watering.
Humidity & Temperature
Although Sweetheart Hoya is highly adaptable to different humidity levels, I have noticed they will grow much faster in higher humidity levels. Aim for 50% or higher and your Hoya Kerrii will surely reward you with healthy robust growth. When my Hoya Kerrii ‘Variegata’ is indoors I like to keep a pebble tray directly under it to increase the relative humidity. In the last few months it has shot out a long runner with new leaves, I think the fast growth is partially thanks to the higher humidity.
Temperatures between 65 – 85 degrees Fahrenheit are the ideal range for this houseplant. If you keep your Hoya outdoors during the warmer months it is important to bring your plant indoors before the temperatures drop below 60 degrees as they do not tolerate the cold. Indoors it is also a good idea to keep these Hoya away from drafty windows or vents to avoid possible leaf dropping.
Hoya Kerrii is non-toxic to both cats and dogs according to the ASPCA. To keep the pretty foliage safe I would still recommend keeping them out of reach.
Although these plants aren’t recommended for consumption, Hoya Kerrii ‘Variegata’ is also non-toxic to humans, so if your curious spirit strikes? Enjoy!
To keep the variegation vibrant and present it is important to provide your Hoya Kerrii ‘Variegata’ with sufficient direct sun, aim for at least 3 – 4 hours of direct light a day, more is even better. If you notice your plants’ new leaves have less variegation it’s probably time for a brighter spot.
These Hoya need a trellis of some sort to support their heavy succulent leaves. A ladder or pole you can train it to grow around is best. I’ve noticed my Hoya Kerrii will extend a long vine but will not put any energy into growing leaves until it has found support. At the moment I have supported my Hoya Kerrii with a bamboo stick but a better trellis is needed for the new growth. I would recommend a trellis that has ample space for growth as these guys can extend quite long tendrils during a growth spurt.