Better known as the “Sweetheart Vine” or “Lucky Hearts,” the Hoya Kerrii is best known for its bright green, heart-shaped leaves. Either available as a trailing vine or a simple heart-shaped leaf, this variety of wax plant hails from the tropics of Asia. Unlike other trailing houseplants, the Kerrii Heart is also a succulent! To learn how you can make this lovely, trailing succulent thrive, check out our guide below:
Before getting into the details of caring for your Hoya Kerrii, let’s first go over the succulent’s toxicity. Generally, this plant is not toxic to animals or people but can cause stomach irritation if ingested. We recommend keeping this plant out of reach to prevent your curious pets from having an unwanted snack.
this plant is not toxic to animals or people but can cause stomach irritation if ingested
The Hoya Kerrii has similar general requirements to most succulents but with a few changes. As a unique halfway point between a houseplant and a succulent, it shares care needs from both plant varieties. Under the right care, a trailing Hoya Kerrii can grow over ten feet long! The single hearts, however, do not grow nearly as quickly, if at all. Any new growths on these cuttings will look like additional hearts sprouting from the soil.
Light-wise, your Hoya will need at least six hours of bright, direct sunlight each day. These plants love bright sunlight and can tolerate long periods of direct sun without difficulty. To help ensure your Kerrii Heart gets enough sun, keep it near a west or south-facing window.
If you live somewhere that doesn’t receive lots of bright light, consider using a UV lamp to supplement sunlight and ensure proper growth.
Hoya will need at least six hours of bright, direct sunlight each day
by The Spruce Cori Sears
Like other succulents, the Hoya Kerrii needs light, well-draining soil. We recommend using a cactus mix or making your own potting mix using perlite, peat, and compost. If you want to add more aeration to your soil, add a little gravel to the bottom of your pot, and a little sand into your potting mix!
Hoyas don’t need water often and should only receive watering when their soil is completely dry to the touch. When watering your Hoya, make sure to let any excess drain completely before putting it away. Avoid getting excess water on the leaves using either the bottom watering method, a watering bottle, or a single-hole watering can.
Temperature and Humidity
Just like other Hoyas, the Kerrii Heart thrives in warmer temperatures and humid areas. Ideal for indoor environments and outdoors in USDA agricultural zone 11, the Kerrii heart needs to stay at a toasty 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit year-round, with a humidity level of about 60%. This plant is not frost-tolerant and will not survive in temperatures below 50 degrees.
You won’t need to fertilize your Hoya Kerrii Heart often, just once or twice a year during the growing season in the spring and summer. To fertilize, use a few drops of nutrient-balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, or apply a thin layer of compost over your plant’s soil.
Potting and Repotting
As a succulent, the Hoya Kerrii Heart’s biggest priority is drainage. When you choose a pot for your Hearts, make sure it has a drainage hole and is composed of a porous material like concrete, terracotta, or ceramic. When repotting your Kerrii Heart, do so only during the spring or summer growing season, so the plant has plenty of energy to adjust to its new home and recover from any potential damage. For single-leaf varieties, you won’t need to repot your Hoya often unless you see new growth.
As a succulent, the Hoya Kerrii Heart’s biggest priority is drainage
Getting your Hoya to bloom is surprisingly tricky, and the Kerrii Heart is no exception. Plus, some varieties of Hoya aren’t capable of blooming, to begin with– always look into your Hearts’ ability to bloom when you first purchase it!
Before your Kerrii Heart can bloom, it must reach full maturity, and maturation typically takes about five to seven years for larger, trailing vines. Then, make sure your Hearts are in a space where they’ll receive plenty of bright, direct sunlight each day. Your Hoya will only bloom during its growing season, so ensure it receives plenty of sunlight during the spring and summer. Additionally, your Hoya may need extra fertilizer to ensure it has enough nutrients to bloom. This plant is also more likely to bloom when slightly root-bound, so make sure your pot isn’t too big!
Hoya blooms when slightly root-bound, so make sure your pot isn’t too big!
Pruning and Propagation
The Hoya Kerrii Heart doesn’t need pruning often; only when it gets unruly do you want to make it bushier or you need to cut back on damaged growths. To prune your Hoya Kerrii Heart, simply trim off any unwanted vines as close to the root as possible. Any healthy cuttings you can save for propagation later!
When pruning your Kerrii Heart, try to avoid pruning any short stalks from the plant– those are flower stalks where your Hoya will bloom in the future! Additionally, always avoid pruning any long, bare vines. These vines are early stages of new growth in your plant: if you want your Hoya to grow and spread, don’t touch these vines!
Take your healthy cutting to propagate and let it callous for a day or so. Then, dip your stem in some fresh rooting hormone, and stick the lower half of your cutting into fresh soil or sphagnum moss to help it take root. After a couple of weeks, give your cutting a tug to check for roots– if you get some resistance, you’ve got growth!
When temperatures drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, your Hoya Kerrii Heart will start to go dormant. During this time, your Hoya may look wilted and slow its growth, but it will spring back up once temperatures rise again. During the dormant period, cut back your watering routine and make sure your Kerrii Heart stays nice and toasty to avoid frost damage.
Common Pests and Complications
Like most succulents, the Hoya Kerrii Heart is susceptible to root rot and overwatering. Without proper drainage, your plant may contract root rot, fungal gnats, or mold infections that will slow its growth. To avoid complications, always keep your Hoya in well-draining soil and in a pot with drainage holes. Hoyas also share common pests with many other succulents, like mealybugs, spider mites, aphids, and scale.
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Watch the video below to learn more about how to care for Hoya Kerrii Heart