Why Is My Hoya Turning Yellow? Quick Solutions Uncovered

why is my hoya turning yellow

Hoya plants, known for their attractive and fragrant flowers, are popular among indoor gardeners. Also known as the wax plant, they may sometimes experience yellowing leaves, which can be distressing for plant enthusiasts. Understanding the potential causes of yellowing leaves is critical for proper Hoya plant care and maintenance.

Common factors contributing to Hoya leaves turning yellow include overwatering, inadequate lighting, and nutrient deficiencies. It’s necessary to address these factors and implement targeted solutions to resolve this issue. Identifying the cause and providing appropriate care can restore the health of your Hoya plant, allowing it to thrive and bloom beautifully.

Key Takeaways

  • Yellowing Hoya leaves can result from excess water, poor lighting, and nutrient deficiencies.
  • Diagnosing the cause and implementing corrective measures can help restore plant health.
  • Regularly monitoring and adjusting care routines can prevent future issues and promote a thriving Hoya plant.

Causes of Yellowing Hoya Leaves

Watering Issues

The most common reason for hoya leaves turning yellow is improper watering. Overwatering and underwatering can both lead to leaf yellowing. To maintain healthy hoya plants, be sure to follow a consistent watering schedule and allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings. Overwatering is the main culprit behind why many indoor plants do not survive or thrive. 

Drainage and Soil Problems

Poor drainage and the wrong type of soil can also cause yellowing hoya leaves. Make sure your hoya is planted in well-draining soil. Additionally, using a pot with proper drainage holes is essential to prevent waterlogged roots, which can lead to root rot and yellowing leaves. You can check soil moisture but using a soil meter. 

Nutrient Deficiencies

Hoya plants require adequate nutrients for healthy growth and vibrant foliage. Nutrient deficiencies, especially nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, can cause leaves to turn yellow. Regularly applying a balanced fertilizer can help prevent nutrient-related issues in your hoya plant.

Sunlight Exposure

Hoyas need bright, indirect sunlight to thrive. Insufficient lighting can lead to pale or yellow leaves. On the other hand, excessive direct sunlight can cause sunburn, which appears as yellow or brown spots on the leaves. To ensure that your hoya doesn’t get too much light or not enough light, find a balance between direct and indirect sunlight by placing it near a window with filtered light.

Pest Infestations

Pests like mealybugs and spider mites can cause yellowing leaves on hoya plants. These pests feed on plant sap, resulting in weakened foliage and yellowing leaves. Regular inspection for pests and application of appropriate treatments, such as insecticidal soap, can help maintain the health of your hoya plant.


Various diseases can also cause hoya leaves to turn yellow. Fungal infections like root rot can develop due to overwatering or poor drainage. Similarly, viral infections may cause mottling or yellowing of the leaves. If you suspect a disease is affecting your hoya plant, consult with a local plant expert or nursery for advice on treatment options.

By addressing these potential causes, you can successfully maintain a healthy, thriving hoya with vibrant green leaves.

Diagnosing Symptoms

When your Hoya plant starts showing signs of distress, it’s essential to diagnose the symptoms accurately to determine the underlying issue and address it promptly. In this section, we’ll cover the common symptoms such as Hoya leaves turning brown, Hoya leaves falling off, and Hoya leaves shriveling.

Hoya Leaves Turning Brown

Hoya leaves turning brown could be a sign of overwatering or underwatering. Maintaining a consistent watering schedule that allows the soil to dry slightly between waterings is essential. Overwatering can lead to root rot, which causes the leaves to turn brown and eventually die. In contrast, underwatering can cause the plant to dry out, leading to brown edges on the leaves. To solve this issue, adjust your watering routine and ensure proper drainage in the pot.

Hoya Leaves Falling Off

If you notice Hoya leaves falling off, it may be due to environmental factors such as drafts, temperature fluctuations, or pests. Inspect your plant for any signs of insects, like mealybugs or spider mites, and take necessary pest control measures to eliminate them. It’s also essential to monitor the environment, ensuring the temperature remains steady and there are no drafts affecting the plant. Another possible cause of leaves falling off is under-watering, which can make the plant weak and susceptible to shedding leaves.

Hoya Leaves Shriveling

Shriveled Hoya leaves often indicate underwatering or a root rot issue. When Hoya plants lack water, their leaves may shrivel and become soft to the touch. Adjust your watering schedule, ensuring the soil stays slightly moist but not too wet. On the other hand, root rot caused by overwatering leads to a weakened root system, causing the leaves to shrivel and wilt. Inspect the roots for any signs of damage or disease and, if necessary, repot the plant in fresh soil with good drainage.

By correctly diagnosing the symptoms and taking appropriate care measures, you can help your Hoya plant bounce back to health and continue to thrive. Remember, Hoya plants are generally easy to care for, so with a little attention and adjustments, they’ll soon return to their beautiful, vibrant state.

Fixing Yellow Hoya Leaves

Watering Adjustments

Adjusting your watering habits to fix the yellowing on your Hoya leaves is essential. Hoyas prefer to dry out a bit between waterings, so be careful not to overwater them. Wait until the top inch of soil is dry before watering your plant again. You may also want to reduce the frequency during winter when the plant needs less water.

Proper Soil and Drainage

Using the right type of potting soil and ensuring proper drainage is crucial for your Hoya’s well-being. Choose a well-draining, lightweight soil mix that allows air to reach the roots. Avoid heavy, water-retaining soils that can lead to root rot and poor aeration. Ensure your pot has drainage holes, and avoid letting the plant sit in standing water, as this can cause damage to the roots and contribute to yellowing leaves.

Nutrient Correction

Yellow leaves may be an indication that your Hoya is lacking essential nutrients. To correct this issue, you can use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer, following the package instructions, typically once every four to six weeks during the growing season. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can cause more harm to your plant. Regularly examining your plant for signs of nutrient deficiency will help you address any issues early on.

Adapting Light Conditions

Hoyas love bright, indirect sunlight. If your Hoya plant’s leaves are turning yellow, it’s possible that it’s receiving too much direct sun or too little light. Adjust your Hoya’s position so it’s in a spot with bright, filtered light. If natural light isn’t enough, you may need to supplement it with artificial lighting.

Managing Pests and Diseases

Finally, managing pests and diseases is essential for maintaining your Hoya plant’s health. Keep an eye out for signs of infestation, such as spider mites, which can feed on your plant and lead to yellowing leaves. Treat your Hoya with a gentle insecticidal soap or neem oil if you notice any pests. Additionally, maintain good air circulation around your Hoya plant to prevent diseases that could cause yellowing leaves.

Maintaining a Healthy Hoya Plant

Environment and Temperature

Hoyas thrive in a stable environment; adjusting the temperature can help maintain bright green leaves. The ideal temperature for Hoyas lies between 60-85°F. Be cautious with drafts near windows or sudden temperature changes, as this can cause yellow leaves.

Fertilizing and Soil Nutrition

Providing proper fertilization and maintaining soil nutrition is essential for Hoyas. During the growing season, use a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer twice a month2. Nitrogen specifically supports foliage growth and photosynthesis. Over-fertilization can cause yellow leaves, so applying the correct amount is vital.

Lighting and Water Quality

Hoyas need adequate lighting to remain healthy and avoid yellow leaves. They prefer bright, indirect sunlight, while direct sunlight can cause damage2. Low light conditions may also lead to yellow leaves.

It’s crucial to water Hoyas with good-quality water and ensure proper drainage in the pot. Overwatering or using poorly-draining soil can cause yellow leaves and root rot. Letting the top layer of soil dry out before watering again is best.

Should You Water Your Hoya With Tap Water?

Yes, you can water your hoya with tap water, but it depends on the quality of your tap water. If your tap water is high in minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, it can cause mineral buildup in the soil over time, which can harm your hoya plant. In this case, it’s recommended to use filtered or distilled water to avoid mineral buildup.

If you’re unsure about the quality of your tap water, you can test it for mineral content or check with your local water authority. Alternatively, you can allow tap water to sit out for 24 hours before using it to water your hoya plant. This will allow any chlorine or other chemicals in the water to evaporate, which can be harmful to your plant.

Hoya Plant Care Tips

Light: Hoya plants prefer bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight as it can burn the leaves.

Water: Water your hoya when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch. Make sure the soil is well-draining to prevent overwatering and root rot.

Humidity: Hoya plants prefer high humidity levels. You can increase humidity by misting the leaves or placing a tray of water near the plant.

Fertilizer: Feed your hoya plant with a balanced fertilizer every 2-3 months during the growing season (spring and summer).

Pruning: Prune your hoya plant to control its size and shape. You can also propagate the plant from cuttings.

Potting: Hoya plants prefer to be slightly root-bound, so avoid repotting too frequently. When you do repot, use a well-draining soil mix.

Pests: Keep an eye out for common pests such as spider mites, mealybugs, and scale insects. Treat with insecticidal soap or neem oil if necessary.

Remember that hoya plants are tropical plants and prefer warm temperatures and high humidity. With proper care, your hoya plant should thrive and produce beautiful blooms. Following these care tips can help minimize issues like yellow leaves and enable your Hoya plant to flourish in a friendly environment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why are my hoya leaves falling off after repotting?

Several reasons could be why your hoya leaves are falling off after repotting. Here are some possible explanations:

  1. Root damage: When you repot a plant, it’s possible to damage the roots in the process. If the roots are damaged, the plant may not be able to absorb enough water and nutrients, which can cause the leaves to wilt and fall off.
  2. Overwatering: Giving your hoya too much water after repotting can lead to root rot, which can cause the leaves to fall off. Make sure you’re letting the soil dry out a bit between waterings.
  3. Underwatering: On the other hand, not giving your hoya enough water can also cause the leaves to fall off. Ensure you’re watering your plant enough to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
  4. Shock: Repotting can be a shock to the plant, especially if you’re changing the environment or the pot size. This shock can cause the leaves to fall off temporarily, but they should grow back once the plant adjusts.
  5. Pest infestation: It’s possible that your hoya has a pest infestation, such as spider mites or mealybugs, which can cause the leaves to fall off. Check your plant for signs of pests and treat accordingly.

Overall, it’s important to ensure you’re giving your hoya the right amount of water and light and not damaging the roots during repotting. With proper care, your hoya should recover and start growing new leaves.

Why do my hoya leaves have brown spots?

Several factors can cause brown spots on hoya leaves. Here are some possible explanations:

  1. Overwatering: Giving your hoya too much water can lead to root rot, which can cause brown spots on the leaves. Make sure you’re letting the soil dry out a bit between waterings.
  2. Underwatering: On the other hand, if you’re not giving your hoya enough water, it can also cause brown spots on the leaves. Make sure you’re watering your plant enough to keep the soil moist but not waterlogged.
  3. Fungal or bacterial infection: Brown spots on hoya leaves can also be a sign of a fungal or bacterial infection. This can be caused by overwatering, poor air circulation, or high humidity. If you suspect a fungal or bacterial infection, you should remove the affected leaves and treat the plant with a fungicide or bactericide.
  4. Sunburn: Hoya leaves can get sunburned if they’re exposed to too much direct sunlight. This can cause brown spots or patches on the leaves. Ensure your hoya gets the right amount of light for its specific needs.
  5. Nutrient deficiency: Brown spots on hoya leaves can also be a sign of a nutrient deficiency, such as a lack of magnesium or calcium. Make sure you’re fertilizing your plant regularly with a balanced fertilizer.

Identifying the cause of the brown spots on your hoya leaves and taking appropriate action to address the issue is important. With proper care, your hoya should recover and grow healthy leaves.

What are the signs of an overwatered hoya?

An overwatered hoya may show symptoms like yellowing leaves, wilting despite wet soil, and root rot. Allow the soil to dry out completely between watering sessions to prevent overwatering. A well-draining soil mix will also help prevent over-watering-related issues.

Why are my hoya leaves changing to light green?

Hoya leaves may change to a lighter green color if they receive too much sunlight or the plant lacks nutrients. If your hoya is exposed to excessive sunlight, relocate it to an area with bright, indirect light. Regularly fertilize your hoya with a balanced fertilizer to help maintain its vibrant color.

Why is my hoya stem turning yellow?

A yellow stem in your hoya plant might indicate overwatering, disease, or a nutrient deficiency. Check your watering routine and ensure proper drainage to prevent root rot. Examine your plant for any signs of disease and treat accordingly. Provide appropriate nutrients by using a balanced fertilizer.

How do I fix my yellow hoya?

First, determine the cause of the yellowing to fix a yellow hoya. Common reasons include overwatering, poor drainage, insufficient lighting, or nutrient deficiencies. Adjust your watering routine, move your hoya to a location with suitable light, and fertilize regularly to ensure a healthy, thriving plant.

Read More About Hoyas

Two of our favorite Hoya Plants are Hoya Curtisii and Hoya Linearis. We offer a complete care guide for everything thing you need to know about each of these cool plants. 

How to Care for Hoya Linearis

How to Care for Hoya Curtisii

Hoya Curtisii is a beautiful and unique plant that makes a great addition to any indoor garden. Its small, oval-shaped leaves are a beautiful shade of green with silver speckles that shimmer in the light. The leaves are thick and waxy, giving them a glossy, elegant, and eye-catching appearance. When in bloom, Hoya Curtisii produces clusters of small, star-shaped flowers that are delicate and fragrant, adding to the plant’s charm and beauty. This plant is easy to care for and can thrive in a variety of indoor environments. Its compact size makes it perfect for small spaces, and its low-maintenance nature makes it a great choice for busy plant lovers.

Hoya Linearis is an eye-catching and captivating plant that will surely draw any plant enthusiast’s attention.  Its long, slender stems are adorned with delicate, needle-like leaves that create a graceful and elegant appearance. The leaves are a gorgeous shade of green and are arranged in a way that produces a stunning cascading effect. Hoya Linearis produces clusters of small, fragrant, star-shaped flowers that add to the plant’s overall charm and appeal when in bloom. This plant is easy to care for and can thrive in a variety of indoor environments, making it a great choice for both experienced and novice plant lovers alike. Its striking appearance and low-maintenance nature make it an excellent addition to any indoor garden. Overall, Hoya Linearis is a captivating and delightful plant that is sure to bring beauty and joy to any home.