How to Propagate a Hoya australis ‘Lisa’ Cutting in Water

Originally published May 23, 2019 – Updated March 2020 with results!

Including How-To Instructions for Water Propagation below!

Table of Contents

Impulse Purchase of a Hoya Cutting

May 6, 2019

Purchased from ebay.

I made an impulse buy that I am hoping will go well!  I bought a 6 inch cutting of Hoya australis ‘Lisa’ from an ebay seller in Florida.  This cutting is a true cutting, meaning there is no root. 

The plan is to try water propagation, which is where you put a section of the plant in a container of water for a length of time (generally a few weeks to a couple months, depending) while it develops roots (more detailed directions to follow, if you are interested). 

I have rooting hormone in the mail from Amazon as I’ve read that Hoya propagation is typically more successful using hormone. 

I’ve watched video accounts of and read about hoya water propagation online, but seeing it and experiencing it are two different things.  It should be a fantastic learning opportunity regardless of the outcome, which I promise to report to you even if it isn’t positive.

*** I was requested to add links to the rooting hormone and propagation station so here they are! Click on the pictures to take you directly to the Amazon listings.

Dyna-Gro Rooting Hormone (Affiliate link to Amazon)

Propagation Station (Affiliate link to Amazon)

The cutting is HERE and she’s gorgeous!!

May 9, 2019

How to Propagate a Hoya Cutting in Water

Now that the cutting has arrived, I am going to prepare it for propagation.

  1. To propagate, the recommendation is to take at least a two-node cutting.

    A node is the place on the vine where the leaves emerge. So a two node cutting would be a piece of vine that had two places where leaves emerged.
  2. The cutting that was sent to me has 3 nodes or three places on the vine where leaves emerge.

    I have to choose one of these places to cut off the leaves.

    The node that I remove the leaves from will be the place where the roots grow and the place where I want the vine to be submerged in water.
Two nodes still have leaves in tact; the node on the left I have removed the leaves from. Hopefully that node will be the birth place of future roots soon!

3. Once I’ve removed leaves from one node, I will fill one of the glass propagation containers with water and add a drop or two of rooting hormone.

Here’s what the cutting looks like currently!

4. Then the last step is simply to add the cutting and wait!

I plan to check the water level daily, in case evaporation causes a need to top off the container. I will also replace the water entirely if it becomes murky. Otherwise, there is nothing that needs to be done!

5. Once the water roots are a few inches in length, the cutting can be potted in soil.

Important note: When transferring to soil, you will want to keep the soil slightly moist for the first week or so to allow the roots to acclimate since they are used to being in water. After that, you can water as normal!

For hoyas, you will want to use a very well-draining soil as almost all hoyas are very succulent in nature, meaning that they retain a lot of water in their thick leaves and do not like to sit in wet soil. I personally use a mixture of peat, perlite, and orchid bark. Yay for new plants!

Keep reading to see how my propagation experience goes! 🙂

Growth Updates Throughout the Process

May 16, 2019 – Hoya australis ‘Lisa’ has Root Buds and I have Excitement… LOTS OF EXCITEMENT!

It has been exactly one week since the hoya cutting arrived and was placed in water for propagation. I am ecstatic to report that root buds have formed and things are happening!!

 

May 22, 2019 – Growth Updates and a Maybe-Peduncle!?

Another week has shown more root growth at the node and a new location of root growth!

I was under the impression that the roots would grow around the node itself. However, I do know that Hoyas are epiphytic plants, meaning that they grow among trees and other epiphytic plants. This means that they use aerial roots along their vines to secure themselves and climb, so they do not require water or soil to root. Cool, right?

…So maybe I shouldn’t have been that surprised!

I also have been watching one area near a node where I left leaves intact because I have suspected that it may be a peduncle, which is where flowers on hoyas will form. These peduncles will flower over and over again for as long as they are intact. The more I am watching this maybe-peduncle grow, the more I am becoming convinced that it is indeed a peduncle. That is very exciting!!

Hoyas need at least 3 years of maturity before they are able to grow peduncles and flower, so the fact that this cutting has a peduncle means that it came from a healthy, mature plant. That is great news! Here’s some pictures from this week’s update:

May 29th and June 5th, 2019 – Updates!

June 12, 2019 – Baby leaves and more growth!

June 19th, 2019

August 30th – I skipped a few updates… let me explain!

The differences in the root system week-to-week were too small to provide weekly updates so I waited until there was something worth updating!

How to Transfer the Cutting to Soil

I know that its time to transfer to soil because the roots are a few inches long.

Technically I could have transferred the cutting to soil once the roots were at least an inch in length.

One of the big concerns when transferring to soil is root shock.

The roots sometimes experience shock because they are going from growing in water to something that is very different than water.

I am going to plant the rooted cutting into a plastic pot, which retains extra moisture.

This will help prevent the water roots from drying out too much while they are acclimating.

I will check the pot daily to ensure the soil is watered as soon as it begins to dry while the roots acclimate.

Daily checks will happen for at least a week or two.

After a period of acclimation, I will then water this cutting the way I water all of my hoyas: let the soil dry out completely before watering.

I will also often check to see if the lower leaves are still firm in the more succulent hoyas, like Hoya australis ‘Lisa’. This tells me whether those leaves are still retaining water. If they are, it doesn’t need to be watered! If the leaves have become more pliable, I know its time for a good watering!

Growth Updates After Transferring to Soil

October 19, 2019 – Update post-soil transfer

I just wanted to provide a quick update to let anyone who finds this post know that transfer to soil was successful. Here is a picture of my rooted cutting looking beautiful in its pot!

March 18, 2020 – Almost one year later….

My cutting has a huge root ball and has grown several beautiful leaves. You can see that the newest leaves are still pink.

I am now potting it together with another cutting of Hoya australis ‘Lisa’. The photo of them potted up together and trellised is below!

10 Comments

  1. Heidi

    What a thorough guide!! This is exactly what I was looking for to figure out how to propagate my Hoya Australis. The pics are super helpful, thank you so much!

    Reply
    • Colleen

      Thank you so much for the wonderful feedback! I hope your propagation is doing really well. 🙂

      Reply
  2. Abby

    Thanks so much for explaining that the soil needs to be kept moist after potting from water. I see so many guides say “pot as normal” or “pot in soil” and that’s led several of my cuttings to dry out and die because I treated them like a normal plant! Now I know better. Beautiful hoya, too.

    Reply
    • Colleen

      I’m so glad you were able to find some helpful information. I hope you are able to move your water propagations successfully to soil next time you try! 🙂

      Reply
    • Tara

      Hello. Thank you for this extremely useful and detailed post! I purchased a small unrooted Hoya Austalis Lisa cutting with just 2 top leaves and no node. I’ve had it in water for almost a month. No sign of growth or roots. I’m guessing I’m not likely to see any? Thanks. Your plant is gorgeous btw!

      Reply
      • Colleen

        Hi Tara, it can take a really long time for some cuttings to begin to root, so if you have a node submerged in water, it may just need more time. If you do not believe a node is in the water, the node you want to root is where the two leaves are. When rooting a single node like that, people will often use sphagnum moss, passive hydro, or soil for propagation. You bury the cutting so the place where the leaves emerge is within the substrate, but the leaves are still at least two-thirds above the substrate. Then you keep your substrate or rooting medium slightly moist and wait for some roots. As long as the substrate doesn’t sit too wet, the leaves can be within the substrate and will not rot. I hope that helps, but if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to email! My email is colleen AT anaturalcuriosity DOT org. 🙂

        Reply
  3. Pam

    This is great information. Can you comment on the range of air temperature which led to such success? Also, what lighting did your cuttings receive? Gonna give this my best shot! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Colleen

      Hi Pam! Thanks for the wonderful feedback. The cuttings were in regular room temp air, 67 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit depending on the season. I hope you find lots of success. If you have any other questions, please let me know! I’m happy to help!

      Reply
  4. Jan Turner

    I recently ordered what I thought was a ‘cutting’ of a valentine Hoya. It turned out to be three leaves. I followed directions and planted, thinking I would get a vine. I then learned that the leaves would continue to survive but would NOT produce a vine! SO sad!

    Reply
    • Colleen

      Hi Jan, It is so unfortunate that places sell just the leaves instead of giving someone what they need for a plant to develop! I’m sorry this happened to you! Is there any chance that the leaves were attached to a nodule/node? If so, you might just get a plant! It is common for large-leafed Hoyas to be sold as single leaf cuttings with a bit of stem to root it. I’m hoping that maybe yours does have the stem/node attached, because if so you can definitely grow a vine and additional leaves from it

      Reply

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