Common Hoya Linearis Issues | Causes and Solutions

Last Updated: April 17, 2022

Otherwise known as the Wax Plant, the Hoya Linearis can be quite a rare find so once you’ve got your hands on one, it can be pretty worrying when things start to go wrong. Whether you’ve discovered brown or yellow leaves on your plant, or your Hoya Linearis looks droopy and limp, we’ve got you covered. Below you’ll find all of the factors that cause the most common problems so you can not only treat the issue quickly but prevent it from causing more damage in future. 

Causes of Hoya Linearis brown leaves:

  1. Intense direct sunlight can cause brown Hoya Linearis leaves.

    If your plant is getting too much bright intense sunlight then you might start to notice the leaves drying out and turning quite light brown in colour. This is due to the sunlight actually burning the leaves. Although there is no going back once the leaves are brown, move your Hoya Linearis into a slightly shadier place to prevent any more from occurring. 

  2. Underwatering can also cause dry brown leaves.

    If the leaves are turning quite brown dry and crispy but all over and not just the edges and tips then it may be due to underwatering. Although Hoya Linearis plants like to have quite dry soil, if they are going weeks and weeks without water then they will start to dry out and turn brown. Before adjusting your watering schedule, you want to be sure that this is the cause otherwise you may very quickly be overwatering.

    Confirm the issue by checking the soil and seeing if the roots have started to crisp up. Then water your plant a little bit once a day for a week. After a week you want to go back to a more normal care routine, making sure to check the moisture in the soil frequently to avoid the brown leaves from developing again!

  3. Brown leaves on your Hoya Linearis can also indicate low humidity levels.

    If watering and light aren’t the issue, then it might be dry air that is browning your Hoya Linearis. This will usually happen slowly from the tips inwards but won’t progress very quickly. But luckily for plant parents, it can be pretty simple to increase the humidity for your Hoya Linearis. We recommend misting or bathing the plant, using a pebble tray or buying a humidifier

Causes of Hoya Linearis yellow leaves:

  1. Overwatering.

    If you notice that your Hoya Linearis is developing yellow patches on its leaves, the problem may be too much water. It’s an important issue to treat quickly so you’ll want to confirm the issue by checking the soil and roots to see if they are mushy. Replace any waterlogged potting mix and cut away rotten roots as there is no salvaging them.  Not only can the leaves turn a weird shade of yellow but it can also mean the plant becomes droopy and unstable. Make sure to let the soil fully dry out between waterings to prevent the issue from happening again. 

  2. Drainage Issues.

    It might not be the amount or frequency that you water your Hoya Linearis that is causing the yellow leaves, but the lack of drainage. Stagnant water in the bottom of your plant’s pot can leave the soil waterlogged and you also need to make sure that your Hoya Linearis’ pot has drainage holes that aren’t blacked by anything.

    If you still need to aid drainage then the best option is mixing in a little perlite with the soil, this will make it far easier for water to flow through and also aids aeration of the soil. Another switch you might want to make to avoid more yellow leaves is using terracotta pots instead of plastic ones. These will allow some of the excess water to evaporate out of the sides of the pot if you accidentally overwater. We love these from Amazon. 

  3. Overfertilisation.

    Hoya Linearis plants are quite sensitive when it comes to fertilisation and it’s important to dilute the fertiliser a lot to avoid yellow leaf burn. To stop the issue from progressing any further, remove any fertiliser spikes or replace the entire potting mix if the pellets are mixed in.

    If you’ve been using a water-soluble fertiliser, either replace the potting mix as well or rinse it in the shower to remove the fertiliser. Moving forward, cut back or even cut out fertiliser from your care routine. You’ll still see plenty of new healthy growth without it and it will avoid any yellow leaves on your Hoya Linearis in future. 

Hoya Linearis plants lose leaves for a variety of reasons

  1. Cold temperatures.

    Cold streams of air coming in through air conditioning vents or drafty windows can shock your Hoya Linearis and result in your plant shedding some of its leaves as a result. It can be difficult to notice drafts so it’s best to pick up a digital thermometer so you can track any fluctuations in temperatures. Make sure to move your plant to a warmer spot if needed to avoid them losing any more leaves.  

  2. Shock and stress.

    It’s not just cold temperatures that can shock your Hoya Linearis and cause it to lose leaves, but environmental shock and stress in general. This can happen after propagation, repotting, moving home and any other change. Usually, when it comes to shock, the leaf loss is temporary and should only last a week or two. If your Hoya Linearis is still losing leaves after that time, then there might be other causes.

  3. Overwatering.

    Too much water can also lead to your Hoya Linearis losing leaves and it can be quite a common issue with these plants during winter. If you notice the leaves becoming a little softer than usual this may be because the roots are beginning to rot. This means that the plant isn’t able to get all the nutrients it needs and becomes unstable and droopy. Trim away any rotten roots and replace any soggy soil with fresh dry mix. Moving forward, you’ll need to adjust your watering habits to ensure that overwatering doesn’t harm your Hoya Linearis again. Either cut back on how much you water your Hoya Linearis or how frequently. 

Why is my Hoya Linearis drooping?

  1. Underwatering.

    One of the earlier signs of an underwatered Hoya Linearis is drooping leaves. Stick a finger in the top few centimetres of the soil to check the moisture, or remove the potting mix entirely to check if the roots have started to turn crispy. This would indicate that the issue has been going on for a while. If you find that your Hoya Linearis’ soil is very dry, water it a little every other day for a week. Avoid drowning it in water as this can cause shock and your Hoya Linearis can actually lose leaves as we mentioned above.

  2. Overwatering.

    What is strange about drooping Hoya Linearis leaves is that the issue can be caused by both overwatering and underwatering. This is because both issues damage the root system, starving it of what it needs to thrive which causes it to droop.

    If the leaves on your Hoya Linearis are drooping but are still green and healthy then the problem should not be so advanced and it should be easier to revive your plant. If your Hoya Linearis is suffering from overwatering and root rot replace the potting mix right away and trim away any rotten roots. In future, make sure the potting mix has enough time to fully dry out between waterings. 

To learn more about how to best care for your plant and prevent more issues, take a look through our Hoya Linearis care guide.

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