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How do you take care of your Hoya Parasitica 'Splash'?

A cultivar of a tropical evergreen climbing shrub the wild cousin of this plant is native to humid climates in South Asia, Australia, and Polynesia and tropical rain forests. Most Hoyas are undemanding house guests but this one, with its thickly succulent leaves, even more so. This cultivar has the vivid green heart shaped fleshy leaves of its wild relative but these are liberally covered in silver splashes.

To keep it happy find it a spot with good, but mostly indirect light. So can only tolerate direct light on its leaves in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun is less intense. In the UK this can be in a West, or East facing room or further back in the room in one which faces South. If you expose it to too much sun the leaves will start to turn yellow as the plant uses a pigment to protect its cells from damage. This results in the contrast between the silver and green on the leaf to be much less pleasing. Too little sun will result in your plant light seeking showing in a so called 'leggy plant' with large gaps developing between the leaves on the stem.

Although all epiphytic Hoyas want to climb this one was formerly called verticillata as a reflection of its strong desire to do so. Lean with that nature & provide it with early support and you will have a stunning indoor plant clambering up as it flowers. This plant prefers temperatures between 18-27 but will tolerate slightly cooler temperatures as long as it does not go below about 10. It will also appreciate higher humidity levels but, again, will survive without as long as you avoid placing it near radiators or other sources of heat which dry out the air. It will particulalry love living in a bathroom or kitchen where humidity levels tend to be higher.

The leaves of this plant are very thick and fleshy indicating its capacity to withstand periods of drought. This is further reinforced by the pronounced veining on the leaf which point to its capacity to expand to take up more water. This indicates that it can, and must, go for long periods of time without water. To keep it happy let it use that capacity waiting until the medium is completely dry and the leaves slightly thinner and duller before watering.

In common with most epiphytic plants (ones that grow in and on trees), Hoyas have very fine roots and enjoy root restraint. This means that you should only repot them if you can see clear signs that the plants has outgrown its pot such as roots growing from the drainage holes. Then only go up one, maximum 2, sizes using a growing medium that is very aearated to mimic the loose leaf litter and bark chips in which these plants love to grow.

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