Pruning a Hoya carnosa

(Question)

How should I care for an old hoya plant that I have had for years?  I want to cut it back and revive it, but I don’t know where to start.

 

(Answer)

This Hoya carnosa was described as being straggly and tangled, but still blooming profusely.  It is in a well lit location that it likes.

Pruning is advisable to keep the length of its vines in check, and will also help to develop a fuller and more shapely plant that will eventually bloom even more profusely.  Here are step-by-step directions:

  1.  Allow flowers to fade and fall naturally without cutting or pinching off the short flower stems, called spurs or penducles. This is important as new flower buds develop on old spurs.
  2. Step back and look at your hoya. Vines that have lost their flower spurs, are growing straight up with no branching or have grown long and spindly – hoya  vines can grow more than 10 feet long — are likely candidates for pruning. If spurs are damaged or fall off, new spurs will not develop on old vines, appearing only on new growth.
  3. Examine the vines you selected for nodes, small swellings at the junction between the vine and a leaf.
  4. Snip the vine off just below a node at a length slightly shorter than your desired length. Remove no more than one-third of the plant’s foliage at any one time. The plant branches and puts on new growth from this point. New flower spurs grow on the vines that develop after pruning, resulting in more flowers.