Hoya Australis ‘Lisa’: In Depth Bio & Care Guide

hoya australis lisa variegated houseplant on rock

Considered a fairly uncommon plant, the Hoya australis ‘Lisa’ dons spectacular colors of dark green, lime green, creamy yellow, ruby red, and soft peach. The variegated colors are fantastic, but what also makes this a stand out plant is the ease of care. Plus, in the right conditions, this vining plant can actually bloom brilliant, fragrant clusters of white ‘flowers’. This houseplant is truly a work of nature’s art-- adding to your space creates a natural, watercolor-like piece. 

Scientific Name: Hoya australis ssp. tenuipes 'Lisa'

Common Names: Hoya Lisa, Wax Plant Lisa, Variegated Hoya Australis, Porcelain Flower

Origin: Descends from Australia (plant parent is Hoya australis ssp. tenuipes)

houseplant natural habitat in australia rainforest

About

Hoya australis ‘Lisa’ descends from the Hoya australis plant, which was discovered on the northeast coast of Australia in the 1700s. In the natural habitat of rocky, tropical landscape, this Hoya uses vines to climb up trees. And it has been recorded to grow as large as 10 feet long. However, when indoors, this plant will likely grow more along the lines of 3 feet long. 

As a fairly easy, low-maintenance plant, this Hoya does have a few requirements. Somewhat mimicking the Hoya australis Lisa’s natural environment will help your plant live its best life and thrive for years to come (we say somewhat because you don’t need to ruin your home with overly high humidity and such!). As long as the temperature stays between 60-80°F, the plant will be pretty happy-- of course that is granted proper levels of sun, water, and some humidity are present. When the plant is extra happy and healthy, it can bloom white, star-shaped clusters that smell like a sweet mixture of vanilla and chocolate! A treat and sight to behold! 

hoya cluster blooms

Indoor Care:  

Sun 

Bright, indirect light is the sunny condition that this Hoya will most enjoy. Some early morning or late afternoon sun rays will be ok, but do not expose your plant to harsh, scorching, direct midday sun. Typically, southern facing windows receive the most amount of sunlight followed by east and west facing. 

Water

Water is perhaps the most important care aspect for a Hoya’s ability to flourish. Hoya australis ‘Lisa’ are somewhat succulent-like and although thin, they store water within the leaves. Since this plant is slightly drought-tolerant, it will not appreciate overwatering and is very sensitive to too much moisture in the soil. So, we recommend watering about once every couple of weeks or when the soil is dry about halfway down. In the winter, you may need to cut back even more! 

If you’ve overwatered, your Hoya will likely tell you with yellowing leaves. On the other hand, if it’s thirsty, leaves may start to pucker at the edges. But when in doubt, underwater since this is easier for the Hoya to recover from. 

Repotting

Hoya australis ‘Lisa’ does not need to be repotted often and dislikes the disturbance to the roots. This plant does better when root bound. However, if the roots have gotten unruly, growing past the pot (through the holes at the bottom), then feel free to pot the plant up a size. But you likely do not need to repot for a couple of years unless you’re just replacing the old soil. 

Always remember to use a very well-draining soil when repotting. Hoya’s will not tolerate soggy soil and too much moisture can lead to root rot. 

hoya australis lisa potted

Fertilizer

For your houseplants to prosper, they need supplemental fertilizer-- yes, most (if not all) of them! During the peak growth seasons (spring/summer), Hoya australis ‘Lisa’ will benefit from a monthly dose of a balanced houseplant fertilizer. And if you’re hoping for those amazing Hoya blooms, this is where feeding the plant is imperative! 

In the winter, cut back on fertilizer since growth is paused during this time. Too much fertilizer while the plant is semi-dormant can lead to issues. 

Buy Online:  Hoya Australis ‘Lisa’— 4 Inch

Pests

The biggest annoyance with Hoya plants is the mealybug. Checking your plant regularly (about once every 2-3 weeks), can combat any potential future problems. Prevention afterall is the best medicine! 

But sometimes pests are inevitable. So if your Hoya is suffering from a mealybug presence, you can treat it by using a rubbing alcohol soaked Q-tip to swipe away the white, fuzzy creatures. Once you’re eradicated the visible ones, give the plant a spritz with an insecticidal spray (here’s a DIY spray). 

hoya houseplant with green pink and yellow leaves

Toxicity 

Containing a latex sap when the leaves are crushed or broken, the Hoya australis ‘Lisa’ can be toxic. The sap is irritating internally and externally, so we recommend using caution when considering this plant around cats, dogs, humans, etc. 

Perfect for beginners or experienced plant parents, the Hoya australis ‘Lisa’ is a go-to as one of the most gorgeous houseplants. Add in the fact that it blooms with a sweet fragrance and you’ve got yourself an all around star!

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