Welcome to our guide to the hoya shepherdii aka the string bean hoya, read on to find out all you need to know to keep a happy plant.
The key to caring for it is to give it a chunky and exceedingly well draining soil mix, and let the soil dry out between watering.
Hoya Shepherdii Summary
|Light needs:||Medium to bright indirect sunlight.|
|Watering needs:||Water when soil is dry, check it weekly.|
|Fertilizer:||A balanced feed once a month in spring and summer.|
|Soil:||Cactus soil with some orchid bark.|
|Temperature:||10-25°C (50 – 77°F).|
|Where to buy:||Try one of these Rare Plant Shops.|
|Common issues:||Root rot.|
The hoya shepherdii aka the string bean hoya, originates from the Himalayas. It has long, thin, elegant slender leaves. I love the long thin green leaves and the furry flowers. We’ll run down you how to get the best out of it…
Hoya Shepherdii Light Needs
Indirect sunlight ranging from medium to bright is ideal, hoyas enjoy dappled sunlight in the wild as sunlight shines though other foliage. I would keep it in a south facing window.
How Often to Water
Hoya shepherdii don’t need much water, only water them once the soil is dry, checking it weekly. One of the biggest problems with hoyas is overwatering, make sure you don’t over do it.
Tip: be careful with watering this plant, I would advise to underwater it rather than overeater it. Always check the soil before watering it again, the biggest killer of hoya is root rot, as they hate soggy soil.
Use a balanced feed once a month in spring and summer. They will grow quicker if you do.
Hoya Shepherdii Soil
Cactus soil with some orchid bark is ideal for a hoya shepherdii, they must be really well draining and the roots need to get some air. The roots must not sit in wet soil or they can get root rot very easily. For more on hoya soil (what to buy and how to make your own) see our guide here: Hoya Soil.
Tip: make sure you give them a soil mix suitable for epiphytes that has plenty of orchid bark, as they hate to sit in heavy wet soil and will get root rot easily. Remember that they grow on tree bark in the wild and not in soil. For more info see our guide: Hoya Soil.
When To Repot
Repot them once a year in spring to refresh the potting mix, you can keep them in the same size pot.
60% humidity is best for your shepherdii, which is at the high end of the normal household humidity range, so give them a pebble tray under them if you can. You can mist them regularly too, but a humidifier or pebble tray is best to top up the ambient humidity. They will be fine in less humidity levels but I find they can really thrive at 60%.
Hoya Shepherdii Temperature
10-25°C (50 – 77°F) is best. These hoyas are naturally from the Himalayas, so will withstand some cold. They’ll be fine in most households.
Where To Buy
Hoyas are becoming increasingly popular and you might just find one of these in your local florist or plant store. If not, you can try one of these Rare Plant Shops.
String bean hoya. Hoya Longifolia.
Hoya Shepherdii Propagation
You can propagate your string bean hoya in water, they root fairly easily, follow these steps:
- Take a stem cutting with 4 nodes at least (where the leaves from from the stem).
- Take the leaves off the two nodes at the bottom, these are the ones that will be under the water which the roots will grow from.
- Put the cuttings in a jar of filtered tap water. Make sure that the naked nodes are under the water but no leaves, to avoid rot.
- Put them in a warm and bright windowsill, but out of the way of direct sun.
- They should start to see roots in about a month.
- Keep the water topped up, only change it if it goes cloudy.
- Once the roots are established the top part of the plant will start to grow quicker, you can then pot is up into soil.
hoya shepherdii vs kentiana
These two hoyas are almost identical, you can tell the difference when they flower as the shepherdii has white flowers and the kentiana has red.
For more on the Kentiana, see our guide: Hoya Kentiana.
hoya shepherdii vs wayetii
The sheperdii has long thin green-bean-colored leaves. They are a thinner and longer than the wayettii.
Hoya Shepherd USDA Zone
Is It Toxic To Cats?
They are non-toxic to cats and dogs
Hoya Shepherdii Flowers
The hoya shepherdii gets beautiful ‘porcelain’ flowers in circular half-balls like other hoyas, but a little more fluffy looking, the blooms are hairy. You can encourage it to flower by giving it plenty of indirect sun light in spring and summer.
Hoya Shepherdii Flower Smell
The shepherdii are known for their beautiful smelling blooms that smell like perfume.
Hoya Shepherdii FAQs and Common Problems
Root rot is a big issue for hoyas as they do not live in the soil in the wild, they grow on trees as epiphytes and must not sit in wet compost. Make sure you have some orchid bark in a really well raining mixture for your plant to grow in.
Hoya Shepherdii Vs Longifolia
The hoya shepherdii and the hoya longifolia are the same plant. The hoya longifolia is the latin name for it, and shepherdii is the more commercially used term.
- More info on the Wikipedia page.
- More info on the Kew Gardens plant page.
- More info on the RHS plant page.