Why Are My Hoya Kerrii Leaves Curling? (Causes and Solutions)


Indoor potted Hoya Kerrii Leaves Curling.

Hoya kerrii is one of the most beloved tropical succulents that plant lovers all over the world take care of.

You can encounter it in two forms: the whole plant; or just one, highly decorative leaf with a small root system. 

But, no matter if you have one leaf or the whole plant, if the conditions are not good, you might notice that those firm, meaty leaves are starting to curl up or wilt.

Hoya kerrii leaves curling may be due to low humidity and improper watering. Stress due to low temperatures or temperature fluctuation is the next possible cause. In some rare cases, the curling or wilting might be because of pests’ infestation.

If your Hoya Kerrii has this symptom, stay with me through this article and eliminate the possible causes in order to save it. 

Causes of  Hoya Kerrii Leaves Curling

Curling or wilting of Hoya Kerrii includes limp leaves that hang downwards from the stems.

It’s not very common with Hoya Kerrii because its leaves are thick and waxy, but nonetheless, it might happen. 

In the next sections I’ll talk about the most frequent causes and solutions of hoya leaves wilting or curling.

Underwatering 

If you underwater your Hoya Kerrii, the plant might look tired and weak, or the leaves might wilt or shrivel. 

If underwatering is the cause of curling leaves, you should also be able to see changes in the color of the leaves – from green, they will turn brown and yellow.

But, it’s a tough job to get a Hoya Kerrii in an underwatered state, since this plant is a succulent that goes well in dry places. 

If you haven’t watered your Hoya Kerrii for the past few months, this might be the problem for curling leaves (duhh…) If you have, then check if, by chance, you overdid that. 

Solution

If we talk about under and over watering, for a Hoya Kerrii is better to be underwatered.

Plus, this problem has the simplest solution ever – just water the plant and you’re all set.  

The best watering schedule for a Hoya Kerii is to water it whenever the soil is dry. Do the test where you stick your finger in the soil.

If the soil is dry a few inches deep, your plant needs water. For a Hoya, that should be once a month, more often in summer, less in winter. 

Overwatering

For a Hoya Kerrii, overwatering is far worse than underwatering. If you ask me, this is the first thing you need to check if you see curled leaves. If the problem is not in the excess of water, move on to pests check. 

When the plant is overwatered, the water in the pot blocks the roots from getting oxygen and promotes root rot.

With time, the root isn’t getting enough nutrients and it’s not delivering them to the leaves, which in turn, start to wilt and curl. 

The good thing about Hoya Kerrii is that it has firm, meaty leaves, so you can easily see if they start to curl.

The bad thing is that it might be too late when you see the curling leaves. In that case, if the roots are pretty rotten, the chances of saving your Hoya Kerrii are small.

Solution

The best remedy to save an overwatered plant is mobilizing right away. Don’t just leave the plant in the moist soil, every hour counts. 

First, take the plant off of the soil and dry it with paper tissue. Make sure that you soak up all the water you can. Next, make sure that you remove all parts of the root that are rotting. 

When that’s done, leave the plant in the shade, until the remaining roots are dry.

And don’t worry, that can happen over the course of a few days, so all you can do in the meantime is to pray for the best. 

When the roots are dried out, re-plant them in medium moist soil. Make sure that your new soil is not too moist, you’ll just start the problem all over again. 

Afterwards it all comes down to the plant’s will to live. Track how your Kerrii goes.

If the leaves start to get better in the course of a few weeks, you saved your plant! If not, you’ll notice the deteriorating of all parts. 

Temperature stress

Temperature stress includes fluctuations of temperature for the Hoya Kerrii. These tropical plants are thriving in temperatures between 65 °F and 80 °F (18°C and 27 °C). 

If your Hoya Kerrii is having wilted and curled leaves, check if it stays in its preferred temperature range. 

Most often, the leaves might curl up if the plant is staying outside on colder weather.

And if it is too hot for it, you are most likely to see browning or yellowing of the leaves. 

Read this article to know more about the causes and solutions of hoya leaves turning yellow.

Solution

The solution is to place it in a room with a better temperature, of course. Since the problem of curling due to low temperatures is more common in winter, make sure that your Hoya Kerrii is in a heated room. 

And don’t forget the light. Every possible sun ray is welcomed by Hoya Kerrii, especially in the winter.

Even more, if it is a variegated one since the variegated parts don’t photosynthesize. 

Humidity Levels

If the humidity is high in the room where your Hoya Kerrii is staying, its leaves could be curling up because of that. 

Both, overwatering and high humidity might make leaves curl. When you overwater, you do harm to the lower parts of the plant – roots and bottom part of the stem. After a while, that can result with leaves curling. 

High humidity on the other hand, affects the leaves first. Hoya Kerrii has succulent properties and doesn’t require a lot of water (in liquid or steam form).

It is a tropical plant used to a lot of rain, but nonetheless, constant high humidity is unpleasant for a Kerrii.

The leaves can become mushy and prone to curling. Plus, high humid conditions are the perfect environments for fungus gnats. We will get to that in the next section.

Solution

In case you determine that humidity is high, change the place of the plant. Just be careful to not do a sudden change of conditions.

For example, if you switch from a humid place in the shade to a highly sunny, dry place, you may stress your Hoya Kerrii out and do some other damage. 

If you own a humidifier, make sure that it is placed further away, or in another room. 

Insect Infestation

Insects like fungus gnats, mites and aphids are some of the worst infestations that your Hoya Kerrii can get.

They feed on the plant and it results in wilting, yellowing, and eventual leaf drop.

If you don’t take any precautions, these pests will start inhabiting the soils of other suitable plants and you risk losing your plant kingdom. 

  • Fungus gnats

Fungus gnats are small insects with black bodies and taste for moist soils. The adult ones don’t do any harm to the plant, other than laying their eggs in the soil.

The small ones, on the other hand, start feeding on the plant as soon as they hatch.

If you have a few families of those in your soil, expect your Hoya to start wilting since they will feed on the leaves, stems, and roots. 

If you overwatered your Hoya Kerrii for some time, you might’ve made the perfect conditions for Fungus gnats in the soil.

Once you get rid of them, make sure that you cut back on the watering frequency and only water when the soil is dry. And don’t over love your plant with a lot of humidity.

  • Mites

Really, really small and hard to notice, mites can look like dust particles on the plant.

So, you need to carefully inspect the plant and take precautions right away, in case you see them.

They feed with the liquid in the Hoyas leaf and can cause curling, wilting and deformation on the leaf itself.

If the new Hoya leaves that grow are wilted downwards, wrinkled and undersized, you ought to check if mites are causing the problems.

You also have to react fast, since mites might get to other plants in your home. 

  • Oleander Aphids

Oleander Aphids are just one of the tens of different species of aphids out there. They have black limbs and yellow bodies and are most common in Hoya plants.

If you are looking for Oleander Aphids on your Hoya, make sure that you check the backside of the leaves. The first sign of aphids is the deformation of new, small leaves. (Source: Pennsylvania State University)

Solution

The best way to get rid of pests on your plant is getting insecticidal soaps.  You can also try Neem oil since it is effective in fighting mites and aphid infestations.

Neem oil made from the seeds of neem and it’s been used as natural pests repellent.

I suggest you start off with natural, organic ways to get rid of pests, since using insecticides will kill all of the living organisms in the soil – both bad and good. 

For Fungus gnats you could try doing a mixture of 3% hydrogen peroxide with 4 parts water and pour it down on the soil.

That should kill the eggs and the larvae. Another thing you could do is do a mix of dish soap and water. That might help too, especially for fungus gnats and oleander aphids. 

Aphids can also be simply pushed down with water, but that can be effective only if you caught them at the start of their colony.

If they are spread out on the plant, you might miss a few and have the same problem all over again. 

Mites might be a little harder to kill naturally, don’t just try anything. The best thing you can do is consult the internet or talk to someone in your local gardening shop. 

Final Words 

I hope that with this article you’ll be able to find the cause of Hoya Kerrii leaves curling or wilting. Eliminate the possible causes of Hoya Kerrii leaves curling or wilting, one by one. 

The most common causes are water stress, big temperature fluctuations, pests infection, or really high humidity. Overwatering is usually the biggest problem since it may lead to root rot. Plus, moisture creates a good environment for fungus gnats. 

If your watering schedule is on point, make sure that the temperature is within a good range. Then move onto checking the humidity level of the room (or the place). Lastly, check the plant for some insects or mites.

Arifur Rahman

I'm the owner of gardenforindoor.com. After completing my bachelor of science in agriculture, I'm serving as a civil service officer at the Department of Agricultural Extension, Bangladesh. I started Garden For Indoor to make your indoor gardening journey easy and enjoyable.

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