Why Is My Hoya Kerrii Turning Yellow? (And How to Fix It)

The Hoya kerrii, or the Hoya heart, is a specific species of Hoya that grows heart-shaped leaves. You will typically find them with a single leaf planted in the soil.

However, after a few years of growth, they will grow multiple leaves to a stem.

Hoyas are known for holding water in their leaves, giving them drought-tolerant succulent properties. Even with their easy-to-care-for ways, there are times when your Hoya may find some issues.

Why Is My Hoya Kerrii Turning Yellow
Photo by miserere7, CC BY-NC 2.0, via Flickr

You will first notice this in yellowing leaves, or in this case, the single leaf of the plant will start to yellow.

The Hoya kerrii may have yellowing leaves due to a few common problems. This may be a nutrient deficiency, overwatering, too much light, or pests.

Throughout this article, we will go over the issues you may be having and how to fix them.


If you water your Hoya kerrii and notice that the soil is still damp or wet from the last time it was watered, you should stop yourself from watering your plant.

This is one of the most common reasons why your plant is yellowing.

Too much water will cause the soil not to be able to aerate, leaving the roots to lack the nutrients it needs. Your soil should be completely dry before you water your plant. If it is not, you should wait until next time.

How to Fix Overwatering

If your Hoya plant has had soggy and waterlogged soil for some time, you will need to repot it. Use fresh soil to add airways to the plant’s roots.

Should you notice any rotten roots while repotting, remember that you will need to cut these roots off. This stops the diseased roots from spreading to the whole plant.

When you repot your plant, you should only water it lightly and let it dry out completely before watering again. If your Hoya kerrii has multiple leaves, you should prune the discolored leaves to encourage new growth.

If your Hoya has only a single heart leaf, you should let it be and continue to grow as is.


While the Hoya is quite a drought-tolerant plant, you should check up on it if you haven’t remembered the last time you watered your plant.

If the soil is completely bone dry and has been for a while, you have found your reason as to why it is yellowing.

You should water your Hoya kerrii and let it perk back up in a few days. Again, if it has multiple leaves, you should prune the leaves that are dying or yellowing.

Too Much Light

While Hoyas enjoy bright indirect light, there is a time when the plant can get too much light.

If you’re keeping your Hoya kerrii on a south-facing window sill, it may be getting too much sun throughout the day. This may cause yellowing along with burnt, brown marks on the leaves.

Move Your Plant

If you notice the sun and light are problems, move your plant farther away from the window or to a new window.

It is best to place it where it gets a good amount of sunlight, but not directly for more than an hour or so.

Low Humidity and Cold Temperatures

Hoyas are plants with succulent-like qualities. This means they enjoy high humidity and warm temperatures.

If your plant is under an air vent, it most likely does not like the cool air-conditioning draft like you do. The draft will dry out the plant and cause discoloration. It is best to move your Hoya to a different place and mist it from time to time.

If you want to ensure it is getting the constant humidity it needs, place a humidifier in the room with your plant or even move it to a bathroom.

If the humidity is not the problem, and it is cold outside or in your home, you need to make sure it does not get under 50 degrees Fahrenheit around your plant.

Too cold temperatures can easily stress the Hoya, causing it to turn yellow and become discolored. Creating a warm and humid environment for your plants to thrive is best.

Nitrogen and Potassium Deficiency

From time to time, a Hoya can face nitrogen and potassium deficiencies. This may be due to old soil or too much—or too little—fertilizer.

When you fertilize your Hoya, you should only fertilize it in the peak growing season, in spring or summer.

You should also make sure to completely dilute the fertilizer to create healthy soil. It is best to use houseplant-specific fertilizers to give the plant the proper amount of nitrogen and potassium.

If your soil is old, you should repot your Hoya with fresh soil packed with nutrients. Old soil can easily lack what your plant needs.


While the Hoya kerrii may not usually get pests, they are not entirely immune to them. Pests will stop nutrients from getting to your plant and cause discoloration and yellowing.

If the plant’s environment is too dry and damp, it creates an environment susceptible to bugs that infest your soil and leaves.

Whenever you water your plant, you should inspect it for the following bugs:

  • Scales. Scales will show up in large black clumps. They are immobile bugs that will sit in one place. You will see them in multiple sizes.
  • Mealybugs. Mealybugs look like little cotton balls and can spread fast to multiple plants. They are fast and strong breeders, laying up to 600 eggs at a time. If you notice mealybugs at all, you should act quickly before it becomes a problem.
  • Spider mites. Spider mites are tiny red and brown spiders living on your plants. You will notice their webs under the leaves and around your plant.

Treating for Pests

If you notice pests on your Hoya, you must isolate the plant from any other plant. Then, you should wipe the leaves with mild soap and water.

Afterward, you will need to spray the plant with insecticide or neem oil. This will kill any leftover insects on your plant.

You will need to repot your Hoya in fresh soil. If your Hoya kerrii has multiple leaves, you must prune back any dead or yellow leaves to encourage new growth.

Related: Hoya Curtisii Yellow Leaves, Greatest Hoya Benefits

Author: Stanislav Lem


Stanislav Lem is the founder of Big Time Living, where he provides tips for gardening, traveling and lifestyle. Stan is an entrepreneur, journalist and traveler.
His mission is to provide information to help people become better planters, travel more and live a happy life. His blog has been featured on Huffpost, Yahoo and MSN.