Hoya Kentiana vs. Shepherdii: 8 Differences You Need to Know

Hoya Kentiana or Shepherdii are two of the most adorable houseplants. Who can resist the green, narrow, pointy foliage of either of them? Also, their cute little flowers are just mind-blowing.

The problem is that they look the same. So, it gets so difficult to tell them apart that many collectors think they are the same plant.

If you need clarification about these almost identical Hoyas, we can help you easily distinguish them

In this Hoya Kentiana vs. Shepherdii comparison, we will dive deeper into their essential characteristics and significant differences. So keep reading to understand more about these plants.

Hoya Kentiana vs Hoya Shepherdii
The main differences between Hoya Kentiana and Shepherdii are their leaf shape, leaf color, leaf size, petiole color, variegation, flowers, plant size, and natural habitat. Both plants are flowering, but the Hoya Kentiana has red flowers, whereas the Shepherdii has white ones.

What is Hoya Kentiana?

Despite its rarity, Hoya Kentiana is among the most beloved Hoya varieties. It is another one of the Hoya plants to carry the name “wax plant.” Hoya Kentiana is an evergreen ornamental houseplant.

This Hoya plant is not a demanding one. It works well with beginner plant parents. Hoya Kentiana is sought after for its leaves and cute flowers.

The leaves are green and have a slender shape. So, the leaves are long and thin, which gives them a unique appearance. Its flowers are red or pink with a yellowish center.

They have a desirable, sweet fragrance. The Hoya Kentiana blooms during the summer and spring; at night. Hoya Kentiana grows the best as a trailing vine.

The ideal temperatures for this Hoya plant are between 20 and 30 degrees Celsius. You can grow it outdoors in hardiness zones 10 and 11. As for watering needs, this plant does not need frequent watering.

This plant tolerates a little bit of drought rather than too much moisture.

What is Hoya Shepherdii?

Hoya Shepherdii is commonly called the string bean hoya. This variety is highly preferred as a houseplant due to its compact size, lovely foliage, and fragrant flowers.

This is a vining hoya, so typically it can climb or trail. It is commonly grown as a cascading vine, but it can be supported with a trellis to climb on.

As a trailing vine, this Hoya will grow in random directions. The mature length of Hoya Shepherdii is nearly 16 cm. 

This Hoya will be easy to look after and adjust pretty well to several lighting and watering conditions. It is a succulent plant. So watering isn’t the real problem. Overwatering is fatal to this plant.

This variety of Hoya prefers high humidity. Ideally, it thrives between 60% and 80%, but it can grow peacefully starting at 40%. This Hoya Shepherdii tends to be more forgiving when kept in low light. 

It does, however, prefer bright, indirect sunlight.

What are the Differences between Hoya Kentiana and Shepherdii?

If you want to know the differences between Hoya Kentiana and Hoya Shepherdii, you should spend some time with both exotic Hoya plants . The fine details of their leaves and petioles will be easier to detect.

1. Leaf shape

Typically, Hoya Kentiana and Shepherdii have almost identical leaves.

However, focusing on their details will reveal some differences in their shapes. You can easily notice that the Hoya Kentiana leaves are a bit thicker than those of the Hoya Shepherdii.

2. Leaf size

At first glance, you might think the leaves are the same size, but this is not true. The leaves of the Hoya Shepherdii are longer. Mature leaves of this Hoya reach a length of 9 cm. 

The leaves of the Hoya Kentiana are a bit shorter, as they reach a length of 6 cm. Additionally, Hoya Kentiana has broader leaves than Shepherdii’s. So, the latter has more elongated leaves.

3. Leaf color

Both plants indeed have green leaves, but the difference lies in the shades. The Hoya Kentiana leaves are more on the lighter green side, whereas those of the Hoya Shepherdii are a darker green.

4. Petiole colors

While both plants have green petioles, parts of the Hoya Kentiana stalks are pinkish. These parts are usually the pedicels. However, this is not the case with Hoya Shepherdii’s petioles.

5. Flowers

The flowers are the most obvious distinguishing feature of these related plants. Both plants produce blooms during the spring and summer. Their flowers are of the same shape, size, and fragrance.

However, their colors are not the same. The Hoya Kentiana has pink or red flowers, whereas the flowers of the Shepherdii are white or creamy.

6. Variegation

In this Hoya Kentiana and Shepherdii comparison, we are talking about the regular versions of both plants. However, there are variegated varieties for only one of these plants.

There are variegated versions of Hoya Kentiana, but they are pretty rare. The Hoya Shepherdii, on the other hand, does not have any variegated varieties.

7. Plant size

In terms of growth size, both plants are small. The Hoya Shepherdii, on the other hand, is a small plant. Mature Hoya Kentiana reaches a height of 51 cm. On the other hand, a fully grown Hoya Shepherdii reaches a height of 16 cm.

Both plants vary in their widespread as well. The Hoya Kentiana spreads around 2 meters wide. As for the mature Hoya Shepherdii, it only spreads approximately 12 cm wide.

8. Natural habitat

Hoya Kentiana and Shepherdii are both tropical Hoyas. But their natural homes are a bit different. The natural habitat of the Hoya Shepherdii is the Himalayas, whereas the Hoya Kentiana grows naturally in the Philippines.

Hoya Kentiana vs. Shepherdii: Are they the same?

No, Hoya Kentiana and Shepherdii are not the same plants. However, many collectors believe they are. This confusion is a result of the undeniable physical similarities.

Both plants have tall, narrow green leaves with lovely flowers. Also, their care requirements are almost the same. But all this does not make them the same vine.

Hoya Shepherdii leaves are narrower and more prolonged in shape. The leaves of Hoya Kentiana are broader and shorter.

Hoya Shepherdii is also known as “the string of beans Hoya,” which is a very accurate nickname. You can easily notice that the leaves are narrow, green, and long, just like green beans.

The Hoya Shepherdii has dark green leaves with green peduncles, whereas those of the Hoya Kentiana are lighter with pinkish peduncles. The Hoya Kentiana flowers are red, whereas the Hoya Shepherdii has creamy ones.

Additionally, there is a variegated version of the Hoya Kentiana, whereas there is no variegated Hoya Shepherdii. The Hoya Kentiana grows larger than the Shepherdii.

Lastly, the former’s natural habitat is the Philippines, whereas the latter’s is the Himalayas. 

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