Hoya Retusa vs Hoya Linearis: 8 Main Differences

If you want to enjoy the presence of Hoyas in your indoor garden, you can choose between Hoya Retusa or Hoya Linearis. Both of them are beautiful plants with evergreen foliage. However, many new collectors need help in telling them apart.

But generally, either can add a unique appearance to your collection. We will give you the proper insight if you want to recognize each of them easily.

This article will discuss everything related to their features and differences. This way, you can consciously decide on Hoya Retusa and Linearis.

Hoya Retusa vs Hoya Linearis
The main differences between Hoya Retusa and Hoya Linearis are their leaf size, water requirements, flower color, stem features, plant sizes, maintenance needs, natural habitat, and growth speed. Both plants have thin foliage, but the Hoya Linearis has slim, fuzzy leaves.

What is Hoya Retusa?

Hoya Retusa is commonly known as the grass-leaved Hoya. It is a member of the Hoya genus, showing succulent-like features. It is an evergreen ornamental plant known for its slim, lush green leaves.

It is also a flowering plant, like its fellow epiphyte. As this plant grows, its flat leaves get very long. Eventually, the plants become more like needles.

Hoya Retusa is considered a very low-maintenance houseplant. It also features versatile foliage that is difficult to destroy. This plant is native to tropical areas of Southeast Asia, the Eastern Himalayas, and India.

Indoors, the plant trails when grown in a hanger. This plant produces pretty whitish flowers with a small rounded red center during the growing seasons.

The plant is unsafe to touch or ingest despite its attractive flowers and leaves. It produces milky sap that irritates the skin, mouth, and digestive system.

Hoya Retusa needs an average temperature of between 10 and 27 degrees Celsius.  

What is Hoya Linearis?

Hoya Linearis is commonly known as the wax plant Linearis. It is an evergreen Hoya variety that is a natural climber. This plant is native to the rainforests of Australia, Nepal, and China.

In the jungle, this plant trails down from surrounding trees. This form of hanging is due to its epiphytic nature. This plant is particularly famous for its tall and fuzzy foliage.

Its leaves have a cylindrical form, a unique feature in the Hoya clan. When this plant reaches maturity, its stems produce pinkish flowers. These flowers look like tiny stars and have a scent like lemons.

Another unique feature of this particular Hoya variety is its speedy growth. Under the right circumstances, your Hoya Linearis will grow within 4 years. This is way faster than the vast majority of Hoya varieties.

What are the Differences between Hoya Retusa and Hoya Linearis?

At a distance, Hoya Retusa and Hoya Linearis may appear identical. Both come from the same plant family and genus. Both of them have thin and long leaves with white flowers. However, an in-depth look at their foliage can guide you to notice differences.

1. Leaf size

Both plants have thin leaves, but Hoya Linearis has the slimmest leaves of all Hoya plants. This is why they can’t maintain water. Hoya Retusa leaves are slightly thicker than Hoya Linearis leaves.

2. Watering requirements

Hoya plants fall into the category of semi-succulents. This means they can tolerate drought and store water for a while. This applies to Hoya Retusa, which does not need much water to grow.

Ideally, you can water your Hoya Retusa once every 10 or 12 days. Hoya Linearis, on the other hand, needs regular water once every week. These routines apply to the two growing seasons (summer and spring).

3. Flower colors

During spring, you get to see both plants bloom. Both of them have star-like flowers growing in clusters. However, they do not have the same color. Hoya Retusa produces white flowers, while the Hoya Linearis plant has pink ones.

4. Stem features

If you take a close look at the stems of each plant, you will notice an apparent defining mark. The stems of Hoya Linearis are somehow hairy and fuzzy. The stems of Hoya Retusa do not feature any fuzz at all. The leaves of Hoya Linearis have the same layer of fuzz as well.

5. Plant size

When both plants grow fully, you will notice a clear difference in their mature sizes. You will notice a clear difference in their mature sizes. A grown Linearis is almost double the size of a mature Hoya Retusa.

The largest indoor-grown hoya Retusa reaches a length of 1.21 meters. A fully grown indoor Hoya Linearis can reach a height of 3 meters.

6. Maintenance needs

Hoya plants have a reputation for being low-maintenance plants. Howeverthis rule won’t apply to Hoya Linearis. It is a very demanding plant in terms of care.

It requires constant pruning and a strict watering routine; otherwise, it will become leggy. Hoya Retusa is the opposite, as it is a very easy-to-care-for plant.

7. Natural habitat

Hoya Linearis and Hoya Retusa are native to tropical forests. However, their homes are located in different parts of the world. Hoya Linearis is commonly found in Nepal, Australia, and China.

On the other hand, Hoya Retusa belongs to the forests of India, Southeast Asia, and the Eastern Himalayas.

8. Growth speed

This point is important for setting Hoya Retusa and Hoya Linearis apart. As opposed to almost all hoya varieties, the wax plant Linearis is a fast grower.

This plant completes its growth cycle within 3 or 5 years, depending on the growing environment. Hoya Retusa, on the other hand, has a moderate or average growth rate.

Hoya Retusa vs Hoya Linearis: are they the same?

No, Hoya Retusa and Hoya Linearis are not the same plants. They descend from the same big Apocynaceae family. But they naturally grow in different places across Asia and Australia.

Also, both are semi-succulents, but the Linearis plant does not retain water like its peer. Hoya Linearis is not as commonly found as the Retusa. The former is more demanding in terms of maintenance too.

Hoya Retusa is less than half the size of Linearis and won’t grow as densely. The latter features a thin layer of soft fuzz on its stems and leaves, which is not found on the former.

The leaves of Retusa are not as cylindrical as those of the Linearis. Hoya Linearis needs more regular pruning than Retusa. Last but not least, Hoya Retusa grows slower than Linearis. 

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