Hoya Obovata | Plant Care Guide

Hoya Obovata

Hoya obovata plants are becoming an increasingly popular houseplant. They are and easy-going plant that will thrive in the right conditions.

Whether you have just bought your first hoya obovata or are looking to learn about how to take care of one, this blog post will give you all the information you need.

Botanical NameHoya obovata
Common NameHoya obovata, Wax Plant
Size12-20 feet in length
DifficultyEasy
Pet FriendlyYes. Non-toxic.
Air CleanerYes

Hoya Obovata Origin

The hoya obovata plant originated in the rainforests of Southeast Asia but can now be found all over the world. 

The plants were originally cultivated for centuries by herbalists to treat various ailments. The leaves of the hoya obovata plant are said to have a cooling effect on hot skin conditions, like sunburns or swelling due to insect bites.

When they’re placed in water for a few minutes, their flowers will give off an aroma that soothes nerves and headaches. 

Today, these hardy houseplants are prized for both their ornamental beauty and therapeutic qualities. Waxy leaves and fragrant star-shaped flowers characterize this plant.

How to Care for Hoya Obovata

Hoya obovata plants are known to thrive in moderate indoor environments. However, there are a few things you can do to provide your plant with the perfect home. 

Light and Temperature

Hoya obovata plants prefer a temperature range of 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. Keep plants away from air conditioners as they create cold drafts, which can damage their leaves quickly. Plants thrive when the temperature is warm but not hot!

This plant is also sensitive to too much direct sunlight. If your living area is particularly bright, make sure that the plant does not spend all day right in front of a window or open door. 

Hoya obovata plants also thrive in cool temperatures; however, cold drafts can cause leaf drop. In addition, extreme temperature changes between nighttime and daytime may make your petal fall off as well. 

For best results, place your hoya obovata near an east-facing window that gets plenty of bright indirect light during day and night.

Water

These plants are sensitive to over-watering. Their big leaves hold a lot of water, and it is crucial to make sure the soil dries out in between watering sessions. 

Hoyas need to stay moist but not wet at all times. The perfect amount of water is when the soil can just barely be squeezed together in your hand, but it should never feel soggy or like a ball that will immediately break apart if you touch it with your fingers. 

Hoyas don’t typically tolerate drought well at all. If you let the soil dry out too much, the leaves will start turning yellow or brown and wilt. The soil should always be moist but not too wet – remember to check it every so often! 

Hoya plants like humidity levels around 60%. They enjoy having their leaves misted periodically throughout the week. This will help to keep them moist and healthy.

Fertilization

Hoyas need water-soluble fertilizer at least once per month for optimal growth rates. You will want to use a fertilizer with high nitrogen content and moderate amounts of phosphorous, potassium, magnesium, and iron. 

If you notice leaves turning yellow during the summertime or your Hoya is dropping leaves more than usual, then it may be time to fertilize again. 

It’s best to fertilize in spring before bud break when plants are actively growing but still dormant enough that nutrients from the roots can move up into the branches easily without much shock to them.

Flowering

The Hoya obovata plant grows fast and produces flowers earlier than most hoyas. By the second or third year, your plant will start to bloom vibrant white and red flowers. 

The blooming period lasts about two weeks, during which time you can expect your plant to become covered with buds at any given moment – so be sure not to miss this spectacle by inspecting your plants every day!

Future blooms will grow from the spur left behind, so be sure not to cut off the spur. 

Hoyas bloom most heavily when growing under bright light conditions, but they also flower well if grown under low light conditions. 

Hoya obovata flowers are stunning a fragrant too! 

Pruning

Hoyas require very little maintenance. The majority of pruning will be to cut away any stray vines or trim off dead leaves. 

You will want to inspect your plant throughout its growth cycle and trim away any wilted, yellow, or brown leaves. Also, keep an eye out for any leaves that appear diseased and remove them at the stem. 

You can prune back any scraggly or stringy vines for purely aesthetic reasons. Plants can be trimmed back by one-third their size at any time during the year without harming growth rates or blooming periods.

As mentioned above, be cautious about removing any bloom spurs. Future blossoms will develop from those spurs. If you want to encourage more flowers, you can choose to trim these spurs. Your plant will sprout new branches containing new spurs. Keep in mind these new spurs will take time before they flower, but you will get to enjoy more blooms in the end. 

Repotting

You will know it is time to repot your Hoya obovata when it starts to get root bound. Signs of root bound are when the roots have filled all the soil available and begin to grow out of the soil. Or if you see plants growing in a circle around the outer edge of their pot.

Generally, you can expect to repot your Hoya every two years. Be sure to use a container with drainage holes, and the new soil is dry at the time of planting. 

Terracotta pots are a popular choice for Hoya plants. You want to make sure the pot you select is heavy enough to offset the weight of the plant as it grows. 

Pests 

Common pests that can find their way to your hoya plants are spider mites and mealybugs. 

Spider Mites can be identified by small webs located along the leaf, tiny specs of webbing on leaves, or yellowing leaves themselves.

Mealybugs will leave behind tiny black specks when squished, which could quickly transfer from plant to plant as well. 

Pests should be dealt with immediately so that they do not spread to your other houseplants in addition to damaging any new growth. 

To keep pests at bay, you can use a homemade or chemical pesticide. For insecticide, we recommend neem oil for its ability to kill on contact as well as being organic!

Diseases

Some common diseases that can affect your hoya plant are leaf spot, leaves turning yellow and brown, stunted growth.

Leaf Spot is caused by the fungus Alternaria sp., which typically starts on older or stressed plants with dense foliage. 

The disease begins as small circular spots that look like a bullseye before spreading outwards in concentric circles until the spots merge to form large brown lesions.

The spots may be surrounded by yellow halos and eventually turn dark brown or black. 

Leaf Spot is primarily a problem in cool greenhouses that are free of sulfur dioxide gas. It can also occur outdoors when the temperature stays below 50 degrees Fahrenheit for more than one month at night. 

Root rot is another issue with hoya plants. It is a fungal disease that infects the roots of the plant, causing them to rot. 

It can be caused by overwatering, poor watering practices, or improper drainage in pots.

How to Propagate Hoya Obovata

There are two ways to propagate your Hoya obovata plant; in soil or water.

First, you will want to locate the nodes on the stem of your plant. The node is the location where the leaf meets the stem. 

Below the node, cut a branch from the pant’s main stem with at least two leaves. 

Remove any flowers and buds that might be on the branch.

Place the stem in soil or water. If placed in potting mix, be sure to keep the soil moist. If placed in water, you can pot the stem once you see roots start to grow. 

Frequently Asked Questions about Hoya Obovata

The Hoya obovata is an easy-to-care for houseplant that requires little attention. It can take anywhere from three to six months for your plant to have significant growth.

Yes. Hoya obovata are epiphytic plants that naturally pull nutrients from moisture in the air. To increase humidity, you should mist your plant about once a week. 

Hoya obovata are also called wax plants because the leaves are covered in a waxy coating that helps protect them from dryness. 

Coffee grounds are a great addition to hoya obovata’s soil because they are rich in nitrogen, which helps the plant grow.

Yes. Hoyas prefer to be pot-bound and produce better blooms in a smaller pot. 

Hoyas like bright, indirect light, so they should be planted in an east or west-facing window that gets some afternoon sun. Although the hoya plant can grow in the shade, the more light a hoya receives, the better it will grow and bloom!

You won’t likely see blooms until your Hoya obovata plant is two or three years old. Rootbound hoya plants are more likely to bloom, and the more bright indirect light available, the better! 

A Hoya obovata splash is a variegated hoya with “splashes” of white, pink, and silver variegation on the leaves. 

Final Thoughts on the Hoya Obovata Plant

The Hoya obovata plant is a popular indoor plant addition to any space. It is easy to care for and even easier to place in your home! The hoya obovata plant only requires minimal sunlight and water. To keep it healthy, just make sure that the potting soil does not dry out too much.

Be sure to check out all of our Plant Care Guides!

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