Hoya obovata is a type of Hoya native to Indonesia. It is harder to find than the carnosa variety, making it a favorite of collectors. The obovate Hoya has a fast growth rate and is considered easy to care for.
Hoya Obovata Appearance
Hoya obovata is a climbing plant that grows 12 to 20 feet (3.6 to 6 m) in length. The leaves are thick, large, and oval-shaped.
The foliage is dark green with “splashes” of silver.
Other varieties feature variegated leaves and leaves that gain pink spots when exposed to light.
The obovata Hoya blooms in the spring and summer and produces a light fragrance. The white flower clusters are star-shaped with bright-pink centers. The plants need time to mature before blooming, which may take two to three years.
Hoya Obovata Light Requirements
Hoya obovata prefers a sunny, south-facing window to receive bright, indirect light. Direct light, filtered through a sheer curtain, is also acceptable.
This Hoya variety will not tolerate low-light conditions. Ensure it receives proper sunlight to encourage blooming.
Watering and Soil
Water Hoya obovata when the top two to three inches of soil feels dry. Test the moisture with a soil meter to gauge.
Water more frequently in the spring and summer, decreasing in the winter months when not in high growth.
After watering, drain excess water from the drip tray to avoid soggy soil and root rot.
Proper Hoya obovata care includes growing in a well-draining soil. A mix of houseplant soil amended with peat, perlite, and orchid bark works well.
Ensure the plant’s pot has drainage holes to avoid soggy soil. If using a plastic pot, water less than in a terracotta pot, as plastic does not wick away any moisture.
Keep the soil pH between 6.1 to 7.3.
Temperature and Humidity
Keep your Hoya obovata at temperatures between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit (15 to 29 degrees Celsius). Avoid temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsuis), drafts, and heat vents. Low temperatures, and temperature fluctuations, cause damage to plants.
Regular household humidity above 60 percent is sufficient. In drier conditions use a humidifier to supplement moisture. Placing the obovata Hoya in the kitchen or bathroom is an easy way to expose it to moist air.
Pruning and Propagation
Prune dead leaves or vines but never during active blooming. Avoid deadheading expired flowers as damaging the spurs will affect the plant’s ability to bloom again.
To propagate Hoya obovata use sharp shears that have been disinfected and snip a healthy stem with at least three leaves.
Remove the bottom two leaves to expose the nodes. Fill a small pot with moistened sphagnum moss and immerse the cut end of the stem into the moss.
Keep the moss moist, but not wet, until the roots have grown to one inch long.
Transfer the cutting to a pot with a well-draining, amended soil mixture.
Hoya Obovata Pests and Disease
Hoya obovata is susceptible to common houseplant pests including mealybugs, aphids, and spider mites. Treat infested plants with neem oil or horticultural oil.
Oils work best when they coat the pests, and more than one application may be necessary.
Sooty mold and root rot are diseases to watch for. To avoid sooty mold, clean the leaves with a damp cloth to remove sap from the plant’s flowers.
Kill the fungus causing root rot by pouring a mixture of one part 3 percent hydrogen peroxide and two parts water into the plant pot.
The Hoya obovata makes an impressive addition to any Hoya lover’s collection. It’s large and showy leaves add great visual appeal. Keep it in a sunny spot and watering only when needed, and this plant will thrive for years to come.
In a rush? Here are 10 Hoya varieties for beginners to discover:
Hoya Obovata FAQ
Repot your obovata Hoya only when it has become root bound. Every two to three years, depending on growth, is recommended. Repotting too soon, before the roots become crowded, will inhibit blooming.
No. The Hoya obovata are not considered toxic to pets or humans.
Yes, this Hoya variety will grow outside in USDA zones 10a to 11. It is not frost tolerant and will need to be brought indoors in cooler climates when low temperatures and frost arrive.
Plants infected with scale may have yellowing leaves, deformed leaves, or brown pockmarks. Scale appears on plants as round, oval, or flat shapes in a variety of colors from brown to orange.
To remove scale, prune any damaged leaves and clean the remaining ones with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. You must wipe each spot to remove the scale. Wipe away dead scale using a damp microfiber cloth.
Like most Hoya plants, it is considered an epiphyte and grows naturally up tree trunks and into their branches.