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Hoya Bilobata: Ultimate Grow & Care Guide

Do you know that Hoya bilobata is known as Queen’s Tears due to its ornated and beautiful leaves which are frequently used in art products?

It is a climbing evergreen perennial, which boasts of honey scent and tiny pink and clustered flowers.

If you can help with its basic requirements, this Hoya can stand to your expectation of making great hanging indoors for a house.

Generally, Hoya bilobata thrives in bright indirect sunlight with a temperature between 60 to 95° F and humidity above 60%. It will also need well-draining soil with a 6.1 to 7.5 pH level, once every week watering, once 2-3 years of repotting, monthly fertilizer, and occasional pruning.

The luscious Hoya bilobata (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

While Hoya is a climber in its native habitat, many gardeners allow the plant to the trail as it looks beautiful hanging from the planter or basket.

To keep this wax plant to its fuller size, you need not extend your schedule and you can successfully handle it if you go through this article.

Overview of Hoya Bilobata

Hoya bilobata is one of over 200 species of Hoya and receives its name from the Arab meaning modest plant with the two-lobed leaves.

Hoya bilobata was discovered on the Philippine island of Mindanao, and Dr. Rudolph Schlechter first described the plant in 1906.

Let’s take a quick into the plant’s overview!

Scientific Name Hoya bilobata
Common NameWax plant,
Porcelain flower
OriginPhilippines
FamilyApocynaceae
GenusHoya
USDA ZoneHardiness Zone 10-11
Plant TypeEvergreen perennial
Growth RateModerate
Foliage Lush, thick, rounded, olive-colored leaves with point tips
Flowering Habit Star-shaped flowers with honey-like aroma
Blooming PeriodSpring and summer
Toxicity Non-toxic to pets
Common Pests Mealybugs, Spider mites, Scales, Aphids
Diseases Fuzzy halo, Root rot, Leaf spot, Blue-green algae

Hoya Bilobata: Plant on Sale

It’s no doubt that Hoya bilobata can increase the beauty of hanging space in your home.

And you can start your Hoya-keeping journey with this wax plant by getting the one from the places below!

ShopsDelivery Time
EtsyMaximum of 8 days
Almost Eden Maximum of 2-4 days
Glasshouse WorksMaximum of 4-12 weeks
Ebay Maximum of 4 days
LacosteMaximum of 5 days

Hoya Bilobata: Ultimate Grow & Care Guide

What I like about the Hoya bilobata is it is  easy to care and populate if you need a mini jungle at your home.

All you need to provide this plant with the tropical environment and here is a detailed guide for you!

(flaticon.com)
6-8 hours of indirect bright sunlight

Water your plant every once a week

60 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit
humidity
60 to 80 %
soil
Light, airy well-draining soil mix with 6.1 to 7.5 pH level
Fertilizer icons created by Smashicons - Flaticon
Monthly all Purpose fertilizer

Repot every two to three years

Propagation via stem cutting and seeds

1. Indirect Bright Light and Proper Location

The good news is that Hoya bilobata is a plant that can be grown both indoors and outdoors.

Hoya bilobata needs 6-8 hours of bright indirect sunlight including 3 hours of morning sunlight daily.

It also likes shades while being outside and can also withstand the low-light condition.

Sunlight works
Sunlight Entering the House( Source: Deniel Krienbuehl Contractors)

However, Hoya bilobata might show several symptoms if it meets inadequate and excessive lighting condition.

Low Exposure of LightingHigh Exposure of Lighting
Leaves will slowly lose their signature green color.The leaves will have beige patterns on them.
The plant's growth will be stunted.The plant will close their rosettes.
The plant's internodes will be longer.The leaf tips and edges will be sun burnt.
Plant will lean towards the light source.The plant will start shriveling or forming callus.

Tips to Maintain Ideal Light for Hoya Bilobata

  • Allow your plant to have a bright light shade when placing it outdoors.
  • Cover it with a draft or any other coverage to avoid sun stress.
  • If you live in a snowy environment, allow your plant to have direct sunlight outside.
  • Keep your plant east, west, and south-facing windows that have scattered light.
  • Use artificial grow lights if you can not provide natural light to your plant.
  • Avoid placing the plant next to a window with full sun or near a lamp.

Light color also affect the plant’s growth, so you may also need to know about Light Color for Houseplants.

2. Weekly Watering

As Hoya bilobata is a tropical plant, it will need adequate watering as the plant faces dissipation enough throughout the day and water will be required soon.

On average, Hoya bilobata will require watering once every 7 to 10 days during summer, spring, and autumn and once every two weeks in winter.

Watering the plant
Watering the plant (Source: Tenor)

I always water my hoya with room-temperature water to keep the plant soil retain at the normal temperature. 

If Hoya bilobata generates unexpected symptoms, you can verify it from the table below.

Symptoms of Underwatering Symptoms of Overwatering
The leaves grow smaller.Root rot
The tips of the plant start shriveling, yellowing, browningThe base of the petioles seem weak and brown.
Leaves start to wrinkle or pucker slightly.It causes yellowing leaves.
The soil gets bone dry in the lack of watering.Later, the leaves start wilting and drooping suddenly.

Tips to Water Hoya Bilobata Properly

  • Make sure the pot or container of your Hoya bilobata has drainage holes below.
  • While hydrating, let your Hoya’s container flood with water and drip through the drainage.
  • While watering your, you can use the soak and drain method.
  • Let the top 2 inches of the soil dry and allow it to soak from top to down.
  • You can use tap water or distilled water. 
  • Leave your tap water to sit in an open container for 24 hours to evaporate chemicals. 

Pro Tip: Get a Greg App to track your Hoya bilobata’s hydration and other aspects for healthy growth of your plant!

3. Warm Temperature

Tropical plants always welcome warm temperatures and resist colder ones and the Hoya bilobata also prefers the same!

Generally, Hoya bilobata flourishes at a warm temperature ranging from 60 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 50 to 55 degrees Fahrenheit during the night.

However, the problem arises when the temperature becomes freezing, below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

temperature humidity light science direct
Relation between temperature, light, and humidity. (Source: Science direct)

More symptoms will be visible if the temperature goes below and above the ideal range.

Symptoms of Low Temperature Symptoms of High Temperature
It causes underwatering effect.The plant requires more water and is prone to have overwatering outputs.
The blooms find hard to get maturity.The blooms will be withered.
Leaves will curl or droop.The plant will suffer a depletion of it food reserves.
Plant growth will stop.It causes heat stress and leaves get curled.

Tips to Maintain Ideal Temperature for Hoya Bilobata

  • If you reside in harsh cold winter regions, you need to bring your plant indoors before temperatures dip below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Use heating pads or frost blankets to shield it from the freezing temperature.
  • Also, Withdraw the plant away from the drafty windows and air conditioning vents during the winter.
  • Use a hygrometer to measure the ideal environment for your plant.
  • Add mulch to the soil, which will raise the temperature by allowing the sunlight to pass through it.

4. High Humidity

It is easy to guess that Hoya bilobata appreciates high humidity due to its natural habitation.

Hoya bilobata grows best in the humidity ranging from 60 to 80 percent.

It feels okay to receive above 60-70 % humidity during the growing period but it will need near 80 percent during the blooming time.

Spraying water to leaves
Spraying the water to green leaves (AliExpress)

However, there come several unexpected symptoms when if Hoya bilobata suffers the improper humidity.

Symptoms of Low HumiditySymptoms of high Humidity
The newest tenderest growth will crisp and dry up.Excess humidity may invite fungal infection.
It might cause the leaves to shrivel and fall off.It can also cause overwatering effects.
The plant may lose greenery of leaves.It hampers soil to drain well and causes root rot.
It dries up the air.When there is excess moisture, the leaves attract many pests.

Tips to Maintain Ideal Humidity for Hoya Bilobata

  • Crowd the houseplants together to boost humidity levels around the plant naturally. But you need to watch out for insect and disease infestations.
  • Place the plant in areas like the kitchen or the bathroom to increase humidity and give the space a chic look.
  • Similarly, mist your plants with a cup of water during spring or summer to enhance humidity.
  • Place the container in a pebble tray and fill it with water to moisten the soil if your plant feels dry in the soil.
  • Install an artificial humidifier if you don’t want to bother making some effort.

5. Well-draining Soil

Hoya bilobata is an epiphyte that relies on the branches of trees for its growth. Its nature makes the plant liable to survive on a minimal amount of substance.

Hoya bilobata thrives best in a light, airy well-draining soil mix with pH ranging from 6.1 to 7.5.

Similarly, it prefers to be cultivated in alkaline and acidic soil. If given the dense soil, the plant will have excess moisture, causing root rot.

The making of Hoya Bilobata soil. (Source: Unsplash)

To provide the ideal soil, you can create a DIY soil mix by combining the following items.

IngredientsRatio
Cactus mix, perlite and orchid mix1:1:1
Peat moss or coco coir and perlite2:1
Potting mix, orchid mix and perlite1:1:1
Potting soil with succulent and cactus mix1:1

If you are unable to make a potting mix on your own, you can also get various commercial potting mixes for your Hoya bilobata.

You can also learn Hoya Plant Soil to grow your Hoya bilobata healthily.

6. All-Purpose Fertilizer

One of the reasons Hoya bilobata is an easy-to-go plant is because they do not require heavy food.

Generally, Hoya bilobata need light and all-purpose fertilizer every two weeks during the spring and summer seasons.

Applying Granular fertilizer to the plant
Applying Granular fertilizer to the plant (Source: Amazon)

This wax plant needs fertilizer when it actively grows and during the blooming time and requires little to no food during winter.

I usually give my Hoya food with an NPK ratio of 2:1:2 or 3:1:2 during the normal period and switch to a phosphorus-rich fertilizer containing a 5:10: 3 NPK during blooming time.

Plant Nutrient Pyramid
Plant Nutrient Pyramid (source: extension.umn.edu)

However, if you mistreat Hoya bilobata with fertilizer, the plant will develop the following signs.

Under Fertilization HoyaOver Fertilization Hoya
Slower growthSalt built upon the soil
Weak stemStem to wilt and discolor
Less greenery in foliageLeaves getting browning to the tips
Hard to bloom for plantProne to root rot

Tips to Fertilize Hoya Bilobata Properly

  • Water your Hoya plant enough a day before fertilizing and leave for a whole night. 
  • Dilute a fertilizer to half a strength in water.
  • Avoid fertilizers from touching the foliage and stems.
  • Feed the plant when the grows actively in the spring and summer.
  • Clean the spoiled fertilizers around the house to avoid pet access. 

Here are some recommended fertilizers for your hoya plant!

Fertilizers During Normal PeriodFertilizers During Blooming Period
Jacks Classic All Purpose FertilizerJ R Peters Jacks Classic
Miracle-Gro Watering Can SinglesBetter Gro Bloom Booster Fertilizer
Miracle-Gro LiquafeedJR Peters Blossom Booster
Espoma Organic Indoor Plant FoodJack's Classic Blossom Booster

7. Extended Repotting 

Hoya bilobata plants are prone to the root-bound due to their natural growth habits.

So, you need to repot Hoya bilobata every two to three years for healthy growth during spring and summer. 

The correct size for hoyas pots is 12 inches tall and 18-24 inches wide at the top opening and when repotting, you need to keep the pot size that is 2-3 inches wider.

When you notice the tiny roots of your Hoya start popping out of this container, it’s time for Hoya to move into a new home.

Repotting plant
Repotting plant (Source: Pixabay)

However, make sure your plant has no flower buds when repotting, as it can cause repotting shock and drop off the tiny buds.

Steps to Repot Hoya Bilobata

  • Water adequately your plant before a day of repotting.
  • Then, sterilize your repotting and cutting tools with isopropyl alcohol.
  • Now, carefully turn the pot upside down and place your hand on the top while removing your plant from its container.
  • Gently, use your hands and loosen the plant’s roots. You can also trim off any roots which are extended or broken.
  • Place pebbles at the bottom of your terracotta pots to slightly cover the drainage holes of your pot.
  • Also, take your terracotta pot with 1/3 of well-draining soil mix and pack it into the new container.
  • Place your Hoya bilobata gently in the middle of the pot and surround the plant with the soil using your hand.
  • Finally, hydrate and place your plant in place with indirect but bright sunlight.

8. Rare Pruning

Hoya Bilobata might become a long and bushy view if you do not guide it into a proper shape.

It is ideal to prune your Hoya bilobata repeatedly during the summer and spring to maintain its luscious look. 

Pruning will help the plant retain its healthy shape and remove the rugged leaves and stems. 

Techniques to Prune the Plant
Techniques to Prune the shrub (Source: www.uky.edu)

Thus, when pruning, use sterilized pruning tools and avoid cutting more than 1/3 portion of the plant. Also, you need not prune your hoya during the wintertime.

Here are some pruning essentials for your Hoya bilobata.

Pruning Essentials Specification
ShearsTo cut off the trailing stems and leaves.
TrowelTo collect the cuttings.
GlovesTo avoid dirt or any infection from the diseased plant parts.
ContainerTo carry the cuttings and dump the useless ones.
Rubbing AlcoholTo sterilize the tools.

Steps to Prune Hoya Bilobata

  • Firstly, allow the Hoya flowers to fall naturally without cutting and pinching spurs and peduncles.
  • Examine your plant’s dead leaves and diseased plant parts and cut off the wilted, dead, or damaged leaves, branches, and vines.
  • Trim the main stem above the plant leaves and buds to promote foliage density.
  • Now remove excess trailing foliage to shape it neat and compact.
  • Also, cut off more than two-thirds of the total growth if the plant grows heavily.

Propagation Methods for Hoya Bilobata

The Hoya bilobata is a natural eye-catcher due to its attractive foliage and it is also easy to populate and increase your Hoya bilobata collection.

You can propagate Hoya plant through seeds, leaf, and stem cuttings.

Note: Seed propagation for Hoya bilobata is a comparatively slow process and needs expertise for requirements.

Propagation through stem cuttings can be the easiest method for you and here are some ways how you can do it.

Propagate Hoya Bilobata Via Stem Cuttings

You can utilize the stem cutting method by rooting the cuttings in sphagnum moss, soil, and water as per your convenience.

Step 1: Take Stem Cuttings

  • Firstly, sterilize your pruning and cutting tools to avoid infection and disease.
  • Get a stem cutting from your Parent plant and cut the stem 5 inches above the node, leaving at least 1-2 nodes with few leaves.

Step 2: Choose the Medium

You can choose the rooting method in water, soil, and sphagnum moss.

Here are some mediums you can propagate through stem cuttings.

1. Propagation in Water Medium

  • Take any container or a jar, preferably a clear jar, to note your cutting progress.
  • Fill the container with fresh water and put the cutting in the jar.
  • Ensure that the nodes are submerged and the leaves are not in contact with water.
  • Place your clear jar in a location with bright indirect light.
  • Make sure to change the water every 2-3 days to prevent root rot and disease.
  • After 28 days, you’ll notice the development of the roots and then transfer your plant to a soil-based medium.
Water propagation of a plant
Water propagation of a plant (Source: Unsplash)

2. Propagation in Soil Medium

  • Prepare a well-draining soil mix of 50% peat and perlite in a terracotta pot with drainage holes.
  • Before repotting, take your 5 inches cutting and place it in a rooting hormone to fasten the development of the cutting’s roots.
  • Regularly hydrate the soil enough to moisten it; however, avoid overwatering it.
  • In your soil mixture, poke a hole with a chopstick and place your cutting in the soil, and firm up the soil around the cutting.
  • Place your cutting in a well-lit location and keep it moist until you see root development. However, be sure not to wet the cutting as root rot can occur.
  • You’ll notice the root development in 2-3 weeks.

3 . Propagation in Sphagnum Medium

  • Prepare a container and fill it in half with the sphagnum moss. Similarly, moist the moss but be careful not to overwater it.
  • Place the cuttings till the nodes into the moss.
  • Now, water sphagnum daily, making it moist and hydrated.
  • After about four weeks, you’ll notice the stem developing roots.
  • When the roots have grown to 1-2 inches, you can transfer the recently rooted stems into their ideal soil medium.
  • Hydrate the rooted stems timely and keep them in a bright indirect location.

If you wish to know more about populating your Hoya, you may need to read Multiple Methods for Propagation.

The video below also helps you a lot!

All About Hoya Bilobata’s Growth

As mentioned earlier, Hoya bilobata is a moderate to fast-growing plant depending on the development environment and conditions.

The plant grows trailing vines that reach a length of about 60 cm (2 ft), making it an ideal plant to place in the hanging baskets.

Similarly, the luscious hibiscus-like leaves of the Hoya are oval with smoothing light green and leathery and velvety in texture.

Hoya hanging in the pot
Hoya bilobata in the hanging pot (Source: Esty)

The velvety leaves will expand up to 1.7–2.2 cm long and 1.3–1.8 cm wide and the stem extends long and creepy, 18 inches in height.

One of the great beauties of the Hoya is its ever-sweet fragrant blooms. These blossoms are tinted with pink hues and are spaced apart with smaller umbels.

Hoya bilobata flowers
Hoya bilobata flowers (Source: Tropics at Home)

Likewise, each flower cluster of the plant is filled with 25 flowers of 6-7 mm in diameter, giving out a mellow aroma during the nighttime.

During the winter months, your Hoya bilobata will go semi-dormant but unlike other plants, your Hoya won’t drop the leaves or bend its stem. 

Toxicity of Hoya Bilobata

Another reason why Hoya bilobata is an ideal plant for you is that this plant is completely toxic-free to your little furry friends. These wax plants are completely safe for humans and pets.

According to ASPCA, Hoya bilobata (Wax plant) is non-toxic to dogs and cats.

Cat sitting near indoor plant
Cat sitting near the indoor plant (Source: Pixabay)

Thus, you need not worry about any harm or consumption problems if you have this plant at home. If you should not spare your children and pets around the plant and treat it unnecessarily.

If consumed the plant’s leaves or any parts of the plant can stomach upset in humans and pets. if you feel any emergency for yourself or for your pet, you can get help from the contact below.

Common Problems in Hoya Bilobata

Although Hoya bilobata is known to be an easy plant to take care of, you never know when your Hoya gets exposed to various issues.

Here are a few of the most typical issues that your plant may encounter.

1. Common Pests

Hoya bilobata are known for their resistance to the invasion of pests but due to unfavorable conditions, you might find one or two pets causing harm to your plant.

The most common pests that invade your Hoya plant are mealybugs, scales, aphids, and mites which may appear when the humidity increases.

Mealybugs on the leaf of Hoya. (Source: Flickr)

If you are worried about the invasion of pests in your plant, inspect the following pest signs.

PestsSymptoms Impact
Mealybugs white lumps on leaves
Honeydew on leaves
Curling and discoloration of leaves
Aphids Sticky honeydew on plant.Curling, slow development, wilting, yellowing of leaves
Spider mites Silky web under the leaves Yellowing and falling off of leaves
ScalesRound bumps on stems and leaves Wilting and black fungus on stem and leaves

Solutions

  • Combine a mixture of rubbing alcohol, water, and a few drops of dawn dish soap and spray the mixture over the plant.
  • You can also spray your Hoya with a high force of water to eradicate pests.
  • Apply neem oil and horticultural oil to the foliage of the plant.
  • Isolate the infected plant to avoid damaging other plants.
  • Use insecticidal soap on the plant to eliminate pests without polluting the soil with hazardous waste.
  • Apply pesticide every two to three days.

Preventive Measures

  • Wipe the leaves with water once every few weeks.
  • Control overwatering and do not overfeed your plant.
  • Keep checking if your plant has pests regularly.
  • You can also apply pesticides every few weeks to avoid the plant.
  • When pruning or cutting your plant, always sterilize the tools and equipment.

2. Horticultural Diseases

Like pests, your plant can suffer from different diseases such as root rot, fuzzy halo, and leaf spot, which can steal your hoya. 

Let’s look at some of the common diseases of Hoya bilobata.

Diseases Causative AgentSymptoms
Fuzzy haloBotrytis cinereaA yellow fuzzy halo around the leaves and falling of leaves
Blue-green algaeCyanobacteriaYellowish-green blotches on the leaves
Root Rot Phytophthora, Pythium, and Rhizoctonia spp.Slow growth, mushy stems, and wilting, yellow, distorted leaves
Leaf SpotErwinia carotovoraBrown, yellow or black spots on leaves

Solutions

  • Remove or bury the affected plant materials to prevent the fungus from spreading to other plants.
  • Add fungicide to the soil before planting your Hoya in the containers.
  • When your plant suffers from minor root rot, trim off the infected roots and keep the healthy ones.
  • However, if your Hoya bilobata is suffering from severe root rot, it’s better to repot your plant in a new container.
  • Disinfect pruners with a 10 percent bleach solution to prevent the spread of the infection.
Fungal infection on plant
Fungal Infection on Plant (Source: Science News)

Preventive Measures

  • Reduce humidity and give the plant more light.
  • Keep hoya plants in a well-ventilated place and give them plenty of light to avoid leaf spots.
  • Similarly, keep your plant’s leaves dry and hydrate your plant straight into the soil.
  • Trim your plants to enhance air circulation.
  • Check the soil condition with a moisture meter and avoid overwatering.

Hoya Bilobata vs. Burtoniae

Both Hoya species are best to keep as houseplants and boast of long trailing leaves with clustered tiny flowers and share many similarities.

The bigger difference between the two is the growth and bloom features which are discussed below!

AttributeHoya BilobataHoya Burtoniae
Plant height2 feet 4 to 6 feet
Leaf size1.7-2.2×1.3-1.8 cmLarger than bilobata
Leaf shapeOval, round, elliptic etc.Ovate
Leaf qualitySmooth feeling if touchedSoft fuzzy feeling if touched
PubescenceHave no pubescence periodPubescence is present
Flower colorPink colored flower along with a dark pink or orange centerDark pink to reddish flowers with a yellow center
Flower sizeSmallerComparatively larger
Cluster of flowersRelatively smallerRelatively larger
StemBranchedNot branched
Hoya bilobata and burtoniae
Hoya bilobata and burtoniae (Soure: Etsy)

They also share some similarities too and you can witness these in the table.

AttributeSimilarity
Leaf colorOlive green color on the upper side with dark green margin
InflorescenceUmbel
Growing HabitMoist tropical regions
Water requirementProper watering. Soil needs to be moist, but water-clogged situations are avoided.
PruningHeavy pruning is not recommended.
PottingRepotting is needed after every two years.
Blooming timeSpring to late summer
ProblemsSlow growth, yellowing leaves, dropping off new leaves and pest infestation, etc.

FAQs about Hoya Bilobata

Should I submerge Hoya bilobata in water?

For Hoya bilobata, bottom watering is ideal.

Fill a bowl with water and put it in the plant’s pot and allow the plant’s root to absorb the water through drainage holes. Also, you need to control over

Hoya bilobata plant
Hoya bilobata plant (Source: Tropics at Home)

Why are the leaves of my Hoya plant turning red? 

When the leaves of your Hoya bilobata have gone red, it indicates that they have been scorched by direct sunlight.

In this case, you need to move it to a different location where the direct light does not affect the Hoya bilobata.

You may need to find more problems and solutions in 9 Hoya Plant Problems and Their Solutions.

Conclusion

Hoya bilobata is a lovely low-maintenance houseplant with the tropical plant requirements, leveraging plant enthusiasts with tight schedules.

If you grow successfully this wax plant, you can get 2 feet-long trailing vines with lustrous small red flowers.

If you own other Hoya species, you may also like to read Hoya SerpensHoya LacunosaHoya NummularioidesHoya Polyneura.

Till then, happy gardening!

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