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Hoya Burtoniae: Complete Grow & Care Guide

Hoya burtoniae, best known for exquisite waxy maroon flowers and a honey-like scent, is a rare find. And to keep these rare beauties thriving, you must fulfill all the care requirements.

Generally, Hoya burtoniae needs indirect bright sunlight, temperatures ranging from 60° to 95°F to bloom, weekly watering, and occasional pruning to grow. They also prefer well-draining soil with a pH of 6.1 to 7.3 and fertilizer with rich nitrogen with biennial repotting to reach their prime.

Lets us follow this comprehensive guide to learn the ins and outs of growing Hoya burtoniae.

Overview of Hoya Burtoniae

Hoya burtoniae is an evergreen flowering vine endemic to the Philippines and boasts small green braid leaves with almond-shaped, velvety, and lustrous leaves.

Common NameHoya burtoniae
Scientific NameHoya Sp Aff burtoniae
Plant typeVining epiphyte
USDA zonesHardiness Zone 10a -11
FlowerDark pink to reddish flowers with a yellow center
Blooming SeasonSpring
FoliageOlive green leaves with Pubescence and Fuzzy feeling
Growth HabitCan reach anywhere between 4 to 6 feet

Hoya Burtoniae– Extended Care Guide

This Hoya species is an easygoing and fast-growing plant, making it one of the best-hanging plants similar to other Hoya varieties.

Give them all your love and attention, and receive plentiful blooms throughout spring.

FactorFavorable Parameter
Water Medium: Allow the top two inches of soil to dry between thorough waterings
Temperature60 and 85°F
LightIndirect bright light
SoilWell-draining soil with pH between 6 and 7
HumidityBetween 50 to 70%
FertilizerFertilizer with rich nitrogen, once in spring and in summer
Re-potEvery two to three years
PruningAs needed to maintain the look
PropagationStem and leaf cuttings
Pests Aphids, whiteflies, and thrips
DiseasesFuzzy Hoya, Septoria leaf spot, Alternaria leaf spot,
stem and root rot

1. Indirect Bright Sunlight

Hoya burtoniae enjoys gentle morning sunlight from the east-facing window or can also appreciate afternoon sunlight for two hours when placed under a western-facing window.

Generally, Hoya requires bright indirect sunlight for six hours daily with a temperature between 60 to 85°F. But fluctuating temperature refrains plant growth.

Excess sunlight from the window can cause the plant to have bleached, pale, or colorless leaves. Eventually, leaves turn crisp and start falling off due to dehydration. 

So, you might have to bring your Hoya indoors to avoid summer heat waves.

Further, your Hoya can happily flower in USDA zone 9-11, but the low light and temperature below 20°F obstruct photosynthesis, making the stems weak and withered.

Using grow light can help fulfill the light requirement of indoor Hoya, and for the outdoor ones, use burlap cloth to prevent snow damage. 

Pro Tip: Do not place your plant around air conditioners and radiators to prevent extreme temperature hazards leading to death.

2. Moderate Watering & High Humidity

Hoya burtoniae have semi-succulent foliage and can go without water for 8-10 days if the humidity is around 50-70%, similar to its native home Philippines.

Similarly, the plant can grow well in ordinary household humidity above 40% with regular watering.

Besides, inspect the plant’s needs rather than following a fixed schedule to avoid over or wanted watering issues in the plant. For instance, cut down on watering during fall and winter.

For that, take a chopstick and insert it into the pot. Water them if more than an inch of the chopstick comes out dry.

Drain the excess water to prevent soggy roots and root rot leading to yellow and droopy leaves.

hand holding Hoya Burtoniae plant
You may repot your droopy overwater plant to help it rejuvenate.

Similarly, you may group your high humidity-loving Hoya with other indoor plants to prevent dryness in the air. 

And when you are at peak summer with dry air moisture, you may also use a humidifier to avoid dry tips and overall plant wilting.

3. Soil & Fertilizer

Hoya burtoniae does best in well-draining soil, slightly acidic to neutral, and retains enough hydration to keep the plant’s roots delighted while draining excess water to keep them from standing in water.

Grow your Hoya in well-draining soil with pH 6-7 enriched with a balanced fertilizer. Hoya can still thrive without fertilizer, but adding some sporadically once in spring and summer will boost the flowering.
Moreover, you may use a commercial potting mix like Miracle Gro mix, Hoffman Soil Mix, or Orchid Bark Mix suitable for Hoya.

However, adding a handful of perlite to your commercial mix does wonders in increasing the porosity of the soil, allowing the roots to breathe and grow.

Or, you may curate the potting mix by incorporating 1/3 potting soil with 1/3 orchid mix and 1/3 perlite

If you opt for average garden soil instead of potting soil, your Hoya plant might struggle with yellow and wilted lower leave, leaf and bloom drops, and slow growth.

Make sure you add regular garden fertilizer to replenish Hoya’s nutrients. 

If you use a general-purpose fertilizer to help your plant grow, dilute it to half-strength.

Pro Tip: Use high phosphate fertilizer for 2 months before the Hoya plant starts. If possible, prevent getting the liquid on the stems and leaves.

4. Potting and Repotting

Hoya plants are less fussy regarding their living space and do not demand frequent repotting as they grow the best in a slightly rootbound condition.

Simply repotting every two to three years will be enough to refresh the substrate and collect nutrient-retaining soil for Hoya burtoniae.

Unless the roots start peeking out of the drain hole or problems like overwatering and excess fertilization persist, you must pull your repotting sleeves up. 

Before you begin the process, get a terracotta pot 2-3 inches larger than the previous one. 

Gently pull the Hoya from the pots such that the roots are unharmed, and remove any mushy rotted roots. 

And, if the roots impart an excessively foul smell, rinse the plant with soapy water prior to repotting them. 

Further, fill the new container with the prepared potting mix and plant the Hoya, lightly pressing it to keep it firm and sturdy.

Pro Tip: Avoid completely drenching your newly repotted plant. Instead, lightly water them and place them under bright indirect sunlight.

5. Pruning Hoya Burtoniae

Hoya burtoniae grows larger outside, notably in the outdoors, due to its natural habitat.

The extensive growing nature makes the plant look bushy and unaesthetic in no time and demands occasional pruning.

Moreover, pruning old, yellow, and damaged leaves has its perk. As you clip the unwanted leaves and buds, the energy can be diverted into producing new foliage, especially during active growth.

Besides, pests like mealy bugs and aphids infest the plant leaving chalky and dusty-looking leaves and vines.

Image represents some tips to trim Hoya plant
The best way to trim a Hoya is to remove the flowers, dead leaves, and vines while keeping the flower peduncle, which acts as a flower base in the next season.

As soon as the symptoms appear, apply neem oil and insecticides to halt the pest population.

However, trimming becomes mandatory if pest infestation becomes severe.

But ensure you do not harm the bloom spurs, or else you’ll miss the following year’s blooms.

Hoya Burtoniae: All About the Growth Rate

Hoya burtoniae, as a house plant, can climb to a height of 4 to 6 feet or more under proper care.

While in its natural habitat, of Philippines, Hoya exceeds the indoor height and has fuzzy dark green foliage 2 to 6 cm long and 1.5 to 3 cm wide, which grows on long shoots.

However, the newer leaves are entirely brown and gradually turn green as days pass.

Portrait of Hoya burtoniae flower.
The flowers of Hoya burtoniae smell exactly like movie theater popcorn.

As the plant matures, it will produce reddish-white flowers made up of multiple blooms in an umbel and can be dangling or upright, lasting for at least a week.

They are star-shaped with microscopic hairs that give them a fuzzy appearance.

Toxicity of Hoya Burtoniae

Hoya burtoniae is an excellent introduction to any yard or interior decor, not only because of its decor benefit but also due to its harmless effect.

According to the California Poison Control System (CPCS), Hoya plant varieties, including Hoya burtoniae, do not possess any principles or substances, making them non-toxic to cats, dogs, and other pets.

However, do not let your pets munch on the leaves, as Hoya produces milky sap that can irritate the oral cavity and cause abdominal discomfort.

If the symptom does not subside for longer, contact the helpline below.

Propagation Methods for Hoya Burtoniae

There are two common methods to propagate Hoya plants: stem cutting and leaf cutting. 

But for the Hoya plant to have better root growth and establishment, you need to start the propagation during their growing season, i.e., string and early summer. 

Regardless, starting early helps the plant to have strong roots essential to survive the dormant winter. 

Propagation via Leaf Cuttings

The leaf-cutting method is the easiest and most suitable for gardeners having less space and time to look after their Hoya.

  • Remove a healthy leaf from the bottom of a plant with the petiole intact.
  • Soak these leaves (with petiole) in a rooting hormone to increase their chances of success.
  • Now, place 5 to 6 leaves in a container, cut side down with the tips covered in soil for rooting.
  • Ensure each leaf is adequately spaced apart in the pot to avoid overcrowding.
Stem cutting of Hoya plant in a plastic cup filled with potting material.
Using a plastic cup helps you clearly observe the root formation and growth.

It may take anywhere from 6 to 7 weeks for the leaves to initiate roots. 

However, the only drawback to this method is the time consumed for rooting and fluctuating success rate.

Propagation via Stem Cuttings

To propagate Hoya from stem cutting, you’ll need to select a few healthy stems of 4-6 inches with two leaves intact.

  • Remove the lower leaves, if any, to expose nodes for new root growth.
  • Dip the cutting into the fresh water container, ensuring no leaves touch the water.
  • You may also use rooting hormones to enhance the rooting process.
  • Place the container with the cutting under bright yet indirect light.
  • In about four weeks, roots will grow in length and volume. But, if it has aerial roots, you can witness small white roots grown as early as within a week.

Once the roots are 1-2 inches long, transplant them into your desired pot.

Hoya Burtoniae: Plant on Sale

Unlike other Hoya plants like Rope Hoya and Hoya Sunrise, burtoniae are challenging to find in your local nursery. 

Considering the same, some online sites may have Hoya burtoniae available.

ShopDelivery Time
Etsy 3-7 days
In Succulent Love1-8 days
My Home Nature3-5 days
Amazon4-5 days

Hoya Burtoniae vs. Bilobata

Many confuse Hoya Burtoniae with its close relative and a fellow Hoya variety, bilobata.

Both plants have identical olive green colors on the upper side, dark green margins, and similar environmental requirements.

However, they differ in physical attributes like height, leaf shape, and size.

FactorHoya BurtoniaeHoya Bilobata
Plant height 4 to 6 feet2 feet
Leaf shapeOvateOval, round, elliptic etc.
Leaf sizeLarger than bilobata1.7-2.2×1.3-1.8 cm
PubescencePubescence is presentHave no pubescence period
Leaf qualitySoft fuzzy feeling if touchedSmooth feeling if touched
StemNot branchedBranched
Flower sizeComparatively largerSmaller
Flower colorDark pink to reddish flowers with a yellow centerPink colored flower along with a dark pink or orange center
Cluster of flowersRelatively largerRelatively smaller

From Editorial Team

Now that you know the tips to make your Hoya burtoniae happy, you may be overwhelmed by its humongous growth.

So, help your Hoya retain its aesthetics by tying it to a trellis for easy climbing.

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