How do you care for a Hoya obovata plant?

2 comments by Amber Miner

Hoya obovata grows large oval leaves on long trailing stemsSo you got a beautiful Hoya obovata with it's gorgeous thick oval leaves and....of course you don't want to kill it. We're here to help. Here's what you need to know to care for this wonderful indoor plant.

Hoya obovata are semi-succulent epiphytic plants - what does this mean?

Hoya obovata are semi-succulent plants with large oval green leaves (often with silver 'splash' patterns). The leaves are thick and they hold more water than your typical thin-leaved house plants - and other thinner-leafed Hoya - which is what makes them 'semi-succulent'. 

Hoya obovata wide oval leaves with splash markings on this semi-succulent house plant

This also means they are great house plants if you are new to house plant parenting (or haven't had much luck in the past)! They are also epiphytic plants. This means they naturally pull nutrients and moisture from the air. Which means they will appreciate it if you mist them, or provide some humidity. 

Use the right soil for your Hoya 

To care for your Hoya obovata you want to make sure you have it potted in a soil mixture that is good for Hoya plants. You can mix potting soil with an orchid bark mix, or add pumice or perlite to potting soil. You want to make sure that the soil drains well. Hoya do not like to have soggy roots. 

Know when to water your Hoya

When it comes to watering, make sure the soil is dry to the touch between waterings. You do not want the soil to completely dry out, or for your Hoya obovata to go too long between waterings. You also don't want to overwater your Hoya, as there is danger of root rot if the Hoya roots are left in soggy soil for too long. If you are concerned about your soil mixture not draining well-enough, you can mix in some orchid bark, perlite or pumice to absorb some of the water and help the breathability of the soil. 

Hoya will need less water in the winter, when they are domant. This is especially true if you grow them outside. Indoor plants can be tricked into not recognizing seasons, due to the consistent lighting and temperature year-round. They will still need less water, make sure the soil is dry to the touch before watering.

Hoya obovata shown in a 4 inch pot with wide splash pattern semi-succulent leavesProvide adequate light and circulation for you Hoya

Hoya need lots of bright light to bloom. Make sure your Hoya obovata is in a location that receives a lot of natural light (or is within the rays of a grow light). Hoya do not like a lot of direct sun. They naturally grow on tree trunks and under the canopies of leaves, where they receive dappled sunlight. 

Hoya also need adequate air circulation, so if you keep your Hoya indoors, a bright South-facing window is ideal. This will provide your Hoya with both the bright light and moving air that it requires. 

Caution: Do not place your Hoya too close to a fan or heat source, as this will dry it out too fast and take too much moisture away from your plant. 


  • D. Rosser

    I ordered string of hearts a couple of months ago. I was pleased with the cuttings I received. They all rooted quickly in water and are now planted in soil. I continue to break off pieces to root and plant. I should soon have a full pot. Happy In Wisconsin!!

  • Leah Joy

    Hello there, I would like to share something that I have learned about hoyas.. They will take a long time to bloom if they are in a large pot. They like to be almost root-bound, in close quarters. So I always start with a small pot. I had a hoya that was in a large hanging basket for 5 years and finally bloomed on a tendril that I didn’t know had climbed up my crepe myrtle tree— must have been 20-30 feet long, and had one gorgeous sphere bloom at the end. the next year it gave me around 25 blooms. I finally had to split it into 2 pots. I wish I could post a pic ;-)

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