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Hoya Obovata: 6 Expert Care, Flowering & Propagation Tips!

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I love Hoyas in general, but Hoya obovata is definitely in my top favorites! It is a very easy going plant with thick, leathery, succulent oval leaves which are often speckled with white or pink markings. And after the plant is at least 2-3 years or so, you will be rewarded with beautiful clusters of pink flowers.


These drought tolerant plants are easy enough for the beginner, but satisfying enough for the seasoned grower as well. If there is only one Hoya that you can grow, make it this one!



I always like to understand where plants are from because it gives us clues for care. Hoya obovata is found growing in India, Indonesia, Thailand and Fiji.

It is considered to be an epiphyte and is found growing along tree trunks and branches of their host trees.

In the home, you can grow these plants with a support of some kind (such as training around a circular wire hoop), or you can grow it as a hanging basket, or as a trailer off of a plant shelf.


My Hoya obovata that I grew from cuttings that a friend sent me

These are not low light plants by any means, so be sure to provide good light for your Hoya for best growth, especially if you want yours to bloom!

I would recommend at least a half day of direct sun for this plant for good results. An Eastern or Western window location would suit this plant. Southern exposure with full sun will even work as long as you pay attention to the moisture needs!

My own plant currently grows in the corner of a north and east facing set of windows in my sunroom, so it gets direct morning sunshine. It is placed within a foot of the window.

New Hoya obovata leaves growing


Hoyas in general are easy plants to grow and will tolerate drought. I have my obovata growing in a terra cotta pot, which I love for Hoyas because they can get awkward and heavy, so the extra weight will keep them more stable.

Here are some watering tips for your Hoya obovata:

  • I allow my soil to dry either completely or almost completely. How do I gauge this?
  • Use your finger to feel the soil. Allow at least the first inch or so of the potting soil to dry out before watering your plant again. Your plant can safely tolerate completely drying out but don’t let it stay completely dried out for too long.
  • You can learn what your pot feels like weight-wise after you’ve watered and also after the soil has dried out completely. Over time you may learn when your plant needs water just by picking up your plant and seeing how much it weighs. I would still feel the soil to be sure though.
  • Water thoroughly. Always soak the soil completely, let water drain out of the drainage hole, and discard any excess water. I like to bring my plant to the sink and give it a thorough watering and also rinse the leaves to keep them clean.
Watering my Hoya in the sink


Hoya obovata likes a very well draining soil. Remember these are epiphytes in nature, so they prefer mixes with very sharp drainage.

I recommend using the following mix and I purchased my components from Amazon:

2 parts of a good succulent/cactus soil such as Espoma Organic Cactus Mix

mixed with

1 part of either perlite or 1/4″ pumice

I prefer pumice for Hoya, but you can use perlite too. This mixture results in a potting mix that retains enough moisture, but is very well drained and will dry out in a reasonable time. Your obovata will love it!

For a step-by-step guide with photos, be sure not to miss my Hoya repotting guide.



This is one of the faster growing Hoyas, and you really must fertilize regularly for best growth! I like to fertilize dilutely with every watering, and I withhold fertilizer during the winter months.

I’ve been using an incredible fertilizer called Dyna-Gro Grow. It is a premium, complete fertilizer that contains all the micro and macro nutrients for plant growth.

There is a noticeable differences in my plants since I’ve started using this fertilizer so try it out for yourself! You will not be disappointed.

Simply mix 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of Dyna-Gro Grow to a gallon of water and use at every watering.

Most people forget that most potting mixes for houseplants are “soilless” and intrinsically contains no nutrients at all. Your potting soil may have some fertilizer added to it, but that will be depleted after a few months and you really need to fertilize for best results.

Trust me, Dyna-Gro Grow is amazing and you can use it for most of your houseplants.


I’d like to show you the progression of the flowers, from the time the flowering spur (or peduncle) initially emerges, to when it is fully open. Then I will get into some tips of HOW you can get your Hoya to bloom.

When the peduncle first start to grow, here is what it looks like.

Hoya obovata peduncle starting to grow (center of photo between my thumb and forefinger

After it has grown a little more, it will look like the following.

Hoya obovata peduncle. You can see the buds starting to form.

It will then continue to grow more until it looks like this.

Hoya obovata flower buds.

Finally, here is one flower cluster that has fully opened.

Hoya obovata flowers.

Looking to purchase a Hoya obovata? One of my favorite and most convenient one-stop-shops for plants is Etsy. Check out the Hoya obovata selection (link to Etsy). You won’t be disappointed!

Here are some tips to get your Hoya obovata to flower:

  • Light is paramount! Follow my light suggestions or your plant just won’t bloom without enough light.
  • Keeping your Hoya obovata potbound will help encourage blooming. Don’t overpot your Hoya.
  • Your obovata will need to be at least 2-3 years old typically before it will bloom.
  • Once your plant blooms, do NOT deadhead the flower! Your plant will rebloom from the same spur in future years.
  • A dry period in the winter of about 4-5 weeks or so will help to bring your plant into bloom.


There are so many ways to propagate, and I received my Hoya obovata cuttings from a friend by mail.

The cuttings were a few inches long and I simply rooted them in water. Plain and simple! Once they had roots, I potted them up. You can also root in soil, and I will go over that shortly.

When preparing a cutting, whether you are water or soil propagating, here are some tips from the International Hoya Association:

  • Take a cutting that has 2 or 3 leaf nodes. The node is the point on the stem where the leaf meets the stem. Remove the leaves at the bottom node or two. You do want to keep at least a couple leaves at the tip of the cuttings.

You will also notice that your cutting might have aerial roots on the stem. If you have these, your cuttings will most likely root more quickly.

Aerial roots on my Hoya obovata


If you are water propagating, just place the cuttings so that the nodes where you removed the leaves are under water. Change the water once a week to keep the water fresh.

After your roots in water are 1/2 an inch or so long, go ahead and pot them up in soil. Don’t leave your cuttings too long in water if you can help it.

Rooted Hoya obovata cuttings right after they were potted up


Once you’ve prepared your cuttings, dip the base of the cutting in water and then rooting hormone, and then insert directly into a small pot with the Hoya soil that i described earlier.

I like to use Garden Safe Rooting Hormone that you can easily purchase on Amazon.

Water thoroughly. Don’t allow the potting mix to dry out completely while the cuttings are rooting. You may also want to increase humidity while your cuttings are rooting.

Looking to purchase a Hoya obovata? One of my favorite and most convenient one-stop-shops for plants is Etsy. Check out the Hoya obovata selection (link to Etsy). You won’t be disappointed!

That’s all folks! Do you have a Hoya obovata? Comment below. I’d love to hear from you!

If you want to read about other Hoyas, check out my posts on:

Hoya linearis

Hoya carnosa

Hoya compacta

Hoya kerrii

Hoya curtisii

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media because it will help me spread the Ohio Tropics houseplant care tips to the masses! Also, check out my shop on Amazon for all your houseplant care needs:


Janet Valliere

Monday 26th of July 2021

I hav two oboists cutting rooted October of 2021. Roots are healthy and leaves look good , but I can’t get them to put out new growth. What’s my problem?


Tuesday 27th of July 2021

Hi Janet! I assume you meant 2020? Where do you have your plant situated (what kind of light is it getting?). Sometimes they take a bit to get going, so be patient. If you don't have your plant directly in front of a window or under a good grow light, this is the most important factor. Are you doing anything differently from what I describe in my post?


Wednesday 14th of July 2021

Where did you get your glass stand that you have your Hoya sitting on?


Wednesday 14th of July 2021

Hi Amy! I believe that store is now out of business! I think I got it at Bombay Company probably 15 years ago or more.

Wayne Scott

Thursday 1st of July 2021

I've seen photos of some obovatas with tons of splashing on the leaves my plant has some. Is this just the plant or will light conditions change that? Since I got it a couple of weeks ago it's been in a bright Southern window.


Thursday 1st of July 2021

Hi Wayne! In brighter conditions, it should bring out more of those markings on your leaves. I'm not sure if the existing leaves will change, but any newer leaves while in brighter light should exhibit more of those beautiful markings. Best of luck!

Sarah Lamb

Thursday 17th of June 2021

Great article thank you. I recently purchased a two leaf plant, it has grown new leaves but as soon as they get to about 1.5 cm wide they wither and drop off. The main plant is fine. This has happened twice. What am I doing wrong? TIA


Thursday 17th of June 2021

Hi Sarah! Glad you enjoyed the post! Tell me about your light conditions and how you water? Did you have extremes in potting mix moisture (either too dry for too long, or perhaps it stayed wet for too long?). How do you water? Do you water thoroughly and make a point to moisten all of the potting mix? Leaves dropping off often has a lot to do with improper soil moisture.

Uma bhattacharya

Saturday 13th of February 2021

My obovata leaves are miles apart .will leaves come inbetween. It is cold here but it gets full sunlight throughout the day . .I see no leaves growing


Saturday 13th of February 2021

That's just how Hoyas grow. They will eventually get leaves :-)