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Hoya Bella Care Secrets Revealed

Hoya Bella Care Secrets Revealed

Hoya plants are named after the famous botanist, Thomas Hoy. They have so many different patterns and shapes of leaves.

And quickly become any gardeners’ favorite plant after they witness their hardiness and scented unique blooms. In this article, we are discussing another beautiful Hoya species, Hoya Bella.

Hoya Bella is an extremely easy-to-care plant for indoor gardens, given that you never let it dry out. Choose a light-weight, fast-draining potting mix for this plant. And keep the potting soil lightly moist in warm months and drier in winter.

Feed your plant only during the growing months (Spring & Summer) with a balanced, diluted fertilizer.

The botanical name for this plant is Hoya Lanceolata ssp. Bella, but it is commonly referred to as Hoya Bella. The word Bella means beautiful, and this Hoya plant lives up to its name.

It is among the fastest-growing Hoyas. It requires minimal care; the less you do, the better your Hoya Bella will perform.

Hoya Bella is native to the tropical forest regions of Australia, Indonesia, India, and China. This species is often referred to as Miniature Wax plant, Wax Vine, Porcelain flower, and Wax plant. Wax plants symbolize wealth and protection.

This wax plant belongs to the Asclepiadaceae family and is bests grown in home gardens, conservatory, and greenhouses. This is a miniature version of the regular wax plant; therefore, it can be easily grown indoors. When mature, this plant can get 2 to 3 feet tall.

Hoya Bella has waxy leaves, and in the blooming season (May to August), this plant produces clusters of tiny star-shaped white flowers with a pinkish-purple center that has a sweet fragrance. It is also known as a honey plant due to its sweet fragrance.

There is another rare version of Hoya Bella in addition to the original one. This new version has all white flowers and was discovered in 2007. This one also has the same care instructions, but it is considered a bit difficult to propagate.

This semi-succulent can be grown in either pots or hanging baskets. It does really well in climates that are warm and humid throughout the year.

 

How Not To Kill Your Hoya Bella

 

Basic plant care for Hoya bella

 

Soil

A good potting mixture is the first step in enabling your plant to thrive and have a robust root system. Grow Hoya Bella in high-quality potting soil mixed with sand in a pot with drainage holes. You might have to insert climbing stakes for support in pots, but these are not required for ones growing in hanging baskets.

Hoya Bellas thrive in a variety of soil types as long the potting soil is well-aerated and well-draining. To improve the drainage quality of the potting soil, you can add sand, grit, or charcoal.

You can create your own loam-based compost, using horticultural sand, charcoal, crushed bark, and leaf mold.

Another good mixture for this Hoya is 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 perlite, and 1/3 tree bark.

Plant roots for Hoyas’ have to breathe; therefore, it is vital to ensure good aeration in the compost. Because otherwise, you will end up in waterlogged soil and rotted root system.

Outdoors you can grow it in USDA Hardiness zone 10, 11, and 12. Place the plant next to the trellis or climbing fence to provide it physical support to climb on. It will also grow well against a wind-sheltered fence that gets plenty of sun.

 

Watering

Water your Hoya Bella thoroughly and allow at least the top inch or two of potting soil to dry before watering the plant again. Never allow the soil to be swampy or standing in water.

Hoya Bella goes dormant in winter and will not need much water. Water this plant less often in the winter. You should water the Hoya Bella moderately from spring to autumn.

This plant cannot dry out the way other Hoyas’ do. Hoya Bella has smaller and less succulent leaves, and it likes to be watered as soon as it is dry since it cannot retain as much moisture.

If you allow this plant to dry out completely, the leaves will start yellowing and eventually fall off. I recommend checking your plant every 4 to 5 days if it needs to be watered.

They do not like overwatering at all. But you can spray the plant frequently as they really like humid conditions.

 

Light

Select a location for Hoya Bella, where it gets full sun in the morning. For growing outside, choose a protected and partially shaded area on the porch, balcony, or patio. You don’t grow this plant in high light it will prefer dappled shade, i.e., 30 -50 % full sun.

Protect the plant from excessive afternoon heat and sunlight, as it can burn the plant. Just like Hoya Carnosa, Hoya Bella also does well in low light. It can tolerate curtain filtered, indirect light.

You can grow it in the northwest or northeast window. Ensure that the plant experiences indirect bright light with at least 1/2 day of direct sun.

You can try different positions for your Hoya Bella to find a perfect balance of light and shade.

 

Temperature

This is one of the species that prefer cold temperatures at night. But temperatures below 5 degrees Celsius (41 o F) will damage your precious Hoya Bella.

The minimal temperature range for this plant is 12-15 degrees Celsius (53-59°F), whereas the optimal temperature range for healthy growth is 22-24 degrees Celsius (71-75°F).

 

Humidity

As a tropical plant, Hoya Bella will love high humidity. Humidity levels between 40-60% will work well for it.

You can create a humid environment in several ways; one of them is using a gravel tray.

Place a drainage tray filled with gravel underneath the pot. Fill this tray with water, but keep the water level in the drainage dish low enough to ensure the pot does not sit in water.

 

Pruning

Under optimum conditions, Hoya Bella grows wildly; sometimes, this plant grows in a weird, unpleasant shape, but no worries you can prune the stems to enhance the appearance.

You can prune the plant to trim the long vines if like your Hoya Bella a bit compact and small. Always use a clean pair of scissors or pruning shears to trim the dead stems and leaves. Avoid over-pruning; it can hinder blooming for Hoya Bella.

Pruning will help you achieve a fuller and bushier plant, and it will also produce more flowers in the long run. Because when you prune the Hoya Bella plant, it can grow more branches near the base instead of investing all its energy in a single long vine.

 

Propagation

Propagation is one of the easiest and inexpensive methods of expanding your plant collection without buying any new plants.

Stem cuttings

  • Take healthy cuttings for this propagation method with two or more nodes per cutting, but it’s best to have only two nodes. You can propagate using this method at any time of the year.
  • Use scissors or a clean knife to cut a small section below a node. Remove the lower leaves and place the vine-cutting in a moist potting mix; houseplant compost is the best choice as it’ll have perlite for better air circulation. Take at least 3 inches (7 cm) long cuttings and make sure the cutting has at least one set of leaves.
  • For propagating Hoya Bella via stem cuttings, always use a porous, well-draining soil mixture and a small pot.
  • Ensure that the lower node is submerged in the soil else root development will be slowed.
  • Water the plant every week, and the Hoya Bella will start producing roots within a week or two. The cutting will form roots at a temperature of 20-25 degrees Celsius (68°-77°F).
  • You can place the pot in a transparent plastic bag for extra humidity. After two months of development, remove the bag and follow the usual care instructions.
  • Another consideration is to place the cutting in the partial sun because keeping it in the full sun might wither it.

Water propagation

  • Propagation with this method can be done from spring to summer. Choose the healthy, established vines; each vine should have at least two nodes, one for foliage development and the other for root growth.
  • Although more nodes are good, be sure only to submerge the bottom nodes to avoid unnecessary rooting, which will cause difficulty while soil placement.
  • Make a cut directly below a node using a clean knife or scissor to minimize the risk of infection.
  • Remove the lower half leaves and place the vines in a jar of lukewarm water. The remaining leaves should always be above the waterline.
  • Carefully submerge at least one node into the water, or else the root development will be hindered.
  • Replace the water every week, use lukewarm water to prevent shocking the cutting with cold temperature.
  • Within two weeks, new roots will start forming. When the roots are at least 2 inches in size, you can plant the cutting in soil.
  • You can plant it in cactus and succulent compost for best results, but multipurpose compost with grit or perlite will also work well.
  • Protect the newly potted Hoya Bella from direct sunlight but ensure proper humidity. Place the potted plant in a transparent plastic bag with holes for the first few weeks.
  • Open the plastic bag every two days for half an hour to prevent any diseases and provide air circulation. After one month, you can remove the bag and follow the care instructions given in this article.

 

Fertilizer

Hoya Bella is not a heavy feeder. You can feed it with a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer twice a year. Add fertilizer in April and again in July according to the manufacturer’s direction. You can also feed your plant using an orchid or tomato fertilizer.

Do not fertilize the Hoya Bella in the winter months as the plant will not grow during these months, even if fertilized.

You can also use a half-strength organic seaweed extract for about four times in the growing season. If you are using synthetic fertilizer, you will have to use a milder dose for Hoya Bella.

I would suggest always feeding your plants with weak solutions, then based on their reaction; you can increase or modify the dose.

Hoya’s take their nutrients through leaves rather than just the roots. Take a water-soluble balanced diluted fertilizer in a spray bottle, and occasionally mist the leaves with this solution.

 

Repotting

This plant likes to be left alone, do not repot too often as it prefers to be slightly root-bound. Less repotting also means your workload in plant care is reduced.

You can repot the Hoya Bella every two to three years. Always replant Hoyas’ in the spring season, this will allow the wax plant to start growing into its new pot and easily establish a strong root system.

Hydrate the Hoya Bella 24hrs before the repotting to prevent the risk of transplant shock.

Each time you repot your Hoya Bella plant, increase the pot size by just 2 inches (5 cm).

 

Blooms

This is an evergreen plant; it will flower throughout the year if you provide the necessary conditions and care. The unique, upside-down flowers make Hoya Bella an ideal plant for hanging baskets because the flowers are best viewed from below. Each flower cluster contains 10-30 flowers.

The beautiful white starry flowers with smaller pink, daisy-shaped petals between the bushy, sword shape leaves create a decorative look. Each flower has a mini flower inside. They have a delicate sweet fragrance that is stronger in the evening, but you have to get really close to the plant.

It takes about 6 – 8 weeks from peduncle forming to flowering. Some growers have experienced more than 100 flowers in a single blooming season.

You can also make your Hoya Bella bloom prolifically in the following ways:

  • Move your plant to a brighter window and expose it to more daylight.
  • Water the Hoya Bella deeply, but infrequently, you should also mist your plant regularly and keep the indoor humidity level at least 40%.
  • Feed your Hoya Bella with a soluble fertilizer that has higher phosphorous content. It encourages and fuels plant blooms.
  • Prune the stems in late winter; this will allow the plant to bush out and produce new flower peduncles and buds.

This Hoya is an easy one for beginners to start their Hoya plant collection. It will bloom for you very easily and quickly.

 

Common problems with Hoya Bella

Always inspect your newly bought Hoya Bella for pests and diseases. One of the best approaches for safe gardening is to quarantine your new plants for a week or two.

This isolation period will ensure your new plant does not transfer any bugs, viruses, or diseases to other plants. If there is any pest, it will most probably appear in this period; then, you can treat your plant, take precautions, or in worst cases, destroy the plant.

 

Plant Pests

Hoya Bellas are famous for attracting pests like mealybugs, spider mites, and fungus gnats. Therefore frequently treat your plant with neem oil. It is a natural oil that will help deter pests from your plants for the long term.

You have to be very cautious of over-watering the Hoya Bella because it can attract mealybugs and fungus gnats.

Mealybugs feed on the plant sap and deprive your plant of essential nutrients that are required during photosynthesis. They also feed on any new growth on the plant and can cause a great deal of damage in a short time.

Mealybugs grow exponentially, causing your precious Hoya plant to die. Avoid over-fertilizing your indoor plants because mealybugs will thrive in nitrogen-rich potting soil.

You can remove them using rubbing alcohol. Just submerge a Q-tip or cotton ball in rubbing alcohol and dab it on the insects, this will dry out the insects. Remove them using a paper towel.

You can also wash your plant with gentle soap and water mixture to control the infection.

Spider mites are tiny destructive pests that are white, red, black, or tan spiders that create webs on indoor houseplants. They use these webs for protection and to crawl on the plant. They thrive in warm, dry conditions and are a major problem for indoor plants, especially during the winter.

Examine the underside of the leaves and the joints for any webs to identify spider mites. These sap-sucking pests reproduce very quickly and are fully grown adults in about a week after they hatch.

The first step of treatment is to separate your infected plant. Then wash your plant with a homemade insecticidal soap in a sink or bathtub.

You can prepare this solution using 1 teaspoon of liquid soap in 1 liter of water. Misting your plant’s leaves with water can help keep away the spider mites.

Fungus gnats can infect almost every houseplant, including the Hoya Bella. These tiny black flying bugs crawl on the potting soil instead of the foliage. You’ll notice them when you disturb the soil or water your plant.

They grow in moist soil and cannot thrive in dry soil so you can control the soil moisture to eliminate or prevent fungus gnats.

You can also install the yellow sticky traps to attract and capture these flying insects. You can use an insecticidal soap or soapy water to kill them and finally replace the top few inches of the soil.

 

Mold growing on the potting soil

This mold is harmless and can occur due to two reasons, i.e., light deficiency or over-watering. You can easily remove this mold by replacing the top two inches of the soil with a fresh batch of the potting mixture.

Now you can either increase the amount of light received or slightly decrease the frequency of watering. If your plant has yellowing leaves in addition to mold, it might be suffering from root rot.

 

Tips for growing a Hoya Bella

  • Do not move or transplant the Hoya Bella when it is flowering.
  • Do not cut any of the flower stalks from the Hoya Bella after the bloom period is over. These stalks will create additional blooms in the next season.
  • This plant is a tender perennial; it is best to bring it inside during winter months for climates with regular or heavy frost

 

Hoya Bella FAQ

 

The peduncles on my Hoya Bella are turning yellow and falling off, what can I do?

Your plant needs more light, change the position of your Hoya Bella, and move it to a brighter spot. The semi-succulent leaves need a bit more humidity. Increase the humidity around the plant. If you are growing it as a hanging plant, place the humidifier directly below the plant.

Which is the best way to grow Hoya Bella?

The best option is to grow it as a hanging plant. This dangling plant grows downward, and the flowers are also upside down. So you enjoy the best view of the Hoya Bella from a hanging basket.

What is the difference in the physical appearance of different Hoya Bella variants?

The standard Hoya Bella plant has no markings, and all leaves are medium green in color. H. Bella Albomarginata has green centered leaves with white margins. There is another variant known as H. Bella Luis Buis, which has a white center with red marking and green margins. The variegated varieties are a bit expensive and rarely available compared to the regular one.

Is Hoya Bella poisonous?

Yes, it is poisonous if ingested. So keep the plant away from pets and children

What happens if I remove the peduncles from my Hoya plant?

Peduncles are the place where flowers will appear, and the hoyas always flower on the same peduncles. If you cut any stem with peduncles, you are removing that stems ability to bloom in the future. If you have accidentally removed a peduncle stem while pruning, there is nothing to worry about. You can root that stem in a new pot or even better gift it to another Hoya enthusiast.

 

Conclusion

Hoya Bella is a miniature waxplant that has always been a favorite trailing plant for gardens or indoor spaces. Just Like many other hoya species, this one is also epiphytic in its natural habitat, meaning that it’s an air plant with crinkly succulent leaves.

Hoya Bella is very easy to care for as long as you keep it in a bright spot and watch out for watering. Never let your plant dry out completely, or you’ll lose it.

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