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Hoya Ciliata Care – A Step By Step Guide

Hoya Ciliata Care – A Step By Step Guide

(image credits, IG: plants_poodles_me)

The Hoya Ciliata is a sight to behold with its star-shaped black flowers and yellow stars on top. If you are looking for exotic plants, especially those with dark colors, the Hoya Ciliata or ‘Black Hoya’ is for you. For those who love peanut butter, things are about to get even more enjoyable for you.

The Hoya Ciliata is a fast grower with typical houseplant needs. It enjoys warm weather and temperatures between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18-27 degrees Celsius) and high humidity of about 80%. It likes sunlight but only when it is bright and filtered. It prefers being kept in well-draining peat-based soils.

The Hoya Ciliata mainly grows in tropical, subtropical, and Mediterranean regions such as Indonesia and Malaysia according to Kiew Science. It is widely grown as an ornamental plant and its characteristic peanut-butter fragrant blooms. The Black Hoya is a succulent species that is an evergreen and perennial.

The Ciliata plant is a member of the Apocynaceae family and the Eriostemma species. It is not only easy to grow but also produces a pleasant odor and is non-toxic, making it an excellent choice for houseplant owners that have kids or pets around.



Hoya Ciliata Plant Care



Since most of the Hoya species, including the Ciliata plant, are used to having organic-rich substance fall on them from above. The Hoya Ciliata plant thrives in soil that is well-draining and rich in organic matter. For healthy growth, the use of a good-quality soil mix is essential.

I suggest you create a blend of organic potting soil mix; compost, worm castings, and orchid grow mix (fine bark and perlite). The ideal pH for the Hoya Ciliata is mildly acidic to neutral (6.1 to 7.5).

The key to keeping your Hoya Ciliata plant happy and healthy is using the right soil mix and preventing any water accumulation in the soil. Also, please ensure that your potting mix is well-aerated and does not contain an excess of nutrients.

If you are planting your Hoya Ciliata plant in a decorative pot or container, make sure it has plenty of drainage holes at the bottom. The pot should allow easy drainage and have good airflow.

Nutrients in excessive quantity in the soil can cause toxicity, which leads to the plant’s death. Therefore, make sure that you do not add too much organic matter or fertilizer into the soil. Wash the soil out if necessary.



The Hoya Ciliata plant is of mesic type. It enjoys water but only in limited quantities. Establishing a definite watering schedule for the Ciliata plant can be a little tricky; therefore, it is best to look at its soil and decide accordingly if it needs water.

The Black Hoya plant needs its soil to be moist at all times. Therefore, watering it every other day is necessary. However, it would be best if you let the plant’s soil dry out in between watering.

To check whether your Hoya Ciliata plant needs water, take a look at the soil’s top 1 to 2 inches. If the top layer seems dry, add water. On the other hand, if the top few inches seem too wet, withhold watering and let the top inches dry out slightly.

Generally, the warmer it is, the higher should be the watering frequency. If your Hoya Ciliata is growing in a bright sunny spot, water it 2 to 3 times a week after checking its soil. In contrast, if it is in a moist, shady environment, reduce your watering frequency.

Please ensure that the Hoya Ciliata is not left in standing water. As a general rule, water your Ciliata plant profusely during the summer and scarcely during the colder months, preferably with lukewarm water. I also suggest you use low-chlorine content water.



The growth of any plant is primarily dependent on the type and duration of light it is exposed to. The Hoyas are from tropical regions. Therefore, they enjoy being kept in filtered sunlight throughout the year.

The Hoya Ciliata plant, in particular, requires bright, dappled sunlight to thrive. If it is out in insufficient sunlight, the plant may react by growing brown leaves and vines. The vines may also begin to grow leggy.

If the Hoya Ciliata plant is exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods, the leaves may turn brown or scorch. You can put your Black Hoya next to south or southwest facing windows. Another option is to tie an 80% shade cloth to a sunny window and place the Ciliata plant in front of it.

Alternatively, you can use artificial growing lights to grow the Hoya Ciliata plant.



When speaking about tropical climates, the first thing that comes to mind is warm temperatures. Similar is the case with Hoya Ciliata. This tropical species likes being kept in warm temperatures.

The preferred temperature range for Hoya Ciliata is 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 27 Celsius). It can withstand unfavorable temperatures for some time due to its succulent leaves. However, eventually, the plant may dry out or wilt.

During the summers, the Ciliata plant can be kept outside or inside the house in most regions. The temperatures during this time fall within the plant’s tolerable range. However, things may get tough for the Ciliata plant owners during her harsher winter months.

These colder months are usually dormant, and so the plant does not actively grow. However, it is necessary to keep the plant in warmer temperatures during this time. Therefore, it is best to bring the plant inside to warmer temperatures.

I also recommend keeping your Hoya Ciliata plant away from direct drafts of wind from air conditioners and heaters.



The Hoya Ciliata plant has succulent characteristics. Therefore, it can tolerate unfavorable humidity levels for a long time. However, for healthy growth, it is best to keep the plant in its favorable environment.

The ideal humidity level for the Hoya Ciliata plant is 60% to 80% during the day and 80% to 100% throughout the night.

If you are having trouble maintaining this high level of moisture, simply mist your plant’s surroundings. You can also group your houseplants in one room for fair moisture distribution.

Many houseplant owners also prefer using humidifiers, which help maintain ideal moisture levels for a long time.

Although the Hoya Ciliata plant requires high humidity for survival, it can also fall prey to diseases due to this same reason. Therefore, please keep a close eye on your Ciliata plant and correct any abnormality you see before it spreads to other parts of the plant.



The Hoya Ciliata plant is one of the light-feeding Hoyas. Feeding it every day is not necessary. The Black Hoya grows just fine when fed about once or twice a week with good-quality fertilizer.

Plants mostly prefer fertilizers that contain plenty of nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. Phosphorus plays a significant role in bloom development; therefore, it must be present abundantly in flower-producing species, such as the Hoya Ciliata plant.

Look for a fertilizer specifically designed for Hoya plants, and preferably, has a ratio of 3:1:2 or 2:1:2. You can either feed your Ciliata plant regularly or simply pour some slow-release liquid fertilizer over the plant’s soil.

For solid-based fertilizers, a feeding schedule of 1 to 3 times a week is sufficient. When it comes to slow-release fertilizers, add it to your Ciliata plant’s soil when it is moist. Pour the fertilizer a few inches away from the base of the plant to avoid nutrient toxicity.

At the end of the growing seasons, summer and early spring, you can wash out your Ciliata plant’s soil by thoroughly adding water into its roots and base. However, make sure no water accumulates at the plant’s bottom.



Another reason why the Hoya Ciliata plant is an excellent houseplant choice is that it does not require frequent repotting. You can repot your Black Hoya after about a year, and it will grow happily.

When you notice that the Hoya Ciliata plant’s roots have outgrown its current pot or the plant seems too closely packed in its container, repot it.

You can use a pot that is a few diameters greater than the Ciliata plant’s older pot. This tropical black beauty looks stunning against lightly colored pots. Therefore, choose a decorative pot that best compliments the Hoya Ciliata plant’s dark-colored flowers.



The Hoya Ciliata is an exotic and rare plant that may need some pruning from time to time due to various reasons. One reason is aesthetics; it is natural for most plants to look more attractive when they are pruned with regular and well-maintained vines.

Another reason is to minimize the spread of infection. A leaf or vine may be diseased and start looking abnormal. In such a case, I suggest you cut off the diseased vines with a pair of pruning shears before the disease spreads further.

I recommend you disinfect and sterilize your plant tools after each use.



The Hoya Ciliata plant’s propagation is relatively easier than other Hoyas. You will need a healthy Ciliata plant, an appropriate prepared soil mix, lukewarm water, and disinfected gardening equipment for propagating it. I suggest you do this during the growing seasons, summer and spring, for higher chances of successful propagation.


Stem Cuttings Method

  • Please start with sterilizing all your gardening equipment. This will minimize the possibility of the spread of infection.
  • Next, choose a non-flowering stem from the Ciliata plant and cut off a few pieces from it.
  • Take such a cutting that each has at least two nodes at the end.
  • Now, take your prepared potting mix, fill up a pot with it, and cover it with plastic. This will enhance the humidity levels in the mix. Similarly, you can use a propagator.
  • Now please put the cuttings in the soil mix.
  • Add growth hormone or rooting powder to this potting mix. This will increase the probability of successful propagation and promote growth.
  • Please make sure that the temperature is favorable (70 degrees Fahrenheit or 21 Celsius).
  • You can employ a propagator for maintaining the adequate temperature or use heat mats.
  • Water and feed the baby Ciliata plant regularly.

Please be patient while the Ciliata plantlet grows. During the first 14 days, the plant needs extra care, water, and good-quality fertilizer. Please protect your Ciliata plant from all possible infections during this time as it is most susceptible.



The Black Hoya plant mostly grows flowers during the summer and early or mid-fall seasons.

The Hoya Ciliata plant gives rise to showy and very dark-colored, almost black, star-shaped blooms. At the center of the flowers is another yellow star-shaped corona-like structure.

The flowers have a pleasant peanut-butter-like smell and are around 1 to 2 inches (25 to 50 millimeters) in size.



The Hoya Ciliata plant grows in USDA zone 11: above 40 Fahrenheit (4.5 Celsius). The plant can reach a height of about 15 to 20 feet (4.7 to 6 meters).

It gives rise to pale green leaves with a hairy appearance that spread to about 3 inches. The leaves are pale green, with a soft and fuzzy appearance. They have a twining habit. The Hoya Ciliata blooms are maroon or almost black and grow 1 to 2 inches in diameter.

The plant actively grows in summer until mid-fall and may become dormant during the harsher winter months. The Hoya Ciliata plant is best suited to being grown in containers and is a perennial evergreen species.



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Common Problems for Hoya Ciliata


Pests and Bugs

The Hoya Ciliata is a reasonably resistant plant. However, mealybugs can attack its leaves and stems from time to time. If your Black Hoya is infested, begin treatment with direct water jet-sprays to bring the bugs down the plant. Then, use insecticidal spray or soap and mist it thoroughly over the Hoya Ciliata plant’s affected leaves and stems.

Another frequent attacker of the Ciliata plant is Aphids. They can be present on the Hoya Ciliata plant’s flowers, particularly the ones producing nectar. For getting rid of the aphids, use insecticidal spray or soap.


Botrytis Blight

Botrytis Blight, widely known as gray mold, is a fungal disease of the Hoya Ciliata plant. It frequently attacks the buds, flowers, bulbs, and leaves of the Ciliata plant. It is the most common cause of decay in the plant’s flowers.

A plant that is affected by Botrytis Blight has abnormal-looking blooms with irregular flecks and brown spots. The same spots also emerge on the leaves and stems.

To minimize the possibility of attack, practice good plant hygiene. Please remember to disinfect all your gardening tools. For treating plants that are affected by Botrytis Blight, use a fungicide, and avoid overcrowding and over-feeding the plants.


Stunted Growth

A frequent problem several Ciliata houseplant owners experience is the slow or stunted growth of the Hoya plant. There can be various reasons for this problem; however, it frequently occurs due to overwatering or under-watering.

The Hoya Ciliata plant’s growth rate may slow down due to inadequate or excessive water-supply. If your plant’s roots are rotting, known as root-rot, you need to lower the watering frequency.

Likewise, if the Ciliata plant’s leaves have become yellow or the plant is wilting, you are not providing it with sufficient water. Change the plant’s watering schedule and water it frequently. However, do not overdo it as it may lead to other problems.


Scale Insects

Scale insects often attack Hoyas. They suck the sap from the plant’s leaves, stems, and stalks. When infected, the affected plant forms large waxy white patches on the stem and stalks.

To inspect your Hoya Ciliata plant for scale insects, please turn the plant’s leaves over and look for little raised bumps. If you see any, your plant is most probably infested by scale insects.

To treat the Ciliata plant, spray it thoroughly with insecticidal spray.


Tips for Growing Hoya Ciliata


Following are some tips for an unhappy Hoya Ciliata:

  • Place the Ciliata plant in bright, filtered sunlight.
  • Wait for the plant’s soil to slightly dry out before watering it.
  • Do not grow the Ciliata plant in standing water.
  • Make sure the potting soil is well-aerated and well-draining.
  • Avoid placing the plant in extreme temperatures.


Frequently Asked Questions about Hoya Ciliata


Why is my Hoya Ciliata plant not flowering?

This can be due to a wide variety of reasons, including frequent and unnecessary repotting and insufficient sunlight. Let the Ciliata plant be somewhat root-bound and grow it in a partially sunny spot.


How can I make my Hoya Ciliata plant grow faster?

For relatively faster growth, fertilize the Hoya plant biweekly during the growing months. Furthermore, keep your plant in its ideal environment and water it regularly.


Are Hoya Ciliata plants evergreen?

The Hoya Ciliata plants remain green and colorful throughout the year when given the appropriate care, despite the changing seasons.


The Hoya Ciliata plant is an exotic species extensively grown for its pale green leaves that produce a striking look against its black flowers. This tropical beauty has a simple care guide and is non-toxic. Therefore, it is one of the best Hoyas to add to your houseplant collection.

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