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Hoya Obscura Care Done Right

Hoya Obscura Care Done Right

Hoya Obscura is from the Hoya genus. It’s one of the fastest-growing plants in the Philippines and has some gorgeous blooms that will grab your attention instantly.  Compared to other Hoyas, the Hoya Obscura is small or medium-sized, has fast growth, and has stiff stalks that do not twine with each other.

Hoya Obscura is not demanding at all and only requires the simplest of plant care. They enjoy well-drained soil and thrive in warm to humid conditions similar to most other tropical flowers. Wet soil should be avoided as they don’t love it and provide them with at least half a day’s worth of sunlight.

The medium-sized leaves of this plant are fascinating to observe as they are green in color when kept under a shade but start to turn red when exposed to sunlight during winters. The leaves also have pinnate veining when they are grown under shade rather than direct sunlight.

Hoya Obscura resides in lowland areas but can also be found at a high altitude of about 1000m above the sea level. Whether this plant is located in lowland or highland, it is often seen clinging on to a host tree or with another companion plant for support.

The Hoya Obscura is considered as epiphyte vegetation and can easily be overtaken by larger growing epiphytes. Though this species of Hoya is a dangling plant, it is capable of becoming a root climber when the stems come in contact with other plants or any sort of support.

 

 

Basic Plant Care for Hoya Obscura

 

Soil

You can use any indoor potting mix for your plant as Hoya Obscuras do not have high demands when it comes to the type of soil it prefers. Try to find a soil mix with chunkier and more porous materials since it can help with your plant’s growth as such a mixture will prevent water from sitting around the roots of your plant.

You can also use a soil mixture that contains the following:

  • Good quality potting mix
  • Orchid bark
  • Perlite
  • Horticultural charcoal

When taking care of your plant, make sure that not only should the soil mixture matter, but so should the pH of the soil. You can keep the pH around 6.1 to 6.5, which is mildly acidic, or 6.6 to 7.5, which is neutral.

 

Water

Hoya Obscura needs an average amount of water. It can also be watered regularly, but should never be overwatered. These hanging plants should be allowed to dry out between each watering session for optimum growth.

Hoya Obscura is a succulent plant, so its leaves do not become soft when they need water, unlike other Hoya plants. I prefer watering the plants after the soil has become dry and sometimes let it remain dry for some days.

During the winter season, keep the plant dry and let it receive plenty of sunlight. If you do not keep the plant dry during this season, then the chances of fungal infections can increase. However, the same watering pattern cannot be applied after the winter season ends, and the plant starts to grow again.

During summer, the plants require much more water, so if you keep the soil moist the majority of the days, it will not put the plant in any danger such as rotting of the roots.

Hoya Obscura will tolerate the outdoors during the summer season but do fertilize them more during these times as they are growing. Do not repot the plant during this time as the flower buds will abort blooming.

During the spring season, allow the plant to remain outdoors as it can soak up rainwater and sunlight for growth. Remember to keep your plants indoors during the autumn season as the temperature at night can drop to 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

 

Light

Hoya Obscuras love to bathe in the sun; this means they love to be exposed to sunlight. This plant mostly receives its shades from nearby plants, but the shade is not always required since sunlight does not cause harm to them.

The safest thing to do for their growth is to keep them under partial shade rather than exposing them to sunlight the whole day.

 

Temperature

Hoya Obscura grows best in temperatures ranging from 53.6 to 59 degrees Fahrenheit during the winter, while in the summer, they prefer a temperature range of 86 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. These plants can survive the rainy seasons during the summer but are also capable of surviving dry seasons.

 

Humidity

There are many species of Hoya, and each one of them has their own preference of humidity level. But the Hoya Obscura is capable of growing well in household humidity levels. However, they do tend to grow better in higher humidity percentages, which should be around 60 percent.

 

Fertilizer

Hoya Obscura is considered as an epiphytic plant. These plants are capable of taking up nutrients through their foliage; this means that they can take up the nutrients they need while climbing trees.

However, like other plants, Hoya Obscura also enjoys being fertilized, especially during their growing season. It is best to use a balanced, organic fertilizer on a monthly or weekly basis. Keeping this schedule of fertilization will allow your plant to not get over-fertilized and ensure healthy growth.

You can use a synthetic fertilizer at half or a quarter of its strength. I prefer spraying my Hoya Obscura once or twice a month. However, several people love to spray their Hoya Obscura every week or after a few days’ gaps.

There is no one way to do things, so you can find out what works best for your plant by slowly increasing or decreasing the amount of fertilizer you use.

 

Repotting

Hoya Obscura does not love to be repotted regularly, so this is something you do not have to stress over. Many people recommend that you should repot your Hoya Obscura only when necessary.

Your Hoya Obscura has a high chance of dying due to the stress caused to the plant during repotting. This plant grows best when you let it grow and bloom while letting it stay root-bound.

The best thing you can do for your plant is to let it grow in its nursery pot and if you do not like the appearance of your pot, then choose it wisely at the start of planting itself so that all your effort does not go to waste.

I repot Hoya Obscuras when:

  • The potting mix that I have placed my Hoya Obscura in becomes too watery, which will increase the chances of the roots to rot.
  • The plant has been infested by some pests such as mealybugs.
  • The plant starts to dry out even when watered regularly. This shows that your plant is extremely root bound and needs a larger pot.
  • My Hoya Obscura’s health and growth do not seem efficient. So in order to check the health, I must observe the roots.
  • The plant is smaller in size when compared with the pot.

 

Pruning

When you prune your plant, you will have to be extremely careful. Do not cut off any portion of the veins that have a spur on. Each time your Hoya Obscura will flower, it will grow from an old spur or a new one. Each year the quantity of spur will increase and produce larger flowers.

If you absolutely have to cut off a vein that has a spur present on it, then it can be done. Cutting off the spur won’t cause your plant to die; in fact, it will encourage new growth and give your Hoya Obscura a fuller appearance.

The growth will lead to new branches on your plant, and these branches may have more spurs present on them. If you want to prune your plant, then you only need to purchase some sharp shears. Just cut below the small swelling (node) of the plant’s vein from a good angle to perfectly prune your plant.

Do not cut any further than 1/3 of the plant, and cut off any leaves that appear to be unhealthy from around the stems.

 

Propagation

  • If you want to propagate a Hoya Obscura, then all you need to do is cut off some of the roots during the dormant period.
  • Then place your root in a well-draining pot, keep the pot moist, and do not overwater it. Once your plant has shown some growth, you can move it into a new pot.
  • You can also propagate by cutting the stems, similar to pruning. Firstly, you will have to cut just below the node with shears. The cut should be a maximum of 4 inches in length.
  • Secondly, remove the leaves on the lower end of the stem so that the roots have an ample amount of space to take up nutrients once developed.
  • Thirdly, place the stem in a growing medium such as well-drained soil. Keep the soil moist, not wet. Now you are done, it may not sound simple, but it is quite easy.

To propagate with seeds, all you have to do is allow the pods to dry out and break them open to collect the seeds. Seeds are not easy to store, so sow them as soon as possible.

 

Blooms

The Hoya Obscura seems extremely floriferous as it has a never-ending supply of flowers. The small flowers on this plant are similar to another species of Hoya known as Hoya Lacunosa. Hoya Obscura has a pink/salmon color star-shaped flowers with a yellow center.

This flower tends to grow most during the warmer seasons and has a strong pleasant fragrance. Every person that has smelled this flower has given their own description of the flower scent, such as “fresh lemon,” “lavender perfume,” and “spiced honey fragrance.”

The flowers face the earth, and this is known as the geotropic umbel. Because of this characteristic, it is difficult for photographers to capture the plant’s beauty as the back-light gets disrupted. The best way to describe the flower is that it is made up of fuzzy balls with a yellow star stuck on them.

The flowers last for mostly two days, but many other flowers are already blooming before the death of an old one. Just be sure to provide the plant with proper living conditions, and it will show proper growth.

If you wish to create a beautiful aesthetic in your house, then put this plant in a hanging pot to show off the unique flowers that bloom on it.  Despite the lack of attention, Hoya Obscura is still capable of providing you with beautiful flowers.

 

Growth

If you provide your plant with the optimum temperature, along with perfect conditions for its growth, then the length can range from 6 to 8 ft. This plant does not have a specific season for growth as it blooms throughout the year.

In terms of strength, the Hoya Obscura lacks it. It can survive well in different types of weather conditions but still does not have the strongest body as compared to other plants.

 


 

Common Problems with Hoya Obscura

 

Aphids

Aphids love to target indoor plants, but even outdoor plants are not safe from them. They leave behind a sticky honeydew after they are done feeding, which invites fungal disease and ants.

Suppose you want to get rid of aphids, then all you have to do is cut off the part of the plant that is infested with them. To avoid future encounters with this pest, take on further precautions like not over-fertilizing your plant.

 

Mealybugs

Mealybugs are hard to spot as they prefer hiding in the nooks and crannies of plants. They are also white in appearance when on top of leaves, which further reduces your ability to spot them. They use their mouths to suck the sap from leaves causing them to turn yellow and curl up.

They are easy to control if found during the earlier stages of infestation. To control them, just get a Q-tip and dip it into rubbing alcohol, then wipe the plant with it.

If the infestation increases, then use pesticide spray. Using a more organic option such as neem oil may be better for your plant

 

Scale

These pests are extremely frustrating to take care of as their scale armor makes it hard for pesticide sprays to kill them. The best way to get rid of scales is by removing them by hand and then spraying on pesticide spray.

You will need to continue observing the plant for a couple of weeks to remove any more scales, and you’ll have to apply pesticide spray if you were using it before as well.

 

Spider mites

Hoya Obscura is meant to be kept in humid environmental conditions for a reason, and one of these reasons include spider mites. Spider mites invade plants due to the environment being dry and go unnoticed until a huge infestation occurs.

You can wash your plant thoroughly by blasting water on the front and backside of the leaves. Also, blast water on to the stems to knock some of the spider mites off. You will likely need to spray pesticide spray on the plant several times throughout the week.

 

Tips for Growing Hoya Obscura

  • Keep them in a pot spacious enough for some growth as they do not need to be repotted often.
  • Keep the humidity levels normal or, if possible, around 60%.
  • Do not overwater or over-fertilize your Hoya Obscura.

 

Frequently Asked Questions about Hoya Obscura

 

Should I mist my Hoya Obscura?

Some people like to mist their plant to increase the humidity level, but this might not always be a good option as overwatering your plant can cause the leaves to drop and the tips of your plant to turn brown.

 

How often should I let my Hoya Obscura sit in the sun?

Leave them out in the sunlight for half of the day.

 

What fertilizer is good for Hoya Obscura?

Slow-release fertilizers are the best choice. Once the plant growth starts, use a liquid fertilizer to provide the plant with regular feed as it promotes further growth.

 

What time of the year will my Hoya Obscura bloom?

They bloom throughout the year.

 

Is my Hoya Obscura not safe for cats?

This plant is not toxic but can still make animals sick.

 

Can I use any fertilizer for Hoya Obscura?

Any fertilizer that has high nitrogen content can be used. You can look into things that have been added into the fertilizer by reading the nutrient ratio listed on the package.

 

How long does it take for Hoya Obscura to root?

This process can take up to three to four weeks.

 

Conclusion

Hoya Obscura has some of the most beautiful blooms in the world, and these blooms have a uniqueness that no other plant does. They are not at all difficult to take care of and give you plenty of blooms throughout the year.

This plant would bring the perfect scent to your home. But remember, no matter how low maintenance this plant maybe do not neglect it as some care is always needed for your plant to thrive.

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