Caring For Your Hoya Obscura
The Hoya Obscura is one of the most unique plants in the world. Their glossy, waxy leaves set them apart from the rest of the plants in any garden. This is a type of plant that sticks to its shape while it’s young, and the leaves just grow bigger with time. The only thing that changes is the opacity of the leaves, they get thinner, and lose some of their color in the process, but the overall shape stays the same.
Contrary to what most people think, this plant isn’t very difficult to grow! It requires you to have adequate information to grow it, but if you go in with a plan, you’ll be able to grow Hoya Obscura as if it were just growing in the wild!
While there isn’t a lot of care required, the right care is key to making sure no matter what plan you’ve decided to grow, it grows well and stays healthy forever. This guide is the starting point to making that happen!
How To Care For Your Hoya Obscura
Here are the basics of caring for your Hoya Obscura. With this information in hand, you’ll be able to grow the plant just right!
When it comes to any type of plant, soil is quite literally where you start. So make sure that this part is always taken care of. Hoya Obscura needs high quality, light and well-draining. Chunkier soil does best here because it’s very easy for the water to drain through it. That way, even if you’re not particularly careful about watering it the right amount, chances are it’ll be able to drain out the excess water easily and keep the plant root as healthy as possible.
Regular potting mix does the trick here, so if you already have some left over from the rest of the garden, it can easily be used here too. However, if that’s not available, try adding perlite, and orchid bark or any other additives that could help with the draining and the plant should still be able to grow just fine.
The point here is to have the soil be as nutrient rich as possible, and have enough drainage that the plant isn’t at constant risk of water logging and is able to get plentiful oxygen through the gaps in the soil. The right soil conditions are essential to making sure the plant grows well.
Even though Hoya Obscura is a houseplant, it’s not one to shy away from the sun. This is a plant that really thrives in sunlight, and needs plenty of it to stay vibrant. If you put it in a spot that’s away from the windows or simply doesn’t get direct sunlight, the colors will start to fade and the leaves might not be able to keep their consistency.
For best growth, this plant should be placed in direct sunlight for at least 6 hours every day. Placing it near a sun facing window would do best so it’s able to harness all the direct day sun that it possibly can. If that’s not possible, just move the plant to a sunlit area for a few hours in the day, so it’s able to soak the sunlight and keep growing.
The Hoya Obscura doesn’t really need copious amounts of water. It’s semi-succulent, and can survive just fine with moderate watering here and there. That means that if you’re watering this one like a “regular” plant, chances are that the water will stay trapped in the soil and cause severe water logging.
It’s best to allow the soil of this plant to partially dry between waterings. It’s better to let the soil dry a little too much than have it be too overwatered. Not only does over watering put the plant at risk for root, but it’ll also be at risk for developing major fungal infections which might end up destroying the planet from the root to the top.
To avoid overwatering, just use your finger to check how wet the soil is. If that’s too confusing for you, get a moisture meter that will tell you exactly how wet the soil really is so you water it just when it’s dry enough. With accurate readings there’s no need for expert guesswork, just follow the numbers and you’re good.
Hoya Obscura originates from the Philippines, which means that it likes to be in highly humid areas. The plant prefers being in at least 60% humidity throughout the year. In this type of environment, it’ll grow the best leaves and the color will also stay bright and vibrant.
While that might be ideal humidity levels, it doesn’t mean that the plant cannot survive without it. It usually does well in average room humidity, so if you’re not using air conditioning or heaters, the plant will be just fine. Just make sure that the humidity levels aren’t falling lower than 30, and it should still be good to go. If you’re noticing the leaves turning brown slightly, or the foliage isn’t doing that well, it’s a sign that the humidity levels are too low and need to be raised.
If your area doesn’t have enough humidity to keep the plant growing the way it’s supposed to, you can get a humidifier. With it, you’ll be able to read the humidity levels of the room, and add extra humidity wherever needed.
Hoya obscura can do well in moderate temperatures, but it does best in 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. During the summer time, when the humidity levels are higher, it can also fare well in 86 to 100 degrees as well. High temperatures and direct sunlight isn’t a problem at all, but anything lower than 55 degrees may cause harm to the plant overall. If your area is prone to frost and freezing temperatures, the plant will not survive and you will have to take extra measures to keep it warm and humid enough to make it through the winter.
Even though Hoya Obscura leaves are known for being unique, their flowers are a step further up. However, the plant does need a bit of a boost here and there for it to grow the leaves and the flowers as best as possible.
It appreciates a fertilizing spell every spring to summer. That’s the growing season for this plant and with the extra fertilizer it has an easier time blooming to its full ability. During the growing season, take balanced liquid fertilizer that’s been diluted to about half strength. This way the plant won’t accidentally burn because of over fertilizing. You can add this mixture to the plant about once a month throughout the spring and summer. However, if you think that your plant isn’t really growing the way it’s supposed to, you could also add it every 15 days and see if that makes a difference.
It’s a good idea to stay away from fertilizer during fall and winter. The fertilizing from the growing season will be enough to help it get through the winter too.
While the Hoya Obscura is young, it will seem like the plant will just continue on in the tiny size, but that’s not the case. As it grows older, it’ll start to get quite big. If you’re growing it in a container, as soon as you notice the plant spilling over, get a pole and guide it up. That way, it will be able to grow up instead of all over the place. It’ll make it much easier to handle the plant because it can easily grow to around 8 feet too!
Even with the pole to climb on, this vining plant can grow very dense, so it will spread out as it gets older. In that case, you’ll have to start pruning it. The general rule of thumb here is to never prine away more than one third of the plant at a time. If you do, the growth gets affected greatly. Steer clear of the spurs so the flowers stay intact, although it is still fine to prune from spurs if you’re trying to get rid of a whole branch.
The key here is to remember, start slow. You can always prune more, but you can’t bring back something that’s already gone.
Hoya Obscura – Growing Tips
Growing the Hoya Obscura isn’t super difficult. The plant will grow well as long as you’re:
- Maintaining the humidity levels over 30% (60% to be ideal)
- Keeping it in a warm room
- Providing ample sunlight to the plant for at least 4-6 hours of the day
- Watering it just enough
- Make sure the soil is well draining
- Fertilize it when necessary
With these basic caring steps, the plant will be able to grow just right!
Common Problems With Hoya Obscura and How to Treat them
Now that we’ve been over the basic care requirements and growing tips, here are some of the most common problems you might have to face while growing the Hoya Obscura, and how you can treat them easily!
This is by far the most common problem most people run into. Hoya Obscura looks like a plant that would need a lot of water, but that’s not the case. Since it’s succulent, you can easily go days without watering it at all and it will actually thrive in that environment.
If you overwater it, you put it at risk for water logging, root rot, and foliage loss.
Hoya Obscura is usually grown indoors, but even then, it’s not immune to pests. You might notice ants, Mealybugs, or Spider mites on the plant. But that can be taken care of. For ants, just dust a little bit of ant killer on the plant every now and then. Mealybugs can be taken care of with a dab of alcohol on the leaves. Spider mites can be eliminated using insecticide.
With the pests gone, the plant will grow better and healthier, faster.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I be misting my Hoya Obscura?
If the plant isn’t in a room with adequate humidity levels, you can mist the plant every now and then to raise it.
How much sun does the Hoya Obscura need?
The plant thrives in direct sunlight, so keeping it by the window all day is best!
Is my Hoya Obscura not safe for pets?
While the Hoya Obscura isn’t toxic, ingesting the plant might make your pets sick.
How long does it take for Hoya Obscura to root?
Once you plant the Hoya Obscura, the roots should start to form within three to four week.
Wrapping It Up
The Hoya Obscura can be a great addition to just about any garden. As long as you’re patient while planting it, and taking care of it throughout the initial growing stages, there will come a point that you barely need to think about the care and constant upkeep of the plant, you’ll be able to take care of it super easily!
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