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For a gorgeous houseplant, the Hoya bella is an eye-catcher that is sure to please. The Hoya plants have many different shaped leaves and patterns. The best part is it is a hardy plant with scented blooms.
No wonder it is a gardener’s preferred plant. Today, we will look at this beautiful species and how you can care for it.
What is The Miniature Wax Plant?
Yes, Hoya bella is also known as the miniature wax plant named after a famous botanist Thomas Hoy. The botanical name for the plant is Hoya lanceolata ssp. Bella. The word Bella refers to beautiful, and this plant lives up to its name.
It is fast-growing foliage native to Indonesia, China, Australia, and India. Many botanists refer to them as the Wax Vine, Wax plant, or Porcelain flower. Centuries ago, people believed the wax plant symbolized protection and wealth.
The plant has waxy leaves and produces clusters of small star-shaped white or pinkish-purple flowers from May to August. The flowers have a sweet fragrance, and some people refer to it as the honey plant.
The exciting thing is there is another rare version of this plant discovered in 2007 with white flowers.
Miniature Wax Plant Care
Let’s take a quick look at this general overview on wax plant care.
Botanical Name: Hoya lanceolata subsp. bella
Common Name: Miniature wax plant, wax vine, wax plant, porcelain flower
Plant Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Native to: China, India, Indonesia, Australia
Leaf and Flowers: Waxy leaves with star-shaped flowers
Maximum Size: 3 ft. tall
Watering Requirements: Medium
Light Requirements: Full sun in the morning indoors and partial shade outside
Preferred Humidity: High
Preferred Temperature: 71°F-75°F (22°C to 24°C)
Soil or Potting Medium: Well-drained soil
Fertilizer: Water-soluble fertilizer
Propagation Method: Stem cuttings and water
Vulnerable to: Mealybugs, spider mites, and fungus gnats
You can quickly grow the Hoya bella plant in the home, garden, greenhouse, or conservatory. You can also grow it in a pot with a trellis to climb or in a hanging basket.
The Best Soil For Hoya
The first step to keep your Hoya lanceolata happy is using high-quality potting soil mixed with sand. Another important thing is to make sure the container you use has enough drainage holes. You can plant Hoya bella in a pot or hanging baskets.
The good news is you can use different soil types, but it needs to be aerated and well-draining. We recommend adding sand, grit, or charcoal to achieve the best results. Or you can make a loam-based compost using:
- Horticultural sand
- Leaf Mold
- Crushed bark
Alternatively, you can mix 1/3 tree bark, 1/3 perlite, and 1/3 peat moss. Your Hoya plant will love the potting mix as it has good aeration and will not end up soggy, leading to root rot.
Water Schedule for Hoya bella Plants
You can water the plant well and water again once the top inch or two of the ground is dry. Please do not leave the soil to become soggy or let your plant stand in the water. During the winter months, your tropical plant goes dormant and does not need a lot of water.
You can provide your waxflower with moderate water from spring to fall. But you must remember that the Bella cannot dry out compared to other Hoya species. Its leaves are small and less succulent to retain moisture. You will notice the leaves yellowing and fall off if underwater. Check the soil every five days to be sure.
So, where is the best place for your Hoya bella? First, of course, you can select a location where your plant can enjoy full sun in the morning. This is best applicable if your hoya is kept indoors.
But if you plant them outside, it is best to provide partial shade on a patio, porch, or balcony. Your exotic plant prefers dappled shade with 30-50% full sun. To prevent burnt leaves, it helps to keep your wax plant protected from the afternoon heat.
The Best Temperature and Humidity Conditions
You might think it is strange but Hoya bella prefers the colder temperatures at night. The best temperatures are 71°F-75°F (22°C to 24°C) for healthy growth. Lower temperatures between 55°F-59°F (12°C to 15°C) are allowed but should not go below 41°F (5°C).
As your Bella plant comes from the tropics, humidity plays an important part. It helps to keep it between 40-60%. To achieve this, you can place a drainage tray filled with gravel underneath the container. Fill it in with water at a low level making sure that the water does not touch the pot.
Hoya Bella Plant Fertilizer Needs
One thing gardeners enjoy when it comes to Hoya bella care it is not a heavy feeder. You can give your plant a liquid fertilizer twice a year in April and July. Or you can use your orchid fertilizer. During the winter months, you can stop feeding your plant as slows down its growth.
Alternatively, you can also use 1/2 a strength or organic seaweed extract about four times in the growing season. We recommend using a weak solution and increase the formulation based on the plant’s reaction.
The critical thing to remember is that this plant takes its nutrients through the leaves instead of the roots. So, the best is to use foliar fertilizers that you can apply through misting.
Hoya Bella Plant Propagation
One of the easiest ways to expand your Hoya plant collection is through propagation. You can do this by directly planting stem cuttings or by means of water propagation. Both are described here:
- You can do this method any time of the year. First, choose a cutting of at least three inches long with one set of leaves.
- Use your clean knife and cut below a node.
- Remove the lower leaves and place your vine cutting in moist potting soil as prescribed earlier. You can do this with the lower node submerged in the ground to help with root development.
- Water your cuttings every week until you notice roots developing. It will take about two weeks.
- If you want, you can place a plastic bag over the pot for increased humidity. Remove it after two months or when the plant has shown significant growth.
- You can also place the vine cutting in partial sun for growth.
- This propagation method can be done from spring to summer. First, choose a vine with at least two nodes. The one is for the foliage to develop and the other for the root growth.
- Use a clean knife and cut below a node.
- Remove the lower half of the leaves.
- Take a jar with lukewarm water and place the cutting inside it with the leaves above the waterline and one node in the water.
- Please make sure to replace the water weekly.
- Once you notice new roots forming and about two inches long, you can transfer them to the soil.
- Keep your plant protected from direct sunlight and provide it with the proper humidity.
- You can also place a plastic bag over it, as described in the stem cutting section.
- Open the bag every two days and leave it open for 1/2 an hour to provide air circulation.
- After a month, you can remove the bag and care for it as usual.
USDA Growth Zone
It’s good news if you live in the USDA hardiness zones 10 to 12. It will thrive as an outdoor plant. For example, you can place your wax plant next to a trellis or a climbing fence.
Potting Your Hoya Bella Plant
Your wax flower does not enjoy being disturbed often. It prefers to be root-bound. The best time to repot your Hoyas is in spring. But it will take about two to three years. When transplanting your wax vine, it helps to hydrate them 24-hours before the time to prevent transplant shock. Use repot a pot that has a size of two inches bigger.
Pruning Hoya Bella
There are times when you may find your Hoya bella growing wild and weird. Luckily, you can enhance its appearance with pruning. If you decide to do this, use a clean pruning shear to trim the dead leaves and stems. Also, do not over-prune your plant as it can hinder its blooming. Proper pruning will yield to better flowering.
Hoya Bella Blooms
If you provide your vining plant with the right conditions and proper care, it will flower throughout the year. Each flower cluster has up to 30 flowers with daisy-shaped petals. At night they have a sweet fragrance, but you need to get close to your plant. Further, it can take up to eight weeks from the peduncle to flowering. Some gardeners have experienced hundreds of flowers in a single blooming season. Here are some ways you can make your Hoya bella plants bloom prolifically:
- Place your plant at a bright window exposed to more daylight.
- Water your plant well but check the soil if it is dry before watering.
- You can also give it a misting and keep the indoor humidity levels at 40%.
- Use a soluble fertilizer high in phosphorous as it encourages blooms.
- Lastly, prune your plant in late winter, allowing them to bush out, producing new flower peduncles and buds.
Hoya Bella Varieties
You can find many Hoya species just as beautiful as your wax plant. Here are some of the other exotic plants you can add to your collection:
The plant has colossal wax deep-green leaves splotches with silver. It is a vigorous grower and vining plant with fragrant flowers in pink with red crowns.
The tropical plant has shiny dark green oval leaves spread with a pinkish flower with a red star crown. It is also a climbing plant and sinks its aerial roots into a support such as a moss pole.
This is another vining plant, yet you do not find them widely available. The waxy leaves stand out with a re-curve and are hairy underneath. When it blooms, it has lemon yellow flowers with red spots.
Hoya Bella Diseases & Pests
When it comes to your newly bought wax plant, always check for diseases and pests by quarantining them for two weeks. Doing this helps prevent the transfer of pests and diseases to your other houseplants.
Some of the pests that thrive on your Hoya bella are spider mites, mealybugs, and fungus gnats. To help prevent these critters from making your plant their home, it helps treat them with neem oil. Yet, it also helps to be cautious not to over-water your plant as it attracts fungus gnats and mealybugs.
Also, try not to over-fertilize your Hoya plant as mealybugs thrive in nitrogen-rich soil. The best remedy to remove these insects is rubbing alcohol with a q-tip or cotton ball and dab it on the pest. To remove them from the plant after drying out, take a paper towel.
Alternatively, you can wash your wax plant with dishwashing liquid mixed with water. To see if your vining plant has a spider mite infestation, check on the undersides of the leaves. Then, you can use the same method of mixing soap and water to spray on the leaves to help get rid of this pest.
Another concern with your Hoya bella is mold growing on the potting soil. While harmless, it can be from over-watering or a light deficiency. You can remove the mold by removing the top two inches of the ground and replacing it with a fresh batch. Then you need to see if placing your plant in more light helps decrease your water schedule. But, if you notice the leaves turning yellow, then your plant might be suffering from root rot.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Hoya bella like to be misted?
The only time you can mist your Hoya is when it is not budding to make sure it receives the right amount of moisture.
Is Hoya bella a fast-growing plant?
When you look at the Hoyas, they are known as slow growers. Yet, the Hoya bella is a fast grower and can expect the vines to grow out to three feet in every direction.
How does the Hoya bella flower smell?
The Hoya bella is part of a plant characterized as pollinia and found in two plant families, orchids and asclepiads. According to botanists, the plants are considered a scent mimic, and some smell like camphor, root beer, or rotten chicken. But the Bella has a sweet fragrance more noticeable at night.
Where can you buy Hoya bella?
You can find the Hoya bella sold at your local nursery or online. Still, you need not look far as the Hoya is available right here at Plantly.