Hoya bilobata care is similar to caring for pretty much all other hoyas. This post has all the care details you need to help this unique hoya plant thrive!
Hoya bilobata care & background on this unique plant
Ok, this is the last hoya I’ll be talking about for a while. Until I cave and get another variety, that is. 🙂 Today I’m writing about the hoya bilobata. I’m writing about this one on the heels of the hoya wayetii care post I did, and these two plants are really similar.
Hoya bilobatas are normally trailing plants but can be climbers as well. They produce lush, thick, rounded, olive-colored leaves with point tips. Real hoya bilobatas can be tougher to locate at your plant shop because they can often be mislabeled.
Be sure that your hoya bilobata does not state hoya sp. DS-70 or hoya tsangii on the bottom or side of the pot. These plants can all look very similar. Real hoya bilobatas have smaller flowers and it has hairless, lighter-colored leaves.
How much light does a hoya bilobata plant need?
Like other hoyas, the hoya bilobata is an easy to care for plant. The most important care requirements are proper sunlight and water.
The best location for your bilobata is a few feet away from a south-facing window. This will provide indirect bright light. Do not expose it to direct, hot sunlight as this can cause damage to the leaves.
If your hoya bilobata gets enough sunlight, it may develop a red tinge on the edges of the leaves. However, if your leaves are very red, this could be due to too much sunlight and indicate burning.
I had mine on our covered patio for the summer and have now moved it inside to some plant shelving I set up on the sunny end of our house. It’s in a corner between a south-facing window and a west-facing window.
Water & soil needs for hoya bilobata care
Hoyas in general are very sensitive to overwatering. Overwatering can suffocate the roots and lead to root rot. Only water once the soil begins to dry out. If the top few inches of the soil are dry, give your plant a thorough drink.
Be sure that the water runs through to the drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. Also, if you have the plant in a well-draining soil mix, you’ll get the most out of your waterings.
On that note—a light, airy, well-draining potting mix is preferred. The leaves are thick, waxy, and almost succulent-like. This allows the plant to hold onto water easily, so too much water in the roots will not be tolerated. A great soil mixture would be equal amounts of perlite, sphagnum moss, and orchid bark.
I have most of my hoyas in a mixture of a high-quality indoor potting soil with amendments already added in to help with drainage. Then I add a bit more coco coir and perlite for good measure.
Temperature & humidity
Hoya bilobatas do best in temperatures between 60 and 95°F. Like other hoyas from tropical and subtropical regions, they are not very tolerant of colder temperatures. If you have your hoya outside, be sure to bring it in once the nights begin to get colder.
Since these plants are from tropical and subtropical regions of the world, they love humidity. You can provide a little extra by using a humidifier or misting frequently. The best range for humidity for hoya bilobatas is 60 to 80 percent.
However, they do well in a variety of normal household humidity levels. My hoyas love summering outside on our patio in the super humid Maryland weather.
Like other hoyas, the hoya bilobata does not need too much fertilizer. A great routine to have is to simply fertilize once a month. Choose a balanced organic fertilizer. Or, if your hoya is in bloom, you can choose a fertilizer made specifically for blooms.
I do not generally use fertilizer on any of my houseplants anymore. Instead, I repot in the spring with fresh soil for many of my plants, and that typically has a slow-release fertilizer in it. If I’m not repotting, I use a fork to work some worm castings into the top layer of the soil.
Repotting & flowering
This is another type of hoya that prefers to be slightly root bound in its pot. Do not repot frequently. A good estimate of when you’ll need to repot your hoya bilobata is every two years. However, if you have issues with your potting soil or experience pests, repot right away but keep the same sized pot.
If you keep your hoya bilobata in a smaller pot, it is more likely to flower. Plenty of bright, indirect light will also help to encourage flowering. When your plant does finally flower, don’t remove the stalk that flowers grew from after your bilobata is done flowering. If you leave it, the stalk will grow new flowers.
Hoya bilobata’s flowers have a very sweet, almost birthday cake-like smell. And they are some of the smallest flowers in the hoya family.
Hoya bilobata propagation
The best way to propagate this hoya is through water or moss, and the process is a lot like hoya carnosa propagation. Take a stem cutting by cutting along a vine, ensuring that the cutting you make has a few nodes and leaves. (Nodes are the area where leaves meet the stem.)
Then, place this cutting into water and change the water out every week or so. Make sure the nodes remain submerged in the water, and you’ll soon see roots. Then, you can simply plant this and take care of it like the mother plant!
You can also take that stem cutting and put it in a mixture of damp sphagnum moss and perlite. (See my full sphagnum moss propagation guide for more.) Keep the moss moist but not wet, and keep humidity levels high. This can be done through putting a plastic bag over the cutting, or by putting it in a DIY propagation box.
Four common problems your hoya bilobata might experience
1. Dropping leaves
Leaves dropping off your hoya bilobata is most commonly caused by the plant not getting enough sunlight. Be sure that you place your hoya in a bright place that receives many hours of sunlight a day.
2. Root rot
Root rot is caused by overwatering. Be sure that your potting soil drains easily and that you allow the soil to dry out between waterings. Root rot could cause yellow, decaying leaves.
3. Leaves turning a reddish-brown
Red or brown-looking leaves are usually caused by the plant receiving too much direct sunlight and burning. A hoya bilobata receiving the right amount of sunlight may have a bit of red on the leaves, but not too much. Make sure that your hoya bilobata receives bright indirect light.
4. Houseplant pests
Common pests for the hoya bilobata are mealybugs and aphids. Mealybugs are common for all types of hoyas. You’ll need to quarantine your plant and pick these off one by one. Or you could use a water jet to spray them off.
Aphids are small green bugs that normally cluster by the blooms of these plants. You can also get rid of these by removing them by hand or spraying the plant with a strong jet of water.
After any of these pests occur, it is also a good idea to spray your entire plant down with diluted neem oil or other store bought pesticide spray design specifically for houseplant pests.