Hoya Bella is a beautiful bushy perennial waxflower that turns heads. A long-lived house plant that’s perfect for hanging baskets, it produces round clusters of sweet-smelling flowers. Want to add it to your collection? Then, learn how to keep this beautiful plant happy and healthy!
The hoya Bella grows best when it is provided with 1) a small deep planter, 2) quick-draining soil, 3) filtered water when it is almost dry, 4) 6 hours of bright indirect light, 5) temperatures at 71–85°F, 6) 40% humidity, 7) regular pruning every late winter, and 8) liquid fertilizer monthly.
William Hooker, the first director of the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, described the fragrant hoya as an amethyst set in frosted silver. It is beloved by millions, but is it easy to care for? Read forward to learning how to properly care for your miniature wax flower so it will not die!
Ideally, hoya Bella plants should be placed in small terracotta pots that are 6 inches wide and deep. The hoya roots prefer being constricted in a small space.
Hoya Bella, when obtained from a nursery, usually comes in small flexible plastic planters that are only 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter.
Plant nurseries typically sell these plants in tiny plastic pots, which can hold too much moisture for the plants’ liking. Having said that, make sure that it also has adequate drainage holes to prevent waterlogged hoya plants.
Terracotta pots, in comparison, work wonderfully for Hoya Bella due to their high porosity and ability to wick out excess water from the soil.
So if you do decide to continue growing your Hoya Bella in its original nursery pot, it may take two to three years before you need to report to a bigger terracotta pot.
Preferably, you need to find a container that’s at the very least 6 inches (15 cm) in diameter and depth. You can check out a planter like the one below on Amazon.
For optimum growth, keep Hoya Bella in a quick-draining potting mix composed of equal parts loam soil, sharp sand, and ground bark/charcoal. Coco peat, perlite, and burnt rice hull may also be added.
The Hoya Bella should be in a quick-draining potting mix, which will allow water to properly drain out. The mix should not be too compact or swampy.
A good mix to consider would be a composition of roughly 30% each of a loam-based compost, sharp sand, and charcoal.
If you can’t find any ground and charred bark, you can use coco peat, perlite, or burnt rice hull instead.
Since hoya Bella grows best in acidic soil pH level between 6.1–7.5 is best, consider adding coffee grounds to the potting mix.
Try not to use the regular soil from your garden, however, as it is likely to be too heavy and may contain weeds, seeds, and pests.
Hoya Bella plants must be watered with rainwater or filtered water. Tap water must be avoided as it may contain chlorine and fluorine. Check the hoya every 5 days and water the hoya Bella only when the top of the soil is almost completely dry.
Tap water is easily accessible in our homes. But try not to use it unless you’re completely sure of what’s in it. You see, it’s not rare to find tap water with chlorine and fluorine. Both of these can harm the hoya plant’s roots.
Hoya Bella grows best when they’re given rainwater or filtered water at room temperature.
A good time to water the hoya Bella is in the morning. This will let it stay moist during the day, giving it enough time for the extra water to dry.
Water your hoya Bella until you see the water draining out of the bottom and remove the excess water from the saucer. Then, wait until its soil is almost completely dry before watering it again.
During the winter, the hoya Bella goes dormant and does not need a lot of water. So go easy on watering your wax plant when it’s starting to get cold.
When planted outdoors, hoya Bella grows best with 6–12 hours of dappled sunlight. Place this plant by east or west-facing windows covered with sheer curtains to replicate ideal lighting conditions indoors.
It might look gorgeous in direct sunlight. But such intense sun exposure will burn a hoya Bella plant’s leaves. More specifically, this hoya grows best in dappled or filtered sunlight.
When winter comes, your hoya Bella will need less bright light. This, however, doesn’t mean that it’s okay to leave it in the dark. Doing so will easily kill your hoya Bella!
Bright sunlight filtered through the trees is best for hoya Bella grown outdoors. Indoors, they can be kept by an east or west-facing window with sheer curtains. The curtains will diffuse any strong sunlight and create that filtered effect that it grows best in.
Wax plants can adjust to low-light conditions but exposing the hoya Bella to bright light for at least 6 hours will help promote more flower blooms.
Grow lights are great for indoor care and can be used, but natural light is best.
Learn more here in Grow Lights vs Sunlight: Which is Better? (Tested!)
Generally, hoya Bella grows best at temperatures between 71°F and 85°F. It can be left outdoors in US plant hardiness zones 11 and 12. Though it likes it cooler at night, do not leave it outdoors when the temperature drops to 50°F(10°C) or lower.
During the day, hoya Bella thrive with warm temperatures of up to 85°F (29°C). The hoya does well in cooler temperatures ranging from 71–75°F (21–23°C) at night for healthy growth.
Hoya Bella can be left outdoors in U.S. zones 11 and 12. If you live in a cooler climate though, it’s best to use a grow tent or a small greenhouse to protect the hoya from freezing temperatures.
If the temperature drops below 50°F (10°C) bring the hoya indoors. Alternatively, the maximum temperature a hoya can take is 96°F (35°C) for a very short time.
Humidity levels should stay above 40% for optimal growth of hoya Bella. Use a humidifier or place the hoya Bella on top of a tray filled with distilled water to help raise humidity.
Hoyas appreciate high levels of humidity—up to 70%—as this will help them grow more rapidly. But if it isn’t that humid where you live, they’ll do fine with humidity levels around 40%.
Misting is one way to keep the humidity levels high. But as we’ve discussed before, this isn’t particularly effective.
Understand why in Should You Mist Your Houseplants?
Humidifiers are the best way to increase humidity. The mist produced by it doesn’t have to be set at a specific temperature but be sure you get the right size humidifier for the room you’re keeping your miniature wax plant in.
Grouping your hoya Bella with other houseplants can also help raise the humidity level in a dry room. Pebble trays are another way to raise the humidity. This requires little more than placing the hoya on top of a tray with pebbles and filtered water.
Prune the Hoya Bella in late winter with clean scissors. Its sap is irritating, so gloves must be worn. Ensure the vine has 2 pairs of leaves and cut above the node. Avoid pruning hoya Bella more than a quarter of the hoya’s length and when flower buds are visible.
When it comes to pruning hoya Bella plants, it’s recommended to use gloves to avoid touching its irritating sap. This plant is pretty but its sap can be a pain, so watch out!
Pruning can be done in late winter. Ensure that the vine has at least a few pairs of leaves and make your cuts above a node. This will prevent dieback, or when the plant dies above ground but the roots are still alive underground.
Pro Tip: Cutting at a downward angle will allow water to run down smoothly. This is to avoid the water from collecting where the cut was made, which can lead to fungi growth.
Avoid pruning more than a quarter of the length of the plant. Doing otherwise will shock the plant and likely reduce its ability to produce energy for growth and development.
Avoid pruning when flower buds can be seen on the stems since this can hinder your hoya Bella from blooming.
A general liquid fertilizer can be given to hoya Bella once a month—except in the winter. Dilute one teaspoon of fertilizer in a gallon of water before application.
You can tell the hoya Bella may need more fertilizer if it has pale leaves and a slow growth rate. Conversely, when its leaves are becoming darker and its stems are growing shorter, the hoya may be getting too much.
Like everything else, simply adjust the amount of fertilizer it’s receiving to help keep it happy.
Miniature wax plants don’t need anything fancy when it comes to fertilizers. An all-purpose liquid fertilizer with nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus works great for hoya Bella.
You can feed your hoya Bella every month save for winter when the plant goes dormant.
It’s best to fertilize the hoya Bella plant only after it has been watered. Fertilizing dry hoyas can damage its roots.
So make sure to only feed your plant after its usual watering session!
Aftercare is also important. The hoya must not be put in direct sunlight after it is fertilized, as this will burn the hoya.
How do you make your hoya Bella bloom?
Hoya Bella will only flower when they are mature, at least 2–5 years old. Prune the stems in late winter to promote more blooms and provide the plant with plenty of bright natural light. With proper care, hoya Bella usually bloom in spring and summer.
Is hoya Bella poisonous?
Most hoya plant varieties and cultivars are considered non-toxic to animals. Additionally, the hoya Bella is believed to not have caused any cases of toxicity for both humans and pets.
How do I propagate the hoya Bella?
Propagate hoya Bella by cutting long vines. Start at the tip of the vine and go back two nodes in, cut downward with a pair of scissors or garden shears. Place the cutting in filtered water. After a month the stem cutting will grow roots. Finally, transplant it to a plastic or terracotta pot with a moist quick-drain potting mix.
The proper ways to care for and grow your Hoya Bella are using a quick-draining potting mix of one-third of each loam, sharp sand, and ground bark/charcoal. Coco peat, perlite, and burnt rice hull can also be used to replace charcoal. Place it in a small terracotta pot.
Give hoya Bella rainwater or filtered water every time it dries out. Do not use tap water because it can contain chlorine and fluorine which are harmful to the plant. Provide plenty of bright indirect sunlight. Indoors, place it near east or west-facing windows. Maintain temperatures of 71-85°F for good growth.
Keep the humidity level between 40–70% for hoya Bella. Prune it in winter, but never cut back more than a quarter of it. Don’t cut stems with peduncles to allow flowers to bloom. Apply water-soluble fertilizer that contains nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus monthly.
- “Lighting Indoor Houseplants” by Trinklein in the University of Missouri
- “Hoya lanceolata subsp. Bella” by n/a Missouri Botanical Garden
- “Hoya” by n/a the University of Florida