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How to Care For The Beautiful Hoya Bella

The Hoya Bella plant has swollen/enlarged leaves that can reach up to 4 inches in diameter and does well as a potted plant for prolonged periods. It is native to Malaysia and thrives in medium shade and high humidity with moist soil conditions.

This plant was named for its bell-shaped flowers that have a purple coloration. The Bella plant is also known as the Hoya or Wax Plant due to its commercial uses in making candles.

Below you will learn everything you need to know about the Hoya Bella plant, including how to care for it.

Table of Contents

Where can you place the Hoya Bella plant?

This plant can be placed in your home and will add a little green to your decor. It is best to place the plant in areas where people frequently pass by because it makes them happy.

Hoya Bella Plant overview

The Hoya plant is in the Apocynaceae family and is technically in the genus Hoya. The plant was named by botanist Thomas Hoy. Cultivated plants were first found in Malaysia, with their origins in Indonesia or Southeast Asia.

Lighting requirements

The Hoya plant does best with medium shade to filtered sunlight (2-4 hours). The more light it gets, the more compact and tighter the leaves will become.

Bella plants like high humidity areas but can do well even if they are misted once a week or so during dryer months. For optimal growth, you should provide at least 50 percent humidity for your Bella plant indoors.

What other type of lighting can you use?

In case you have insufficient natural lighting, you can supplement with grow lights or fluorescent tubes. Make sure to keep the light 18-24 inches away from your plants and give them at least 8 hours of light per day.

Greenhouse lighting

If you have a greenhouse, make sure to set the lights on a timer so you can keep your plants at peak growing conditions. It is very important to provide them with enough water and humidity when they are in their flowering stage.

Hoya Bella Watering requirements

To water the Hoya plant, set your watering can or hose to the “shower” setting and lightly water the plant. Watering once a week is usually enough, given that they are grown in high humidity areas.

The amount of water you give will depend on the size of your pot and the drainage holes. In most cases, you should wait until the top inch or so of soil is dry before watering again.

How often should you water your Hoya?

When it comes to frequency, you should wait until the top inch or so of the soil is dry before watering again.

In terms of liters, you should give about 8 liters to a 10-inch pot, making sure the drainage holes are open. You can use a moisture meter to determine when it is time to water your plant.

What happens when you don’t water your plant?

When your plant starts to dry up, the leaves will start coming in closer to each other and curl downwards. When this happens, you will know that it is time to water it again.

If you ignore this, your plant may begin to drop leaves until it is completely dead.

Water quality

Always use clean, fresh room temperature tap water for watering your plants. If you are using salty or contaminated water, this can damage the roots over time and can cause your plants to die.

Humidity

When you are in a humid area, you will notice that the leaves are slightly sticky. This is because they are secreting a natural waxy substance that helps to keep the plant hydrated.

Most Hoya plants will do well with 50-70 percent humidity, but you can increase this if you live in a drier climate. You can increase the humidity by setting your pot on a pebble try and water or by using a room humidifier.

Can excessive humidity affect your plant?

If you live in a very humid climate, you may need to mist your plant once or twice a week.

This will help to reduce the humidity around the plant and prevent the plant from any fungal diseases. Less humidity can cause the leaves to start to brown and die.

Type of air circulation required

For this plant to flourish, you should provide at least some kind of airflow in your home. You can do this by opening windows or using a small fan to blow the leaves around once every couple of weeks.

What happens if there is no air circulation?

Without proper airflow, you will notice that the leaves become brown and curl upwards. This means that there is not enough oxygen getting to the leaves, and they are not able to photosynthesize correctly.

Soil requirements

The Hoya plant will do best if grown in well-draining soil mixed with peat moss. The composition should be equal parts peat moss, perlite, vermiculite combined with organic compost.

You should always mix your soil/compost before using it so it doesn’t come from one place where there may be concentrated fertilizer or chemicals used on the plants, which you would not want to affect your Hoya, Bella.

If you want to plant this variety outside, you should consider planting it in acidic soil.

Watering When Planting Outdoors

When planting your Hoya plant outside, you should only use the “shower” setting on your hose when watering. If you have a sprinkler system, set that for 4-5 hours once every two weeks during the months where they are not actively blooming.

Make sure you place the plant in moist soil and put a layer of mulch over it to prevent weed growth.

Temperature requirements

The temperature range for this plant is 58-98 degrees Fahrenheit (14-37 Celsius). During the summer months, you can expect your Bella plants to grow faster with higher temperatures. They will do best when temperatures are not extreme in either direction.

Can extremely high temperatures affect your plant?

For these plants to do well, they need high humidity. Extremely high temperatures will cause the leaves to curl, become sticky or even drop off. Dry leaves mean that the plant is not getting the water it needs, which can lead to its death.

For US zones, this plant can survive outdoors for the summer months and just be containerized indoors during the winter.

Places like California, Texas or Florida would have the perfect climate for this plant.

In other extremely cold places like Chicago, New York, or Boston, this plant will have to be in a container and brought indoors during the winter as it will not survive the cold weather.

Hoya Bella Fertilizing requirements

There are specific fertilizers manufactured for hoyas; however, you can also use a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer at half the recommended dosage.

Fertilize your hoya plant in late winter or early spring using a weak solution and then water it in well. If you want to use organic fertilizer, you can use a fish emulsion or seaweed extract every two to four weeks.

Animal waste like cow dung or rabbit droppings can also be used but should only be applied once a year.

How often should you fertilize Hoya Bella?

To ensure that your Hoya plant is getting the right amount of nutrients, you should fertilize it on a monthly basis.

You can do this by applying a weak fertilizer solution or fish emulsion to ensure your plant gets what it needs without damaging its roots.

What happens when you fertilize your plant excessively?

If you fertilize your Bella plant too much, you will see browning or scorching on the edges of the leaves. This is because the plant is trying to get rid of the fertilizer salts that have built up in the soil.

In most cases, it is best to stop fertilizing and give the plant a break until it recovers.

What happens when you insufficiently fertilize your plant?

When you don’t fertilize your Bella plant, you will see a slowdown in growth and may eventually see the leaves start to turn yellow.

This is because the plant is not getting the nutrients it needs to thrive. In order to prevent this, you should fertilize your plant at least once a month using a balanced 20-20-20 fertilizer or a Hoya-specific fertilizer.

How to plant Hoya Bella

To plant your Hoya plant, you will first need to dig a hole that is twice as wide and just as deep as the pot your plant is currently in.

Remove the plant from the pot and gently loosen the roots before placing it in the hole.

Fill in the hole with soil, making sure to pack it down well, and water thoroughly. You can also add a layer of mulch to the soil to help keep it moist.

How to repot the Hoya plant

If your Bella plant is in a pot that is too small, you will need to repot it into a pot that is larger. You can do this by digging a hole that is twice as wide and just as deep as the pot your plant is currently in.

Remove the plant from the pot and gently loosen the roots before placing it in the hole. Fill in the hole with soil, making sure to pack it down well, and water thoroughly. You can also add a layer of mulch to the soil to help keep it moist.

What size of the pot is best for your plant?

In general, you will want to use a pot that is one size larger than the pot your plant is currently in. This will give your plant plenty of room to grow and will help keep it healthy. Small pots are not recommended.

Why you should keep your plant in a container

If you are choosing to keep your Bella plant in a container instead of planting it outside, then you will want to provide the plant with an inch of water each week.

This is because the potting mix in most containers does not contain enough organic matter to retain water.

How often should you repot the Hoya plant?

You should repot your Bella plant every two years into a pot that is one size larger. This will help keep the plant healthy and will give it plenty of room to grow.

In case you do not repot the plant, the roots will eventually grow out of the pot and into the soil. This can damage the plant and will make it difficult to move.

What are the signs you need to repot your plant?

You can notice that your Bella plant needs to be repotted if it is growing slowly or if the leaves are starting to turn yellow.

You can also tell by the size of the pot; if the pot is more than half full of roots, then it is time to repot.

What type of pot should you use?

There are different types of pots made of different materials. The best option for your plant will depend on a number of different factors, including how you want to arrange them and whether or not you plan on planting them outside.

If the pots are arranged in a window box, then they should all be plastic because they will not corrode from the salt in the soil.

Clay is also an excellent choice because it helps to regulate the moisture in the soil.

Pruning requirements

The Hoya plant doesn’t require much pruning unless you want to keep it more compact. In that case, pinch off the growing tips of the vine when it reaches 8-10 inches long.

If you over prune, what will happen to your Hoya plant?

When you over prune your Bella plant, you will see a slowdown in growth. In some cases, you may even see yellowing from the tips of the leaves up to half the plant.

This is because there are not enough nutrients for the plant to continue to grow at its normal rate. You should avoid pruning unless you specifically want to keep it compact.

What happens to Hoya bell if left unpruned?

If you don’t prune your Bella plant, it will grow in a vining pattern. The leaves will be lance-shaped and measure 6-8 inches long.

The flowers will also be larger and more prolific if the plant is allowed to grow freely.

Propagation requirements

Bella plants are propagated by cuttings taken from new growth near the tip of a stem. Cuttings should be about 4-6 inches long and have 2-3 sets of leaves.

Remove the bottom set of leaves and insert the cutting into a moist soil mix. You can also use a rooting hormone to help speed up the process.

How often should you propagate the Bella plant?

You should propagate your Bella plant every two years to maintain optimal growth.

While you can propagate it more often, it hasn’t been proven to increase the growth rate of the new plant.

How long does it take to grow a cutting into a full-sized plant?

It takes about 6-8 weeks for a Bella cutting to grow into a full-sized plant.

During this time, you should keep the cutting in a moist soil mix and make sure it gets plenty of sunlight.

You can also use a rooting hormone to help speed up the process.

Diseases that affect the Bella plant

This plant is relatively disease-free, but you may encounter problems with mealybugs, aphids, or scale.

Mealybugs can be identified by the white, cotton-like substance they excrete, and aphids are small, green insects that suck the sap from the leaves.

Scale is a tiny, insect-like creature that attaches itself to the leaves and stems of plants. These insects affect this plant by using the leaves and stems as a host to lay their eggs.

These insects also suck the sap from the leaves, which causes the leaves to turn yellow and wilt.

What are the natural remedies to deal with these insects?

Use a garden hose

You can utilize a garden hose to blast the mealybugs, aphids and scale off your plant.

Due to the pressure from the garden hose, the insects will be knocked off the plant, allowing the leaves to regain their normal color.

Reflective material

Another method is to cover the soil with reflective material, such as aluminum foil, tin foil, or an aluminum pie plate.

This will help to reflect the sunlight onto the plant, which will cause the insects to die.

Neem oil can be used as a pesticide

If you want to use a pesticide, you can use neem oil. The neem tree produces neem oil, which is a natural substance. It is effective in killing a wide range of insects and will not harm you, your pets, or the environment.

Neem oils are good for organic gardening.

Cotton swabs and alcohol

You can use cotton swabs dipped in alcohol to kill scale.

If you wipe the swab across the insects, they will die within hours of contact with the cotton swabs.

Not all alcohols are effective in killing scale, so you should use isopropyl alcohol, which is available at most drug stores.

Insecticidal soap

This type of soap will kill mealybugs, aphids, scale, and spider mites.

You can use an environmentally friendly insecticidal soap or regular dishwashing soap. In a spray bottle, combine two tablespoons of soap with 1 gallon of water and liberally spray the damaged plant.

Make sure to get all the leaves and stems. Do not apply insecticides with harsh chemicals to your Bella plant, as it will kill the plant.

What are some of the signs that your Bella plant is diseased?

Some of the signs that your Bella plant is diseased include:

  • The leaves are turning yellow and wilting
  • There is a white, cotton-like substance on the leaves
  • The leaves are distorted and show signs of brown spots
  • There are holes in the leaves.

How do you cure a diseased Hoya plant?

To cure your Hoya Bella plant, you will want to inspect it for insects and diseases. This is best done in the morning after the dew has evaporated so that you can get a closer look at the plant.

If you find any signs of insects or diseases, take appropriate measures to get rid of them.

You can also give your Bella plant some nutrients through regular fertilization.

You will want to choose a fertilizer that is made specifically for foliage plants, and it may need to be diluted with water before being applied.

Can the Bella plant affect your pets?

If you have pets that like to chew on plants, you may want to keep them away from your Bella plant.

While this plant is not poisonous to pets, they may get sick if they ingest any of the leaves or sap.

If you have a dog, you may want to consider keeping the plant in a place where your dog cannot reach it.

For cats, you can put the plant in a place where they cannot jump up to it. In case your pets ingest this plant, contact your veterinarian immediately.

This plant can cause digestive issues and stomach pain.

Is this plant toxic?

In terms of toxicity, the Bella plant is non-toxic to humans and animals. It contains no caustic chemicals or toxic sap like some other plants do.

In fact, this plant is edible and is sometimes used in Thai cooking.

Hoya Bella FAQ

Common asked questions include:

Q. Can I propagate a Bella cutting more often for a faster growth rate?
A. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that propagating a Bella cutting more often will result in a faster growth rate. Propagating the cutting should only be done every 6-8 weeks for the optimal growth of the new plant.

Q. What are some natural remedies to deal with insects on my Bella plant?
A. There are several ways to get rid of common insects that affect the Bella plant. You can use a garden hose, reflective material as mulch, Neem oil as a pesticide, or cotton swabs and alcohol.

Q. Is this plant toxic to humans or animals?
A. The Bella plant is non-toxic to both humans and animals. It does not contain any caustic chemicals or toxic sap. In fact, the plant is edible and sometimes used in Thai cooking.

Q. Can I propagate a Bella cutting more often for a faster growth rate?
A. There is no scientific evidence to suggest that propagating a Bella cutting more often will result in a faster growth rate. Propagating the cutting should only be done every 6-8 weeks for the optimal growth of the new plant.

Hoya Bella is a beautiful plant that is easy to care for. In order to keep it healthy, you should water it once a week and fertilize it every two months.

You should also propagate it every two years to maintain optimal growth. If you notice that your plant is not growing or the leaves are turning yellow, then you may need to repot it into a pot that is one size larger.

Pests like mealybugs, aphids, or scale can be treated with a garden hose, neem oil, or insecticidal soap.

Keep in mind that this plant is non-toxic to both humans and animals, so it is safe to use these methods around your pets.

In order to keep your Bella plant healthy and looking its best, follow the above simple guidelines.

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