The hoya family is known for exotic-looking plants. But don’t let this put you off. Most hoyas are easy to care for once you know a few basic rules. Hoya Burtoniae is no different. Give this stunning plant the right stuff and you can look forward to lovely foliage and a scent that will linger around your home for a long time.
Table of Contents
The Benefits of Choosing Hoya Burtoniae
- Suitable for beginners.
- Long lifespan.
- Exotic appearance.
- Aromatic flowers.
- Perfect for a hanging basket.
- Easy to propagate.
Origins and Appearance
Like a good number of Hoyas, this variety also calls the Philippines home. This island plant is known in the scientific world as an epiphyte – a plant that grows on trees and other large plants. However, Hoya Burtoniae is not a parasite. It simply anchors itself to the tree and lives off the rain and sunshine and even organic material that gathers around its roots.
A Furry Customer
A distinguishing feature of Hoya Burtoniae is the fuzziness of its leaves. They adorn several long vines that drape over baskets, making them beautiful and popular as hanging plants. While the leaves are waxy, dark green and oval, the flowers are tiny, red in color and often come with a hint of yellow. Although the flowers appear in clusters, the blooms are spaced apart and a quick glance can even confuse them for berries.
Temperature and Humidity
Although Hoyas are relatively easy to care for, all houseplants need three things in their environment to be more or less controlled. All are related to warmth and humidity. Incorrect care in this area can set your lovely plant back, so let’s look at each of the three requirements to see what your Hoya Burtoniae needs in order to grow like a champion!
Sunlight – This Hoya Likes a Shady Spot
Hoya Burtoniae shares this trait with most other Hoya species (although there are Hoyas that love full sunlight). In the case of Burtoniae, you need to ensure that the plant is placed in bright but indirect sunlight. This will give you a happy little plant. On the flip side, too much direct sunlight can definitely burn the leaves. Eventually, it can even kill the Hoya.
Temperature – Moderately Toasty to Hot
As a tropical plant, your Hoya will thrive in moderate to warm temperatures. The ideal range is between 60 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit (or roughly 15 to 35 degrees Celsius). It is important to keep an eye on the temperature. The more Hoya Burtoniae experiences temperatures outside of this range, the more negative effects it will experience.
When the thermometer drops, things can seriously go wrong. As a Philippines native, your Hoya is not designed to survive freezing conditions, snow or frost. If your Hoya is an outdoors plant, you definitely need to bring it inside for the winter or even when fall gets too nippy.
Humidity – Household Levels Should be Fine
The best way to care for any plant is to mimic its native environment and in this case, the Philippine weather is known for high humidity. Your Hoya loves humidity levels that remain between 50 and 70%. They can even thrive in conditions where humidity levels are much higher.
This is a little problematic. If your Hoya is indoors and you have to turn up the humidity levels, you are rightly worried about long-term effects on your home – such as mold, dampness and even attracting moisture-loving pests to your Hoya (and other houseplants).
The good news is that Hoya Burtoniae can also survive, to a degree, in rooms where the humidity levels are lower. Opting for a lower range might be best to keep your Hoya and home safe. Try not to let the humidity dip below 40%. Not sure how low is too low? A sign that your plant is not getting enough humidity includes leaf tips that turn brown. Simply tweak it a little higher and see if that solves the issue.
Watering and Feeding
Look at those thick, waxy leaves. They are water reservoirs, meaning that your Hoya does not require frequent watering. That being said, this variety does not hold as much water as other Hoyas so don’t allow it to go without moisture for long periods of time. Definitely give your plant a drink when the leaves appear wrinkled! By then, the Hoya is already too thirsty.
It can be hard to find a balance between overwatering and underwatering. Perhaps it is useful to remember that Hoya Burtoniae is more likely to be damaged by too much water than too little. It can bounce back relatively quickly from overly dry conditions but consistently wet soil can do more harm. This is because the plant’s roots are epiphytic, preferring lots of air circulation with a good dose of rain (in the wild) every now and again. Too much water can lead to root rot.
During warmer times, water your Hoya every week. You can lengthen the time between watering to once every 2 or 3 weeks during the winter. It is always a good idea to check the soil before you give water. Are the top 2 inches dried out? Great! That’s a good indication that you can safely offer your Hoya a good soaking.
Your plant will thrive on a monthly feeding. Give it a good organic liquid fertilizer. A good choice is fish emulsion. You can even give feedings more often with fish emulsion and never burn or overfeed the plant. It’s a safe way to boost your Hoya when you are aiming to grow lush vines.
Soil and Repotting
When it becomes time to repot your Hoya Burtoniae, the new soil needs to be well-draining. The plant does well with soil that has a neutral pH, so aim for 6.1 to 7.5. This variety of Hoya is slow-growing, so you only need to repot it once every two years. Get a larger pot, the right soil and carefully transplant the Hoya.
Get all the best tips on how to re-pot your house plants.
A Hoya Burtoniae can grow several feet long. This trait makes the vines striking, especially when the hoya is kept in a basket. But now and again, your hanging beauty needs a trim. Us a sharp, clean pair of scissors to remove a few tips to make the vines shorter or thin the plan if the shape gets too bushy. Be careful not to prune the plant too hard. This can cause it to stop flowering.
Pests and Diseases
Hoyas, much like other houseplants, can fall prey to certain nasties. Let’s look at the most common problems that you might experience with this species. Those that are fungal or insect-related can be treated in the early stages with an organic fungicide or insecticide.
Mealybugs – These powdery bugs leave white stuff all over the plant and can slowly make your Hoya very ill. These sap-sucking insects can cause signs like black sooty mold and a sticky residue that attracts ants.
Spider mites – These arachnids leave behind web-like strings, leaf spots and yellowing leaves. They can quickly take over a plant and any plants that happen to be nearby.
Scale – These bugs sit in droves along the stems and leaves of a plant. They hunker down and can suck the life from a Hoya. They literally look like scales and they never move. You can scratch them off or use an insecticide to get rid of these insects.
Root Rot – Caused by overwatering, signs include yellowing leaves and a sickly looking plant. Root rot is hard to treat by the time you notice that something is wrong. Prune the affected roots and repot the plant in new soil.
Q: Is Hoya Burtoniae safe around kids and pets?
This plant is not considered overly toxic to pets and kids. However, it can cause skin irritations. Keep your Hoya out of reach of uninformed persons, youngsters and animals.
Q: How do I propagate Hoya Burtoniae?
You can take cuttings during summer and root them in soil or water.
Q: When can I expect my Hoya Buroniae to flower?
This hoya variety flowers from late spring to late summer.
Q: Why is my hoya showing no growth?
Something in the hoya’s environment is not right. Review everything to make sure that the temperature, shade, humidity and watering schedule are all correct.