The secret of successful Hoya care: Part 2 How do I get my Hoya to bloom?

A complete guide to let your Hoya thrive

‘How to get your Hoya to bloom’ is perhaps the most asked question when it comes to Hoya. Hoya flowers have something magical as each Hoya variety has a different flower. Once you see peduncles form and buds start to develop the excitement is unstoppable. So knowing the secrets to get your Hoya to bloom is what everyone wants to know.

How do I get my Hoya to bloom?

Unfortunately there is no formula on getting your Hoya to bloom. In theory every Hoya can bloom. At the end that’s the way these plants propagate themselves out in the wild. When keeping your Hoya indoors some Hoya varieties seem to be very difficult to get flowering, while others can produce flowers without any effort. There are so many factors that have influence on a Hoya’s ability or perhaps willingness to flower. Luckily there are some tips and tricks which might increase the possibility of getting your Hoya to bloom for you.

In most cases it’s all about the condition your Hoya is in. Keeping your Hoya in a similar condition as they would be in their natural habitat can increase the Hoya’s ability or willingness to flower. When recreating your Hoyas natural habitat a few factors are very important: light, water/fertilizer and temperature. 

  1. Light / room temperature

    When reading about Hoya care it is often said to keep your Hoya in a warm place with lots of bright indirect sunlight. This is surely true for the growing season. A good amount of indirect sunlight will give you a rich flowering Hoya. However in the winter months, some varieties prefer to be in a cooler spot. They actually need this ‘resting period’. It’s their natural life cycle. Hoya Carnosa and Hoya Australis are examples of these ‘cool kids’. In winter keep them in a room where it’s dry and cool, with temperatures between 10 and 14 degrees Celsius. For other varieties, like Hoya Bella it’s better to keep them in a warmer space all year round.

  1. Water requirements and fertilizer

    The watering requirements of your Hoya are different in the growing season and in the winter. In the growing season your Hoya will require much more water as the plant is growing, producing new leaves (and hopefully some peduncles). Watering your Hoya once a week is a good indication. It’s also recommended to give your Hoya some fertilizer in this period for some extra nutrients.
    In the winter however, plants will go in a ‘resting periode’ and require way less water. Watering your Hoya once every  2 – 3 weeks should be fine. Let the soil dry out completely before watering again. A periode of drought can stress out your Hoya. When your Hoya is stressed it might think it’s going to die, produce flowers which can be pollinated, to eventually produce seeds to create a new plant. Of course when you grow your Hoya indoors the flowers can’t be pollinated, but it could just give your Hoya an extra push to develop flowers for next season.
    If you’re unsure about the watering needs of your Hoya we can recommend using a SUStee moisture meter. These moisture meters work very easy and tell you exactly when it’s time to water again.

    What is the right fertilizer to use?
    When looking for a suitable fertilizer for your Hoya try to find out the NPK rates (Nitrogen-Phosphoros-Potassium). Fertilizers with a higher level of nitrogen will encourage leaves to grow. When you notice your Hoya is about to bloom it’s smart to switch to a fertilizer which is rich in Phosphorus and Potassium. We can recommend using Plagron Alga Grow first and Plagron Alga Bloom for your Hoya when you want it to bloom.

Of course buying a Hoya that is already in bloom or already has peduncles is the most easy way. Unfortunately it doesn’t happen too often that flowering Hoya are on the market. In our experience we have sold Hoya Bella often already in full bloom.

We hope that the information above is helpful and proving you with some good tips and tricks. Perhaps you have some more questions about Hoya and flowering Hoya. Below you can find some frequently asked questions about flowering Hoya.

  • Does my Hoya needs to be a certain age before it’ll bloom?

    Generally people say a Hoya needs to be mature before it’s able to bloom. But at what age is a Hoya mature? It seems to depend on the species. As there are so many varieties there is not one correct answer to this question. Some Hoya can flower as early as after one year, while some need more than 3 years. Thereby age is just a number. If your Hoya is not given the right conditions it might never bloom despite the plants age. This might seem a bit frustrating, but rather look at it in the positive way: it’s part of the mystery of Hoya.

  • Does my Hoya need to be root bound to be able to bloom?

    It is commonly known that Hoya are the type of plant that like to be a bit root bound. In some way keeping you Hoya root bound can help getting your plant to bloom.
    When your Hoya is root bound it doesn’t need to put a lot of its energy towards growing and developing the root system. In stead the plant can put this energy in creating new foliage and perhaps even (new) flowers.

  • Is the use of fluorescent lights recommended?

    Light is an important factor in general Hoya care. Once your Hoya is about to flower a good amount of bright indirect sunlight will eventually contribute to a rich flowering of the plant. If you don’t have the best light conditions at your home it could be very interesting to invest in some good fluorescent grow lights. Important to know is that there are grow lights designed for the growth phase and for the flowering phase of your plant and to keep the lights at a safe distance from the plant to avoid damage on the leaves. Nowadays fluorescent grow lights are widely available in all sorts, shapes and sizes. And most important for any budget. With a bit of research you shouldn’t have too much trouble to find yourself the perfect lights.
    How come there is a difference you might want to know? This all has to do with the origin of the  particular Hoya and its natural habitat. Some live in places where night temperatures or winter temperatures drop noticeably while others live in an area where day- and night temperature, during each season don’t deviate much. Do a bit of research on the background of your Hoya and act accordingly.

  • Can I remove old flower spurs?

    The answer to this question is very simple: NO! Once you’re Hoya has bloomed do not remove the old flower spurs. From these old spurs new flowers will develop next season.

  • Can I move my Hoya to a different place when it’s flowering?

    It is not recommended to move around with your Hoya when they’re (finally) in bloom. Your plant clearly likes it current position, otherwise it probably wouldn’t have flowered. Replacing it to a different place can make your Hoya very unhappy. As a result flower can drop within no time and new flower buds might never open.

  • Why does my Hoya drops its flower buds?

    This generally is an effect of your watering habit, either you’ve let your Hoya dry out too much, or you’re giving too much water. In the growing season your Hoya requires a good amount of water every now and then, normally once a week. The soil needs to be evenly moist. Water again when the top few centimeters of the soil are dry. Make sure there is sufficient drainage so excess water can flow out of the pot. When too much water stays in the pot it might cause root rot. If you’re unsure about watering your Hoya it’s recommended to use a moisture meter. We’re a huge fan of SUStee Moisture Meters. It tells you exactly when its time to water your plant again. SUStee works great with all type of plants in any substrate. They will surely do the trick for your Hoya.

Want to know all about Hoya Care and the secret to a happy and healthy Hoya? Check out our other blog for a complete guide to let your Hoya thrive Part 1: The Basics.

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