Hoya globulosa, commonly known as waxflower, is an attractive houseplant that thrives in low-light conditions and requires only minimal care to look its best. In fact, Hoya globulosa, or waxflower, can tolerate dry air better than some other plants because it originates from arid environments in tropical and subtropical regions of Asia and the Pacific Islands.
Some people seem to have the greenest thumb in the world, but even they can get stumped by a plant sometimes. If you’re having trouble keeping your hoya globulosa waxflower happy and healthy, this article can help you learn how to take care of them so they look their best at all times.
If you are a Hoya lover like me, you may be interested in adding Hoya globulosa waxflower to your collection. This easy-to-grow plant, which belongs to the genus Hoya, comes from India and Sri Lanka and thrives in low light conditions and warm temperatures.
Like other Hoyas, this plant grows best when grown in soil that drains well and doesn’t hold water; unlike many other Hoyas, however, it does not need high humidity or consistent moisture to thrive.
Here’s how to keep your waxflower healthy and happy throughout the year.
Origin and descriptions
Hoya globulosa is native to Borneo and Sumatra. This plant should be grown indoors in temperate regions. It requires a minimum temperature of 60 degrees Fahrenheit during winter and a maximum temperature of 90 degrees Fahrenheit in summer.
The soil should never drop below 55 degrees Fahrenheit, nor exceed 95 degrees Fahrenheit. Hoya globulosa only needs repotting every two years and prefers a small clay pot with well-drained soil with good aeration. It should be planted near a bright window or under fluorescent lights.
A north-facing window would provide ideal light conditions for waxflowers. In order to keep your hoya healthy, it’s important that you water it regularly and fertilize it once per month during its growing season (spring through fall).
During winter, you can reduce watering frequency slightly as long as you don’t allow your hoya to dry out completely.
Hoya globulosa propagation
Hoya globulosa can be propagated by removing a leaf from one of your plants and inserting it into a slightly moist, perlite-based potting medium in a plastic bag. After a week, cut off any remaining leaf material with shears and keep it moist until it begins to root.
Transplant to its own container when new growth appears. You can also propagate Hoya globulosa by taking a cutting that is approximately 2 inches long, making sure there are at least two nodes (the place where leaves are attached) on it, and then dipping it in rooting hormone before placing it into moistened soil or rooting medium.
Keep the cutting warm (but not hot) until you see new growth appear. Transplant when roots are visible through drainage holes in the bottom of the container. It’s easier to take stem tip cuttings from potted plants, but don’t remove more than 1/3 of your plant’s stems.
To prevent shock after transplanting, water with a half-strength fertilizer solution for a few weeks.
Hoya globulosa care information
Hoya globulosa is a fantastic, compact houseplant that requires very little care. These plants are native to Mexico and Central America. They’re typically grown on trees in their natural habitat, so they grow as epiphytes (air plants) using no soil at all.
In their natural environment, they receive sun through most of the day but are shaded by other plants for part of each day.
In cultivation, however, it’s best to keep them away from direct sunlight because it can burn their leaves. A bright window with indirect light will do just fine for these plants. During the winter months when there isn’t much light coming into your home, you can reduce watering slightly; once spring arrives, you should resume regular watering habits.
Watering frequency will depend on how dry your air is; if you live in an arid climate you may need to water more frequently than someone who lives in a humid area.
Hoya globulosa can be grown under low to moderate light in cool temperatures. It prefers filtered sunlight, such as that offered by a nearby window or an artificial light source. The plant cannot tolerate direct sunlight and will quickly wither and die if exposed to full sun for an extended period of time.
If you want to grow your hoya indoors, place it near a south-facing window during the winter months. Move it away from direct sunlight when spring arrives.
You can buy a standard potting mix, or create your own. To make it yourself, combine 2 parts soil with 1 part vermiculite. Or use 3 parts perlite (lightweight volcanic rock) and 1 part peat moss. Both of these options are sterile and will help with drainage and aeration.
It’s best to avoid using garden soil, as it is not sterile and may contain pests or diseases that could harm your plant. The most important thing is that you choose a lightweight potting mix that drains well, heavy mixes retain water too long and can cause root rot in plants like Hoya globulosa.
Hoya globulosa requires moist soil, but not saturated soil. Water every few days, or when you notice that water has been lost through evaporation from leaves and stems. Keep in mind that hoyas are sensitive to fluoride, chlorine, and other harsh chemicals that can be found in tap water. Consider using distilled or rainwater for your plants’ needs.
If you want your Hoya globulosa to thrive, it’s important to fertilize and water it regularly. Our experts recommend fertilizing once a month in spring and summer with a water-soluble fertilizer (follow directions on the label). To do so, simply sprinkle a little bit around each of your plants. Apply fertilizer weekly or every other week during the fall and winter months as necessary.
Hoya globulosa is a tropical plant. It will do best if given temperatures of 70-75 degrees F during daylight hours, and about 10 degrees lower at night. If you are growing your hoya in a room with air conditioning, make sure that it does not get too cold at night. You can also grow your hoya outdoors in warmer climates; just keep it protected from frost.
Too little humidity can dry out your plant and lead to brown leaf tips, but too much can encourage mold. If you’re setting up a new home for your Hoya globulosa waxflower (and most plants), aim for an environment with a relative humidity of 40–50%.
Keep in mind that different environments have different humidity levels: For example, if you live in a humid climate or keep your house warm and steamy all winter long, you may need to increase your overall humidity by placing a humidifier near your plant. Alternatively, if you live in an arid climate or keep your house cool all year round, consider investing in a dehumidifier.
Cutting off old or damaged leaves and stems encourages new growth, making them easy to propagate via cuttings. You can take cuttings at any time of the year and your plants will still grow just fine, but if you’re looking to propagate in a hurry, late summer is probably your best bet.
Take both long sections of stems as well as short cuttings and all parts should root successfully. The cutting itself doesn’t need to be particularly large—just enough for it to have some surface area exposed.
When to repot
The best time to repot Hoya globulosa is spring or summer. Repotting once a year, during late spring or early summer, is sufficient if you have been giving your plant proper care and it has become pot-bound.
Keep in mind that a plant that has been over-watered may need several months to recover before being repotted. Wait until new growth appears at a slower pace, then fertilize and repot your waxflower hoya plant.
Hoya globulosa requires a dormancy period of 8-10 weeks. As such, it is imperative that you begin preparing for dormancy approximately 10 weeks before your last spring frost date. If you live in a particularly hot or humid climate, try to prepare for dormancy as early as 6-8 weeks before your last spring frost date.
This will ensure your plant has adequate time to enter dormancy and will be able to safely emerge from its winter slumber when temperatures rise again in spring.
You can initiate dormancy by moving your plant into an area with cool night temperatures (60-65 degrees F) and minimal light (1 hour of morning sun per day). Keep the soil lightly moist at all times during this process.
Once nighttime temperatures consistently remain below 60 degrees F, you can move your plant into complete darkness until emergence in late winter/early spring.
Flowers & fragrance
The Hoya globulosa wax flower is a tropical plant that gives off an intoxicating fragrance. This makes it perfect for growing indoors or outdoors in warmer climates. They are native to Vietnam and thrive with very little maintenance.
There is a large variety of Hoya species which means there are many different flowers and fragrances to choose from including varieties with red, purple, white, and yellow blooms.
Hoya globulosa is a slow-growing plant. In its native habitat, it will grow up to 3 feet per year, but in a cultivated setting, you can expect to see between 0.5 and 1 foot of growth per year.
This means that it’s possible for your hoya globulosa to take as long as 15 years to reach maturity! If you’re trying to cultivate more than one individual plant of Hoya globulosa, be prepared to wait.
You may have to wait even longer if you want your plants to flower; while some growers have reported flowering their plants within 10 years of cultivation, others have reported waiting over 20 years before seeing flowers on their Hoya globulosa specimens.
It is believed that Hoya globulosa will cause contact dermatitis in some individuals. Avoid contact with skin and eyes, especially if you have sensitive skin. If you do come into contact with any part of a wax flower plant, wash thoroughly with soap and water. If irritation occurs, seek medical attention immediately.
USDA Hardiness Zones
Hoya globulosa is hardy in USDA zones 9b-11. It can be grown indoors year-round with care, but when grown outside it needs protection from frost and cold winds. For best results in outdoor growing, plant during early spring or fall.
You can also plant Hoya globulosa inside a greenhouse or a sunroom, depending on where you live and how warm your indoor environment gets year-round.
Pests and diseases
Despite their immunity to pests and diseases, waxflowers do have a few minor problems that can affect them. They are susceptible to fungus growth in humid conditions, which can appear as black spots on the leaves. In most cases, these spots are easy to remove with a damp cloth or razor blade.
If you find your waxplant wilting or shriveling but don’t see any signs of infection, it may be time for repotting. Repotting should be done every two years during spring, and only when new roots begin growing from below the old soil line.
When repotting is necessary, use a pot no more than 2 inches larger than its current size; if you use too large of a pot, it will cause root rot. You should also consider moving your plant outside during the summer months so that it can enjoy natural sunlight; just make sure to keep an eye out for insects such as aphids or spider mites.
The hoya globulosa waxflower is a long-time favorite among hobbyists, and there’s no mystery why: This plant looks amazing. If you’re looking for an easy plant to grow as part of your collection, it’s hard to go wrong with hoya globulosa.
It has attractive flowers that will last throughout most of the summer, and its leaves are attractive all year round. It doesn’t require much light to thrive, making it ideal for those who don’t have a lot of space in their homes or offices. Hoya globulosa also makes an excellent gift, if you can bear parting with it!