Hoya Obscura
Hoya,  Plant Care,  Propagation,  Rare Houseplants

Hoya Obscura

Welcome to our guide to the Hoya Obscura all you need to know about care and propagation, including light, water, soil, temperature and humidity needs. The key to good hoya obscura care is to make sure its in a chunky and well draining soil mix and that it gets plenty of light.

Hoya Obscura Care Summary

Light needs:Bright indirect sunlight.
Watering needs:Check soil is dry with your fingers before watering.
Fertilizer:Feed in spring and summer with balanced fertilizer at half its recommended strength, twice a month.
Soil:A well-draining, porous mix.
Temperature:20-30°C (68-86°F).
Where to buy:Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.
Other names:Red wax plant.
Common issues:Overwatering.


Hoya Obscura is a beautiful tropical vining plant native to the Philippines. It is popular for its rich foliage and blooms, instantly attracting all the attention. The large, veined leaves range in color from dark green to red depending upon the stress conditions. The best part about this fast-growing houseplant is the low maintenance it requires to thrive.

See also: Hoya Soil, Hoya Krimson Princess, Hoya Fungii, Hoya Lauterbachii, Hoya Callistophylla, Hoya Curtisii, Hoya Shepherdii, Hoya Imperialis, Hoya Sunrise.

Tip: we recommend Etsy for buying plants. Look for the best rated seller you can, and try to buy as close to your home as possible so the plant does not travel too far.

A note about affiliate links: when you buy a plant, pots, soil, or other goods through links on this article we sometimes earn a commission. It doesn’t cost you anything, but it really helps us out if you do use them. Thanks a lot! An example of this is if you buy a plant on Etsy using this link. Read our privacy policy for more information. Thanks again.

Light Needs

Partial shade works great for it since direct, scorching sunlight may cause sunburn. However, it is used to full sun in tropical areas, so 6 to 8 hours of direct sunlight does no harm, if it is acclimatized.

How Often To Water Hoya Obscura

It prefers regular watering with adequate intervals to let the soil dry and keep it safe from overwatering. Like all succulents, it develops fungal infections and rots when left in standing water. Reduce the water input even more during the winters, and always check if the soil is dry with your fingers before watering.

Tip: they grow in tree bark in the wild and not in soil so underwatering is better than overwatering, as they can get root rot if allowed to sit in soggy wet soil.


During its growth period, fertilizing in the summer and spring greatly enhances the development process. It would be enough to use a balanced fertilizer at half its recommended strength twice a month in the warmer months.


Although it is not fussy when it comes to the type of soil, a well-draining, porous mix serves the best. You can enhance the drainage by adding perlite, charcoal, and other gritty material to a regular potting mix.

For more on hoya soil (what to buy and how to make your own) see our guide here: Hoya Soil.

When to Repot Hoya Obscura

Unlike other succulents requiring regular repotting, Hoya Obscura rarely requires a repot. In fact, repotting it may induce adverse stress on the plant. Check it early in Spring and repot it only if crowded.


Due to their origin in tropical areas, they grow best in high humidity levels. Ideally, the humidity level should be 60% for it to mature. The household air also works fine as long as you spray the plant twice a week or so.


Aim for 20-30°C (68-86°F) in the day, and 10°C (50°F) at night.

How to Propagate Hoya Obscura

Hoya Obscura propagates best through stem cuttings. Take a few cuttings during early spring or summer and plant them in well-draining soil. The cuttings should have a couple of leaves and a couple of nodes each. Root them in a jar of water for a month r so then move them to soil. Make sure the soil is moist and not wet and keep it humid. Once it starts putting out new growth form the top you can treat it as a young plant and it up to its own pot.

Hoya Obscura - flowers close up
Hoya Obscura – flowers close up.
Image source: Doolin at English WikipediaCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons.

Hoya Obscura USDA Zones

They can love outdoors in zones 10-12.

Is Hoya Obscura Same As Hoya Sunrise?

They are the sunrise is bred from the obscura, for more on this see our guide to the Hoya Sunrise.

Hoya Obscura Vs Lacunosa

They are similar shaped, but the veins on the obscura are much more defined than the lacunosa.

Hoya Rosarioae Vs Obscura

The rosarioae has greener leaves that curl in a canoe shape whereas teh obscura are flatter.

Other Names

Red wax plant

Where To Buy

Try our list of Rare Plant Shops.

FAQs and Common Problems

Overwatering is the most common cause of problems in this plant, so make sure you only water it when the soil is dry. Besides, it is also known to attract aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. Observe your plant daily to pick on any infestation in the early stages and control it.

What does Hoya Obscura smell like?

The pleasant, buttery fragrance is another reason for its popularity. The smell projects to a distance as well, so you can expect your place to smell fresh all the time.

Is Hoya Obscura poisnous to cats?

It is non-toxic to cats.

When does Hoya Obscura flower?

It flowers throughout the year.

Additional Resources

Buy: we recommend a digital thermometer hygrometer (amazon affiliate link) to measure humidity.


Other Articles You Might Like

There you have it, here ends our guide to this beautiful plant. You might also like our other articles:

Hoya Soil, Hoya Krimson Princess, Hoya Fungii, Hoya Lauterbachii, Hoya Callistophylla, Hoya Curtisii, Hoya Shepherdii, Hoya Imperialis, Hoya Sunrise.

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Hoya Obscura
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