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The Hoya Bilobata Plant – Burtoniae Plants Care

Here we will dive into Hoya bilobata, also known as the Bilobata Hoya. This beautiful plant belongs to the family of tropical plants and is highly sought after by plant enthusiasts due to its fragrant white flowers and climbing habit. This article will explore the differences between Hoya Bilobata and Hoya Burtoniae, two closely related plants, and provide you with the most important factors to consider when caring for your Hoya Bilobata plants, including proper potting mix, ideal temperature, and the right amount of sunlight. 

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced plant parent, this guide will help you ensure your Hoya Bilobata thrives in both low-light and bright indirect sunlight during both the winter months and new growth phases. So let’s dive in and learn more about the fascinating Hoya Bilobata plant!

Hoya bilobata is a trailing and moderate-to-difficult to care for plant. Its unique appearance makes it a favorite among plant collectors.

In this post, we’re sharing the hows, whats, and when’s of keeping your Hoya Bilobata happy. We will also provide various options for you to buy one for yourself. Read on to find out more about this Hoya’s exciting features!

What Is Hoya Bilobata?

The Hoya bilobata is sometimes called Fishtail Hoya, the Porcelain Flower, and the Wax Plant. It is a trailing plant famous for its thick, waxy leaves, which help it retain water in the heat. 

Belonging to the Dogbanes family, this perennial has oval and olive-green leaves. Indoors, it appreciates the sun near a south-facing window, and an east window will do.

You may also grow your Hoya Bilobata outdoors in hardiness zones 10-11.

Hoya Bilobata Origin & Family

This Hoya plant was first identified in 1906 by Dr. Rudolph Schlechter. Its native habitat is in the tropical Philippines.

Fishtail Hoya belongs to the Hoya genus in the Dogbanes family. You’ll get to witness its insignificant small pinkish-red blooms year-round.

The Hoya Bilobata is a beautiful plant that can add a touch of greenery to any space. It is known for its two-lobed leaves and fragrant white flowers with a yellow center, although it has smaller flowers than other Hoya varieties. 

This plant can thrive in low-light conditions, making it an excellent choice for indoor spaces. However, it is essential to keep it away from cold drafts during winter and provide much water to keep the soil moist. Heat packs can be used during shipping to protect the plant from cold weather. Placing it near an east-facing window can give it the indirect bright light it needs to grow. 

The Hoya Bilobata is an excellent addition to any plant collection, and its unique plant name and most petite flowers make it stand out from other plants.

Where To Buy

To find H. Bilobata for sale, you can start at nurseries or gardening centers, but online options are significantly cheaper. Etsy is a platform we recommend, rather than big box stores, when buying houseplants! They usually host a wide selection of plants grown and sold by fellow hobbyists who are happy to answer your questions about plant care.

In terms of pricing, the Hoya Bilobata is very affordable on average, costing between $7 to $50.

Hoya Bilobata Burtoniae
Hoya Bilobata Burtoniae

Hoya Bilobata Plant Size

When grown indoors, the Hoya Bilobata grows to a height of a few inches and spreads to a width of 24 inches or longer. It grows at a moderate-to-fast rate and thrives near a south-facing window.

Hoya Bilobata Care Needs

Though Hoya Bilobata is not a complex plant to care for, growing it to its maximum growth requires certain conditions. The Hoya Bilobata, with thick, waxy leaves which helps it retain water in the heat, loves the sun and needs evenly moist soil to thrive.

Water your Hoya about once every twelve days. To properly hydrate the soil, make sure your pot has good drainage. Feel free to thoroughly drench the soil during watering schedules. As for the light requirements, this lovely plant will do best in bright indirect light.

Learn about your plant’s more specific and in-depth care needs below!

Hoya Bilobata Care Difficulty

Regarding care difficulty, the Porcelain Flower is typically moderate-to-difficult to care for. The primary growing considerations are the amount of light and water that this plant has.

Hoya Bilobata Growth Rate

When grown indoors, the Wax Plant plant grows to a height of a few inches and develops the fastest during spring and summer.

Most Hoya species, including the Bilobata, have a moderate-to-fast growing speed.

Hoya Bilobata Potting

The potting material for Hoya Bilobata should typically be terracotta in most cases.

The pot size matters for Fishtail Hoya, and you should typically use the small to medium option.

Good drainage is another need for this perennial.

Hoya Bilobata Repotting

Moving your Hoya Bilobata into a bigger pot allows more space for its roots to expand. You will typically know that it’s time to repot after it doubles in size.

Typically, you’d want to repot this trailing plant about once a year. When filling the new pot, it is ideal to replace old nutrient-deficient soil with a fresh batch of light, airy potting medium.

Hoya Bilobata Soil

For the the Porcelain Flower, a light, airy potting medium is a suitable choice. Add components such as sphagnum moss, perlite, orchid bark to make your soil mix. Keep in mind that this plant prefers evenly moist growing medium.

Ensure your chosen soil type accommodates good drainage and aeration so the roots can breathe better.

We recommend the following potting mixes:

Hoya Bilobata pH

Your Wax Plant likes neutral to acidic soil, so keep the pH level at 6.1 to 7.5. If you’re concerned about acidity, you can buy a simple pH testing tool to examine your soil.

Regulate excessive pH levels on your soil with sulfur or aluminum sulfate. Improve low pH levels by adding baking soda, calcitic or dolomitic lime, or wood ash. 

Hoya Bilobata Water

Fishtail Hoya is a sun-loving plant that needs evenly moist soil throughout the year. 

Water your plant about once every twelve days during the spring and summer. Drench the soil until water drains out the hole at the bottom of the terracotta pot. If you’re using a collection tray, toss out the water to fend off root rot and other diseases.

In the winter, you won’t need to water as much. Continue to water your plants deeply but do it less frequently.

Hoya Bilobata Light

You’ll want to simulate the natural environment of Hoya Bilobata, the tropical of the Philippines. Give this Hoya bright indirect light for four or more hours each day. You can also place this plant near a south-facing window. 

You’ll know your Hoya Bilobata is getting too much light when its leaves may become very red. On the contrary, if this plant doesn’t get enough light, it may have difficulty thriving and will drop leaves.

Avoid putting your Hoya Bilobata in direct sunlight, which could severely damage or even kill it.

Hoya Bilobata Fertilizer

A common mistake several indoor growers make is that they need to remember to fertilize. They think that water and bright indirect light are good sources of nourishment. But the truth is, the nutrients from the soil are just as vital in your plant’s overall health.

Feed your plant every other week during spring and summer. A universal fertilizer diluted to half the strength fertilizer will work best for your Porcelain Flower. If you’re using a more potent fertilizer, you may need to cut it first. 

In the colder months, you don’t need to fertilize at all.

Hoya Bilobata Burtoniae
Hoya Bilobata Burtoniae

Propagating Hoya Bilobata

Perhaps you’re impatient to see your Hoya Bilobata sprout new leaves. One planting technique is to prune back the stem to encourage new growing points. Usually, the cuttings you’ve pruned back can then be propagated, so you can develop a new baby plant!

Check out these various propagation methods for you to choose from.

Stem Cuttings In Soil

Stem cuttings directly planted in the soil are a hassle-free way to propagate your Fishtail Hoya. It is advisable to propagate this plant when it’s actively growing during early to late spring.

1. Cut. Find a healthy section of your plant with new growth, and make a cutting at least 3 inches long with some visible nodes. Make sure you’re using sterilized scissors to avoid a bacterial infection.

2. Plant. Place the cutting in damp soil with the nodes buried. Then, compress the dirt around the stem to keep the cutting in place.

3. Maintain. Frequently moisten the soil to encourage faster rooting. Keep the plant near a window in bright, indirect sunlight.

4. Wait. In about 2-3 weeks, you should see new buds on the top leaves. This means that your cutting is now rooted!

Stem Cuttings In Water

Here are the steps in successfully developing the Porcelain Flower cuttings in water:

1. Cut. Cut the stem of the Hoya Bilobata just below a node using a sharp knife. Remove lower leaves so your cutting can focus its energy on growing roots. 

2. Submerge. Put the cutting in an old glass bottle and fill it with water. Any part of the stem below the water surface should be leaves-free.

3. Maintain. A well-lit window with good airflow is the ideal location for your new plant. Keep a humidifier nearby to keep the leaves perky.  

4. Refill. Check every 3-5 days to see if the water needs replenishment with a clean batch.

5. Transplant. When the roots of this new trailing houseplant are about an inch or longer, your cutting is ready to be potted in soil. 

Air Layering Technique

Air-layering is typically the safest way to propagate rare, expensive, and sensitive plants. Unlike the usual soil and water propagation methods, air-layered cuttings will grow roots before they’re severed from the mother plant.

Here are the steps in air-layering your Wax Plant:

1. Choose a section to propagate. Find the area of the stem you want to grow into a new plant. Make sure it has a node.

2. Wrap the stem. You can wrap the stem with a sphagnum moss and clingwrap. You can also fill a plastic pot or a paper cup with soil, cut it in half, then tape it back together with the stem sandwiched in the middle.

3. Wait for roots. Depending on your chosen section’s temperature, humidity, and health, it might take 2-4 weeks to grow roots. You must keep your chosen medium moist (but never soggy).

4. Cut and plant. When the new roots are poking through the layer of substrate, you can detach the cutting and directly plant it into the soil.


The Wax Plant can also be propagated by dividing the clusters of stems with entangled root systems.

1. Dig up. Tap your small shovel on the pot’s sides to loosen the soil. Gently tug at the plant until it comes out.

2. Separate. You should be able to see the natural boundary of each stem and separate them using your hands. You may need to cut the roots but be careful not to disrupt the main root balls. 

3. Repot. Repot each section in smaller pots filled with the same soil they’re used to.

Hoya Bilobata Burtoniae
Hoya Bilobata Burtoniae

Humidity & Aeration for Hoya Bilobata

Hoya Bilobata is a climbing perennial that prefers moderate-to-high humidity– often between above 60%. 

If you see browning edges on your plant’s leaves, consider these options for increasing humidity:

• Huddle your houseplants close to each other to create a humidity bubble. 

• Invest in a humidifier.

• Place your pots on a tray filled with pebbles and water, creating a vapor around your plant.

• Mist your plant, but don’t do it too frequently, or you might invite fungal diseases. 

Hoya Bilobata Temperature

Like most Hoya plants, your Wax Plant will do best in a warm-to-temperate location. Keep the temperature between 60–95 °F degrees Fahrenheit.

Houseplants can be sensitive to drastic shifts in temperature, so make sure you keep your Wax Plant away from heat sources such as vents, hand dryers, furnaces, and other appliances. In the same way, don’t expose your plant to chilly drafts and frost spells during the winter.


If you can provide the best conditions for your plant and keep it at its happiest, you might be able to see insignificant pinkish-red flowers. You must know, however, that most plants generally bloom in an outdoor environment.


The Porcelain Flower is not toxic to humans, dogs, or cats! This means it’s a great option to place in your home whether you have fur babies or not!

Pests, Diseases, And Other Problems for Hoya Bilobata

The Hoya Bilobata is a plant resistant to several bugs, issues, and diseases. In the sections below, I’ll lay out some of the common problems for Hoya Bilobata and some tips and tricks for treating them.

Scale Insects

Scales are insects that feed on plant sap. What sets them apart from other bugs is that the adult scale will latch onto one part of the plant and stay put. They are called armored scales and may appear as brownish lumps on the stems or petioles of a plant. 

As a preventive measure, you can dilute a teaspoon of neem oil in 500 mL of water and spray it on your plant’s leaves to discourage scales from latching onto your Hoya Bilobata.

You can also release ladybugs or lacewings near your infected plant and let these beneficial bugs solve your problem!


Aphids are tiny bugs that will eat the leaves of your Porcelain Flower, resulting in black and brown patches.

Apply insecticidal soap or neem oil to treat an infestation. Weak concentrations of dish detergent can also kill aphids without harming your plant. Choose a product that is free of fragrances, such as Ivory Liquid.

Start by diluting 1 teaspoon of dish soap in 1 gallon of water, then increase the ratio as necessary. Spray this solution on your affected plant, especially on the underside of leaves where aphids can usually be found.


Mealybugs may infest your Wax Plant. If you spot these little parasites with their white fluff, act promptly. A cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol will kill mealies on contact, turning them brown or orange. A spray of diluted Neem oil also works well as a preventive measure.

Brown Leaf Tips

If you notice browning tips on the leaves of your Fishtail Hoya, you might need to double-check on several factors. 

Make sure the humidity in your home is high enough. Filter the sunlight with curtains if it’s shining too harshly on your plant. Only apply fertilizer. Let water flow through the soil for several minutes to flush out excess minerals and salts.

Drooping Leaves

If you notice drooping leaves on your Hoya Bilobata, it might be thirsty or need more moisture in the air. Plant leaves will usually remain fresh and perky for a more extended period if you keep a humidifier nearby.

Another cause of downward-curling leaves is overexposure to bright light. In this case, you can simply move your plant away from the nearest source of light and heat.

Yellow Leaves

Yellowing leaves on the Porcelain Flower can be caused by lack of light, too much light, overwatering, underwatering, nutrient deficiency, overfertilization, recent disruption of the roots, changes in temperature and humidity, presence of pests, and many others.

If you need clarification, don’t worry! Gardening requires trial and error to figure out the ideal conditions for your plants, and even master gardeners are learning new things every day. 

It is usually encouraged to prune off yellowing leaves so the plant won’t waste its energy trying to “save” the leaf instead of supplying nutrients to new leaves.

Root Rot

Root rot in the Wax Plant is often caused by overwatering. Excessive moisture will drown your plant or invite fungal diseases that destroy the roots. 

Figuring out the right amount of hydration will keep your Hoya healthy. Instead of limiting the amount of water you pour on your plant out of fear that the roots will drown, you can simply provide a substrate that drains and dries fast. Take your regular potting soil and mix in some chunky but light components such as perlite, pumice, bark, coco cubes, coal, river sand, and many others.

Of course, you must also ensure your planter has holes for the water to drain. Choosing porous pots made from terracotta or unglazed ceramic can help dry the soil faster.

Similar Plants to Hoya Bilobata

Hoya Bilobata is a popular houseplant known for its small, attractive two-lobed leaves and beautiful pink flowers. This plant is part of the Hoya mix, including Hoya DS-70 and Hoya Tsangii. 

Hoya Bilobata’s flowers are smaller than those of other Hoyas, but they are still stunning and fragrant. While this plant can be found in some big-box stores, taking care of it properly is essential to avoid common problems like overwatering and cold damage. Providing a warm temperature and indirect bright light, preferably from an east-facing window, is the best way to encourage new flowers to bloom. Use well-draining soil with plenty of drainage holes, such as coco coir, and water thoroughly but not too frequently. 

Your Hoya Bilobata will thrive and show off its unique yellow-centered blooms with proper care.

Love Fishtail Hoya? Here are some other similar plant options you should try:

  • Hoya Kerrii: Also known as the sweetheart plant, this is a tropical succulent vine with heart-shaped leaves. It is a popular houseplant often gifted to loved ones as a symbol of love and devotion.
  • Epipremnum Aureum: Commonly known as pothos or devil’s ivy, this is a popular houseplant with green heart-shaped leaves that can thrive in various light conditions. It is easy to care for and can grow rapidly.
  • Syngonium Podophyllum: Also known as arrowhead plant, this tropical plant has arrowhead-shaped leaves that come in shades of green, pink, and cream. It is a popular houseplant due to its attractive foliage and easy care.
  • Peperomia Argyreia: This small, compact plant with thick, silver-green leaves marked with dark green stripes. It is a popular houseplant that is easy to care for and can thrive in low to medium-light conditions.
  • Philodendron Hederaceum: Also known as heartleaf philodendron, this is a popular trailing houseplant with heart-shaped leaves that can vary in color from deep green to light yellow. It is easy to care for and can thrive in low to bright indirect light conditions.


In conclusion, the Hoya Bilobata is a stunning tropical plant that can bring life to any space. Its beautiful flowers and climbing habit make it popular among plant enthusiasts. 

When caring for the Hoya Bilobata, it is important to remember its preferred growing conditions, including high humidity, warm temperatures, and bright, indirect sunlight. Costa Farms is an excellent resource for finding this plant, and with proper care, you can enjoy its fragrant white flowers and fuzzy halo for years to come. Be sure to provide well-draining soil, adequate watering, and enough sunlight to promote healthy roots and new growth. 

With attention to detail and proper care, your Hoya Bilobata can thrive in any space in the Northern Hemisphere.

If you’re looking for a houseplant with some wow factor, the Hoya Bilobata is an excellent choice. Follow the tips we’ve shared above, and you’re on your way to reaching your plant’s full growing potential!

Need more Hoya plant guides? Check out these other options from Two Peas In A Condo!

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