Hoya occultata S.Rahayu & Rodda
The specific epithet "occultata (ock-ull-TAY-tuh)" means "concealed, hidden, having been concealed" and refers to the position of the inner corona, enveloped by the corolla and therefore hidden from sight.
Hoya occultata is native to Indonesia. It is only found in one locality in Aralle, West Sulawesi.
Hoya occultata is an epiphytic shrub with pale brown stems that bear leaves mid-green leaves with pinnate venation. The stems are erect or suberect and can grow up to 20 inches (50 cm) long and 0.25 inches (0.6 cm) in diameter. The leaves are elliptic-lanceolate, pale green underneath, and can measure up to 4 inches (10 cm) long and 1.4 inches (3.5 cm) wide. They are attached to the stem by a cylindrical petiole channeled above and up to 0.3 inches (0.8 cm) in length.
During the summer, Hoya occultata produces umbels of up to 15 flowers with urn-shaped corolla with free-spreading lobes. The flowers can reach up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter. The corolla lobes are sparsely pubescent, white at the base, turning dark yellow at the tips on the inside. Outside, they are smooth and yellowish-cream. The corolla envelops the inner corona and, therefore, hides from sight, which is the main characteristic distinguishing this species from the otherwise similar Hoya irisiae. The fruits are blackish spotted follicles measuring up to 4.2 inches (10.5 cm) long and 0.15 inches (0.4 cm) in diameter.
How to Grow and Care for Hoya occultata
Light: Even if this plant can tolerate lower light levels, it may become weak and leggy if the light is too low, producing fewer leaves and flowers. Therefore, keeping it indoors in bright, indirect sunlight is best.
Soil: Well-draining soil that provides excellent aeration and does not hold too much water is most important for growing a healthy plant.
Temperature: Hoya occultata thrives in hot and humid climates, so keep it away from drafty windows and doorways during the colder months. It grows best in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 11a to 11b, with average minimum winter temperatures ranging from 40 to 50 °F (4.4 to 10 °C).
Watering: As this plant is sensitive to overwatering, soak the soil thoroughly during the spring and summer, but allow it to dry out before watering again. Otherwise, you will increase the risk of root rot, and your plant will not be happy. It is relatively dormant during the fall and winter and needs only moderate watering.
Fertilizing: While Hoya occultata is not a particularly heavy feeder, it can benefit from high-potassium fertilizer at half strength every two weeks during the growing season.
Repotting: As an epiphyte, this plant has shallow root systems and does need a deep container. It also does not require frequent repotting. It prefers to be slightly rootbound, so repot it in spring only if it outgrows its container.
Propagation: Although layering is the easiest way to propagate Hoya occultata, using stem cuttings is the most popular method. Using leaf cuttings can be more challenging, while starting it from seeds is the simplest but the most time-consuming method. For best results, take cuttings only when the plant is actively growing and sow the seeds in spring and summer.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Hoya.
Toxicity of Hoya occultata
Hoya occultata is considered non-toxic, so having it around kids and pets is safe.
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