There are over 200 species of the easy to grow, almost indestructible hoya plant. Hoya plants are often referred to as wax plant, wax Vine, or wax flower because of the waxy nature of their leaves and unique flowers. Most varieties were originally found growing in the warm temperate climates of India, Thailand, the Philippines, Polynesia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. There are also many that are native to Australia. The leaves come in many shapes, sizes, colors, and textures. Hoyas are very popular flowering plants that look beautiful hanging in a warm, bright, area of your home.
Hoya Plant Description
A hoya plant is a trailing or climbing plant with thick, succulent leaves. The leaves come in many sizes, colors, shapes, and textures. All hoya plants produce clusters of waxy, star shaped flowers from late spring to early autumn. Hoya carnosa is the basic species we use as an indoor plant. There are several different varieties of this species available.
Hoya Carnosa has long vines of green, fleshy leaves and waxy, star shaped flowers
Hoya “Krimson Queen” (Hoya Carnosa ‘Variegata’) has variegated green leaves with pink, white, or cream-colored edges.
Hoya Krimson Princess (Tricolor hoya) has leaves with green edges and white, pink, yellow, or dark pink depending on the amount of light available in the room
Hindu Rope plant (hoya carnosa compacta), has thick, twisted, curly, cupped leaves which is how it got its nickname Krinkle Kurl.
There are over 50 other hoya plant varieties such as the Hoya Kerri (Sweetheart hoya) with heart-shaped leaves and the Hoya pubicalyx with elongated, oval leaves that make great houseplants. Most varieties grown indoors produce clusters, called umbels, of five-pointed, star shaped, fragrant flowers in red, white, pink, purple, yellow, orange, and even black.
Hindu Rope K. Crimson Queen Hoya Flower H.Sweetheart H. Crimson Princess
Quick Care Tips for a Hoya Plant
Light – Bright, indirect light and some morning sun
Water – Barely moist but never soggy soil, water less in the fall and winter
Temperature – Average warm temperatures, but prefers cooler temperatures in winter
Flowering – Do not move the plant once buds appear and do not remove dead flowers
A hoya plant is a semi- succulent, very forgiving, green gem perfect to hang in front of a bright sunny window. They are easy to propagate using stem tip cuttings if you want to share your plant with friends and family. Even a plant novice will be successful growing a hoya if they are careful not to over-water.
How much light for a hoya plant: These plants grow faster and bloom more often in very bright, indirect light. They are one of the few indoor plants that can handle direct morning sun. Although a hoya plant can adapt to lower light, growth is slower and there are less flowers.
How to water a hoya plant: This is a succulent plant that stores water in its leaves. Allow the top several inches of soil to dry out before watering. Although somewhat drought resistant, they do need additional water when in bloom. Water less during fall and winter. If your water contains fluorine or chlorine, allow it to sit out 24 hours or more before using it so the chemicals can dissipate. Fluorine, chlorine, and salt are harmful to a hoya plant.
How to fertilize a hoya plant: Feed monthly, when the plant is actively growing, with a balanced plant food diluted to 1/2 the recommended strength.
Best temperature for a hoya plant: Temperatures of 65°F – 80°F (18.3°- 26.7°C ) during the day and 60°F – 65°F (15.6°C – 18.3°C) at night are best. If the temperature is too cold or a hoya plant is sitting in a cold draft, it may drop leaves.
How much humidity does a hoya plant need: Basic household humidity or lower is fine for this succulent plant.
How to help a hoya plant to flower: A mature hoya plant (3 plus yrs) produces beautiful clusters of fragrant flowers in numerous colors. Each hoya flower has five waxy petals. New flowers develop on the older stems so never cut off the old flower stems. The ideal location indoors is right in front of a window facing east or west so the plant can get a few hours of morning sun. Provide bright, indirect light the rest of the day. In winter, when the plant is resting, allow the soil to practically dry out completely before watering; this helps it bloom more the rest of the year. The flowers grow in an “umbel,” like an upside down umbrella, and there may be one to fifty flowers in each umbel. Unlike other plants, a hoya does NOT like to be dead headed so never remove the dead flowers.
Hoya plant pests: Mealy bugs, spider mites, and aphids can be a problem. Spray the entire plant, reaching every little twisted section if possible, with the nontoxic “Green Solution” that is very effective against all types of houseplant pests. Read instructions on how to make the Green Solution in the Glossary of the website.
Hoya plant diseases: The main diseases to keep an eye out for are botrytis, a fungus that causes grayish areas on the leaves, and crown, stem; and root rot, a fungal disease caused by humid warm conditions, wet leaves, soggy soil, and poor air circulation.
Best soil for a hoya plant: Use a well-aerated fast-draining potting soil. Add a little sand to the soil if it seems too heavy and is not drying out quickly.
Pot size for a hoya plant: Keep the plant in a small pot that has drip holes in the bottom to prevent over-watering.
How to prune a hoya plant: Never cut off the old stems since this is where the new flowers develop. Never cut off the dead flowers.
Hoya plants are easy to propagate using stem tip cuttings from the new vines. Read more about propagation using stem tip cuttings in the Glossary of the website.
Hoya plants rest during the winter months and require even less water than usual.
Poisonous Plant Info
Although not considered poisonous, hoya plants may make dogs and cats ill if they eat a large number of the leaves.
Indoors, hoya plants need to be about 3 years old and sit in very bright light in order to bloom. Never cut off the older stems because that is where the flowers will grow.
Not a good idea!! New flowers develop on the old flower stems of a hoya plant so never cut off the old stems.
You can try to get rid of Mealy Bugs on hoya plants by spraying the entire plant with the ” green solution” (8oz. water & 8oz. alcohol, add two tablespoons of biodegradable soap and two tablespoons of mineral oil). You can read more about this simple remedy in the Glossary of the website. You can also purchase a very small pesticide bomb at your local nursery. Place your plant in a plastic bag, release the bomb, and seal the plastic bag. Leave your Hoya in the bag for 24 hours. I prefer the ” green solution” since it doesn’t use chemicals.