Hoya, commonly called wax plant or wax flower, are sought-after house plants because they are easy to grow, easy to propagate and have exotic, highly fragrant flowers. They are epiphytes, meaning that they grow on other plants and derive nutrients and moisture from the air. There are at least 300 to 400 different varieties, some even say 600 to 700.
Here are our care tips for some of the most common varieties.
Many varieties of Hoya have waxy foliage resembling succulent plants. But, don’t be fooled. They’re not related to succulents and don’t care for the hot sun in south-facing windows. Try an east-facing window or a bright spot with indirect light.
Because Hoyas grow on other plants, they need good air circulation and like their roots to dry out. Overly wet soil spells disaster. It’s easy to create the perfect soil mixture yourself. Simply mix equal parts of these three products; Espoma’s organic Cactus Mix, Espoma’s Orchid Mix and Espoma’s Perlite.
Feeding and Watering
Water your Hoya when the soil mix feels almost completely dry. Water it until the water runs out of the bottom, then dump out the excess water. If leaves begin to drop, you may be watering too often, just let the soil dry out a bit more in between waterings. While not in bloom, feed your plant every 2-4 weeks with Indoor! Espoma’s liquid, fertilizer otherwise use Espoma’s organic, liquid Orchid! food. It has a little more phosphorus that will help the plant to produce lovely, long-lasting flowers. They are both organic, gentle on plants and come with a cap that premeasures the right amount for one quart of water.
The best way to propagate Hoya is to take cuttings that have two nodes. A node is a place where the leaves emerge from the stem. Either place them in a vase with water or into a jar with moist sphagnum moss. Check on them every few weeks. When you have a good root system, pot them in the same soil mix described above.
In Homestead Brooklyn’s Hoya Care video Summer Rayne Oakes talks about the following Hoya varieties:
Hoya carnosa – It looks like a trailing plant, but will climb a trellis.
Hoya carnosa ‘Compacta Variegata’ – A variegated form with strongly curling foliage.
Hoya carnosa ‘Krimson’ – Has reddish stems and variegated foliage.
Hoya multiflora – This one doesn’t like to dry out. Add a larger percentage of cactus mix to the soil mix you make or water more frequently.
Hoya pubicalyx – This is a climbing variety.
Hoya bella – A trailing habit for a hanging basket.
Hoya cumingiana – This is similar to Hoya bella but prefers a more alkaline soil. Add crushed oyster shells or washed out, crushed eggshells to the top of the soil to lower the pH.
Hoya pachyclada – This one is mounted on wood with sphagnum moss. It’s a beautiful way to display the plant but it will dry out faster and need to be watered more often.