Hoya plants are known for their thick leaves and characteristic shape. They are clambers, making them a very interesting sight in any home. Hoyas are commonly known as Wax Plant. They are wax-stemmed and produce beautiful flowers. Many people like to grow them in their homes, balcony, or gardens.
These plants have been enjoyed for decades and are very popular among many home gardeners. Hoyas have wheel-like clusters of porcelain or waxy flowers. The flowers typically have stars in their crowns. They often produce unique, enjoyable fragrances.
The generic name honors Thomas Hoy, a gardener for the Duke of Northumberland. Hoy was the first one to recognize this plant's beauty and uniqueness, bringing it into prominence.
Hoyas are native to southern India. There, Hoyas are highly prized, and it is even a subject of legend. However, these plants are also commonly found throughout eastern Asia and Australia. There are many species, but it is unclear how many there are exactly. According to Bailey's Standard Cyclopedia of Horticulture, there are around 100 species.
Light: Although the plants do not require direct sunlight, they would not do well away from a window unless you prefer to grow them under fluorescent grow lights. Supply all but the hottest sun.
Water: Keep the soil moist in spring and summer, dry but not to the point of shriveled foliage in winter. In dry climates, more frequent watering may be necessary. Some like to mist the leaves frequently to clean them and increase humidity, but not when the plant is budding or in flower.
Temperature: Give them medium, 50 °F (10 °C), to warm temperatures during the growing season, spring and summer. The plants go semi-dormant in winter.
Soil: A moist, well-drained, light soil is a good growing medium.
Fertilizer: In spring, Hoyas react favorably to feeding.A liquid food three or four times during the growing season will produce vigorous growth. Withhold food during the winter.
Propagate Hoyas by cuttings of top growth or leaf cuttings in the same manner as African Violets and Gloxinias. The average cutting or leaf will produce a blooming plant in two years or less. The easiest method of propagation is by layering. Layers mature faster and do not need as much patience. Pin down a stem, at the joint, in a moist rooting medium. Sever and pot the new plant when roots have formed.
Hoyas do not ask for much beyond the well-draining soil and the warm, humid conditions that many tropical plant crave. They do not like wet feet or heavy soil, and as many grow as epiphytes in nature (similar to bromeliads and orchids). Give them at least a half-day of sunshine, and bring them indoors when temperatures drop below 50 °F (10 °C).
When your Hoya finishes blooming, leave the flower stalk, as it may produce new flowers. Removing the stalk forces the plant to produce a new stalk, which delays blooming and wastes the plant's energy. Hoyas are light feeders, and a monthly drink of compost tea or dilute fish emulsion provides all the nutrition these tropicals need. They like the security of a snug pot, and plants that are a bit root-bound will flower more prolifically than those swimming around in a giant pot.
Place your Hoya in a hanging basket where you can admire it from your favorite seat on the deck or porch. Hoyas will cling to a small trellis, providing a vertical accent in your tropical container garden. A Hoya would appreciate the humid conditions alongside any pond, fountain, or other water feature in your landscape.
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