Hoya carnosa (L.f.) R.Br.
Honey Plant, Porcelain Flower, Wax Plant, Wax Vine
Asclepias carnosa, Hoya carnosa var. carnosa, Hoya carnosa var. formosana, Hoya carnosa var. gushanica, Hoya carnosa var. japonica, Hoya chinensis, Hoya crassifolia, Hoya formosana, Hoya intermedia, Hoya laurifolia, Hoya motoshei, Hoya picta, Hoya rotundifolia, Hoya variegata, Schollia carnosa, Schollia chinensis, Schollia crassifolia, Stapelia chinensis
This species is native to East India, southern China, Taiwan, Myanmar, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Japanese islands of Kyushu and Ryukyu, the Fiji Islands, and Queensland in Australia. It grows in humid subtropical forests.
Hoya carnosa is a common houseplant with slender, smooth, pale gray stems that twine and climb bearing glossy, dark green, slightly succulent leaves. The stems grow up to 20 feet (6 m) long. Leaves are stalked, ovate or elliptic with the base rounded to shallowly cordate, up to 5.2 inches (13 cm) long, and up to 2 inches (5 cm) wide. The petiole is up to 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long. Flowers are star-shaped and appear in clusters of 10 to 30, usually in summer. They mature gradually on the same peduncle in 2 to 3 weeks. The corolla is white, sometimes with a pink center, densely papillate, and up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) across. The smaller corona is white with red in the center. Fruits are smooth linear-lanceolate follicles. They are up to 4 inches long and 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) in diameter.
USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b: from 30 °F (−1.1 °C) to 50 °F (+10 °C).
How to Grow and Care
Hoyas don't ask for much beyond the well-draining soil and the warm, humid conditions that many tropical flowers crave. They don't like wet feet or heavy soil, and as many grow as epiphytes in nature. 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 its energy. These plants are light feeders, and a monthly drink of compost tea or dilute fish emulsion provides all the nutrition these tropicals need. Hoyas like the security of a snug pot, and plants that are a bit root-bound will flower more prolifically than swimming around in a giant pot.
Propagate Hoyas by cuttings of top growth or by leaf cuttings. The average cutting or leaf will produce a blooming plant in 2 years or less. The easiest method of propagation is by layering.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Hoya.
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