Hoya carnosa (L.f.) R.Br.
Wax Plant, Porcelain Flower
Asclepias carnosa, Cynanchum carnosum, Schollia carnosa
Hoya carnosa is a common houseplant grown for its attractive waxy foliage and sweetly scented flowers. It makes faintly succulent shoots with smooth pale gray surfaces that writhe and climb. Leaves are slightly succulent with waxy, glossy surfaces. They are ovate or elliptical, up to 5.2 inches (13 cm) long, up to 2 inches (5 cm) wide, and have an 0.6 inches (1.5 cm) long petiole. The plant blooms from spring to late summer. It can produce umbels of 10 to 30 small star-shaped flowers that mature gradually (2 to 3 weeks) on the same peduncle. They are typically light pink but may vary from near-white to dark pink. The surface of the flowers is covered in tiny hairs giving them a fuzzy sheen.
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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