Hoya meliflua (Blanco) Merr.
Hoya luzonica, Hoya meliflua subsp. fraterna, Hoya meliflua subsp. meliflua, Stapelia meliflua
This species is native to the Philippines. It grows as an epiphyte in Luzon (Apayao, La Union, Rizal, Bataan, and Laguna provinces), Mindoro, Palawan, Negros, Panay, and Leyte.
Hoya meliflua is a shrubby, climbing, or trailing plant with wiry stems and glossy, dark green succulent leaves with no venation. The stems are branched, smooth, slightly fleshy, and grow up to 13.1 feet (4 m) long. Leaves are ovate, up to 5.2 inches (13 cm) long and up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) wide, with up to 0.8 inches (2 cm) long petiole. Flowers are reddish-orange with five nectaries near the base of the central column from which a dark sap is produced. They appear in clusters from spring to summer. Each cluster typically contains 10 to 20 flowers.
The specific epithet "meliflua (mel-IF-loo-uh)" is the feminine form of a Spanish adjective derived from the Latin "mellifluus," meaning "honey-dropping, flowing with honey, mellifluous," and refers to the dark nectar of the plant that stains the flowers.
How to Grow and Care for Hoya meliflua
Light: H. meliflua grows well indoors in bright indirect light but will tolerate pretty low light levels, although it becomes weak and leggy, produce fewer leaves, and may not flower without bright light.
Soil: Whatever soil you plant your H. meliflua in, it should be well-draining, provide excellent aeration and not hold too much water.
Temperature: As a tropical plant, it thrives in warm, moist, humid climates. Keep it away from drafty windows and doorways during the colder months. H. meliflua can withstand temperatures as low as 40 °F (4.4 °C). USDA Plant Hardiness Zones 11a to 11b, 40 to 50 °F (4.4 to 10 °C).
Watering: Water regularly in spring and summer. Soak the soil thoroughly until the water drains out of the drainage holes. Then let the soil dry out between watering. H. meliflua is relatively dormant and needs only moderate watering in fall and winter.
Fertilizing: This plant is not a particularly heavy feeder. However, it appreciates some extra micronutrients and macronutrients. Therefore, feed with half-strength high-potassium fertilizer every two weeks or so during the growing season.
Repotting: As an epiphytic plant, H. meliflua has quite shallow root systems and does not require a deep container, nor it needs to be repotted frequently. It prefers growing a bit tight in its container. Therefore, repot in spring if it outgrows its container.
Propagation: You can easily get new plants from your existing H. meliflua by stem cuttings. Leaf cuttings can be more problematic. The best time to take cuttings is spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. The easiest method of propagation is by layering. Starting this plant from seeds is the simplest but the most time-consuming way of propagation. Sow the seeds in spring or summer in well-draining soil.
Learn more at How to Grow and Care for Hoya.
Toxicity of Hoya meliflua
H. meliflua is non-toxic to humans and pets.
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