Hoya pubicalyx Merr.
Porcelain Flower, Wax Plant
This species is native to the Philippines. It grows as an epiphyte or scrambling shrub.
Hoya pubicalyx is a vigorous vine with long wiry stems and green leaves with silver markings on the upper surface. The leaves are thick, fleshy, and leathery, with a paler lower surface. They are ovate, up to 4.6 inches (14 cm) long, and up to 2.4 inches (6 cm) wide. The young leaves are often burgundy-colored, becoming green as they mature. Flowers are up to 0.7 inches (1.8 cm) in diameter and appear in attractive clusters, usually from spring to fall. The corolla is dark rose-pink with white margins, densely hairy inside, and has five spreading to recurved lobes. The corona is star-shaped, pale pink, and tinged with dark red towards the center.
This species is sometimes confused for Hoya carnosa.
How to Grow and Care for Hoya pubicalyx
Light: H. pubicalyx 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. pubicalyx 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. pubicalyx 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. pubicalyx 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. pubicalyx 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. pubicalyx 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 pubicalyx
H. pubicalyx is non-toxic to humans and pets.
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