Most commonly used varieties:
Hoya carnosa variegata ‘Tricolor,’ Hoya carnosa ‘Rubra’ aka ‘Crimson prince,’ Hoya obovata and Hoya keysii.
Tabletop or cascading hanging basket. Hoyas are climbing or trailing plants with thick, fleshy leaves and clusters of waxy, star-shaped flowers. Some species are also sweet-scented. The climbing kinds, which can grow many feet tall, are usually grown on a small indoor trellis or are trained around and around wire hoops. Leaves grow in opposite pairs. Clusters of flowers are produced every year on 1 to 2-inch-long stalks. Each cluster is composed of up to 30-inch blooms and is carried on a 1-inch-long woody spur that arises from a leaf axil.
H. bella (miniature wax plant) is a small, branching plant that grows up-right until it becomes about a foot tall, then begins to trail. Its non-glossy leaves are about an inch long and ½ inch wide and are gray-green with a narrow, brown banc running down the center. The flowers grow in clusters of 8 to 10 and are white with a purple center.
H. carnosa (honey or wax plant) is a fast-growing climber with glossy dark-green leaves 3 inches long and an inch wide. Flowers, in clusters of 10 to 30, are white to very pale pin, always with a red center. There are two variegated-leaved forms: H.c. ‘Exotica’ with a broad yellow stripe down the center of each leaf; and H.c. ‘Variegata’ (golden wax plant.), with leaves broadly bordered in creamy white, which may even be pink-tinged.
The flower stem, called a spur, should not be removed when the bloom fades as this is where, year after year, a new flower will appear. Savor each one and revel in the differences of each species. Some flowers are larger with burgundy centers, others are half the size with yellow centers. Some have a strong lovely scent others have just a whiff.
Bright indirect. The beauty of Hoya plants is not just skin deep. Hoyas are a low-maintenance, easy-to-care-for plant. They thrive in highlight indoor environments but will tolerate medium light and survive in low light. Hoya’s can endure a wide fluctuation in temperatures and still look good.
Hoyas prefer to be just barely moist at all times but can go a bit dry in between waterings and are often very forgiving if you forget and skip a week. Their thick leaves tell us when we’ve been too reckless with their care. They rarely if ever need repotting, favoring a nice tight root ball for producing flowers.
The flower stem, called a spur, should not be removed when the bloom fades as this is where, year after year, a new flower will appear. Savor each one and revel in the differences of each species. Some flowers are larger with burgundy centers; others are half the size with yellow centers. Some have a strong lovely scent, others have just a whiff. Fertilize every two to three months during active growth. If the leaves start to get a purple cast the plant needs a “complete” fertilizer added to the watering.
Occasionally mealy bug will try and infest your plant. The Hoya known commonly as Hindu rope with its curly leaves is particularly hard to be rid of these hiding pests. Once in a while aphids will attack the heavenly scented flowers of H. lacanosa. Spider mites are especially fond of Hoya bella.