The Hoya plant or commonly known as the wax plant (scientific name: Hoya carnosa), is a flowering plant from the family of Apocynaceae. It has approximately 200-300 genus. Hoya is a succulent mostly found in tropical regions, and its family includes Dogbane, Oleander, Plumeria, Periwinkle, Golden Trumpet, and Mandevilla.
These succulent vines have dark green leaves. Hoya foliage has waxy leaves that grow in opposite pairs and attain a maximum length of 3 inches and 0.8 inches in width. Its star-shaped flowers grow in clusters of the umbel and vary from white to pale pink. They emit a sweet fragrance. These aromatic compounds are also used in perfumes.
Hoya requires medium-bright indirect light indoors. 3-4 hours of early morning or late afternoon light is ideal for its growth. It can also grow in fluorescent light, but not recommended. Their flowering and growth can be retarded due to inadequate light. Harsh and direct sunlight causes their leaves to burn. It is advised to avoid direct light and dark corners.
Like many succulents, these can be watered every once per 2-3 weeks. During active growth months, it should be kept hydrated and watered when the upper soil dries out but generally speaking, during the inactive growth period. Hoya should be watered to prevent drying out, and excessive water will cause root rot and, therefore, should be avoided.
Temperature and Humidity
According to The Sill, the optimum temperature should be between 18°C-33°C. As tropical plants, they can endure a good range of temperature unless it’s below 10°C. A cooler environment will retard its growth, ultimately leading to its death. Therefore, they should be placed at such a location where the temperature is optimum in the winter months.
Generally, succulents don’t mind any levels of humidity. Hoya plants require a 50% level of humidity and may require 60%-70% levels in some cases. Humidity is essential as it increases the growth speed of Hoya. Good airflow is necessary for regulating excessive levels of moisture because it can cause a fungus attack.
The soil should be rich and drainable. Mixtures of organic soil, compost, and peat-moss are ideal. Hoya also likes to be fed with a liquified form of 3-1-2 fertilizer. During the blooming season, water-soluble 5-10-5 fertilizer should be fed. 10% phosphorus is generous for sustained flowering. Excessive feeding might cause root and stem rot.
Hoya should be avoided from ingesting as it is toxic and has a milky sap laden. It is not poisonous, but a person with a latex allergy should avoid handling it. It can cause throat swelling and severe breathing issues. Moreover, it can prove to be fatal for children and pets. Their toxic effects vary in species. It’s best practice to keep it out of reach of children and pets.
Hoya is an excellent source of air-purification and is perfect for removing air pollutants. It’s reported that these plants can combat all five volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These VOCs can irritate the eyes, throat, nose, cause difficulty in breathing and nausea. It can cause cancer and harm the central nervous system as well as other organs.
Hoya can root easily in moist soil. Ideally, it is advised to repot them every 2-3 years when their roots outgrow in the pot. They should be repotted in a bigger-sized pot to enjoy its continued growth. It is strictly advised not to repot them during their blooming season as this will cause the plant to shed its flowers and die.
Hoya doesn’t respond well to the location changes. Furthermore, due consideration should be given to watering spells. Overwatering or underwatering will cause irreparable damage. Similarly, over-light and under-light also have consequences. Temperature plays an essential part in the growth rate. Lastly, humidity should also be kept checked.
Following are the common issues of Hoya,
- Blackening of leaves
- Dieback of stems
- Wilting of the growth
- Root rot
- Failure to flower
Hoya plants suffer from several diseases. Some of the most common diseases are:
- Botrytis Blight
- Fungus Gnats
Hoya is among the best houseplants because they are easier plants to keep indoors. These don’t require intensive care and handling, and their beautiful star-shaped fragrant flowers augment the interior beauty and provide an aromatic scent that creates a soothing sensation. They help combat VOCs and remove air pollutants ensuring that hayo plant can be an excellent addition to the house.