This climbing beauty, also known as the porcelain flower, has been unjustly forgotten in recent times. She is simply too graceful and unique for that and fully deserves to be invited back into her own four walls. The botanical name of the wax flower is Hoya. It is a genus of tropical plants in the Apocynaceae family, which includes about 200-300 species. Her name was given by botanist Robert Brown in honor of botanist Thomas Hoy.
Wax flowers are mostly evergreen perennials. They have a so-called epiphytic habit, meaning they grow on top of other plants and trees, but they can also be found on the ground or in rocky landscape areas. Their leaves are typically succulent and vary in size, color, texture, and veining. Most of these species are of Asian origin and are popular in countries such as China, Thailand and India. They are considered relatively easy to care for. Nevertheless, a wax flower should be properly cared for so that it can grow and bloom optimally. Below you will find the most important tips you need for this.
Pink-white, delicate flowers as if made of fine porcelain
How do you plant the wax flower?
The Hoya is often grown as a houseplant in this country. In tropical or generally southern, warm areas, it can also be planted in the garden and grown near trees. In all other climates she is best grown in pots in sheltered spots outdoors or indoors and in a heated greenhouse.
In contrast to most other plants, the wax flower likes to be in a pot. She doesn’t like having her roots disturbed by repotting every two or three years, and shows her displeasure when she doesn’t flower.
When growing Hoya, choose a pot that is only slightly larger than the existing root ball. Remove the plant from its old pot and, without removing any soil or mix from its roots, place it in the new pot. Then fill it up with a high-quality potting soil mixture. Add some terracotta or bucket mix to ensure optimal drainage.
The wax flower is slowly becoming one of the most popular indoor plants again
Young plants can be twisted up with a small trellis that is firmly stuck in the pot. Larger plants may do better when trained up on a trellis or trellis attached to a nearby pergola, log, or fence. Of course, the latter only applies if the plant is growing outdoors. Otherwise, a medium-sized climbing aid is completely sufficient for older plants.
Build such a trellis out of wooden sticks or boards
Another tip when growing Hoya is to limit sunlight. Outdoor plants should be positioned so that they are partially shaded from the hot afternoon sun in summer. Otherwise they could get sunburnt and burn their leaves. Also indoors, place the Hoya where it gets good ambient light. Avoid direct sun through the glass. Do not place your plant near air conditioners or heater vents. She also doesn’t like drafts at all.
The Hoya plants feel very comfortable on a protected flower stand
Caring for wax flowers properly
In warm weather, the hoya should be kept damp but never wet. Keep in mind that she doesn’t have a lot of potting soil around her roots. Whatever the plant has at all will dry out quickly on a hot day anyway. So give her something to drink every morning during the summer.
As the weather cools, gradually reduce the frequency of watering. Test the soil mix regularly. When the top few inches are dry, give her some water. If the indoor air is very dry, spray a light mist over the plant about every day or place a bowl of water next to your waxflower.
Some Hoya species have thicker, succulent leaves
The best Hoya fertilizer is a bimonthly controlled release fertilizer for flowering plants. Apply this every year at the beginning of spring. Supplement with a liquid or water-soluble plant food approximately every month to keep plants healthy and vigorous.
With good care, the plants will thank you with plenty of flowers
Depending on the species, these differ in color and size
diseases and pests
The wax flowers are relatively robust and are not often attacked by diseases or pests. Aphids are the most annoying pests that could bother you. These are attracted to the abundant nectar when flowers are present. Sometimes ants also drink the sweet nectar. You can fight both ants and the cheeky aphids with these home remedies.
How to propagate the wax flower?
Like most climbing plants, the Hoya is best propagated by cuttings. This is quite simple. In the spring or summer, take two-year-old cuttings that are mature but not hardy. Don’t use whole tendrils. Put them in a glass of water or in a pot of African violet soil mixed with some perlite. Pot your cuttings as soon as roots have developed. Fertilize monthly with a liquid, organic fertilizer. After two years you can repot them.
In any case, avoid waterlogging
Take care of your evergreen wax flower with love and patience. When she’s comfortable, she’ll shower you with fabulous buds and a subtle, fresh scent.
As a houseplant, the porcelain flower can be bent into many shapes
Plant different types of them
Wax flowers do very well as hanging plants