Wax plant is a beloved trailing plant belonging to the Hoya plant family. It’s a classic beauty with fragrant clusters of star-shaped blooms. Wax plant gets its name from its thick, shiny leaves. Perfect for a hanging container, wax plant vines and drapes gracefully. It’s a popular houseplant, and in warmer climates, it can be enjoyed outdoors.
Wax plant, also called Porcelain flower, is native to Asia where it enjoys the tropical regions of China, Philippines, and Indonesia to name a few. They are easy to grow and care for, and they’ll reward you with happy growth – especially when you can replicate growing conditions similar to their natural habitat.
How to Grow and Care for Hoya
One important element in a wax plant’s native climate is warmth and sunlight. Before you rush out to buy yourself a wax plant, make sure you have an area that will provide the warmth and light it will love. And when you select a wax plant to purchase, make sure it’s nice and healthy to begin with. Inspect its foliage for signs of disease or damage. Peek underneath the leaves, too.
Once you’ve taken your healthy specimen home, hang your wax plant high enough to let its vines cascade freely. A bright window with indirect light is a wax plants preferred location. It’s easy going nature will find partial light is acceptable too, but less light may compromise your plant’s flower production.
Water your wax plant regularly. Allow the top half of the soil to dry between watering. A humidifier will be helpful for your wax plant if your home environment is dry. Beyond these steps, try not to handle your wax plant much.
Wax plants are particularly sensitive to any disruption of their root ball. In fact, wax plants prefer their roots to be bound tighter than most plants would find comfortable. Avoid repotting a wax plant for as long as possible. If your plant has reached the age where it should be flowering but it isn’t, or maybe it has flowered in the past but hasn’t, try giving it more light.
As a last resort, repot a wax flower plant. And be patient. Your repotted plant will probably appear a bit shabby for a while. It will usually snap back with the proper TLC.
Wax plant’s flowers are lovely. You may need to wait a bit for them, but they’ll be worth the wait. Wax plants generally won’t flower until they’ve reached their mature size, and growth may take awhile. Once your plant has reached blooming age, you can expect your wax plant to flower yearly. When the flowers fade back, you might be tempted to remove the spent blossom. However, new flowers will bloom from that peduncle year after year, so leave it intact.
Wax plants are beautiful even without flowers. The foliage and vines are striking. And the ease of care of the wax plant makes this one of the most popular houseplants. If you would rather enjoy your wax plant outdoors, make sure to bring it inside when temperatures dip down to the mid 40’s.
If you’d like to start a new wax plant, they are easy to grow from stem cuttings. After you snip a few stems off, dip the cuttings in a rooting hormone. Tuck the cutting into an excellent draining soil, such as a potting mix with sand and perlite or vermiculite. At least one of the cuttings should take root. Mist your cuttings with water often until roots develop, or cover your cuttings with plastic for moisture.
Hoya Pests, Diseases, and Problems
Wax plants are irresistible to the fluid sucking mealy bugs. Mealy bugs are identified as little white fuzzy spots attached to the leaves. Insecticidal soap and oil sprays will often do the trick. For a more persistent infestation, enclose your plant in a container along with a fumigant card. The vapors will kill the little pests in no time.
There are a lot of Hoya varieties, including many color options and even mini varieties. Here are two popular ones:
‘Hoya australis’ is native to Australia. Its delicate soft flowers diffuse their fragrance into the evening air.
‘Hoya carnosa’ is a commonly grown hardy variety. This evergreen boasts large colorful leaves with long, white or pink flowers.