Hoya plants (Hoya carnosa, USDA zones 10-12), also known as wax plants or porcelain flowers, are a member of the dogbane family (Apocynaceae). The hoya plant has average light requirements and prefers warm soil, making it an easy-care houseplant. A hanging pot or planter stand with a trellis is ideal to accommodate the climbing and trailing nature of hoya plants. Hoya plants do not flower until they are at least four years old.
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Providing a hoya plant with proper care will ensure clusters of brightly colored star-shaped flowers in the summer.
Plant hoya on a well-draining potting mix, in a pot with a hole in the bottom, to ensure proper drainage. The pot should be large enough to accommodate the plant's growth, but it shouldn't allow the roots to spread too much.
Place the hoya plant in a brightly lit north facing window. Although hoya plants need some sunlight, harsh afternoon sun can burn the leaves, so it's best to place your hoya plant where it will receive early morning or late afternoon sun.
Getting Hoya Plants to Bloom
Water the hoya plant deeply, allowing the soil to become fully saturated. Let the soil dry completely between waterings, as overwatering discourages flower production. Watering should be done infrequently in winter when the plant is dormant.
Keep the air temperature around the hoya plant above 45 degrees Fahrenheit in winter, and provide summer temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. Cooler temperatures may cause leaf loss and discourage flowering. Hoya loves humidity so mist the plant several times a week to encourage blooms.
Fertilize hoya plants monthly with a small amount of 15-15-15 fertilizer. Mix 15 drops of liquid fertilizer into a quart of water in a watering can and pour the contents of the can around the base of the plant. Adequate fertilizer is required for flower production. Discontinue fertilizing in the winter months while the plant is not actively growing.
Prune hoya plants only at old growth, as flowers form on new growth. Because new blooms grow in the same area as old blooms, hoya plants have a better chance of flowering if old blooms are kept intact.
Additional Tips for Growing Hoya
Because hoyas don't thrive in harsh sunlight, use a sheer curtain to block the sun's rays if your plant is in a window that receives maximum sunlight throughout the day. As a hoya plant grows, avoid planting it in a larger pot. Hoyas grow best when they're root-bound and have a better chance of blooming when their roots aren't allowed to spread too far.
Hoyas are easy to grow and care for and will bloom often in the right conditions. Don't overwater or allow the roots to spread out too far, and soon you will have a plant that flowers often.