Hoya (Wax plant) - Care tips

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Hoya (Wax plant)

The first Hoya was attributed to the genus in 1810 introduced by Scottish botanist Robert Brown and named in honor of the botanist Thomas Hoy. Interviews with Hoya experts, collectors and botanical gardens around the world reveal that there are probably between 600 and 700 Hoya species, many of which are still undescribed or unnamed. The flowering plants of Hoya are part of the Asclepiadaceae family. Newer theories place the genus in the Apocynaceae (dogbane) family. Although the name Hoya is not difficult to remember, you might want to call the plants by one of their other common names, such as wax plant, wax flower, Indian rope plant, china flower, or honey plant.

These slow-growing plants have long, woody stems and fleshy leaves. The amazing flowers they (can) produce are sweet smelling and star shaped, usually with five thick and waxy petals. These plants are perfect for hanging baskets or for climbing.

Hoya Care Tips

Hoyas are tropical plants and therefore have a few requirements to thrive, but nothing too difficult.

Light and placement for Hoyas

Choose a place with bright, indirect light for your Hoya. Do not be misled by their waxy foliage. They are not succulents and therefore cannot stand bright afternoon light. They will grow in less light, but are very unlikely to flower. Potting soil with good air circulation is very important for Hoya. To create a perfect blend mix equal parts of an Cactus Mix or Orchid Mix, and Perlite. Hoyas like to be pot-bound or crowded in their pots. They will only need to be repotted every two or three years.


Water your Hoya with water at room temperature. In the spring to summer this may be regular, but do allow the top layer of soil to dry out thoroughly first. In autumn and winter their growth slows down and they do not need as much water. Give them just enough water in autumn and winter so that the soil does not dry out completely. Too much water can make the flowers fall out.


Like most plants we have at home, the Hoya likes to be fed fertiliser. Use liquid fertiliser to feed your Hoya about once a month during the growing season. As soon as the weather turns cold, you should limit the fertiliser. In fact, these plants should not be fed during the winter months as they will enter a semi-dormant state. Feeding Hoyas just before their flowering season and during flowering will encourage more blooms.


Propagating Hoyas

The most common methods of propagating Hoyas are leaf cuttings, stem cuttings, air layering, and growing from seed. The best way to propagate Hoyas is leaf and stem cuttings because this method is not only easy but also cost effective.

Leaf cuttings:

Start by cutting off a few of the leaves from the stem of your plant. Using leaf cuttings is a method that requires patience and determination, because it can be one of the most difficult methods. You must wait at least five weeks before there is even a root growing from the leaves in the ground! Place the leaves in the ground, with the tips just covered, so that the roots can start to form. When you notice roots forming from the leaves, it is time to get excited!

Stem cuttings:

The method with the greatest chance of success for the propagation of Hoyas. This method of propagation can also take a long time, but in any case it is easy and uncomplicated. The first thing to do is to remove the lower leaves from the stem. Cut off a piece of the stem and use a pot with soil in which you can bury the lower end of the cut stem. The soil should be slightly moist when you plant the cutting. You can also let your stem cut root in a glass of water, and you can use any length of stem for this method. With both methods, the roots will start growing within a month, as long as the leaves do not get wet and are not submerged.

Most common pest on Hoyas

Most pests that attack Hoyas are sap suckers. Aphids, mealybugs and other scale insects, and spider mites are some of the most common attackers. Fortunately, all these pests can be controlled. For example, simply spray neem oil on all surfaces of the plant, and it should completely reduce or eliminate the population of these common pests. There are other pests that could affect your Hoya plant, but few are common invaders of this plant type. We recommend you to visit our PLNTS doctor page to find out which pest is bothering your Hoya and how to control it.

Are Hoyas toxic for pets or children?

Hoya plants contain no toxins that could harm dogs, cats or other pets and humans. Hoya plants are listed as safe by the ASPCA. So that's another great reason to get a Hoya!

Buy your new Hoya at PLNTS.com

At PLNTS.com you can buy your new Hoya online, for example the Hoya Gracilis or Hoya Australis Lisa.

Whether like you your Hoya big from the start or prefer to grow them from tiny BabyPLNTS into full-grown PLNTS - we’ve got you covered!

Hi, I'm Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!

Hi, I’m Emma, your PLNTS.com guide!