Hoya- Apocynaceae - Cultivation and care of the Hoya plant



Plants of the genus Hoya they are also known as dai plants wax flower pearl of the spectacular nature of the flowers that look like wax due to their delicacy.






: Angiosperms


: Eudicotyledons


: Asteris











: see the paragraph on "Main species"


The species belonging to the genus Hoya of the family Apocynaceae they are extremely variegated plants as we find evergreen perennial species, bushy climbers, other shrubs or creeping ones and some epiphytes.

The leaves are usually dark green in color, opposite, often fleshy and sometimes lame, with an oval shape that is more or less elongated depending on the species.

The characteristic that unites them are the starry flowers, gathered in inflorescence and umbel at the axils of the leaves, waxy, fragrant, very particular and attractive, they last all summer. The flowers are followed by long cylindrical pods bearing hairy seeds.

They are plants native to the warmer areas of Asia, Australia and several Pacific islands.


There are about 150 species in the genus Hoya. The most common are:


There Hoya bella (Hoya lanceolata subspecies beautiful) It is a plant with a drooping habit with thin stems with pointed oval leaves, no more than 2.5 cm long and of a beautiful dull green color. The flowers are grouped in corymb inflorescences (composed of 8-12 flowers) strongly drooping, waxy, white with a violet center.

It blooms in summer producing very sweet scented flowers.


There Hoya carnosa, native to China and India, it is larger than the previous species as the leaves can reach a length of 7 cm, are thicker and fleshy and dark green in color. It is a very generous plant that blooms continuously from the end of spring and throughout the summer. It is a very fast growing climber. It is very common in Mediterranean climates. The flowers, which appear from late spring to autumn, are starry and waxy, typical of the genus, white in color with a pink-red color in the center, gathered in convex umbel inflorescences. very fragrant at night.

There are numerous cultivars including: 'Variegata' with cream-colored leaf margins; 'Exotica' with leaves shaded with yellow and streaked with pink; 'Picta' with leaves with creamy white margins.

This species is the one that is best suited to being raised in an apartment as it needs moderate temperatures.


There Hoya multiflora it is native to Malaysia and is a plant that has dark green lanceolate leaves and pale yellow flowers with a brown center gathered in very numerous clusters.


There Hoya purpurea fusca it is a plant native to Malaysia and Indonesia and is a very fast growing species with a climbing habit. The leaves are fleshy and lightly speckled with silver. The flowers are brown or purple and slightly edged with white and with a pink center.


There Hoya longifolia it is a species native to the Himalayan areas and therefore requires fresh climates.

It is a plant that has long and sharp linear leaves of a dark green color and a fleshy consistency. The white flowers with a pink center are gathered in inflorescences.


The Hoya they are quite rustic plants and do not require special precautions.

Cultivation temperatures in summer must not exceed 27 ° C and in winter they must not be below 10 ° C.

They need a lot of light but not direct sun.

A good practice to grow the plant with a nice mass of leaves is to fix the stems on a metal circle placed in a semicircle in the pot (see photo beside).


The Hoya during the whole spring-summer period they are watered abundantly but taking great care not to leave water stagnations in the sub-pot in any way as they are not tolerated in any way and could cause dangerous rot. During the cold season, watering should be significantly reduced and water only to prevent the soil from drying out completely.

They are plants that love humid environments therefore it is necessary to spray the leaves regularly when it is hot and keep the environment ventilated.

Hoya carnosa


There Hoya repot only when the pot has become too small to contain the plant using a good fertile soil mixed with coarse sand to favor the drainage of irrigation water.


They are fertilized every 3/4 weeks starting from spring and throughout the summer using a good liquid fertilizer diluted in the irrigation water, slightly decreasing the doses compared to what is reported in the package.

Use complete fertilizers that is to say that they have both macroelements such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) and microelements, i.e. those compounds which the plant needs in minimal quantity (but still needs them) such as magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), manganese (Mn), copper (Cu), zinc (Zn), boron (B), molybdenum (Mo), all important for a correct and balanced growth of plant.

During autumn and winter the fertilizations must be suspended.


As a guideline, the plant blooms from spring to summer and autumn.

It is a good idea not to cut the flower stem once it has faded as it often happens that the plant blossoms again on the same stem. It is best to remove only dried flowers.


The plant of Hoya it cannot be pruned. Only the parts of the plant that dry out over time are eliminated to prevent them from becoming a vehicle for parasitic diseases.


The multiplication can take place by seed or by cutting.


At the beginning of summer (June), cuttings are taken from robust and healthy plants about 10 cm long. The cutting is cut immediately under a knot and the lower leaves are removed. The cut must be clean then make it with a sharp, clean and disinfected blade (preferably with a flame) to avoid infecting the tissues.

The terminal part of the cutting is sprinkled with rhizogenic hormones to promote rooting and then the cutting is planted in a mixture of peat and sand in equal parts and closed with a transparent plastic sheet.

This precaution ensures that the soil does not dry out too quickly and at the same time maintains a constant temperature. To prevent the plastic from coming into contact with the rooting cutting, place wooden sticks that will hold the plastic up.

Place the pot in an area of ​​the house where temperatures are around 24 ° C and remove the plastic every day to control the humidity of the soil (it must always be moist) and to remove the condensation that will surely have formed on the plastic.

Once the first shoots start to appear it means that the cutting has taken root, at this point you can transplant the cutting into the final pot and treat the plant as if it were an adult.


It is not a particularly disease-prone plant. The pathologies that we may encounter are:

The leaves of the plant begin to take on a yellowish color

This symptom is a clear indication of excess water.
Remedies: dry the soil, remove the damaged leaves and, for the future, regulate yourself better with watering.

The leaves of the plant appear browned or burnt

This symptom is to be associated with direct sunstroke.
Remedies: place the plant in a more suitable position.


The name of the genus was dedicated to Thomas Hoy (1750-1822), gardener of the duchy of Northumberland at Sion House in England.

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