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Hoya - Growing Guide
Caring for Hoya
Commonly known as ‘Wax Flower’
From time to time we offer several different species of hoya. Usually this is towards the end of summer when they normally flower. The commoner varieties H. carnosa and H. australis may be available more regularly but it is not sensible to despatch these tender conservatory plants in colder weather.
Hoya are evergreen climbing plants from Australia and warmer regions of Asia. They have thick, leathery leaves which are also fleshy and succulent. The flowers are fragrant, colourful and borne in clusters from the older stems. The individual flowers have five waxy spreading petals and a colourful central crown.
Hoya need a humid and heated greenhouse or conservatory to survive and flower properly. Only H. carnosa can withstand a frost free greenhouse or being grown indoors as a houseplant.
Under glass hoya prefer a loam based potting compost with leaf mould, sand and bark in equal measures. Shading from direct sunlight is desirable and humidity levels can be improved by keeping a water tank in the greenhouse. When the plants are in growth water freely and apply liquid fertiliser monthly. Keep moist in the winter.
Hoya need support and training up a trellis or canes to develop properly. To see the flowers to best effect train the plant to grow horizontally rather than just upwards. This means the hanging flowers will be easier to see and admire. H. lanceolata subsp bella and some of the crinkly leaved forms of H. carnosa can be grown from pots hung from the beams or walls of the conservatory where they will trail downwards and flower happily where you can look up at them.
Hoya root easily from soft new growth cuttings providing they are kept warm and heated over winter.
Mealy bugs may try to colonise your hoyas when grown in warm and humid conditions. Keep the plant clean and free of dead leaves and squash the insects as soon as you see them.
H. carnosa is one of the most beautiful conservatory plants and is very easy to grow despite all this advice. I have now grown them successfully for nearly 50 years!