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Porcelainflower Hoya carnosa

Other Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
HOY-ah kar-NO-suh
Description

Wax plant is a broadleaf evergreen, woody, vining houseplant in the milkweed family (Asclepiadaceae). It is native to Southeast Asia, Japan and Taiwan. Thomas Hoy, the late 18th-century gardener to the Duke of Northumberland, is honored by this plant’s genus name. The species epithet means “fleshy,” referring to the thick, succulent leaves.

Bright indirect light year-round is ideal. As this plant is an epiphyte in nature, use a loose, fast-draining potting mix high in organic matter and a container with good drainage. Allow the soil to dry out between watering. Too wet or too dry soil can cause the leaves to drop. This plant loves high humidity, and the waxy, leathery leaves appreciate misting. Propagate wax plant by stem cutting. Repot wax plant when it outgrows its current container and is not in bud or flower. It doesn’t mind being pot-bound. The new pot should not be more than 2 inches larger than the existing container. 

Should pruning be necessary, it is best done in the early spring before its most rapid growth begins. Resist pruning the leafless stem where flowers have been produced. Flowers, which are showy and fragrant, form on the same stem year after year; cutting off these stems will reduce flowering. Most plants will not produce flowers until they reach an age of 2 or 3 years old. Blooming can occur in the spring, summer or fall.   

Given its climbing habit and rapid growth, wax plant is a great choice for hanging baskets. Like many houseplants, it can spend the summer outdoors on a patio in partial shade. Bring it back inside when nighttime temperatures fall below 50 degrees F.  

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems: Mealybugs are an issue as well as fungus gnats that are attracted to potting mixes that are too wet. Occasionally, spider mites can be an issue. They can appear when the air is too dry. Misting the plant to provide moisture/humidity can reduce this issue. Cold water can shock this plant; water should be at room temperature.

See this plant in the following landscape:
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Compacta'
    leaves are folded over and gives them a rope-like appearance
  • 'Krimson Princess'
    green leaves with pink and white variegation, dark green margins
  • 'Krimson Queen' or 'Tricolor'
    leaves have a green center, encircled with creamy white to pink margins
  • 'Variegata'
    leaves have creamy-white margins and are sometimes pink tinged
'Compacta', 'Krimson Princess', 'Krimson Queen' or 'Tricolor', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#fragrant#fragrant flowers#houseplant#epiphytic#interiorscape#waxy#climbing vines#trailing#humidity tolerant#sweet fragrance#vine#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical#climber
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
  • 'Compacta'
    leaves are folded over and gives them a rope-like appearance
  • 'Krimson Princess'
    green leaves with pink and white variegation, dark green margins
  • 'Krimson Queen' or 'Tricolor'
    leaves have a green center, encircled with creamy white to pink margins
  • 'Variegata'
    leaves have creamy-white margins and are sometimes pink tinged
'Compacta', 'Krimson Princess', 'Krimson Queen' or 'Tricolor', 'Variegata'
Tags:
#fragrant#fragrant flowers#houseplant#epiphytic#interiorscape#waxy#climbing vines#trailing#humidity tolerant#sweet fragrance#vine#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#tropical#climber
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Hoya
    Species:
    carnosa
    Family:
    Asclepiadaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Stem Cutting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Southeast Asia, Japan, and Taiwan
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Easy to Grow
    Fragrance
    Shade
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Epiphyte
    Houseplant
    Vine
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Habit/Form:
    Climbing
    Growth Rate:
    Rapid
    Maintenance:
    Medium
    Texture:
    Coarse
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    High Organic Matter
    Soil pH:
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Umbel
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Fragrant
    Showy
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Shape:
    Star
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    < 1 inch
    Flower Description:
    The shiny flowers are white to pink and hairy, with five-point centers, in clusters of up to 30. They may produce a sticky sap.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Broadleaf Evergreen
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    White
    Leaf Feel:
    Leathery
    Waxy
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    No
    Leaf Length:
    3-6 inches
    Leaf Width:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The thick green leaves have a leathery, waxy feel. They can be flecked with a silvery or cream-white color.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Cream/Tan
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Cross Section:
    Round
    Stem Surface:
    Smooth (glabrous)
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Hanging Baskets
    Houseplants
    Patio
    Landscape Theme:
    Shade Garden
    Design Feature:
    Specimen
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Drought
    Humidity