Do you enjoy growing Houseplants? Do you recognize this plant? Scroll down through each of the photos to watch as tiny buds grow, change and become a lovely and unusual hoya plant in bloom.
What is a hoya?
My plant is a hoya, also called waxplant, waxvine or waxflower. It is a tropical plant native to Australia, the Southern Pacific, and Southeast Asia with curving vines covered with waxy leaves. A hoya is a succulent. They have thick, leathery, leaves and blooms that are borne in rounded, upsided-down clusters like umbrellas. Many hoyas are fragrant.
Hoya plant in bloom
I photographed the stages as the hoya plant forms its unique and beautiful flowers beginning with the tiny group of buds I spotted among the leaves on my Hoya plant. Watch as it develops and opens to a very unique blossom.
Three days later after I first saw the buds growing from one of the stems, you can see they have grown larger and wider.
Four days later each five-pointed star becomes bumpy.
And finally one day later each tiny star bursts open revealing lovely inner star.
A few days later, this how the hoya looked.
Looking closely, the flowers are textured and covered with tiny hairs. Above the outer fuzzy layer is another star that is waxy with a center of color.
Across the Hoya genus, each umbellate flower cluster emerges from a single spur — that is, a peduncle that grows from the axil of the leaves and stem. The spurs bear repeat blooms, and should not be removed. The buds are oddly flat-topped, like textured candies, and each flower typically includes not just one star figure but two: the petals and the corona, which together give these miniature blossoms beautiful depth and dimension.
The flower is fragrant too.
How to propagate hoya
There is more than one way to propagate hoya but I am sharing my most successful method to root my cuttings.
- Make an angled cut using clean, sharp pruners or scissors 4 to 12-inches in length. Take the cutting from softwood.
- Place the cutting in a container of water keeping the bottom node immersed (and the roots that begin to appear). Don’t submerge the whole stem in the water.
- The roots start to appear in about 4 weeks.
- When rooting in soil, take shorter cutting that are have 1, 2 or 3 nodes at the most and strip off all the leaves except those at the very top.
- You can also root stem cuttings in a mix formulated for propagation which is very light so the new roots can easily form. Dipping the ends of the cuttings in a rooting hormone before planting can be helpful. Dip the cut ends into rooting hormone and inserting into the soil mix deep enough that the lowest set of leaves is right above the soil line.
- Until their roots develop, the cuttings have no way to replenish the moisture escaping through their leaves. A clear glass jar over the container, or clear plastic baggie draped over, creates a temporary greenhouse to provide necessary humidity. Lifting the jar or plastic every other day allows carbon dioxide to reach the cuttings for photosynthesis.
- Cuttings typically form roots within three to four weeks. The first leaf shoots usually follow within a month or six weeks. The complete transformation of your cutting into a 6- to 8-inch leafy plant requires from five to 11 months.
Tips for growing and caring for a hoya houseplant
- Hoya plants make great houseplants.
- Hoya do well with bright indirect light, like a north-facing window.
- Keep soil evenly moist in spring and summer, but allow it to dry in the winter, with just enough so the leaves won’t shrivel.
- Humidity in your hoya habitat should be at least 40 percent. This can be achieved through regular misting with a spray bottle.
- Apply a balanced fertilizer only during spring and summer, the active growing season.
- Hoya prefer to be pot-bound and will flower more vigorously.
- Cooler temps are okay during the winter but make sure they don’t drop below 50. The plants enjoy the warm temperatures of the spring and summer growing season.
- Do not remove spurs after the blooms have faded. That’s where the next round of flowers will blossom. Allow faded flowers to fall off naturally.