Hoya carnosa, also known as wax plant, is a houseplant valued for its long, trailing vines and clusters of pinkish-white, waxy flowers. The plant may take several years to produce its first flowers, but once it does, it will bloom every year thereafter as long as the proper growing conditions are provided.
Site and Soil
The wax plant prefers well-drained soil and will not grow in heavy garden soils. Plant hoya carnosa in a container with drainage holes in the bottom filled with a high-quality potting soil. Hanging baskets are ideal for wax plants as their attractive vines will eventually trail over the sides. Place your hoya carnosa plant in a sunny, south- or west-facing window for the best results. The plant will grow in partial shade, but flowering may be reduced. Bright, indirect light is best and the plant should be kept at temperatures above 7.22 degrees C at all times. Place a saucer underneath the plant to catch excess water and prevent rotting.
Water hoya carnosa thoroughly about once every two weeks, allowing the soil to dry out completely before watering again. It has a high tolerance for drought conditions, but the plant will not tolerate soggy or wet soils. Use room temperature or tepid water; cold water can shock the plant. Remove any excess water that collects in the saucer beneath the plant's container immediately. After flowering, reduce the frequency of watering to once per month to initiate the dormant period which is essential for the health of wax plant. Dormancy typically lasts through the winter months and regular watering can be resumed in spring when new growth is observed.
Fertilising and Pruning
Feed your hoya carnosa plant once per year during the summer months. Use an all-purpose houseplant or succulent fertiliser according to the manufacturer's directions for the best results. Never fertilise during the winter dormant period as the nutrients are not required and may even cause a reduction in flowering the following year.
Hoya carnosa does not require pruning and in some cases, trimming can be detrimental to the health of the plant. Do not cut back the trailing vines as the flower stems grow from the youngest parts of the vines and new flower buds form each year in the same location. Trimming the vines will reduce flowering. Never remove faded flowers as this could damage the delicate flower stems. Instead, allow the flowers to dry and fall off on their own.
Wax plant does not require frequent repotting. It grows slowly and can be kept in the same container for two to three years. Never transplant hoya carnosa from a small container to a much larger container, as the soil may hold too much water. Instead, move the plant to a container about 2 inches larger in diameter at each repotting.