Wax flower – Hoya fleshy – Hoya fleshy – Indoor plants – Wax flower – Hoya fleshy – Apartment

Fiore di cera

How to cultivate it

Fiore di cera It is not a plant of difficult cultivation, the fundamental problem lies in the fact that the neglected plant, or in suboptimal conditions of cultivation, does not produce any flower, thus depriving us of most of its merits.

When we buy a small plant of hoya fleshy in a nursery, usually placed in a tiny container, this is because it seems that these plants do not like excessively large pots, so let’s remember to repot it every 2-3 years, but avoiding to replace the container with an excessively large one. We can also grow it in the garden, but only if we live in an area with particularly mild winters, and in any case in a sheltered place, because temperatures below 8-10 ° C can damage the plant.

Let’s use for our fleshy hoya a good, rich, loose soil, mixed with a little pumice stone to improve drainage. Let’s place it in a very well-lit place, far from direct sunlight, but where the plant can enjoy a good amount of filtered sunlight, for at least a few hours every day.

From March to September let’s water regularly, checking with our fingers that the soil has dried before watering again; in this period let’s add some fertilizer for flowering plants to the water of the watering, every 12-15 days. During the cold months, let’s thin the watering, seen that the plant, in vegetative rest, bears without problems the drought.


Family, genus, species

 Apocynaceae, Gen.

Hoya, 200 to 300 species

Area of origin

 Asia and Oceania, tropical and subtropical climate

Type of plant

 Climbing or crawling shrubs with persistent or deciduous leaves

Size at maturity

 Up to 10 meters; about 3 m in cultivation


 Medium easy


 Very bright, no direct sunlight


 Light and draining


 Abundant, but spread over time.

Never stagnate

Soil moisture

 Slightly moist

Ambient humidity


Soil pH






Minimum temperature


Ideal temperature


Maximum temperature



 Branch cutting, layering


 Vase in a greenhouse or apartment; full land in the South

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We propagate our hoya

Fiore di cera Most of the species and varieties of wax flowers root without any problems, we can therefore take cuttings of stem or leaf, possibly in late spring or early summer. There are some succulent varieties whose leaf cuttings develop rapidly and without major problems. Usually, the wax flower, produced by cutting, takes a few years before blooming.

If our plant never blooms it is likely that it will be grown in an excessively dark and dry area of the house, let’s try to move it to a brighter place and increase the humidity by often vaporizing the foliage.

The most practiced cuttings on this species are the apical cuttings which are realized by cutting from the ripe stems of the branches of 10-15 cm. After having cut the apical portion, we prepare a mixture of peat and sand in which we will put the portion of the branch taken to root. In order for the plant to root, temperatures of around 20°C must be maintained and the mix of sand and peat must be kept moist.

Another way to multiply the hoya is the offshoot that consists of burying a portion of the branch and making it emit roots after burying. After burying the portion of branch in fact we will have to wait for it to root and after a while we will cut the branch before its buried part to make sure that the offshoot separates permanently from the mother plant.

Climate wax flower

The fleshy hoya, in our country, is mainly cultivated in pots, as a houseplant or greenhouse plant; in the extreme south, however, it is possible to try to insert the plant in the ground or keep it outside even in the coldest months. In this case, let’s reserve a well exposed position and maybe protected by a wall to the south.

We must bear in mind that the most common species begin to suffer with temperatures below 10°C. Vegetative growth and flowering (also influenced by the amount of light) are obtained with temperatures between 18 and 22 ° C, which are ideal. Above, especially at low humidity, the plant begins to dehydrate.


The wax flowers want very bright expositions, but they do not tolerate the direct sun, especially if very strong. In the house it is good to place them near a window to the south or west. Outdoors they will like, especially during the central hours of the day, a light shade created by deciduous trees or pergolas.






Cutting and propagation




Winter retreat


Soil and substrate

The “wax flower” needs an extremely light substrate that is able to drain the water perfectly: this is essential to avoid the onset of rottenness at the root level. The ideal thing is to prepare the compost ourselves by mixing vegetable fibres (such as coconut fibres, common in orchid substrates), peat and coarse sand in equal parts. A few handfuls of perlite can also help to further lighten the burden. Always remember to prepare a thick draining layer on the bottom of the container.

Irrigation and ambient humidity

hoya The wax flower is characterized by its ability to store liquids in the leaves: it is therefore able to withstand the driest soils. The greatest danger, on the other hand, are excessive irrigation, which frequently causes radical asphyxiation and generalised deterioration.

Let’s distribute water only when the substratum is dry and at least 3 cm deep, during the vegetative period. From October to March we suspend almost completely the administrations. From March to September, it is equally important to keep the ambient humidity high by vaporizing the leaves (avoiding wetting the flowers, which are easily damaged) or by preparing under pots full of water near the plant. For all uses it is strongly recommended to use rainwater or demineralized water.

Fertilization and pruning by Hoya

The supply of nutrients is essential to stimulate the production of buds. A liquid fertilizer with a high potassium content is recommended every two weeks for the entire growing season.

Pruning and cleaning

Over time, these climbers can take on an unpleasant appearance due to the stripping of the lower part: it is therefore advisable in these cases to intervene, in October, by shortening all the shoots from 1/3 to 2/3, cutting above a pair of leaves. We also eliminate, at the base, the dead or too old branches.

In daily practice, however, the removal of wilted flowers and their peduncles is strongly discouraged: often, in fact, the blooms are repeated in the same place, year after year.

On the other hand, it is useful to devote oneself, especially in spring and autumn, to trimming: in this way we will favour the branching and obtain a thicker, more compact and flowery specimen.

Pests and diseases

The most common parasites are the red spider mite and cochineal.

The first occurs (initially with discolouration on the leaves and then fine cobwebs) in case of sunny exposures in conjunction with low ambient humidity. We often vaporize the plant and, in the most serious cases, we resort to specific acaricides.

The cochineals (cotton or shield) stick mainly to the stems and the foliar veins. In the case of minor attacks, the insects can be removed manually with cotton sticks and alcohol. Massive infestations must be combated with mineral oils, possibly with the addition of systemic insecticides (especially for Scudetto cochineals).


Some leaf manifestations can be caused by cultivation conditions.

A too dry environment can lead first to yellowing and then to falling.

However, yellow leaves may also be related to excessive irrigation (and/or an unsuitable substrate).

Direct light, on the other hand, causes dark burns, especially in summer.

Wax Flower – Fleshy Hoya: SPECIE E VARIETÀ

The genus hoya includes from 200 to 300 climbing or decumbent species.

These are the most common in cultivation:

Hoya lanceolate sub. beautiful

It has beautiful white flowers (very fragrant) with pink-purple center, collected in umbrellas of about 10 cm in diameter. The leaves are small, greyish-green, opaque and heart-shaped. It is native to India. Very suitable for pot cultivation due to its small size (up to 1 metre).

Fleshy Hoya among the most common; it has white or pale pink flowers with red center. The buds are produced throughout the growing season. The leaves are lanceolate, shiny, dark green. On the market, however, there are also leaves with variegated in cream and pink. It can reach a height of 2 metres in a pot and grow very quickly. Native to China and Japan.

Hoya imperialis it has very large inflorescences which, depending on the cultivar, can be pink, red or white, very perfumed. The leaves are medium green, thick and elongated. It tends to have a climbing habit. It comes from the Island of Borneo.

Hoya multiflora very abundant and almost continuous flowering. The flowers are white, not very perfumed. The leaves are dark green, long and tapered. It has a shrubby to climbing habit, often it does not need any tutors.

Hoya smelled has creamy white flowers whose intense scent is very similar to that of lily of the valley. Flowering, however, is rather short, as it goes from September to November. The leaves are dark green, very consistent, the carriage is climbing, very similar to that of the lianas, and is extremely vigorous. In pot, it needs resistant braces. Native to the Philippines.

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