The Plant: The Hoya is an evergreen plant, with a somewhat lax growth habit. The long slender stems can either climb or trail over the edge of a pot or basket. The plant has fleshy leaves and produces clusters of fragrant white or pink waxy flowers.
Its needs: The Miniature Wax Plant - Hoya bella - thrives in a position offering strong light, even some direct sun. The potting mix should have additional sand, grit or charcoal to afford very good drainage.
Care: Water weekly during the growing season, feed sparingly when the Hoya is in flower; (over-feeding actually inhibits flowering). Cut watering back to a minimum over winter. Warmth and humidity are essential and the Wax plant should be mist-sprayed in summer.
The Hoya can be grown up a framework trellis or moss pole, or planted in a hanging container and allowed to cascade down. Do not move or turn the plant once the flower buds have begun to form as moving the plant will cause the buds to drop. After flowering trim back straggly growth. The Hoya dislikes any disturbance to its roots so only re-pot if it is absolutely essential. Watch for mealy bug and red spider mite.
The Miniature Wax Plant
Good for: The Hoya makes an ideal hanging basket plant or climber. The clusters of waxy flowers add interest and fragrance.
All Hoyas grown indoors or under glass are susceptible to mealybugs which hide away in the leaf joint axils. Sooty mould may be the first noticeable sign of insect pests. Regular inspection of the plant is the best way to avaid.