Monday, December 30, 2013

How to care for the Hoya Carnosa variegata

Hoya carnosa variegata

I was having lunch in Cape Cod and was seated beneath this beautiful specimen of a Hoya carnosa variegata. The restaurant owner graciously let me snap its picture. The food was delicious and the lush plants in the restaurant only added to the warmth and coziness of the ambiance on a cold and rainy day by the sea. That is what having indoor plants will do for your home, too!

The Hoya carnosa and its hybrid, the variegata, also know as the wax plant have been available on the market for many years. They are easy to grow if you have a sunny window for them. The one pictured here might show some pink in its leaves if it was getting more direct sun.

Because they are a vining plant they do best as a hanging plant or trained on a trellis.
When they bloom, it is spectacular. Their blooms appear as a small bouquet of waxy, white flowers. The flowers should not be cut off the vine because they set new buds in the exact same place. 

The Hoya carnosa can naturally be found in Australia and South China. Interestingly enough, it is a member of the milkweed family.

Care Instructions:
  • Needs direct sun.  It should get at least a couple of hours per day to do its best.
  • It should dry out about a 1/2"-1" (almost 2cm or so) below the soil line before watering. Water well when needed. This plant which is in a 10" (25cm) pot should get about a quart or almost a liter of water when necessary.
  • Prefers temperatures 50-70° F or 10-20°C. It is tolerant of higher temps.
  • Fertilize regularly 
  • Usually blooms in the summer


***For a variety of  video clips on houseplant care from my 90's TV series, click here:

The Indoor Garden TV show


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