The Hoya carnosa is a wax plant that is a member of the Asclepiadaceae (Milkweed) family. The plant, which is a common houseplant, was named after Thomas Hoym, who served as the Duke of Northumberland’s personal gardener in England in the latter 18th century. The Hoya carnosa originates in Australia, India and areas of Eastern Asia.
The Hoya carnosa blooms every year during the summer months. During the summertime, the plant produces clusters of pinkish-white blossoms resembling stars. The fragile flowers exude a waxy substance that has a strong, sweet odor. Propagate the plants with stem cuttings or by air layering.
The Hoya carnosa plant is characterized by its thin and elongated vines, which are covered completely by leathery, thick and deep-green leaves. Occasionally the leaves are flecked by creamy or silvery-white spots. The leaves are obovate, oblong-ovate or ovate in shape. The trailing or climbing stems of the plants can grow to heights of up to 10 feet.
Hoya carnosa plants do best when grown in a minimum of four hours of daily direct sunlight. Curtain-filtered or bright and indirect light are also acceptable. In lower light levels, the plants survive, but will not bloom. The plants grow under either partial shade or full sun and thrive on soil that is mildly acidic or neutral. The Hoya carnosa requires regular watering. Avoid excessive watering. In between watering, the soil should be allowed to almost dry out. Fertilization is necessary every two months during the spring and summer months. The plants have a long lifespan and are easy to grow requiring minimal attention and maintenance.