Hoya Is the 70s Houseplant That's Making a Comeback
Chances are if you were alive in the 1970s, you remember this beloved vining houseplant. Maybe it crawled over the cupboards in your grandma’s kitchen or perhaps it was nestled in a macramè plant hanger suspended from the ceiling. Hoya, also called wax plant, is a succulent plant with shiny or fuzzy leaves. It produces long, lanky stems and is often grown in a hanging basket but does well in traditional containers, too. It is slow growing so you don’t need to worry about it taking over your desktop or forming a curtain of foliage when hung near a window.
Hoya is becoming more available at specialty garden centers and houseplant shops. Look for varieties with narrow, almond-shape leaves that might be all green or variegated. Tricolor hoya (Hoya carnosa ‘Variegata’) is especially striking with its green, white, and pink colored leaves. ‘Shooting Stars’ hoya has green foliage and clusters of fragrant star-shaped white flowers. Rope-type hoyas, sometimes called Hindu rope plant, have unusual curled and twisted leaves that line long stems and resemble living ropes.
Hoyas produce clusters of star-shaped flowers in shades of white, pink, and red. The waxy petals have a porcelain-like appearance and are often fragrant. Some people find hoya to be too fragrant for indoor settings, so they'll move it outside when it's flowering.
Hoya Growing Tips
There are many types of hoya and they're all easy to grow. Hoya grows well in low, medium, or bright light, however it doesn’t typically bloom in these conditions. Like most flowering plants, the more light hoya receives, the more flowers it will produce.
Water hoya when the soil is dry to the touch. Be mindful not to overwater hoya; its thick stems and leaves store water for dry conditions and it doesn’t mind extended periods of drought and low humidity. Generally, hoya requires watering every couple of weeks. Hoya doesn’t need fertilizer to grow and bloom. Repotting is rarely necessary for this slow-growing plant. There is evidence that growing hoyas in small pots with constricted roots encourages blooming.