Hoya is a numerous genus that includes about 200-300 species of evergreen, tropical plants.
In its natural habitat – in India, Southeast Asia and some parts of Australia, it can often be found as an epiphytic liana growing on trees, and sometimes as a lithophyte – in rocky gorges.
The breed was named by the Scottish botanist Robert Brown after his friend and colleague, the botanist and plant breeder Thomas Hoy, who was gardener to the Duke of Northumberland for 40 years.
Robert Brown was the first to describe representatives of the genus in scientific literature. In addition to its common name, hoya is also known around the world as wax ivy, wax plant or wax vine.
Description of hoya
The plant is an evergreen creeping liana, the height of which can reach 4-10 m.
The leaves are simple, as if covered with wax, located opposite and, depending on the species, differ in size, shape, color and veins.
Long, bare shoots designed to find trees as supports so they can grow higher in the forest canopy. After finding support on the shoots, aerial roots and leaves are formed.
An incredibly effective decoration of the creeper is its fragrant flowers, which are of the most different colors, depending on the species or variety.
The flowering of hoya lasts for several weeks, sometimes drops of nectar appear on the inflorescences, flowing from the nectaries. With such “tears”, plants get rid of excess water in the tissues.
Features of growing hoya at home
Almost all types and varieties of hoya are unpretentious in care, but good growth and abundant flowering are possible only if you follow a few rules for caring for this beautiful liana.
Lighting and temperature
There is a common misconception that the plant likes a shady location, but this is not entirely true. Most lianas, especially variegated ones, prefer bright, diffused, sunlight or a lot of artificial lighting, and only a few can withstand a lack of light.
In the shade, the plant will not die, but it will not bloom and can almost completely stop vegetation, releasing only 1-2 leaves in a few years.
Windows facing east, west, or northwest will be the optimal exposure. On the south or west side, it is better to put the flower at some distance from the window. Under the direct rays of the sun, burns form on the leaves of the liana.
The ideal temperature for growing indoor hoya is between 20 and 25 °C, most species can withstand a drop to 15 °C in winter, but temperatures below 10 °C for a long period are detrimental to the plant. Wax ivy should be protected from strong temperature changes and drafts.
Humidity and watering of hoya
Most varieties by their nature have thick stems and fleshy leaves, due to which the need for water in such species is moderate. During the growing season, especially in the heat, water more often and more abundantly, but the soil in the pot should dry out by about 30% between waterings.
From mid-autumn, watering is reduced, and in winter it is enough to irrigate once every 3-4 weeks. Slightly wrinkled leaves are a sign of lack of moisture and a signal to water.
An important rule is to underwater hoya than to overwater, as the plant is very sensitive to excess moisture in the soil, which quickly leads to the development of root rot.
Indoor hoya feels good at moderate air humidity at the level of 40%. But during the period of active growth, periodic spraying of the green mass and sprinkling with warm water (provided there is no flowering) 2-3 times during the summer season sharply stimulates its growth.
At the same time, it should be remembered that only soft water at room temperature is suitable for watering and moistening the leaves, since wax ivy is very sensitive to lime and salinity of the substrate.
Transplanting hoya to soil
Wax ivy is transplanted once every 3 years, transplanting into the same pot, as the plant prefers a tight space that mimics tree hollows or rocky crevices where vines grow in the wild.
Transplanting into a new pot, which is slightly larger than the previous one, is carried out only when the root system has grown, in adult vines. In a pot that is too large, the plant will spend efforts on root development to the detriment of flowering, and the risk of waterlogging of the substrate also increases.
The best time of year for the procedure is the vegetation period from March to June. After transplanting, you should refrain from watering for several days. The hoya substrate requires a water-permeable one that provides air access to the roots.
A mix for orchids with a small amount of compost is good. You can also add 20% drainage material to universal flower soil or substrate for cacti (50%): coarse sand, perlite, expanded clay (pumice) and 10% pieces of bark.