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Grandma’s wax plant is making a comeback

They’re cute, they’re clingy – and best of all, a breeze to care for. Say ahoy to the hoya plant!

Floral, fragrant and incredibly easy to care for – it’s no wonder that the hoya plant has remained a household favourite throughout the decades.

When it comes to selecting a hoya, you’re going to be very spoilt for choice – with over 200+ varieties and more being discovered all the time, there’s bound to be one that will suit your space. Some you might already be familiar with are the wax flower (Hoya carnosa), Indian rope hoya (Hoya carnosa var. compacta), and the sweetheart hoya (Hoya kerrii)

Image credit: @plantsoffice

WHERE:

The hoya hails from sub-tropical to tropical Asia, and is also found through the western Pacific. It can be found from India to China, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines, Indonesia and Australia.

In their native environment, they’re forest dwellers growing in the canopy, on tree trunks and on the ground. They’re a clinging plant, which means their roots have evolved to “cling” onto vertical surfaces such as trees, making them perfect for planting against a trestle or wall, or a hanging pot where their vines can trail down delicately towards the floor.

They’re a suitable plant for growing either indoors or outdoors, as long as they’re kept out of direct sun (which can burn them) and extreme cold. They are best suited to moderate, indirect light – the more light, the more they will bloom.

Image credit: Jiggo_Putter Studio

CARE:

Hoya plants like to be snug – they actually bloom more when their roots are crowded and bound, meaning you can leave them in the same pot for a couple of years without repotting. Does it get easier than that?

Otherwise, the hoya is a very low-maintenance plant. Water occasionally, and let the soil dry out between waterings. Varieties with big, waxy leaves (some varieties growing to the size of dinner plates!) will also benefit from a wipe-down every now and then to remove dust from the foliage.

Image credit: @sun.roots

ANYTHING ELSE I SHOULD KNOW?

The hoya will grow new flowers from the same point every year, so don’t pick, cut or prune its flowers – otherwise, they won’t grow back again.

Speaking of flowers – it can be tricky to predict when a hoya will bloom, so be patient! With proper care, a snug pot and a little light, the flowers should emerge once the plant reaches maturity, so stick at it.

Image credit: @plantefolia

ALSO KNOWN AS:

Wax plant, waxflower, Indian rope plant, porcelain flower, honey plant

Ready to try the hoya in your space? Head to your local nursery or garden centre to see what varieties they have in stock, and to have a chat with the experts.