How to grow and care for Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa) Indoors

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Wax Plant Care, Hoya carnosa Care

Botanical name: Hoya carnosa
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Common names: Wax Plant, Porcelainflower

Wax Plant Description

Wax Plant also called Porcelainflower is an easy to grow, climbing houseplant which bears fleshy leaves and clusters of waxy, fragrant, star-shaped flowers.

The twining stems in Wax Plant can reach 15 ft or more making it ideal for a hanging basket or a trellis.

The leaves in Wax Plant are heart-shaped and fleshy with a glossy surface.

Growing Wax Plant is easy if the don'ts are observed. Some of these are don't disturb the plant once the buds appear as change in light intensity may cause them to drop.

Don't remove the dead flowers as new flowerbuds will form in the spurs. Don't repot until it is unavoidable as being root-bound encourages flowering.

Wax Plant benefits from loose potting medium that allows some air to get to the roots.

Wax Plant Air Purifying

Studies carried out at the University of Georgia have shown that Wax Plant is good at getting rid of pollutants from indoor air.

Wax Plant Origin

Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa) is native to Eastern Asia and Australia where it grows as an epiphyte, climbing on trees in the humid subtropical forests.

Wax Plant Varieties

Many cultivars of Wax Plant have been developed which vary in foliage form or flower color.

These cultivars of Wax Plant include variegata with cream-edged leaves. Exotica with yellow-centered leaves. Krimson Princess with red-colored young foliage among many others.

Wax Plant Buy

Buy beautiful and healthy Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa) from Etsy.

Wax Plant Care, Hoya carnosa Care

Photo Credit: Hortology

Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa) Care Indoors

Wax Plant Light Requirements

Wax Plant grows best in bright light with some direct sunlight. It can adapt to lower light levels but it will not bloom if the light is not enough. Check out this guide on understanding light for houseplants.

How to Water Wax Plant

Water Wax Plant thoroughly and keep the soil moist at all times while allowing the top 1-2 in. of soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Reduce watering for your Wax Plant during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to water houseplants.

Ensure the pot for your Wax Plant has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to root-rot disease and eventual loss of your plant.


Temperature for Wax Plant

Wax Plant thrives in average warmth between 16-260C during the growing season. Protect it from cold and hot draughts to prevent sudden changes in temperature as they can cause leaf drop. Read more on understanding temperature for houseplants.

Humidity for Wax Plant

Wax Plant has no need for high humidity; average room humidity is ideal for this plant. However, if the air is too dry, set the pot on a wet pebble tray to raise humidity for your Wax Plant. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Do not mist your Wax Plant to avoid wetting the flowers as it can lead to rotting and do not disturb a plant that is in flower as it can shorten the flowering period.

Regularly clean the leaves of your Wax Plant by damp wiping with a soft cloth. Read more on how to clean houseplants.

Fertilizer (Feeding) for Wax Plant

Feed Wax Plant with a phosphorous-rich, water-soluble fertilizer every 4 weeks during the growing season to promote flowering.

Withhold feeding for your Wax Plant during the cold season as growth is minimal at this time. Read more on how to feed houseplants.

How to Repot Wax Plant

Repot Wax Plant at the beginning of the growing season only when the plant is pot-bound. Wax Plant blooms best when slightly pot-bound.

Do not repot a Wax Plant that is in the flower bud formation stage as it can drop the buds.

Use a pot 1 size larger and one that has a drainage hole for your Wax Plant to prevent the soil from getting soggy as it can lead to Root-rot Disease.

The best soil for your Wax Plant should be rich in organic matter and free-draining.

How to Prune Wax Plant

Pruning Wax Plant is easy. Remove the dead leaves to maintain your plant neat and tidy.

Don't remove the dead flower stalks from your Wax Plant as more flowers will form from the spurs.

After flowering, cut back the stems to rejuvenate growth and to prevent the plant from becoming unruly. Read more on how to prune houseplants.

Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa) Propagation

Wax Plant can be propagated at the beginning of the growing season from stem cuttings or by air layering.

How to propagate Wax Plant from stem cuttings

Take a 4-5 stem cuttings from a healthy Wax Plant plant. Ensure each cutting bears at least 1 set of leaves.

Insert the Wax Plant stem cuttings in moist free-draining soil and place the set up in a warm well-lit spot.

Maintain the soil moist through out until the new Wax Plants are well established.

How to propagate Wax Plant by air layering

Make a cut (notch) on the stem of a healthy Wax Plant.

Coat the notch with a rooting hormone and surround the area with damp moss.

Cover the notch area with a polythene film or clear plastic wrap and maintain moist until roots develop.

After the roots have formed sever the Wax Plant stem just below the covered part, remove the polythene and carefully pot the rooted Wax Plant cutting.

Place in a cool place and maintain the soil moist until the new Wax Plant is well established after which routine care can begin.

Wax Plant Care, Hoya carnosa Care

Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa) Problems Indoors

Wax Plant brown leaves

Wax Plant brown leaves are due to two possible causes.

One possible cause of Wax Plant brown leaves is incorrect watering; either underwatering or overwatering.

Maintain the soil for your Wax Plant consistently moist but not soggy and never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

The second possible cause of Wax Plant brown leaves is too high temperature.

Protect your Wax Plant from hot draughts to maintain average room temperature.

Wax Plant dropping flower buds

Wax Plant dropping flower buds is due to four possible causes.

One possible cause of Wax Plant dropping flower buds is incorrect watering; either overwatering or underwatering.

Maintain the soil of your Wax Plant consistently moist but never soggy and never allow the soil ball to dry out completely.

The second possible cause of Wax Plant dropping flower buds is changes in light conditions.

Do not move your Wax Plant when it is in flower; it does not like changes in light conditions while in flower.

The third possible cause of Wax Plant dropping flower buds is sudden change in temperature.

Protect your Wax Plant from draughts to avoid sudden changes in the temperature and maintain constant average warmth.

The fourth possible cause of Wax Plant dropping flower buds is dry air.

To raise humidity for your Wax Plant, set the pot on a wet pebble tray. Read more on how to raise humidity for houseplants.

Wax Plant not blooming (flowering)

Wax Plant not blooming (flowering) is due to too little light. Move your Wax Plant to a brighter spot where is will receive bright light with some direct sunlight.

Wax Plant Pests

Wax Plant pests are Mealy Bugs, Fungus Gnats, and Spider Mites.

Isolate the affected plant to prevent spread to the other houseplants and treat it appropriately for the pests.

Wax Plant Diseases

Wax Plant diseases are related to poor cultural practices. The common diseases in Wax Plant are root-rot diseases and leaf spot disease due to soggy soil.

Maintain the soil for your Wax Plant moist but not soggy. Ensure the pot for your Wax Plant has a drainage hole to prevent the soil from getting soggy.

Is Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa) toxic?

Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa) produces a milky white sap which contains latex. The latex is considered toxic to humans and pets.

Always wear gloves when handling your Wax Plant and keep the plant from the reach of children and pets.

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