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Hoya Flower: Everything You Need to Know

Hoya Flowers are often known as wax plants for their distinct thick, shiny foliage and waxy white flowers.

These are one of the easiest houseplants which can grow around your home as it even thrives on neglect.

Generally, the Hoya blooms from October to April. They bloom in ball-shaped clusters, each having up to 40 individual star-shaped flowers in pink, white, purple, and yellow shades and giving off a chocolate-vanilla fragrance. With proper care, you can make Hoya flower every year.

Flower of a Hoya plant (Source: Pixabay)

Proper care and maintenance can make the Hoya plant bloom indoors, and you can create a fragrant atmosphere in your home.

Continue reading the article to know everything about Hoya Flowers.

How Often does the Hoya Flower?

Hoya is an evergreen perennial plant with over hundreds of varieties.

Usually, Hoya blooms during the spring and summer. Some varieties of Hoya bloom year-round in deep black red to light pink shades.

Although all Hoya blooms have a five-pointed star shape, there are many diverse types, like the plant’s leaves.

While some of those flowers only survive a few days, others last for two weeks.

Pink Hoya Flower
Pink Hoya Flower (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Typically, the Hoya flowers grow in an umbel, which emerges from a peduncle that grows from the axil of the stem and leaves.

Each umbel contains 1 to 55 flowers, up to 7.5 cm in diameter.

For instance, Hoya coriacea Blume is known to have around 70 flowers growing per umbel, each measuring approximately 2 cm in diameter.

Hoya Peduncles
Hoya Peduncle(Source: Flickr)

Similarly, Hoya pauciflora only produces a single white flower, but the flower is nearly 40 millimeters in diameter.

The flower color varies according to species; some species even show variations in their color.

To flower, Hoya plants need to be fully mature. Typically, you will see the first bloom in about 5 to 7 years, but some varieties may take even more.

Similarly, the plants go dormant in the fall and winter due to cold temperatures.

Overview of Hoya Flower

The genus Hoya has over 500 species of plants in the Apocynaceae family. They often inhabit a variety of habitats, from lowland to hill forests.

At least 200-300 Hoya species are spread from Asia throughout New Guinea. Now they are grown all around the world because of their attractive flowers and foliage.

Let’s take a look at the general overview of the flower here.

IndicatorIdentity
General NameHoney plant, Wax plant, Porcelain plant
Scientific NameHoya Carnosa
Size3 mm to over 95 mm
ColorPink, Black, Yellow, Orange, Red and many more
Native AreaAsia and Australia
Blooming SeasonSpring and summer
Lifespan2-3 weeks
SmellChocolate-vanilla fragrance
ToxicityNon-Toxic

Besides, did you know the flower was named in honor of 18th- century botanist Thomas Hoy by the Scottish botanist Robert Brown?

You must be aware that Hoya flowers are well known for their fragrance. A lot of them have a sweet scent and produce abundant nectar.

Hoyas are tolerant of a wide range of environments. Most people grow Hoya flowers indoors and place them in hanging baskets or cascade them down a wall.

Hoya Flower Pollination

Pollination is important for all plants as it helps with their reproduction.

Hoyas are hermaphrodites, meaning they have both male and female reproductive organs in the same flower. 

The exact nature of flower shape, pollinators, and their surroundings are unknown, despite earlier research on the pollination of two Hoya species.

As many species have the same fundamental floral traits, pollination by insect’s leg is a crucial pollination approach in the Hoya genus.

Honey bee on a Hoya flower (Source: Flickr)

In the Hoya flower, the cluster of white-colored beautiful flowers attracts predatory insects, like honey bees and hoverflies.

These nectar-collecting insects move from one flower to another, transferring the pollen grains.

Likewise, Hoyas have pollen grains packed in little sacs called pollinium inside the interior of the flower.

Besides, The flower of these plants has a complex structure, making it difficult to identify male and female parts.

So hand-pollinating the Hoya flower is quite difficult. Thus, it is best to wait for natural pollination.

How to Make a Hoya Plant Flower?

The requirement to grow and bloom the Hoya flower depends on several factors such as soil, fertilization, temperature, and humidity.

Ideally, you should try to mimic its natural environment as much as possible. If the conditions are optimum, a fully matured Hoya plant blooms in the spring season.

Here are some crucial tips to help you bloom Hoya in your house.

  • Place your Hoya in an eastern or western exposure window that receives indirect sunlight for two to four hours daily.
  • For Hoya to produce flowers, it needs water stress, so water the Hoya only if there is a visual dryness in the soil. Additionally, use a clay pot to maintain a healthy root system.
  • Some variety needs 60%-70%, while some tolerate low levels without harm. In general, maintain a humidity range of around 50%. You can regularly mist the leaves or use a humidifier if the climate is arid.
Room humidifier for plants
Room humidifier (Source: Amazon)
  • Maintain temperature between 65-80°F. Temperatures below 50F can cause chill damage to the plants. You can use a thermometer to keep track of the temperature.
  • Hoya requires less fertilizer, so add 1/4 tsp of fertilizer per gallon of water once a month. You can use a blooming or balanced fertilizer and stop fertilizing during winter.
  • Use a well-draining moist potting mix containing peat moss, perlite, and orchid bark, and maintain pH between 6.1 and 6.5. An inconsistent potting medium can cause the Hoya flower buds to fall off.

Hoyas are highly susceptible to the mealy bug and spider mites. If you encounter any, you can handpick them or control them using insecticidal soap or Neem oil.

What to do after Hoya Flowers?

We frequently prune our plants to keep them neat and in shape. But in the case of Hoya flowers, you should not follow this norm.

Hoya flowers are developed on a narrow plant spur or stalk. The spur remains affixed to the plant once it has bloomed and will keep growing from that spur.

It is best to avoid plucking the flower as there is a likelihood that you will also remove the plant’s spur during pruning.

Beautiful blooms of Hoya Bilobata. (Source: Pixabay)

You can gently brush the petals away if you don’t like how the withered flowers appear.

But if you want to remove them, you must ensure that the spurs are left in place when cutting.

If you deadhead the flower, you won’t get another bloom from that spot and will have to wait for other spurs to appear.

No other approaches will succeed in the plant flowering if all its spurs have been removed.

As a result, take extreme care while pruning your Hoyas.

Uses of Hoya Flowers

Hoyas are traded internationally and used as ornamental plants. These plants are essential both horticulturally and commercially.

The plant does particularly well when grown indoors, for its flower and foliage, especially in hanging baskets or cascading down a wall.

However, certain species are also utilized locally as medicinal plants.

A pleasant and sweet edible nectar is released when the blossom is crushed. The oily soluble extract from the Hoya kerrii Craib has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Hoya carnosa nectar
Hoya carnosa nectar (Source: Wikimedia)

Likewise, different species of these plants also emit fragrances, such as chocolate and vanilla. Numerous beauty items, body lotions, and deodorants are made with this extract.

Besides, the flower of this plant contains compounds like flavones and phytosterol, which help moisturize and strengthen the skin.

Thus, many beauty products companies incorporate it into their products.

Also, the Hoya plant symbolizes wealth, protection, and love, which makes them a perfect gift for your loved ones. 

Some Hoya Varieties with Pictures

There are over hundreds of varieties of Hoya plants. Most of these varieties produce tiny, star-marked flowers.

Below is the list of some of the Hoya flowering varieties with their features. 

Scientific NameFlower ImagesFeatures
Hoya lacunosaFlowers are whitish to pinkish, but their overall diameter is less than 1 cm.
Hoya erythrostemma
The hue of the corolla can range from yellowish to pinkish to purplish.
Hoya elliptica
A single peduncle may produce up to 15 to 20 flowers.
Hoya coriacea
The species of hoya produces a lot of flowers.
Hoya lasianthaThis variety frequently blooms under water stress.
Hoya javanica
Flower shape like a rocket ship ready to take off when fully bloom
Hoya mitrataThis variety produces big flowers (2.5-3 cm diameter)

Health Considerations to Keep in Mind

Hoyas belong to the Apocynaceae family. All species of this family produce latex with milky sap, but it is non-toxic to humans and pets.

According to ASPCA, the leaves, stems, and fruit all are nontoxic to humans or animals. 

However, unripe fruits from some Hoya species may give pets a moderate stomach upset, resulting in various health issues.

Hoya totems and a dog
Hoya totems and a dog (Source: Facebook)

Although it won’t be fatal for your pet and other animals, its effects may show signs, such as oral irritation and difficulty swallowing.

Also, the sap might create temporary irritation to some having sensitive skin. The sap can result in skin rashes and other allergic reactions for those who are allergic to latex.

Additionally, some seasonal allergies may be triggered by the blooms of the Hoya variety like Hoya compacta. People who are sensitive to pollen may have symptoms like sneezing, runny noses, and itchy eyes.

If handled properly with gloves, this plant poses no threat or harm.

It is safe to keep these numbers within reach in case of any emergency for yourself or your pet. 

Conclusion

Hoya flowers are one of the most common ornamental plants worldwide.

These attractive flowers require less maintenance and thrive well with little care and moderate temperature. 

Remember the basic care guidelines in this article, and you are all set to bloom your plant. 

You should get Hoya for yourself soon. 

Check other articles like, How to Choose the Suitable Hoya Plant Soil? 9 Hoya Plant Problems and Their Solutions, 10 Best Small Leaf Hoya Plants, A Complete Guide to Hoya Propagation, Hoya Fungii

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