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Hoya Flower [Meaning, Importance and Care]

Hoya Flower clusters appear in many colorful shades and are noted for their peculiar gleam. Due to their shine, these blooms are often called porcelain flowers!  

Generally, Hoya Flower appears in several varieties that bloom in spring, summer, fall, and even winter. Ball-shaped clusters, each having 10-55 starry flowers flaunt pink, white, burgundy, orange, black, and yellow shades, and a colorful center with sweet vanilla or citrusy aroma to lure pollinators.

However, Hoya Flowers are not just for tempting pollinators with their fragrance, no! They are valuable medicinally and symbolically.

So, to get a deeper insight into the meanings and importance of Hoya blooms, stay tuned.

How Often Does Hoya Flower?

Hoya is an evergreen perennial plant with around 600 species that bloom in many colors.

Usually, Hoya Flower furls during the spring and summer. Some species of Hoya bloom year-round and don’t shy away from revealing their blooms in fall and winter.

As a perennial plant, Hoyas can flower throughout the year, while some species are seasonal bloomers.

But despite their lifespan, all Hoya plants must be 5-7 years old to experience their first 6-12 months-long flowering stretch.

Depending on their species, some Hoya Flowers only stay fresh on the plant for a few days, while others last for two weeks or even a little more.

However, the spell of seasonal Hoya plant flowers also depends on the environment and cultural conditions.

Light and water are vital for their flowers, while fertilizer, temperature, and humidity support their growth.

Overview of Hoya Flower

Generally, Hoya blooms are called ‘porcelain flowers’ due to their shine and waxy appearance. 

Upon closer look, the surface of the flowers is not waxy but has many thin hairs.

Due to the hairs, the edges of the flowers glisten with a white shine.

Portrait of Hoya burtoniae flower.
Each individual flower of Hoya is star-shaped and arises in globose groups from a single point on the flowering stem.

Look below to learn more about the beautiful Hoya Flowers.

Scientific NameHoya species
Common NameHoney Plant

Wax Plant

Porcelain Plant
Blooming SeasonsSpring, Summer, Fall, and Winter
FlowerInflorescence: Umbel (Flower Clusters)

Color: White, Burgundy, Near Black, Orange, Yellow or Pink with a Vibrant Center

Fragrance: Sweet Vanilla-like, Citrusy, or sometimes Chocolaty

Shape: Star-Shaped

Size: 4 millimeters to 3 inches
Number of Flower Per Cluster10-55
Individual Flower Life SpanFew days to 2 Weeks
ToxicityNon-Toxic to Pets and Humans

Although all Hoya blooms have five-pointed star shape petals, they grow normally in clusters.

A single flower cluster grows at the top of a flowering stem extending from the stem’s axils.

But not all the species grow flowers in groups or have the same number.

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

Similarly, Hoya pauciflora, another Hoya Flower variety, only produces a single white flower nearly 40 millimeters wide.

Hoya Flower Pollination

Flowers of Hoya carry sweet vanilla-like, citrusy, or even sometimes chocolaty aromas.

The colorful, fragrant flowers ooze nectar that helps to lure the pollinators and assist in pollination.

Moreover, the scent and sweet nectar treat attract pollinators like moths, ants, honey bees, hoverflies, and mantises, who come to feed on the flower.

The flowers open up and produce pollen in summer. The ‘corona’ or the central starry top of the flower becomes more noticeable.
Image illustrates the details on the Hoya Flowers
Corona is the central part of the Hoya Flower that carries male and female reproductive parts.

Further, the corona has the male and female parts of the flowers forming new pollen batches.

Likewise, when insects visit the flowers, they sit in the corona.

Therefore, pollens accidentally stick to their legs, mouth, wings, or body.

If the same bug visits another flower, pollen reaches inside the female reproductive part of the bloom, and pollination is complete.

However, hand pollination is almost impossible due to the complex structure of the flower and the difficulty in identifying the male and female parts.

The Hoya flowers carry pollen grains (or ‘pollinia’) in little sacs called ‘pollinium’ arranged in a circle below the corona.

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

How to Make a Hoya Plant Flower?

The requirement to bloom the Hoya Flower depends on proper light, soil, fertilization, temperature, and humidity.

Moreover, Hoyas, as a houseplant, is susceptible to pests (aphids, mealybugs, scales, and spider mites) and diseases (leaf drops, leaf spots, and stem dieback).

Ideally, you should try to mimic its natural environment to boost the blooms and tweak the plant now and then to keep it healthy.

  • Offer Hoya about 2 hours of direct light in the morning or evening and place it near an east-facing window for the rest of the day.
  • Water every 2 weeks in spring and summer and cut back watering to every 3-4 weeks in fall and winter.
  • Provide porous, fluffy, and well-draining soil with a pH of 6.1-7.5.
  • Set the humidity between 50% and 70% using a humidifier.
Image represents the buds of Hoya Flower
A good amount of bright indirect sunlight induces the growth of new flower buds.
  • Maintain temperature between 60-85°F and avoid temperatures below 50°F.
  • Grant high nitrogen fertilizer 1-2 times a month during growing seasons. Switch to phosphorous fertilizer to spur blooms.
  • Prune your Hoya plant every spring or summer to remove the injured, pest and disease-infested, and spent leaves.
  • Repot every 2-3 years and prevent frequent repotting to ease off the plant.
  • If you encounter any, you can handpick or control them using neem oil spray.

What to do After Hoya Flowers?

Hoya Flowers develop on a narrow spur or stalk that remains affixed to the plant once it has bloomed.

So, it’s best to avoid pruning the spent blooms as you may remove the spur, which is vital for the plant in the next flowering season.

However, you can gently brush the petals away by keeping the spur intact if you don’t like the looks of withered flowers.

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

Thus, take extreme care while pruning your Hoyas, as no other approaches will help the plant bloom again if you remove all its spurs.

Uses of Hoya Flowers

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

Further, they carry symbolic meanings in many cultures and are medicinally important.

Ornamental Uses

  • Hoya blooms are used for indoor decor in hanging baskets or to cascade a wall.
  • Furthermore, they can also do well inside large homemade terrariums with other hardscapes.

Medicinal Benefits

  • The oily soluble extract from crushed Hoya Flowers carries antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • In many traditional medical practices, the poultice of flowers is applied to the skin to treat topical issues, rashes, and bites.
  • Moreover, the fragrant flowers also serve as a main ingredient in body lotions and deodorants that boosts skin health.

Symbolic Importance

  • Hoya kerrii, a Hoya Flower variety, also called ‘Valentine Hoya,’ symbolizes love and devotion on Valentine’s Day.
  • Similarly, Hoya Flowers remain meaningful staple gifts symbolizing wealth and protection in Asian cultures.

Some Hoya Flower Varieties

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

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

Scientific NameFeatures
Hoya lacunosaFlowers are whitish to pinkish, with overall diameter is less than 1 cm.
Hoya erythrostemmaThe hue of the corolla can range from yellowish to pinkish to purplish.
Hoya ellipticaA single peduncle may produce 15-20 flowers.
Hoya coriaceaFlowers of this variety are yellow and appear fuzzy.
Hoya lasianthaThis variety bear orange blooms with straight recurved petals.
Hoya javanicaCreamy white flowers with curved petals that are pointed down.
Hoya mitrataThis variety bluffs creamy white flowers with straight recurved petals and reddish center.

Health Considerations to Keep in Mind

Hoyas belong to the Apocynaceae family and produce milky latex, but it is non-toxic to humans and pets.

ASPCA has listed Hoya as one of the safe and non-toxic houseplants.

However, unripe fruits from some Hoya species may give pets a moderate stomach upset.

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

Similarly, the sap might create temporary irritation to some having sensitive skin.

Furthermore, some seasonal allergies may be triggered by the blooms of the Hoya compacta.

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

Nevertheless, it’s safe to keep these numbers within reach in case of any emergency for yourself or your pet. 

From Editorial Team

Hoya Flowers spread their appeal if you grow them in hanging baskets.

However, be very careful not to cut away the spent spurs. They may look lifeless but will sprout new growth in the following season.

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