Usually grown in a basket, Hoya plants (Hoya carnosa is one of the most common Hoya varieties) have earned a place as a favorite among houseplants. Also known as the wax plant for its thick, glossy leaves, Hoya is easy to manage and thrives with minimal care. Given the right conditions, Hoya produces clusters of star-shaped flowers on umbrella-like stalks called umbrellas. Depending on the variety, the flowers can be tiny or up to 3 inches in size, with colors ranging from white and light pink to yellow to a deep, brownish purple. Although the Hoya plant is nearly indestructible, getting the plant to flower can be a challenge.
Basics of Hoya plant care
Portland Nursery explains that you need to place Hoya in very bright, indirect light, which is the most important factor in getting the plant to flower. Bright, indirect light means that the plant is in bright light but the foliage is protected from the harsh rays of the sun. A point about four to five feet from a bright window is a good example of bright, indirect light. Although Hoya thrives in low light, it does not flower.
Fertilize the plant regularly to get your hoya to bloom. Use a balanced fertilizer for indoor plants, as regular fertilizing can tempt the plant to flower. Read the label to make sure the fertilizer contains small amounts of all three essential elements – nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. Apply fertilizer according to package label directions and refrain from fertilizing during the winter months.
water and moisture
Keep the humidity in the room you store your Hoya in above 40 percent if possible, although 60 percent humidity is even better. Hoya does well in a humid area like a kitchen or bathroom. However, it must get enough light if you put it in such a place. Alternatively, keep your Hoya elsewhere and lightly mist the plant with a spray bottle filled with fresh water three or four times a week.
Water Hoya regularly, but only when the top half of the soil feels dry. Water the plant sparingly during the winter months and only lightly moisten the soil.
Caring for aging Hoya plants
Leave faded flowers on the hoya plant. New flowers arise in the same place on the plant, at the base or stalk of the old flowers.
Resist the urge to repot the hoya as it matures. The stress of being attached to the roots can be a trigger for flowering. As such, you are likely to enjoy more beautiful and lasting blooms by keeping your Hoya in its original pot.
The International Hoya Association says the number one reason your older hoya plant isn’t flowering is that it’s not getting enough light. For some Hoya species, the flowering time depends on the maturity of the plant. Some strains can bloom easily in the first year, while others don’t produce flowers until they are two or three years old, and sometimes longer. Some Hoya species flower all year round, while other varieties are seasonal bloomers.