Plant Spotlight: Hoya

Hoya, waxplant, waxflower

Hoya are stunning trailing (or climbing) easy care plants. Their many species offer a wide variety of leaf shape and color, and they will even flower indoors.  There are over 200 species of hoya and they are native to East Asia and Australia, where they grow epiphytically vining around tree branches. 


Known for their thick, waxy leaves, hoya retain moisture longer than other plants. A good indication that it is time to water is when the older leaves become flexible, and you are able to slightly fold them; this is usually when the top ⅔ of soil is dry. Hoyas prefer coarse potting mix; adding extra perlite or orchid bark to your standard mix is a good idea.

Hoya prefer bright indirect light, but will tolerate some direct sun- in fact, hoya with white or light green on their leaves will often become pink in direct sun! 

Hoya will send out long runners, or spurs, as they grow. Be careful not to touch these too much, as the leaves they are growing are spaced apart, and easily disrupted. Hoya will not grow a leaf where one has already been knocked off, although it may grow a new vine off of that growth point. 

Although they can grow in average household humidity levels, hoya appreciate and grow best with additional humidity. Utilizing a pebble tray, misting often, or using a humidifier will greatly benefit your plant.


Repotting: Because they are slower growing plants, they tend to take repotting a little harder than some other plants. Be sure that they are completely ready for a repot before sizing them up.

Plant not flowering: If your plant is not flowering indoors, make sure that you are properly fertilizing and that your plant is in sufficient light.

Leaves dropping, or dieing back: This can occur if your plant does not have proper drainage and has become waterlogged. Allow your hoya to dry out and ensure that your soil is the correct mix for your plant. 


Hoya are non-toxic for pets and people.

The Fern Way:

Hoya really enjoy climbing up a trellis (1), or to be hung (2). 

(1) - 4" Hoya Pubicalyx in a Simple White Planter by Katie Mudd, trellised with a Botanopia plant stake

(2) - 6" Hoya Carnosa "Krimson Queen" in a raw earth hanging planter by Angus & Celeste in the color way Ochre.