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Hoya odorata
Photo: Jardin botanique de Montréal (Josée Bouthot)
Hoya odorata
  • Hoya odorata
  • Hoya heuschkeliana
  • Hoya densiflora



Origin and description

Hoya carnosa is a succulent vine native to India, Myanmar (Burma) and southern China. Leaves are elliptical, fleshy and have a shiny, waxed appearance. From spring to late summer it produces umbels of 10 to 20 small star-shaped flowers that are highly fragrant, especially at night, and are usually white with a red center. The cultivar ‘Variegata’ has green leaves with an ivory margin. This vine is also cultivated for its trailing form.

Species, cultivars and related plants

Hoya carnosa ‘Krinkle Kurl’ has a compact habit and curiously twisted leaves.

Common name

Hoya / Common wax plant / Wax plant

Latin name (genus)

Hoya carnosa 'Variegata'

English common name

French common name

Botanical family

  • Asclepiadaceae

Growing conditions

Hoyas tolerate low light but need bright light without direct sun in order to bloom. Place hoyas near a window, preferably facing west or south if you protect it from direct sunlight during the summer. Keep at normal room temperature (18-21ºC), ensuring it does not fall below 15ºC. Avoid cold drafts and keep away from heat sources. It needs a high humidity level in the air, especially if temperatures are above 20ºC.

Easy to grow?

Growing hoyas is very easy, but getting them to flower is more difficult. It may take two or three years to see blooms after moving or re-potting.

Watering and fertilizer

Thoroughly moisten the soil and then allow it to dry slightly between waterings. Fertilize every month from March to October with a fertilizer rich in potassium (15-15-30) or a balanced fertilizer such as 20-20-20, diluted by half. During this period of growth, it usually blooms one or more times. Stop fertilizing when the flower buds appear, then resume once flowering is complete.

Pruning and maintenance

If the plant is attached to a trellis or a solid support, help new shoots by winding them around the support. Prune stems that have become invasive and prune slightly to encourage branching and get a more compact plant. Do not prune too severely, because this plant blooms when the stems have reached a sufficient length. Remove faded flowers, but do not cut the flower stalk from which the next flower stalks will grow. Avoid moving the plant while it flowers.


Hoyas do not like to be re-potted and bloom more profusely when cramped in the pot. Transplant in the spring only if small roots are growing out of the bottom of the pot. If the plant does not need to be re-potted for several years, you can simply add a bit of fresh soil on top of the existing soil. Use a potting soil that provides good drainage, for example a mixture of potting soil and coarse sand or perlite or a good potting soil for houseplants.

See also

Pests and diseases
Physiological disorders

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