Q. My Hoya houseplant won't flower. Why not?
Hoya produces pretty, unusual flowers but may not do so without good light. Hoyas, also known as wax plants, are tropical climbing or trailing plants with thick, fleshy leaves and clusters of waxy, star-shaped blooms. Some species are also sweetly scented. The climbing varieties are usually grown on small trellises or trained around wires or stakes.
Light requirements: Three to four hours of sunlight are essential for good growth and flowering. Hoyas prefer extremely bright but indirect sunlight.
Humidity: Try to keep the humidity of your growing area above 40 percent. Sixty percent is even better but difficult to maintain in a home. Mist the plant often. You also use a pebble tray kept wet to set plant and saucer on top.
Temperature: Normal room temperatures are fine.
Watering: During the active growth period, water moderately, allowing the top half-inch of the mixture to dry out between thorough waterings.
Fertilizer: These plants don’t need too much fertilizer in general, but a high-potash (potassium) liquid fertilizer once during active growth can be beneficial.
Potting: Move climbing hoyas into pots one size bigger each spring. After reaching convenient maximum pot size, top dress the plant by removing a couple inches of old soil and replacing with fresh.
Flower care: When removing spent flowers, be careful to pick off only the flowers and flower stalks. Hoya spurs produce flowers year after year. Destruction of spurs remove future flowers.
See the International Hoya Association website for more information.
- Courtesy of the NYBG Plant Information Service