The hoya carnosaplant, commonly known as the wax plant, originated in India and East Asia, and is prized for its thick, leather-like green leaves and clusters of scented white or pink flowers. While this plant is easy to grow and care for, it is best treated with a large amount of patience, as it can take years for the plant to actually bloom. Here, you'll learn how to plant and care for your wax plant so that you can maximize the possibility of blooms.
What You'll Need
Growing a wax plant doesn't require a large amount of specialized tools, but you will need:
Wax plants do not like to sit in damp soil, as the roots of the plant can rot when exposed to standing water. Pot your wax plant in a peat moss based potting mix, so the water will not be absorbed by the soil.
Place a wire trellis around your wax plant and gently wind the stalks around the trellis. Secure the stalks with small strands of florist's wire, to ensure they stay on the trellis. Using a trellis allows you to display the beautiful green leaves of the plant, and gives the plant a thicker, healthier appearance.
Place your plant in a windowsill that gets direct sunlight about half of the day. If this sort of sunny location isn't available, the plant will still succeed in a room that is very bright, even if the sun is filtered by curtains. The plants don't require quite as much sunlight during the winter months, but make sure the room doesn't dip below 50 degrees at any time. Similarly, they prefer rooms that do not get hotter than 75 degrees.
If your plant blooms, do not rotate it or move it in any way. Moving the plant can cause the blooms to break and drop off. Once the plant has finished blooming, do not cut off the stalk that held the blooms. The plant will use that same stalk for blooms the following year.
Wax plants are more likely to bloom when they are tight within their pots ("root bound"). It may take 2 to 3 years for your new plant to bloom. This is completely normal.
Water your plant evenly during the growing season (spring through fall). The soil shouldn't be drenched at any time. Place your finger in the soil to check before adding water. If the soil feels wet, don't water the plant. If it's dry, add water. During the growing season, add fertilizer to the water once per month.
During the winter, add just enough water to keep the soil from bleaching out completely.
If the plant seems unbalanced or much too big for its current pot, transplant it to a slightly larger pot using peat moss-based potting mix. Do not repot the plant if it is blooming. The plant should only require repotting every 2 to 3 years.