Hoya Plant Care Tips from a Garden Expert

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A hoya plant or a hoya heart plant is a perfect choice for a beginning succulent parent. Find out how to keep your new houseplant happy.

How to Care for a Hoya Plant

Hoya carnosaTommyIX/Getty Images
Hoya carnosa

Hoya, also known as wax plant, are known for their ease of care. They make a great plant for a new succulent gardener. Really, all a hoya plant needs is bright indirect sunlight and intermittent watering. Plants that are at least five years old are more likely to bear clusters of sweet-smelling blooms.

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Hoya Heart Plant

Close Up Of Hand Holding Heart Shaped Succulent Plant,hoya Kerrii Plant PotSutthiwat Srikhrueadam/Getty Images
Sweetheart hoya

Another hoya favorite is the sweetheart hoya, or hoya heart plant, named for its adorable heart-shaped leaves. Gardeners typically place this succulent in a hanging basket or along a trellis. Like the rest of the hoya family, it only requires infrequent waterings and indirect sun. You can also grow a single leaf cutting like the one pictured above that will stay the same size in a small container for many growing seasons.

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Hoya Plant FAQ

hoya plantCourtesy Linda Overdorf
Wax plant is also known as hoya

I have had this plant (above) for more than 16 years and it has not bloomed until now. What kind of plant is this and is it supposed to bloom? — Birds & Blooms Reader Linda Overdorf

Garden expert Melinda Myers says, “Your trailing houseplant is known as wax plant or hoya. This succulent grows best in a sunny window in well-drained soil. Use a flowering houseplant fertilizer during periods of active growth. Pot-bound plants growing in a cool location with slightly dry soil in winter and high humidity in summer are more likely to bloom. Be sure to leave the long leafless stem-end intact because this is where the flowers will form.

My indoor hoya used to bloom all the time, but when I moved, I had to cut 3 feet off the bottom. It seems happy in its new location, and yet it hasn’t bloomed. Why? — Birds & Blooms Reader Mary Ann Fecteau

Melinda Myers writes, “Congratulations on growing a hoya that bloomed not once but several times throughout the year. You obviously had a great location and provided proper care. Severe pruning of any plant, including your hoya, stimulates vegetative growth (leaves and stems) and delays flowering. Provide the same care and be patient. It may take a few years for your plant to adjust to its new home and switch back into a reproductive, or flowering, mode.”

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Emily Hannemann
Emily Hannemann is an associate digital editor for Birds & Blooms. She has a bachelor’s degree in English and a master’s degree in magazine writing from the University of Missouri - Columbia. When she’s not writing and editing, you’ll find her swimming, running, or hiking. She knows blue jays are controversial, but she loves them anyway.