What the Heck is This?

September 13, 2010 6 Comments

I got an email over the weekend from Donna.  She sent me some pictures of her supervisor’s office plant.   She would like to know what it is and how to propagate it.  It is a pretty cool looking plant!

(The following photos were sent by Donna)

This leaf is 4 inches (10 cm) long!

It turns out to be a Hoya carnosa, or Wax Plant.  It certainly looks waxy, even the flowers!

You can see the flowers at the bottom left of the plant in this picture.

It is one of 100 species of Hoya that are native to Eastern Asia and Australia.  It is a member of the milkweed family… the scientific name of the hoya is Asclepiadaceae.  Milkweeds are called Asclepias.

It does best in at least four hours of bright sunlight, but can also be grown in bright indirect light.  It likes cool nights (60-65°) and daytime temperatures of 70 degrees or warmer. 

Water as much as you like while it is flowering, which is during the summer, but allow the soil to become almost dry in between watering when the plant is not flowering.  They like to be fertilized every 2 months in the spring and summer.. and don’t remove the leafless spurs or stubs since that is where the new flowers appear every year.

You can propagate this plant by just taking a cutting or by air layering.  If you include one or more pairs of leaves it will produce roots quickly in water or damp sand.

It may take a while to get it to bloom, but it looks like a gorgeous plant to have in your home or office!  Enjoy.

Dig it!

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  1. Karolyn Sorge says:

    My mother gave me a cutting of her Hoya plant when I got married, that was 41 years ago. It is still thriving. I have taken numerous cuttings from it, one for each of my kids when they were married and others for friends. It thrives on neglect which is the only reason I can come up with that I have had it for so long!! It doesn’t bloom every year but is beautiful whether in bloom or not.

    As for the 10 inch leaf, I don’t think they get much over 3 -4 inches long.

  2. Deb says:

    my grandmother had this on her front porch and she called it a christ tear. The flowers drop suger water. She had it around her whole front porch, they just keep growing and growing. It is gorgeous. I didn’t know anyone else had this plant. Enjoy

  3. Pam Cheney says:

    My mom also had this plant. right now it hasn’t flowered in two years, though the leaves and the “vine” keep going strong. Any suggestions in making it bloom?

  4. Sue says:

    I heard the show and was surprised that you didn’t use the term ‘Hoya,’ as I, too, have had a Hoya for many years, like Karolyn. I was quite confused about the 10 inch leaves and looking at your leaf and tape measure, it is clearly 4 inches long and, perhaps, 10 centimeters.

    Love my Hoya, which bloomed all summer this year.

  5. Eileen Loan says:

    Sue, Yep.. I’m a dufus! I apparently can’t read a ruler! Thanks for the correction… I have changed it in the post!

  6. sylvia palau says:

    I have a Hoya carnosa plant my mother gave me and it is about 10 to 12 years
    that we have it. It has never bloomed, I have never propagated it(afraid to
    cut the leaves. How do you do this.

    Thank You

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