The wax flower (Hoya carnosa) is a wonderful climbing plant whose thick, waxy, fleshy leaves allow it to retain water. It is a type of plant very close to succulents, which can reach a meter in height and which is native to China and Japan.

Many people are attracted to this plant because of its leaves, which vary from species to species. In some cases, it is difficult to distinguish these plants from each other unless they are in flower.

As houseplants, they are easy to care for, long-lasting and flower regularly year after year. We list below the essential care to be given to the wax flower.

Wax flower care

  • The light

Most plants in this family cannot tolerate direct, bright light and their leaves suffer from direct exposure to the sun.

It is a plant that grows in the woods, among trees and shrubs, and is therefore used to receiving weak and indirect light. This condition must be reproduced at home.

Many botanical gardens and hoya growers grow this plant under a shade cloth that blocks 50 to 80 percent of direct sunlight.

  • Soil and watering

The wax flower does not need a lot of space, because it is an epiphytic plant (that is, a plant that lives on another plant, without feeding at its expense). It is not normally necessary to transplant a hoya.

However, it is recommended to change the potting soil every 2 or 3 years. Use terracotta pots, which are more porous and therefore more easily remove excess water from the soil.

This is all the more important as the wax flower does not like stagnant water. It needs regular watering, but the soil must dry well to prevent the plant from rotting.

  • Humidity and temperature

The wax flower cannot tolerate cold temperatures below 50 °F, so care must be taken during winter.

Regarding humidity, this plant is used to living in very humid contexts, typical of subtropical and tropical areas. However, it adapts well to drier environments.

Main Wax Flower Problems and Solutions

We list the most common wax flower problems below:

  • If the leaves of the wax flower burn or turn red, this may be a sign of too much light. Keep the plant away from sunlight.
  • If the leaves are rotting, they may not be getting enough water or the roots may die. Examine the roots and check for mealybugs.
  • If the leaves start to look limp, the roots may be dead due to overwatering or too little water.
  • If the wax flower isn’t blooming, it’s probably not getting the right amount of light. However, some leaves may need some
  • type of “stress” to stimulate flowering (i.e. cold or dry periods).
    If shoots fall off before flowering, the plant’s soil may have remained too dry or too wet for a long time.
  • If the wax flower has been dry for too long, try not to overload it with water when watering. Water little by little so that the soil becomes well moistened.