Some of you might be wondering why Hoya plants, out of all houseplants, are our passion. It’s a great question that we can hopefully answer by exploring the unique characteristics and benefits of growing Hoya.
Grandma's Wax Plant
You might recognize the Hoya plant as the waxy, vining plant that used to grow in your grandmother's house. This resilient succulent looking plant was beloved by 70s grandmas nationwide. This is how we came to know and love the Hoya plant.
My grandmother, Mary Jane, had an atrium that was full of the most wonderful plants. It was warm, made me feel safe, and it was like I was taking a walk through the rain forest. I can remember first seeing the blooming Krimson Queen Hoya that I named Estee. The bloom was so delicate that I held my breath as I marveled at the intricate parts. The small drops of nectar dripping down the stem as well as the overwhelming smell of chocolate were the most amazing thing I had ever seen. Pieces of that plant have been passed down and propagated over the last 40 years to many members of the family. It is something that I hold as a sacred treasure that reminds me of how our legacy can live on.
Fast forward in time, I have spent years studying Hoyas and found that there are many varieties and variations, and I have a passion for propagation. It is great fun to watch a stem or leaf take root and bring an entire new Hoya to life. I recently moved into a house with an urban cultivator, and rather than growing microgreens, I’ve started a Hoya farm.
Hoya seem to be making a comeback in the American home as an increasing number of houseplant enthusiasts discover the joy it is to grow them. Hoya is becoming more available at specialty garden centers.
This surge of popularity for the Hoya plant could be for a number of reasons, including their easy-going care routine, their fragrant and gorgeous blooms, and their preference for growing indoors.
Most Hoya are relatively easy to grow from cuttings. They usually only require 1-2 nodes and a leaf in order to root. This goes back to their resilient nature. Hoya are non-fussy and tolerate many different environments (although only specific care will get them to bloom).
Hoya leaves are thick and resemble succulent leaves. Although Hoya are not succulents, they also store water in their leaves making them drought tolerant. They thrive off of neglect, grow vigorously, and flower year over year if you find the right balance of water and light.
It is easy to be enchanted by Hoya’s blooms (I know I’m guilty). Commonly known as the ‘wax plant’ or ‘porcelain flower,’ Hoya blooms resemble perfectly crafted frosting petals on a cake. Hoya blooms almost always have heavily perfumed scents (most of them are sticky sweet but surprisingly some are quite foul). Hoya are most fragrant at night, an indicator of the nocturnal moths and beetles that pollinate them. The blooms will have positive flows of nectar that will drip from the center of flower clusters (which is fantastic for butterflies and hummingbirds!)
Find the Variety for You
There are so many varieties and species of Hoya. Some look beautiful on a shelf or where others are perfect for hanging in a pot; put it on a wall mount or in the ground, there is a Hoya for everyone! Various Hoya even have different care needs so you can always find a plant that will grow happily in your area. Every species of Hoya also has multiple cultivars which are sometimes hard to tell apart, this makes growing Hoya an endless adventure with colorful surprises each time you grow a new plant.
Benefits & Symbolism
Hoya are also non-toxic plants, safe for children and pets. They are air-purifiers, removing pollutants from the air by absorbing them into their leaves and roots.
If understanding the language and natural gifts of your plants is important to you, here are the gifts of the Hoya. Hoya can portray art, protection, sculptured loveliness, and susceptibility. Plant symbolism has been used in literature, art, and folklore that goes back to ancient civilizations of the Greek. Today, many people feel that surrounding yourself with plants that symbolize things you want or value can create a fulfilling environment. It can also help make art or boutiques for loved ones more meaningful because they authentically represent your heartfelt intentions for the gift or piece.
Hoya are the ultimate houseplant for any beginner or expert plant enthusiast. They are easy to care for and live a long life (it is not uncommon for Hoya to be +20 years old!) Whether you’re considering giving a Hoya as a gift or indulging for yourself, Hoya are the way to go.