Hundreds of species and cultivars belong to the hoya genus, all originating in southern Asia, Australia and Polynesia; the Hoya carnosa species is the most easily found in European nurseries, as a type species or as a hybrid or cultivar. It is a fairly vigorous houseplant, which in summer can be grown without problems on the terrace; it has a climbing or creeping habit, and can even reach a few meters in length, so let's provide it with a trellis to hold on to, or other suitable support. It produces long, fickle, flexible, herbaceous stems, on which large oval, leathery, shiny, dark green leaves develop. From spring to the end of summer it produces large umbrella-shaped, pendulous inflorescences, consisting of small waxy, star-shaped, white flowers with a red or pink center.
There are hundreds of species of hoya, therefore there are hundreds of different flowers, from tiny ones to those that have a few cm in diameter; some inflorescences are completely spherical, some species produce single flowers. What is common to all the flowers of hoya it is the intense perfume they give off.
The inflorescences are produced on small peduncles, which develop in the leaf axilla; once the first inflorescence has withered, the peduncle develops further to produce a new inflorescence, as happens for example for the phalaenopsis; for this reason it is important to avoid removing the peduncles when removing the withered flowers.
How to grow it
This is not a difficult-to-grow plant, the fundamental problem lies in the fact that the neglected plant, or in suboptimal cultivation conditions, does not produce any flower, thus depriving us of most of its qualities. When we buy a small plant of hoya fleshy in the nursery, usually placed in a tiny container, because it seems that these plants do not like excessively large pots; therefore remember to repot it every 2-3 years, but avoid replacing the container with an excessively large one. We can also grow it in the garden, but only if we live in an area with particularly mild winters, and in any case in a sheltered place, since temperatures below 8-10 ° C can damage the plant. We use for ours fleshy hoya a good rich and loose soil mixed with a little pumice stone to improve drainage. Let's position it in a very well-lit place, away from direct sunlight, but where the plant can enjoy a good amount of filtered sunlight, for at least a few hours every day. From March to September we water regularly, checking with the fingers that the soil has dried before watering further; in this period we add fertilizer for flowering plants to the irrigating water, every 12-15 days. In the cold months we thin the waterings, since the plant, in vegetative rest, withstands drought without problems.