A trailing plant with thick, fleshy leaves and fragrant flowers, the miniature wax plant from the Himalayas to northern Burma, looks wonderful in a hanging basket where the scent and the detail of the flowers can be appreciated.
The stems are initially upright, arching only as they grow longer, and the dull green leaves are borne in pairs. The star-shaped flowers appear in clusters of up to 10, with waxy, white outer “petals” and a purple-red center. These are produced intermittently throughout the summer and fall. Hoyas benefit from the extra humidity of a kitchen or bathroom, as long as it is a warm and well-lit position.
Size: Stems can reach 18 in. (45 cm) long.
Light: Indirect, sunlight, with some direct sunlight.
Temperature: Normal room.
Moisture: Keep moist from spring to fall. In winter, apply only enough water to prevent the soil mix from drying out.
Feeding: Give a high potash fertilizer (tomato fertilizer) every two weeks from spring to fall.
Propagation: Take 3 in. (7 cm) tip cuttings in spring or summer and group 3—5 to a pot.
Special needs: The plant exudes milky latex when the stem is cut, although loss should not be excessive. Do not repot until absolutely necessary, and do not disturb once the flower buds begin to swell or remove the flower spur (as the next flowers will also arise here). Allow the flowers to fall naturally.