February Plant of the Month: Hoya

Hoya plants are a delightful addition to any indoor garden, prized not only for their charming flowers but also for their stunning foliage. Particularly coveted are leaves adorned with 'splash' patterns, a form of variegation known as "blister" variegation. This unique feature adds a touch of whimsy to any space.

Shop our entire Hoya collection in store or online

History of Hoya

Hoya carnosa is indigenous to southern China, Japan, Laos and Taiwan, and is probably the best known of the genus, as well as being the ‘type’ species: it was one of the first Hoyas to be identified by western plant hunters during the mid- to late 1700s. The genus Hoya was named in honor of Thomas Hoy, head gardener at Syon House, the west London home of the Duke of Northumberland.

Growth Habit and Care

Hoyas, being epiphytes, have minimal root requirements, making them ideal houseplants. They thrive with minimal root space and appreciate support structures like obelisks or trellises. Hoyas prefer indirect sunlight and well-draining soil. Regular watering during active growth periods and occasional feeding with high-potash fertilizer can promote healthy growth and flowering.

Flowers and Pollination

The Hoya's wax-like flowers are a marvel to behold, opening at night to attract nocturnal moths with their sweet fragrance and nectar. These flowers, often referred to as wax plants or porcelain flowers, exhibit intricate structures designed to entice pollinators, such as the owl moth. The plant's pollination process is a fascinating example of coevolution between plants and their pollinators.

Cultivars and Varieties

Hoyas come in a variety of cultivars, each with its own unique characteristics. From the popular Hindu rope plant (Hoya carnosa compacta) to the variegated 'Krimson Queen' and the rare 'Hoya Obovata Splash,' there's a Hoya variety to suit every taste and space. With their resilience and low maintenance requirements, these plants have regained popularity among contemporary indoor gardeners.

Hoyas are not just plants; they're living works of art, adding beauty and charm to any indoor space. With their stunning foliage, captivating flowers, and intriguing growth habits, they continue to enchant plant enthusiasts around the world. Whether you're a seasoned gardener or a novice plant parent, adding a Hoya to your collection is sure to bring joy and fascination for years to come.

Shop our entire Hoya collection in store or online. 

Jennifer Brennan

Jennifer Brennan is the Horticulture Information Specialist, advising and coaching gardeners at Chalet for over 30 years.