Hoya carnosa

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Hoya carnosa
NKN-2007-06-13 114250 Hoya Carnosa (Yvan Leduc author for Wikipedia).jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Gentianales
Family: Apocynaceae
Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
Genus: Hoya
Species: H. carnosa
Binomial name
Hoya carnosa
(L.f.) R.Br. (1810)

Hoya carnosa, the porcelainflower or wax plant, is an Asclepiad species of flowering plant in the dogbane family Apocynaceae. It is one of the many species of hoya that are native to Eastern Asia and Australia. It is a common house plant grown for its attractive waxy foliage, and sweetly scented flowers.

The flowers are typically light pink, but may vary from near-white to dark pink; they are star-shaped, and are borne in clusters that look like tiny wax miniatures. The surface of the flowers is covered in tiny hairs giving them a fuzzy sheen. They are heavily scented and may produce excess nectar that drips from the flowers. Like all Hoyas, this species flowers from specialized perennial structures referred to as spurs. These appear from the axils of the leaves and stem; flowers may not be produced when the spurs first appear, but in time buds emerge from the tips. Each season new flowers are produced on these same spurs, so they should not be damaged or removed.

H. carnosa has been in cultivation for more than 200 years and has given rise to many cultivars that vary in foliage form or flower color. In cultivation in the UK it has gained the Royal Horticultural Society’s Award of Garden Merit.[1][2]

Recent studies at the University of Georgia have shown H. carnosa to be an excellent remover of pollutants in the indoor environment.[3]

Hoya carnosa flower


This Hoya species prefers bright light, but will tolerate much less. Though it will tolerate low temperatures (but not freezing),[1] the optimal temperature is 60–85 °F (16–29 °C). It can be propagated by air layering or by stem cuttings.[4] It benefits from an open potting medium that allows some air to get to the roots. Typical mixes include large-grade drainage material such as perlite, pumice, or ceramic balls. The plants should be fed regularly with a fertilizer suitable for epiphytic plants.

There is a persistent piece of folklore that hoyas prefer to be potbound - kept in a small pot. It is said that this will hasten flowering.[5]


  1. ^ a b "RHS Plantfinder - Hoya carnosa". Retrieved 3 March 2018. 
  2. ^ "AGM Plants - Ornamental" (PDF). Royal Horticultural Society. July 2017. p. 49. Retrieved 2 March 2018. 
  3. ^ "UGA research shows some plants can remove indoor pollutants". UGA.edu. University of Georgia. March 31, 2009. Retrieved December 6, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Hoya carnosa - Wax Plant, Asclepiadaceae". Plant of The Week. University of Oklahoma Department of Microbiology & Plant Biology. May 1999. Retrieved December 6, 2015. 
  5. ^ "Hoya Plant: How To Care For The Wax Plant". Plant Care Today. 2016-05-26. Retrieved 2017-06-07. 
  • Hoya carnosa: information in The Plant List
  • Trimen, Henry (1888). Hortus Zeylanicus; A Classified List of the Plants, Both Native and Exotic, Growing in the Royal Botanic Gardens. P.R. Deniya. ISBN 9781236067777. 
  • Phillips, Roger (1997). The Random House Book of Indoor and Greenhouse Plants (Vol. 2). New York, NY, U.S.A.: Random House, Incorporated. ISBN 0375750282. 
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