Hoya carnosa albomarginata
Hoya carnosa var. gushanica
Hoya carnosa albomarginata is native to China, Hainan, Japan, Laos, Nansei-shoto and Taiwan.
Hoya carnosa albomarginata is a shrubby succulent belonging to the Asclepiadaceae botanical family. The plant has a climbing habit and is perfect for hanging pot and houseplant. The succulent develops like a vine and the leaves are ovate to elliptical, glossy, waxy smooth, bright green in color and grows along the branches. The leaves in the forma albomarginata can take pink shades in the center and the margins are usually creamy yellow. This is a variegated form so the plant does not produce chlorophyll along the edges of the leaves so they are tinged with yellow. Blooming occurs in late spring to early summer and the blossoms are borne on long stalks. The inflorescence is an umbel made of 10-30 flowers. The flowers are small, star-shaped, and scented. The petals are usually light pink to creamy white but sometimes they are dark pink; the center of the flower is tinged with purple hues. This plant is usually sold as a single-rooted leaf around Valentine’s day. The flowers have a delicate caramel smell. The plant is perfect for decorating homes and offices.
This is a slow growing plant, easy to cultivate. The plant needs a full light sun exposure but is recommended to avoid direct sun-light during the summer. Long exposure to direct sun-light can cause burns and burnt spots. The plant does not like temperatures below 10°C so it needs to be placed indoors in the coldest periods. Too low temperatures can cause the stem or leaves to break due to water freezing inside the tissues. Temperatures between 10 and 15 °C allow the plants to enter vegetative rest which is essential for the flowering of the following year. Plants should not be placed inside the house where average temperatures of 20 degrees prevent vegetative rest. The soil should be mixed with pumice, clay and loam to allow the drainage and prevent the root rot, the plant is prone to it indeed. The pumice should always be placed on the bottom of the pot. Remember to use a perforating pot to drain excess water. Watering can be done regularly in Spring and Summer. In Spring and Autumn, the plant can be watered with half a glass of water every week; in summer it can be watered with two glasses of water a week; in winter stop the watering to allow the plant to enter dormancy. Decrease the amount of water if the plant is kept indoors or if the pot is smaller than 12 cm. About fertilization, for this plant is sufficient to fertilize moderately during the growing season with the specific fertilizers for succulents and stop fertilizing during the winter. If the pot starts to be too small for the plant you can repot the plant in a pot 2 cm wider. Repotting should be done early in the growing season with fresh new potting soil; it is usually done every 3-4 years. Be careful to red spiders and mealy bugs.
The easiest and fast method of propagation is to use cuttings. For leaf cutting you can cut some healthy leaves and plant it in a pot with sand and loam. Place the pot in a warm and bright environment and in 1-2 months the cuttings will be ready to plant. To increase the success of propagation you can make two or more cuttings at the same time. It is advisable to use rooting hormone at the base of the cut to energize root development. For cuttings it is recommended temperatures around 20 °C. Propagation by seed it is not recommended for this species because it is very slow. To fast the propagation, you can try to immerse the seeds in water for 1 day. Sow the seeds in a sandy loam and keep them in warm, humid conditions.
The name of these plants is a hymn to friendship: the botanist Robert Brown, who classified them during the eighteenth century, called Hoya in honor of his friend Thomas Hoy (and botanical lover). The specific epithet albomarginata means “white margins” and refers to the edges of the leaves.
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