Family: Asclepiadaceae (subfamily: Apocynaceae)
Habitat: South East Asia, Polynesia
Cultivation: Hoya requires special attention, especially concerning the watering: roots tend to dry and rot if the amount of water is not the right one. However, if you treat them well, they give you great satisfaction.
Curiosity: 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).


Relatives of Hoodia, Stapelia and other famous plants for particular flowers and often for very unpleasant odor, the Hoya genus groups about 200 species  coming from  areas that have nothing to do with the proliferation of succulent – such as Asia and Australia.

The peculiarities of the Hoya are the flowers: they are very variable, but they are distinguished by some anatomical features (they are all made of five petals that can be arranged in various shapes, such as star or bell) and the remarkable consistency that makes them rather robust. The surface can be glossy, as in the Hoya Bella (one of the most common varieties) which is also called “wax flower”, or (rarely) hairy.

They grow in umbrella-shaped inflorescences; each can bring a single flower  to a maximum of seventy. When the flower falls, the inflorescence is not cut off but left untouched because the new flowers will be born from the same peduncle.

Stems are often clumpy or lianos and can reach up to 10 meters in length. Even the leaves are thick and fleshy, can be lanceolate or heart-shaped, reach 10 cm in length and generally have a bright color.


The Hoya genus groups about 150 species of plants with slight differences according to the classification system we refer to.

The following are the most representative species.

  • Hoya acuminata
  • H. alexicaca
  • H. australis
  • H. bella
  • H. carnosa
  • H. chinghungensis
  • H. cochinchinensis
  • H. commutata
  • H. cordata
  • H. crassifolia
  • H. dasyantha
  • H. diptera
  • H. fungii
  • H. fusca
  • H. gongshanica
  • H. griffithii
  • H. hasseltii
  • H. imperialis
  • H. inflata
  • H. kerrii
  • H. kuhlii
  • H. lacunosa
  • H. lasiogynostegia
  • H. liangii
  • H. linearis
  • H. lipoensis
  • H. longifolia
  • H. luzonica
  • H. lyi
  • H. megalantha
  • H. mengtzeensis
  • H. multiflora
  • H. nervosa
  • H. obovata
  • H. ovalifolia
  • H. pandurata
  • H. papuana
  • H. picta
  • H. polyneura
  • H. pottsii
  • H. pruinosa
  • H. pubicalyx
  • H. purpureofusca
  • H. radicalis
  • H. revolubilis
  • H. rupicola
  • H. salweenica
  • H. siamica
  • H. silvatica
  • H. thomsonii
  • H. verticillata
  • H. villosa
  • H. vitiensis
  • H. wallichii
  • H. yuennanensis


Because they are accustomed to growing like climbers in the forests of South East Asia, the Hoya do not have great soil needs but need cares regarding light, temperature and watering.

These are our cultivation tips:

  • The ideal location is the one that allows the plant to have an intense and prolonged light for many hours a day, but not with direct sunlight as it could burn the leaves. If in some hours the direct sun is coming, better in the morning.
  • The ideal temperature is between 10 ° C and 27 ° The Hoya, however, resist very well in the heat and even temperatures of 34-35 ° C are not a problem. They are afraid of cold: if temperatures approach zero, they can only tolerate short periods,but only if they are placed in a sheltered location and if there is not too much humidity. It is therefore advisable to shelter them in winter or to protect them with special towels.
  • The root system is very delicate: it rots if left in a soil that remains wet for too long, but also it dries if the soil is completely dry. It is therefore advisable to carefully pay attention to the the watering according to the season so as to have a slightly moist soil substrate. Spray the leaves in summer to maintain a sufficiently humid environment.
  • The ideal soil is, at the same time, rich in plant debris and well drained: for example, a mix of peat and sand.
  • Fertilize only in spring and summer every 3 to 4 weeks.
  • Only repot when strictly necessary, due to the delicacy of the roots.
  • The Hoya multiply by cuttings and by seed.
  • For cuttings, it is advisable to cut a sprig, cut it off its lower leaves, put it into a peat and sand mix at a temperature of about 24° C and take care to keep the soil ever moist.

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