Hoya Wax Flower; 10°C/50°F; Queensland

There are numerous forms with both green and variegated leaves, but by far the most popular is H. carnosa which makes a fine climbing plant. For this reason, it requires reasonably tall canes or a framework for climbing stems to twist around. A light position is needed and a careful check must be maintained for mealy bug pests which frequently inhabit the areas between the twisting stems and plant support. Leaves are leathery, elliptic and green in colour. The pendent clusters of star-shaped waxy flowers are, however, the main feature, and are so perfect as to seem quite unnatural. Use a peat-based mixture when potting and be sure that the pot has ample drainage. New plants can be raised from cuttings which can be taken at almost any time in summer if a heated propagator is available-cuttings should be made from firmer growth and not from soft stems at the top of the plant. Flower fragrance is an added bonus with this plant. Variegated forms tend to flower less freely, but are valuable on account of their attractive leaf colouring.

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