Hoya lanceolata subsp. bella
Common Name: miniature wax plant 
Type: Broadleaf evergreen
Family: Apocynaceae
Native Range: Himalaya to northern Burma
Zone: 11 to 12
Height: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 1.50 feet
Bloom Time: May to August
Bloom Description: White with red centers
Sun: Full sun to part shade
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Evergreen
Other: Winter Interest

Culture

Winter hardy to USDA Zones 11-12. In the continental U.S., wax plant is typically grown as an indoor houseplant or in greenhouses. Indoor plants achieve best growth in containers filled with a standard, loamy, well-drained potting mix. This plant may be trained to a small trellis or framework. Site in bright light with at least 1/2 day of direct sun. Tolerant of curtain-filtered sun and bright indirect light. Good light is necessary for flower production. Pots should not be rotated or moved to another location after flower buds appear. Water plants moderately but consistently throughout the growing season, allowing the soils to become nearly dry between water applications. In winter, plants require less bright light, less watering and tolerate night temperatures to 50F degrees. Do not remove the flowering stalk after bloom because new flowers will form on the old spur.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hoya lanceolata, commonly known as wax plant, wax flower or honey plant, is an epiphytic, shrubby, climbing or trailing member of the milkweed family. It typically matures to 2-3’ tall. It is native from the Himalayas to northern Burma. Waxy, star-shaped, sweetly scented flowers in tight rounded clusters (umbels) bloom from the upper leaf axils in summer on stems clad with waxy, lanceolate, evergreen leaves (to 1” long). Each flower (to 1/2” diameter) sports a white corolla with a distinctive, star-shaped, red-centered corona. Each flower cluster typically contains from 10-30 flowers.

Subsp. bella, commonly called miniature wax plant, is a miniature version that grows to only 18” tall.

Genus name honors Thomas Hoy, late 18th century gardener to the Duke of Northumberland.

Specific epithet means lance-shaped in reference to leaf shape.

Common name refers to the waxy flowers and leaves.

Problems

No serious insect or disease problems. Overwatering may cause root rot.

Garden Uses

Long lived house plant. Best indoor growth often occurs in hanging baskets.