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For a no-fuss succulent vine, the Hoya pubicalyx is one of those must-have houseplants. It produces beautiful fragrant flowers. The plant has deep green lanceolate leaves. Sometimes you even find the foliage decorated with greyish specks and purplish-gray stems.
You will agree that it is a beauty once the cluster of pink star shape blooms arrives. So are you ready to care for your low-maintenance plant? Let’s get started in learning more about the Hoya pubicalyx.
What is the Hoya pubicalyx?
The porcelain flower belongs to the Apocynaceae family. Native to the Philippines, it has green foliage with dusty pink star-shaped flowers. Yes, pronouncing the name is hard. According to the NC State Univerisity, you pronounce it as HOY-a pew-bih-KAL-iks.
You will love the sweet scent of the blooms that are more noticeable at night. The fantastic thing is that this Hoya plant protects its young with Anthocyanin. It is a natural pigment protecting the young or soft leaves from too much light.
To add beauty to any living space, you can hang it in a basket or place them in terrestrial pots. One thing to prepare yourself with is that it is a fast-growing plant. For a short introduction, check out the information on this tropical plant here.
Scientific Name: Hoya pubicalyx
Common Name: Wax plant or porcelain flower
Plant Type: Succulent vine
Native to: Philippines
Shape: Flowering climber with pink shaped flowers
Maximum Size: 8 to 10 feet (3m)
Watering Requirements: Drought-tolerant
Light Requirements: Medium to bright indirect light
Preferred Humidity: High
Preferred Temperature: 60° to 75 o F (15 – 25 degrees Celsius).
Soil or Potting Medium: Well-draining
Fertilizer: Liquid Fertilizer
Propagation Method: High potassium fertilizer
Toxicity: Toxic to pets
Hoya Pubicalyx Care
One of the easiest houseplants to care for is the Hoya pubicalyx, like most other Hoyas. Each species has different growth rates, but the porcelain flower grows fast. It has thick glossy leaves and makes for an exceptional ornamental plant in your home.
So let’s get started in taking care of your exotic plant.
Proper Hoya pubicalyx care starts with preparing the right soil mix. A well-draining soil that is light yet airy is best for this plant. It helps if the soil drains well because it prevents root rot from taking place.
Finally, to improve the root system, we recommend using a high organic matter filled with essential nutrients.
To achieve the best results, mix one-part coarse perlite with one part orchid bark and peat-free compost. Another exceptional alternative is using cactus compost, but you’ll need to add some perlite to keep it well-drained. Maintain a soil pH ranging from 6.5 to 7.5 (acidic to neutral).
The Best Water Provision for Hoya
Watering Hoya pubicalyx is pretty easy as it is drought-tolerant foliage. You can provide it with regular watering in the growing season. It helps to watch the moisture level and water it when the top two inches of the soil is dry.
We recommend using filtered or rainwater instead of tap water. If you cannot do this, it helps to leave the tap water standing overnight. Doing this allows the chemicals to settle to the bottom. You can expect to water your houseplant three times a week on average during summer.
Of course, this becomes less frequent during the winter season. Also, consider the temperature and light conditions as it also impacts the watering schedule. If you planted it in a peaty mix, then water your plant less often as it retains water.
Conversely, you can water it well for a lighter potting mix until you see the water flowing from the bottom. Never leave your Hoya pubicalyx standing in water and discard any excess. If the plant starts to drop leaves, then you might be overwatering it.
What is a Suitable Lighting Condition for Your Plant
The wax plant thrives in bright indirect light when grown close to a sunny window. Another option is to grow them in natural sunlight or use artificial plant lights. Still, if you plan to plant them outside, avoid placing them in direct sunlight.
You can cover it with a shade cloth if you want to treat it as an outdoor plant to prevent the sun from scorching the flowers and leaves. To encourage the Hoya species to bloom, provide them with at least six hours of sun every day.
Now that we have the soil and watering resolved, where do you place your plant? You can put your plant indoors with a temperature ranging from 60° to 75°F (15 to 25° Celsius).
Remember that your plant cannot handle frost. So, placing it in temperatures below 50°F (10°C) is not a good thing.
Your tropical plant loves high humidity levels and needs about 60% to 70% humidity in or outside the home. If you live in a dry climate, it helps to place your houseplant near a humidifier. You can mist Hoyas with a spray bottle as well.
Yet, do not mist your plant when it starts blooming. It also helps when you keep your plant away from AC, vents, and heaters to prevent it from drying out the foliage.
Hoya pubicalyx Fertilizer Needs
Your indoor plant is not a big feeder, yet it appreciates some added nutrition during the growing season. We recommend using a liquid fertilizer with a high potassium level. Dilute it to half before applying it to the plant. You can also use foliar fertilizer.
Another fantastic fertilizer is using compost tea monthly or dilutes some fish emulsion. Still, refrain from feeding in winter as your plant becomes semi-dormant. Instead, you can provide your houseplant twice a year.
Before feeding, ensure that the soil mixture is moist to prevent root burn.
You can propagate the Hoya pubicalyx plant using stem cutting. The best time to do propagation is in spring and summer. We recommend taking cuttings at the beginning of spring, allowing it to root in. Here is how you can do the cuttings.
- Take your sterilized pruning shears cleaned with isopropyl alcohol.
- Next, cut up to seven inches from the stalk on the growing end with nodes.
- Remove the bottom leaves and place them on a tissue to heal in a shaded area.
- Now you can plant your cutting with the nodes below the soil about four inches deep.
- Water the ground about three times a week, but only keep it moist until you notice a new plant growth. The root can take up to four weeks to develop.
- Place your cutting in a warm and humid spot in indirect sunlight.
- After the plant roots, you can repot your cutting and place it in a sunny location with some shade to prevent the leaves from burning.
Or, if you prefer, you can use a plastic bag with potting soil and sphagnum moss to grow the cutting.
USDA Growth Zone
The Hoya plants you can grow as an annual outside or in hanging baskets indoors if you live in zones 10b to 11 and above.
Potting and Pruning
The vining leaves of the Hoya pubicalyx plant grow over the sides of a pot and enjoy being root-bound. So you need not do repotting often. If not placed in hanging baskets, you can put them in a container with vertical support to climb upwards.
We recommend using a terra cotta pot with enough drainage holes for your growing plant. The good news is your houseplant needs little to no pruning. The best time to prune your plant is in the spring season after it completes flowering.
It helps to trim them from the lower part to enhance their appearance. If you find the plant growing large, it helps to prune some parts for propagation for new growth. During the pruning, it also helps to remove damaged stems and yellow leaves.
Also, wear your gloves as the white sap produced can cause irritability on the skin.
Hoya Pubicalyx Varieties
You can find different cultivars in the Hoya pubicalyx, each with a cluster of star-shaped flowers in other colors, as seen here:
The Hoya carnosa has large dark green almond-shaped leaves growing on vines with creamy flower clusters. It also thrives in medium to bright indirect light and does not enjoy the direct sun, dark corners, or artificial light.
Royal Hawaiian Purple
The Hoya pubicalyx has green leaves with silver, greyish pattern. The plant produces pink-red or sometimes black star-shaped blooms.
The Hoya linearis is a distinctive cultivar that has fuzzy linear stems creating a curtain appearance when hanged in a basket. The trailing houseplant blooms with white star-shaped flowers from summer right through to fall.
Hoya Pubicalyx Diseases & Pests
While the trailing plant is easy-going yet rewarding greenery, you still need to watch it for pests. The flowers can attract the following insects causing harm to their gorgeous foliage.
The insect can infest your Hoyas fast, causing them to die. To remove these pests, you can use an insecticide in the potting soil when potting your plant. Or you can spray your Hoya pubicalyx with neem oil. Alternatively, you can use isopropyl alcohol using a q-tip dipped in it to place on infected areas.
The tiny insect you find on the back of the leaves or the flower buds. You can also find them at the base of the stem. To remove the pestilence, it helps to spray the plant with water or use insecticidal soap. Or you can make an aphid spray using liquid soap and water applied to the affected parts.
You will find these insects present in warmer months, causing the leaves to turn yellow and dry out. To prevent these flies from infesting your Hoya pubicalyx plant, you can place yellow sticky traps to control them. Another helpful remedy is to use insecticidal soap or neem oil.
The worst problem you can face with your Hoya pubicalyx is a root-rot nematode. So it is best to keep an eye out for yellowing, wilting leaves, and stunting. If left untreated, it will die. If your houseplant is heavily infested, it helps to take a cutting from the top section to propagate into a new plant.
The important thing is to remove your plant from other houseplants to prevent further infestations. Also, we recommend that when transplanting your plant with repotting, organic matter is added to the soil to control these pests.
Frequently Asked Questions
How does the Hoya pubicalyx flower smell?
The blooms have a sweet fragrance more noticeable at night than during the day. The plant also produces a natural pigment called Anthocyanin. The pigment protects soft leaves and the young from intense light.
Is the Hoya pubicalyx variegated?
No, the H. pubicalyx is not variegated, but you can find a variegated plant of the Hoya carnosa called the Hoya pubicalyx Splash. The plant has long pointed leaves with splashes of white silver. When it blooms, you notice it has a dark mauve flower.
How do you get more splash on Hoya pubicalyx?
To increase the splash on your H. pubicalyx leaves, professional gardeners use Agromax Pure Boom. The splash found on the leaves is not variegated but stored energy in the form of starches.pla
Where to buy Hoya pubicalyx?
When searching online, you can buy your tropical plant from different suppliers and local nurseries. Yet, there is no need to go browsing for hours on end to find one. The good news is you can buy the Hoya pubicalyx here at Plantly and have it delivered to your door.