Indoor plants

The plant with wax flowers

Information and botanical notes

The plants belonging to the genus Hoya, known in Italy as “wax flowers”, belong to the Asclepiadaceae family and include over two hundred species originating from the Australian and Asian continent. They have a climbing or shrubby habit and, depending on the species, can reach considerable heights (some even exceed 20 meters). The leaves are oval and fleshy, glossy green or streaked with yellow according to the species they belong to, arranged on long succulent stems with a disordered bearing. The flowers are star-shaped, with five main thick and fleshy petals fused together, covered with abundant viscous nectar of a waxy nature (hence the vulgar name); they are grouped in spherical inflorescences composed of about 20 flowers. the most widespread and commercialized species in Europe is the Hoya carnosa,

Some species

Of the more than two hundred existing Hoya species, few are cultivated in Europe. The most common is certainly the Hoya carnosa, originally from China. It is particularly resistant to low temperatures, and is often grown in pots both under porches and at home. The inflorescences are of medium size and the flowers are pink. Another rather common species is the Hoya multiflora, similar to the previous one but native to Malaysia; the clusters are slightly larger and thicker than those of the Hoya carnosa, and the color of the flowers varies from cream to yellow. Furthermore, the habit is more drooping than climbing, therefore it lends itself well to cultivation in suspended pots. The Hoya purpurea, also native to Malaysia, is less widespread but still known due to the large and purple inflorescences.

The plant with wax flowers: how to grow it

If you want to grow wax flowers, choose a hardy, hardy species such as Hoya carnosa. In specialized nurseries it is possible to buy young plants, often sold in suspended pots, but they can easily be reproduced by cuttings. At the beginning of summer, a sprig of about ten centimeters is cut from the mother plant, carefully cleaned of the leaves present at the base, and sprinkled abundantly with rooting hormone. The growing medium must be well drained, then add some fine vermiculite or river sand to the universal soil. To favor rooting, the pot should be exposed in a bright area but not in direct sunlight, covered with a small greenhouse or a PVC sheet to prevent it from drying out too much; in fact it must always be damp, but not soaked, since thewax flower plant fears stagnation of water.

wax flower plant in a pot” width=”745″ height=”400″ longdesc=”/piante-appartamento/piante-appartamento/la-pianta-dai-fiori-di-cera.asp”>After a couple of months, when the plant has produced new apical shoots, it can be transferred to a larger pot. Wax flowers do not lend themselves easily to cultivation in the garden, since in autumn and winter the rains would make the soil too wet, and sudden frosts could quickly lead to the plant’s death. Once the decanting has been carried out in the same type of soil used for the cutting, it is necessary to create a suitable support for the growth of the plant: a small grate or trellises of fero positioned in the shape of an arch are ideal. In summer, fertilization is essential, using a product rich in nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, etc.) to be diluted in water for the purpose. During the flowering period, dried leaves and flowers must be eliminated, but they must never be cut as the wax flowers produce new blooms on the same branch of the previous year, therefore pruning is not recommended. In regions with temperatures that drop below 10 ° C in winter, the plant must be repaired in a removable greenhouse or directly home.

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