Hoya carnosa

The irrigation of the hoya carnosa

The Hoya carnosa, much appreciated for the beauty and elegance of its flowers, needs regular but never excessive watering: it is necessary to irrigate when the soil is completely dry. It is therefore recommended to proceed with this operation constantly during the spring and summer, especially during the driest periods; in autumn and winter, however, the administration of water must be reduced to a greater or lesser extent depending on the intensity of the rainfall. Water stagnation is dangerous, as it is a frequent cause of root rot and other fungal diseases. The water supplied must not be calcareous, but rain or demineralised water must be used if possible; it may be helpful to boil it and let it rest overnight before use.

Tips for cultivation and care

The Hoya carnosa generally multiplies by cutting; the operation must be carried out in spring, in a container containing universal soil mixed with peat and sand. After a year, the plant can be transplanted into a larger pot, so as to adorn balconies and terraces, or in the garden. The ideal soil is soft, fertile and well drained; it is suggested to mulch it periodically with organic substances, such as straw or dry leaves, to improve its physico-chemical characteristics. Pruning must not only be performed to define the shape of the plant, but also and above all to remove dry branches or affected by fungi, before the disease spreads to the rest of the specimen: to avoid infections, it is necessary to ensure that the shears always well cleaned.

The fertilization of the Hoya carnosa must be carried out regularly during the spring and summer; it is essential to give the plant a liquid fertilizer, together with the irrigation water, approximately every twenty days. The product used must contain, in particular, a high quantity of potassium, but also of phosphorus and nitrogen, without neglecting equally important microelements such as magnesium, copper and iron. The three main macro-elements must never be missing: potassium, in fact, is essential for protein synthesis and the absorption of sugars, nitrogen for tissue growth, phosphorus for rooting and metabolism. In case of deficiency of these elements, chlorosis of the leaves could occur,

Hoya carnosa: Exposure, diseases and parasites

The exposure of the Hoya carnosa must take place in a bright place, but not directly hit by the sun’s rays; the ideal temperature is around 20 ° C, and it must not drop below 5 ° C. Excessive humidity, moreover, can cause widespread rot, very dangerous for the health of the plant, which can be treated with pesticide products based on sulfur or copper to be administered periodically. Among the parasites, the cochineal and the whitefly are quite frequent: both cause a progressive yellowing of the leaves, with consequent fall in the most serious cases. The suggested remedies are the natural ones: against the cochineals the ideal is the white mineral oil, which causes their death by suffocation, while against the whitefly we recommend the infusions of garlic.

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