Autumn Oak Lane: Hoyas - a love story



With over 300 species of Hoyas to chose from, you can spend countless hours scouring the web for information on these plants. They make great houseplants being warm growers and they climb trellis or macramé hangers. Most Hoya species are also perfect candidates for homes because they take dry air well; most houseplants need humidity to thrive indoors in the fall through late spring.


Hoyas are a semi-woody vine and belong to the milkweed family and are native to the tropical regions in Asia and Australia. They can take anywhere between one to five years to fully mature and produce “peduncles” which are the plant's bloom stock. Since they bloom on old peduncles when they fully mature, you don’t cut the old bloom stalks off like you would with other plants. If you do cut the original bloom stalk off, however, it will be fine, it might just take a season for the plant to send out a new peduncle.


Grown in greenhouses across the country and globe, you can find common Hoya species and cultivars such as the pubicalyx, carnosa, tricolor and Hindu rope at most garden centers from spring through late fall.


In nature, they grow as epiphytes climbing along tree trunks and branches. In the house, if you put them in a bathroom with high humidity, you might get aerial roots that will hang down from the stem. Their foliage is very interesting and comes in many different shapes, sizes and colors. While mostly green, Hoyas can turn a reddish tint under sun stress. They grow in sets of two as twinning vines and climb onto nearby supports. They can sometimes use each other as their own trellis. Hoyas flower in sets of 10 to 45 bloom heads and some flowers can put off a cinnamon smell when exposed to sunlight or when the daylight changes.


There is always a plant for everyone, and maybe Hoyas are just the flower for you!