Home Plants Hoya Kentiana – Wax Plant Kentiana

Hoya Kentiana – Wax Plant Kentiana

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Hoya Kentiana

Hoya Kentiana, or wax plants, are popular species for their unusually beautiful foliage. Even though they grow adorable, stunning flowers in the blooming season, the plant is cultivated worldwide for its primary feature- the leaf. The Hoya Kentiana variegated plants are a subcategory of the species that are equally popular and trendy.

But apart from being ridiculously aesthetic and ornamental, these plants have several other favorable features in terms of their growth, care, and management. This is why these tropical plants are well-popular as indoor species as well.
To know more about the species, keep on reading!

Classification

  • Family: Apocynaceae
  • Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
  • Genus: Hoya

About the Genus Hoya

This peculiar genus of plants includes about 200 to 300 species. All of these are tropical plants with waxy leaves and beautiful flowers. They can grow as creepers, vines, and sometimes even shrubs. Even though these leaves differ in every species, their ornamental quality remains the same. The flowers resemble a five-pointed star and can vary in terms of their shape. We can grow as single flowers or as umbels.

Common Names and Synonyms

  • Wax plant Kentiana
  • Porcelain Flower

Origin and Distribution

The plant was first named as Hoya by Robert Brown. He dedicated this name to his botanist friend, Thomas Hoy. All Hoya plants are native to Asian countries, including China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, and Bangladesh. These plants are also diversely spread in the Philippines, Australia, and New Guinea.

Hoya Kentiana Features

Foliage and Stem

These plants are specially grown for their foliage. The leaves are blue-green and smooth in texture. They have a waxy feel to them, giving them their popular name “wax plant.” Each of these leaves grows into an elongated, narrow shape. Those that are thin need a little more water than the thick-leafed plants.

Evergreen

Fortunately, the foliage of Hoya Kentiana is evergreen. It means that they can stay fresh and beautiful throughout the year, regardless of the passing seasons.

Height

Under the right conditions, these plants can grow up to 12 to 18 inches with a spacing of 3 to 6 inches. Because of their size, they are effortless to grow in containers.

Temperature Tolerance

Hoyas are warmth-loving plants so they can tolerate higher temperatures occasionally. If you maintain the optimum warm temperatures, they will grow even faster.

Humidity Tolerance

In terms of moisture, Hoya Kentiana plants are very lenient. You can mist them and put them under high humidity levels. They will not complain. Just make sure that the moisture on their leaves dries out entirely in a few hours.

Flowers

These plants grow beautiful red, dark red, and white flowers when they bloom. These Hoya Kentiana flowers are fragrant and grow during the mid-spring or early summertime.

Drought-resistance

Considering that they require lots of humidity and frequent watering, these plants will not do well under drought, dry conditions. Make sure you keep the plant well hydrated and give it proper moisture to thrive.

Pressure Tolerance

Because of the tough, waxy leaves, these plants are somewhat tolerant of pressure and do not collapse immediately on acute pressure. However, no Hoya plant likes to be put under consistent external forces. It stunts their growth over an extended period, making sure that the plant sits freely in an empty corner.

Disease and Pest Resistance

When it comes to infections and diseases, Hoya plants are prone to only a few types. Fungal pathogens only attack the plant when it is living under inappropriate or inadequate conditions. Two particular diseases are the most common: Botrytis Blight and Scooty mold.

Botrytis grows on the plant as large grey patches on the center or margins of the leaves. As it worsens, the spot becomes mushy and collapses. Other symptoms include wilting, brown, or black lesions on the stems and soft roots.

Scooty mold is also a fungal disease that shows up on the leaves as black growths. This disease occurs as a result of aphids, mealybugs, and other pest attacks. However, if you control and eliminate the bugs on time, you might be able to save the plant.

In the case of a diseased plant, your first step should be to isolate it. Next, get some help from commercial fungicides and insecticides. Plus, clean the plant properly and keep it under moderate temperatures and humidity for a few weeks. Unless and until the plant is entirely healthy and free of disease, do not put the plant back to its original position next to the other plants.

Growth

Under proper care, Hoya Kentiana plants are fast-growing. They tend to start showing good growth in a matter of weeks.

Toxicity

Even though Hoya plants are not necessarily poisonous or toxic, they can make animals sick. An animal’s digestive system cannot process the waxy leaves or break it down. So, ensure that your pet is not nibbling on the plant often. If your pet dog or cat is randomly throwing up, see if they have ingested a leaf from the plant and address it accordingly.

Durability

These plants grow as perennials. They can live for years on end if given the right care and environment. Thus, if you take proper care of it, a Hoya Kentiana plant will last you a pretty long time.

Maintenance

Because of the average plant needs, this species is reasonably low-maintenance, and you can grow it indoors quickly. It is an excellent plant for those who don’t know much about plants and want to start with a low-profile one.

Dormancy

During the fall and winter seasons, Hoya Kentiana plants tend to go dormant. They stop growing and taking up food or water. During this time, give it only the amount of water that it requires, and nothing more. This could be once or twice a month, according to the individual needs of the species. Avoid propagation and pruning of the plant during this season.

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Hoya Kentiana Care

Hoya Kentiana care is nothing too fancy. It requires frequent watering using the soak-and-dry method, and you can fertilize it during the growing seasons. You can put the plant under moderate room temperatures and humidity. Plus, you don’t need to prune it very often.

Water Requirements

In terms of water, Hoya Kentiana care is pretty simple. However, you need to be very particular about the frequency of watering, especially during the growing season. Water the Hoya thoroughly, and let the top part of the soil dry out before you water it again. During the winter, top up the soil with water similarly but avoid overdoing it. The frequency of these sessions will decrease during the colder days, so keep that in mind. Ideally, you should use rainwater or distilled water for this plant.

Soil

While keeping the pH range from 6.1 to 7.5, ensure that the soil is well-draining and nutrient-rich. As for its composition, you can use a potting mix based on peat moss. Mix two parts of peat moss with one part of perlite for an ideal mixture.

Sunlight Requirements

When the plant is in its growing stage, or when the growing season is going on, it is best to put the Hoya Kentiana under lots of bright light. Even though direct exposure to the sun is okay for most of the year, avoid it during the scorching days of summer. During such a time, place the plant near a window under diffused light. Keep the ratio of sunlight and shade balanced.

Temperature Requirements

As for temperature, these plants prefer a range from 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit in spring and summer seasons. However, during the winter season, you can try a range from 55 to 60 degrees Fahrenheit for a couple of months before the start of spring. But make sure you don’t go any lower than 45 degrees. Doing this will prolong the blooming season up until late Spring/summer.

Humidity Requirements

These plants thrive in humidity. So, make sure that they get lots of it, especially during the summer. You can mist the plant occasionally or use a pebble tray for added moisture in the air. It is also best if you avoid exposing the plant to artificial heating. This is necessary because of the dry air that the appliance emits.

Fertilizer Requirements

For Hoya plants, the nutrient ratio in fertilizers should have more content of nitrogen. Hoyas are foliage plants, so they require more of this nutrient. Plant food with a 2:1:2 or 3:1:2 composition is enough to maintain the good health of the plant. If the plant is flowering, you can use plant food with a 5:10:3 composition. These have a higher content of phosphorus and improve the quality of blooming.

Re-potting

Hoya Kentiana care does not involve a lot of frequent re-potting sessions. You can move it to a different pot every 2 to 3 years when you feel it necessary. However, in the case of an infection or disease, you can do this early as appropriate.

Grooming and Pruning

Hoya Kentiana plants don’t need much pruning. In contrast to most vine plants, pruning the species will not increase the chances of any new growth. If there are any parts of the plant that are not doing well, you can cut them off or remove them during the spring season.

As for grooming, make sure you clean the plant and dry it regularly to avoid dust, germs, and bacterial growth.

Hoya Kentiana Variegated Care

Because of their peculiar foliage, Hoya Kentiana variegated plants tend to differ in terms of their care and requirements. These plants need a well-drained soil of a pH of around 6.4 to 7.3. Plus, they require a balance of shade and sun. You cannot expose them directly to the sun like a usual Hoya Kentiana.

To propagate them, cut off semi-ripe cuttings from a healthy plant and plant them in damp fertilized soil. The rest of the Hoya Kentiana variegated care is pretty much the same as your usual Hoya Kentiana.

Cultivation and Propagation

The best way to propagate these plants is through stem cuttings. The process is simple, and all you need are the cuttings and an optimal environment to grow them.

  • Cut a few non-flowering stem cuttings from the plant. This is best done during the summer season.
  • Make sure that each cutting has a minimum of two nodes at its end.
  • Arrange a propagator or a plant pot filled with an ideal potting mix and covered with plastic. This covering is essential to provide maximum humidity to the growing plant.
  • The temperature needs to maintain around 70 degrees Fahrenheit. You can also use heated propagators or bottom heat mats to increase the chances of successful propagation.
  • You can also dip the stem in a rooting hormone before you plant it. Make sure you dip the cut end into the hormone.

Timeline

Day 1-14:  Plant the cutting inside appropriate soil and a propagator. Water it frequently.

Week 3-6: You will see shoots developing in this time duration.

Month 2-3: If all goes well, the plant will start developing nicely. Keep the water and fertilizer in check to make sure it grows quickly and efficiently.

Displaying a Hoya Kentiana Plant

Because of its compact size and beautiful shape, these plants are perfect for growing in containers. They can be displayed pretty much anywhere in the house, where it can get optimal sunlight and humidity. Also, these plants are an excellent gift idea for your botanical friends. They’re evergreen, easy to maintain, and very durable as well. You can keep them indoors or hang them in your balconies for an added pop of color to your interior.

Final Thoughts

Hoya Kentiana, as well as Hoya Kentiana variegated plants, are a sight to see. But they’re not just good to look at, they’re also easy to take care of and maintain. They grow beautiful flowers and are very simple in terms of propagation. There is no reason not to love this plant!

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