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Hoya carnosa variegata 'Tricolor' Hoya carnosa variegata 'Tricolor'

Hoya carnosa variegata 'Tricolor'

Botanical Name — Hoya carnosa variegata 'Tricolor'

Common Name — Wax plant, Porcelain flower

Plant Family — Apocynaceae


Background

With its thick, waxy leaves and mild tolerance to drought Hoya carnosa are hardy and easy to care for plants. This species is native to tropical rainforests in eastern Asia and Australia where it grows as an epiphyte. At home these plants are perfect for hanging baskets where they can trail freely. Known for its lush, pink and white variegated foliage and dainty, sweetly scented flowers, Hoya carnosa ‘Tricolor’ is a great, low-maintenance addition to any houseplant collection. 

Growth Requirements

Sun

  • Hoya ‘Tricolor’ prefers bright indirect light and can even tolerate some full sun. Morning or evening sun is ideal. Indoors, a sunny window with northern, eastern, or western exposure is a great spot. 
  • Avoid intense afternoon sun. This can burn the leaves.

Temperature/ Humidity 
  • Hoya carnosa can tolerate high temperatures in the 70s and 80s or higher. They are not cold hardy, however. Avoid temperatures below 50 ºF. 
  • Hoya plants thrive in high humidity, though they are tolerant of more moderate, indoor humidity levels. Extremely arid climates may cause dryness at the tips of leaves. 
Water
  • Though Hoya plants can withstand some drought, during the growing season they prefer a more consistent watering schedule. Water regularly during the growth period. Allow the soil to dry out at least halfway before watering thoroughly. 

Soil/Roots
  • Hoya carnosa prefer a well-draining, yet moisture-retentive soil. Regular potting soil works just fine. Amend soil with coco coir and compost to improve moisture retention and supplement soil nutrients. 

Flowering
  • Hoya carnosa produce small, sweet-smelling flowers in clusters of 10 to 30. Flowers are star-shaped, and typically pink or white in color. Flowers are covered in tiny hairs giving them a fuzzy appearance up close. 
  • Flowers appear from late spring to summer. Give Hoya plants optimal conditions to improve their chances of flowering. 

Fertilization
  • You can fertilize your Hoya ‘Tricolor’ with a water-soluble balanced fertilizer once every two weeks, only during the active growing season.  

Propagation
  • Hoya carnosa can be easily propagated from stem cuttings, rooted in soil or water. Cuttings taken from more recent growth will have the best chances of success. 

Health
Diseases
  • Hoya plants are pretty hardy plants, though they can fall susceptible to some fungal infections if they are not receiving proper care. Botrytis blight appears as large, gray-colored spotting at the center or margins of infected plants. Wilting and black or brown stem lesions are another symptom to look out for. Copper or sulfur fungicides can be helpful in treating. 
  • Aphids, mealy bugs and other sap-sucking pests can also be of concern and can vector other fungal or bacterial diseases. Treat this plant with diluted neem oil or insecticidal soap at the first sign of an infestation. 
  • Root rot is another concern and is triggered by overwatering. With this plant it is always best to err on the side of under watering.

Maintenance (pruning, legginess, repotting)
  • Hoya plants require little maintenance. Prune away unhealthy looking parts of the plant. 
  • Hoya prefer to be somewhat root-bound. Repotting should only be necessary once every two to three years. Soil can be replenished with fertilizer during the growing season. 

Toxicity
  • Hoya carnosa are considered non-toxic to humans and pets, though ingesting them can cause gastrointestinal discomfort and vomiting. Best to keep these plants out of reach of children and pets.