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Q&A: Blooming Wax Plant

A favorite houseplant has finally set some flower buds. What steps should I take to be sure it blooms?

Question: I have had my hoya plant for just over two years. I have noticed I have at least 10 blooms starting. I am so excited because when I was growing up my mom's hoya plant bloomed all the time, and it was beautiful and fragrant. My question is should I water it during the blooming process, and if so how much? I really want to make sure all 10 blooms mature.—Nadine in Manitoba, Canada

Answer: Your hoya, or wax plant (Hoya carnosa), must be happy with the care you have been giving it—which may not seem like much care at all!

This vining, climbing houseplant is fairly undemanding and easy to grow. It likes average warmth, bright light and regular watering, but it will tolerate low light and sporadic watering. Its thick stems and large stiff leaves store water for the plant’s use during dry periods. It prefers to be root bound, so repotting can be put off until absolutely necessary (the roots

Wax plants bloom in the spring and sometimes again in the fall, with clusters of small star-shaped flowers that look like they are made out of wax. The fact that your plant has set buds indicates that you have been providing it a sufficient amount of water and light. Do not stop watering; continue to water by your established routine, or even a little more frequently.

More importantly, do not move your wax plant while it is in bud or in bloom. Changing its position could cause it to drop its buds or flowers. Do not remove the flowers after they begin to fade. Allow them to naturally drop off on their own schedule.

Here are two wax-plant enthusiasts' blogs:

Hill's Hoya

Hoya Garden