What is this plant? – Hoya carnosa

(Question)

I would like to know the name of this plant?
I’ve had this plant for 7 years. It was just a single branch when I got it.
Over the years it has grown new branches from the original single branch. The plant seems healthy, but never flowers.
The plant has never been repotted.
I water when the soil appears to be dry and give it as much sun as possible. It stays inside at room (68F temperature) and nightly (65F).

I don’t know what the name of this plant is?
Can you identify and let me know. Also, how do I get it to flower. I think it should have flowers.

Thank you for your help.

(Answer)

Thank you for seeking out the Toronto Master Gardeners with you inquiry.

Your plant is a lovely example of a Hoya carnosa (wax plant). The wax plant is an Asclepiad (milkweed) species in the dogbane ( Apocynaceae) family native to Eastern Asia and Australia. There are between 200 and 300 species of Hoya found throughout the world. Hoya carnosa is the most commonly cultivated species prized for its shiny thick, green leathery leaves that are sometimes flecked with silvery or creamy white and their sweet smelling star shaped flowers.

Like most tropical plants your Hoya will do well when placed in a window where it can receive bright indirect light. Too much direct sunlight will cause the foliage to burn. The main reason that Hoyas don’t flower is due to insufficient sunlight.

Water your plant regularly from spring through fall, allowing the top third or half of the soil to dry out completely between watering. Fertilize your plant 3-4 times during the active growing season with a 20-20-20 liquid plant food. Make sure to follow directions on the label.

Hoyas do not go dormant in the winter, however growth does slow down with the lower light levels. One of the few problems with Hoya plant care is overwatering. Allow the soil to dry out a bit between watering during the winter from October-February and stop fertilizing until spring.

The blooms will appear when the plant is most active, during spring and summer. When your Hoya plant finishes blooming, leave the flower stalk, as it may produce new flowers. Removing the stalk forces the plant to produce a new stalk, which delays blooming and wastes the plant’s energy.

You are correct in not repotting your plant. Hoyas like the security of a snug pot, and plants that are a bit root bound will flower more often.

With more light and fertilizer you will be enjoying these beautiful fragrant blooms in no time.