There are over 100 species of Hoya or wax plant. Many of these produce amazing umbels of tiny, star-marked flowers, but some species do not produce blooms or at least not conspicuous flowers. If there are no flowers on Hoya, it may be that you have one of the non-blooming types or (more likely) some cultural defect is causing the plant to fail to flower. Read on to find out how to get wax plants to bloom and keep them flowering for years to come.
Help, My Wax Plant Won't Flower
Wax plants are lovely foliage plants that can be trained to a trellis or allowed to dangle. These exciting plants have glorious thick, shiny leaves that lead us to its common name. In good conditions, Hoya plants produce clusters of starry flowers, some of which have a sweet scent. Hoya plants need to be fully mature to flower. This typically means 5 to 7 years before you see the first bloom. However, depending on the variety, it can take years for the plant to decide to bloom. In one case, for example, it took almost a quarter of a century! (Don’t worry, this is not typical.) If there are no blooms on the wax plant after that time, it is either the non-blooming type or there is a cultural adjustment that has to be made. Many times it is simply lack of light that will stunt the blooming ability of this amazing plant. There can also be a lack of nutrients in the soil and a need to fertilize the plant to boost its health. Some Hoyas require specific conditions such as being root bound, dry during a specific month, or a change in light to promote blooming. So if your Hoya doesn't bloom, it could be due to a host of reasons.
How to Get Wax Plant to Bloom
One item growers have mentioned about getting a wax plant to bloom is "don't move it." Apparently, these plants do not respond well to relocating, especially during the blooming/growing season. They also seem to prefer to be pot-bound and have very little space for their roots. When a Hoya doesn't bloom, it could just be the species. There are epiphytic, vining, and bush-type plants, not all of which will flower. However, the biggest cause is conditional. Hoyas need the right set of circumstances to bloom and each species has a different preference. If there are no flowers on Hoya even though the plant is happy, it is time to adjust some conditions and see if you can force the plant to bloom. When a wax plant won't flower, the easiest thing to do is change some of its conditions and see if that makes a difference.
- Move the plant to a brighter window and expose it to more candles of daylight.
- Water deeply but infrequently. Also, mist your plant often and try to keep humidity to at least 40 percent.
- Feed the plant with a soluble plant food that has a higher middle number. Phosphorus encourages and fuels plant blooms. Often a high phosphate feed will force blooms.
- Pinch back the stems in late winter. Allow them to bush out and hopefully produce some buds.
Changing any of the plant's cultural conditions can often be the key to encouraging blooms.
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Bonnie Grant is a professional landscaper with a Certification in Urban Gardening. She has been gardening and writing for 15 years. A former professional chef, she has a passion for edible landscaping.
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