Gardening has been a very popular hobby in recent years and a lot of people have taken the liberty to go about decorating their homes with beautiful greens. And as someone who loves gardening, you know that there is a lot to choose from.
But we are here to help you know everything there is about the plants that can get a place in your homes and gardens.
For this article, we’ll talk about a beautiful plant from the Hoya world, the Hoya Carnosa.
What do we know about Hoya Carnosa?
The most basic, green, form of Hoya Carnosa is less common than many of its excellent hybrids, that in themselves are incredibly high in number. The foliage has a lot of variety. It can be plain, variegated, crinkled, or otherwise textured. The blooms on this green beauty are long-lasting, fuzzy clusters of fragrant stars.
Hoya carnosa is known to be quite hardy, versatile, and easy to live with. The plant adapts to moderate humidity and light better than most Hoyas. They’re extremely happy climbing a trellis or cascading from a hanging basket.
The Carnosa has been cultivated since its discovery in the 18th century and there are dozens, maybe hundreds of cultivars. Since then, it has gone by multiple names like a wax plant, waxy leaf plant, porcelain flower plant, etc. but it is more commonly known by its scientific name, the Hoya Carnosa.
This variety of Hoya is known to be native to Eastern Asia and Australia, though it has become a common houseplant around the world for decades.
There are many different cultivars of this beautiful Hoya. The most classic version of the plant is associated with the name “wax plant.” The long, somewhat curly, and thin vines on the plant can bear succulent-like green leaves with faint white speckles.
There are also some lovely variegated versions of this plant that look very similar to the classic Hoya Carnosa. On the variegated versions of the plant, the leaves aren’t solid green. Instead, they usually have mixed patterns of white, pink, yellow, and green.
The Hoya Carnosa Splash
The Hoya Carnosa Splash is one of the rarer, variegated versions of the Hoya Carnosa. Even if you are new to gardening, you can easily notice the difference once you look at their foliage side by side.
The Hoya Carnosa Splash famously has silver speckles that have varying degrees of variegation depending on the plant and individual leaves. To get a comparison, keep in mind that the regular Hoya Carnosa features solid dark-green foliage.
The silver speckles are responsible for making it look similar to the Hoya Carnosa Freckles. That being said, the Hoya Carnosa Splash features thick, fleshy, ovate foliage. This is what makes it look very similar to a succulent. However, it just happens to look like a succulent but actually is an epiphyte.
Be sure that you know this before you get a plant because growing this plant like a succulent is like axing your foot.
In addition to the beautiful long stems and curly, waxy foliage the plant possesses the ability to bear beautiful, aromatic flowers.
These blooms, like most other Hoyas, grow in clusters that form a ball-like shape with many small star-shaped white flowers having pink middles. It is a native plant to Southeast Asia which makes it appreciate warmer weather, like a lot of other tropical plants.
How to care for a Hoya Carnosa Splash?
Hoya flowers are beautiful plants that grow in a ball-shaped cluster, similar to mophead hydrangeas. Every cluster in the plant may contain up to 40 individual flowers, packed tightly together. The individual flowers in themselves are gorgeous.
They look perfect, so much so that they appear to be molded from wax or porcelain, thus the names it is known by. Flowers are often known to sport a colored eye in the center of the corona.
Hoya plants tend to cling to a small trellis, providing a vertical accent in your tropical container garden. A hoya plant is known to appreciate the humid conditions alongside any fountain, pond, or other water feature in your landscape.
Let us talk about the care guide in detail.
The Hoya Carnosa Splash appreciates bright, indirect light. Even though they like bright light, make sure to avoid direct sun and very intense light as this will turn its dark green leaves yellow and make them look dull.
If left in such an environment for long periods, it will likewise burn its leaves.
One common mistake that some plant parents make is to treat their Hoya Carnosa Splash like succulents. Also, a lot of online material refers to many hoyas as succulents, which is not the case.
For example, the plant can’t tolerate strong afternoon light as succulents do. If you are a responsible plant parent, want to avoid leaving it near a south-facing window that receives the longest and strongest sun exposure during the day.
Instead, opt for a bright location near the east or west-facing windows. The plant will be more than happy to take the gentle morning sun. But make sure that the afternoon light is filtered or distance the plant at least a few feet from the window so the sun’s rays don’t come into contact with it.
Also keep in mind while the Hoya Carnosa Splash can take low light, this is another environment you want to avoid because the plant will not flower well without bright light.
The Hoya Carnosa Splash likes moderate to warm climate conditions, as was given with any Hoya, ideally between 60 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit.
Since it is from Southeast Asia it experiences warm to hot weather throughout the year and hence is accustomed to such conditions. Since it does not experience a lot of this, it also fails to have a lot of tolerance to low-temperature weather. Keep it away and tucked in from places under 55 degrees Fahrenheit as much as possible.
As such the plant does best when kept outdoors in USDA Hardiness Zones 10 to 12. Below zone 10, it can be kept in the gardens during the summer months. Remember that you take it back inside once the temperature drops under 55 degrees.
As mentioned the Hoya Carnosa Splash has a succulent-like structure and texture. It is a proud owner of thick leaves that store water which allows it to tolerate slightly lower humidity than what it generally prefers.
Therefore, it will be its healthiest, and even the happiest, with humidity of 40% and 60%. While still a bit on the higher side for most homes, most states should have enough moisture in the air to grow it as a houseplant which averages between 30% and 50%.
The only exceptions to these conditions are the lowest humidity states like Nevada and Arizona whose desert regions can experience humidity of 30% or slightly below the said levels on average.
The Hoya Carnosa Splash can tolerate some spells of dryness because of its thick succulent-like leaves. In addition to that, because it is epiphytic, you want to allow the soil to dry out a bit before watering.
On average the plant comes out around once a week or once every two weeks of watering. The plant has a general liking for staying moist most days during the warmer months. And, as one would have guessed, it likes it much drier during the winter months.
The easiest way to go about watering the plant is when the top 2 inches of soil has dried out. This will prevent overwatering which can be fatal to your plant. You can, for your convenience and the plant’s, water from the bottom if you find that you have a hard time timing its frequency.
Bottom watering tends to have a lower risk of overwatering as you let the soil absorb the moisture on its own.
For all practical purposes, you can place a container filled with water about halfway or a quarter of the way. Go ahead and place your plant pot in the water for about 10 minutes or when the top soil feels a bit moist, whichever happens first.
Once you take the container out, make sure you let the soil dry completely.
When grown in its natural habitat, a Hoya Carnosa Splash does not reside in the soil. Instead of having soil for the roots, it lives clinging onto trees which allows its roots to get a lot of airflow.
Thus, while they enjoy being drenched in the rain, the roots quickly dry because of the good air circulation. This is why the plant strives well only when provided a good quantity of light, airy, well-draining soil.
When you water your tiny green friend, you want to soak the entire root ball and then allow the soil to completely drain right after. This helps mimic how the Hoya Carnosa Splash’s roots get their moisture when they grow in the wild.
All of this indicates that it is very important that the soil can drain the liquid fast enough after soaking so the roots don’t end up clogged up in the water for long periods of time. For this, you can get soil that is a mix of 2 parts of peat moss and 1 part perlite.
The Hoya Carnosa Splash needs feeding to grow optimally. To get the best results, you’ll want to have 2 kinds on hand.
- A fertilizer with high nitrogen – you can make it work with a liquid houseplant fertilizer or an orchid fertilizer. This helps with foliage growth and development.
- A fertilizer with high phosphorus – this is for the blooming season and when it is flowering. You can use a bloom booster and it will help with flowering.
For the most part, you can just go ahead with a standard or balanced houseplant fertilizer. But once the plant has matured and is ready to bloom and during its flowering stage use the bloom booster to help the flowers last longer than expected.
The Hoya Carnosa Splash, like a lot of other Hoyas, is a climber. And this is how it is found in its native lands in the forests of Southeast Asia.
The plant also bears long vining stems that will eventually get longer, thus, it can reach lengths between 6 to 10 feet indoors if you let it grow.
It is for this exact reason that many owners will give it a trellis or shaped wiring to grow. The plant tends to wrap around these structures which makes the plant look amazing as it gets longer.
However, like most other vining plants, you will need to prune the stems to ensure that they are neat enough for a show plant. Depending on the length you prefer for your plant, you can go ahead and do regular trimming to keep its size controlled.
One thing you need to be the most careful about is not pruning its spurs or peduncles. That’s because this is where the new flower growth pops out from.
How often does the plant need repotting?
Because the plant enjoys being pot-bound, you can go on and repot the Hoya any time between 2 to 5 years, depending on how tight the plant gets in the container. After a while, it will just have a tough time keeping up with the small container.
Is the plant toxic to pets?
The Hoya Carnosa Splash is neither toxic to your tiny furry friends nor humans. This is what makes it safe to keep around the house even if you have toddlers, cats and dogs running around and playing.
We know that Hoya is quite a plant for your home. It is a complete package, with pretty variegated leaves, and pretty flowers that will brighten your home in almost no time. But for you to brighten your home, you also need to brush up on your knowledge about the plant or you will end up losing a green beauty in no time, no matter how tough it happens to be.
Let us know in the comments section below which Hoya plant you would like to bring home.
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