For the successful care of a wax flower, it is sufficient if you can fall back on basic horticultural knowledge. The basic requirement is a light, warm location in combination with a well-drained substrate such as orchid soil. Furthermore, an adequate climbing aid should be available for climbing Hoya. Alternatively, the exotic can gracefully dangle her shoots from the hanging basket (€ 14.99 on Amazon *). In view of these general conditions, care for the porcelain flower as follows:
- From April to October water moderately with lime-free water
- Only water enough from November to March that the soil does not dry out
- Spray gently with soft water every 1-2 days
- From May to September give a potassium-based liquid fertilizer every 3-4 weeks
- Break out or cut off the withered flowers including the pedicel
- The ideal location for the porcelain flower
- The porcelain flower on the windowsill: Caution, poisonous
- The porcelain flower - uncomplicated offshoots
Do not expose the wax flower to cold drafts. Only cut shoots that are too long when there is no alternative. Tropical grace is grateful for a cooler winter at 14-16 degrees Celsius in order to gather strength for another flower festival.
Which location is suitable?
The wax flower favors a bright, warm location with average temperatures of 18-25 degrees Celsius and the highest possible humidity. The houseplant is protected from direct sunlight by a curtain or a shade in the winter garden. During the winter break, the tropical flower beauty would like a slightly cooler place at 14-16 degrees Celsius.
What soil does the plant need?
Porcelain flowers offered in garden centers and flower shops are usually placed in normal potting soil, enriched with expanded clay (€ 17.50 at Amazon *) or styrofoam balls. This substrate is of course only the second choice. If you want to offer your wax flower perfect conditions, you can cultivate the exotic in orchid soil, coconut fibers or seramis. The roots are well supplied with oxygen and do not rot as quickly. Bargain hunters use standard soil or azalea substrate and add perlite respiratory flakes, lava granules (€ 10.95 at Amazon *) or styrofoam balls.
When is the flowering time?
From May to October the wax flower on the windowsill competes with the flowering shrubs in the garden. Depending on the type and variety, they emit a bewitching scent, which - depending on the flow of nectar - can be very intense. To ensure that the porcelain flower presents its most magnificent flower dress throughout the summer, you should regularly clean out withered flower heads. To do this, break the umbels together with the flower stalk from the stem or tendril with your thumb and forefinger.
Cut the porcelain flower correctly
Cut off the withered flowers together with the flower stalk or break them off with your fingers. However, you shouldn't use scissors to tackle the stems and tendrils. Every year you develop numerous new flowers, the plants of which would be removed as part of a pruning. Therefore, if possible, do not shorten shoots that are too long, but install an additional climbing aid if in doubt.
Watering the porcelain flower
The wax flower builds up a sufficient supply of moisture in its succulent leaves. Therefore, water your Hoya only moderately with soft water. If the surface of the substrate dries, only pour until the first drops run into the coaster. After 15 minutes at the latest, pour out the water collected in it so that no waterlogging can form. Pamper the tropical porcelain flower every few days with a gentle spray of soft water from the hand sprayer.
Fertilize porcelain flower properly
The supply of nutrients is limited to the main flowering period from May to September. During this period, apply a liquid fertilizer for flowering plants every 3-4 weeks. Preferably choose a potassium-stressed product that is tailored to the desire for an acidic soil value.
The wax flower is susceptible to infestation by mealybugs and mealybugs. If the cotton ball-like webs come to light on the leaves, you can counteract this with a neem oil preparation. You can choose to fight the pests with cotton swabs that have been soaked in high-percentage alcohol or spirit.
From October, the abundance of flowers decreases significantly as the wax flower prepares for the coming dormant period. This is how the porcelain flower gets through the cold season safe and sound:
- Cut off nutrient intake from October to March
- Just pour enough so that the soil doesn't dry out
- Continue to spray every few days with lime-free water
- Set up in a bright place at cooler temperatures of 14-16 degrees Celsius
At the end of the winter break, repot the wax flower in fresh substrate. Now the temperatures are allowed to rise again, after which you adjust the pouring quantity proportionally. If the nutrient reserves in the pre-fertilized substrate are used up after 4-6 weeks, apply a lime-free liquid fertilizer every 3-4 weeks until September.
Propagate porcelain flower
For the breeding of further porcelain flowers, two methods have proven to be very effective. On climbing Hoya species, lower a vital shoot into an adjacent flower pot with poor substrate. Slightly scratch the tissue with a razor blade and fix the sinker with a stone. If an independent root system has formed, separate the offshoots and mother plants with a smooth cut.
Propagating cuttings is just as uncomplicated. To do this, cut off shoots with 3-4 leaves just below a leaf node in March / April. Set in peat sand, in a warm, humid microclimate under a plastic hood, the rooting progresses rapidly in the warm, partially shaded location. Keep the soil slightly moist with soft water. After 6-8 weeks the cover can be removed so that you can repot your pupils in substrate for an adult wax flower.
How do I transplant properly?
Do not repot an adult wax flower until the roots have already grown out of the opening in the ground or pushed through the substrate. The best time to do this is in early spring, when the winter break is drawing to a close. How to do it right:
- The new pot is a maximum of 2-3 cm larger in diameter
- Place one or more potsherds over the water drain as drainage
- Fill in a first layer of the substrate on top
- Only now pot the wax flower to shake off the disused earth
Insert the porcelain flower in such a way that the previous planting depth is retained. Pour only a little until the water runs out of the opening in the bottom. The Hoya can relax from stress in the partially shaded, warm window seat. If the procedure takes your wax flower too hard, this year's flowering may fail. Do not let this confuse you, but continue the usual care protocol unchanged. In the following year at the latest, the flower will put on its graceful bloom again.
Is porcelain flower poisonous?
As the toxicologists at the University of Zurich found out, the wax flower poses no danger to humans. In contrast, the plant turns out to be highly poisonous for birds. Even consuming small amounts has fatal consequences. Cultivation within reach of dogs, cats or rodents should also be enjoyed with caution. Do not let your pets near a porcelain flower, as the ingestion of flowers and leaves can cause unpleasant symptoms of poisoning.
Porcelain flower does not bloom
If the longed-for bloom does not occur, various triggers are responsible for the dilemma. We have compiled the most common causes for you below with tips on how to rectify them:
- Lack of light: Place the wax flower in a bright location with 10-12 hours of daylight
- Cold: During the growth and flowering period, pay attention to warm temperatures of 18-25 degrees Celsius
- Waterlogging: Water all Hoya species only moderately and preferably spray more often with soft water
- Over-fertilization: Apply the first liquid fertilizer to the pre-fertilized substrate after 6 weeks at the earliest
- Cutting errors: If possible, do not cut a porcelain flower, as it blooms again and again on its tendrils
- Change of location: If possible, do not carry the plant back and forth or turn it frequently
- Lack of winter rest: From October to March place cooler at 14-16 degrees Celsius, water less and do not fertilize
A bud shedding is particularly devastating as the flower was already within your grasp. The trigger for this misery is a place in full sunlight. At least a close-meshed curtain should protect the wax flower from the midday sun.
In view of the brown leaves on a wax flower, we mostly expect drought stress. In fact, the porcelain flower reacts to waterlogging and root rot with this damage pattern. Immediately repot the Hoya in dry substrate and water only moderately from now on.
Yellow leaves are a classic symptom of leaf chlorosis. Wax flowers show this damage when they are poured with hard water or kept in a calcareous substrate. Since all Hoya species require an acidic pH value, too high a calcium content fixes important nutrients in the substrate, such as iron and magnesium. Switch the water supply to soft rainwater or decalcified tap water. Use bog bed or rhododendron soil, orchid soil or standard soil as a substrate.
- Red button: spherical flowers with numerous dark red individual flowers rise above the silvery speckled leaves
- Mathilde: Wonderful wax flower, the white star petals of which adorn a purple corona over oval leaves
- Krimson Princess: Cream-colored, green-rimmed decorative leaves underline pink flower balls
- Hawaiian Purple: umbel-like spherical flowers in a deep dark red are enthroned over up to 12 cm long leaves
- Stargazer: A floral jewel with white and red flowers, a beguiling honey scent and powerful, leathery leaves
- Hoya bella: Compact wax flower with upright, later overhanging shoots and white-red flowers
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