My Passalong Plant – The Hoya

Blog Category: Interior Plantscaping
March 12, 2016 by Holly Skoog, Former General Manager

Sharing plants has long been a tradition amongst families and friends. Certain plants have survived the decades purely from this sharing from generation to generation; sometimes referred to as passalong plants. In fact, there is an entire book dedicated to the topic of plant sharing – you can see it here. For me, a favorite gifted plant is the Hoya – I currently own two. My dear maternal grandmother shared a Hoya plant with me when I was 18, and then my sister added to my collection  by gifting me with a different variety.


Hoya plants are tropical indoor plants often referred to as wax plants due to their thick, waxy leaves. Named in honor of Thomas Hoym, the gardener for the Duke of Northumberland, Hoym saw the plant’s beauty and brought it into prominence. This vine plant loves to send down trails of leaves, so they are often seen in hanging baskets like I keep mine in. They can be put in urns or grown upright with the use of a trellis as well.


The plant likes very bright, indirect light as well as warm and humid temperatures like the tropical environment it originates from. Hoya plants are especially sensitive to overwatering and prefer well-drained soil. African violet soil with perlite added in is a great choice. They can remain in the same planter for many years, but don’t forget to fertilize properly throughout the spring and summer.


The miraculous blooms on Hoya plants are such a beautiful thing and one reason I treasure my plants so much. They will not bloom until they reach maturity, which is very much dependent on the growing conditions they are in. Once they do reach their mature state, you can expect blooms one to two times per year. The spurs that the blooms push out from should remain once the bloom fades, as new ones will generate from this same spot the next time. Their waxy ball of geometrically perfect double five-pointed stars is a pretty amazing sight to see. When I’m lucky, both of my Hoya plants bloom at the same time and I get a really pleasing display!

Blog Post #112 - Passalong Plant Bloom


Hoyas come in several varieties, all with different leave colorations and shapes. My personal collection consists of the tricolor and variegated rope varieties. You can read about these and other varieties from Costa Farms.


Do you have a favorite passalong plant? Or, have you gifted others with special plants? We would love to hear about it! And for more information on other ways to liven up the indoors and bring the outside in, visit our Interior Plantscaping group online, or give us a call at 515.987.0800.