The Hoya Australis is also known as the waxflower or wax vine. This evergreen climbing vine blooms gorgeous, fragrant white flowers. The Hoya Australis has plump, fleshy, and waxy leaves, making it a unique addition to your green family.
The flowers of the Hoya Australis are a center of discussion for many gardeners and horticulturists alike. They expel a sweet scent described by many as a rich blend of vanilla and chocolate – yum!
Hoya’s flowers have a red center surrounded by velvety margins.
The leaves that grow under sunny locales are found to be more yellowish-green.
Some say that a 5-leaf cluster resembles a star, while others are busy raving about the fleshiness of its leaves. The Hoya Australis is indeed a plant-lovers dream.
Hoya Australis was first discovered on the northern coast of Australia circa 1770, but it was labeled by Scottish botanist Robert Brown in 1828.
This vine makes a perfect house plant. It is easy to maintain and gives a vibrant pop of green to your living space.
This blog will explore aspects of growing, maintaining, and caring for the Hoya Australis.
Table of Contents
Meet The Hoya Australis: Basic knowledge and Origins
Hoya Australis is an epiphyte by nature; it grows in trees that are situated at an altitude of 250-1500 meters. This aerial plant is also native to New Guinea and Indonesia but is primarily of Australian origin.
This vine can climb up to 3 meters in length. When grown indoors, it needs to be tamed via regular pruning sessions.
It is best to grow this vine in a pot with a pole to support its growth. Alternatively, you can use hanging baskets as well.
This succulent is very much drought tolerant and can also survive in dry air.
|Common Name||Wax flower, Porcelain flower, Wax vine|
|Botanical Name||Hoya Australis|
|Plant Type||Succulent vine|
|Size||2-3 meters in height|
|Sun Exposure||Bright, indirect sunlight|
|Soil Consistency||Loose, well-draining soil|
|Soil pH||Mildly acidic|
|Toxicity||Toxic to humans and animals|
|Flower color||White with red center|
|Common Pests||Mealybugs, Whiteflies, snails, slugs|
Varieties of Hoya Australis
There are over 200 species of Hoya, and 7 of them are native to Australia. We will be discussing the ones that are related to Hoya Australis.
Hoya australis sana
This species is found in Australia, Vanuatu, and Samoa. Hoya australis sana grows up to 10 meters tall, and houses leaves that size up to 15 cm in length.
Hoya australis sanae
Sanae is endemic to Cape York Peninsula. Its leaves a filled with a milky exudate. It grows on old sand dunes, beach forests, and vine thickets.
Hoya australis oramicola
Oramicolo was first described in 1991 by the two botanists, Paul Forster and David Little. This variety is found in two islands situated in the northern territory coast of Australia, namely Bathurst and Melville.
Hoya australis rupicola
Rupicola is considered to be more of a scrambler than a climber. It is found in Kimberley (Western Australia region)
Hoya australis tenuipes
Tenuipes has relatively thinner leaves than its succulent counterparts; it, therefore, demands more water. It is one of the hardy and faster-growing varieties of the Hoya family.
How to Care for The Hoya Australis
Hoyas are climbers; these vines come from the tropics and demand their fair share of bright, indirect sunlight. The Hoya australis likes to bathe in sunshine all year round and also likes to soak warm, direct sunlight from soft afternoons.
Bright, direct sunlight can burn the foliage of this Hoya, so it is advised to keep it at a safe distance from drafty windows.
Hoya australis can survive in low-intensity sunlight, but then the chances of blooming decrease significantly.
You need to opt for such a potting mix that would mimic the native growth medium of this epiphytic plant. Therefore, well-drained and aerated soils are deemed fit for the Hoya australis.
To create a nutritional medium, the easiest hack is to go for a standard succulent potting mix and supplement it with some additional orchid bark, perlite, charcoal, and pine bark.
The thick, fleshy succulent leaves possess the ability to store water; hence the water requirements of hoya australis fall in the moderate-low category.
One must invigilate the moisture content of the soil since different climates alter the desired water frequency for this plant. The easiest way is to touch the soil to check if it feels damp or dry; for the latter situation, you must water the hoya.
If the leaves seem to have lost their turgor pressure and plumpness, it’s calling for a drink!
On average, the hoya australis needs to be watered every 10 days. This frequency further decreases during the winter months.
This epiphytic plant prefers relatively drier conditions and can therefore survive spells of drought. However, frostbites can prove to be fatal for the Hoya.
A temperature of around 18-24 degrees celsius (65-75 degrees Fahrenheit) fares the Hoya australis well enough. Such a temperature makes this climber an excellent house plant.
However, extreme temperature drops such as those caused by air conditioners or chillers can damage the integrity of this plant.
During the winter months, the temperature should range between 13-15 degrees celsius.
It comes as no surprise that this tropical climber enjoys high humidity levels. However, this plant is also indoor-friendly and can perform well at 40-60% humidity levels.
Hoyas are mostly light feeders. Using a balanced, general-purpose, or blooming fertilizer would be sufficient during the spring or summer. You can also apply an organic fertilizer bi-weekly.
This plant does not thrive during the winters; hence the need for fertilizer is deemed no longer necessary during that time.
A typical Hoya would like to stay root bound, always. Unless it’s absolutely necessary to re-pot the Hoya australis, I would recommend avoiding re-potting altogether.
For potting, always choose a container with holes to ensure adequate drainage (preferably a Terracota pot). A potting mix fueled with some perlite will prove to be beneficial for the Hoya australis.
These climbers can reach incredible heights, up to 4-5 meters. To keep them looking bushy and sleek, you must incorporate frequent pruning sessions.
Growing the hoya australis in a container would call for adequate support for the vine.
Pruning should only be considered once the hoya has bloomed its flowers, preferably in spring.
Be mindful of the fact that over-pruning may decline the growth rate of the hoya australis.
Hoya australis can be easily propagated, thanks to its rapid growth properties. Below, we will be discussing an easy way to propagate the Hoya australis.
Propagation using stem cuttings:
Choose a healthy non-flowering stem cutting with at least 2 nodes attached. Chop the chosen stem cutting with sterilized pruning shears or scissors.
Plant these cuttings in a succulent potting mix. You can supplement the potting mix with some additional perlite and peat moss.
Alternatively, you can place the freshly cut stem cuttings in filtered water and a few rooting hormone drops. The rooting hormone to speed up the process.
Next, cover your pot with a lid. This will allow the pot to harness humidity and raise the temperature. The desired temperature is 21 degrees Celsius or more.
Soon, you will witness the growth of new roots in the pot.
Challenges & Solutions
Cold climates and sudden changes in temperature can cause the yellowing of leaves.
Fungal Root Rot
Ill-drained soil can cause water clogging. The Hoya australis is an epiphytic plant that demands well-aerated soil.
Fungal root rot is a result of poorly drained soil. You must discard the affected areas to prevent cross-spread.
Shedding and Drying of New Shoots
This isn’t something to worry about. The Hoya Krimson Queen is a climber. It will send out vines, and if those vines do not find a suitable environment, they will shed. It’s just a coping mechanism for The Hoya.
Ask Away: The FAQ Section
The Hoya Australis is a variegated and rare variety of the Hoya australis.
The foremost cause of dying Hoyas is over or underwatering. Their thick, fleshy leaves can not stand extremes of moisture levels. Other causes for a decaying Hoya may be inappropriate soil selection or inadequate sunlight exposure.
Stunted growth of the Hoya Australis is usually caused due to inadequate sunlight exposure. The provision of bright but indirect sunlight during the day is essential for the survival of Hoya Australis. Other reasons for impaired growth may include stress factors such as a pest infestation, fungal root rot, ill-drained soil, or low humidity.