Plant Overview: Hoya Pubicalyx

Hello, plant friends! I’m back with a plant blog, but I’m going to switch up the format a little. Since I’m running out of broader categories of plants, I’m going to do deep dives on specific species of plants! They’ll be focused on one plant at a time, so they’ll be shorter and more casual. I’ll also be transporting content from my older blog (, so look out for other fun, informative posts about how plants fit into different cultural and historical contexts (as everything does, right)!

Anywho, first up is my hoya pubicalyx plant, also known as a hoya splash (or porcelain flower or silver pink vine)! This guy came from a Zensability hoya and succulent haul. I highly recommend checking out their plants! I bought my hoyas over a holiday weekend, and they arrived healthy and carefully packaged (with free baby cuttings as well). Online is great for finding affordable hoyas (between $10-$15 for a four-inch plant), at least compared to where I live in California. I seldom see them in nurseries, and when I do, they run for around $20 for a small plant! 

While I had a great shopping experience, my hoya parenthood journey has been complicated, suffice to say. Because I live in a hot, dry environment, I find that I need to water mine more often than recommended. While it’s suggested that you only water your hoya once a week during the growing season, I water them about twice a week in the summer. Of my hoyas, my pubicalyx is the most drought tolerant, as well as the most prolific! In the two months that I’ve had it, my hoya pubicalyx has sprouted baby leaves consistently and has never developed unseemly wrinkles. 

My Zensability haul!

Hoya Pubicalyx Identification

A little on the hoya pubicalyx: Native to the Phillippines, it’s a semi-succulent trailing plant that has lance-shaped leaves with a mottled fleck patterning. It’s fast-growing and can get up to 10 feet tall. When exposed to lots of sunlight, these flecks can also turn purple or pink. The hope is that the hoya pubicalyx eventually shoots out clusters of fragrant, star-shaped flowers in pink, red, purple, or white on its woody spurs. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the day that my plant gets blooms, though they’re more likely to do so between mid-spring to early summer.

An up close and personal look at my hoya pubicalyx! One of the newer leaves ripped a little, but looks like everything is sprouting out quite nicely.

Hoya Pubicalyx Care

Caring for the pubicalyx, as I’ve mentioned, is relatively easy. It enjoys living in a well-draining mix of cactus soil and potting mix. (Some people throw in orchid bark for good measure as well!) Wax plants, in general, enjoy bright, indirect light and room temperature. If you’re leaving your hoya plant outside, be sure to give it shade so that it doesn’t burn.

Watering requirements depend on your specific environment. A reliable rule of thumb is to water when your hoya leaves soften. If you don’t live in an arid, scorching environment, you’ll want to water every week or every other week. Hoyas enjoy a humid environment as well, so they fare well next to humidifiers or on a tray with pebbles in water. The hoya pubicalyx, as I’ve mentioned, has been more drought-tolerant in my experience. But in general, if your leaves start to wrinkle, this is likely a sign of underwatering or low humidity. Give it a drink! That said, wrinkled lower leaves can also indicate overwatering if associated with leaf drop and yellowing or blackening foliage. 

And last but not least, hoyas aren’t heavy feeders, so you don’t need to fertilize often. If you’re using synthetic fertilizer, a once a month schedule is sufficient. I *have* been giving my hoyas two feedings a month throughout the growing season, however. It really depends on how comfortable you feel with overfeeding! Organic fertilizers also tend to be gentler on hoyas. 

Anyway, I’m excited to watch my pubicalyx continue to thrive, and hopefully, it’ll bloom soon as well! I’ll be sure to return with updates if I can keep this guy alive. 


Reader’s Digest: Success With House Plants

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