A few members of the Apocynaceae family make for beautiful houseplants, but few can match Hoya lakunosa (HOY-a lak-uh-NO-suh).
Sometimes referred to as Hoya suaveolens, this Hoya plant was first introduced by the common name furrowed hoya. It has since become known by many other names, including:
- Cinnamon-scented wax plant
- Grooved wax flower
- Lacunose-leaved hoya
- Wax Porcelain flower
- Lacunosa wax plant
The natural range of H. Lacunosa is wide. It stretches from China and India through Malasia, Singapore, Thailand, and Indonesia.
As with other hoya plants, H Lacunosa is a perennial creeping epiphyte. This particular species carries the prize of cinnamon-scented flowers.
Hoya Lacunosa Care
Size & Growth
One of the smaller hoya species, Hoya lacunosa, gets its name from the sunken veins on its foliage.
The stems generally grow to about 5’ feet, half the length of other popular varieties.
Due to the compact size, this is a moderately fast grower in optimal conditions.
Flowering and Fragrance
The blooms with a rich, cinnamon fragrance appear from spring through fall. The flowers of the furrowed hoya please many senses at once.
The blooms form in umbels (small bundles) of white, cream, or tan star-shaped flowers.
In the middle of these fuzzy flowers is a waxy structure that lends to the common hoya nickname of waxflower.
Light & Temperature
As with all hoyas, furrowed hoya prefers bright, indirect light. Plants and leaves may suffer damage if left in direct light for too long.
It can grow in partial shade, but there’s less chance of blooming.
Being a tropical plant, it prefers moderate humidity but can handle normal household humidity.
The plant cannot handle temperatures below 50° degrees Fahrenheit. It prefers an indoor temperature of 60° degrees Fahrenheit or above.
Outdoors, the plant grows in USDA hardiness zones 10a to 11b. Bring the plant inside during the winter months when the weather gets chilly.
Watering and Feeding
When the soil becomes dry, 1 to 2” inches deep water thoroughly.
Feed with a low nitrogen liquid fertilizer. During the growing season, feed the plant ¼ teaspoon of phosphorus and potassium-rich fertilizer.
Soil & Transplanting
The cinnamon-scented wax plant requires a well-draining soil to help prevent root rot.
An easy solution is to pick up a succulent or orchid potting mix and add one part perlite to two parts of the mix.
This plant rarely needs repotting and prefers to be root-bound. Alway use a pot with drainage holes.
Change the soil every two years to ensure the plant is getting proper nutrition.
Grooming And Maintenance
Prune the plant as needed to maintain the desired size.
Pruning is best done after the plant stops blooming, as buds form on the newer growth.
Be sure to avoid deadheading spent flowers. The spurs will produce new blooms next year.
How To Propagate Hoya Lacunosa Wax Plant
It is possible to grow the grooved wax flower from seeds. It is more difficult and far less certain than using cuttings.
Choose a healthy stem and clip a section containing 3 or 4 nodes, stripping the leaves from the base node.
Dip the node in root hormone and place in a mix of 3 parts perlite and 1 part coconut coir.
The roots should begin to grow in about a month.
Another option is to place the cuttings in water with a few drops of root hormone.
Rooting should begin in about two weeks. Transfer the plant to soil once the roots are approximately ½” inch long.
Be sure to keep the soil moist for the first week so the plant can get used to its new environment.
NOTE: Plants grown from cuttings can start to flower 3 months after rooting. Conditions influence blooming, not the age of the plant.
Grooved Wax Flower Pests or Diseases
Hoyas are generally pest and disease-free but are susceptible to root rot and may develop mold during an infestation.
Mealybugs and spider mites are both problems for this species of hoya.
It is moderately salt and drought tolerant but frost-intolerant.
The ASPCA has deemed this plant safe for pets. The sap contains natural latex, which may cause some irritation for those with allergies.
Suggested Furrowed Hoya Uses
This plant grows equally well up a trellis, cascading from a hanging basket or on a windowsill.
Due to its scent, this is a great choice for hanging on the porch in summer and overwintering inside.
As with other hoyas, Hoya Lacunosa is pet friendly. It will grow and flower under fluorescent lighting, making it perfect for offices.
NOTE: The fluorescent lighting needs to stay on for about 12 hours daily. More on How Long to Keep Grow Lights on Plants.
The plant is used in Chinese folk medicine to treat bug bites and similar ailments.
It attracts birds, butterflies, and other pollinators.