Hoya pubicalyx is a climbing trellis-loving Hoya vine from the Philippines.
This everyday perennial houseplant is a member of the Apocynaceae family of Hoya plants.
Hoya pubicalyx (HOY-a pew-bih-KAL-iks) is also known as:
- Porcelain Flower
- Pink Silver Vine
- Wax Plant
Hoya Pubicalyx Care
Size And Growth
Pubicalyx is a very fast-growing variety of Hoya. Outside its native tropical setting, this climbing, flowering succulent vine can grow to a height or length of 8′ – 10′ feet. In the Philippines, it grows to be about twenty feet.
This rambling vine produces long, narrow, glossy leaves. The name Pink Silver comes from the production of a protective pigment called Anthocyanin.
The older leaves take on a pinkish-silver tone which protects them from very harsh sunlight. More sunlight causes more splendid coloration.
In the other varieties of Hoya, this foliage pigmentation mirrors the flower colors.
Flowering And Fragrance
Under the right conditions, Pink Silver produces clusters of lovely pale red flowers with pink centers. The fragrant flowers are dusty pink and star-shaped. The flowers are incredibly fragrant in the evening hours.
There are several other varieties of Hoya pubicalyx. They include:
- Royal Hawaiian Purple, which has black or pink/red flowers.
- Red Buttons, which has purple flowers with red centers.
- Black Dragon, which has black flowers with red centers.
Bloom time runs from late in the spring to late in the summer. Don’t be discouraged if your plant does not bloom right away. It can take a couple of years for a Hoya to settle in, mature, and start blooming.
Light And Temperature
Place your plant in a warm setting where it will receive at least six hours a day of bright, indirect sunlight. Avoid direct sun exposure.
Ample sunlight enhances the coloration of the foliage. Too much sun will cause leaves to scorch.
If you cannot provide six or more hours of bright, indirect sunlight, a couple of hours of direct morning sunlight will do.
You can also keep Hoya under a grow light. In this case, you’ll need to provide between 12 and 14 hours of light each day during the plants’ downtime and 16 hours daily during the growing season.
Too little light exposure leads to scant blooming and lackluster leaves.
During the growing season, keep your Porcelain Flower at temperatures ranging from 60° – 75° degrees Fahrenheit. During the fall and winter, do not allow temperatures to drop below 50° degrees Fahrenheit.
Water Requirements and Feeding
Keep Wax Plant well watered throughout its growing season. The soil should be consistently moist but never soggy.
During the fall and winter, allow the top couple of inches of soil to dry before watering.
Water three times a week throughout the growing season and one time a week during the plants’ rest period.
If your Hoya’s soil becomes too dry, rejuvenate it with a series of little drinks rather than deluging it all at once. Use distilled, filtered, or rainwater whenever possible.
If you use tap water, your plant may develop water spots on the leaves. Remove these by wiping the leaves gently with a teaspoonful mixture of white vinegar and a pint of water. Rinse thoroughly and wipe the leaves dry.
Maintain a humidity level of about 70% percent around this tropical jungle plant. Use a humidifier, pebble tray, and regular misting to keep humidity high.
Be careful not to place your plant in an area that receives hot or cold drafts.
Fertilize Hoya lightly. A monthly watering with a weak solution of fish emulsion or compost tea during the growing season is ample.
You may also wish to provide foliar feeding once a month. Mist with a weak solution of water-soluble houseplant fertilizer that provides extra potassium.
Soil And Transplanting
Hoya pubicalyx is epiphytic. It likes light, airy, well-draining soil that provides excellent aeration to the roots.
A cactus or succulent soil mix will work or make your own mixture of equal parts perlite, orchid mix, and organic compost.
The soil should contain a high percentage of organic matter and provide a good amount of nutrition. Medium pH levels (6.5-7.5) are best.
You shouldn’t need to repot often because this plant does not have an extensive root system. Keep the plant in a small terra cotta pot with plenty of drainage holes. Add a tree branch or trellis to support the vine as it climbs.
When you do repot, you may wish to introduce a bit of slow-release granular fertilizer into the planting mix to support the plant as it transitions.
Grooming And Maintenance
Pink Silver Vine is a very low-maintenance variety of Hoya. It is a perfect choice for a negligent indoor gardener.
Don’t deadhead the flowers. Instead, leave the stems in place at the end of the blooming season. This method supports the plant when the time comes to create new flowers.
Avoid touching, handling, or pruning any part of the plant during the growing and blooming season. Excessive handling may interfere with flowering.
At the end of the growing and blooming season, examine your plant and gently use a sharp, sterile blade to trim away any dead or damaged foliage.
If growth has gotten out of hand, prune from the lower part of the plant to shape it. Use cuttings for propagation.
How To Propagate Hoya Pubicalyx
Hoya cuttings and leaves can be rooted in a growing medium as described above. Treat the cuttings as mature plants, and soon that’s what they will be.
It is also possible to root Hoya in water, but don’t leave your cuttings in water for too long. When roots begin to appear, transfer the young plants into an appropriate potting mix to develop stronger roots.
If no cuttings are available, Hoya pubicalyx can be grown from seed. Germination in peat moss can take as long as five weeks in a consistently warm (77° degrees Fahrenheit) bright, humid setting.
Other Popular Hoyas To Grow and Collect
Hoya Pubicalyx Pest Or Diseases
Avoid overwatering, and never let your plant stand in water. Excessive watering leaves Hoya vulnerable to fungal infections, root rot, and typical house plant pests such as mealy bugs, aphids, and whiteflies.
Watch for leaf drop as it is an indicator of excessive watering.
Is Pubicalyx Hoya Toxic Or Poisonous?
Wax Plant contains a sticky white sap that can be toxic to kids, pets, and livestock. When pruning and handling, wear gloves because the sap can be irritating.
More on the toxic and poisonous properties of Hoya.
Is The Hoya Pubicalyx Considered Invasive?
Hoya pubicalyx is not officially considered invasive in any setting. Still, it does have a high potential for becoming invasive.
If you keep this plant outdoors in containers or as part of the landscape in a tropical setting, take care to prevent unwanted spread.
Suggested Hoya Pubicalyx Uses
This perennial, tropical plant lives long and makes an excellent permanent addition to an indoor houseplant collection. Wax Plant is lovely in hanging baskets.
During warm weather, this Hoya does well in a sheltered setting, such as a porch or patio. Its sweet fragrance is a welcome addition to outdoor sitting areas in the evening.
Plant Porcelain flower outdoors as a ground cover in a tropical setting. In the United States, it grows best in the landscape in USDA hardiness zones 10b-11b.
Grown in a favorable outdoor setting, the vines can reach a length of 20′ feet. Train the vines to climb or ramble through strategic placement of supports and garden twine.