Nature is full of vast ranges of beautiful plants. Each plant has its features and importance. Hoya kentiana ‘Variegata’ is one such peculiar plant. It is a rare indoor succulent vine. This plant is admired because of its unique foliage. The leaves are splendid with a waxy surface and variegated pink color in the beginning. By the time, the pink leaves get mature and turn into faded green and white variegation. The plant produces vibrant fragrant flowers in shades of red and fuchsia. It was first discussed by C.M.Burton.
In this article, we will share important information regarding the Hoya kentiana ‘Variegata’plant , along with its care and propagation.
Hoya kentiana Variegata Classification
The botanical classification of the Hoya kentiana Variegated plant is as under;
Family: Apocynaceae (Dogbane)
Species: H. kentiana
The Apocynaceae family includes around 5100 species of flowering plants. Hoya is one of the 366 genera of the family. The members of the genus Hoya are tropical succulent vines or shrubs native to Asia. Additionally, these plants are evergreen perennials that grow by adventitious roots.
According to an estimate, there are 200 to 500 different species in this genus. Hoyas are notorious for being difficult to identify and classify. R.Brown named it after his friend T.Hoy. It is important to mention here that many species in this genus are unresolved. Moreover, it is also possible that many of these species could be the synonyms of the initially recorded species.
The plant is a cultivar of the species H. kentiana. A cultivar is a plant that is produced by horticulture and is propagated by stem cuttings. Growers propagate certain plants for their desired features. These are not true-to-seeds. So, their next generation doesn’t need to have the same features as the parent plant.
Hoya Kentiana ‘Variegata’ Common Names
- It is commonly called the ‘Wax plant’ because of the smooth and waxy surface of its leaves. However, this name is commonly used for other members of the genus as well.
- ‘Porcelain Flower’ is another common name due to the soft texture of its flower’s petals.
Hoya Kentiana Variegata growth Habit
The Hoya kentiana Variegated is a succulent/ cactus in nature. These are evergreen, epiphyte, or terrestrial, perennial vines with trailing growth patterns. The plant and its leaves are non-toxic, unlike the other family members. It is a quick grower and can grow pretty long. Consequently, you need to cut the portions of the vine without damaging it. Moreover, it grows by taproots as the underground structure.
Hoya kentiana Variegata Leaves
The leaves of the hoya kentiana variegata plant are thick and lanced-shaped. Initially, the leaves are variegated pink. While on maturity, the leaves get variegated white with dark green edges.
Variegated plants have patches or streaks of white color. This is due to the lack of pigment-producing substance ‘chlorophyll’ in some of the cells of the leaves. This condition usually occurs due to genetic mutation which can be inherited or may occur randomly. Growers then keep propagating the variegated plants to get new plants with the same appearance.
Contrastingly, sometimes these variegated plants are strong enough to exist and dwell as independent species in nature.
The Kentiana Variegata is a variegated cultivar of the species H.kentiana. Consequently, it uses the term ‘ Variegata’ in its name according to the rules of botanical classification.
Hoya Kentiana Variegata Flower
The flowers of the plants are typical of their genus. These are small, circular, and star-shaped with 5 petals and a dark center. These fragrant flowers grow in clumps. Flowers are reddish, fuchsia, or purple and are around 1 inch in length. The blooming starts in the middle of spring and lasts till early summer. Moreover, the flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies in gardens.
Hoya Kentiana Variegata Variegated Care
These are low-maintenance plants. As they are cacti, so they are resilient by nature. Important features regarding the Hoya kentiana ‘Variegated’ Care are highlighted below;
The water requirement of Kentiana ‘Variegata’ is medium. However, this plant is a cactus and can bear occasional water shortages of medium duration.
You can increase the pink shade in the leaves by keeping the soil and plant dry between the watering intervals. Along with dry periods, the plant needs intense bright light as well.
Hoya kentiana variegata needs full sun to partial shade. Intense bright light increases the pink shade of foliage. Variegated plants usually turn green when provided with insufficient light. This is their natural combating mechanism against low light.
The leaves develop more chlorophyll. Consequently, they turn fully green to increase the surface for the absorption of light. It is important to mention here, that exposure to direct sunlight for a longer duration may burn the plant.
The Hoya kentiana ‘Variegated’ plant requires moist, well-drained, and fertile soil. It should be neutral with a PH range from 6.6 to 7.3. For your Indoor plant, you can use a soil-based mixture with added leaf mold, charcoal, and sand.
The plants are tolerant of a wide range of humidity levels. They can even bear low humidity or a dry environment.
Hoya kentiana ‘Variegata’ does great in temperatures ranging from 30 to 40 degrees Fahrenheit.
These are suitable for hanging plant baskets due to their dangling growth habit.
It does great in USDA hardiness zones 9-11.
Hoya Kentiana Variegata Plant Propagation
- The plant is usually propagated through the cuttings of the stem. The late days of summer are suitable for this method. Semi-ripe cuttings from the healthy plant are planted in moist well-fertilized soil. The pot is then placed in bright indirect light and suitable temperature. Shoots will develop in three to four weeks. This will be a sign of successful propagation.
- You can also propagate the plant by ‘layering’ in the spring or summer season.
- Seeds can be sown in the spring season. The ideal temperature range for the seeds to germinate nicely is 66 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Hoya Kentiana Variegata Problems
Now let’s discuss some problems related to the Hoya kentiana variegata plant.
You can recognize if your plant has been attacked by the spider mite by carefully examining your plant. You will see silky webs around the leaves or you may see tiny black and red dots.
Spider mites are the most common pests to injure your plant and they live at the expense of the plant’s nutrients. They multiply rapidly on the lower leaves and cause wilting and drooping of leaves.
For the removal of spider mites, you should first wash your plant under running water. The water stream should be strong enough to wash all the mites away. Then get a neem oil solution and spray it on the whole plant carefully. Neem oil is a feeding deterrent and helps remove spider mites.
Thrips are the most dreaded pests you can find on your hoya kentiana variegata. They are black insects that suck the life out of your plant. Thrips have a fast life cycle and they multiply rapidly and cause damage to the plant in little to no time.
Leaves will start to discolor and turn brown or pale, the plant starts to wither and droop, and eventually, it will die. Thrips cannot be controlled by insecticides because they develop resistance very fast.
The only way to remove them is by washing your plant in a fast-flowing stream of water or a hose. Make sure you have removed all of the thrips. Then take liquid soap and lather every leaf and stem with it. After that, spray your plant with neem oil and do it at regular intervals.
Mealybugs are fairly common in plants kept indoors. Fortunately, they are easier to control than thrips. You will have to remove them manually with the help of a cotton ball soaked in alcohol. After removal of all the mealybugs spray your plant with a mixture of insecticide and do it regularly. If the mealybugs appear again you can repeat the same process.
Root rot occurs when you overwater your plant and do not abide by the rule of checking the soil before watering. It is also a problem for the plants which do not get enough exposure to sunlight. All of these causes are avoidable and you can easily prevent root rot by keeping these simple things in mind.
Hoya kentiana ‘Variegata’ is a rare vine with its unique and beautiful leaves. This is a cultivar of species H. kentiana and belongs to the genus Hoya. The newly developed leaves are variegated pink. On maturity, they turn white and variegated green. This low-maintenance and non-toxic vine is beautiful enough to decorate any corner of your house or office.