How to Care for The Hoya pubicalyx Or Harlequin Porcelain Vine

by | Jun 15, 2022 | 3 comments

In the evening lately, I have been enjoying the lovely aroma of the blooms of my Hoya pubicalyx ‘Splash‘ in the evening. Read here how I started this plant. I also have one in the living room and it smells wonderful as I wend my way to bed. I’ve found they don’t smell as good during the day, but at night, the entire sunroom and living room smell like heaven! I often have plants blooming in the sunroom that smell good only at night. These include Epiphyllum oxypetalum or Queen of the Night, other hoyas, and one of my sansevierias/dracaenas. This Hoya pubicalyx has not only wonderful-smelling flowers, but they are beautiful. Also called the Harlequin Porcelain vine, let’s find out how to care for it so you too can have flowers like this and the wonderful aroma in your home.

Hoya platyclada

Hoya pubicalyx bloom


The first thing to know about hoyas, in general, is that they grow as epiphytes in rainforest jungles. The vines scramble through the treetops finding light where they can. So they don’t need full sun but like bright light. I have hoyas in an east exposure, south exposure, and in the sunroom and all are blooming well in those situations. The ones in the south window do better a foot or so from the window as I have a Hoya pubicalyx close to a south window and it turned red from sun stress. It doesn’t hurt the plant, but some people don’t appreciate the different color of the foliage.


As epiphytes in nature, hoyas don’t grow in the ground but in crevices of trees with their roots growing in plant debris. So they need a well-drained potting mix as they like plenty of air around their roots. Many people add orchid bark to their hoya potting mix for better aeration and more oxygen. I’ve found they prefer to be snug in their pots as well, so don’t up-pot them unless it is necessary. 


The nectar does drip from hoya flowers, so be aware of that. If it is dripping on my tile sunroom floor, it isn’t a problem. But if it is dripping on your sofa, it may be a problem so be cognizant of where you place your plant. 

nectar dripping

There is excessive sticky nectar that drips from the flowers

hoya nectar

The nectar dripped onto this amaryllis leaf below


Hoya flowers grow from a flower spur called a peduncle. It may be tempting to trim it off after flowering like you would deadhead an annual such as a geranium, but resist the urge. Your hoya will flower from that same peduncle over and over. I’m not sure how to “count the rings” but mine has bloomed at least 8 or more times from this peduncle below. If you know for sure, let me know. Read more about the care of your hoya after it blooms.


Hoyas are easy to start from cuttings and you can read how I started this plant from cuttings here. The only thing needed is one leaf (more is preferable) and a piece of stem, which is the key. If you don’t have a piece of stem attached to the leaf, read what happens to your hoya.  

hoya publicalyx

This inflorescence has buds and open blooms.

In conclusion

The Hoya pubicalyx is a wonderful plant and I love the speckled foliage of this variety called ‘Splash’. And I can’t say enough about the wonderful smelling blooms! Do you have this hoya or any other hoya in your collection? Is it blooming? Let me know in the comments

Have a great week, plant friends!


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Leave a Comment


  1. Robin finkelstein

    Hi Lisa! How long was it until your Hoya bloomed? Mine haven’t bloomed and barely grow. Do you let them dry out between watering? What about humidity?

    Thanks so much for all your wisdom!

  2. Labijo

    Hi Lisa, i just wondering what camera and lens for taking the photo on this blog?

    • Lisa Steinkopf

      Hi Labijo,
      Often it is my phone, but I also use my Canon Rebel 6.


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