Photo: by edgeplot (flickr)
Epiphytes are plants that get nourishment from the air. They are non parasitic, but they frequently, for example orchids, grow on another plant such as a tree. When they are grown in a pot, epiphytes prefer a growing medium made up of two parts soil-less mixture and one part fine bark mix.
A favorite house plant of many people is the hoya, an epiphyte vine that is commonly called wax plant. There are many varieties of this plant, and the shape, color and texture of the leaves depends on the species. The flowers, however, always come from little umbrellas called peduncles. After the blooms drop, the peduncles should be left in place as they will continue to grow and bloom.
Hoya is a member of the milkweed family so the seeds are in silk in pods. The easiest way to propagate, however, is to root cuttings dipped in rooting hormone and placed in a soil-less mix for about six weeks.
The plants enjoy indirect light and weekly watering, with fertilizer every second week.
Hoya lacunosa has especially fragrant blooms and grows compactly in a hanging basket. However, there are many other delightful ones such as the H. shepherdii with lovely pink flowers, as well as a sweet perfume.
Hoya is easy for me to remember as it is one of the only words in the English language that rhymes with Moya.
(Reference: Zachos, Ellen, “All Stars of the Indoors,” Horticulture Magazine, Vol. 105, #1 Dec/Jan 2008, pp40-45.)