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I would be grateful if you could identify this plant please. It has clusters of star-shaped pink flowers with dark red centers. The leaves feel waxy. I live in Northumberland, England.

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  • Thanks for taking the trouble to reply. Embarrassingly I live in Northumberland! – Michael Clarke Jun 4 '17 at 20:39
  • I had to look up Northumberland. It looks like a cool place! We have some very brilliant users here from England. Just to let you know, I added that information into the question because it's easier for people to see it all in the same place, and our comments don't stay around forever. I also moved the text above the picture because I find it easier to see. Lastly, I added detail to your title so people have a better idea what to expect when they read it. I hope all that is okay with you! – Sue Saddest Farewell TGO GL Jun 4 '17 at 22:00
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This plant is Hoya carnosa the wax plant. It is a member of the Asclepiad species and native to East Asia and Australia. The plant is named after Thomas Hoy who was an 18th century botanist and gardener to the Duke of Northumberland. Identification keys are:

  • clusters of star shaped flowers with a red eye
  • a unique scent which some like and others abhor
  • light off white stippling on the leaves
  • climbing habit
  • thick leaves with a waxy covering

It prefers bright light but will do with less. I cannot find references for this but my personal experience is that plants that are pot bound in small pots are more likely to be consistent in flowering.

Insect problems are most common during flowering and include mealy bug and scale. Control with soap and water at 5 ml soap/liter water sprayed and wiped off at 6 day intervals for at least three times is usually effective.

These plants do not need to be re potted frequently. A half strength flowering plant fertilize once a year is more than adequate.

Do not over water. When out of flower the leaves will become less plump and this is your signal to water.

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To add to kevinsky's answer, mealybugs and other insects are attracted to the sweet honeydew exuded by the flowers. Mine actually dripped and was the consistency of thin liquid honey. Make sure to check around the area by your plant and regularly wipe down any stickiness you find.

When the flowering panicle is finished, a long spur is left. Don't remove it! New flowers form from the spur left behind.

long spur left after flowering panicle is finished

You can see it on this flower cluster too.

long spur behind flowering cluster

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