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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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:
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.
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.
You can see it on this flower cluster too.