Hoya Carnosa | Care Guide For Beginners |

Hoya carnosa plants are famous for their thin and beautiful vines

Hoya carnosa plants belong to the genus Hoya and to the family Apocynaceae. These plants go by the common names called Wax plants, waxy leaf plants, porcelain flower plants.

Hoya carnosa plants are endemic to Eastern Asia and to Australia. However, these are some popular plants which many people find around the whole world and they tend to grow as houseplants for so long.

Hoya Carnosa

You could find some lovely, variegated versions of these plants which have a close resemblance with the classic Hoya carnosa. 

However, the variegated plant leaves would not be solid green. Instead, you can find them in white, pink, yellow and in green.

Those variegated versions are called Hoya carnosa , variegated tri color Hoya carnosa rubra, crimson prince , princess and the list goes on.  

Despite the Hoya carnosa variety you have, they will look fantastic when you grow them in the hanging baskets or on high shelves. Hoya carnosa plants could grow up to 10 feet as they tend to trail and grow.

Hoya plants are native plants in Asia and a Scottish botanist called Mr. Robert Brown introduced this to the world. It was named as Hoya carnosa in light of honoring 18th Century botanist Thomas Hay.

How do I identify Hoya carnosa

You can identify the Hoya carnosa plants by their slender vines. Moreover, those leaves are waxy and deep green in color. 

Further chances are that they may also form while flecking with silver and creamy white. In addition to these factors, they produce flowers which are star shaped. They would form in parachute shaped clusters.

Moreover, Hoya carnosa plants would carry a seer fragrance. Further chances are that they would produce a sticky sap. 

You could spot those flowers forming in yellow, orange, pink, burgundy, white, near black. Hoya carnosa plants develop waxy stems too along with waxy leaves. Their flowering season would be from spring to late summer.

Size of the plant

Hoya carnosa plants would rise to 12-20 ft when they grow to their fullest.

Growth rate

Hoya carnosa plants would usually grow at a moderate rate.

One look care guide

Botanical NameHoya carnosa
Common NameWax plant, waxy leaf plants, porcelain flower
Plant TypeSucculent
Mature Size12-20 ft height
Sun ExposureFull sunlight to partial shade
Soil TypeWell-draining , gritty
Soil pH6.1-7.5.
Bloom Timespring to late summer.
Flower Coloryellow, orange, pink, burgundy, white, near black
Hardiness ZonesUSDA hardiness zones 8-11 (USDA).
Native AreaEastern Asia and Australia.
ToxicityNon toxic
Average price $ 12

How do you take care of Hoya carnosa?

Light Requirement 

Bright sunlight levels would be optimal for the Hoya carnosa plants vigorous growth

Having said that, Hoya carnosa plants can grow well despite low sunlight levels, high sunlight levels and in medium sunlight levels. 

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However, if you keep exposing them for low sunlight levels, it will not be beneficial for the plant’s flowering process.

When you grow them as houseplants, consider planting them in a hanging planter and place them in a bright corner at your home. 

Ideally that spot needs to get morning full sunlight as well as early evening sunlight. Do not leave them exposing them for direct sunlight.

Temperature and humidity

Hoya carnosa plants are tolerant of a wide array of temperatures. They prefer to grow in warmer temperatures. 

Ensure that you expose them for temperatures above 65 degrees Fahrenheit so that it would be optimal for the plant’s growth. 

Moreover, Hoya carnosa plants love humidity as well. Hence you can consider misting them or add a tray with pebbles. 

Furthermore, you can be tactful in placing a humidifier as well. Further you can consider planting these plants together so that it will also increase the humidity. 

To be precise on the humidity levels, they would love to have a humidity level of 50 %.

Hoya Carnosa

Is it cold hardy?

Hoya carnosa plants are cold hardy plants.

USDA Hardiness Zone

Hoya carnosa plants are cold hardy in USDA hardiness zones 8-11 (USDA).

Watering Requirement 

Watering Hoya carnosa plants properly is quite important when it comes to looking after these plants well. 

Ideally you need to adjust how you water them depending on how intense the light is and on the temperature levels. 

Furthermore, you need to water the Hoya carnosa plants which grow under artificial lights less when compared to the plants which grow under natural sunlight.  

You need to water them once every week when they are actively growing. Having said that, when it comes to watering them in fall and winter, you can either water them once every two weeks or once every month. 

Since Hoya carnosa plants are the types of plants which are prone for root rot, best is to always underwater them without over watering. 

Hoya carnosa plants hate to be in waterlogged conditions, hence if you leave them to be in soggy soil, it would be harmful for the plants. 

Ideally you need to let the soil wither between two watering sessions. Hoya carnosa plants are tolerant of drought conditions hence, you can neglect watering them once or twice.

They can thrive well even if you forget to water them once or twice as they have water conserved in the leaves. That will help them to keep the plants happy when you forget to water them once or twice.

Soil Requirement Type / ph.

The prime requirement when it comes to choosing the right soil mix is to check whether they have an excellent draining

As such, a cacti soil mix or a succulent soil mix would perfectly fit in for these. In case if you select a too heavy soil mix, it will retain excess water within the soil. 

You can amend the soil mix and amend it by applying perlite and peat moss so that the draining of the soil mix would be benefitted from that.

Pot size Potting and Repotting

The right pot should contact a draining hole. Additionally, you may also grow them in a hanging planter which does not have any draining holes also.

If you grow them in planters which do not have drainage holes, you need to ensure that you do not over water them. 

Further you can apply a layer of perlite to the bottom of the planter so that the draining of the pot would be benefitted. 

You can go for a porous material pot to plant them too. The purpose of planting them in a porous material is that the excess moisture will evaporate faster without retaining in the pot. 

When it comes to repotting, they can remain in the same pot for a number of years as they do not mind becoming root bound. 

However, when selecting the pot size, ensure that it is a slightly larger pot. Do not repot plants which are in full blossom as it could interrupt the flowering of the plants. 

Where to Plant 

As aforesaid, you need to select a place where you can fulfill the sunlight requirements of the Hoya carnosa plants. Additionally, grow them in a porous pot and in a well-draining soil mix.

Fertilizer and time of year

You may use a regular house plant fertilizer when feeding the Hoya carnosa plants. Additionally, you may use a diluted liquid fertilizer also. Skip feeding during winter as it will be their dormancy.

Hoya Carnosa


Hoya carnosa plants produce flowers which are star shaped. They would be pink in or in white given that they get sufficient sunlight levels

Furthermore, they will flower in spring, summer or even in the early fall. You will see how those flowers will form along the curly vines. 

However, when they start to produce the flower buds, ensure that you do not move the plants.

It could be so dangerous as even the minor changes in light could kill the flower buds. Further if you mist the plants, it will increase the humidity and make them flower. 

The Hoya carnosa plants produce flowers which have a sweet scent. Besides, they produce drops of sticky nectar as well. if you provide too dry or wet soils, that will also make them drop the flower buds.


Hoya carnosa plants are winter dormant plants. When there is lower light level, it will make the growth slower. 

During winter, you need to water them less often. Further, do not feed them until spring as well. 

Besides, you should maintain the humidity which could drop in winter. Additionally, do not keep the plants closer to heat and a/c vents too.


Hoya carnosa plants are nontoxic plants.

Common bugs and illnesses

You need to watch out for houseplants pests such as mealybugs, fungus gnats, aphids, fungus mites etc. particularly if you do not water them properly. 

Further I suggest you use sticky stakes as they would also help the gnats to keep away from the plants.

It is always best to avoid the pests’ problems well in advance as if they spread further, it would be even more difficult to get rid of them and the damage will also be significant. 

To avoid the spider mite infestation, you should mist the plants regularly with water. Spider mites do not prefer to be in cool and wet conditions. Instead, they would thrive in hot and in dry conditions.

Besides all these, it is important that you water them properly too as if you supply them with excess water, it will make the plants prone to root rot.

Root rot could be so dangerous as it could even kill the plants.

Special Care tips

These plants require only easy maintenance from you. 

However, you may consider repotting them once every two to three years so that it will provide them fresh growing conditions for them to grow. You may consider pruning the long vines to make the plants look compact. 

Spring would be the best season to prune them as during spring only they would produce to develop the new growth. 

Do not prune off the leafless stems as they will be on the same spurs that flowers will form. Beware with the milky white sap they produce and protect yourself before making any cuttings there.

Hoya carnosa benefits 

Hoya carnosa plants are quite effective in purifying the air. Further they would be handy as container plants as well. Additionally, you grow them as outdoor plants too.

Hoya Carnosa

How to propagate Hoya carnosa 

Hoya carnosa plants are easy to propagate. You can make new plants by propagating them and sharing them with friends. 

You can propagate them by using the stem cuttings and seeds. Out of this the best option would be to propagate them by using the stem cuttings.  

The selected stem has to have a few leaves. Next you can plant them in a potting soil and keep them moist so that it will encourage the rooting process.

Additionally, you may use the root cuttings of them and propagate them in water as well. However, you need to wait until Spring and summer to start propagating. 


Before concluding, to sum up what I covered in the article is that they are easy to maintain plants. They will grow to their fullest if you look after them well and fulfill the necessities of them.

The flowering activity of the Hoya carnosa plants is yet another reason as to why many people tend to grow them. So happy cultivating with Hoya carnosa plants !

Credit to : Summer Rayne Oakes
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About author

I’m Dr. Chamika, As a hobby love talking about plants and showing you that taking care of indoor plants. My website is knowledge I’ve learned over the years and continue to learn about growing succulents. If you’re a succulent lover, then you have come to the correct place.