Hoya Carnosa – Plant Care & Growing Guide

Hoya is an Asian native plant named after the 18th-century botanist Thomas Hoy, which was introduced by Scottish botanist Robert Brown. Today’s gardeners appreciate it as a fragrant, low-maintenance tropical flower. They grow slowly to moderately and should be planted outdoors in the spring or early summer.

Flowers in the genus Hoya are members of the Asclepiadaceae family, also known as the milkweed family. The genus is now classified as part of the Apocynaceae (dogbane) family. Although hoya is not difficult to pronounce, you may prefer to call the plants by another name, such as wax plant, wax flower, Indian rope plant, porcelain flower, or honey plant.

What Does It Look Like?

Hoya Carnosa

The Wax Plant’s long, slender vines are covered in thick, green leathery leaves. Silvery or creamy white flecks can be found on the leaves.

To highlight its thickly-leafed vines and make them appear denser, wrap them around a wire hoop or small trellis and tie loosely with florist wire.

The Wax Plant will produce parachute clusters of star-shaped, white to pink flowers with five-point centers if given enough light. Because the flowers are so intricately detailed, uniformly shaped, and gleaming, they are sometimes referred to as porcelain flowers. Depending on the variety, hoyas will bloom in the spring, summer, or fall.

There will be a lot of H. Carnosa cultivars available for purchase. ‘Krinkle’ has wrinkled leaves, ‘Variegata’ has creamy white-edged leaves, and ‘Krimson Queen’ has crimson leaves.

Other Hoya species are available, but they do not produce as many or as large flowers as the carnosa species. H. Bella is a plant with small leaves. H. Australis has smaller flowers with a honeysuckle scent.

The Hoya Carnosa is one of the best houseplants for beginners. It’s simple to care for, uses little water, and adapts well to its surroundings. Eastern Asia and Australia are home to wax plants. They are, interestingly, members of the milkweed family. This tropical plant has waxy deep green leaves and delicate flowers that smell amazing.

These plants, like their native tropical climates, prefer lots of sun and high humidity. The Hoya is also adaptable in terms of growth habit, and it can thrive in a topiary, trailing, or climbing arrangement.

The Late Bloomer

Allow time for the wax plant to adjust when you bring it home. Don’t give up on it if you don’t see many blooms until it’s 2 or 3 years old.


  • Botanical Name: Hoya carnosa
  • Common Name: Hoya, wax plant, wax flower, Indian rope plant, porcelain flower, honey plant
  • Plant Type: Tropical Succulent
  • Mature Size: 12-20 ft.
  • Sun Exposure: Bright, natural light
  • Soil Type: Well-draining
  • Soil pH: 6.1-7.5
  • Bloom Time: Spring or summer (but some varieties bloom in fall)
  • Flower Color: Yellow, orange, pink, burgundy, white, near black.
  • Hardiness Zones: 8-11 (USDA)
  • Native Area: Tropical Asia, Australia

Hoya Care 

Similar to mophead hydrangeas, hoyas produce clusters of flowers that resemble balls. Up to 40 individual flowers may be crammed closely together in each cluster. Each flower appears perfect on its own. The common names refer to the fact that they appear to be made of wax or porcelain. In the center of the corona, flowers frequently have a colored eye.

The plants produce waxy leaves with woody stems that are evergreen. A hoya plant can be trained to grow as a vine or allowed to trail over the container’s side. In either case, the plant will be 2-4 feet tall or long when fully grown.

Hang a basket with your hoya plant so you can enjoy it from your favorite chair on the deck or porch. Your tropical container garden will have a vertical accent thanks to the hoya plants’ ability to cling to a small trellis. The humid surroundings next to any pond, fountain, or other water feature in your landscape would be ideal for a hoya plant.


Bright, indirect light is ideal.

The Hoya carnosa prefers medium light, but not too much, to grow in the lush Asian jungles’ canopies. Avoid windows that face southeast and receive direct sunlight, as this will likely result in leaf burn. Choose a location in your house that gets some indirect sunlight during the day. You must take this into account when caring for your hoya plant.


Water needed: Use only a small amount when the top three inches of soil feel dry (once per week).

The wax plant prefers a water schedule that closely resembles its natural habitat. When watering Hoya plants, be mindful of the changing seasons. Watering once a week is adequate in the spring and summer, but you can water every two weeks in the winter, when there is less growth. Avoid soggy soil. Excessive watering can cause root rot. You can simulate the dry season in the tropics by not using water for four to five weeks in the spring. Beautiful hoya flowers are encouraged by this water stress.


Asia’s jungles are about as muggy as you can imagine. By regularly misting your hoya plant with a light mist, you can easily create a humid environment. If your area is very dry, you might want to think about getting a small humidifier.


Temperatures between 65 and 80 °F are ideal for the honey plant. Avoid spending long – lasting periods of time in the 50s or lower during the winter months, as this can result in chill damage.


Preferred fertilizer: Because wax plants are not heavy feeders, a general indoor plant fertilizer will do for them. Choose a choice with an NPK ratio of 2-2-2. Use a bloom booster with a higher phosphorus content when you see that your plant is about to produce flowers. Bear in mind that only mature plants will yield flower buds.


The best soil is a moist, well-draining potting mix. Perlite and orchid bark are mixed into the potting soil for African violets.

pH range: 6.1 to 6.5

The potting mixture for African violets is ideal for wax plants. Because it is light and airy, good drainage is encouraged. To help prevent the hoya roots from becoming overly saturated, think about incorporating a small amount of perlite and orchid bark. One of the main things to keep away from when working with the wax plant is unquestionably wet feet.


Leave the flower stalk on your hoya plant after it has finished blooming as it might bear more flowers. When the stalk is taken away, the plant is forced to grow a new one, which delays blooming and uses up energy. Hoyas are light feeders, and all the nutrition they require is provided by a monthly beverage of compost tea or diluted fish emulsion.

Propagating Hoya

Beyond the well-draining soil and the warm, humid conditions that many tropical flowers crave, hoya plants don’t require much. If you live in USDA growing zones 10–12, you can grow hoyas; if not, you must grow them as tropical container plants or as specimens in a greenhouse.

Select a location that receives full sun. Plants that receive less than a half-day of sunlight may flower.

Potting and Repotting Hoya

Hoyas prefer the security of a small pot, and roots that are somewhat restricted will flower more frequently than plants that are free to move around in a large pot. Hoyas dislike heavy soil or wet feet, and many of them naturally grow as epiphytes (similar to bromeliads and orchids). Your hoya plant will grow best if you combine regular potting soil with orchid potting mix in a 1 to 1 ratio.

Use pasteurized soil or growing medium when repotting as well, whether it’s in brand-new pots or ones that have been cleaned with a water and chlorine bleach solution.


Hoyas will bloom all through the summer, but once the temperature drops below 50 degrees Fahrenheit, you should bring them inside.

Common pests and diseases

Hoyas are susceptible to pests that feed on sap, such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. Neem oil can be used to control everything. After treating the plant, use a clean, soft cloth to remove any remaining pest matter.

For the hoya, fungus infections are another common disease. Your plant can rot and die from Botrytis can rot and die from Botrytis blight, which manifests as grayish patches medium after treating with a fungicide.

Plant Care Tips

Once your hoya is in bloom, don’t touch it in any way.

You’ve probably been anticipating the appearance of these incredible flowers for quite some time. To get more soil, you might be tempted to water, mist, or move the plant. Let your hoya flourish in all its glory by practicing non-doing.

Do not trim the peduncles.

The Hoya carnosa’s peduncles are the parts that bear flowers. They probably always produce flowers from the same exact peduncles once they have become established. Amazing, huh?

Avoid dark areas and harsh sunlight.

The secret to keeping the chlorophyll in your hoya’s leaves happy is bright, indirect sunlight. To help your hoya flourish, stay out of the harsh summer morning sun and find a nice spot like a north-facing window.

During the 4-5 week dry period that occurs in the spring, keep your plants dry.

This step in hoya plant maintenance is crucial. The wax plant blooms in the early spring. The hoya’s natural habitat in the jungle, where rain is infrequent, is mimicked by this dry period.


Why are my hoya’s flower buds falling off?

It’s very likely that your watering schedule wasn’t accurate. Your hoya was either receiving too little or too much water. Prior to the blooming season, be sure to stress your plant by adhering to the recommended watering schedule.

What causes my leaves to turn red?

Q: Be mindful of the light levels. Red leaves indicate too much bright light is being emitted by your wax plan. Never forget to stay out of the sun. To lessen the amount of sun exposure, either move the plant slightly or choose a location in your home with bright indirect light.

Why haven’t my wax plant’s flowers bloomed?

Q: Before they produce their first porcelain blooms, hoyas must be at least 2 years old. Use a liquid fertilizer that is especially formulated to promote blooming just before spring. After 4 to 5 weeks of stress on the plant, flowers should start to bloom.


Folks, that’s all! Do you possess a Hoya carnosa? Comment below! I’d love to hear from you.

Although there are many other varieties of stunning Hoyas to grow, this one should be included in any collection of indoor plants.

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