How To Grow & Care For Hoya Carnosa

Hoya Carnosa

Hoya Carnosa, commonly known as the wax plant, is a popular houseplant admired for its stunning, waxy foliage and star-shaped flowers. Native to East Asia and Australia, this evergreen perennial has a climbing habit, making it an attractive choice for hanging baskets or decorative trellises. Its elegant appearance, coupled with its manageable care requirements, has made it a beloved staple in homes worldwide.

The Hoya Carnosa’s flowers are particularly eye-catching, featuring five thick, waxy petals surrounding a star-shaped center. They often come in soft shades of pink or white and exude a delightful fragrance, especially in the evening. The leaves are equally enchanting, glossy, and succulent, adding to the plant’s overall charm.

Apart from its visual appeal, Hoya Carnosa is favored by gardeners for its resilience. It is tolerant of various growing conditions and forgiving of occasional care mistakes, making it suitable for both novice and experienced plant enthusiasts. Its care requirements are relatively straightforward, as outlined below.

Common NamesWax Plant, Porcelain Flower, Honey Plant
Botanical NameHoya Carnosa
Plant TypeEvergreen Perennial
Mature Size2 to 4 feet in length
Sun ExposureBright, indirect light
Soil TypeWell-drained, organic soil
Hardiness Zones10-11
Native AreaEast Asia, Australia

Hoya Carnosa Care

Hoya Carnosa’s care requirements are relatively simple, catering to even those who are new to houseplant gardening. It thrives in bright, indirect sunlight and prefers well-drained soil with organic matter.

Watering should be done moderately, allowing the soil to dry slightly between waterings. Over-watering can lead to root rot, so it’s crucial to ensure proper drainage. A balanced fertilizer applied during the growing season can enhance growth and flowering, but excessive feeding should be avoided.

Light Requirement for Hoya Carnosa

Hoya Carnosa thrives in bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can scorch the leaves, so it’s best placed near a window with filtered light or in an area with dappled sunlight.

Soil Requirements for Hoya Carnosa

Well-drained soil rich in organic matter suits Hoya Carnosa best. A mix of potting soil with some perlite or sand ensures proper drainage and provides the nutrients necessary for healthy growth.

Water Requirements for Hoya Carnosa

Hoya Carnosa prefers moderate watering, with the soil allowed to dry slightly between waterings. Over-watering can lead to root rot, so it’s essential to follow a thoughtful watering schedule and ensure proper drainage.

Temperature and Humidity

Hoya Carnosa enjoys a warm and humid environment. Temperatures between 60-80°F (15-27°C) are ideal. Although it can tolerate dry indoor air, higher humidity levels promote better growth and flowering.


Feeding Hoya Carnosa with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer during the growing season (spring and summer) promotes vigorous growth and blooming. It’s best to fertilize every four to six weeks, following the manufacturer’s instructions.

Pruning Hoya Carnosa

Pruning Hoya Carnosa is generally unnecessary except for shaping or removing dead or unhealthy growth. Avoid cutting the long tendrils with spent flowers, as they may bloom again in the following season.

Propagating Hoya Carnosa

Propagating Hoya Carnosa is easily done through stem cuttings. Cut a healthy stem with at least one leaf and place it in water or soil. Roots should develop within a few weeks.

How To Grow Hoya Carnosa From Seed

Growing Hoya Carnosa from seed is less common but possible. Sow the seeds in a well-draining soil mix, keep them moist, and provide warmth and indirect light.

Common Pests & Plant Diseases


Mealybugs can infest Hoya Carnosa. They can be treated with insecticidal soap or neem oil.

Common Problems With Hoya Carnosa

Yellowing Leaves

Yellowing leaves may result from over-watering. Adjust the watering routine and ensure proper drainage.

Lack of Blooming

Insufficient light or feeding can result in a lack of blooming. Place the plant in bright, indirect light and follow a proper fertilization schedule.

Pro Tips

  1. Avoid repotting frequently, as Hoya Carnosa prefers to be root-bound.
  2. Allow the soil to dry slightly between waterings to prevent over-watering issues.
  3. Use a trellis or hanging basket to display Hoya Carnosa’s beautiful trailing growth.
  4. Be patient with blooming; it might take a few years for a new plant to bloom.
  5. Maintain bright, indirect light for optimum growth and flowering.