9 Tips on How to Care for your Hoya Carnosa

Hoya Carnosa (Hoya carnosa) or Wax Plant is a very popular houseplants. It is an easy-to-grow, hard-to-kill houseplant that is perfect for beginners since it can tolerate low light. Hoya Carnosa is a semi-succulent plant with thick, waxy leaves (hence the name Wax Plants!) If it’s happy in its environment, it will reward you with fragrant flowers year after year. Here are tips on how to care for your Hoya Carnosa.

9 Tips on How to Take Care of Your Hoya Carnosa

1. Your Hoya Carnosa Can Tolerate Low Light 

Hoya Carnosa has medium light requirements but it can tolerate low light. It is happiest in bright filtered light (use sheer curtains to filter the sunlight). Hoya Carnosa does well in an east-facing window. It will also thrive in low light but it will not flower. If you want your Wax Plant to flower, you should keep it in medium light (east-facing window). Avoid west-facing windows, since the afternoon sun will burn the leaves of your Hoya Carnosa.

2. Moderate Water is Best for Your Hoya Carnosa

Your Hoya Carnosa has moderate water requirements. Water your Hoya Carnosa when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it is time to water your Hoya Carnosa is to feel the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If it feels dry, it’s time to water your Hoya Carnosa. 

3. Get the Soil Right for Your Hoya Carnosa

Your Hoya Carnosa needs a well-draining, organic all-purpose potting mix. 

4. Fertilize Your Hoya Carnosa

Fertilize every 2 weeks during the growing season and once a month in the winter.

5. Don’t forget to Repot Your Hoya Carnosa

Repot your Hoya Carnosa when it starts to outgrow its current pot. When you repot your Hoya Carnosa, move it to a container that is 2 inches in diameter larger than the current pot. If you want your Hoya Carnosa to flower, it will flower best in a smaller pot since it prefers to be rootbound.  

6. Drainage is Essential for Your Hoya Carnosa

Good drainage is important, you don’t want your Hoya Carnosa to sit in soggy soil. Make sure there are drainage holes at the bottom of the pot. After watering your Hoya Carnosa and you see water draining out of the pot’s drainage holes, make sure you empty out the accumulated water in the saucer. Don’t let your Hoya Carnosa’s pot sit in this puddle of water. It will cause root rot!

7. Get the Temperature Right for Your Hoya Carnosa

Your Hoya Carnosa needs to have a daytime temperature of 70F to 80 Fahrenheit (21-26C). The nighttime temperature should be at 60-70 Fahrenheit (15-21 C). 

8. Hoya Carnosa Can Tolerate Dry Indoor Air

Your Hoya Carnosa is a houseplant that can tolerate dry indoor air since it is a semi-succulent.

9. Give Your Hoya Carnosa Sufficient Light for it to Flower

If you want your Hoya Carnosa to flower, it should receive sufficient sunlight. Although it will thrive in low light, it will not flower in low light. Place your Hoya Carnosa in front of an east-facing window, that is the ideal spot for it to produce its fragrant flowers.  

Hoya Carnosa
Hoya Carnosa

3 Common Hoya Carnosa Problems

The common problems for Hoya Carnosa are root rot, mealy bugs, and failure to flower.

Why are there Fluffy White Growth In Between the Leaves and Stems of Your Hoya Carnosa?

Problem: There are fluffy white growths in between the leaves and stems of your Hoya Carnosa. 


Cause: Mealybugs are causing the fluffy white growth on your Hoya Carnosa. It is a common houseplant disease. 

Solution: To get rid of mealybugs on your Hoya Carnosa, wash your plant with water. You can also use soapy water. Spraying rubbing alcohol on affected areas can also get rid of mealybugs. Horticultural oil and insecticidal soap are also effective in getting rid of mealybugs.

Check out our article on how to make your own homemade pesticides using baby shampoo: How to Make Horticultural Oil and How to Make Insecticidal Soap

Why is Your Hoya Carnosa Looks Wilted Even if the Soil is Wet?

Problem: Your Hoya Carnosa looks wilted even if the soil is wet. Check for root rot by pulling the plant out and examining the roots. If the roots of your Hoya Carnosa plant look mushy (healthy roots are firm) and the roots are gray to black in color, these are telltale signs of root rot. 

Root Rot
Root Rot

Cause: Root rot is caused by fungus and is a serious problem for your Hoya Carnosa. Root rot is a result of wet soil due to overwatering or poor drainage. 

Solution: When your Hoya Carnosa is afflicted with root rot the chance of survival is slim. Your best course of action is to throw your Hoya Carnosa out and start over with a new plant. This time don’t overwater your Hoya Carnosa and make sure there is good drainage in the pot.

Why Is Your Hoya Carnosa not Flowering?

Problem: Your Hoya Carnosa did not flower. 

Cause: One reason why your Hoya Carnosa did not flower is it is not receiving enough sunlight.

Solution: Move your Hoya Carnosa to a location with more sunlight. An east-facing window is good. 

Hoya Carnosa Houseplant Facts

NameHoya Carnosa
Scientific NameHoya carnosa
LightMedium Light
Daytime Temperature70 to 80 F (21-26C)
Night Time Temperature60 to 70 F (15-21C)
WaterModerate Water
HumidityLow Humidity
PottingWell-draining, organic, all-purpose potting mix
FertilizerFertilize every 2 weeks. Once a month in the winter.
Hoya Carnosa Houseplant Facts

Hoya Carnosa: Frequently Asked Questions

What are Other Common Names of Hoya Carnosa?

Hoya Carnosa is also called Wax Plant, Hindu Rope Plant, Honey Plant, Hoya, and Porcelain Flower.

How Can You Tell When It’s Time to Water Your Hoya Carnosa?

Water your Hoya Carnosa when the soil feels dry. The best way to tell when it’s time to water is by sticking your finger into the soil. Stick your finger in the soil 1 inch deep. If the soil feels dry, then it’s time to water your Hoya Carnosa. 

Can You Use Cold Water When Watering Your Hoya Carnosa?

Hoya Carnosa can be watered with tap water but be mindful of the water temperature that you are using to water your Hoya Carnosa. Don’t use straight cold water from the tap to water your Hoya Carnosa. Hoya Carnosa prefers cool water that is not hot and not cold. When you turn on the cold water from the faucet add a little bit of warm water. You can also get to this ideal temperature by filling a watering can or pitcher with water and leaving it out overnight until the water is at room temperature. 

What Fertilizer Should You Use for Your Hoya Carnosa?

Use liquid or powder, organic fertilizer with a higher ratio of phosphorus on your Hoya Carnosa to encourage flowering. 

How Do You Propagate Your Hoya Carnosa?

Hoya Carnosa Plant is easy to propagate. You can propagate your Hoya Carnosa plant by stem tip cutting. Below are steps on how to propagate Hoya Carnosa Plant by stem tip cutting:

1. Take a Stem Tip Cutting of your Hoya Carnosa Plant (include a node)

Pick a stem with a node. Cut below the node. You will notice milky white sap with the cuttings, be careful since if you let the sap dry, it will stain fabric. You should wipe off any sap immediately after cutting.

2. Place Hoya Carnosa Stem in Jar of Water

Place the Hoya Carnosa stem into a jar of water and wait for it to grow roots. To help it focus its energy on growing roots, make sure your stem has a maximum of 2 leaves. Cut off extra leaves as needed.
Another way to stimulate root growth is to dip your stem cutting in root hormone and plant it in moist sand. I personally prefer the jar method so you can easily see the roots come out. Know that not all stem cuttings of Hoya Carnosa will grow roots, so to be safe, cut a few stem cuttings so you will at least get one with roots.

3. Plant Stem Cutting in New Pot

Once the roots grow, plant these stem cuttings into a new pot. Water the new plant immediately after planting. Then water every 2-3 days until the roots are established.

4. Place New Hoya Carnosa Plant in a Spot with Bright Indirect Sun

Place your new Hoya Carnosa plant in a spot with bright indirect sunlight. Don’t put it in direct sunlight.

You May Be Interested In Other Low Light Loving Houseplants

Prayer Plants

Snake Plant

ZZ Plant

Dragon Tree

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