Hoya Carnosa Compacta – Everything You Need To Know (Growth, Care, Propagation and Problems)

If you are searching for a low-care plant or a good care guide for the Hoya Carnosa Compacta, then this article is for you!

Won’t it look good, if you have a flowering plant indoors? Even I felt amazing when I first got my indoor plant. Later I realized the difficulty in maintaining indoor plants being a beginner. I somehow managed to provide it with the proper care and helped it thrive in the later times.

Did you know the Hoya Carnosa Compacta plant is one of the most easily maintained plants that are available in almost all (reputed) plant stores?

So, I suggest the Hoya Carnosa Compacta to beginners who are about to start their gardening. This plant is beginner-friendly and looks beautiful. 

In this article, we are going to discuss how to care for this plant, the methods of propagation, and the common problems faced by the plant. Before knowing the care guide for this plant, let us know some facts about this plant!

Some facts about Hoya Carnosa Compacta!

Some facts about Hoya Carnosa Compacta!

The Hoya Carnosa Compacta plants are the natives of the Himalayas in India. They are one of the flowering species of the Hoya genus of the Apocynaceae family or the Dogbane family. These plants have waxy leaves and flowers that make the plant look unique. The common names of this plant are the Hindu rope plant, wax plant, porcelain flower, Krinkle kurl, angel rope, and e.t.c. These vining plants are suitable to grow indoors as well as outdoors if you provide enough care. These plants are often used to decorate homes. In addition to that, they improve the air quality in your home.

HeightThese vining plants can crawl up to 15 to 20 feet heights. When grown in its favorable (wild) conditions. But the Indoors Hoya Carnosa Compacta plants can hardly reach up to 7 to 8 feet.
WidthGenerally, the Hoya plants have 0.50 to 1 feet width. The width of the plant depends on the position of the plant. The plant when hung to the ceiling has a width and this plant supported by a stalk will have another width if you leave your Hoya Carnosa Compacta without any support. 
FoliageThe foliage of this plant is bright green and is curled which enhances the look of the plant. They are thick and have a smooth texture and often look like artificial ones.
FlowersStar-shaped baby pink colored flowers which emit a sweet smell can be considered the main aspect that promotes the beauty of the plant. The flowers of these plants are produced round in clusters at the new leaf nodes and peduncles. Each umbel of the flowers can contain at least 30 to 50 flowers.
FragranceThe flowers of the Hoya Carnosa Compacta plants are chocolate-scented.
ToxicityThese plants are non-toxic. There is no evidence that these plants cause harm to humans or animals. But it is better to avoid the intake of these plant parts as they are not for ingestion. Also, use gardening gloves while dealing with this plant as the sap of this plant might cause skin irritation to allergic people.
GrowthThe Hoya Carnosa Compacta plant’s growth depends on the care you provide for it and on the environmental conditions it is living in. Generally, these plants are fast-growing plants. You can observe moderate to fast growth of your plant.
Growing periodFrom the early spring to the late summer, the Hoya plants grow faster and increase their productivity. The Hoya Carnosa Compacta is not an exception to this. 
DormancyThe Hoya Carnosa Compacta plant undergoes dormancy in the winter season or when the temperature falls too low.

How do you care for the Hoya Carnosa Compacta plants?

The Hoya Carnosa Compacta plants are low-care plants and thrive with normal care. Dealing with plants can be too easy if you provide proper care at the right time. So, let us drive into the brief care guide of this nice-looking plant!

1. Sunlight requirements of the Hoya Carnosa Compacta!

Sunlight requirements of the Hoya Carnosa Compacta!

Being a native to the tropical region, the Hoya Carnosa Compacta loves sunlight. But direct sunlight may burn the sensitive foliage of this plant. This plant thrives in bright indirect sunlight. They originated in the Himalayas where they were grown under the canopy of tall trees. They creep up the trees and get a mere amount of sunlight through the leaves. Thus, they should not be exposed to direct sunlight for a long time. 

Overexposure to direct sunlight can result in dehydration which leads to curled leaves, sunburns, yellowing of the foliage e.t.c. Lack of sunlight can also cause damage to the plant. It results in a fall in the growth rate and reduces the blooming capacity of the plant. 

So provide your 5-6 hours of sunlight to boost its growth. Place the plant near a window (at 3 meters distance) but not on the window sills as there are chances of intense rays of the sun can trigger the foliage directly or through the window glass. Also, you can place the plant in any well-lit place where it is not directly exposed to the sun. You can take your plant outside to let it absorb direct sunlight in the early morning or in the evenings.

2. Watering the Hoya Carnosa Compacta!

The Hoya plants have succulent-like roots and leaves that store water in their plant cells. So, they cannot tolerate over-watering or stay in waterlogged soil for a long time. Also, they won’t thrive when dehydrated. So water your Hoya Carnosa Compacta moderately whenever the soil becomes dry. 

Overwatering or frequently watering the plant results in root rot which may lead to the plant’s death. It also causes fungal growth, droopy leaves, and yellow mushy foliage. So, avoid overwatering.

Underwatering the plant makes the foliage of the plant curly and dry. The roots get dry and may not perform their actions better. This too leads to the plant’s death.

It will take some time to understand your plant’s watering needs. Until then check the wetness of the soil before you water the plant. You can use a moisture meter for this or you can just press your finger into the soil at 2 inches depth. Water the plant only if the soil is completely dry about 2 inches. If you feel the soil is slightly wet, then delay watering it.

Remember the watering needs of the plant depend on the climatic conditions. It needs more water when the temperatures are high or when it gets more light. While the temperatures are low or in high humid conditions it needs less water. 

3. Soil mix that best suits this plant!

Soil mix that best suits this plant!

The Hoya Carnosa Compacta plant should be planted in well-draining light soil to reduce the chances of root rot. We’ve already discussed that the root system of the Hoya plants is sensitive and can easily get rotten. So, the well-draining soil mix which drains the excess water out from the pot best suits the plant. 

Never use heavy soil that holds water for a long time. Also, compact soils which retain waterlogged for a long time are not the best choice for your Hoya Carnosa Compacta. These plants thrive in slightly acidic soil. So, the pH of the soil must be between 6.0 to 7.0. Remember, if the acidity increases in the soil, it may burn the roots. Using organic soil mix for planting this plant is the best. 

You can buy well-draining soil mix in the nurseries nearby or the online plant stores, but if you can’t afford the best quality mix, then let me share with you my recipe for well-draining soil mix, which I’ve learned during my research for this plant and found it performing well. Mix a portion of orchid bark, a portion of perlite, and a portion of peat moss into two portions of the normal household soil. You add a little amount of coarse soil or small pieces of gravel to make it more well-draining. 

Some gardeners mix pine bark in making a well-draining soil mix, according to their availability. This mix is not only a well-draining mix but also nutrient-rich as it contains organic matter in it. You can also mix cactus mix and normal soil in equal quantities to make a well-draining soil mix at home.  

4. Potting the Hoya Carnosa Compacta!

Potting the Hoya Carnosa Compacta!

Potting is included in the care guides of a plant. Because the pot becomes the home of the plant until you repot it. The pot should be suitable for the plant’s growth, otherwise, your plant may not be happy and might face some problems. You need to select a better pot for planting your Hoya Carnosa Compacta. The material of the pot, the size of the pot, and the drainage system of the pot have significance in maintaining the plant’s health. Let me explain to you in detail!

a) The material of the pot

Clay pots, terracotta pots, and ceramic pots that are not glazed are best suited for the Hoya Carnosa Compacta. Because they have porous walls which allow the passage of the air into the soil and the root system. Thus, firstly the soil which is in contact with the pot gets dry quickly later the aeration helps in draining out the excess water present in the soil. Thus they prevent root rot and promote plant health.

b) The size of the pot

The size of the pot must be 2 inches larger than the root ball of the plant. If the pot is too large, it needs more soil mix to get filled and more soil mix holds more water. This will take a lot of time to get dry. In this case, the roots absorb more water than the necessary amount, which causes root rot and other such diseases.

c) The drainage system of the pot

The drainage system of the pot plays a crucial role in the plant’s survival. Because the drainage system is responsible for draining out the excess water in the pot. If it fails to do that, the soil becomes waterlogged and this leads to root rot. So, select a pot with a good drainage system. It is better if the pot has at least 5-6 small drainage holes for better performance.

Process of the potting:

  • Take the selected pot and fill a layer of it with gravel to allow the free passage of the excess water and to avoid the blockage of the drainage holes.
  • Fill the second layer of the pot with a suitable soil mix and place the plant.
  • Add some soil on the sides of the plant to support it.
  • Then place the soil on the top and water it slightly.
  • Place the plant in a suitable place to encourage its growth.

5. Repotting Hoya Carnosa Compacta!

Repotting Hoya Carnosa Compacta!

Like any other species of the Hoya plants, Hoya carnosa Compacta too loves to grow pot-bound and root-bound roots which help in producing more flowers. But, being a caretaker of that plant, you should not leave the plant in the same pot for more than 2-3 years. Because the sensitive roots of the plant are prone to root rot which damages the plant badly and can’t be treated easily. 

On the other side, repotting the plant with fresh soil mix helps in supplying enough nutrients for the plant, as the old soil becomes futile. In addition to that, repotting helps to encourage root growth by adding some space. So, repot your plant every 2-3 years to promote the growth of your plant.

The main thing to remember is to repot your plant only in the growing season, as it helps the plant to withstand the shock of transplantation. Never repot your plant in winter, because it causes stress in the plant as it is in its dormancy period. However, you can repot it if it is suffering from root rot. 

Use a 2 inches larger pot than the old pot to allow the spread of the roots, make sure that the pot is clean. You can even sterilize it before filling it. Use a fresh soil mix for repotting. It is better to dampen the soil before you pull out the plant from the old pot. Remember to remove the old soil that is stuck to the roots. Follow the potting process to complete the repotting. Place it back in the same place after repotting. Keep an eye on it until it starts to grow normally.

6. Fertilizing the Hoya Carnosa Compacta!

Fertilizing the Hoya Carnosa Compacta!

These plants do not need much fertilization to thrive. But the potted Hoya Carnosa Compacta plants should be fertilized in their growing season to boost their growth. Because the soil in their pot loses nutrients by supplying them to the plant in a short period. Then the plant might not get enough nutrition to increase its productivity in its growing season. So feed your plant in its growing season to encourage growth. 

Feeding the plant in the growing period not only helps in improving the growth rate but also reduces the stress in the plant due to fertilization. Avoid fertilization in the dormant period of the plant as it leads to too much stress in the plant, and may lead to the burning of the roots. 

Having a sensitive root system, the plant should not be overfed. Because the over-fertilization may burn the roots of the plant. It also causes stress in the plant and results in stunted growth. The leaves of the plant can turn brown in this case. So, read the instructions before you feed the plant. Use mild fertilizers or diluted liquid fertilizers to feed this plant. Never use strong fertilizers for this plant.

On the other side, lack of fertilization can cause the leaf drop, droopy leaves, and stems, slow growth, and e.t.c. So, fertilize your plant once in 20 days of its growing period. Your plant will thrive if it gets organic food, but you can also feed it with chemical fertilizers that won’t hurt your plant’s roots. NPK fertilizers help the plant in improving its productivity in all aspects. It also delays the blooming period of the plant.

7. Ideal temperature ranges for growing the Hoya Carnosa Compacta!

This Himalayan Hoya Carnosa Compacta is a native of India, where the climate is a little hot. But, in the Himalayan mountains, these plants can be grown in moderate temperatures. This made the plant stand in the list of the best indoor plants. 

The Hoya Carnosa Compacta plants thrive in temperatures between 65 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and at night the plant needs 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. The temperatures above or below this range will affect the plant’s growth. Higher temperatures can cause dehydration in the plant and the lower temperatures will cause stunted growth. 

8. The suitable humidity level in which the Hoya Carnosa Compacta thrives!

The suitable humidity level in which the Hoya Carnosa Compacta thrives!

The Hoya Carnosa Compacta plant loves to be in humid conditions. As these plants have shiny and waxy leaves they need a little more humidity than many other indoor plants. This plant adapts to the humidity in the home where you can observe 40 to 60 % humidity. Otherwise, the plant might face some problems If you are in dry places try misting it by placing the plant on a humidity tray. Remember high humidity levels are also not good for maintaining the plant’s good health.

9. Pruning the Hoya Carnosa Compacta!

Pruning is not mandatory if it is grown in the wild (or outdoors in a shade). But, the indoor Hoya Carnosa Compacta plants might need some trimming at least once or twice a year. Because they grow leggy stems that could make the plant look ugly. Pruning is not just for maintaining the beauty of the plant but it also plays a role in saving the plant’s energy. 

Potted plants may not get enough nutrients to support them in thriving. So, it tends to save its energy by dropping off its leaves and stopping its growth e.t.c. in its dormancy period to store its energy for the coming growing season. So, prune the leggy stem or the unwanted stems of the plant after its dormancy. 

If the plant is pruned in the growing season, it thrives even more. Remember, don’t do this in the winter, as pruning in its dormancy may lead to shock which results in stunted growth in the plant. You can prune the dead leaves and stems any time in the year.

Never prune the new leaf nodes and old flowers where you can observe new flowering. Always wear gloves while pruning this plant, as the sap of this plant may cause skin irritations to allergic people. Use sharp scissors for pruning. Avoid mushing the stem to avoid fungal growth at the wound.

Common problems faced by the Hoya Carnosa Compacta!

The most common problems that are faced by Hoya Compacta plants are root rot and pests such as mealybugs or spider mites. With the leaves being so curly and thick it is easy for pests like mealybugs and spider mites to go undetected for a while. 

By the time you notice these pests in the Hoya Carnosa Compacta plant, it can be too late because they have done so much damage. Make sure to inspect your beloved plants regularly especially when you notice any kind of pests. 

1. Pest attacks faced by the Hoya Carnosa Compacta plant!

a) Mealybugs

These are the small and white insects that grow in the undersides of the plant. They suck up the nutrient-rich plant’s sap and cause dehydration in the plant.

b) Spider mites

They are minute and are usually in red to live on the plant’s fluids for their survival. They can easily spread to new plants.

c) Scale

If you observe small brown-colored insects on the leaves and stems of the plant then it is called scales. They suck the plant’s fluids and make the plant dry and brown.

d) Aphids

These insects are also small and lie on the backside of the leaves and live on the plant’s sap.

Ways to treat the pests:

  • Take a cotton ball and dip it in rubbing alcohol and wipe the infected parts of the plant. This helps a lot in treating insects.
  • Apply neem oil to the plant to avoid the growth and spread of pests on the surface of it.
  • Spray soap-water to the affected parts of the plant.
  • Use mild pesticides if the pest attack is more, remember, strong pesticides can burn the sensitive parts of the plant.

2. Diseases that trouble the Hoya Carnosa Compacta!

Although these plants are hard ones, they too get troubled by some problems. Let us know some of the common problems.

a) Root rot

The roots of this plant get rotten if the plant is overwatered, frequently watered, potted in improper soil that does not dry quickly, or in a pot with a poor drainage system. It can be treated by pruning off the infected part and transplanting it to a fresh and suitable soil mix. You can prevent root rot if you make sure that the soil is dry between the waterings. Usage of suitable soils and suitable pots.

b) Yellowing foliage

The foliage of the plants turns yellow if the plant is overwatered, underwatered, lacks sunlight or overexposure to the sunlight, or over-fertilization can cause this situation. You can treat it only by supplying enough care for your Hoya Carnosa Compacta. The plant needs your attention if the foliage of the plant becomes mushy and yellow as it is a sign of root rot.

c) Fungal or bacterial growth

Fungal growth can be observed in the soil or on the foliage of the plant. It is due to the storage of the excess water in the soil mix or on the surface of the leaves for a long time. Change the soil if it is emitting a foul smell. In his case, the roots might also get affected. Prune the infected leaves if the fungus has grown on the leaves. You can also use fungicides to treat the plant.

d) Browning of foliage

If the leaves of the plant are dry and brown, then it might be due to dehydration, high temperatures, over-sun exposure, or over-fertilization. You may not recover the damaged leaves but can prevent this in the future if you care for your plant properly. You can observe the leaves are mushy and brown spots on the plant, this is a kind of fungal growth. Prune away the most affected parts and use fungicides to treat the less affected parts.

e) Sunburns

Overexposure to the sun or over-fertilization can cause sunburns in the plant. It cannot be treated but can be prevented in the future by avoiding the plant from getting direct sunlight and reducing the frequency or amount of fertilization.

f) Leaf-drop

The leaves of the plant might fall off when they become old. It is normal if the plant loses 4-5 bottom leaves in a period. You can also observe leaf fall in the winter. It is quite normal. But if the plant is losing the new leaves even in the growing season then it is due to dehydration or stress in the plant. Follow this article to avoid this.

g) Fall in the growth rate of the plant

Stress causes the slow growth of the plant. The stress may be due to root rot, dehydration, over-pruning, over-fertilization, fertilization in winter, or even due to lack of fertilization. Enough caring at the right time will help the plant to boost its growth.

h) Stunted growth

If you ignore the fall of the plant’s growth, it may result in stunted growth. Read this care guide to provide enough care for your plant and your care will make the plant thrive.

i) Stopped flowering

Flowering can be observed only in the growing season. Your plant will not produce flowers in its dormancy. Improper care can stop the flowering in the growing season. The common reasons for this case are lack of sunlight and lack of fertilization. Let the plant get enough light and fertilization in the growing season to observe flowering in your Hoya Carnosa Compacta.

How to propagate the Hoya Carnosa Compacta plant?

Propagating the hoya plants is not a hard task. You can propagate them by seeds, stem cuts, leaf cuts, layering, and air layering processes but, I prefer to go with the stem cuts or leaf cuts as propagation through this is easy, need not be too attentive, and cost-free. 

Also, different mediums support the propagation of the plant’s cuttings like water, sphagnum, perlite, and soil. But propagating them in the soil is better and needs less attention. So, let me now discuss how I propagate my hoya plants!

Propagation through the cuttings!

  • To increase the chances of propagation, take at least 4-5 cuttings from the plant (it may be leaves or stems). Make sure that they are healthy and mature.
  • If you are propagating through stems, cut the bottom stems of the plant as they can produce the roots fastly.
  • Always use sharp scissors to cut the plant. Avoid mushing the plant, as it can lead to fungal growth in that area.
  • Let the wound of the cutting heal before you start propagating. It might take a day.
  • Now apply the rooting hormone to the dried wound of cutting to boost the root growth. It is okay to skip this step if you don’t have the rooting hormone.
  • Place the stem in a pot with damp soil and place it in a bright place.
  • Maintain the moisture level of the soil to fasten the root growth.
  • The root growth starts in 2-3 weeks and thus you can observe the new growth in the newly propagated plant in the next following days.
  • Then you can transplant the plants into different pots.


The Hoya carnosa compacta is a lovely plant that steals the heart of plant lovers at its first look. The foliage and the flowers of this plant look special in your home garden. It enhances your interior if you place them indoors. Providing minimum care to this plant is worthwhile. 

It qualifies the air in the home and spreads a nice aroma. Your care for your plant will help it to thrive and it rescues the plant from trouble-shooting problems in the plant. 

I hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about this fabulous houseplant. If you have any more questions or want to know something specific about your Hoya Carnosa Compacta, reach out to us. We’d be more than happy to help make your plant journey as easy as possible. Also, don’t forget to share this article with your friends and family. Keep loving your plants, goodbye!

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