Hoya Carnosa Variegata – How to Grow and Care

Are you looking for an attractive plant that enhances your interior?

Searching for a vining plant that climbs up a stand in your greenhouse? Dreaming of getting a gorgeous plant that produces fragrant flowers in your living room?

If you have these questions in your mind, then you are at the right place! Of course, I will suggest a plant that matches your needs. Trust me, Hoya carnosa is the perfect plant to bring home!

Did you know Hoya Carnosa is one of the most beautiful beginner-friendly house plants which can be maintained with low care?

In addition to that, it produces pinkish-white fragrant flowers and nice-looking leaves. Moreover, it can be propagated easily. Thus, it stands first on my favorite houseplants list. Let us know more about this plant.

In this article, I will be discussing how to grow, care and propagate Hoya Carnosa plants at home easily. I will also give you some tips so that you can maintain your plant healthy at home. So, without much further delay, let’s start with an introduction to the Hoya carnosa plant!

About Hoya Carnosa Variegata!

Hoya carnosa is a member of the Hoya genus that belongs to the Apocynaceae family. It is one of the 100 and above flowering species of the genus. This plant is known for its patience, it tolerates negligence. So, many beginners begin their gardening with this plant. Although it can be found in many plant stores nowadays, it is a native of Eastern Asia and some places in Australia. It loves to be in tropical places. The leaves of these plants have succulent-like characteristics. Also, its flowers resemble wax and porcelain flowers thus they are often commonly called wax plants, wax flowers, and porcelain flowers.

How to propagate the Hoya Carnosa Variegata plant at home?

You can propagate this beautiful plant through their seeds, cutting, and also by layering. Let us discuss them in detail!

1. Propagating Hoya Carnosa Variegata from seeds

  • Firstly get some seeds of the plant, you can buy them in any plant store or you can collect them from any mother Hoya carnosa plants. 
  • Prepare a pot with good drainage, by filling suitable soil mix(we will discuss it further) for propagation.
  • Sow the seeds of the plant in the soil mix. Make sure to leave at least 1-2 inches of gap between any two seeds.
  • Water it and make sure that the soil is always moist until a small plant starts from it.
  • It will take some time depending on the climatic conditions to see the seedlings. 
  • Propagating Hoya Carnosa with seeds may be a long process, but it is an easy process.

2. Propagation of Hoya Variegata plant through Stem cuttings

It is the fastest and easiest method of propagating Hoya plants. 

  • Sterilize your sharp gardening scissors for cutting the stem. Cut the stem gently, avoid mushing it. Make sure that the stem is at least 5-10 inches long.
  • Remove all the lower leaves of the cutting.
  • You can propagate the stem in water, soil sphagnum, and in perlite. 
  • If you are planning to propagate it in the water medium, then place it in a jar of water. You can apply liquid rooting hormone at the end of the cutting before you dip it in the water to encourage root growth.
  • In 2-4 weeks you can observe the root growth if the jar is transparent.
  • If you like to propagate the stem in soil, then apply the rooting hormone and put the stem into the soil mix. After 2-4 weeks, you can change the pot of the newly propagated plant. Keep the soil moist to encourage root growth.
  • Follow the same process for perlite or sphagnum medium propagation.

3. Propagation of Hoya Carnosa Variegata plant through Layering methods

You can also propagate this plant through the layering process.

  • Select a mature and old stem for this process. It is better to use a bottom stem that allows the root growth quickly.
  • Make a wound for at least 2 inches to the stem using a sharp knife.
  • Gently bend the stem and put it into the pot with fresh soil.
  • Secure it, by placing a stone on the stem. 
  • It can root within 1-2 weeks. Later you can separate the stem from the mother plant.
  • If you want to propagate it through air layering, then after making a wound to the stem, cover it with Sphagnum and wrap it with a plastic cover to maintain humidity. You can cut the stem from the mother plant if you see the roots growing from the wound.
  • Place it in a pot filled with well-drained soil mix.

How to care for the Hoya Carnosa Variegata plant at home?

Hoya Carnosa plants thrive with low care. To maintain a healthy plant, you should provide minimum care to let it survive. So, provide enough care for your plant. Don’t worry, now I will guide you on how to care for your Hoya Carnosa plant in detail. So, make sure to follow all of my guidelines so that you can have healthy growing hoya carnosa plants at home!

1. Sunlight requirements of Hoya Carnosa Variegata plant

Hoya plants thrive in bright indirect sunlight and these species are not an exception to that. Being tropical plants, these Hoya Carnosas love to be in warm and dry climates. So, placing them near the windows that source only indirect light will help the plant’s growth. The sensitive foliage of the Hoya Carnosa plants cannot tolerate direct sunlight and may cause sunburns.

So, avoid placing them outdoors under the hot sun. Instead, you can place them in shade outside your house. Remember your plant needs at least 2 to 4 hours of bright indirect sunlight to thrive. Otherwise, these hardy plants may survive but you cannot observe their fast growth.

2. How to water Hoya Carnosa Variegata plant

Hoya Carnosa plants are well-known for their drought resistance. So, it is better not to follow a schedule for watering this beautiful plant. Water your Hoya Carnosa only when the soil becomes dry. Check the moisture of the soil by poking your finger into the soil mix. If you feel that the soil is dry about an inch deeper, then give your plant a good drink. Water it until the remaining water after fulfilling the soil and roots, drains out of the drainage holes. Don’t water it if the soil is wet.

Using a moisture meter is also a good idea. Remember when you water your plant, water it slowly to let the whole soil mix and the root system absorbs the water. Also, it will not disturb the soil. Many species of Hoya plants prefer tap water, but these plants are an exception to that. They are sensitive to the chlorine content present in tap water. So, leave the tap water for at least a day to water your plant.

You can use distilled water, filter water, or even rainwater to water your plant. Keep in mind that both overwatering and underwatering can damage the plant. During winters the plant needs less water as it undergoes dormancy and in the growing season. Your plant needs a little more water to encourage it.

3. Suitable Range of temperature and Humidity required for Hoya Carnosa Variegata plant

Being one of the best indoor plants, hoya carnosa plants grow well at room temperature. These plants love to stay in rooms with a temperature range of 60-80 degrees Fahrenheit, the more will cause dehydration in plants which results in drying the plant and eventually the plant’s death. High temperatures prevent blooming which results in droopy leaves and turning plants yellow. Low temperatures or temperatures below the suitable range will make the plant dormant.

The plant stops its growth if the temperatures fall below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. To maintain the plant in the suitable temperature range.

While we talk about humidity, again the plant wants to stay in the humidity level present in a house. That means the plant needs to stay in 40% humidity.

4. Soil mix required for Hoya Carnosa Variegata plant

Hoya Carnosa needs to be planted in a well-draining soil mix because the roots of this plant are sensitive and can easily get rotten in the waterlogged soil. It needs the soil mix that allows the passage of air to the roots so that the roots absorb enough oxygen for their growth.

Never use compact soils for planting Hoya Carnosas. A well-draining soil mix should contain peat, perlite, orchid bark, and sandy soil. Normal household soils take a lot of time to become dry, meanwhile, this waterlogged soil will damage the roots of the plant. Also in waterlogged soils, you can observe fungal growth.

5. Fertilization requirement of Hoya Carnosa Variegata plant

Hoya Carnosa plants may not need heavy feeding to thrive. But fertilizing once or twice a year, during its growing season boosts its growth and helps it in producing more flowers. Use mild fertilizers to feed your plant. Diluting the fertilizer is also a better idea.

Do not over-fertilize the plant, as it may burn the roots, frequent fertilization results in the same. So, follow the instructions given on the container of the fertilizer. Avoid fertilizing these plants during winter, as it is the season of dormancy, the plant undergoes stress if it is fertilized.

6. Potting and repotting requirement of Hoya Carnosa Variegata plant

Hoya Carnosa plants love to stay in dry and warm conditions. They have sensitive roots that are prone to root rots. So, it is better to use a pot that allows the soil to dry quickly. So, the pot must have a good drainage system, it should not be a large pot that contains more soil that holds a lot of water and also is made up of clay suited for these plants. Since they allow aeration through their walls. It not only makes the soil that is in contact with the walls dry but also supplies oxygen to the roots and thus encourages the growth of the plant.

While you start the process of potting, keep in mind that the pot should be filled with a layer of gravel or pieces of bricks at the bottom to avoid clogging. Then fill a layer of soil mix then place the plant. To support the plant, fill the remaining soil mix at the sides and top of the plant.

Repot your plant every 2-3 years. The roots of the plant like to be pot-bound for a while but leaving it like that for a long time results in root rot and other such problems. While you repot your plant, change the soil, get a 1-2 inch larger pot and use clean gardening equipment.

Water the plant lightly before you pull the plant out of the old pot which helps to loosen the soil around the roots and can avoid damaging the root system. Follow the same process which you did while potting it.

7. Pruning required for Hoya Carnosa Variegata plant

Hoya Carnosa plants do not need pruning. However, you can prune them for maintaining the height of the plant. Remember, this plant does not tolerate heavy pruning. Also, avoid pruning the new growth of the plant as it may produce flowers.

You can prune the older leaves or stems. It is better to cut the dried flowers and dead leaves of the plant to save its energy. Also prune the infected parts of the plant, if any. You can propagate the pruned stems to increase your hoya Carnosa plants. If you are not doing that then gently throw them out do not keep them aside.

8. Common pests and diseases can occur to the Hoya Carnosa Variegata plant

Although the Hoya plants are hardy, sometimes, they may get attacked by some pests or feel sick, but don’t worry, you can save them if you observe their problem at the start.

While talking about the pests, mealybugs, aphids, spider mites and scales are the most common insects that attack this plant. These insects suck the plant’s sap and cause dehydration thus it eventually leads to the plant’s death.

Try picking them to throw out, if it is not possible, apply neem oil to the affected part to get rid of these infestations, you can spray soap water or wipe the affected part with rubbing alcohol to save your plant from this problem. If all your trails are futile, then use mild pesticides to save your plant.

Diseases like root rot, droopy leaves, stopped growth, absence of flowering, and all such diseases are due to improper care habits, you can save your plant by taking immediate actions soon after observing it. Read this article completely to know the care needs of your plant.

Fungal infections which are caused due to overwatering can be treated only after changing the soil mix. Be attentive to the plant to avoid diseases causing the plant’s death.

Tips to maintain your Hoya Carnosa Variegata healthy!

If you follow the advice that I have given in this article, I can help you to maintain a healthy Hoya Carnosa plant. Now, I will give some common tips to keep your plant healthy and also boost its growth. Let’s check it out!

  • Place your plants near south-facing windows to get bright but indirect sunlight. It is much better than placing the plant under plant lights. Do not open the windows during the afternoons of the hot summer to avoid the direct sun rays damaging the foliage of the plant.
  • Touch the soil or poke the soil mix an inch deep to know its wetness. Water the plant only if you feel the soil is dry. 
  • Use unglazed clay pots or unfinished terracotta pots for planting your Hoya Carnosa. Avoid using plastic pots.
  • Mild fertilizers are enough for feeding these beautiful plants.
  • If the plant gets enough light (care), it will not fall sick or get affected by any pests. So, follow the “Prevention is better than cure” motto for avoiding diseased plants.
  • Your care for your plant reflects in its growth.


Hoya Carnosa plants are good-looking plants that steal our hearts with their gorgeous blooms. These plants love to be in room conditions and get adapted to the home environment within a short span. Its low care needs gave them a place in many houses. These plants love to stay in indirect, well-lit places with adequate water. Show your love to our Hoya Carnosa plant by providing enough care and it will show its love to you by thriving and producing beautiful flowers.

That’s all folks! Do you have any questions in mind? Please comment down below, I would love to answer all of your doubts. Also, please do me a favor, if you like my article, please share it on social media and also with your friends and family so that it will help me spread the hoya carnosa care tips to the masses. Also, check out my other articles too!

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  • Purnima

    She is a Forestry and Agriculture graduate with over two years of experience in designing, planting, and maintaining an indoor plant and herb garden. She is an evergreen plant lover and plant parent.

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