Teacup Anemone™ wax vine. Photo by: Proven Winners

Not many houseplants give you both attractive foliage and fragrant flowers, which is why the hoya plant has become a favorite of many indoor gardeners. Often called wax plant because of its thick, waxy leaves, this trailing tropical vine looks just as beautiful cascading from a container as it does climbing a trellis or other vertical support.

Although hoyas are commonly grown for their gorgeous foliage—which comes in a wide range of colors and forms—it’s a real treat when they decide to bloom and flaunt their showy clusters of perfect porcelain-like flowers. And when given the proper care, many hoyas are exceptionally long-lived and can become lasting additions to your indoor plant collection.

On this page: Basics | Growing Tips | Care | Varieties | Common Problems | FAQs

On this page:


Botanical name:

Hoya spp. and hybrids

Common names:

Hoya, wax plant, wax vine, porcelain flower, honey plant, Hindu rope plant


Native to eastern Asia and Australia

Care level:


Growth rate:


Light requirements:

Bright, indirect light


Can trail or climb up to 4 feet or more


Semi-succulent leaves may be lancelate, almond-shaped or heart-shaped, in colors ranging from medium green to multicolored flecked or variegated patterns.


Produces rounded clusters of tiny star-shaped flowers with white, pink or red petals and rosy pink to maroon centers. Each cluster may include as many as 30 blooms. Depending on the variety, the scent can range from citrusy to intensely sweet, and some even smell like chocolate!

Special attributes:

  • Has low water needs
  • Purifies the air by filtering out impurities
  • Does not need frequent repotting or pruning
  • Non-toxic to people and pets


Where to grow:

Most Hoya prefer the bright, indirect sunlight of a south-, west- or east-facing window. Some direct early morning or late afternoon sun is okay, and may help to promote flowering. But avoid too much sun, which can scorch or discolor the leaves.

Temperature and humidity:

Hoya thrive in a warm and humid environment, like they are accustomed to in their native tropical habitat, with temperatures ranging from 60° to 85° F and humidity levels of 40% or higher. You can help boost the humidity by using a humidifier, misting the leaves, or keeping your plant on a pebble tray. Avoid exposing your hoya to extreme temperature fluctuations or cold drafts, which can stress the plant and cause the leaves to drop. See more houseplants that thrive in humidity.

Soil type:

Use a well-draining potting mix amended with perlite and orchid bark, or buy a preblended hoya potting mix. Because hoyas are epiphytes (plants that attach themselves to another plant for support), they feed off of nutrients in the air, so a light and airy mix is essential.

Pot requirements:

Always grow your hoya in a pot with holes at the bottom for good drainage, since the roots are very sensitive to overly wet soil. For better air flow, consider putting your plant in an unglazed porous container made of clay or terracotta.

Pot of Gold hoya plant. Photo by: Proven Winners



Because hoyas are semi-succulent and store water in their leaves, they don’t need frequent watering and can tolerate a bit of neglect. Generally, you only need to water them every 10 to 14 days, or whenever the top few inches of soil feel dry. In the winter, when your plant isn’t actively growing, you can water more sparingly.

At every watering, thoroughly soak the soil and allow the excess water to drain out completely. The worst mistake you can make is to overwater, which can result in root rot and yellowing of the foliage.


Fertilize your hoya monthly when it is actively growing or flowering using a general-purpose houseplant fertilizer diluted to half strength or a light application of worm compost. Stop fertilizing during the winter months, when plant growth slows.


Hoya tend to be slow growers, but occasionally they may need light a pruning to control their size and prevent them from getting leggy. Cut the vines just above a leaf node, being careful not to snip off the short stalks, or spurs, where the flowers emerge. Blooms grow from the same spurs year after year, so removing them will delay the development of new flowers.


From stem cuttings, rooted in soil or water. (*See note below on propagating patented plants—check your plant tags for ® or ™ symbols next to the plant name).


Hoyas don’t mind being potbound and will actually bloom more prolifically if they are snug in their quarters. Typically, you can wait 3 years or longer before moving a hoya to a new container, but you can repot sooner if you see roots poking through the pot’s drainage holes. Choose a new container no more than 2 inches wider in diameter than the current one, and fill it with fresh potting mix before transplanting.

Pests and diseases:

Keep an eye out for common houseplant pests, especially mealybugs and spider mites. Hoyas are also prone to root rot, especially if overwatered.


Swipe to view slides

Photo by: Proven Winners

Hoya rosita

A stunning hoya hybrid featuring elongated green leaves edged in maroon. If you give this plant exposure to morning or late afternoon sun, the foliage color will deepen to a rich bronze-red. On the occasions that it blooms, Adrift™ will display pretty umbels of red, waxy flowers with bright yellow tips.

Mature height: 12 to 24 inches

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Photo by: Proven Winners

'Green Light'
Hoya carnosa

A gorgeous tricolor hoya featuring cream-colored leaves with green margins, accented by splashes of pink. If conditions are right, it will produce sweetly scented clusters of waxy pink flowers with bright red centers. Be careful not to cut away the spent flower spurs, since this rebloomer produces new flowers on the same spurs every year.

Mature height: 12 to 24 inches

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Photo by: Proven Winners

'Pot of Gold'
Hoya latifolia

Features beautiful emerald-green leaves heavily splashed with golden-green. For the best variegation, grow in bright indirect light. Like other epiphytes, this hoya should be allowed to dry out between waterings.

Mature height: 12 to 24 inches

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Photo by: Proven Winners

Teacup Anemone™
Hoya fitchii

This charming hoya is named for its clusters of porcelain-like, coral pink flowers that resemble tiny sea anemones. Green leaves enhanced by intricate veining make this plant a showstopper, even when not in bloom.

Mature height: 12 to 24 inches

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Photo by: Proven Winners

'Freckled Splash'
Hoya carnosa

Large, almond-shaped leaves are heavily splashed with silver flecking, which becomes even more pronounced when this plant is given plenty of bright, indirect light. Fun fact: The silvery freckles are actually caused by tiny air pockets that get trapped within the leaf's cuticle.

Mature height: 12 to 24 inches

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Photo by: noypb / Shutterstock

Sweetheart Hoya
Hoya kerrii

Named for its large heart-shaped leaves, this unusual hoya is often sold as a single, rooted leaf cutting that has no node or growing point to form new foliage. The result is a plant that remains compact, even after years of growth. If you prefer a vining heart-leafed hoya, look for a plant with multiple leaves.

Mature height: Single-leaf plants stay about 5 inches tall, while those that vine can climb or trail up to 13 feet.

Photo by: Ana-Maria Tegzes

Hindu Rope Plant
Hoya carnosa 'Compacta'

One of the most popular hoya varieties, known for its thick, furled dark green leaves that give it a twisty rope-like appearance. Spectacular when in bloom, displaying dense clusters of tiny star-shaped pink flowers that grow all along the roping vines.

Mature height: Can climb or trail to 6 feet or longer


How do I encourage hoyas to flower?

Under ideal conditions, Hoya will bloom every spring and summer, although it may take 2 to 3 years for some hoyas to reach maturity and produce flowers. If your hoya isn’t blooming, move your plant to a location where it receives several hours of direct morning or late afternoon sunlight daily. If you can’t provide enough natural light, try supplementing with a full-spectrum LED grow light. Keeping your plant tightly root-bound can also stimulate blooming, so don’t repot too often.

Can I grow hoyas outdoors?

If you live in zones 10-12, where hoyas are evergreen perennials, you can grow them outdoors year-round, as long as the temperatures don’t drop below 50° F. In colder climates, it’s fine to move your hoya plant outdoors for the summer months once nighttime temperatures warm to the 60s or above, bringing it back indoors when the temperatures drop in the fall. When growing a hoya outdoors, place it in a partially shaded location. Exposure to too much direct sunlight, especially during the hottest parts of the day, can burn the foliage.

Do hoyas prefer to climb or hang?

They are happy either way, so the choice is yours. You can train your plants to twine around a vertical support, such as a trellis or moss pole, or drape them from a hanging basket or other container. Although most hoya vines will get quite long, you can double them back if you want to give your plant a denser appearance.

How long does a hoya plant live?

Hoyas have an impressive lifespan compared to other houseplants, living 30 years or longer under optimal conditions. If you give your hoya everything it needs to thrive, this resilient houseplant will grace you with its beauty for a long time to come.

*REGARDING PROPAGATION: When it comes to propagating patented plants, there are strict rules in place prohibiting reproduction or propagation of these plants in any way. This means you can't reproduce them (even for use in your own garden), sell them, or bring them into the country without permission. The law does not make exceptions for what some might consider minor infringements. Any unauthorized use of patented plants is considered an infringement.


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