Hoya as Houseplants: Styling and care tips

Do you have a green thumb? If not, don't worry – Hoyas make perfect houseplants for those who don't have a lot of experience with plants. In this blog post, we will discuss the different types of Hoyas, how to care for them, and what to do when they start growing new leaves. We will also give tips on styling your Hoya plants for maximum effect. So whether you're a seasoned gardener or a complete novice, read on to learn all about Hoyas as indoor plants!

Different types of Hoya plants

Hoyas also known as 'wax plant' are a type of tropical plant that is native to Asia. The wax plant gets its name from the waxy substance that covers its leaves, which helps to protect them from the harsh tropical sun. There are over 500 species in the Hoya genus, and they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes and make a great addition to any plant collection.

For example, some Hoyas have dark green waxy leaves, while others have variegated leaves with shades of pink, red, or purple.

Hoyas can be either climbers or trailers, and they typically produce flowers in clusters of small, star shaped flowers with fuzzy appearance. These clusters are called umbels. The flowers of the wax plant are small and fragrant, often described as having a sweet smell like chocolate or vanilla. Some Hoya blooms also release a sticky nectar.

Many Hoya species are popular houseplants, as they are easy to care for and can thrive in both medium-light and high-light conditions. Although Hoyas can tolerate medium light conditions, they love to bloom when they are given bright indirect light.

 Hoya also are generally not considered toxic for pets, so they make a great addition to any home with fur babies. Whether you are looking for a plant with colorful leaves to add to your home or simply wanting an easy-care option, a Hoya may be the perfect choice for you.

Hoya lacunosa bloom with white petals and yellow corona

Hoya lacunosa bloom


Hoyas varieties

Although Hoyas are flowering plants, they are mostly grown for their foliage. You can find a wide variety of leaf structure in the Hoya family - ranging from normal leaf shapes, to needle-like leaves all the way to rope shaped leaves. Listed below is a small sampling of Hoyas out there.

Hoya Carnosa:

Hoya carnosa plant is one of the most commonly found Hoya. There are a number of common carnosa species that can be found - some examples being Hoya carnosa krimson princess, Hoya krimson queen, Hoya carnosa compacta, Hoya carnosa tricolor also called Hoya tricolor. All these varieties have attractive foliage coming with various color variation. Some have a light outer border, other have an inner cream splash, and some can even have pink coloration due to sun stress.Hoya carnosa houseplant with outer variegation in a white pot

 Photo by Véronique Trudel on Unsplash

Hoya Compacta:

These plants have a very unique leaf structure, the leaf looks like strands of twisted rope. Hoya compacta also comes in various cultivars, most common being a variegated version called Hoya compacta variegata.

One strand of a trailing Hoya compactaHoya compacta vine

Hoya Curtisii:

This hoya plant has small succulent leaves that look great trailing down from a hanging basket.

Hoya Curtisii in a terracotta pot with patina

Hoya curtisii in terracotta pot 

Hoya Retusa:

Hoya Retusa has needle-like leaves that make an amazing trailing plant.

Hoya Retusa houseplant in funny robot planter

Hoya retusa in planter with a robot face

Hoya Care:

When caring for a Hoya plant, it is important to keep in mind that they like bright light that is indirect. Too much direct sunlight can cause the leaves to burn, so make sure to place your Hoya in a spot where it will receive plenty of indirect light.

Hoya wayetii. Long trailing wax plant in pot being held by a personPhoto by feey on Unsplash

Hoyas also prefer moist soil, but not wet soil. Make sure to water your plant regularly, but be careful not to over water it. A well draining soil mix will help reduce the chances of root rot. If the leaves of your Hoya start to turn yellow, it means that you are watering it too much. A custom Hoya soil recipe can be mixed using coco coir, orchid bark, potting soil and slow release fertilizer to give the plant much needed soil nutrients. Also make sure the pot has a drainage hole to drain any excess water. Letting the soil dry between watering schedule can also help keep the plant healthy.

The root system for Hoya is quite small, so they can be grown in relatively smaller pots. They also do not mind being root bound. Hoyas also love high humidity.

The right grow pot, a good quality potting mix and proper light can enable Hoyas to thrive for many years.

Many find success in growing Hoya in self watering pots or plastic pots. Terracotta isn't always ideal since the roots will attach to the porous terracotta. And when repotting, you'll have to tear the roots off. 

Propagating Hoyas

Hoyas are easy to propagate from cuttings, and can be done either in water or soil.

To propagate Hoyas from cuttings, you will need a sharp knife or scissors to cut the stem of the plant. Cut the stem about 3-4 inches below a node (the point where a leaf meets the stem).

If propagating Hoyas in water, place the cutting in a glass or jar of water and let it sit under bright light for 2-3 weeks until new roots form. Once new roots have formed, you can transplant the Hoya into soil.

Propagation set up with lots of pots and soil

Potting station with pots and propagations
If propagating Hoyas in soil, fill a pot with moist potting mix and place the cutting in the soil. Place the Hoya in ziploc bag to hold moisture. Put in a brightly lit area and wait 2-3 weeks until new roots form. 

Other mediums like perlite and spagnum moss can also be used to root the cuttings.

Hoyas are a great plants to share with your planty friends.

Common problems with Hoyas and how to solve them

Hoyas are a great plant to have in your home, but they can be susceptible to common pests.

One of the most common pests on Hoyas is mealybugs. Mealybugs are small, white, cotton-like insects that suck sap from the plant. They can be difficult to get rid of, but there are a few things you can do to help get rid of them.

One way to get rid of mealybugs is by wiping them off with a cotton ball dipped in rubbing alcohol. You can also spray the plant with an insecticidal soap or horticultural oil. Be sure to read the instructions carefully and follow all safety precautions when using any type of pesticide.

Another common pest on Hoyas is spider mites. Spider mites are tiny red or black spiders that feed on plant sap. They can be treated with pesticides as well, but often require multiple treatments to get rid of them completely.

Hoyas can also be susceptible to other types of pests like aphids, whiteflies and scale insects, so it is important to keep an eye on your plants for any signs of infestation and take action quickly if necessary.

Tips on how to style Hoya plants indoors

Hoyas can be used as decor pieces in any home. Some common ways of styling a Hoya plant are:

Trailing in a hanging pot

Hoyas make great trailing plants and they give the perfect jungle vibe to any space when grown in a hanging pot.

Huge Hoya Curtisii trailing out of a hanging potLong Hoya curtisii trailing in a hanging pot

Climbing on a trellis

Hoya plants love climbing, and adding a plant support in the form of a trellis in the pot can add some new height to the plant. And supporting a Hoya in this way can help promote more foliage growth.

A hoya with long tendrils wrapped around a trellis made by Treleaf

Hoya with Peptrella trellis from Treleaf


Climbing on a wall

Using a wall mounted trellis to support a Hoya vine can work wonders.

Hoya tricolor climbing on wall mount from Treleaf

Hoya tricolor climbing on Monstrella wall mount

Hoyas can be trained to grow in any shape, so feel free to experiment with different styling techniques. Also adding a pop of color in the form of a colorful pot or a unique trellis can do wonders for the plant aesthetic and bring your styling game up a notch.

More plant related articles:
Click here to here our tips on how to get a Hoya to bloom.
Plants with heart shaped leaves
Moss poles vs Wooden Planks as Plant Support
DIY Houseplant trellis idea