Hoya Care Guide

Hoya is a member of the Waxflower or Carnation family, and are sometimes known as Wax Flower. The wax in the plant's name refers to the waxy coating found on the leaves and stems. Hoya carnosa is one of the most popular varieties. Hoya is a genus of 135 accepted species in the family Apocynaceae (Dogbane). Most Hoya found in nature are epiphytic, meaning they grow off of other plants or trees rather sending their roots into the soil. All Hoya species are native to warmer regions of Asia, Australasia, and the Pacific Islands.


Hoya thrive in very bright, indirect or filtered light. Avoid direct sun, which can burn these plants leaves. Green, non variegated Hoya can tolerate a bit lower exposure, and a medium range exposure may be sufficient. Variegated varieties such as Tricolor and Krimson Princess require higher exposures to support variegation and proper photosynthesis. Low light should be avoided for all varieties of Hoya.

Water and Soil

The majority of Hoya are semi succulent in nature, possessing thicker stems and leaves, hence the name “wax plant”. Because of this, their water needs are considered moderately low. Hoya should be allowed to dry out between waterings, perhaps by about 75%. Thinner leaved varieties such as Hoya Australis, Retusa, or Linearis will prefer to be watered a bit more often, since they store less moisture in their leaves. As an epiphytic plant in nature, Hoya will require an extremely well-draining soil. Amending a standard potting soil with perlite, orchid bark, and/or lava rock will help provide the drainage this plant needs.

Temperature and Humidity

Hoya prefer room temperatures between 70 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Most Hoya can withstand night time temperatures of 50 degrees during the winter. Hoya love humidity, and moderate to high humidity is preferred.

What Else?

Hoya prefer to be pot bound, and will not enjoy being placed in a pot which is much too large for their roots. Because Hoya are epiphytic in nature, they generally do not possess an excessive root system. Moving a Hoya to a larger pot should only be considered if the plants roots are nearly filling the pot.

Hoya are known for their beautiful flowers, which are said to look as if they were crafted from porcelain or wax. If you are lucky enough to find your Hoya blooming indoors, take care not to disturb the plant or move its location. Moving a blooming Hoya can cause the bloom to wither and fall off.