Hoya compacta 'Regalis' (Variegated Hindu Rope)
Hoya compacta 'Regalis' (Variegated Hindu Rope) is an attractive variegated succulent with fleshy, curled dark green foliage edged in…
How To Care For a Hindu Rope Plant (Hoya Carnosa Compacta)
Common names for Hoya carnosa compacta include the Hindu rope plant, Krinkle Kurl, porcelain flower, and wax plant. Each of these highlights a distinctive characteristic of this unique plant.
Its draping vines resemble thick ropes with their crowded, contorted leaves. These fleshy, curled leaves, which may be either solid dark green in color or variegated green and white, have an attractive glossy or waxy appearance. The clusters of small star-shaped flowers are also often waxy. And they are so delightfully perfect, they appear to be made of porcelain.
Hoya carnosa compacta is a popular variety of the Hoya genus to grow as a houseplant – with good reason. This plant is great for hanging pots and ledges that will show off its verdant trailing vines.
With minimal effort, you can enjoy the Hindu rope plant’s remarkable foliage for many, many years – even decades! And with just a little patience and added attention, you will be treated to its exquisite flower clusters. So here’s everything you need to know to take good care of a Hindu rope plant and encourage it to produce eye-catching, long-lasting blooms.
Basic Plant care guide for Hoya Compacta
The growing period for the plant starts in mid-spring and continues throughout the summer season, and the plant needs special attention during that period.
This tough, robust houseplant can adapt to many different indoor living conditions.
This article has all the steps for Hoya Carnosa Compacta plant care to help it produce long-lasting foliage and blooms.
Grow the Hoya Compacta in a fast-draining mixture of potting soil that is lightweight and well-aerated. Choose a small pot with drainage holes that holds the roots of the Hoya Compacta tightly packed.
It is crucial to mention that due to the epiphytic nature of the Hoya Compacta, the roots need plenty of airflow for the plant to survive. Therefore the main criteria for a successful potting mix are good drainage and aeration.
This epiphytic plant can thrive in any general-purpose commercial potting mixture, but it cannot tolerate wet or soggy soil at all. You can add perlite to improve the drainage of the soil.
You can also create your own well-aerated potting mix by using 1/3 peat, 1/3 perlite, and 1/3 orchid mix(bark, perlite, or charcoal).
For humid climate, use a coarser potting mixture to ensure good drainage and drying conditions.
Whereas for a dry climate, use a finer potting mixture that will dry slowly and retain more moisture.
For healthy growth, you should refresh the soil every two or three years.
Hoya Compacta is mostly used as an indoor plant, but you can also plant it outdoors. For outdoor planting, a USDA hardiness zone 10-12 is recommended.
The Hoya Compacta is semi-succulent, so it can survive with minimal watering. You should maintain slight moisture in the potting soil. Inspect the top 2-3 inches of the soil before watering or use a moisture meter.
In summer and spring, the plant is actively growing therefore, it needs sufficient water. It should be watered deeply and regularly in the growing season, but only when the soil is dry.
In winter, the plant is in its resting period, so you can reduce the watering.
To water, the Hoya Compacta use the flood and drain method, i.e., flood the pot with water and allow the excess water to drain out from the pot. If you are using a watering tray or sink, make sure you don’t leave the plant in water for more than 15 minutes.
Always allow the surface of the potting soil to dry out between waterings. The amount and frequency of watering also depend on the air temperature as well as humidity levels.
Drainage is critical for the Hoya Compacta the plant may start dropping flower buds if the soil remains soggy.
At the same time, excessively dry soil for an extended period of time may also cause the plant to drop buds.
The plant can tolerate short dry periods because the semi-succulent vines are good at storing moisture. So even if you forget to water the plant once or twice, it still has some moisture stored to survive.
Overwatering is one of the common reasons for a dying Hoya Compacta. The epiphytic nature of the plant allows it to draw moisture from the air therefore, in humid conditions, the plant needs to be watered less.
Bright indirect light is best for the optimal growth of the Hoya Carnosa Compacta plant. Choose an indoor position near a window that will provide plenty of indirect bright sunlight.
The plant cannot tolerate direct sunlight combined with high heat, as it will scorch the flowers and leaves.
6 hours of bright but indirect sunlight are recommended for the healthy growth of hoya plants. Morning sunlight is preferred for houseplants, as it will not scorch the plant leaves.
This plant can even grow in low light conditions, but the growth will be very slow, and the plant may not have any blooms.
Lighting conditions can significantly impact the blooming phase of this plant. Good lighting is very crucial for producing flowers on the Hoya Compacta.
If you are keeping the Hoya Compacta outside, choose a position with partial shade. Make sure the plant is not exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period of time.
Too much sunlight exposure can cause yellowing of the foliage. If you notice any yellowing leaves, move the plant away from direct sunlight.
If you are using artificial lights or fluorescent lights, the plant should be exposed to the lights each day for around 14 hours.
If you want to encourage blooms, leave the plant under the artificial lights for up to 16 hours.
This plant likes continuous warm indoor temperatures. At daytime, maintain the temperature of 70 o F (21 degrees Celsius) or above and at night 60-65 o F (16-18 degrees Celsius) is ideal for the Hoya Compacta plant.
The minimum temperature should always be above 50 o F (10 degrees Celsius).
This plant is a favorite as a houseplant because it typically grows well in the usual indoor temperature.
In warm areas, this plant can be kept outdoors as well only if the outdoor temperature does not drop below 50 o F (10 degrees celsius).
The Hoya Compacta plant does not do well in cold temperatures. So if you are planning to spend the winter away from home, you will have to leave the heating on or make any other arrangement to keep your plant happy and comfortable in your absence.
Always keep the Hoya Compacta plant away from hot radiators or cold drafts to protect it from sudden temperature changes.
The Hoya Compacta is native to warm and humid climates therefore, this plant enjoys higher humidity than the average indoor level.
In the right humidity conditions, the waxy leaves will appear glossy and healthy. When they look withered or dry, it’s time to increase the humidity.
You can increase the indoor humidity level by using a humidifier. An air-humidifier will keep the air around the plant moist enough to grow lush leaves and flowers.
Alternatively, you can place the pot on a rock-filled tray with water to achieve the right humidity level, i.e., between 40-60 %.
In very dry conditions, you can mist the plant daily to increase the humidity level or group several plants together.
This plant craves more humidity than most other indoor houseplants. You can consider placing the plant in a bathroom or kitchen where the humidity level is higher compared to other places in the house.
To take care of your Hoya Compacta plant during winter, you need to reduce the watering and increase humidity.
Because in cold months, the central heating will cause the air to dry quickly. Reducing the watering during winter will also prevent the soil from becoming waterlogged or too damp.
Hoya Compacta is a light feeder and enjoys a small dose of fertilizers in the growing period.
In the spring and summer season, feed the Hoya Compacta plant with a diluted water-soluble fertilizer every 2 to 3 months.
The plant does not need heavy fertilizer feeding for healthy growth. Don’t fertilize the plant in the resting phase, i.e., from fall to winter.
If the new leaves are dark green and small, reduce the fertilizer application or dilute fertilizer solution. Use the fertilizer according to the label, or you can dissolve ¼ teaspoon fertilizer in 1 gallon of filtered water.
I would recommend using a fertilizer high in potassium to encourage beautiful blooms on the Hoya Compacta.
Be wary of overfertilizing it can severely damage the plant, it causes dry, crinkled leaves, and the new leaves are smaller in size.
Overfertilization is usually denoted by a crusty white residue on the top of the soil surface.
If your plant is victim to overfertilizing, thoroughly flush the plant with water or repot it in a new soil mixture.
The Hoya Carnosa Compacta makes a great hanging plant. These slow-growing vines rarely need repotting as there are fewer chances of the plant outgrowing the pot.
Use a small-sized pot to minimize the risk of root rot, as the potting mixture will dry out more quickly in a small pot.
It will provide enough space for the roots while still keeping them packed. Drainage holes are a must for this plant.
You need to repot the plant if one of the following happens:
- The soil is drying out more quickly after watering
- The potting soil has become very compacted. Hence the roots are suffering from lack of oxygen
- The roots are clogging the drainage holes
- The general health of the plant is declining
To repot a Hoya Compacta, carefully remove it from the pot and remove the excess soil from the roots. Check for damaged or dead roots and prune them with sterilized pruning shears. Transfer it to a container that is 2″ larger than the previous one.
You can repot the Hoya Compacta plant at any time between spring to mid-summer. Avoid repotting the plant when it’s blooming because it can damage the flowers, and the plant can lose healthy blooms.
When repotting, always be cautious and protect the roots. The roots of this plant are tangled, and they should be kept the same in the new container.
Star-shaped flowers of the Hoya Carnosa Compacta are the most attractive feature of this plant. In fact, the beauty and perfection of the tiny star-shaped flowers is the reason why this plant is famous as a porcelain flower.
This Hoya species takes a few years to start flowering, so be patient.
With correct lighting conditions, the mature plant will produce beautiful blooms in early spring and summer. Each flower has two stars, the inner star is known as the corona, and the outer star is corolla.
The pinkish-white flowers appear in clusters, and each plant can produce up to 40 flowers. The flowers last for 2 to 3 weeks.
They come in a range of colors, with a heavy and sweet fragrance. The flowers bloom from the spurs that are small leafless stems.
With the proper nutrition and water, some plants take 1 year, while others take up to 3 years to start flowering. The most common reason for failed blooming is insufficient light.
Pruning is an additional step in Hoya Compacta care, only needed to improve the overall appearance of the plant or to manage its size. While pruning the plant, do not remove any stems with spurs because this will reduce the number of blooms.
Spur is the tip of the peduncle where the flower grows. In the blooming season, flowers grow from both old and new spurs. And old spurs are believed to produce the largest blooms on the vine.
You should prune the plant in the spring season to allow it to recover from any kind of pruning stress or shock. You can cut any dead or damaged stems. Pinch off yellow, brown or dead leaves to keep the plant looking tidy and attractive.
Properly sanitize the pruning shears to prevent infections. Soak the shears in household disinfectant for 5 minutes and later rinse them with hot water. After pruning, you can use the stem cuttings for propagation.
The most effective way to propagate the Hoya Carnosa Compacta is via stem cuttings:
- Using clean pruning shears, and remove a section of 3-4 inches from the tip of the plant(just below the node) by cutting at an angle. Choose a section that has at least one pair of leaves.
- Remove all the leaves from the lower end of the cutting and allow it to dry. The white latex will harden overnight.
- You can also dip the stem cutting in the rooting hormone to encourage growth, but it’s an optional step.
- Now place the bottom part of the cutting in water. Do not immerse the leaves in the water.
- Or place the cutting in a small pot with lightweight moist growing medium.
- Cover the potted plant with a plastic bag or propagation bag to help hold in the moisture.
- Position the cutting in a warm shaded position for several weeks.
- After a few weeks, you will notice new growth above the soil now, you can transplant the Hoya Compacta to a new pot or container.
Hoya carnosa compacta propagation
Hoya propagation might take longer since they are slow-growing plants, but other than requiring a little patience, it’s not difficult!
Hoya carnosa compacta propagation in water
To propagate Hoya carnosa compacta in water, use a pair of clean scissors to cut off a piece of vine that includes at least one node and one set of leaves. Try to cut at a 45-degree angle to allow for more rooting area.
Put the cutting in a jar of room-temperature water so that at least one node is under the water and remove any lower leaves that end up being submerged. (The node is where new roots will sprout from.)
Put that jar in an area with bright, indirect light. Fill the water back up when it gets low and replace it completely when it gets grimy, once a week or so.
When the roots are a few inches long, you can move it to its permanent pot. I like to wait until the roots are three-or-so inches long. This will probably be at the very least a couple of weeks, if not months, so be patient!
Once you transfer it, give it a good watering and treat it like a normal plant.
Hoya carnosa compacta propagation in potting mix
You can also skip the jar of water completely and place the cutting directly into a small pot with moistened potting mix.
Follow the same basic process as above: Use a pair of clean scissors to cut off a piece of vine that includes at least one node and one set of leaves. Try to cut at a 45-degree angle to allow for more rooting area.
Stick the cutting into moistened potting mix, making sure at least one node is buried and no leaves are buried. (The node is where new roots will sprout from.)
Place it in bright, indirect light and keep the mix moist as the roots develop.
You can also mist the cutting as needed or place a clear plastic bag over the top to raise humidity levels which will help the cutting along.
After a month or so, test the cutting to see how the root system is doing. Give it a very gentle tug to feel for any resistance. If you feel resistance, the roots have developed and you can treat the cutting like a normal plant. However, keep in mind it may even take a few months for the roots to develop.
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Hoya Plant Features
If you're looking for an exotic indoor plant that's very easy to grow, take a look at hoya (also sometimes called wax plant). This unique houseplant is a vine (but don't worry it's not a fast-growing one!) that has thick, waxy leaves and clusters of star-shaped waxy flowers. It's among the most tolerant of all houseplants.
Hoya is often sold in hanging baskets, but its lanky stems will trail from tall containers such as urns, too. Or, if you want to grow it upright, supply a trellis or totem and let hoya supply vertical interest to your home or office.
Our houseplant experts like talking with other indoor gardeners! If you have questions about hoya or other houseplants, just send us an email!
Look for Costa Farms' hoyas at your local garden center. See a list of our retailer partners.
Hoya Growing Instructions
Grow your easy-care hoya in low, medium, or bright light. It tolerates low and medium light, but doesn't typically bloom in these conditions. Like most flowering houseplants, the more light hoya gets, the more flowers it will produce.
Water hoya when the potting mix dries out. Don't worry if you forget to water it once or twice -- this houseplant doesn't mind. It thick leaves and stems help the plant store water for cases just like that. Do take care not to overwater it hoya would rather be too dry than too wet and can suffer from root rot if the potting mix stays wet for extended periods.
Low-maintenance hoya doesn't require a lot of fertilizer, but you can fertilize your hoya if you want it to bloom better. Use any general-purpose houseplant fertilizer and follow the directions on the packaging.
Note: Hoya is not meant for human or animal consumption.
Indoors: High light
Indoors: Low light
Indoors: Medium light
Purifies the air
Super-easy to grow
Complement your Hoya with these varieties:
Varieties: Our Favorites
One of the smallest hoyas we grow, H. bilobata has little green leaves often flushed with red. This flowering houseplant has little clusters of reddish-purple flowers on and off throughout the year. Note: You'll sometimes also see it offered as Hoya 'Tsangii'.
Showing off rounded leaves, H. brevialata also has charming red-and-white flowers that are delightfully fragrant.
Mini Waxleaf Hoya
Mini waxleaf hoya has small, shiny leaves and wonderfully fragrant white flowers.
We love narrow-leaf hoya's fun texture the long, narrow leaves are fun! It's little clusters of creamy flowers are lovely, as well.
Among the most unique houseplants, rope plant has curled, contorted leaves all along the stem, almost making the plant look like it's a braided rope. If it sees enough light, it will produce reddish fragrant flowers.
One of the most dramatic flowering houseplants, shooting stars produces clusters of fragrant, star-shaped white flowers.
Offering fun variegated foliage (the leaves are stippled in silvery dots), Stripes hoya has little leaves with a great texture.
This easy to grow houseplant has green leaves variegated with white and pink. It's wonderfully charming in a window!
A fun flowering houseplant, this variegated hoya has cream-splashed leaves and reddish-purple stems. Note: It's also sometimes called 'Krimson Princess'.
Variegated Rope Plant
Hoya carnosa 'Crispa Variegata'
One of the most unusual hoyas, this variety has tight, curled and twisted leaves that are variegated with golden yellow. It's also sometimes called Hindu rope plant.
Variegated Rope Plant
An interesting flowering houseplant, this variety has twisted leaves variegated with cream and can produce fragrant reddish-pink flowers. It's also sometimes called Hindu rope plant.
Get in the pink with blooms from Tropic Escape® hibiscus. South Pacific Sipper offers 8-inch blooms in sweet, soft pink. It's stunning in the garden or porch.
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