Wax Plant Hoya carnosa

👤 Non-toxic to humans
🐾 Non-toxic to pets
🌸 Blooming
🍪 Not edible
‍🌱 Easy-care
wax plant


The Hoya carnosa, commonly known as the wax plant, is a visually striking houseplant with lush and attractive features. Its vine-like stems are adorned with thick, glossy, and succulent leaves that are oval-shaped and often have a deep green hue. The leaves' fleshy texture gives them a somewhat waxy appearance, which is reflective of the plant's nickname. The wax plant blooms with clusters of star-shaped flowers that are beautifully arranged in an umbel form. These blossoms are typically pink or white and are known for their sweet fragrance. The flowers have a unique, almost porcelain-like appearance, adding an exotic charm to the plant. The wax plant is not only admired for its foliage and flowers but also for its ability to thrive with relatively minimal care, making it a popular choice for indoor gardeners.

Plant Info
Common Problems

About this plant

  • memoNames

    • Synonyms

      Wax Plant, Porcelain Flower, Honey Plant, Wax Vine.

    • Common names

      Asclepias carnosa, Hoya australis, Hoya carnosa f. variegata, Hoya carnosa var. picta, Hoya carnosa var. regalis, Hoya exotica, Hoya imperialis, Hoya imperialis var. regalis, Porcelia carnosa.

  • skullToxicity

    • To humans

      The Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa) is generally considered non-toxic to humans. While it is not edible and should not be ingested, consuming small quantities of the plant typically does not result in serious poisoning. However, it is always best to avoid ingesting any houseplants, as individual sensitivities can vary, and stomach discomfort or irritation might occur.

    • To pets

      For pets, the Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa) is also generally considered non-toxic to cats and dogs. If a pet were to ingest parts of this plant, they are unlikely to experience serious poisoning. Nevertheless, it's important to keep an eye on pets to prevent them from chewing on houseplants, as ingestion can sometimes lead to mild gastrointestinal upset, even in plants that are not considered poisonous.

  • infoCharacteristics

    • Life cycle


    • Foliage type


    • Color of leaves


    • Flower color


    • Height

      1-2 feet (30-60 cm)

    • Spread

      1-3 feet (30-90 cm)

    • Plant type


    • Hardiness zones


    • Native area

      Asia Australia


  • money-bagGeneral Benefits

    • Decorative Appeal: Hoya carnosa, commonly known as wax plant, features attractive waxy foliage and clusters of star-shaped flowers, which can enhance the aesthetic of indoor and outdoor spaces.
    • Low Maintenance: It is a hardy plant that does not require frequent watering or complicated care, making it ideal for busy individuals or those new to gardening.
    • Longevity: Wax plants are known for their long lifespan, meaning enthusiasts can enjoy their beauty for many years with proper care.
    • Drought Tolerance: Hoya carnosa can survive periods of drought due to its succulent-like leaves that store water, making it suitable for xeriscaping or water-conscious gardening.
    • Versatility: This plant can be grown in hanging baskets, trained to climb, or left to sprawl, offering diverse options for incorporating it into various spaces and designs.
    • Propagation Ease: Wax plant is easily propagated from stem cuttings, which allows gardeners to share plants and expand their collection without additional costs.
    • Fragrant Flowers: When in bloom, the Hoya carnosa produces sweet-smelling flowers that can add a pleasant fragrance to indoor environments.
    • Adaptability: It adapts well to a range of lighting conditions from bright, indirect light to lower light scenarios, although flowering is best in brighter light.

  • medicalMedical Properties

    • This plant is not used for medical purposes.

  • windAir-purifying Qualities

    This plant is not specifically known for air purifying qualities.

  • leavesOther Uses

    • Hoya carnosa can be used as a natural pest deterrent when grown in a cluster as some insects dislike their sap.
    • With its twining growth habit, Hoya carnosa can be trained into shapes or letters for personalized garden decor or plant art.
    • The waxy flowers of the Hoya carnosa can be used in flower arrangements, adding an exotic touch with their unique appearance and form.
    • Plant enthusiasts may engage in Hoya carnosa hybridization, aiming to develop new varieties with diverse flower colors and forms.
    • Cultivated for bonsai, the woody stems and slow growth of Hoya carnosa make it a suitable candidate for the practice of bonsai art.
    • The Hoya carnosa can be used in educational settings to teach students about plant propagation, as it easily propagates through stem cuttings.
    • Hoya carnosa is a candidate for plant-based dyes, where the leaves might be used in creating natural green pigments.
    • As a model plant for photography and art, Hoya carnosa's lush foliage and stunning flowers make it an excellent subject.
    • Hoya carnosa vines can be used as living curtains when grown on a trellis near a window, providing privacy and greenery.
    • Its waxen blooms and foliage can inspire wax sculptures and candle designs, mimicking the texture and form of the plant.

Interesting Facts

  • bedFeng Shui

    The Wax Plant is not used in Feng Shui practice.

  • aquariusZodiac Sign Compitability

    The Wax Plant is not used in astrology practice.

  • spiralPlant Symbolism

    • Love and Affection: Hoya carnosa, commonly known as the Wax Plant, often symbolizes love and affection because its star-shaped flowers and tendency to twine around objects can represent the nature of love binding and growing.
    • Protection: With its thick, waxy leaves, the Wax Plant is considered to symbolize protection, as its hearty nature can withstand challenging environments and protect its delicate blooms.
    • Perseverance and Persistence: As a plant that takes a long time to bloom and requires patience, the Wax Plant is seen as a symbol of perseverance and persistence in nurturing relationships and aspirations.
    • Loyalty: The Hoya carnosa can live for many years and often blooms repeatedly once mature, which can be seen as a symbol of loyalty and long-lasting bonds.
    • Personal Growth: The climbing nature of the Wax Plant, seeking light and space to grow, can reflect personal growth and the pursuit of betterment.

Every 1-2 weeks
2500 - 10000 Lux
Every 2-3 years
As needed
  • water dropWater

    The Wax Plant should be watered when the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, approximately every 1-2 weeks, depending on environmental conditions. It's crucial to water this plant thoroughly until water runs freely from the drainage holes. However, avoid letting the pot stand in water as this can lead to root rot. Generally, using about 8-16 ounces of water should be sufficient, but make sure to adjust the amount based on the pot size and the plant's needs. During winter, reduce watering frequency as the plant goes into dormancy.

  • sunLight

    The Wax Plant thrives in bright, indirect light. A spot near an east-facing window where it receives some morning sunlight followed by bright, indirect light for the rest of the day is ideal. Avoid placing it in direct afternoon sun, which can scorch the leaves. Sheer curtains can help to diffuse the light if the spot is too bright.

  • thermometerTemperature

    The Wax Plant prefers a temperature range of 60-85°F but can tolerate temperatures as low as 50°F and as high as 95°F for short periods. However, avoid sudden temperature drops and cold drafts. The ideal temperature for promoting growth and flowering is between 70°F and 80°F.

  • scissorsPruning

    Prune the Wax Plant to promote bushier growth and to remove any long, untidy vines. It can be pruned at any time of year, but it is best done in spring or early summer. Cut just above a node on the stem, and be cautious not to prune off all the new growth where flowers develop. Pruning every year or every other year should suffice.

  • broomCleaning

    As needed

  • bambooSoil

    The best soil mix for Wax Plant is well-draining and rich in organic material. A mix of one part perlite, one part orchid bark, and two parts peat moss is ideal. The preferred soil pH for Wax Plant is between 6.0 and 7.5.

  • plantRepotting

    Wax Plant should be repotted every two to three years or when the plant has outgrown its container. It is best to repot in spring or summer during the plant's active growth period.

  • water dropsHumidity & Misting

    Wax Plant thrives in high humidity conditions, ranging between 40% to 60%. It benefits from regular misting or a humidifier to maintain optimal humidity levels.

  • pinSuitable locations

    • Indoor

      Place Wax Plant in bright, indirect light and high humidity.

    • Outdoor

      Grow Wax Plant in dappled light with shelter from harsh sun.

    • Hardiness zone

      10-11 USDA

  • circleLife cycle

    The life of the Wax Plant (Hoya carnosa) begins with seed germination, where the seed swells, cracks open, and produces a small root and shoot. It then enters the seedling stage, characterized by the development of a few leaves and the establishment of a root system. As it matures, the Wax Plant enters a vegetative stage, growing vigorously and producing thick, waxy leaves along its vining stems. Upon reaching maturity, the Wax Plant enters the flowering stage, producing clusters of star-shaped, fragrant flowers, often in shades of pink or white. After pollination, the flowers may develop into small seed pods, completing the reproductive cycle. Throughout its life, the Wax Plant can continuously produce new stems and leaves, and under suitable conditions, it may flower repeatedly.

  • sproutPropogation

    • Propogation time


    • The most popular method of propagating a Hoya carnosa, commonly known as the wax plant, is through stem cuttings. To propagate, one should take a healthy stem cutting, ideally with two to four leaves, during the growing season, which is spring or early summer. The cutting should be allowed to callous over for a day or two to prevent rot. Then the cutting can be placed in water or a well-draining potting mix. If using soil, the potting mix should be moistened but not waterlogged. Rooting hormone can be applied to the cut end to encourage root growth, although it's not necessary. Within a few weeks to a couple of months, the cutting should develop roots, and once they're about an inch long (approximately 2.54 cm), the new wax plant can be transferred to a regular potting mix to continue growing.