Hoyas are a wonderfully strange, beautiful, and numerous plant genus that’s gaining many fans. Besides their amazing flowers, foliage, and fragrance – and despite their reputation for being difficult – many Hoya varieties make excellent beginner plants. No matter how experienced you are as a gardener, you’re certain to be surprised and intrigued by some of these beautiful Hoya varieties.
Hoyas are a diverse plant genus that produces fragrant, star-shaped flowers. Some are easier than others, but all need well-draining soil, warmth, and indirect light. The Eriostemma subgroup prefers strong light and soil that dries between waterings; some Hoyas need cooler night temperatures to bloom.
Often sold as Wax Plants, Hoyas are loved for their scented flowers and radiant foliage. Many fans appreciate their stiff, sculptural profile. The countless Hoya varieties just add to the joy.
The expansive genus is native to Asia and Australia, where many grow epiphytically in trees. Most are vines, but a few have bush-like growth. One popular subset of Hoyas need cooler temperatures to bloom.
Hoya flowers are five-pointed stars that come in many shapes, sizes, and red-toned colors. They can be glossy or matte; many are “fat” and some are fuzzy. Even the buds are beautiful: they swell and change in the process of going from bud to bloom.
Hoyas have an unfortunate image of being difficult to maintain, but only some Hoya varieties really deserve it. Success often boils down to whether you can supply high humidity and properly monitor soil moisture.
There are variations … some Hoyas like bright light, some partial shade; some species thrive on consistent moisture, others need time to dry out.
Because of this diversity, there isn’t one universal care regimen for all Hoyas. It’s important to find out the specific demands of your variety.
Prune carefully! New flowers develop from old flowering spurs—if you trim these, there won’t be blooms.
Though often described as low-light plants, most Hoyas actually like a lot of (indirect) light. If you have a hanging plant, make sure there’s enough light on top so it doesn’t go bald.
Hoyas love bright windows … pull them a few feet away from the glass in hot, direct sun. If the exposure is weak, add grow lights.
Let excess water run through the soil at watering time. This fully saturates the soil and helps flush out residual fertilizer and other contaminants.
Temperatures between 60ºF (15ºC) and 85ºF (30ºC) suit most Hoyas. They aren’t typically frost-tolerant, though there are exceptions. Hoyas that come from high altitudes prefer evening temps to drop as low as 50ºF.
Note: Temperature and watering are important for flowering, and some varieties need a winter’s temperature fluctuation to bloom. If you’re having trouble getting flowers, try giving your Hoya a cool spot and cut back on watering over the winter.
Even Hoya species that don’t require high humidity will grow faster with it. Semi-succulent varieties can adapt to lower levels, but thin-leaved varieties can be very difficult if they don’t have 60% humidity or more.
Hoyas aren’t usually big feeders, so feed lightly. Apply a general-purpose liquid houseplant fertilizer at half strength once a month during the spring and summer … or feed every two weeks with an organic fertilizer like worm castings or fish emulsion. Consider bumping up the phosphorus percentage to promote blooming.
Pests aren’t usually a big issue for healthy Hoyas. Mealybugs and aphids are the most common guests.
Hoyas are a wonderful plant group to collect because it contains so many unique forms.
Official names of different Hoya varieties are in a continual process of change as botanists advance their understanding. It keeps growers and retailers on their toes.
A group of former Hoyas is called Eriostemma; Hoya is now their official synonym. An Eriostemma’s main distinguishing characteristic is short, soft hairs covering its stems and leaves. As ground plants that twine up trees to live aloft, this group is probably the most difficult to keep happy in a container.
Hoyas don’t put on new growth until their root system is developed, which is why keeping them in rootbound in small pots helps maximize production. Move the plant to a larger pot after it has put on significant size.
Some types of Hoya produce nectar during flowering. Nectar is a nice word for a dripping, viscous goo that can damage fabric and furniture – protect your valuables!
The stem’s growing tip can easily be damaged: heat, intense light, underwatering, or even simple handling can injure the fragile tissue. Damaged tips stop growing and dry up, so handle carefully.
50 Beautiful Hoya Varieties You Will Love
1. Hoya Carnosa (Porcelain Flower, Wax Plant)
The basic (green) form of Hoya Carnosa is less common than many of its excellent hybrids (of which there are a ridiculous number). The foliage can be plain, variegated, crinkled, or otherwise textured. The blooms are long-lasting, fuzzy clusters of fragrant stars.
Hoya carnosa are hardy, versatile, and easy to live with: they adapt to moderate humidity and light better than most Hoyas. They’re equally happy climbing a trellis or cascading from a hanging basket.
The Carnosa has been cultivated since its discovery in 1770; there are dozens, maybe hundred of cultivars. These include some of the hottest houseplants currently on the market:
‘Compacta’ (Indian Rope)
This all-star is great for beginners, and it might reveal if you’re a prospective Hoya fan.
2. Hoya Pubicalyx
One of Hoyas’s charms is that inexpensive, common varieties can be as gorgeous and interesting as rare, expensive ones. Such is the case with Hoya pubicalyx, an easy-to-grow Hoya that blooms in clusters of up to 30 small, fuzzy flowers. Its crisp, ovoid leaves splay out from vines that grow up to eight feet long. The fragrant flowers last up to 14 days.
Pubicalyx is a hardy twining vine that can trail or climb, but it’s a little unruly: you may spend time unwinding the plant from its neighbors. It’s one of the fastest-growing Hoyas and very easy to propagate – just put a cutting in water.Hoya pubicalyx is inexpensive and easy to find locally and online. There are cultivars with flower colors from black to deep red to light pink. One of the most sought-after is the ‘Pink Silver’ hybrid flecked with white variegation.
3. Hoya Kentiana
Hoya kentiana is kept for its foliage as much as for its blooms. This buoyant plant fills a pot with a bustling crop of long, lance-shaped leaves. Its sculptural foliage has a waxy surface and attractive dark edges. The clusters of cute, fat little flowers last about a week and smell sweetly of butterscotch.
Hoya kentiana isn’t a finicky plant and can adapt to moderate humidity. Aim for at least 40%, using some of these ways to increase humidity if needed. It likes bright light which can include gentle sun. Give them rocky or barky soil and be careful not to overwater.
This plant looks better the bigger it gets and makes a stunning hanging basket. Hoya kentiana has started showing up in garden centers recently and isn’t pricey or hard to find. There are many attractive hybrids with different colors and variegation patterns.
4. Hoya Kerrii
This plant, otherwise known as a Sweetheart Hoya or Lucky Heart, is commonly sold as a single, heart-shaped leaf planted in a small pot. The bright emerald green color of the cute, rounded leaves makes them popular St. Valentine’s Day gifts.
The leaves are thick and almost succulent, and grow about two and a half inches wide. Its climbing vines can reach over twelve feet long.
Hoya kerrii is easy to maintain and can grow briskly once acclimated. It does like stronger light than many varieties – up to 70-90% of full sun. It likes very fast-draining soil.
5. Hoya Lacunosa (Cinnamon Hoya)
Another fun entry-level Hoya, this is the first plant on our list prized mainly for its fragrance. The plant’s tiny, fuzzy blooms have a cinnamon-scented fragrance that fills their space. Sets of leaves grow along pliable stems; the small, canoe-shaped foliage is waxy and outlined with refined dark edges.
Hoya lacunosa makes an excellent low-maintenance houseplant. It’s a cool-weather Hoya that likes a very airy mix. The plant can reach over five feet tall; as long as the soil isn’t kept too damp, watering it more frequently can stimulate faster growth.
This fragrant variety is a great introduction to highly scented Hoyas. It’s common and is often available for a reasonable cost in garden centers. The original Hoya lacunosa has parented many successful hybrids, too.
6. Hoya Australis
Known commonly as Waxvine or Waxflower, this popular and easy-going Hoya has long climbing stems and broad glossy leaves. The flowers are white with red accents and produce a strong, pleasantly spicy fragrance.
The evergreen vines of this hardy Australian native can reach up to 30 feet long. They enjoy strong indirect light: leaves in brighter conditions take on a gold tint. The foliage darkens in a lower-light setting.
Hoya australis is a great all-around flowering vine that’s been in cultivation for a long time and has many hybrids. Some favorites are the Australis ‘Lisa,’ ‘Rupicola,’ and ‘Variegata.’
7. Hoya Obovata
This well-loved variety features large, distinctive saucer-shaped leaves. Its vines form a bushy tangle of overlapping foliage. Some varieties have pink or silver variegation flecks scattered over the dark green leaves.
Hoya obovata’s lovely star-shaped blooms are white to pale purple with pink or red centers. The plant turns lighter in higher light.
While this isn’t the absolute easiest Hoya, beginner’s can have success with careful attention to watering. The plant likes humidity but tolerates average conditions and generally isn’t finicky.
This high-personality plant is very popular and widely available. It’s a wonderful second Hoya for a novice. They are prolific and easy to propagate.
8. Hoya Retusa
This popular little oddity hails from the stranger side of the Hoya spectrum. It features slim, flat, stick-like green foliage splaying out from the soil. The end of each leaf looks as if it were chopped off.
The Hoya retusa produces a scattered crop of chubby, white flowers with maroon pop-out centers … but it can be a challenge to bloom. These are cool-weather plants that need lower night temperatures to trigger flowering.
This unusual variety diversifies your collection and gives you a chance to experience less common forms of Hoya. Hoya retusa may not seem appealing at first glance, but their charm and character can grow on you. It’s an in-person plant.
9. Hoya Bella (Hoya Lanceolata Spp. Bella)
This elegant foliage plant has pointed elliptical leaves deeply indented along the center vein. Its blooms are another highlight: the star-shaped clusters of adorable fat, white flowers have a delicate red to pink coloration.
Hoya bella is the most demanding Hoya we’ve met so far. It’s an epiphyte that needs light, barky substrate; the soil should dry slightly but never completely. Colder nights down to 50ºF (10ºC) and moderate light are preferred. Watch for mite and thrip infestations.
This formerly exorbitant Hoya’s popularity has finally increased production enough to lower prices and make it available. It’s a rewarding specimen and a good step up to more challenging Hoyas.
10. Hoya Wayetii
A popular variety with draping stems of cascading, canoe-shaped foliage. Its leaves are similar to the Kentiana, but Hoya wayetii’s foliage is shorter and more rounded. It blooms in clusters of attractive plump flowers.
One of the more hardy Hoya varieties, Hoya wayetii likes higher humidity and will pucker if under (or over) watered. It needs a super well-draining mix to keep its epiphytic roots oxygenated. Give them substantial indirect light to maintain the leaf edge variegation.
A great beginner’s Hoya, the mature Wayetii makes a hanging basket into a showpiece. There’s no shortage of Hoya wayetii hybrids to choose from … the variegated cultivars are especially in demand.
11. Hoya Caudata
The mesmerizing green, semi-succulent foliage of this maverick species is variegated with light-colored splotches over long, oval leaves. Silvery blotches and flecks mark the leaves randomly in vibrant patterns. The attractive blooms are clusters of white fuzzy stars with red centers.
The plant isn’t finicky, but it does want humidity above 50% and consistent soil moisture … the trick is to find the sweet spot. They don’t like intense illumination, and it will need extra time to acclimate after relocation.
There are several popular hybrids including the Sumatra, Borneo, Silver, and Big Green. Hoya caudata isn’t a common garden center plant, but it’s easy to locate online
12. Hoya Macrophylla
This large, rambling species is prized most especially for its waxy, light green, vein-patterned foliage. Their pointed oval leaves have an interesting 3-D texture. Prominent pale veins run longitudinally across a network of horizontally laid smaller veins.
The flowers are small and dainty, but their color is subdued. The blooms are outshone by the eye-catching leaves, which can grow to five inches long. The plant tops out at about five feet in height with climbing support—it needs space or will have to be cut back significantly.
This easy Hoya likes strong indirect light and humidity of at least 60%. It benefits from a bit of crushed egg or oyster shell mixed into the soil. An eastern exposure with many hours of consistent indirect sun is an ideal location.
Hoya macrophylla is occasionally offered at garden centers and isn’t too pricey. Hybrids with colored leaf margins are usually the most popular and widely available.
13. Hoya Shepherdii
This hardy species is commonly called the Stringbean Hoya for its long, semi-succulent, ribbon-like leaves. Their large, fragrant flowers are white with a red core and have a pristine, starlike bloom in the center.
Normal Hoya care is required. Hoya shepherdii blooms easily (for some), and likes a cool indoor range from 50°F (10°C) and 77°F (25°C). The plant needs well-draining soil and prefers to dry briefly between waterings; it’s rather slow-growing and adapts to average humidity.
Hoya shepherdii’s slender foliage adds diversity to a Hoya collection and looks stunning in a hanging basket—the blooms are a bonus. It isn’t a hard variety to source, just don’t confuse it with another strap-leaved species like the Wayetii or Kentiana.
14. Hoya Memoria (Gracilis)
This clean-cut vine features elegant, bright-green, elongated oval leaves with a waxy finish and a light speckling of variegation. New foliage emerges with red hues. They bloom in pink flowers with red and yellow centers that exude the sweet scent of caramel.
This is an easy-going variety that a conscientious novice can succeed with. It’s prolific under normal Hoya care. Hoya memoria doesn’t twine but can climb with attachment support and also makes a wonderful hanging plant. It flowers almost continuously under good conditions.
This is a Hoya species that was sold as a Hoya gracilis for years, and sometimes it still is. Formally described in 2004 and renamed, Hoya memoria’s availability varies by location … but a cutting is usually available for a reasonable price.
15. Hoya Neocaledonica
A sweet vining Hoya that blooms well and is perfectly sized for container living. The rounded foliage is a cheerful lemon-green shade. The plant produces yellow flowers with pink to cherry red centers.
This is an easy Hoya to care for. Normal care tips apply, but this plant could happily belong to a beginner’s collection if it were more widely available.
Hoya neocaledonica is a hardy variety that’s less common than it should be, so it might take extra effort to track down. It’s a worthwhile and simple Hoya that needs your love.
16. Hoya Fitchii
This gorgeous vining plant features a pale, finely webbed vein pattern over emerald leaves – but that’s not all. The Hoya fitchii also produces copper-colored blooms with vibrant coral-pink centers. The colors are influenced by growing conditions and can vary from yellow to orange to pink.
This is one of the easier Hoya varieties, though it’s typically slow-growing. It does better in higher humidity and can struggle with less than 50%. You can let the soil dry out a bit before rewatering.
Hoya fitchii is popular and in-demand with collectors, but it isn’t in most local garden stores. You can usually find cuttings and small plants online. Prices aren’t cheap but haven’t hit the ozone layer, and hopefully won’t.
17. Hoya Burtoniae
The compact, fuzzy leaves and mid-length vines make this a popular hanging basket plant. Its olive-green foliage reddens in high light; a dark border may be present. The plant blooms easily and produces quantities of raspberry-colored flowers in groups of 15-20 per cluster.
There is more than usual confusion around the Hoya burtoniae’s identity. It has a near-twin called the Hoya Sp. Aff. burtoniae (Sp. Aff. means “Species Affinity”), and it’s also commonly sold as a Bilobata or DS-70, or a cross between them. Exercise caution when purchasing, and remember that the real Hoya burtoniae has fuzzy leaves.
All of these similar species are nice … you might want to consider one of these instead. The trending Sp. Aff. Burtoniae is even hardier and more tolerant than its namesake. Just be sure to know what you’re getting!
18. Hoya Coronaria
This variety will turn your head if you’re an aficionado of fuzzy leaves. The deep green, often glaucous-colored stems and large, paddle-shaped foliage are covered in a soft layer of fuzz – it’s basically a felted plant.
The other outstanding feature of this species is its solid flowers with hardened petals; from the front it looks like an ocean starfish. The blossoms are sizeable at over an inch wide and have reddish-pink speckling and tinting that is affected by their lighting.
Hoya coronaria is an Eriostemma, so it’s not one of the easier Hoyas. It has a squat, low profile with thick central stems that can grow to five feet in length. The leaves are succulent and need less water than some Hoyas, but the plant likes high humidity.
This specialty Hoya isn’t hard to find, and it’s a beautiful and unusual addition to any collection. Its many cultivars include flowers from white to red.
19. Hoya Linearis
This eye-catching radical is a departure from the oval-leaved, vining Hoya of popular imagination. Hoya linearis has long, thin, fuzzy leaves that look like decorative green beans. Blooms come in clusters of white, lemon-scented flowers with yellow- or pink-hued centers.
The Hoya linearis is a cool growing Hoya that prefers lower temperatures at night. It’s a bit demanding. The plant tends to shrivel in less than 50-70% humidity, and must be watered carefully because it’s sensitive to rot.
This up-and-coming star is comparatively new on the market. Growers are slowly catching up with demand, so look for prices to start settling. Cuttings should be available online.
20. Hoya Finlaysonii
Hoya finlaysonii is a designer hybrid with an exotic, upbeat vein pattern. The long, oval foliage is fuzzy and soft. The plant produces globular clusters of white flowers with red center blossoms that look like gummy-bear candy … but the scene-stealing foliage is the main attraction.
Though this isn’t one of the more difficult Hoya varieties, it doesn’t hurt if you have some Hoya experience. It can be a slow grower depending upon your strain.
This excellent Hoya has been around for years without generating much attention, but it’s lately been caught in a collectors’ frenzy. Rooted stems and cuttings are flying everywhere. A short online search should yield results.
21. Hoya Imperialis
This is one of those cute baby plants that grow into monsters. The elongated oval leaves of a small plant are just a few inches long – foliage on a mature specimen reaches over a foot in length.
The oversized red or pink flowers with cream centers blooms are a highlight, too. The variety blooms prolifically in good conditions and is one of the easier Hoyas to flower.
Unlike many Hoya varieties, the Hoya imperialis is a terrestrial plant that wants a more typical soil than the airy mixes used for epiphytes. It likes a lot of light and does well pulled a few feet back from an intense southern or western exposure. Tolerates a range of 60º (15ºC) to 90ºF (32ºC) but slows down below 70ºF (21ºC).
This plant is popular with collectors but isn’t on the general market, so it may take a short search to find. There are several exceptional hybrids, including the ‘Palawan’ with vanilla-colored blooms.
22. Hoya Skinneriana (Hoya ‘Dee’s Big One’)
For years it was thought this plant was a Carnosa hybrid, but after testing it was officially reclassed to Hoya skinneriana. It has robust, vibrant green, oval leaves on rambling vines … but the reason for the plant’s runaway popularity is its blooms.
The plant produces flowers in shades of pink and white that are almost an inch wide, packed in clusters of 20 or more. These form softball-sized puffs of color all over the plant and last for days.
A second reason for this variety’s popularity is how easy it is to keep. One reason this plant was assumed to be a Carnosa for so many years is that it thrives on similar care and makes a great beginner’s plant.
You won’t have trouble finding ‘Dee’s Big One’ online, and you may occasionally spot them in garden centers. It’s a great all-rounder that’s sparked more than one Hoya addiction.
23. Hoya Diversifolia
This trailing Hoya has simple green, oval leaves with deep indentations along the central vein. It produces the classic Hoya flower: a large drooping cluster of star-shaped, fuzzy, waxlike pink-and-white or yellow blooms. The flowers are fragrant and often produce nectar (protect vulnerable furnishings!).
Normal care for an epiphytic Hoya is required, including an airy, fast-draining mix. They prefer strong indirect light or dappled sun. If you are having trouble with blooming, providing more light may help. Provide climbing support.
Hoya diversifolia is an excellent flowering variety that begins blooming early in life and produces steadily through the warm season. It’s not difficult to source online, but some cultivars are more common than others.
24. Hoya Pachyclada
This striking Hoya is an extreme of the succulent type, with fat foliage and thick stems. Its rounded, slightly cupped leaves have prominent veins and are attached to the main trunk by a thick petiole; the leaves grow bigger as the plant grows. The plant blooms profusely with fragrant white flowers.
This is a slow grower and something of a xerophyte (needs little water). Treat this plant more as a succulent than a typical Hoya: give it bright light and let the soil dry before rewatering. Make sure the soil drains quickly so the roots never sit in water.
A Hoya variety that’s been around for years and is sometimes overlooked, the Hoya pachyclada is a great plant for novices. A large specimen looks fantastic cascading from a hanging basket. It may take a search to find, but it’s not rare.
25. Hoya Mindorensis
This champion blooming variety produces ball-shaped clusters of red-hued and white flowers. The plant is straightforward but attractive, with lance-shaped green foliage on vining stems.
This is an ephiphyte, so make sure the soil is chunky and fast-draining. Hoya mindorensis isn’t difficult if you supply good humidity and light. A drop of about 10ºF overnight can aid health and flowering.
Charming flowers like those of Hoya mindorensis are one reason people fall in love with Hoyas. This isn’t a common variety but shouldn’t be hard to find. Prices are very uneven, so you might get a bargain if you shop around.