Hoya carnosa compacta, also known as Hindu Rope make unique houseplants. The Hoya is thick, twisted, curly, cupped leaves draping along succulent vines. Hoya is an Asian native plant introduced by Scottish botanist Robert Brown and named in honor of the 18th-century botanist Thomas Hoy.
Flowering plants in the genus Hoya are part of the Asclepiadaceae family, otherwise known as the milkweed family. Newer taxonomy places the genus in the Apocynaceae (dogbane) family.
The name Hindu Rope Plant is often called Hoya, Indian Rope, Angel Rope, Wax Plant, Porcelain Flower, Krinkle Kurl. Hindu Ropes can be found in solid green or with variegated leaves.
For the most part, Hoya Plant is very easy to care for as long as you give it plenty of light and are careful with your water.
Rope Hoya grows outdoors in the warm climates of U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 10b through 11
But it is usually grown as a houseplant
Planting Rope Hoya
Hoya is an adaptable plant that thrives in almost any general-purpose commercial potting soil. A handful of perlite added to the potting soil helps, as hoya needs well-draining soil, and doesn’t tolerate wet, soggy soil.
You can also make your own potting soil from 2 parts potting mixture, 2 parts peat, 2 parts sand and 1 part perlite or crushed charcoal. Make sure you use a pot that has drainage holes.
Propagate Hoyas by cuttings of top growth, or by leaf cuttings in the same manner as African Violets and Gloxinias. The average cutting or leaf start will produce a blooming plant in two years or less.
The easiest method of propagation is by layering. Layers mature faster and do not need as much patience. Pin down a stem, at the joint, in a moist rooting medium. Separate and pot the new plant when roots have formed.
Light and Temperature
Hoya is a tough plant that survives in low light. But while a plant grown in low light may be attractive, it won’t grow fast and it will likely never bloom. Hoya performs best in bright, indirect light away from the intense, hot sun.
The plant thrives in normal to warm room temperatures of approximately 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and temperatures about 10 F cooler at night.
Give them at least a half-day of sunshine, and bring them indoors when temperatures drop below 50 degrees F (10 degrees C).
Other than enough sunlight, proper watering is the most important requirement for a healthy rope hoya.
Drainage is critical, and then the Hoya plant may drop buds if the soil remains too soggy. Water the plant deeply until water trickles through the drainage hole, and then allow the excess water to drain.
Let the soil become relatively dry before the next watering, but don’t allow the soil to become bone dry, as excessively dry soil for long periods may also cause the plant to drop buds. Hoya prefers average humidity.
If the air is dry, mist the plant occasionally. Reduce watering in winter, providing only enough to moisten the soil.
Hoya plants don’t ask for much, beyond the well-draining soil and the warm humid conditions that many tropical flowers crave. They don’t like wet feet or heavy soil, and as many grow as epiphytes in nature (similar to bromeliads and orchids).
Although hoya isn’t a heavy feeder, it benefits from fertilizer once every two to three months while the plant is actively growing in the spring and summer.
Apply a general-purpose, water-soluble fertilizer for indoor plants at the rate recommended on the label. Stop fertilizing while the plant is in its resting stage in fall and winter.
Watch your plant for signs that you’re giving too much or too little fertilizer. A plant with pale leaves may need fertilizing more frequently.
If new leaves are dark green but small, fertilize less often or dilute the fertilizer solution. Too much fertilizer may burn the hoya’s roots.
They are light feeders, and a monthly drink of compost tea or dilute fish emulsion provides all the nutrition these tropicals need.
Hoyas like the security of a snug pot and plants that are a bit root bound will flower more prolifically than those that are swimming around in a giant pot.
Do Hoya Rope Flower?
Hoyas are not reliable bloomers. Some plants bloom the first year while others don’t bloom for three years or more.
Plenty of bright sunlight and proper watering are the best ways to encourage your hoya to bloom.
Once Hoya plant blooms, don’t remove spent flowers, as new blooms appear in the same spot year after year.
International Hoya Association recommends cutting back a hoya to produce a bushy, more attractive plant and, eventually, even more, blooms.
When your Hoyas finishes blooming, leave the flower stalk, as it may produce new flowers.
Removing the stalk forces the plant to produce a new stalk, which delays blooming and wastes the plant’s energy.
Where Can I Put My Hoya?
Hoyas will cling to a small trellis, providing a vertical accent in your tropical container garden.
Place your Hoya plant in a hanging basket where you can admire it from your favorite seat on the deck or porch.
A Hoya plant would appreciate the humid conditions alongside a water feature.
Hoya Varieties to Try
- H. Archboldiana: Cup-shaped creamy flowers with a maroon corona
- H. Carnosa: Most common in the trade, an easy hoya for beginners; pale pink flowers with a magenta corona
- H. Compacta “Indian Rope”: Pale pink flowers, curly leaves offer interest when the plant isn’t blooming
- H. Cumingiata: Yellow flowers with red corona; fragrant
- H. Kerrii Variegata: Heart-shaped foliage with white margins; yellow and orange flowers
- H. Onychoides: Purple flowers have an exaggerated star shape