The Magical Hoya Compacta - Absolute Gardener

The Magical Hoya Compacta

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hoya compacta

The hoya compacta is a flowering plant that originates from the hoya family. Botanists have identified more than 250 species in this hoya genus, but the hoya compacta is one of five hoyas most often sought after by gardeners and botanical enthusiasts. The hoya compacta has a tough exterior which can make it seem like a hardy plant to take care of, but with these easy-to-follow tips you will be able to keep your hoya happy and healthy for years to come!

A fun fact about hoya compacta is that hoya compacta is a carnivorous plant. This means hoyas have leaves with glands on the surface which attract insects by secreting nectar and then trap these bugs in hairs covering their leaf surfaces. The hoya digest this caught prey to provide nutrients for themselves!

What is a Hoya Compacta?

Hoya compacta, or hoya carnosa compacta is a flowering plant that originates from Southeast Asia. This hoya has been prized for centuries for its unusually bold and beautiful flowers which are often fragrant. The hoya compacta is also known as the “wax-flower” because of the waxy texture of its leaves. If you’re looking to purchase your own hoya compacta, read on to learn more about this amazing plant!

They are also known as hoya rope plant or indian rope plant. Symbolising good luck, hoya rope plant is a symbol of long life since it can grow up to 60 feet.

Origins of Hoya Compacta Plant

The hoya compacta plant originated in the Himalayas, where it thrived high up on mountains. The hoya compacta consist of many species and cultivars which are cultivated for their flowers. They have been grown throughout Asia since before 1790 and were introduced to Europe by way of India during the 1830s-1840s.

The hoya compacta plant is an evergreen perennial and the hoya compacta flowers have a delicate fragrance. They are most often white or yellowish but other colours such as purple, pink, lavender and red can be found. The hoyas that grow in this area require shade for at least part of their day to keep the hoya compacta flowers from wilting. We’ve got the full care guide below, keep reading. 🙂

hoya compacta
Image: via Vermont Hoyas

Hoya Compacta Plant Care Guide


Soil for hoya compacta should be well-drained and free of fertilizers, pesticides or other plant foods.

A hoya compacta’s soil should consist primarily of peat moss, perlite (or a similar substance) and sand. It is best to use an organic potting mix that doesn’t contain any fertilizer or weed deterrents because hoyas can be sensitive to chemicals.

Light Requirements

Hoya compacta plants don’t need much light. In fact, hoyas thrive in low-light conditions. Hoya plants require between 50 to 150 footcandles but will tolerate less than this.

Hoya compacta plants have certain light requirements. They should not be in direct sunlight for a long period of time. Instead, hoya compacta plants should be placed near a window with direct light or on a south-facing window with some shade during the hottest part of the day.

Don’t worry if you have a hoya plant that’s shaded by other houseplants or furniture: it will still produce blooms!


Watering for hoya compacta should be done sparingly and carefully. It should ideally only be watered once every two weeks, or when the hoya compacta potting media is dry to its touch about an inch below ground level.

If hoya compacta has a saucer at the bottom of it’s pot that catches water, let it evaporate before adding more water.

If hoya compacta potting media is dry to its touch about an inch below ground level, then it needs water and you should do so sparingly – preferably in the morning or evening when less sun will evaporate from the soil faster.

Hoya compacta should not be watered from above – this can lead to rot.

If hoya compacta is grown in a pot or container, then it will only need water every two weeks, when the hoya plant’s soil is dry about an inch below ground level.


Hoya plants like to be in a temperature range of 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit. If hoya is exposed to temperatures below 50 degrees, its leaves will turn yellow and fall off.

Temperature fluctuations between 40-60 degrees are also acceptable for hoya plants. If the hoya is exposed to temperatures below 40 degrees, it will turn yellow and fall off its leaves as well.

The good news? Hoya plants like being in warm places too – above 75 degrees Fahrenheit, hoyas can start showing symptoms of heat stress, such as leaf discolouration. If hoyas are exposed to temperatures above 95 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time – more than a few hours in direct sunlight every day -the hoya will start showing signs of heat stress and may die if the temperature is not reduced within a week or two.

hoya compactaHumidity

Hoyas like humidity, but hoya compacta prefers a dryer environment. The best way to increase the water content in your hoya’s soil is by misting it every few days with room temperature or cool water. You can also use specialized hoya plant mister, which you would fill up and then spray on all over the hoya plant.

Do not leave the hoyas in a humid environment for too long, since humidity is what can make hoya compacta leaves droop and turn brown. A nice way to keep your hoya happy during winter would be by moving it near an open window or door where there’s good circulation of air (but not drafts).

If hoya compacta are in a container, you should consider planting them into the ground or using a humidity tray. A humidifier can also be used to provide moisture for hoyas during winter months and other times when the air gets too dry.

You could try misting your hoya with room temperature or cool water occasionally for an even better hoya care.

You can also use hoya plant, mister, when hoyas are in pots and need extra humidity to stay happy during winter months and other times of the year.


Some hoya compacta plants are grown in pots, and these can be fertilised with a general-purpose fertilizer such as Miracle-Gro. You do not need to use any special hoya plant food or hoya specific feed. If the hoya is growing outdoors then it may need fertilising during summer months when excess growth will occur.

If hoya compacta are planted in garden soil then the plant will need to be fertilised more regularly (every three months) and with hoya specific fertilizer. If you’re using fertilizer in your potting mix, use one that doesn’t contain phosphorus or nitrogen as hoyas prefer low-nitrogen soils.


The hoya compacta is a plant that can be toxic to pets and small children. It may cause vomiting, diarrhoea, mouth irritation or difficulty breathing if ingested. If you are looking for something safe to keep in your home with babies and animals around- hoyas should not be it.

You’ll want to make sure they are in an area where they are not easily accessible to any of your small children or pets.


Hoyas can grow to be quite large, in some cases as high as eight feet tall! Over time they will need pruning.

You should start by trimming the stems back to one or two nodes from where it emerges from the pot. This encourages branching and new growth at that point on the hoya.

All hoyas flower on new wood and will be much better off with a trimming after it has finished blooming to keep the size manageable.

It is important not to over prune or hoya compacta while in bloom, as this can limit future flowering for that hoya plant.

Hoyas can take many years to flower, so it is best not to stress too much about hoya care.

It’s also a good idea when you are trimming hoyas in bloom that has been over pruned or grown taller than desired, to cut off the inflorescences after they finish blooming. This will encourage hoya compacta to branch and create new growth for next year.

Pruning hoyas is best done in the spring or summer when it’s not too hot out.

Propagation and Growth

Propagating hoya compacta is not very challenging and hoyas can be propagated in a variety of ways. The most common methods are by seed, leaf-cutting, stem cuttings or sectional divisions.

Hoya Compacta seeds, should be sown on the surface of well drained substrate such as sand or sphagnum moss. The hoya compacta seed should be lightly pressed into the substrate and kept moist but not wet.

Hoya Compacta leaves, can also be used for propagation by cutting them in half, removing some of the leaf veins and inserting a piece of rootstock such as hoyas from another plant or potatoes to give roots something to grow on.

Stem cuttings, can be taken from hoya compacta and inserted into moist soil or sphagnum moss. The hoya should develop roots in a period of two to three weeks.

Sectional division, is the process by which hoyas are divided with sterile scalpels when they are flowering, at about the time they are in their prime.


The hoya compacta is a plant that, in general, does not need repotting and can live for years in the pot it was originally planted in. Those hoyas with wider roots should be transplanted into bigger pots if they start to grow out of their original container.

If hoya Compacta becomes root-bound, it will start to grow more slowly and may not flower. In these cases, hoya compacta should be transplanted into a pot one size larger than the original container.

It is recommended that hoyas are repotted in season; early spring or late summer for most hoyas. However, some people choose to repot hoyas with wider roots in the winter.

The hoya compacta should be watered thoroughly before and after transplanting, but over watering can lead to rotting of roots or branches so it’s important to limit waterings for hoya Compacta plants that are just beginning a new potting cycle.

After hoya Compacta is transplanted, it should be placed in a shady spot for the first week while new roots form.

The hoya compacta can go back into direct sunlight after one week of being relocated to its new home.

Plant Disease

Hoya compacta is a plant with very delicate leaves. These leaves are prone to disease and often need special care. The hoya compacta can be susceptible to fungal infections, so careful water management during periods of high moisture in the air would be helpful for keeping this at bay. Feeding hoyas frequently also helps prevent these fungal infections.

One of the hoya’s most common issues is when airflow becomes stagnant and there are no changes in temperature. When this happens, the hoya will develop brown spots on its leaves. To remedy this problem, turn off all heat sources and use fans to circulate more cool air throughout the plant’s surrounding environment. This should help the hoya’s leaves return to their more natural green colour.

If you have hoyas plants that are not as vigorous as they once were, it is best to give them a break and let them grow for at least six months with no watering while in dormancy so that they can build up new roots before being reintroduced to the hoya’s usual environment.

hoya compacta

Hoya Compacta Variegated

Hoya compacta variegated is called hoya compacta mauna loa or hoya mauna loa. This hoya species is sometimes referred to as the “Hawaiian hoya”.

H. compacta variegated’s leaves are a glossier green than other hoyas, with dark striping and speckling that create an overall blue tone. The flowers of hoya mauna loa are a vibrant yellowish-orange colour. They also like to produce small, deep red berries.

Hoya compacta variegated are grown for their glossy leaves and brightly coloured flowers that can be found in a variety of colours ranging from pink hues to orange hues. They thrive best when they are in an area that is sunny and warm.

Hoya compacta variegated plants need to be watered often so the soil does not dry out, but make sure you do not overwater them either as hoya mauna loa cannot tolerate standing water or moist soils.

They would need to be in a spot with good air circulation and can sometimes get scale, which is an insect that sucks the plant’s sap and causes damage. The hoya mauna loa also does not like temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit (F), or above 92 degrees F for any length of time.

Hoya compacta variegated plants need to be in a pot with at least two drainage holes and preferably one that is larger than the other so it can accommodate more water (e.g., hoyas prefer pots where the top hole is smaller than the bottom hole).

Common Issues with Hoya Compacta

Some issue that happen amongst hoya compacta plants are:

Scale, hoya compacta plants tend to get scale when they don’t have a lot of air circulation.

Drooping leaves, hoya compacta can droop in humid temperatures too. The plant needs more watering and less water on the leaves so that it doesn’t cause any damage. It also needs to be put in an area where it can draw more air.

Lack of blooming, hoya plants don’t bloom often because they are growing too quickly and need a lot of care or the plant is not getting enough sunlight.

Susceptible to low temperatures, hoya compacta variegated is one hoya that is sensitive to cold temperatures.

Lack of nutrients, hoyas will often not produce blooms if they are not getting enough nutrients in their soil or there’s a lack of sunlight for long periods of time.

With too much water, hoya plants cannot tolerate standing water and moist soils so hoya plants should not be watered when the soil is already wet.

Lack of light, hoyas need a lot of sun so they can become healthy and bloom more often but if there are not enough sunlight hoya compacta will produce leaves that are smaller than normal or decline in health.

Tips for Keeping Hoya Compacta Happy

Hoya compacta plants, also known as hoyas or wax hollies, are low maintenance houseplants that can be grown in a variety of conditions. Hoya plants prefer to grow in high light areas with average humidity levels and occasional watering. They do not need fertilizer because they get their nutrients from the air like most other houseplants.

Hoya plants are a great starter plant for anyone who is new to keeping houseplants. If hoyas become too tall, they can be trimmed by cutting off the top and bottom of the leaves with sharp scissors or pruning shears. This will cause hoya plants to grow bushier faster than waiting on them to grow naturally.

A hoya plant’s leaves may become discoloured if they are exposed to too much light or not enough water. Hoya plants should be watered every two weeks and can be fertilized monthly with a half-strength liquid fertilizer at room temperature so that the hoya plant does not burn its delicate roots. Occasional small hoya plant pests may appear on hoyas but they will be easy to control with a hoya plant insecticide that can be found at most garden centres.

hoya compacta

Hoya Compacta Frequently Asked Questions

How fast does a Hoya Compacta grow?

A hoya compacta plant will grow to be about 18 inches tall, it has a trailing and climbing vine-like growth habit. The hoya compacta are slow-growing with an average of 12″ per year.

Is Hoya Compacta a succulent?

This hoya “compacta” is not a true succulent plant, but it shares some qualities with them. It does well in low light and drought conditions which are similar to their care needs. Hoya compacta plants have leaves that resemble the glossy green of a cactus leaf, and an overall appearance that resembles jade stone or marble.

The hoya plants are also wintered hardy and can survive temperatures as low as 30 degrees Fahrenheit which is helpful if you live in a cold climate with harsh winters.

Compared to other hoya plant varieties, hoya compacta has an interesting leaf pattern that looks like chains of petals radiating out from the centre point at the top of the hoya plant. This hoya compacta is not a true succulent, but it does well in low light and drought conditions which are similar to their care needs.

Why is Hoya Compacta called Hindu rope?

Hoya compacta are named Hindu rope because the leaves attach to each other with a vine-like growth. This is how hoya compactas would have been used in their native home of India

The hoya plant, Hoya Compacta, in particular, has a long history and an interesting name to match. It’s been said that the origins of this type of hoya originated in Southeast Asia and was brought to India by Hindu priests, hence the name hoya Hindu or hoya Hindu. This type of plant is also called “Hindu rope” because it can grow into long vines.

Does Hoya Compacta like humidity?

A hoya compacta prefers humidity levels of about 40-70%. Be sure to mist the leaves often. You can even use a cool humidifier or place your hoya in front of an open window, if you have one.

How do I get my Hoyas to bloom?

It can be difficult to get hoyas to bloom, as they are so finicky.

You have a few options when it comes to getting hoya compacta plants in flower: you could ship them off to a lab that specializes in hoya care and has the resources necessary (expensive) or alternatively, you could transplant your hoya plant into a pot with other hoya plants that are ready to bloom (expensive and risky) or you could simply wait for your hoya compacta plant to bloom on its own.

If you want to speed things up, try shining a UV light onto the hoya once every day at noon. This will cause it to produce blooms more quickly than if you did not.

A hoya’s bloom cycle can last anywhere from a few months to over two years, so patience is the key!


The hoya compacta is a beautiful plant and make for an excellent gift as it’s easy to care for.

I hope you learned something new about hoya compacta and will be better equipped to care for this hardy plant. If not, feel free to reach out! I’ll try my best to get back to you as soon as possible. Happy gardening! Get your hoya here.

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