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Hoya Carnosa Propagation Guide

Looking for hoya carnosa propagation tips? There are so many different varieties of hoya carnosa plants, but the propagation instructions for all of them are pretty much the same! Learn everything you need to know with my guide.

Hoya carnosa propagation guide—everything you need to know!

Today I’m writing about the hoya carnosa—a houseplant staple that has been around for decades. Otherwise known as a “wax plant,” the hoya carnosa is from the apocynaceae family, hoya genus. “Carnosa” is the species. (See my full hoya carnosa plant care guide.)

Generally you will find the jade carnosa variety. This one has solid green, thick, glossy, ever-so-slightly-puckered leaves and long vining and climbing stems. It’s a low maintenance plant that can withstand a variety of different light levels and thrives on neglect.

Do you forget to water your plants? Hoyas are generally a good choice, and the jade carnosa variety is one of the most patient! Here’s a picture of my giant jade hoya carnosa.

woman holding a large hoya carnosa jade plant

So what are the other types of hoya carnosas you might encounter?

In addition to the old trusty jade green carnosa, there are a few pretty variegated versions, as well as some varieties that have a more unique leaf shape. The hoya carnosa Chelsea is solid green but has leaves that are more puckered than the regular jade carnosa leaves.

A few of these include the hoya carnosa krimson queen, which has variegated shades of white, pink, and green. The hoya carnosa krimson princess has a similar look, but it has more green and white with some yellow mixed in.

Hoya carnosa compacta plants have unique leaves that grow in the shade of ropes, giving is the colloquial name “hoya rope plant.” These can be solid green or variegated.

These are the five varieties of hoya carnosa plants that I own, and I have propagated all of them! So you’ll see pictures of them all throughout this post. The process for propagating them is all pretty much the same.

hoya carnosa chelsea plant
Hoya carnosa Chelsea
large hoya carnosa compacta rope plant in a sink
Hoya carnosa compacta “rope plant”
hoya carnosa krimson princess
Hoya carnosa krimson princess
hoya carnosa krimson queen
Hoya carnosa krimson queen

How to take the perfect hoya carnosa cutting for propagation

Successful plant propagation starts with knowing how to take a cutting. This can be different for different plants—some can be propagated by a single leaf! The best way to take a hoya carnosa cutting for propagation is by including a few leaves and nodes.

What are nodes?

Nodes are the areas on stems where leaves grow. They can also be small bumps on the stems—these are generally where aerial roots will sprout on climbing plants. Aerial roots help the plant cling to things and climb!

Here are a few examples of what I mean by a good cutting with nodes. You don’t want too many leaves, because you want the cutting to focus on root development. Just a few leaves is great. Here are some carnosa queen and carnosa jade cutting examples:

hoya carnosa krimson queen cutting
hoya carnosa krimson queen stem
hoya carnosa jade stem
green leaves on a hoya carnosa
nodes and stem on a hoya carnosa
nodes and stem on a hoya carnosa

Hoya carnosa propagation in sphagnum moss

Rooting in sphagnum moss is, hands down, my favorite way to propagate hoya carnosa cuttings. I have saved these little plastic cups you get when you get a Chipotle kids meal—they are perfect for rooting cuttings in moss!

After taking a bunch of cuttings, I prep a bowl of moss. Here’s how I do it: First I soak the sphagnum moss and squeeze out all of the excess water. I mix in some coarse perlite for aeration, then I add it to the cup and pop the cuttings in.

As an optional step, you can dip the cutting in rooting hormone if you’d like. I do this sometimes. It just depends if I have any on hand. It definitely isn’t required.

hoya carnosa propagations rooting in sphagnum moss
hoya propagations rooting in sphagnum moss
hoya propagations rooting in sphagnum moss
hoya carnosa propagations rooting in sphagnum moss

Maintaining moisture and humidity

Maintaining moisture and humidity is essential when propagating hoya carnosa plants in moss. You don’t want the moss to dry out completely. You want it to stay damp, but not soaking wet. And you want humidity.

There are a few easy ways to maintain moisture and humidity. The first is by simply putting a plastic bag over the cutting and mixture. Take it off every few days to monitor moisture levels and make sure everything is staying nice and damp.

hoya cuttings rooting in sphagnum moss with other plants in a greenhouse cabinet

Another easy way is by putting all of your cuttings into a DIY propagation box. I simple use a clear plastic storage bin with a clear lid. Light can get in and the humidity levels are SERIOUSLY high.

To air it out, I just take the lid off to check on everything. But generally you don’t need to re-dampen anything! I have a post all about how to set up a DIY plastic propagation box you can check out as well.

hoya cuttings rooting in sphagnum moss

Checking on the roots…

Here is a look at some of the moss cuttings after only a few days in moss and perlite mixtures. Hoyas might be slow growers, but they root really fast with humidity! I would let these roots grow a bit more before transplanting the cuttings to soil.

hoya carnosa krimson princess cutting with a root sprouting
propagating a hoya carnosa jade cutting
propagating a hoya carnosa compacta rope plant
propagating a hoya carnosa compacta rope plant

Propagating hoya carnosa plants in water

You can also propagate hoya carnosa plants in water. This is lower maintenance, and you can watch the rooting progress over time. Simply pop the cutting in water and refresh it every week or so. Once you have some roots, you can plant the cutting.

Keep the soil moist while the cutting takes root in the soil. After about a week or so, back off watering a bit. Once you can tug the cutting and get resistance, scale way back to normal hoya watering levels—letting the soil dry out before watering again.

propagating a hoya carnosa compacta rope plant in water
propagating a hoya carnosa compacta rope plant in water
small hoya carnosa compacta rope plant

Propagating hoya carnosa plants directly in soil

If you’d like to skip the water rooting step and propagate a hoya cutting directly in soil, you can do that, too. I’d recommend dipping the nodes in some rooting hormone first.

You’ll have to keep the soil damp, keep the humidity high, and hope for the best. I personally don’t love soil rooting because I like to monitor root development, and you can’t see the roots when they are buried in soil. But it’s totally a viable option!

small hoya carnosa compacta rope plant

Propagating hoya carnosa cuttings in LECA

Propagating hoya carnosa cuttings in LECA is also an option. I have been enjoying experimenting with LECA rooting, but I haven’t done any hoyas in it yet. Check out my post on how to root plants in LECA for more. I’ll update once I try a hoya propagation in LECA!

large hoya carnosa jade plant
hoya carnosa chelsea plant

Pin my hoya carnosa propagation guide!

pinnable graphic about hoya carnosa propagation including an image and text overlay
pinnable graphic about hoya carnosa propagation including images and text overlay
pinnable graphic about hoya carnosa propagation including an image and text overlay
pinnable graphic about hoya carnosa propagation including images and text overlay

Diane Crumbley

Wednesday 8th of September 2021

Thanks for all you do for us plant parents!

Brittany Goldwyn

Thursday 9th of September 2021

You got it Diane! <3

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