Skip to Content

Hoya Rope Plant Care

The hoya carnosa compacta plant might look super unique, but hoya rope plant care actually isn’t that difficult! Learn how to grow this beautiful and interesting plant in your home.

How do you care for a Hoya rope plant?

The hoya carnosa compacta plant is an absolutely stunning vining plant closely related to the hoya carnosa (see my hoya carnosa care guide). It’s also known as the rope hoya, the hoya rope plant, the Hindu rope plant, and the crinkle hoya.

It’s in the apocynaceae family, hoya genus. And although the leaves are crinkled and curly, they have the same coloring and waxy coating that other hoya carnosa plants have. The leaves grow long—about 1-1.5 feet long—twisting and turning to give them a rope-like appearance. 

The plants start as small and bushy looking, but as they grow, the stems and leaves vine and drape instead of staying full. That makes these plants gorgeous for hanging when they are mature. They can be solid green like mine is or variegated with greens, yellows, and creams.

woman holding a large hoya rope plant
sunny windowsill with a hoya rope plant

Table of contents

hoya carnosa compacta foliage
hoya rope plant care overview guide including the tips outlined in this post

How much light does a hoya rope plant need?

Hoya rope plants, much like more traditional hoya carnosa plants with flat leaves, like bright indirect light. When I first got my small plant, I put it in my bedroom under my two grow lights. Lower light won’t necessarily kill the plant, but it will definitely not grow as prolifically. 

If you put a hoya rope plant in too much direct sun, the leaves will burn. This is typically not a huge issue with indoor plants because the light is often filtered through windows. However, if the leaves are up against a window that gets very hot, that could be problematic as well.

As you’ll see later in this post, the hoya rope plant produces stunning clusters of small star-shaped flowers. One key component of getting your plant to flower is giving it plenty of light, so keep that in mind if flowering is a goal.

plants on a sunny window
hoya carnosa compacta foliage

How often should you water a Hoya rope plant?

The succulent-style leaves are thick and waxy, storing water for the long haul. So they don’t need a ton of water. I wait until the soil is almost dry before watering the plant again. I’ve even mildly neglected the plant while first trying to get on a watering schedule—and I noticed that the leaves started to wrinkle a bit when it was thirsty. 

Now I check the soil before watering, but I typically water these types of plants once every 1.5–2 weeks depending on whether it’s spring, summer, or early fall. In the winter, I water my succulent-like plants about once a month. (See my post about easy DIY succulent soil.)

I have gone through phases where I bottom water this plant. Mostly because I was worried about some of the leaves wrinkling from top-watering. Since they have so many nooks and crannies in the leaves, it was hard to water the plant without the leaves catching a lot of it.

To bottom water, I just filled my sink with a bit of water and set the plant in it for about 15 minutes. The plant will soak up water through the drainage hole in the pot. Bottom-watering also helps to prevent fungus gnats. Fungus gnats love it when the top few inches of soil are wet—it makes the ideal conditions for laying their eggs.

However, these days I’ve gotten lazy with bottom watering and generally top water all of my plants. I also use this as an opportunity to rinse off all of the foliage. I water in the mornings and thoroughly shake out all of the excess water from the leaves and stems.

Sometimes this means popping outside—even in the winter—and shaking the plant off. It is pretty resilient and a couple seconds outside doesn’t hurt it! Then I put the plant back in its sunny location to dry.

bottom watering a hoya rope plant
wrinkling hoya carnosa compacta foliage

Hoya rope plant and the most appropriate soil

Since hoya rope plants do not like a lot of water, you should plant them in a well-draining soil. I used a potting mix designed for indoor plants, but I added in a bit of coco coir or fine moss and perlite to help with drainage and aeration. 

Hoya rope plants don’t need to be repotting too often because they are slow growers that are happy being snug in their pots. So don’t put this plant in too large of a pot. It will likely drown in the soil when it retains too much water.

Drainage is a very important facet of hoya rope plant care, so make sure the pot you use has a drainage hole in it. If your pot doesn’t have a drainage hole, you can pot your plant in a black plastic nursery pot (like the kind they come in when you buy them) and set it in a nicer pot.

You can also check out my tips for planting succulents in pots without drainage holes. If you want to add a drainage hole to a pot, check out my post how to drill drainage holes in ceramic pots.

hoya carnosa compacta foliage
hoya carnosa compacta
hoya rope plant

For more great hanging houseplants, check out my pothos plant care guide, my wandering tradescantia zebrina plant care guide, my scindapsus pictus care guide, and my string of pearls care post!

Do hoyas like warm temperatures?

The hoya rope plant does just fine in a range or normal household temperatures. It specifically enjoys temperatures that are in the 70s and 80s Fahrenheit. But it can withstand higher temperatures—just monitor it to make sure it doesn’t need more water.

It goes dormant in the winter when it gets a bit cooler. That means that growth on this already-slow grower will decrease even more. When temperatures are cooler, the plant needs less water, too.

large trailing hoya rope plant
baby hoya rope plant
large trailing hoya rope plant with other plants on shelving

Do hoya ropes like to be misted?

They are also fine in a variety of different humidity levels. Mine does just dandy indoors with no additional humidity. However, if you can give your plant a bit of extra humidity, it will thank you!

Hoyas love humidity. You can do this by regularly misting the plant in the morning, grouping it with other plants for slightly higher ambient humidity levels, and adding a room humidifier. If you live somewhere humid, you can also consider moving your plant outdoors to a covered location for the spring and summer.

hoya rope plant
variegated hoya rope plant

Should I fertilize my hoya rope plant?

I fertilize my hoya rope plant using Liqui-Dirt plant food that I add to my watering can. This is less a fertilizer and more of a plant nutrient supplement, I know—but I don’t want to split hairs.

I usually add this to my watering can roughly once a month in the spring and summer. I don’t use it in the fall and winter. You can also use a diluted fertilizer for indoors plants if you’d like to—this can especially help with flowering.

woman holding two mature hoya rope plants

Pruning and propagating the hoya rope plant

I have not had to prune my hoya rope plant yet, but they do tend to grow a bit unruly when they are more mature. You can easily remove old or unattractive growth using sanitized shears or a clean knife. Don’t cut back the long leafless stems—flowers grow from those.

Pruning your plants is a great time to try your hand at propagation, too. You can propagate your hoya rope plant using cuttings from a single stem. Simply cut a piece of the plant that is a few inches long. Then root the cutting in water or damp sandy soil. (As always, I prefer rooting in water if I can so I can monitor root growth.)

hoya rope plant propagation
hoya rope plant propagation
hoya rope plant propagation

How do I get my rope Hoya to bloom?

I’ve mentioned flowering a few times. I have three hoya rope plants, and one has flowers. It’s my big plant. These plants grow slowly (which is one of the reasons why large, mature hoya rope plants are so freaking expensive), so flowering might take a while.

They bloom lovely little star-shaped white and pink flowers. And the flowers emerge in dense clusters, too. They smell distinctly like chocolate. I have had my large hoya rope bloom many times, and there seems to be no rhyme or reason.

It blooms all throughout the year. As I update this post in early February, I can see that the plant is budding up to push out a new round of blooms, too. What a winter treat!

The best way to encourage flowering is to provide enough light, don’t overwater, and be patient. You’ll likely have to take good care of your plant for a few years before it flowers. You can also consider fertilizing your plant in the spring and summer.

Keep in mind that when the plant flowers, you should NEVER remove the peduncle (the little nub the flower emerges from) from the plant. Just pick off the little petals as they die off. The plant will re-bloom from the same spot in the future if you leave the peduncle on.

hoya rope plant flowering
hoya rope plant flowering
hoya rope plant flowering
hoya carnosa compacta flowering
hoya carnosa compacta flowering
hoya carnosa compacta flowering

Problems with hoya rope plants

These plants are not terribly vulnerable to pests, which is another point in favor of this plant! If you find a run-of-the-mill pest is invading your plant—mealybugs, scale, or fungus gnats—simply isolate the plant and treat it with a insecticidal spray.

I recently had a plant with scale near my hoya. Even though I didn’t notice any issues on the hoya, I decided to spray everything that was on the windowsill for good measure. With so many little hiding spots on the hoya rope, I wasn’t willing to risk having a pest move in.

I did it in the kitchen sink because it was a hot, sunny day, and I didn’t want to burn the plants. The neem oil spray didn’t hurt the plant. It actually left it looking quite clean and shiny after I’d sprayed and rinsed it!

Overwatering your hoya rope plant might also lead to a rot-causing fungus. A sign of this is gray or discolored patches on the leaves. Another reason to double check the last time you watered your plant before grabbing that watering can!

hoya rope plant foliage
hoya rope plant leaves

Share my hoya rope plant care tips!

collage of plants that says hoya rope plant care
collage of plants that says hoya rope plant care
  1. Magali Urrutia says:

    I have a small Carnosa Compacta but it appears as if it has not grown one bit in two years. It’s only about 5 inches long and has healthy looking roots, but it just sits there. I have thought of maybe putting it in water and see if it grows more and longer roots

    • You could try leca! My smaller compacta has been pretty slow growing, but I put it under a grow light this summer (I keep it inside) and it definitely showed some growth!

  2. Josie says:

    What a gorgeous plant! I don’t have one, but I think I need to add this to my list (as if I need more plants! hah!).

Comments are closed.

I decided to turn off comments on most of my posts because of the crazy comment spam. If you see a spot to leave a comment, please do. If you don't, you can hop over to my Instagram and leave a comment or send me a direct message. Thank you for visiting and reading!
This blog's content is for entertainment purposes only and is not professional advice. By reading this blog and attempting to re-create any content shared on it, you assume all responsibility. Read my full Terms of Use here. Be safe out there!