Hoya carnosa
Common Name: wax plant 
Type: Vine
Family: Apocynaceae
Native Range: Eastern China, Japan, Penisular Malaysia, Taiwan, Vietnam
Zone: 10 to 12
Height: 2.00 to 4.00 feet
Spread: 1.00 to 2.00 feet
Bloom Time: Seasonal bloomer
Bloom Description: White
Sun: Full sun
Water: Medium
Maintenance: Low
Flower: Showy, Fragrant
Leaf: Evergreen


Winter hardy to USDA Zones 10-12. In St. Louis, wax plant is easily grown as a houseplant. It is best grown in a standard, loamy, well-drained potting mix. It may be trained to a small trellis or framework. Site in bright light with at least 1/2 day of direct sun. Tolerant of curtain-filtered sun and bright indirect light. Good light is necessary for flower production. Pots should not be rotated or moved to another location after flower buds appear. Water plants moderately but consistently throughout the growing season, allowing the soils to become nearly dry between water applications. In winter, plants require less bright light, less watering and tolerate night temperatures to 50F degrees. Do not remove the flowering stalk after bloom because new flowers will form on the old spur.

Noteworthy Characteristics

Hoya carnosa, commonly called wax plant or honey plant, is a climbing or trailing perennial of the dogbane and milkweed family. In St. Louis, it is typically grown as a houseplant. It grows 2-4’ indoors. Trailing stems will climb counterclockwise around wire or other thin trellis-like structures. Stems will also trail from hanging baskets. Plants feature glossy, elliptic, fleshy, dark green leaves (to 4” long) and tight rounded clusters (umbels) of fragrant white summer flowers. Each tiny flower (to 1/2” diameter) sports a distinctive, star-shaped, red-centered corona. Each cluster may include from 10-30 flowers. Wax plant is native to India, China and Australia. The genus name honors Thomas Hoy, late 18th century gardener to the Duke of Northumberland.

Genus name honors Thomas Hoy, late 18th century gardener to the Duke of Northumberland.

Specific epithet means fleshy.

Common name refers to the waxy flowers and leaves.

‘Variegata’ features leaves with creamy white margins and sometimes a pink tinge.


Overwatering may cause root rot. Watch for mealy bugs and scale.


Long lived house plant.