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7 Best Hoyas For Beginners: Here Are The Easiest to Grow

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With the multitude of Hoya species out there, it can be difficult to sift through and determine which ones are the easiest to grow. As a whole, many Hoyas are easy to grow indoors, but certain ones are definitely easier than others. Here are my picks for the best Hoyas for beginners.

There are certainly more than this, but I grow all of the varieties below, and more, so I can attest to their ease of care!

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BEST HOYAS FOR BEGINNERS

Hoyas belong to the Apocynaceae family of plants (commonly known as the milkweed family).

If you’ve ever seen the flowers on the common milkweed plant, you’ll find that they are strikingly similar to Hoya flowers.

A generic common name for Hoyas as a whole is “Wax Plant”.

Most Hoya species are native to tropical and subtropical Asia, as well as the west Pacific and many are epiphytic.

Here are 7 of the easiest Hoyas that you can grow at home (in no particular order based on ease of care).

1. Hoya carnosa

Hoyas are often passed down among generations as heirloom plants. Your heirloom Hoya that you probably received from your grandmother is most likely a Hoya carnosa.

You may have just the plain green species, or any one of a number of beautiful variegated cultivars of Hoya carnosa, including Krimson Queen, Krimson Princess, and many others.

Here is my Hoya carnosa, though I’m not certain which cultivar it is. I’ve owned this plant for almost 20 years at the time of writing this post.

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My Hoya carnosa hanging over my bathtub where I water it, and then return it back to its window.

Be sure not to miss my Hoya carnosa growing guide.

2. Hoya compacta

This plant is actually a cultivar of Hoya carnosa, but it is sometimes just called Hoya compacta. The correct botanical name is Hoya carnosa ‘Compacta’.

Some common names for this Hoya include Hindu Rope Plant and Krinkle Kurl plant.

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My Hindu Rope hoya.

There are plain green plants as well as variegated plants. The variegated plant is Hoya carnosa ‘Compacta Variegata’.

Any variegated Hoya will naturally be slower growing than its solid green counterpart, but I find that even the plain green Hindu Rope Hoya like in my photo above is extremely slow growing.

So if your plant isn’t budging much even under good conditions, this is normal.

The tightly packed, crinkly leaves are beautiful, but be careful because all the crevices can be great hiding places for mealy bugs!

Be sure not to miss my Hindu Rope Hoya growing guide.

3. Hoya curtisii

This is a miniature, trailing Hoya that has small, spade-shaped leaves that are mottled in grey. If you are looking for a Hoya that doesn’t take up as much space, this is a great option!

The plants will typically form a nice, dense mat of leaves over the surface of the soil before they start to spill over the edge of your pot.

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My Hoya curtisii

This species is a little harder to find than some other varieties, but it is equally easy to care for.

Be sure not to miss my Hoya curtisii care guide.

4. Hoya kerrii

It is easy to see why the Hoya kerrii is commonly known as the Sweetheart Hoya or Valentine’s Hoya. The heart-shaped leaves are a delight, and there are both plain green plants, as well as variegated plants.

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It’s a very slow grower, especially the variegated Hoya kerrii.

One thing to be careful of is if you see these plants sold as single leaves in a small pot. Unless the grower also included a node, your plant will remain as a single heart leaf.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell unless you inspect it below the soil surface. Sometimes people get lucky and they do end up growing an actual plant.

If you want more than just a single leaved plant, it will be worth it to purchase a plant that is already vining out.

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My variegated Hoya kerrii

Be sure not to miss my Hoya kerrii care guide.

5. Hoya multiflora

Hoya multiflora, commonly known as the Shooting Star Hoya, is a bit different than many other Hoya species.

Most Hoya species have very thick, succulent leaves. The Shooting Star Hoya has thinner leaves, so it will not tolerate its potting mix drying out like Hoyas with thick leaves.

One positive feature of this plant though is that it is a very free bloomer, and will bloom even as a younger plant (unlike many other Hoyas). I’ve even had cuttings bloom while rooting in water!

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Just be careful to maintain nice, even growing conditions, including a fairly evenly moist potting mix, otherwise this plant can suffer from bud drop.

Unlike Hoyas that have thick, succulent leaves, I try not and let the potting mix of my Hoya multiflora dry out completely. I try and water when the top half inch or so has dried out.

6. Hoya obovata

One of my favorite Hoyas, as well as one of the easiest to care for, is Hoya obovata. The leaves are very succulent, so they can withstand periods of complete dryness with ease.

One benefit of this Hoya is that it will often bloom as a fairly young plant and it has a fairly rapid growth rate (for a Hoya!).

Leaves are often speckled with white or even pink flecks.

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My Hoya obovata

Here is a flower on my Hoya obovata. I grew the plant from cuttings, and it took about 2.5 years before it grew its first blooms.

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Hoya obovata flowers

Be sure not to miss my Hoya obovata growing guide.

7. Hoya shepherdii

Commonly known as the String Bean Hoya, Hoya shepherdii has long, succulent leaves.

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My Hoya shepherdii

The flowers on this Hoya are not as large as those of any Hoya carnosa cultivar, but they are dainty and the plant itself is pretty free-blooming.

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Flower buds on my Hoya shepherdii

The vines on this species will hang straight down the sides of your pot, so it is a space saver. Sometimes Hoyas (like Hoya obovata) can be awkward when they start elongating their vines and will stick out in all sorts of directions. Hoya shepherdii doesn’t do that.

This is one of the easiest Hoyas to care for. Be sure not to miss my Hoya shepherdii care guide for more details.

Interested in purchasing a special Hoya? Check out the Hoya selection on Etsy (link to Etsy). Etsy is my favorite one-stop-shop for finding virtually any plant I’m dreaming about!

What is your favorite, easy Hoya to grow?

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Emily

Thursday 30th of September 2021

Thank you for sharing and linking a variety of Hoyas. You've really got me interested in this plant family.

Raffaele

Thursday 30th of September 2021

You're very welcome Emily!

Constance Scott

Thursday 30th of September 2021

I though that milkweed was in the Asclepiadaceae (milkweed) family. I raise lots of monarchs and know that milkweed is their host plant, so I'm surprised that maybe hoya is a cousin of the milkweed?

Raffaele

Thursday 30th of September 2021

Hi Constance! Upon a little research, it seems that Asclepiadaceae is now treated as a subfamily of Apocynaceae. (I can't keep up with all the changes, haha). According to the online database of the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew, both the common milkweed genus (Asclepias) and the Hoya genus fall under the Apocynaceae. They are indeed related :-)