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Hoya carnosa compacta, also known as Krinkle Kurl, rope plant, or Hindu rope plant, is a vining, semi-succulent, epiphytic plant.
Hoya carnosa compacta is native to India and grows sweet-smelling, star-like flowers. It is hard to describe this plant to someone who has never seen one. In my opinion, it is one of the most unique-looking plants out there! It almost resembles a garland, with the curly, succulent-like leaves growing as if held together on a string.
Is Hoya compacta a succulent?
This plant is semi-succulent. It holds water in its leaves and can go longer without being watered. We’ll discuss that more later in this post.
It is also an epiphytic plant, meaning it grows on the surface of another plant, like a tree branch, rather than out of the ground.
Where can I buy Hoya carnosa compacta?
I was lucky enough to inherit the incredible Hoya carnosa compacta in these pictures from my aunt. However, you can easily find a gorgeous Hoya compacta for yourself on Etsy! Check out this Hoya carnosa compacta from one of my favorite Etsy sellers.
You might also try searching for “Hindu rope plant,” since that is another very common name.
How do you care for a Hoya carnosa compacta?
This plant is pretty easy to grow. It just requires some patience since it’s a slow grower. Let’s dive into Hoya carnosa compacta care!
How much sun does a Hoya need?
As a semi-succulent, the Hoya carnosa compacta does well with bright, indirect light. Try not to give it too much direct sun, which would scorch the leaves.
Bright, indirect light is also very important if you want your plant to bloom. So while this plant may survive in less light, it most likely will not bloom without bright, indirect light. I’ll discuss more blooming tips later in this post.
If your plant is in need of more light, check out my guide to grow lights for indoor plants. (My two favorite grow lights are below.)
And, check out my easy guide to natural light if you’re having trouble figuring out the natural light in your home.
How often does Hoya carnosa compacta need to be watered?
This part is where some struggle with Hoya carnosa compacta care. As a semi-succulent, this plant doesn’t need to be watered too often because it stores water in its leaves. Water this plant when it has mostly dried out and be careful not to overwater it.
For watering help, check out my post on how to tell when your plant needs to be watered.
Does Hoya carnosa compacta like to be misted?
Hoya carnosa compacta does well with added humidity because they are native to humid areas. Misting every day to every few days (depending on how dry your climate is) is one way to accomplish this.
You can find more on creating humidity for your houseplants here.
As an epiphytic and semi-succulent plant, Hoya carnosa compacta does not need to be tightly packed into soil. Its epiphytic nature indicates the roots need good airflow, while its succulent nature indicates it needs a well-draining mix (however, try to avoid sand which could become too compacted, reducing airflow).
A regular, well-draining indoor plant potting mix will work fine, but mixing in additional loose or well-draining amendments to help it stay airy such as orchid bark, perlite, and sphagnum moss is beneficial.
Hoya carnosa compacta is a slow grower and doesn’t need much fertilizer. To fertilize this plant, use a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer diluted to half-strength, once a month during the growing season (spring and summer).
Be careful not to over fertilize this plant or you could end up harming it.
Hoya carnosa compacta does not need to be repotted often. Generally, every few years. They are OK with being somewhat rootbound and are slow growers anyway.
If the mix has become very compacted, the roots are coming out of the drainage holes, or if the mix is drying out very fast after watering, those are good indicators that it’s time to repot.
Water the plant thoroughly first and repot it in a pot that is the next size up from its current pot with good drainage.
It’s best to repot in the growing season (spring and summer), and for this plant, try not to repot it while it’s blooming.
Hoya carnosa compacta doesn’t need to be pruned aside from gently removing any dead, crumpled leaves. Try not to remove any blooms since they will bloom from the same place each year, and removing them can affect that.
If you want to control the shape and size, you can use a clean, sharp pair of scissors to trim back the vines. Personally, this plant grows so slowly that I would never DREAM of doing this, but that’s just me—some may prefer a more compact plant!
Mealybugs, spider mites, and aphids can be a problem for Hoya carnosa compacta. Mealybugs can be especially tricky to treat on this plant because they can easily hide in the crevices of the curly leaves. Check out my post on how to get rid of mealybugs for help.
Hoya carnosa compacta propagation
Hoya propagation might take longer since they are slow-growing plants, but other than requiring a little patience, it’s not difficult!
Hoya carnosa compacta propagation in water
To propagate Hoya carnosa compacta in water, use a pair of clean scissors to cut off a piece of vine that includes at least one node and one set of leaves (more if possible). Try to cut at a 45-degree angle to allow for more rooting area.
Put the cutting in a jar of room-temperature water so that at least one node is under the water and remove any lower leaves that end up being submerged. (The node is where new roots will sprout from.)
Put that jar in an area with bright, indirect light. Fill the water back up when it gets low and replace it completely when it gets grimy, once a week or so.
When the roots are a few inches long, you can move it to its permanent pot. I like to wait until the roots are three-or-so inches long. This will probably be at the very least a couple of weeks, if not months, so be patient!
Once you transfer it, give it a good watering and treat it like a normal plant.
Hoya carnosa compacta propagation in potting mix
You can also skip the jar of water completely and place the cutting directly into a small pot with moistened potting mix.
Follow the same basic process as above: Use a pair of clean scissors to cut off a piece of vine that includes at least one node and one set of leaves (more if possible). Try to cut at a 45-degree angle to allow for more rooting area.
Stick the cutting into moistened potting mix, making sure at least one node is buried and no leaves are buried. (The node is where new roots will sprout from.)
Place it in bright, indirect light and keep the mix moist as the roots develop.
You can also mist the cutting as needed or place a clear plastic bag over the top to raise humidity levels which will help the cutting along.
After a month or so, test the cutting to see how the root system is doing. Give it a very gentle tug to feel for any resistance. If you feel resistance, the roots have developed and you can treat the cutting like a normal plant. However, keep in mind it may even take a few months for the roots to develop.
How to get your Hoya carnosa compacta to bloom?
One of the most fun parts of Hoya carnosa compacta care is getting your plant to bloom! Hoyas will not bloom until they are mature, which can take a few years.
If your Hoya is mature enough to bloom, you can help the process along by providing it with plenty of bright, indirect light, extra humidity, and allowing it to be somewhat rootbound.
Although they don’t need much fertilizer, fertilizing your plant can encourage blooming. Fertilizers have three numbers that make up their N-P-K ratio (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium). Using a fertilizer with a higher middle number, such as 5-10-5, can help with getting your Hoya to bloom because phosphorus can encourage blooms.
Also, do not remove old blooms because the plant will bloom from the same place each time, and removing them can affect future blooms.
Is Hoya carnosa compacta toxic to pets?
No, Hoya carnosa compacta is not toxic to cats and dogs, but it’s best practice to keep plants out of your furry friends’ reach regardless.
Do Hoyas grow fast?
No, Hoya carnosa compacta is not a fast grower. This plant is all about “slow and steady wins the race.” While they are relatively easy to grow, Hoyas require a lot of patience and they’re not for everyone. You can help your Hoya along by providing it with optimal light levels—bright and indirect.