Hindu Rope Plant: An Exquisite Specimen

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Hoya Carnosa Compacta Hindu Rope

In the words of William Shakespeare, a Hoya compacta by any other name would smell as sweet. This stunning plant goes by many names, such as Hindu rope plant, porcelain plant, Krinkle Kurl, and wax plant. Regardless of its name, it remains an exquisite specimen that deserves special care.

Caring for Hoya Compacta

Growth, Size, and Appearance

The Hoya Hindu rope plant is known for its long, twisting vines that resemble ropes. These vines can grow anywhere from six to 20 feet in length. Along these vines, you will find succulent leaves that store water. The plant produces small, star-shaped flowers in clusters along the roping vines.


The Hoya carnosa compacta comes in two main varieties. The first, Hoya compacta, features thick, curled, dark green leaves. The second variety, Compacta variegata, showcases variegated leaves with a beautiful green and white/pinkish-white pattern.


For optimal growth, the Hindu rope plant thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. Although it can tolerate lower light conditions, providing a brighter space will make it happier and encourage larger growth. This versatile plant can be grown both indoors and outdoors.


Hoya compacta enjoys warmth, with ideal daytime temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit or above and nighttime temperatures between 60-65 degrees Fahrenheit.


Maintaining a relatively high humidity level of 40-60% is essential for this plant’s well-being. To increase indoor humidity around your Hoya compacta, place a tray of water and rocks beneath it. The water will evaporate and create moisture. Alternatively, keeping the plant in a bathroom with regular showers and baths will provide ample humidity.

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Due to its succulent nature, the Hindu rope plant doesn’t require frequent watering. Water the plant when the top 2-3 inches of soil become dry. The best watering method is to allow water to run out of the pot’s bottom and then let the plant rest until the soil has dried out again. During the growing season (spring and summer), it will need more frequent watering than in winter when it enters its resting phase.


Choose loose, well-draining soil for optimal growth. A typical indoor plant potting soil mix will suffice, especially if you incorporate perlite, sphagnum moss, or orchid bark to promote drainage and keep the soil light and airy.


Opt for a smaller hanging pot to accommodate the Hoya compacta’s growth. Ensure the roots have room to breathe and that the pot has drainage holes at the bottom to prevent waterlogging.


Hoya compacta doesn’t require frequent repotting and can thrive in the same pot for years. However, if the roots become compacted or the soil no longer drains well, it’s time to repot. Choose a pot that is only two inches larger than the current one. Remove excess soil from the roots, prune any dead roots, and then place the plant into the new pot. It’s best to repot during the spring or summer growing season, but avoid repotting if the plant has flowers to prevent flower loss.


The Hindu rope plant doesn’t demand excessive fertilization. Feed it once a month during the growing season using a water-soluble houseplant fertilizer. Dilute the fertilizer with an equal amount of water to avoid overwhelming the plant.

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Hoya compacta typically doesn’t require pruning. However, you can remove dead leaves using sterilized scissors or pruning shears. If you wish to maintain a “compact” appearance, refrain from pruning the area where the flower clusters grow. These clusters consistently emerge from the same place, so cutting them off will prevent any future flowers.


The waxy, curling leaves of the Hoya compacta make an inviting hideout for pests like spider mites, aphids, and mealybugs. Regularly inspect the plant for any signs of infestation and take appropriate action.

Is It Toxic?

No need to worry! The Hoya compacta is perfectly safe to have around children and pets.

For more information on caring for the Hindu rope plant and to find quality plants, visit Ames Farm Center.

Written by Jessica Scott