A Fascinating Journey into the World of Hoyas

Are you intrigued by the allure of Hoyas? Are you longing to expand your Hoya collection? You’re not alone! These lush green beauties are the perfect choice for beginners and plant enthusiasts looking for low-maintenance houseplants.

With over 500 accepted Hoya species and countless varieties within each species, the Hoya world can be a confusing place. The names of cultivars and their true identity often create a perplexing puzzle. However, fear not! In this guide, we will navigate through this complex genus and unveil 13 of the most common and captivating Hoyas, providing you with tips to identify them with ease.

Getting Acquainted with Hoyas

Let’s start by immersing ourselves in the world of Hoyas. Hoyas belong to a large genus of tropical and subtropical plants native to Asia, Australia, and Fiji. These semi-succulent vining plants have a natural propensity to climb or drape down. In the wild, they can be found as epiphytes, growing on trees without harming them, or lithophytes, clinging to rocks.

Hoyas are renowned for their thick, juicy leaves that serve as water reservoirs, allowing them to thrive with minimal soil. The extraordinary beauty of Hoya flowers, borne in ball-shaped clusters known as inflorescences, is matched by their irresistible fragrance, often resembling the scent of chocolate cake.

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A Journey for Beginners

If you consider yourself a “black thumb,” fear not! Hoyas will transform you into a confident plant caretaker. These forgiving plants, with their epiphytic nature, are surprisingly undemanding when it comes to water and sunlight. However, unlike succulents, they do prefer a little moisture. Finding Hoyas is a breeze, as they are readily available in big box stores and specialty nurseries. You may find them labeled as “wax plants,” “wax vines,” or simply “Hoya.” But beware, not all Hoyas are the same!

Now, let’s embark on a journey through the enchanting world of Hoyas and explore 13 varieties that are perfect for beginners:

1. The Curly Wonder – Hoya carnosa ‘Compacta’

This striking cultivar of Hoya carnosa, affectionately known as the Hindu rope plant or rope plant, features curly and twisted leaves that cascade like ropes. It was initially created by exposing normal H. carnosa to cobalt radiation. ‘Compacta’ is sometimes labeled as Hoya carnosa ‘Krinkle Kurl’ but rest assured, it’s the same plant. There’s also a variegated version called ‘Mauna Loa’ with cream and pinkish coloration.

2. The Majestic Beauty – Hoya carnosa ‘Tricolor’ or Hoya carnosa ‘Krimson Queen’

These names may confuse you, but fear not, they are the same cultivar. Adored for their variegated leaves that start pinkish and fade to cream, this Hoya captivates all who see it. Although officially patented as ‘Tricolor,’ it is often sold as ‘Krimson Queen,’ leading to occasional confusion.

3. The Reversed Delight – Hoya carnosa ‘Rubra’ or Hoya carnosa ‘Krimson Princess’

Another contribution by the skilled Breeder, B. Cobia, ‘Rubra’ shares its parent plant with ‘Tricolor’/’Krimson Queen.’ The main difference lies in the reversed variegation, with green leaves on the outside and colored ones on the inside. You may find it labeled as Hoya carnosa ‘Krimson Princess,’ but don’t fret, they are the same.

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4. The Exotic Wonder – Hoya carnosa ‘Exotica’

Although similar in appearance to ‘Rubra’/’Krimson Princess,’ ‘Exotica’ is a distinct cultivar. Created by Ed Hummel, it features the same reverse variegation and is often confused with other wax plants due to their shared traits.

5. The Silvery Beauty – Hoya carnosa ‘Argentea Picta’

Derived from a unique cutting of ‘Verna Jeanette,’ Hoya carnosa ‘Argentea Picta’ boasts rounded silvery green leaves with cream edges. For reverse variegation, you can opt for Hoya carnosa ‘Argentea Princess.’ Both varieties are sure to captivate with their stunning appearance.

6. The Dimpled Enigma – Hoya carnosa ‘Krinkle 8’

While the patent for ‘Krinkle 8’ is elusive, it is also credited to B. Cobia, who is known for his Hoya creations. This distinguished Hoya features leaves with eight charming dimples. For a touch of cream coloration, try Hoya carnosa ‘Krinkle 8 Variegata.’

7. The Silver Splendor – Hoya carnosa ‘Freckles’ or Hoya carnosa ‘Freckles Splash’

Created by Susan Swartzfager, ‘Freckles’ charms with its dark green foliage adorned with delicate silver splashes. Sometimes labeled as ‘Freckles Splash,’ this Hoya exemplifies the unique patterns that can be coaxed by giving the plant plenty of indirect light.

8. The Classic Beauty – Hoya pubicalyx

Hoya pubicalyx, with its elongated waxy leaves speckled with white and pink, shares a resemblance with some Hoya carnosa cultivars. However, it is a distinct species known for its cascading growth, making it an excellent choice for hanging pots.

9. The Climbing Wonder – Hoya australis

Hoya australis brings glossy oval leaves with a reddish hue upon emergence, which turn green as they mature. These slender-stemmed Hoyas intertwine as they grow, making them perfect for trellises or adorning shelves and window ledges.

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10. The Petite Delight – Hoya curtisii

Resembling Peperomia prostrata, Hoya curtisii features trailing vines adorned with tiny silvery variegated leaves. While not as readily available, you can easily find and propagate this captivating Hoya online.

11. The Dramatic Waterfall – Hoya linearis

With its narrow cylindrical leaves densely covering vines, Hoya linearis creates a magnificent waterfall-like effect. To ensure its well-being, keep this Hoya in a bathroom near a window to benefit from the warm, humid air.

12. The Sweetheart Hoya – Hoya kerrii

Hoya kerrii, also known as the sweetheart Hoya, steals hearts with its fleshy, heart-shaped leaves. This adorable Hoya comes in various colors, including emerald green, variegated, and speckled. While often sold as a single “heart” planted in a pot, remember that it won’t develop stems in this form.

13. The Ravishing Beauty – Hoya obovata

Hoya obovata bears striking resemblance to Hoya kerrii but boasts rounded leaves and vibrant variegation. Be wary of sellers claiming to offer a ‘Splash’ cultivar, as the speckling occurs naturally under specific light conditions. Stick with Hoya obovata for a standard option that won’t break the bank.

Embark on Your Hoya Adventure

Now that we’ve explored these captivating Hoyas, you are armed with knowledge to acquire and care for these stunning plants. Each variety brings its unique charm to your collection, ensuring a captivating indoor landscape.

To assist you on your journey, you can find additional information and stunning visuals in the Ames Farm Center’s Web Story on Hoya varieties.

Remember, Hoyas are forgiving and adaptable, so don’t be afraid to experiment and let your collection thrive. Happy Hoya hunting!