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Hoya Incrassata Incredible Care Tips

Hoya Incrassata Incredible Care Tips

If you are intrigued by Hoya plants, get ready I have another beautiful species for you. Hoya Incrassata is commonly known as Wax flower, Wax plant, or Wax vine.

This lovely flowering Hoya originates from Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand in South East Asia and has been traded as a houseplant for several years.

Hoya Incrassata is another milkweed plant because of the white, milky sap. Hoya plants are one of the most diverse plant genera in nature, with a wide variety of leaves and flowers.

The main reason for the popularity of Hoya plants is the fleshy leaves and semi-gloss layer of wax on the flowers.

Incrassata was first recognized in 1904 by German botanist Otto Warburg. It is definitely one of the easiest Hoya plants to grow and flower.

This plant also has special variegated versions that have leaves in cream and green color.

With its showy flowers, Hoya Incrassata is a great ornamental plant for gardeners who are obsessed with Hoyas. This fragrant plant looks wonderful in small gardens, hanging baskets, and containers.


How Not To Kill Your Hoya Incrassata

Hoya Incrassata Photo Credit: @colorsnleaves on Instagram


Basic Plant Care Instructions for Hoya Incrassata

Hoya Incrassata has plant care requirements similar to other Hoyas; it can grow in low to bright, indirect sunlight in a peat-based soil. It thrives in temperatures of 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit, whereas the humidity should be between 70 to 80%.



When talking about Hoya soil requirements, the major consideration is that Hoyas hate water-logged soil. Therefore whatever mixture you go for, make sure it’s well-draining.

I like growing it in peat, bark, and perlite mix that fulfills all the requirements of an indoor Hoya plant. You can even add coconut fiber to your peat-based mix. A cactus mix will also work for growing a Hoya Incrassata. The optimum USDA hardiness zone is 10a.



Hoya Incrassata needs plenty of water to thrive, but it is important that you let the plant get dry before the next watering. I treat my plant with occasional misting so that it’s never thirsty for water.

The leaves are succulent, so they will store water; therefore, it is not fussy about water. Just remember to water it whenever the soil has dried. In hot summer you water it twice a week.

Give your Hoya plant less water during winter because the rate of evaporation is low compared to summer or spring, or you can easily end up overwatering your plant.

Do not panic if you forget to water your plant once or twice during the busy days. The thick foliage of wax pants like Hoya Incrassata can store some water for these times.



As a houseplant, Hoya Incrassata enjoys full sun to partial shade. But keep in mind that even bright full sun should not fall on your plant directly.

I have low sunlight within my apartment; therefore, I utilized artificial lights to grow my indoor Hoya Incrassata, which resulted very well, and my plant starting thriving within a few months.

However, if you want your plant to bloom, keep it in bright, indirect sunlight. From Mid-May to late September, you can keep this plant outdoor. But in summer, bring the plant inside during hot days.



Being native to rainy, warm areas of South East Asia, this plant will thrive in average indoor temperatures. However, the ideal temperature will be between 65 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (18 to 27 degrees Celsius).

The Hoya Incrassata is not winter hardy; it can withstand temperatures lower than 57 degrees Fahrenheit (14 degrees Celsius). I will encourage you to get heat pads if the temperature gets lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

One of the things this plant highly dislikes is cold, draughty windows.



This plant comes from a tropical environment; therefore, aim for the same if you want to successfully cultivate it indoors. The most important requirement to create this atmosphere is humidity because most tropical plants are accustomed to high humidity.

Luckily this plant is very adaptable; it can thrive in low to high humidity. I would recommend 70 to 80% humidity levels for Hoya Incrassata.



An adequate supply of fertilizer is necessary for plant health and flowering in the coming season. For young plants with one or two leaves, minimum feeding is required. You can add a slow-release fertilizer twice a year.

For a mature plant with more leaves, you can increase the amount of fertilizer. It is best to apply a liquid fertilizer three to four times during the growing season when the plant is thriving vigorously.

If you have planted your Hoya Incrassata in cactus soil, I would suggest adding a cactus fertilizer to the mix.

This plant enjoys feeding in the spring and summer season, but you have to withhold fertilizers in the winter season.



This Hoya has adventitious roots that have a rough texture. This plant will appreciate being root bound but still needs to be repotted every year or two. Hoya plants do not like very large pots, so I choose a pot that is 1 or 2 inches bigger in size.

I like using a coarse potting medium while repotting. Just fill the bottom half of the pot with orchid bark and add your desired potting mix to fill the remaining pot. You can add a teaspoon of lime if you want to increase the alkalinity of the mix.

After settling the plant in its new pot, spray some liquid fertilizer on top of the soil surface. This will supply any missing nutrients in the potting mix.



Follow the following steps for pruning a Hoya Incrassata:

  • Prepare bleach and water solution. Dip all your gardening tools in this solution to thoroughly sterilize them—this is important to prevent any diseases.
  • Now wear your protective gloves because the sap for this plant can cause skin irritation for some individuals.
  • Take small garden scissors and prune all diseased stems, leaves, and flowers. You can remove all the brown, yellow, dying leaves.
  • You can also trim leggy stems to help your plant conserve energy. I would suggest trimming any extra stems for size control if your Hoya Incrassata is thriving vigorously.



The ideal time to propagate Hoya Incrassata via stem cuttings is spring or summer because if you propagate in winter, your plant will take very long for root formation. I have prepared a step by step guide to help you propagate your Hoya Incrassata successfully:

  • Before I start the propagation, I ensure that all my tools are sterilized using a bleach solution or rubbing alcohol.
  • You have to start the propagation by choosing a young, healthy stem.
  • Make sure the stem has no blooms on it but only a few leaves. It is important to choose a stem that has at least one leaf.
  • Now using the sharp pruning shears, cut the stem just below a leaf node. You should make the cut diagonally at 45o This will prevent the cut from rotting.
  • Before tucking your cutting in a growing medium, I would recommend dipping it in a rooting hormone. This results in faster growth.
  • You can choose any rooting medium based on your preference. You can either keep it in water or soil.
  • If you want to grow it in soil, choose sphagnum moss. Make sure the leaves do not touch the moss because they may start rotting. Only the nodes should be wrapped inside the moss.
  • Now maintain high humidity throughout the growth process by keeping your cutting in a dome or plastic bag. I would personally prefer humidity domes because these are designed for humidity with airflow.
  • If you do not have a dome, you can simply go for a plastic bag but make a few holes on it for air circulation. Open this bag after few days to prevent excessive humidity.
  • If you are a fan of water propagation like me, simply submerge the node of the cutting in room temperature water after treating it with rooting hormone.
  • You should replant this Hoya Incrassata cutting once the tiny roots are few inches long. You can propagate it using any growing medium, but for final transplant, this cutting needs a soil-based potting medium.
  • Choose a general Hoya potting mix or use the instructions given in the soil section to decide what is best for your Hoya Incrassata.
  • This plant will start blooming within 18 months after the propagation.



This plant has very interesting blooms because each flower has different petals; some of them are curled towards the center while others are pointing outwards, otherwise known as reflexed flowers. The flowers also have a very glossy sheen making them live to their nickname ‘Wax Flower.’

Each peduncle consists of two flowers; the small inner flower (corona) is creamy white while the outer flower (corolla) is yellow with brown or maroon edges. Each bloom has 5 fused petals, sepals, and coronas.

All these flowers grow in clusters creating a bouquet of tiny flowers, and each flower is about 0.4 inches (10mm) in size.

Each umbel has 40 to 50 flowers that last for 3-4 days only. But don’t get discouraged because this plant repeatedly blooms from spring to fall. This plant will reward you with blooms within a short time once you maintain the necessary plant care instructions.

The blooms have a very strong and fresh lemony scent with a hint of spice in it. The scent is highly noticeable in the evening.


This vining plant can get about 2-3 feet high with proper plant care during its active growth season, spring, and summer.

The leaves on this particular Hoya vary a lot in size; they grow 3.5-6.2 inches (9-16cm) in length and 1.5 – 2.4 inches (4-6cm) in width. The leaves are slightly curled at the edges.

The Hoya Incrassata Variegata has variegated leaves; they vary in shades of dark and light green.  The leaves on the original version are solid green with no flecks and grow to a size of 8 inches in length.

The leaves have pinnately netted leaf veins. The stems are light brown or completely brown with a length of 3.4-5.3 inches (8.8-13.5cm) in length.

The young leaves are very shiny, but as the plant matures, the leaf’s appearance changes to a leathery matte finish. The leaves also vary in terms of thickness, and the thick ones are lighter in color.


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A post shared by P.V Rajasree (@colorsnleaves)


Common Problems for Hoya Incrassata

This plant is vulnerable to all sucking pests that feed on the foliage of houseplants. One of the most common one is thrips. There are more than 6000 species of thrips in nature.

Thrips are thin insects with a pair of wings. Their color varies from yellow to light brown. They use their sharp mouthparts to feed on the leaves and scrape the flowers or fruits. The infected plant will have pale leaves that are splotchy, curled, and distorted.

Adult thrips are very tiny, about 1/25 inches in size, and they have slender bodies. This allows them to hide in different corners of the plant.

These sucking pests always feed in groups, and both the young and adult versions are attracted to light-colored flowers. Hoya Incrassata also has white and yellow-colored flowers; therefore, it is an easy target for thrips.

Use a bug blaster or strong water stream to spray the infected plant; this will reduce the number of pests. Now use organic pesticides to treat thrips on your ornamental Hoyas. But remember that these pesticides should be applied based on the label instructions.

You can also release commercially available insects like the ladybug, pirate bugs, or lacewings for biological control of thrips. If your plant has a bad infestation, it is best to dispose of it because these insects will quickly spread to other plants within their vicinity.


Tips for Growing Hoya 

  1. Hoya Incrassata needs excellent drainage in pots.
  2. Do not expose it to cool temperatures because that will halt or slow down the growth.
  3. Avoid placing it near a radiator or air conditioners to protect your plant from extreme temperature fluctuations.
  4. Do not place the Hoya Incrassata in mid-day hot sun because this will burn the succulent leaves.
  5. Hoya plants dislike constant moving or handling; therefore, avoid moving your plant unnecessarily.
  6. Keep your Hoya Incrassata in a bright spot where it will not get direct sunlight. Remember, the more sunlight it gets, the more bloom it will produce.
  7. Water your plant only when required, i.e., when the soil is dry.
  8. When the plant is budding or flowering, you should avoid misting or cleaning the leaves.
  9. For propagation, take a stem with more than one leaf as this will speed up the propagation.
  10. I would suggest using a bloom booster for young plants because it serves as a root stimulator.


Varieties of Hoya Incrassata

Hoya Incrassata Albomarginata – this one has unique leaves; some of them are creamy-yellow in the middle, and the leaf margins are solid green. While some of the leaves are speckled in shades of cream and green, giving this plant a very different appearance. The flowers are very light yellow with tints of pink. This plant is recommended for expert gardeners because it needs special care.

Hoya Incrassata Moon Shadow– this is a beautiful variegated variety of Incrassata plant. The leaves have yellow and green stripes in the middle. The blooms are white with pink margins.

Hoya Incrassata Moon Stuck– this is a defined version of Hoya Incrassata Moon shadow. It has thinner green leaf margins and more white patterns in the center.

Other varieties are Hoya Incrassata Eclipse and Hoya Incrassata Golden ball.

Frequently Asked Questions about Hoya Incrassata


My Hoya Incrassata was accidentally sitting dry for too long, what should I do?

If your Hoya soil was dry for too long, do not flood it with water on the next watering. You can add a small amount of water at more frequency.


What is the most unique feature of Hoya Incrassata?

Although the leaves for this plant are admirable, the selling point is the ball-shaped flowers in yellow. The tips of these flowers are maroon with a white center.


Is the plant sap poisonous?

The milky, white sap can cause skin irritation for some people. The plant should be kept away from children or pets as the sap could be toxic if consumed.


Can this plant survive in low sunlight?

This plant can survive in low light, but it will take longer to produce beautiful blooms.


Can I prune my Hoya Incrassata during the blooming period?

You should not move or prune your Hoya plant during its blooming period because that can either delay blooming or end up in no blooms.


How can I know more about the natural habitat of my Hoya plants?

The foliage of Hoya plants can serve as a guide to judge its natural habitat. If your Hoya has thin, large leaves that are dark in color, it belongs to wet, shady environments. Whereas if your Hoya has succulent, thick leaves that are light-colored, it is used to full sun and droughts.


What are some ways to display Hoya Incrassata?

This vining evergreen looks lovely in hanging baskets as well as floor planters.


The Hoya Incrassata bears gorgeous creamy yellow flowers that have an amazing scent. The broad lanceolate leaves in shades of green make it a traditional houseplant. You can even grow a variegated version if you like variegated plants.

I would highly recommend this species to plant enthusiasts that are just starting their gardening journey as it requires no special care. Hoya Incrassata often gets diseased due to malnutrition; therefore, feed your plant with fertilizers regularly. This species is highly sensitive to overwatering, so water once the soil is dry.

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