14 Types of Rare Hoya Houseplants to Collect Now

Written by Jennifer Hollohan
Updated: August 8, 2023
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Hoyas are evergreen tropical plants in the Apocynaceae family. They are commonly called wax plants, thanks to the waxy leaves found in many varieties. They are easy to care for, which makes them ideal houseplants for beginner and expert gardeners. However, that is not the primary reason these lovely plants are a favorite of indoor plant enthusiasts. Their stunning foliage and often fascinating flowers provide a striking visual in any home. Additionally, the long, trailing vines make them perfectly suited for trellises or hanging houseplants. And while some hoya varieties are popular, consider adding a rare hoya (or two) to take your collection to the next level. In this article, we will explore fourteen types of rare hoya houseplants that you should add to your collection now.

1. Hoya carnosa ‘Compacta’

Hoya carnosa var. compacta


Hoya carnosa

‘Compacta’ is characterized by its folded, curled leaves, which grow along vines resembling ropes.

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An extremely popular rare hoya variety is the Hoya carnosa ‘Compacta.’ This plant is often called the “Hindu Rope Hoya” due to its unique rope-like appearance. While many hoyas have trailing vines, the Hoya carnosa ‘Compacta’ foliage twists and turns, creating rope-like vines. It produces small, pink, star-shaped, fragrant flowers that bloom from the early spring through summer. The Hoya carnosa ‘Compacta’ prefers bright, indirect light. Therefore, it is best to water this drought-tolerant plant when the top 2 inches of soil is dry.  

2. Hoya mathilde

The Hoya mathilde is another fascinating variety. It is a cross between the Hoya carnosa and the Hoya serpens. The small, round foliage grows densely on its long vines. And it develops tiny clusters of stunning white, fragrant flowers. If you can get your hands on the lovely Hoya mathilde, place it in medium to bright light, but make sure the light is indirect. It is drought tolerant and only needs watering when the soil is dry roughly 2 inches down. 

3. Hoya pubicalyx

The Hoya pubicalyx is a tropical succulent. It develops clusters of highly fragrant flowers and elongated leaves. The dark green, glossy leaves of the Hoya pubicalyx have stunning flecks of white.  

4. Hoya lacunosa

The Hoya lacunosa is a variety that produces delicate, white flowers with a sweet fragrance. While these flowers showcase the traditional star-shaped flowers found in many hoyas, the stars are surrounded by a lovely white circle. The leaves are lance-shaped and deep green. Water this hoya when the soil is dry to the touch.

5. Hoya kerrii

Hoya kerrii plants are popular amongst hoya collectors because of their unique, heart-shaped leaves. It is often called the “sweetheart plant” because of those same leaves. The slow-growing plant eventually produces vines that reach 3 to 4 feet. It prefers a slightly shaded environment and can dry out completely between waterings.

Sweetheart hoya vines

Sweetheart hoya vines can reach up to 4 feet long.


6. Hoya retusa

Since the vines of Hoya retusa can reach up to 10 feet long, they are ideal for a trellis. Or, you could add it to a hanging pot and decorate with the long, stunning vines. The foliage is also unique and differs greatly from most other hoya varieties. Rather than large glossy leaves, Hoya retusa leaves are slender and widen slightly at the end. It gives them an eye-catching, paddle-like appearance. Also, while many hoya flowers grow in umbels, these don’t. The white, star-shaped flowers appear individually. Let your Hoya retusa dry out between waterings and keep it in a spot that receives indirect sunlight.

Hoya retusa foliage
Hoya retusa

foliage is long and delicate, unlike many other varieties.

©K Hanley CHDPhoto/Shutterstock.com

7. Hoya obovata

The Hoya obovata is a trailing variety that produces stunning oval leaves. They are dark green and often flecked with spots of either pink or white. It is the ideal plant for a hanging basket or trellis. After two or three years, you will get rewarded with lovely pink, star-shaped flowers. They are highly fragrant, offering a treat for all your senses! Hoya obovata does best in bright, indirect sunlight and does not require much watering.

8. Hoya obscura

The Hoya obscura is perfectly suited for hanging baskets thanks to its compact, almost busy appearance. Its leaves can color change, depending on how much sun they get. In shadier areas, they will have a very dark green appearance. But when given more light, they will turn a deep red. Hoya obscura flowers are fuzzy and range from cream to pink. This hoya prefers slightly heavier watering than other varieties — but avoids overwatering.

9. Hoya serpens

The Hoya serpens is a vining hoya featuring slightly fuzzy, dark green foliage with intermittent grey spots. However, the true showpiece of this hoya variety is the flowers. Its blossoms are star-shaped, extremely fuzzy, and light green with a white and yellow center. Unlike other hoya varieties, Hoya serpens does not produce a lot of nectar. But that does not detract from its sweet fragrance. Plant your new find in loose, well-draining soil and set it in a spot that receives adequate (but indirect) sunlight. 

10. Hoya heuschkeliana

The Hoya heuschkeliana is a climbing hoya that produces bell-shaped, fragrant flowers. Its delicate leaves are ovate and relatively small. They are glossy and deep green on top, with lighter green underneath. This particular hoya prefers a slightly more humid and warm environment than other varieties. So make sure you pick out an appropriate spot before bringing one home. As with other hoya varieties, Hoya heuschkeliana prefers at least six hours of bright, indirect sunlight.  

11. Hoya fitchii

If you can find a Hoya fitchii, definitely snatch it up. You will be so happy to bring home this gorgeous and rare hoya plant. It is most well-known for its blossoms. Umbels of copper-colored flowers offset by light pink centers will delight everyone who looks at them. However, the eye-catching foliage is not to be undone. The leaves of Hoya fitchii are a lighter shade of green, contrasted by almost white veins that form a web-like appearance. So you will still have a beautiful plant to look at while anxiously awaiting your beautiful blossoms every spring. 

12. Hoya carnosa ‘Krimson Princess’

This variegated cultivar is a must-have for any rare hoya collection. The Hoya carnosa ‘Krimson Princess’ develops show-stopping white and pink flowers. And its dark-green, lanceolate foliage has an almost creamy white center. Additionally, when its new vines and leaves grow, they are often bright pink! Plant your new find in loose, well-draining soil and only water once the top 2 inches have dried out. Keep your lovely hoya in bright, indirect light for optimum growth.

13. Hoya australis ‘Lisa’

If you have searched for a hoya with a truly unique aesthetic, then look no further than the Hoya australis ‘Lisa.’ This rare hoya produces tiny clusters of delicate, white, star-shaped flowers with a soft pink/red center. However, its leaves are the real show-stopper. They are elongated with a waxy texture. The foliage is darker green around the edges, with splashes of lighter green and yellow in the center. Hoya australis ‘Lisa’ requires at least six hours of bright, indirect light and well-draining potting soil. Wait until the top 2 inches of soil is dry before watering.  

14. Hoya polyneura

The Hoya polyneura is also known as the fishtail hoya thanks to its elongated leaves that look like a mermaid’s tail. The dark green leaves also have striking, light green prominent veins. Its fragrant flowers are even more eye-catching than its foliage, though. Hoya polyneura flowers are star-shaped and have a waxy appearance. They will treat you with gorgeous yellow and red blossoms throughout the spring and summer. Hoya polyneura only needs watering when the soil is dry about 2 inches down and prefers bright, indirect light. 

Bella hoya flowers close up

Many hoya flowers are star-shaped and grow in clusters.

©Yuriy Danilov/Shutterstock.com

Summary of 14 Types of Rare Hoya Houseplants to Collect Now

Here’s a recap of the 14 rare Hoya houseplants that we took a look at:

1Hoya carnosa ‘Compacta’
2Hoya mathilde
3Hoya pubicalyx
4Hoya lacunosa
5Hoya kerrii
6Hoya retusa
7Hoya obovata
8Hoya obscura
9Hoya serpens
10Hoya heuschkeliana
11Hoya fitchii
12Hoya carnosa ‘Krimson Princess’
13Hoya australis ‘Lisa’
14Hoya polyneura

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Aaron Miyamoto/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

Jennifer Hollohan is a writer at A-Z Animals, where her primary focus is on gardening, mammals, and travel. Jennifer has over twenty years of writing experience. She holds a Master of Arts in Anthropology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, which she earned in 2005, and is a Herbalist. Jennifer lives in Colorado with her family. She loves hiking, admiring wildflowers, gardening, and making herbal tea.

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