14 Types of Variegated Hoya Plants

Written by Jennifer Hollohan
Updated: August 8, 2023
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New and seasoned gardeners enjoy adding hoya plants to their homes and offices. One reason is that these tropical plants are notoriously easy to care for. They are also well-known for their unique floral displays. Many hoya species have striking and highly fragrant blooms. However, those are not the only draws. Some hoya varieties also have attractive foliage that offers a show-stopping addition to a room. Variegated hoyas, in particular, are beloved for their contrasting leaves. Each one has eye-catching color patterns or irregular markings. This article will explore 14 different types of variegated Hoya plants that can add a pop of color to any indoor space.

1. Hoya carnosa tricolor aka ‘Krimson Queen’

The leaves of Hoya carnosa tricolor (aka ‘Krimson Queen’) typically have two colors, despite this plant’s name. However, there are three colors on the leaves during new growth. At that point in growth, a slight shade of pink joins the green and cream leaves. The gorgeous foliage gets offset even more when the flowers of this hoya bloom. They are light pink with a red center and grow in tiny clusters. Plus, they have a delightful fragrance reminiscent of chocolate. 

Krimson Queen foliage

Krimson Queen foliage has a gorgeous mixture of green and cream colors.

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2. Hoya carnosa rubra aka ‘Krimson Princess’

The ‘Krimson Princess’ is a stunning plant. Its leaves show off variegated colors in the centers rather than on the edges. The center of its leaves ranges from pink, cream, white, or yellow and is surrounded by dark green on the edges. This cultivar produces clusters of fragrant pink or white flowers.

3. Hoya pubicalyx

This unique hoya plant has exceptionally long leaves. They reach up to 7 inches long and have a lovely shade of green dotted with white specks. It is one of the easiest hoyas to care for and produces stunning flowers. The small, star-shaped flowers are light pink, white, and red and have a sweet scent.

4. Hoya callistophylla

Add an incredibly eye-catching plant to your hoya collection with Hoya callistophylla. The large, light green leaves have deep, dark green veins. This hoya species is truly spectacular to look at. And unlike some of its relatives, this hoya is prized for its foliage rather than its flowers. The slow-growing tropical plant flowers infrequently, but the leaves make up for that loss.

Hoya callistophylla flower clusters
Hoya callistophylla

flower clusters appear infrequently.


5. Hoya curtisii

The foliage of Hoya curtisii is light green to olive green with silver specks. Its small, rounded leaves have pointed ends. And unlike most hoyas, Hoya curtisii can handle some direct sunlight. Many hoya owners choose to place it in bright light periodically because doing turns the foliage to red or maroon. It also has long, dense vines reaching up to three feet long. This hoya is particularly spectacular due to its foliage. Its flowers only add to the splendor. The fuzzy blossoms are red with a slight yellow center and smell faintly of citrus.

Curtisii hoya in a hanging basket

Curtisii hoyas are perfect for hanging baskets.


6. Hoya krohniana ‘Eskimo’

Hoya krohniana ‘Eskimo’ leaves are heart-shaped or oval and have silver or grey flecks throughout. The leathery feeling leaves have raised nearly uniform veins. They are roughly 1.5 inches long and just under 1 inch wide. The vines of this plant extend for up to 8 feet but can sometimes grow even longer. This stunning plant has white, highly fragrant flowers.

7. Hoya australis ‘Lisa’

This hoya variety is native to Australia and has spectacular colors. You may find a combination of dark green, peach, red, yellow, or lime green in its foliage. The plant produces small, fragrant, pink or white flowers in clusters. Its vines have been reported to grow up to 10 feet long in the wild but typically develop much shorter when kept indoors.

Hoya australis 'Lisa' leaves
Hoya australis

‘Lisa’ leaves come in magnificent shades.

©Khairil Azhar Junos/Shutterstock.com

8. Hoya kerrii ‘Variegata’

The lovely Hoya kerrii is also known as the sweetheart plant thanks to its uniquely shaped leaves. The variegated version retains that lovely, heart-warming shape with a different color palette. Its foliage is dark green in the center with yellow or white around the edges. This slow-growing plant produces heavy vines that are ideal for displaying on trellises. And while it does produce blooms, they are not very noticeable when attention is turned to the stunning leaves.

9. Hoya linearis ‘Variegata’

This hoya variety has thin, narrow leaves and doesn’t climb as much as its relatives. Hoya linearis’ Variegata’ foliage is green with white or yellow markings. This variety produces small, white flowers that smell like lemon.

10. Hoya carnosa ‘Compacta Variegata’ 

This plant is a popular variegated hoya. It has small, waxy, green leaves with white or yellow edges. The twisty foliage earned it the nickname “Rope Hoya.” Its long vines produce stunning cascades out of a hanging pot. The plant produces small, star-shaped flowers that are typically pink or white.

11. Hoya kerrii Variegata ‘Splash’

Hoya kerrii variegata ‘Splash’ is a rare cultivar that retains the famous heart-shaped leaves. They have white or yellow markings splashed irregularly throughout each leaf. While you want to keep your hoya out of direct light, make sure to provide it enough light to help its blooms form. 

12. Hoya macrophylla ‘Variegata’

The beautiful Hoya macrophylla ‘Variegata’ is a rare and prized variety. It has oversized leaves that feature variegated veins and edges. The foliage is light green, offset by splashes of pink and white. New leaves start a lovely pink as they grow on the long, trailing vines. The fragrant flowers grow in small clusters every year. 

13. Hoya wayetii ‘Variegata’

The foliage on Hoya wayetii ‘Variegata’ is lovely. Its leaves are elongated like those on Hoya sheperdii, only a little wider. The colors are dark green, light green, white, and almost yellow, with each leaf featuring a unique combination. But young foliage is even more beautiful. Early growth starts with red or pink shades. It grows densely and makes the perfect addition to any hanging basket.

14. Hoya chelsea ‘Variegata’

This variegated hoya is ideal for a hanging basket or trellis. Its long vines showcase unique foliage. The dark green leaves have raised veins. And creamy white edges provide an intriguing contrast against that darker shade. Their whiteish-pink blooms add additional eye-catching appeal.

Caring for Your Variegated Hoyas

Hoyas, including variegated hoyas, are relatively easygoing and low maintenance. If you follow a few key steps, your lovely plant will stick around for years. Here are some factors to consider when caring for your variegated hoya.

  • Provide your plant with adequate sunlight. Hoyas require at least six hours of indirect (but bright) light daily. You can also supplement with artificial light to help ensure the plants get all the “sun” they need.
  • Plant your variegated hoya in a relatively small pot and loose, well-draining soil. Hoya’s root systems are shallow, and they prefer a snug home. Opt for a potting mix designed for succulents and cacti for an ideal solution.
  • Don’t overwater, as tempting as it is. Hoyas are prone to root rot and strongly dislike saturated soil. Allow the top two inches of soil to dry out before watering during the summer and all of the soil to dry during the winter. 
  • As a tropical plant, hoyas require adequate warmth and humidity. So keep your plant away from any cold drafts if you have it indoors. And bring it inside on colder days if it is an outdoor plant. For those in drier conditions, it is not impossible to grow hoyas. However, it is vital to get your plant additional moisture through a humidifier or regular misting.
Hoya carnosa vines


Hoya carnosa

plants will thrive with the proper care.

©Zuzana Habekova/Shutterstock.com

The photo featured at the top of this post is © Tami Poliwoda/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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