Hoya Carnosa Variegata: Variegated Wax Plant Care

Key Takeaways

  • Hoya Carnosa Variegata, also known as the Variegated Wax Plant, is a popular houseplant because it has colorful foliage and is very easy to care for.
  • The most attractive part of this plant is that it produces clusters of fragrant, star-shaped flowers that are pink or white in color.
  • These plants are fairly easy to take of:
    • Water: Water variegated wax plants only when the soil feels dry to the touch. Check the soil moisture by inserting your finger about 1 to 2 inches deep into the soil. Do not overwater this plant as it is prone to root rot.
    • Sunlight: Hoya carnosa variegata thrives in bright, indirect sunlight. It can tolerate some direct sunlight, but too much can scorch the leaves.
    • Soil: This plant prefers well-draining soil that is rich in organic soil amendment. A good potting mix for this plant is one that contains a mix of peat moss and some perlite so that water drains well but at the same time can retain a little water.
    • Temperature: These plants prefer a warm and humid climate, with temperatures ranging from 60 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit. It can tolerate slightly cooler temperatures, but avoid exposing it to temperatures below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hoya Carnosa Variegata, also known as the Variegated Wax Plant, is a popular indoor plant due to its attractive foliage and ease of care.

It is a climbing plant with thick, waxy leaves that are variegated with shades of green, cream, and pink.

The plant produces clusters of fragrant, star-shaped flowers that are pink or white in color.

Hoya Carnosa Variegata is a low-maintenance plant that can thrive in a variety of lighting conditions and is tolerant of neglect, making it a great choice for beginners.

In this article, we will give a little background on what Hoya carnosa variegata plants are and discuss the best way to care for them.

What are Hoya Carnosa Variegata Plants?

A Hoya carnosa plant is a semi-woody succulent vine plant that is often called a wax plant, wax vine, honey plant, or porcelain flower plant.

The variegated wax plant (botanically known as the Hoya carnosa ‘Variegata’) is a tropical plant that is popular for its attractive variegated leaves.

There are many varieties of the Hoya carnosa plant family that have variegated leaves.

Variegation means that the leaves display various colors and hues, particularly as uneven patches or streaks.

Depending on the particular variety, the leaves are a mixture of green, white, cream, and pink.

Like the original non-variegated Hoya carnosa plant, the variegated wax plant also blooms with waxy umbel-like clusters of sweetly scented flowers.

What Are Hoya Carnosa Variegata PlantsPin

Origins of the Hoya Carnosa Variegata Plant

Hoya carnosa, native to Australia, Southeast Asia, Southern India, and parts of the tropical Far East, is now a global treasure.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries, many botanists went on voyages of discovery to find new plants in far-off lands. 

Robert Brown was a Scottish botanist who traveled to Australia in December 1801.

He undertook extensive research and collected about 3,400 species of plants, more than half of which he named and which were previously unknown.

Hoya carnosa, which he named after his friend and colleague, Thomas Hoy, was one of these. 

The original Hoya carnosa was hugely popular in the 1970s and has recently made a comeback. 

Different Types of Hoya Carnosa Variegata

Amongst the variegated wax plants, the most popular variegated versions are the Tricolors, Krimson Queen, and Krimson Princess, as well as the Purple Pride cultivars.

Note that all these variations are often referred to as Hoya carnosa variegata tricolor plants.

Hoya Carnosa cv. Krimson Queen (Tricolor)

Hoya Carnosa Cv. Krimson QueenPin

Hoya carnosa cv. Krimson Queen, (also known as the Hoya Carnosa cv. Tricolor), has leaves that are green with white margins.

They also sprout pink leaves at times. Side note: the acronym “cv.” means cultivar.

Hoya Carnosa cv. Krimson Princess (Tricolor)

Hoya Carnosa Cv. Krimson PrincessPin

Hoya carnosa cv. The Krimson Princessis another variegated cultivar that is often confused with the Krimson Queen.

The difference is that the leaves are cream-colored leaves that have a green border and variegations concentrated in the center.

The Krimson Princess is also considered a ‘Tricolor Hoya’ as the colors of the leaves come in cream to a yellowish hue, green, and light to dark pink.

When the plant is young, the new leaves often start out a cheerful bright pink.

Hoya Krimson Queen versus Krimson Princess 

The biggest difference is the color of the leaves. The Krimson Queen has green variegated leaves with white edges, while the Krimson Princess is the opposite, with cream variegated leaves that have green edges.

Both have the occasional pink leaf in the mix as well.

The similarities are the flowers. They produce flowers, which are mauve and star-shaped with a mauve corona that has a hot-pink center and is arranged in clusters.

Like all Hoya carnosa plants, they smell beautifully sweet.

Each flower measures about three-quarters of an inch in diameter, and there are about 20 to 25 of them in each cluster. 

Hoya Carnosa ‘Purple Pride’

Another popular variegated wax plant is the Hoya Carnosa cv. Purple Pride.

This variation has slightly smaller star-shaped flowers with a plum-colored corona in the center.

It has more florets (about 30) in each cluster. Its fragrance is light and sweet. 

Variegated Wax Plant Care

Hoya carnosa variegata is a common house plant, though in tropical and some subtropical environments it thrives outdoors when planted directly in the soil or in a hanging basket.

Just make sure it’s in a location that has bright indirect light. Below are some basic care guidelines to follow so that your variegated wax plant will thrive.


Whether you grow these intriguing plants indoors or in your garden, they’re going to need bright, indirect light conditions. 

Some direct sunlight is fine, but make sure they don’t get more than 2 to 3 hours because excessive sun exposure may burn or yellow their leaves.


Temperature for Variegated Wax PlantPin

Indoors, these plants thrive when the temperature is between 70 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and no lower than 60 to 65 degrees Fahrenheit at night.

In winter, when they aren’t growing, they’ll survive in temperatures as low as 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

They do particularly well indoors if the relative humidity is around 30–40%. 


Water variegated wax plants when the soil feels dry to the touch—insert your finger 1 to 2 inches into the soil.

Slowly saturate the soil with water until it runs out of the bottom of the container through the drainage holes.

Depending on the season, you may need to water the plant once or twice each week in the spring and summer and less so in the fall and winter.

Just make sure to follow the rule of thumb of letting the soil dry out a little before watering the plant again.

Remember, as with any other plant, overwatering will lead to many issues, like root rot.


Soil for Variegated Wax PlantPin

In its natural environment, Hoya carnosa variegata is epiphytic, growing naturally on trees and rocks for support.

It has a very shallow root system and won’t need deep or nutrient-rich soil to thrive in your garden. 

To allow your soil to drain, we usually recommend adding soil amendments like perlite or mixing some African violet potting soil to your potting soil mix.


Hoya carnosa variegata, like the majority of houseplants, enjoys a little fertilizer.

Feed your Hoyas once every month with a diluted liquid fertilizer during the growing season.

Once cold weather arrives, reduce (or even stop) the amount of fertilizer used.

What we tend to use is this self-dissolving fertilizer.


Variegated Hoya carnosa plants are easily propagated from stem cuttings.

The best time of year to propagate it is between mid-spring and mid-summer when the plant is actively growing.

There are two primary ways to propagate your variegated wax plant: soil propagation and water propagation.

Soil Propagation

Soil Propagation Variegated Wax PlantPin

Fill a pot with a well-draining potting mix. As soon as the soil is ready, you can begin propagating your variegated Hoya plant.

Begin with a clean and sterilized knife or pair of pruning shears. Remove one stem from your Hoya Krimson Princess plant.

Make an approximately 6-inch cut and remove the leaves from the bottom quarter of the stem.

The stem should be healthy and have 2 to 3 leaves still attached. This is the portion of the stem that will produce roots.

If you have access to rooting hormone, we suggest you dip the ends of the cutting in some.

Rooting hormones will increase the chances of stem cutting to rooting.

Plant this end of the stem in the previously-prepared soil and, within 3 to 4 weeks, the stem cutting should have rooted.

Water Propagation

Water Propagation Variegated Wax PlantPin

Water propagation is a highly effective method for producing plants for free. Start by filling a jar with clean water.

Take your knife or a pair of shears to cut a stem cutting from your variegated hoya plant.

As with the soil propagation method, cut a stem to about 6 inches long.

Make sure the stem is a healthy one that has 2 to 3 leaves still on it. robust and have two to three leaves.

Place the stem cutting into the water and ensure that no leaves are below the water line.

Place the container in a location with a bright location.

Refresh the water as it becomes murky, and within 3 to 4 weeks, you should notice roots start sprouting.

Once roots have formed, transfer them to a pot with fresh potting soil.

Common Issues Growing Hoya Carnosa Variegata Plants

Frequent Issues With Hoya Carnosa Variegata PlantsPin

Common problems associated with growing Hoya carnosa variegata plants include browning leaves, wilting leaves, dropping leaves, the absence of blooms, and the presence of pests and diseases.


Sap-sucking insects such as aphids, mealybugs, scale insects, and spider mites are susceptible to infesting your wax plant.

Typically, aphids are spotted near the flowers, whereas mealybugs occupy the leaves.

Immediately eradicate these pests if you spot them to prevent further plant harm.


Wax plants are susceptible to two common fungal illnesses, including botrytis blight. This causes the entire plant to rot, from the leaves to the roots.

Initial symptoms include wilting, black or brown stem lesions that are dry or mushy, and black or gray roots.

Other illnesses include the growth of black sooty mold on wax plant leaves. Aphids, mealybugs, and other sap-sucking insects are to blame.

The sooty mold rarely poses a threat to the wax plant’s vitality, but it can be eliminated by eliminating the pests.

Neem oil and insecticidal soap are straightforward remedies for this issue.


Does Hoya carnosa variegata flower?

Hoya carnosa variegata plants do flower, and when they do, they are star-shaped blooms that are usually pale white or pink and grow in clusters. They bloom during the summer months. The sticky nectar that the flowers make gives off a sweet and pleasant scent.

How do I get my Hoya carnosa variegata to bloom?

To get your Hoya carnosa variegata to bloom, you need to place your plant in a location that gets bright, indirect light. A great suggested spot would be 3 to 6 feet from a bright window.

Is Hoya Carnosa the same as Krimson Queen or Krimson Princess?

Yes, Krimson Queen and Krimson Princess are variations of the Hoya carnosa plant. So they are effectively the same plant, but the Krimson Queen and Princess are slightly different in that they are variegated—meaning their leaves are not just one color, but rather they grow tricolored leaves that are green, white, and pink instead of just solid green.

How do you keep Hoya carnosa Variegata Pink?

The Krimson Queen and Krimson Princess varieties are the Tricolor versions of the Hoya carnosa variegata plants, which are the versions that have pink leaves. To have your plant keep growing pink leaves, keep your plant in bright indirect light. It’s important that it gets enough natural light. Some suggest keeping it in an east-facing window as the sunlight will never be too strong for your plant.


Hoya carnosa variegata is a tropical plant that can be grown easily and successfully in warm-climate gardens and indoors.

While their flowers are basically the same as other Hoya carnosa plants, their leaves are variegated, sometimes with pink as well as green, white, and even pale yellow variegations.  


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