How To Care For Hindu Rope Plant: Hoya Compacta

The “Hindu Rope Plant” known also as Hoya compacta is a most interesting hanging plant. The rope Hoya features distinct, curling foliage setting it apart from the plant from which it came.

The name Hoya Carnosa is pronounced [HOY-yuh] [kar-NOE-suh] and includes a couple of popular Hoya varieties.

Close up of the Hindu Rope plant
Hoya compacta – image via Wikimedia Commons | CC4.0

The “hindu rope plant hoya” is really a mutation of the Wax Plant, known for its thick, waxy leaves. There is also a variegated Hindu Rope Hoya.

This “curly Hoya” often is referred to as:

  • Hoya compacta
  • Hoya carnosa Compacta
  • Hoya compacta ‘Krinkle Kurl’
  • Porcelain Flower

While Hoya carnosa compacta retains the waxy trait, the curled leaves are tightly packed and resemble rope. The unique look gives this plant its common name of the “Hindu Indian Rope Plant.”

These plants are native to Australia and Eastern Asia and are part of the Apocynaceae family. Commonly called the dogbane family, these plants often have milky latex sap or waxy leaves.

If you plan to place one of these delightful plants in your home, follow these Hindu rope plant care suggestions.

Hindu Rope Plant Care Tips

How Big Does The Hoya Compacta Grow?

The Hindu Rope plant is slow-growing and recommended for USDA hardiness zones 10 – 12 for outdoor growth. When growing outdoors, the rope plant needs indirect sunlight.

When placed indoors, Hindu rope plants are easy plants to care for. If hung from a basket, the stems may eventually reach lengths of several feet.

If grown around a wire loop, the length may depend on the size of the wire structure.

I’ve seen this curly succulent growing in hanging baskets where they “hang” 6’ feet or more.

Another Hoya with an interesting leaf shape is – Hoya Kerrii (Sweatheart Hoya)

Is The Flowering and Fragrance Different Than The Regular Hoya Plant?

The Hoya Hindu Rope produces flower clusters like the standard Hoya. The unique, star-shaped flowers form in a cluster and have a pleasant aroma.

The Hindu Rope plant tends to bloom sporadically during the year. After the flowers bloom, do not rotate or move the rope plant, as the flowers may not survive the transition.

The Hindu rope plant also produces spurs, which are small, leafless stems. If you remove these spurs, the plant may not produce as many flowers in the coming years.

Hoya "compacta" blooming and growing on a wire hoop
New flowers on the rope plant hoya carnosa compacta krinkle Image: Wikimedia Commons | CC3.0

What Type Of Lighting Does Hoya Compacta Like?

For optimal growth, your Hindu Rope Plant should get at least three to four hours of bright light near a window. Near a bright east or south facing window is good.

If growing outdoors, it still requires plenty of bright light but should be placed in an area with indirect lighting.

Temperature Range: 65°- 80° degrees Fahrenheit and the plants can tolerate 50°F without damage.

Hoya carnosa plants are native to warm, humid regions. While it can survive other environments, it grows best when kept out of the cold.

However, it can tolerate slightly cooler weather in the winter.

Tips For Watering and Feeding The “Curly Wax Plant” Hindu Flower

Your Hindu Rope plant needs regular watering throughout most of the year, especially during the active growing seasons.

Watering: Allow the surface of the potting soil to dry out between watering. Do not allow “rope curls” to sit in water.

In the winter, it can be kept a little dry. In fact, you should avoid overwatering and overfeeding in the winter.

You may also want to spray the leaves occasionally during the warmer months, to help recreate humid conditions.

Fertilizing: Apply a balanced water-soluble liquid fertilizer every 2 to 3 months during the spring and summer growing season.

What Type Of Soil Is Best For The Hoya Rope Plant?

Rope plants grow well in a regular, well-draining potting soil. As a young rope hoya grows, you may need to repot the plant into larger containers.

A mature Hindu Rope plant should only be transplanted if you have no other option. Repotting may stress the roots of older plants.

When repotting, always use caution and protect the roots. The roots are typically tangled and should remain in the same condition when you place the plant in its new home.

Does The Hindu Rope Plant Need Any Special Grooming or Maintenance?

Grooming is not necessary unless you want to control the growth of the stems. Whether growing from a hanging basket or around a wire loop, you can trim back the stems.

NOTE: If you plan to trim the stems, you should do so in the spring, giving the Hindu Rope plant plenty of time to recover during the year.

Hindu Rope Plant Propagation

Just like the Hoya carnosa the Hindu rope variety of Hoya is an easy plant to propagate.

Easily grow new plants from stem cuttings you take during active growth.

Remove the leaves from the lower portion of the cutting and allow it to dry. The milky latex should harden overnight.

Place the cuttings in a small pot with loose potting mix. Cover the potted plant with a clear plastic bag to help hold in the moisture. Keep the plants in a shaded area until they take root.

What Pests or Disease Problems Does Hindu Rope Plant Encounter?

The main pests to worry about include mealybugs and spider mites. The waxy foliage provides the perfect hiding spot for these pests.

Regularly inspect the leaves and leaf nodes for any infestations. Use a Neem Oil spray to get into the curly leaves where the mealybugs are hiding.

Cleaning the leaves regularly may help deter the pests. It also helps to prevent dust from collecting.

The leaves of the Hoya Hindu Rope plant are not considered toxic and should not pose a problem if ingested.

It is a safe houseplant to have around cats, dogs, and kids.

However, people with a latex allergy may experience a negative reaction when handling damaged leaves.

Ways To Use Hindu Rope Hoya – Indoors or Outdoors

The Hoya compacta is commonly grown indoors or on porches as a hanging plant. The heavy foliage and long stems keep it from easily growing upward.

If you prefer to grow this “curly plant” in a container, use a wire loop to support the stems.

Source: pinterest image Wikimedia | CC4.0

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