hoya lacunosa

Hoya Lacunosa: Caring for the Cinnamon Scented Plant

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Hoya Lacunosa belongs to a large Hoya genus of plants, the Apocynaceae family. This attractive, evergreen shrub-like perennial vine, called cinnamon scented wax plant, has long been a diamond star in the Hoya world.

Well-known for its rich cinnamon-scented white blossoms, this Hoya variety would be a perfect ornamental decor hanging or dangling off your bookshelf or office space. If you like the sweet fragrance of Mother Nature, the Hoya Lacunosa is definitely for you. Read on to learn how to best care and propagate this low-maintenance Indonesian beauty.

Hoya Lacunosa Overview

The Hoya Lacunosa is a diminutive epiphytic climber or trailing shrub that originates mainly from the Asian rainforest regions, specifically Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Borneo, Java, Sumatra, India, and China.

With around 700 evergreen flowering species of this ever-growing Hoya genus, this gorgeous creeping epiphyte variety belongs to the Family of Apocynaceae: Asclepiadoideae, or Dogbane Family.  The botanist Robert Brown first described this plant officially and named it a tribute to the highly esteemed English Botanist, Thomas Hoy.

In its natural habitat and ecology, the Hoya plants grow in open places and along the edges of the rainforest in Asia, often in groups covering the trunks of trees, where forest ants usually nest around their stems and roots.

This Hoya variety is well adapted to different environmental conditions, so growing them in small spaces in your home or office will not be an issue. If you are a fan of fragrant flowers, you will love the Hoya Lacunose because it produces flowers that emit a pleasant scent.

Sometimes called Hoya Suaveolens, the Hoya Lacunosa was first introduced by the common name furrowed Hoya. Other common names of the Hoya Lacunosa include Cinnamon Scented Plant, Grooved Wax Flower, Wax Porcelain Flower, Lacunose-Leaved Hoya, Lacunosa Wax Plant, and Waxvine.

Botanical NameHoya Lacunosa
SunlightBright, indirect light
WateringTwice to thrice a week
SoilWell-drained organic soil
Temperature68 ºF to 77ºF (20º C to 25º C)
PropagationBy stem cuttings
Re-PottingEvery 2 years
Pests and DiseasesSusceptible to common pests and root rot
ToxicityMildly toxic to humans and animals

Hoya Lacunosa Features

Hoya Lacunosa derives its name from its well-known characteristics of having “lacunose leaves” or on the foliage with cupped or sunken surfaces between the veins.

Since it comes from the tropics, the trailing nature of the plant is quite entertaining and makes it a beautiful ornamental decor that adds a tropical vibe to any room.

Height, size, spread

On its maturity, the Lacunosa Hoya can reach a height of about 2.5 feet to 6 feet. Due to its compact size, this plant is a moderately fast grower under optimal conditions. The thin green stem of this plant is about 1.5 m long that is glabrous or sparsely pubescent, which grows a rooting system from various points, especially at the nodes.


The Hoya Lacunosa plant produces small, thick, fleshy, oval-shaped green leaves. Each mature leaf is about 3 to 4 inches in size. The gorgeous glossy leaves are semi-succulent, which grow in a close and alternate pattern.


At the start of the spring through fall, the Hoya Lacunosa produces fragrant creamy-white flowers with yellow crowns. The fuzzy little stars emit a rich cinnamon fragrance, especially early in the morning. You can also smell its unique, pleasant fragrance after dark.

The Hoya Lacunosa bloom makes the plant ideally suited for hanging baskets. The blooms form in small bundles of white star-shaped flowers. You can see a waxy structure in the middle of the flowers that inspires the other common hoya nickname of Cinnamon Scented Wax Plant.


As commonly found in the Dogbane Family, the Hoya Lacunosa plants produce white latex in their foliage, which was used in the past as a dog poison (thus, the Dogbane moniker).

The said latex substance is toxic and harmful to humans and animals, causing skin irritation and other allergic reactions. Therefore, it is best to place this plant away from kids and pets.

Deer and rabbit resistance

Plant varieties from the Dogbane family are generally resistant to deer, rabbits, and other common grazers in the wild. This is mainly due to the presence of while latex found in the plant’s leaves.

Hoya Lacunosa Care Guide

Caring for Hoya Lacunosa is not complicated. Even novices will not have a hard time caring for the Hoya Plants as they are some of the easiest to cultivate, propagate and care for. I am sharing with you below a comprehensive guide to Hoya Lacunosa care.

Ideal Growing Place

This tropical vine is suitable for both indoor and outdoor cultivation. You can grow these Hoya plants in pots, containers, or hanging baskets.

Originating from a tropical climate, the Hoya Lacunosa thrives well in warm, humid weather. If you live in a dry location, you can plant them outdoors. Or plant indoors if you live in a colder environment. I suggest growing them in a planter where you easily move them outdoors when the temperature is too hot and bring them back indoors when the temperature is too cold.

Moreover, the Hoya Lacunosa loves to climb on any support structure around it, such as a tree, trellis, or a wall. Therefore, growing them outdoors is more beneficial for other plants also because the Hoya Lacunosa flowers attract pollinating insects.

The most active growing months of the Hoya Lacunosa is during the summer season.


Water the Hoya Lacunosa thoroughly when the potting soil becomes dry. Take a second to check the status of the soil by dipping a finger 1 to 2 inches into the soil. Water it according to its current water requirement if it feels dry, especially during its active growing season or hotter days.

On average, the watering routine of the Hoya Lacunosa plants is twice to thrice a week. Go easy on watering during its dormancy period in the winter months.


The Hoya Lacunosa plant loves bright indirect light. If grown outdoors, be sure to place the plant in a well-shaded spot. Direct light from the sun can burn out the delicate waxy leaves of the plant. However, if grown indoors, this Hoya houseplant does well under artificial bright light, making it suitable for the office space.

This hoya plant thrives best in the same dark and light cycle that closely resembles its natural habitat. This gives the plant healthy photoperiodism for better growth. The Hoya Lacunosa can grow regardless of the length of the day. Just be sure it grows in an environment with a definite period of the dark and light cycle.


The ideal temperature for the Hoya Lacunosa ranges from 68 ºF to 77ºF (20º C to 25º C). This plant cannot survive in severe temperatures. Therefore, when the temperature drops below 50ºF (10ºC), it is best to protect the plant by relocating it to a warmer spot to survive.

Avoid placing this wax plant in windows with strong winds or near air-conditioners and heaters—no need to worry if your Hoya Lacunosa is not growing during the winter months. Just be sure to provide proper protection from the freezing conditions.


The Hoya Lacunosa plant needs well-drained organic soil to ensure its healthy growth. Be sure to plant it in a rich potting mix that is aerated and drains well. If possible, go for organic soil with a good mix of compost, worm castings, and other organic matter.


This tropical vine can handle a range of humidity levels. However, this plant flourishes at a moisture level of 60% or above. If you live in a drier region, be sure to improve the humidity by misting or installing a humidifier. You may also group the Hoya Lacunosa with other houseplants.


Feeding your Hoya Lacunosa once a month with organic or water-soluble fertilizer would suffice, especially during its most active growth period during the spring and summer seasons. When feeding a water-soluble plant fertilizer, make sure to dilute it to half the recommended strength.

I recommend using organic fertilizer as possible, or a balanced orchid fertilizer or other commercial fertilizer high in potassium.


Pinch or prune back the Hoya Lacunosa as necessary to maintain the desired size and expansion. I suggest pruning your Hoyas after they stop blooming. This is when the buds form on the newer growth.

Remove dead or yellowing leaves but make sure not to deadhead any spent flowers. The reason for this is that the same spurs will produce new blooms the following year. So deadheading may not be a good idea.

Potting and Re-potting

The Hoya Lacunosa does not like frequent repotting. This plant prefers to be root-bound and remains undisturbed where it is planted. However, if your Hoyas have overgrown their current pot, then repotting becomes out of necessity. This usually happens once every 2 years.

Repotting the plant is also a great opportunity for the plant to get proper nutrition from a fresh potting soil mix.

Growth Zone

If cultivated outdoors, the Hoya Lacunosa grows in USDA hardiness zones between 10a and 11b (above 40 F). However, be sure to bring the Hoya plant indoors during the winter months.

Common Pests, Toxins, Diseases & Other Problems

Hoya Lacunosa plants are susceptible to common houseplant pests and root rot. They may also develop mold during an infestation. In addition, some common houseplant pests like aphids, mealybugs, spider mites, and other sap-sucking pests can cause problems for the plant.

Overwatering or waterlogged soil can lead to fungal infections and root rot. Pest infestation and root rot can eventually kill the epiphytic plant if they are not receiving proper plant care and treatment. Therefore, routine infection for any signs of pests and soggy soil is very important so that you can immediately take proper action.

Regular treatment and proper Hoya Lacunosa care include the use of natural organic neem oil spray, insecticidal soap to eliminate the pests from destroying your evergreen plants. Practice mindfulness when watering your houseplants to avoid overwatering.

Another good characteristic of the Hoya plant is that they are moderately salt and drought-tolerant. But frost is its Waterloo.


The two common methods to propagate and grow Hoya Lacunosa include Stem cutting and Air layering.

For Stem Cutting: 

  • Use a disinfected cutting blade to cut a 5-8 inches stem from a healthy parent plant. Be sure your stem cutting has at least 2 nodes and some leaves. You may use a rooting hormone powder for this.
  • Plant the fresh stem cutting in moist and well-draining soil.
  • Place the plant in a warm spot with medium indirect light.
  • Be sure to maintain moist soil using a watering spray.
  • Allow the soil to become 70% dry before watering again.
  • At around the 3rd week, you will notice the propagated stem cuttings to develop some roots.

For Air-Layering:

  • Place the fresh cuttings in a jar filled with water.
  • Be sure the stem with nodes is submerged in the water around 4 inches deep.
  • Allow 3-4 weeks for the cuttings to develop a proper root system.
  • In 3-4 months, you may now plant your new Hoya plant in soil moist with water.

Lacunosa Hoya Mature Timeline

Week 1: This is the crucial first week of propagation. Be sure the plant receives bright indirect light. However, avoid too much direct sunlight during this period.

Week 2-4: If propagating in water, be sure to change the water every 2-3 days. Avoid overwatering if you are planting the new Hoya directly into the rich soil.

Week 5-6: Typically, after 5 weeks since the first day of propagation, your Hoya will start to produce some shoots.

Week 12-24: In about week 13 or so, the propagated Hoya Lacunosa will now become a well-grown vine that will be ready to produce fuzzy flowers.

Is Hoya Lacunosa a Fast Grower?

The Hoya Lacunosa plant is a moderately fast grower under optimal environmental conditions.

What Does Hoya Lacunosa Smell Like?

This Hoya variety is well-known for its rich cinnamon-scented flowers or white blossoms. The distinctive smell of the Hoya Lacunosa plant is most noticeable in the early morning and after dark.

Is Hoya Lacunosa a Succulent?

Many houseplant enthusiasts consider the Lacunosa Hoya as a semi-succulent plant due mainly to its fleshy leaves. However, this Hoya variety is an epiphyte and not succulent.

How Long Do Hoya Lacunosa Blooms Last?

In about 3 months since propagation, the Hoya Lacunosa will typically become a self-sufficient vine ready to bloom at the start of spring to fall.

What Kind of Pot Is Suitable for a Hoya Lacunosa?

Since this plant prefers to be root-bound, it is best to use a pot or hanging basket with drainage holes.

Is Hoya Lacunosa Rare?

The Hoya Lacunosa plant is a very trendy houseplant, but I don’t consider it rare. You can either find this plant from a reliable online seller or through a houseplant swapping with a fellow enthusiast.

Is Hoya Lacunosa Pet Safe?

No, this Hoya plant is not safe for your dogs and cats. This plant produces white latex in its foliage that can harm your pets, causing allergic reactions.

The Bottom Line

The Hoya Lacunosa is easily a favorite for houseplant parents who loves a sweet-smelling flowering vine with sparkling green foliage. It is also easy to care for and propagate, making this plant a perfect choice for beginners. In addition, it’s considered a fairly low-maintenance plant.

Whether you want to grow this gorgeous epiphyte in a nice hanging basket or a rounded pot to climb up a trellis, the prolific white-yellow bloomer Hoya Lacunosa can immediately transform any space into a tropical, sweet-smelling paradise.

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