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Do Hoyas Like To Climb or Hang? Guide to Both Growing Methods

Do Hoyas Like To Climb or Hang? Guide to Both Growing Methods

Hoyas, also called wax plants, are becoming increasingly popular as indoor plants. They come in a variety of distinctive varieties with different shapes, colors, and patterns.

They’re also incredibly easy to care for and provide beautiful, long vines that make any home seem lush and tropical.

While Hoyas are incredibly easy to care for, it can be difficult to get the hang of it when trying to grow this plant for the first time.

Their growing pattern seems similar to plants that like to trail, but they’re also notorious for climbing.

Do Hoyas like to climb or hang? Whether a Hoya prefers to climb or hang really depends on the specific variety. While almost all Hoyas can climb, some types have leaves that grow too large to climb well and will be happier left to trail. Other Hoyas prefer to hang, trail, and climb all at the same time.

If that sounds confusing, then don’t worry! We’re going to break down all the different scenarios in which you can grow a happy and healthy Hoya whether you decide to let them hang, climb, or both!

Should Hoyas Climb or Hang?

While they grow in many different kinds of ecosystems in Asia, Hoyas grow naturally as epiphytes, or plants that grow from the branches of trees.

Plants do this in dense forest cover to be closer to the sunlight, and they adapt to absorb nutrients from the air and from the environment in which they live rather than from soil.

So, in their natural environment, Hoyas grow from nature’s own hanging pots, in a sense.

At the same time, their vining tendrils attach themselves to whatever’s nearby and grow and climb toward the light. 

How To Grow Hanging Hoyas

If you prefer to grow your Hoya in a hanging pot to let it trail, there are a few things you need to know to keep your plant happy and healthy.

Firstly, Hoyas like bright light, well-draining and mostly dry soil, and infrequent watering. Choose a hanging pot that will allow your Hoya to drain when watered to avoid soggy soil.

Next, choose a well-draining soil mixture that is light, loose, and won’t hold too much water.

Because their roots like to stay dry, many varieties do well in a cactus mix, orchid mix, or even a combination of the two.

Adding sand or perlite to the mixture also helps the soil avoid becoming compacted or soggy.

Choosing the right place to hang your Hoya is crucial. Bright, indirect light is best. Light that is too bright might scorch your Hoya or lead to sun-stress. A sunny, north-facing window is ideal.

If you truly want your Hoya to hang and trail, hang it far away from anything it could latch onto.

Hoyas are notorious for sending out gangly-looking, vining shoots that seem to defy gravity as they look for a climbing surface. If they find your wall, they might leave a spot where they’ve attached.

These shoots will likely grow in the direction of their light source, so rotating your plant will help it continue to grow evenly and keep the shoots from finding the nearest wall.

A potted Hoya carnosa variegata hanging from a tree outdoors.

How To Train Hoyas To Climb

On the other hand, if you want to allow your Hoya to climb, the sky’s the limit.

Make sure to follow all the same instructions regarding a pot with good drainage, an airy soil mixture, a light-handed watering schedule, and light requirements.

When it comes to training your Hoya to climb, you have lots of options.

While you can choose to let your Hoya climb a wall or bookshelf in the vicinity, you can be more intentional with its growth pattern and direction by providing specific growing support.

Do Hoyas Like a Trellis?

Most hoya species will happily grow on a provided trellis. Hoya shoots will wrap and twist around even the smallest, most delicate of supports, making a trellis a valid option for helping your Hoya grow straight up.

When installing a trellis, make sure that you are gentle with your Hoya’s vines, as they are thinner near the ends and can break easily.

I love this pack of trellises because they easily clip together so that they can grow right along with your plant.

Do Hoyas Need a Moss Pole?

A moss pole serves the same function as a trellis but provides more cylindrical support.

A moss pole (find stackable poles here) will more closely mimic the Hoya’s natural habitat than a trellis, so it’s ideal for a climbing Hoya in a smaller space.

Be sure that your moss does not stay very wet, as Hoyas don’t do well in a soggy environment that won’t allow their soil to dry out.

How To Make a Hoya Trellis

Trellises are easy and simple to make, and you can use lots of materials to get the job done. Wire is easily bendable, allowing you to make unique trellises of all sizes and shapes. 

Another popular type of trellis is a bamboo lattice style, which can be easily made using small bamboo rods held together with twine, string, or wire.

This style can be laid out in whatever size you want and can also be easily extended when your Hoya grows beyond the initial capacity.

The following video lays out a few more ideas for you.

How To Attach a Hoya to a Trellis

It’s extremely important to exercise care when attaching your Hoya to the trellis. 

If your plant already has long tendrils, you should give the plant some support when wrapping it around the trellis in key places and attach it by using accessories like trellis clips or covered wire. 

Clips are a great option because they can easily be removed and replaced later. You’ll find a great price for a pack of 100 on Amazon.

Wire covered in rubber or silicone is also good for a sturdy hold that won’t cut into the plant’s vine over time or restrict it.

It’s also very subtle as the green coloring will blend into the plant itself.

Related Questions:

Still curious about Hoya’s growing habits and what will make yours the happiest? Keep reading for more information!

Do All Hoyas Climb?

While all Hoyas enjoy the same kind of natural habitat, not all are natural climbers. Some varieties have heavier, more substantial leaves that can’t be supported by a climbing vine.

Other varieties have slimmer, longer leaves that also seem to weigh down the plant’s climbing capabilities.

Do Hoyas Like To Trail?

Overall, a Hoya will still be happy and healthy if you grow it to trail instead of climb.

However, be aware that the vining tendrils we’ve mentioned can grow straight up into the air in search of a surface to attach to.

If you’re looking for a plant that truly hangs and trails, choose one of the Hoya varieties with heavier or longer, skinnier leaves. 


Whether you choose to let it climb or hang, a Hoya is a great houseplant that is pretty easy to grow, beautiful to look at, and rewarding.

A well-maintained Hoya can stay in the family for generations and can even bloom with beautiful, heavenly scented flowers.

Make sure to care for your Hoya well, and whether it’s trailing or climbing, it will be a lovely addition to your home for years to come.