The Hindu rope plant, or Hoya carnosa ‘Compacta’, is a succulent vine plant with long hanging stems and thick waxy leaves. This plant is also commonly known as Krinkle Kurl for the distinctive way the leaves twist and curl.
The Hindu rope plant is from the milkweed family; it is actually an air plant known for its trailing or climbing nature.
The twisted dangling stems grow 12-15 inches long, and the flowers are waxy porcelain blooms. The blooms are a tight round-shaped cluster of flowers and bloom seasonally.
The flowers are pale pink with the white perianth having a red ring in the center. The blooms are shaped in a ball of 30 to 50 flowers.
The Hindu rope plant is native to southern India and can be found worldwide, from true rain forests to the Himalayan slopes.
It can even thrive in semi-arid areas in Australia too. The Hoya Hindu rope plant was first introduced by Scottish botanist Robert Brown and named in honor of the 18th-century botanist Thomas Hoy.
The Hindu rope plant is a low-maintenance plant and a slow to moderate grower. The flowers are fragrant and have a tropical look to them.
The Hindu rope plant should be planted outside, if possible, in spring or early summer. You can expect it to bloom in spring or summer, although some varieties will flower in autumn.
When the temperature drops, usually in the autumn, it is best to bring it indoors.
Why is my Hindu rope plant dying? Overwatering is the most common cause of a Hindu rope plant dying. Other reasons for Hindu rope plant dying include lack of water, too much light, not enough light, incorrect temperature, pest infestation, nutrient deficiency, disease, humidity, incorrect soil, and outgrowing the pot.
To find out more about keeping your Hindu rope plant fit, healthy, happy, and flourishing, read on below.
12 Reasons for Hindu Rope Plant Dying (& Solutions)
Below is a brief look at the top 12 reasons why the Hindu rope plant dies and what you can do to mitigate the problems.
Apply the recommended solutions and watch your Hindu rope plant start to thrive.
Watering the Hindu rope plant on a regular basis is good, but you should not keep it soaking wet.
This will lead to it being overwatered and waterlogged, resulting in the plant dropping flowers or developing root rot.
The solution is to only water enough to keep the soil surface barely moist and never soggy.
To achieve this, only water once weekly during the growing season and allow it to dry out completely between waterings.
During the colder months, water less frequently, still allowing the plant to dry out between waterings.
2. Not Enough Water
Although Hindu rope plants can survive arid conditions, they do require some water to grow. If underwatered, the plant will show signs of dehydration with the curling and browning of the leaves.
Check the dampness of the soil to make sure it is not soggy before watering. Simply push your finger into the soil every few days to check if it is ready for watering.
When watering your Hindu rope plant for the first time, put it in a bowl or sink, and slowly, thoroughly soak the plant.
Allow the plant to drain for a few hours until the surface of the soil is moist but not drenched. Thereafter only water once a week or when the soil feels dry to the touch.
3. Root Rot
Root rot, called botrytis, can happen to overwatered Hindu rope plants; when they develop a fungus from waterlogged soil, the roots die from lack of oxygen and start rotting.
The root rot will spread and kill the whole plant. Signs your plant has root rot are yellowing and drooping leaves.
Use a pot with drainage holes at the bottom, and plant in light, fast-draining soil. Keep the watering to once a week, and let it dry out between watering.
Do not plant in a big pot as the roots prefer a snug pot, and this will also help the roots not to become soggy.
If your plant does develop root rot, remove the plant from the soil, trim off the affected root area, and repot it in fresh, healthy soil and a quick-draining pot.
4. Too Much Light
If the leaves and flowers look scorched or burnt, the plant is receiving too much direct light. The leaves will shrivel up and turn brown, and the plant will drop its flowers due to the heat stress.
Avoid placing the Hindu rope plant in a window or position that receives too much exposure to direct sunlight.
Indoors, position the plant in a south-facing window; it will tolerate three to four hours of direct sunlight but needs to be protected from heat and burning, so select an area with bright but indirect lighting.
5. Not Enough Light
Although Hindu rope plants can survive in low light, they will not flower if they do not have enough bright indirect light.
Too little exposure to light will cause the plant to grow very slowly and even become pale.
Place the plant in a bright and sunny window, out of direct light but in a position for the plant to get at least three to four hours of bright indirect light or sunlight.
The best indoor position will be south or east-facing windows. If planted outdoors, make sure the plant is sheltered from direct sun but still in a bright position for the best results.
6. Incorrect Temperatures
Hindu rope plants love warm, consistent temperatures, which is why it does well as a houseplant. Anything below 50 degrees Fahrenheit will affect the plant’s growth and health.
The plant might droop and wilt if the temperature is too low, and growth may be stunted. Temperatures that are too high will result in the plant wilting and drooping.
Place your Hindu rope plant in a warm, humid environment away from draughts and direct airflow from heating or cooling vents.
Keep the temperature at 65 – 80 degrees Fahrenheit for optimal growth and to have a greater chance of flowers forming.
They can tolerate temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit without any adverse effects to the plant, but it’s not a good idea to expose it to lower temperatures.
7. Nutrient Deficiency
If your Hindu rope plant’s leaves have turned yellow, it could be a sign of malnutrition due to low levels of nutrients.
Along with yellow leaves, some leaves might be stunted and deformed; these would all indicate that your plant lacks essential nutrients.
The Hindu rope plant thrives on nitrogen, potassium, and magnesium. Make sure to give your plant plenty of water, light, and fertilizer.
Feeding your rope plant with a light liquid fertilizer two to three times a month will bring your plant back to health and maintain it.
The yellowed leaves will stop occurring, and the plant will return to a lush waxy green and thrive again.
When your plant is back to health, give your plant a high-phosphorus fertilizer (this one is a great choice as its designed specifically for houseplants) for prolific blooms.
If your rope plant begins to wilt or droop and the leaves start turning yellow or brown, it could be a result of pests.
The type of pests to look out for on your Hindu rope plant are mealybugs, scales, and mites. They might even carry some aphids, fungus, and mold.
When insects suck the sap out of the plant, honeydew forms on the leaves and stems. This can deter photosynthesis and cause the plant to wilt and die.
If you have pests or mold infesting your Hindu rope plant, you could use mild soap and water to wash the leaves off, or clean the leaves with a ball of cotton wool dipped in alcohol.
Clean the top and underside of the leaf, and ensure you have removed any visible pests.
You can try handpicking bigger pests off and destroying them; this is usually only effective in controlling mealybugs.
If you have severe damage, remove the leaves with sharp scissors, making sure to clean and disinfect the scissors before and after use.
Use recommended insecticides, and ensure the plant has proper drainage to avoid phototoxicity.
As a last resort, you may have to destroy the plant; this would need to be done by burning it or burying it away from your compost site and other plants.
A few diseases affect the Hindu rope plant; one of the main ones of concern is botrytis. It develops as a round brown or gray spot and gradually turns into a mass of fuzzy gray spores.
It is commonly referred to as gray mold. Another fungus appearing as black growth is called sooty mold, which is caused by pests sucking sap from the leaves.
Prevention of these diseases is easy with good sanitation methods – removing any affected plant matter immediately and destroying it.
Using a fungicide specific to the fungus will also help control any outbreak of infection.
Repot the plant in pasteurized soil to revive it, cut all rotting roots off when repotting, and ensure the pot has good drainage.
If reusing the same pot, disinfect it for at least 30 minutes in a bleach solution to prevent the infection from recurring.
10. Humidity Issues
If your Hindu rope plant’s leaves have turned brown and are curling, it may mean the humidity is too low.
Inconsistent humidity will cause the plant to lose its flowers, stunting the plant.
Create your own humidity tray or pebble tray to solve humidity issues with your Hindu rope plant.
To create a humidity/pebble tray, fill a tray with a single layer of pebbles. Add water to the tray until it is halfway over the pebbles. Next, place the pot on the pebbles.
Now all you have to do is keep adding water as the level drops. This is an affordable and easy way to create humidity for your tropical plant.
11. Incorrect Soil Mix
If your plant is not growing and seems prone to root rot, there is probably something wrong with your soil mix.
If the soil is not draining easily and seems to hold water rather than drain it, it will become soggy and cause root rot.
This encourages other diseases in your plant, leading to the plant dying.
Grow your Hindu rope plant in fast-draining soil. This could be a blend of potting soil, peat, and orchid bark, which will make a light and aerated mix.
Choose a pot with adequate drainage holes, and allow the soil to dry out between waterings.
12. Needs Repotting
If you think your plant is rootbound or has root rot, look to see if it needs repotting. One of the signs of a rootbound Hindu rope plant is wilting and stunted growth.
However, if the roots are growing through the drainage holes or out the top of the pot, then it is time to repot – your plant is indicating it wants a new home.
The best time to re-pot your Hindu rope plant is after the plant has flowered; this is usually in early summer.
This is when the plant is beginning its growing phase, so a bigger pot will encourage new root growth.
How To Save a Hindu Rope Plant
These plants aren’t exactly inexpensive, so you’ll want to act quickly when you notice trouble. To save your plant if it is dying or performing poorly:
- Run through a quick checklist to see if you can improve on anything.
- Firstly, check the light and temperature to ensure it is situated just right.
- Check if the humidity and watering regime is correct for a Hindu rope plant, and if those are correct, check for root rot, pests, and disease.
Taking quick action on any of these points is needed and will improve your plant’s health if it is not too far gone.
7 Care Tips & Guidelines for Hindu Rope Plant
- Make sure that the soil is lightweight and aerated with good drainage to promote healthy roots and growth.
- The Hindu rope plant grows best in bright indirect sunlight, so make sure to provide that.
- Provide constant warm temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit to help plants grow and flourish.
- Allow the soil to dry out between waterings, and only water to keep the soil damp, not saturated.
- Feed your plant once a month with a water-soluble fertilizer during spring and summer.
- When repotting, ensure the container has good drainage holes, and repot when necessary when the plant is rootbound.
- In the event of pests and diseases, act fast to save your plant. Use appropriate pesticides and fungicides.
Why Does My Hindu Rope Plant Have Yellow Leaves?
The most common reason for this will be overwatering or poor drainage. Take note of your watering routine, and let the plant dry out between watering.
If it is due to poor drainage, repot the plant in an appropriate pot, and use a well-aerated soil mix to resolve the issue.
Why Does My Hindu Rope Plant Have Wrinkled Leaves?
Wrinkled leaves could indicate a few things, including overwatering, underwatering, and low humidity. Check your watering routine, and only water when the soil is nearly dry.
Make a humidity tray for your plant to increase the humidity, or mist your plant regularly to keep humidity levels healthy.
The Hindu rope plant is a dangling climbing variety of succulent species that loves humid tropical conditions but can survive in arid conditions if necessary.
Its only nemesis is cold draughts and overwatering.
The Hindu rope plant is an easy plant to grow in the right conditions and makes a great decorative house plant if you take the time to tend to its needs.