Hoya: Carnosa VS Pubicalyx [Head To Head Comparison]

Hoya is one of the most beautiful indoor plants. Of their beautiful foliage and easy-growing nature, every gardener wants to plant them.

Carnosa and Publicalyx are the two varieties of hoya plants. But you know what? Although of the same species, there are some differences between them. Which may confuse you to choose the better one.

But don’t worry, in this article I will show you all the differences between Hoya carnosa and Hoya Publicalyx and will help you to choose the best one. So why the delay?

The question is what are the main differences between the two varieties? Height, leaves Shape, flower colors, growing time, and place of origin vary between them. Again light demand, watering, and temperature requirement are not the same in the two varieties.

Hoya Carnosa Vs Hoya Publicalyx – Quick Guide



Hoya Carnosa

Hoya Publicalyx

Height2-4 feet8-10 feet
Leaf shapewhite splotches and dark greensilvery splashes on the green foliage. 
Flowers colorWhitePinkish red
Growing timeSlower Faster 
Place of originEastern Asia, the Pacific islands, and Australia.Philippines, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and New Guinea.
Light demand2-3 hours.Around 8 hours.
Watering More less

Difference Between Carnosa and Publicalyx

Hoya Carnosa Vs Hoya Publicalyx Differences

  • Height

A mature hoya publicalyx plant often stands between 8 and 10 feet (3 meters) tall. but you know? Sometimes the environment plays a crucial role in hoya publicalyx growth. If you are not able to ensure the perfect environment for it then the plant mustn’t get its usual height.

In areas with high humidity levels, wild hoya carnosa plants can grow up to 20 feet long and along rocks. But indoors the hoya carnosa plants are not growing giant size like wild hoya carnosa. 2-4 feet taller can a mature hoya carnosa get.


You can identify a carnosa or publicalyx very easily by seeing the height. Usually, hoya publicalyx are taller than hoya carnosa. 

If you want to keep your hoya plant inside your house then a much taller plant can cause you trouble. So considering the height I think hoya carnosa may be good indoors. 

  • Leaf Shape

The leaves of Hoya carnosa are large and succulent. The oval or elliptical-shaped leaves have a stem that is about 1-1.5 cm long and 3-5 cm wide.

They have sporadic white splotches and are dark green in color. Because of the white spots sometimes people mistake it for dirt. And the most interesting thing is those leaves always form a bunch. Which makes the hoya carnosa more beautiful.

Hoya publicalyx leaves are quite similar to hoya carnosa. But they have silvery splashes on the green foliage. 

You know The most attractive fact is when sunlight reflects on those leaves they turn into a pinkish-silver color. 

The 2.4-inch wide and four-inch long leaves of the evergreen hoya pubicalyx normally climb to a height of about ten feet. 


If you have an intention of indoor planting then you may think about the leaves. But hoya plants usually blooming. So I think leaves are not a major issue if the plants grow flowers.

  • Flowers

Both Hoya Carnosa and Publicalyx are blooming. They have very beautiful and attractive flowers.

Hoya Carnosa flowers are white colored star-shaped. They have a faint pinkish tint. The center of the flower is also star-shaped and white in color. A tiny red spot is located in the middle of the flowers. After blooming, it emits a sweet light smell specifically at night. 

Hoya publicalyx has also bloomed star-shaped flowers. Then what are the differences? The color of the flowers is pink-red or sometimes black. 

The flowering seasons of hoya publicalyx start in late spring and end in late summer. The center of the flower is slightly state shaped and pinkish-red or black in color. In the middle, a dark red is obtained. They have a very strong fragrance. 


Both of the flowers are beautiful and quite the same in structure. But the color is totally different.

So flower color may be a vital issue when choosing plants. Someone like white someone red.

Hoya publicalyx flowers have a stronger smell than hoya carnosa. So if you like to smell flowers then hoya publicalyx would be a good choice.

  • Growing Time

Hoya carnosa requires between two and seven years to achieve maturity, and at that point, they often bloom for the first time. 

By providing the right growing conditions, particularly with lots of indirect sunlight, you can also faster the growth of your hoya carnosa.

Hoya pubicalyx is one of the fastest-growing hoya species, and because it grows larger than other species of hoyas, it makes an excellent floor plant. With the right conditions, your plant can grow up to 10 feet tall if you give it a trellis or pole to grow on. 

The plant may take 1-2 years to begin blooming.


Compared to growing time, hoya publicalyx is a faster grower than hoya carnosa. There is a huge gap between two years and seven years.

So if you have less patience then hoya carnosa will not be a perfect choice for you. 

  • Place of Origin

Hoya carnosa is basically a plant of Eastern Asia, the Pacific islands, and the Australia region. It is a semi-epiphytic plant. They grow in lowland tropical and subtropical rainforests. They have roots that penetrate the bark of the supporting trees, making them largely parasitic.

Hoya publicalyx are native to the Philippines, India, Malaysia, Vietnam, Bangladesh, Indonesia, and New Guinea. And grow in warm, humid climates with little maintenance, so you don’t need to worry too much about them. It prefers heat, so it can survive outdoors all year in zones 10 to 13, but it grows best indoors in other zones.


Place of origin can be a big issue most of the time for indoor and outdoor plants. The environment and climate are not the same everywhere.

Most of the time it seems very difficult for a plant to survive in an adverse environment. So before choosing any hoya plant you must ensure the optimum environment for the plant. Otherwise, it will ultimately be a losing investment.

  • Light Demand

Bright indirect light is ideal for Hoya carnosa. A little bit of bright sunlight is perfect. The Hoya carnosa flowers benefit from some direct sunlight. 

But you have to protect it from the sweltering summer sun! It is dangerous for hoya carnosa. About two hours of morning or evening direct sunlight is enough for it to survive. 

Too much sun exposure can burn or yellow their leaves. A window facing south or west can be an ideal place for hoya carnosa.

Hoya pubicalyx prefers moderately bright but indirect sunlight. For the plant to grow and bloom to its full potential, it needs at least 8 hours of indirect sunlight each day. When it receives enough adequate light, its blooms and leaves grow more vibrant and active.

If you will have to use artificial light instead of sunlight, you have to use it for around 14-15 hours each day.

Hoya publicalyx flowers can only bloom if you provide the optimum sunlight.


Comparing lighting demand between the two plants, hoya publicalyx needs sunlight more time than hoya carnosa. And light is the main criterion for hoya publicalyx blooming.

so you have to choose the hoya plant by keeping the light issue in your mind.

  • Watering

Watering in hoya carnosa depends on the season and environment. The soil has to keep slightly moist at the time of spring to fall when watering.

When the top inch of soil is drying out, that is the perfect time for watering.

It’s a good idea to water when the leaves begin to pucker slightly. However, allowing the soil to be overly dry for an extended period of time can harm Hoya carnosa.

Drought-tolerant foliage makes the hoya publicalyx watering very easy. Regular watering is a must in the growing season. When the top of the two-inch soil is dry then you have to water the plant. 

Using regular water may be tolerable. But filtered or rainwater is better than tap water.


The watering process of hoya carnosa is quite more difficult than hoya publicalyx.

But both of the plants need regular watering during the growing season. Hoya publicalyx can survive more time without water than hoya carnosa.

  • Temperature And Humidity

Hoya Carnosa prefers regular room temperature, which ranges from 18 to 24 degrees Celsius.

You have to make sure the temperature doesn’t drop below 11 degrees Celsius throughout the winter.

Hoya carnosa can tolerate moderate room humidity but prefers high humidity levels around 60%.

Keep the hoya publicalyx, where the temperature should be between 15 and 25 degrees Celsius.

Since it is a tropical plant that struggles with cold, the Hoya Pubicalyx should not be kept in temperatures below 10 as its growth would halt.

The minimum temperature should never go below 10 degrees Celsius, even in the winter.

Hoya Pubicalyx enjoys humidity because it is a tropical plant. This plant does best with an atmospheric humidity level of around 70% or at least 60%. 


Both hoya publicalyx and hoya carnosa prefer quite similar temperature and humidity levels. However, hoya carnosa needs warmer conditions than hoya publicalyx.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does Hoya Carnosa need full sunlight?

Ans: Hoya carnosa prefers bright indirect sunlight. Every day two hours of morning and two hours of afternoon sunlight is a must. But overexposure to the sun can damage their leaves.

What do Hoya Pubicalyx flowers smell like?

Ans: The flowers of Hoya publicalyx have a fragrant smell that is especially pronounced at night.


In this article, I will try to show you the differences between hoya carnosa and hoya publicalyx. There are many differences in various purposes. Now it’s time for you to identify the best one for you. 

Both hoya carnosa and publicalyx are good indoors but it depends on you, which one is easier for you to take care of. 

Hope you will find the best for you after reading my article. Happy gardening.

James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg
James Rivenburg

James Rivenburg is the founder of plantandpest.com, a passionate gardener with valuable experience and knowledge gained through trial and error. The website has a large community of followers who trust his tips and techniques and have succeeded with his advice. He is always Committed to helping others create a beautiful and healthy garden.

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