How to Care for Hoya Nova Ghost: The Ultimate Guide

To care for Hoya Nova Ghost Place in low light, water when the top inch of soil is dry, and maintain humidity. Avoid direct sun and overwatering. Prune occasionally.

Hoya Nova Ghost, also known as Hoya carnosa ‘Variegata,’ is a captivating and ethereal houseplant that has stolen the hearts of plant enthusiasts worldwide. With its unique variegated foliage and delicate white-to-pink flowers, this plant adds a touch of enchantment to any indoor space. 

In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the ins and outs of caring for Hoya Nova Ghost, ensuring that you can provide the best possible environment for this magical plant to thrive.

What Is Hoya Nova Ghost


Hoya Nova Ghost, scientifically known as Hoya carnosa ‘Variegata,’ is a captivating and popular houseplant that belongs to the Hoya family. Renowned for its unique and striking appearance, this cultivar of Hoya carnosa showcases an enchanting blend of creamy white and lush green variegation on its leaves. The term “Nova Ghost” signifies its new and ghostly variegated form.

With its waxy, glossy foliage and occasional clusters of fragrant pink and white star-shaped flowers, Hoya Nova Ghost adds an ethereal charm to any indoor space. 


Hoya Nova Ghost is a cultivar of the species Hoya carnosa, a member of the Apocynaceae family. The exact origin of the Hoya Nova Ghost is not well-documented, but it is believed to have been first discovered as a natural mutation or sport of Hoya carnosa. 

Hoya carnosa itself is native to Eastern Asia, including regions of China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and the Philippines. It can be found growing in diverse habitats, ranging from forests to rocky slopes and even on trees as an epiphyte. In its natural environment, Hoya carnosa exhibits non-variegated leaves and clusters of star-shaped flowers that are characteristic of the Hoya genus.


The history of Hoya Nova Ghost as a distinct cultivar begins with the fascination of horticulturists and plant enthusiasts with its unique variegated foliage. The term “Nova” is used to describe this cultivar to indicate that it is a new variation or mutation. The name “Ghost” is likely attributed to the striking appearance of its white variegation against the green background, evoking a ghostly, ethereal quality.

Unique features

Variegated Foliage

Hoya Nova Ghost is renowned for its stunning variegated foliage, displaying an eye-catching combination of creamy white and lush green tones. This variegation creates a beautiful contrast that enhances the plant’s overall allure.

Wax-Like Texture

Like most Hoya plants, Hoya Nova Ghost has waxy leaves with a glossy sheen, adding to its visual appeal. The waxy texture also helps the plant retain moisture, making it more resilient in drier indoor environments.

Hoya Nova Ghost  Flowers

When in bloom, Hoya Nova Ghost produces clusters of small, star-shaped flowers in delicate shades of white and pink. These fragrant blooms add another layer of beauty to the plant, captivating both the eyes and the nose.

Low-Light Tolerance

Hoya Nova Ghost has a remarkable ability to thrive in low-light conditions, making it a suitable choice for interior rooms or spaces with limited access to natural sunlight.

Air-Purifying Properties

Like many other houseplants, Hoya Nova Ghost contributes to improved indoor air quality by naturally purifying the air. It absorbs pollutants such as formaldehyde and benzene, creating a healthier living environment for its inhabitants.


As with many plants in the Hoya family, Hoya Nova Ghost contains sap that can be mildly toxic to pets and humans if ingested. Keep it out of reach of children and pets and avoid placing it in areas where curious animals might have easy access.

Hoya Nova Ghost Care

Light Requirements

The key to a flourishing Hoya Nova Ghost lies in providing it with the right amount of light. This plant prefers bright, indirect light, making it an ideal choice for east or west-facing windows. While it can tolerate some direct morning or evening sunlight, avoid exposing it to harsh midday sun, as it can scorch the delicate leaves. If natural light is insufficient, consider supplementing with a grow light to ensure the plant receives adequate brightness.

Temperature Tolerance

Hoya Nova Ghost prefers moderate temperatures, ranging from 60°F to 80°F (15°C to 27°C). It can tolerate occasional dips into the 50°F (10°C) range but is not frost-tolerant. Keep the plant away from drafts, air conditioning vents, and radiators, as sudden temperature fluctuations can stress the plant.

Watering and Humidity

Proper watering is crucial for the health of Hoya Nova Ghost. Allow the top inch of the soil to dry out before watering, as this plant is susceptible to root rot in waterlogged conditions. During the growing season, which typically spans spring and summer, water the plant thoroughly but avoid leaving it sitting in standing water. In the cooler months, reduce the watering frequency to prevent overhydration.

It thrives in humid environments, making it an excellent choice for bathrooms or kitchens. If your home has low humidity levels, consider misting the leaves regularly or placing a humidifier nearby to create a more favorable atmosphere for the plant.

Provide the right soil

Hoya Nova Ghost thrives in well-draining soil that is rich in organic matter. A recommended soil mix for this plant consists of a combination of peat moss, perlite, and orchid bark. This mixture promotes good aeration, and moisture retention, and prevents waterlogged conditions that could lead to root rot. It is important to avoid using heavy or compacted soil that retains too much moisture, as this can be detrimental to the plant’s health.

Ensure Proper Drainage

Proper drainage is crucial for Hoya Nova Ghost, as it helps prevent waterlogged conditions and ensures the roots do not become overly saturated. It is advisable to use pots with drainage holes to allow excess water to escape. Additionally, placing a layer of small rocks or broken pottery at the bottom of the pot can further enhance drainage by creating a space for water to accumulate without directly saturating the plant’s roots.

Select Appropriate Pot

Selecting the right pot size is important for the healthy growth of Hoya Nova Ghost. When choosing a pot, it is recommended to opt for a container that is slightly larger than the plant’s current root system. It generally prefers being slightly root-bound, so a pot that is too large may retain excess moisture and potentially lead to root rot. A clay or terracotta pot can be beneficial, as it allows for better airflow and aids in moisture regulation.


To keep your Hoya Nova Ghost in top shape, feed it with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer every 2-4 weeks during the active growing season. Avoid over-fertilizing, as this can lead to salt buildup in the soil. In the winter months, stop fertilization or reduce its frequency. 

Support and Training

As Hoya Nova Ghost grows, it will benefit from some support to guide its climbing or trailing nature. Use a trellis, moss pole, or stakes to help the plant establish its desired shape. Gentle training and tying can also encourage the plant to climb more effectively.

Pruning Hoya Nova Ghost

Pruning is essential for maintaining a healthy and attractive Hoya Nova Ghost. Prune your Hoya Nova Ghost to control its size and shape, promote bushier growth, and remove any dead or yellowing leaves. Use clean, sharp pruning shears to make clean cuts just above a node. You can propagate the cuttings to grow new plants if desired.


The Hoya Nova Ghost prefers to be slightly pot-bound. Repotting is usually necessary every two to three years or when the plant outgrows its current pot. Choose a well-draining potting mix suitable for epiphytic plants or create a mix of orchid bark, perlite, and peat moss. When repotting, be gentle with the delicate roots.

You may also like Hoya New Guinea Ghost

Hoya Nova Ghost Propagation

Propagating Hoya Nova Ghost (Hoya carnosa ‘Variegata’) is an exciting and rewarding process. One of the most common methods of propagation for Hoya plants, including the Nova Ghost, is through stem cuttings. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to propagate your Hoya Nova Ghost:

Materials Needed

  • Healthy Hoya Nova Ghost plant
  • Sharp and clean pair of scissors or pruning shears
  • Small pots or containers with drainage holes
  • Well-draining potting mix (cactus or succulent mix works well)
  • Watering can
  • Plastic bag or clear plastic dome (for maintaining humidity)

Steps For Propagation

Select a Healthy Stem: Choose a healthy stem with at least a few nodes (small bumps where leaves emerge). The stem should be long enough to provide room for a few nodes in the soil.

Take a Cutting: Using your scissors or pruning shears, make a clean cut just below a leaf node. This is where the roots will eventually form. The cutting should ideally be around 4-6 inches long.

Remove Lower Leaves: Gently remove the leaves from the lower nodes of the cutting, leaving a few nodes at the top intact. This will prevent the submerged nodes from rotting when planted in the soil.

Allow the Cutting to Callus: Place the cutting in a dry, shaded area for a day or two. Allowing the cut end to callus over helps prevent rot when planting.

Plant the Cutting: Fill your pots with a well-draining potting mix. Make a small hole in the soil with your finger or a pencil and insert the callused end of the cutting. Gently press the soil around the cutting to secure it.

Watering: Water the cutting lightly after planting, ensuring that the soil is damp but not waterlogged. Overwatering can lead to rot.

Create Humidity: Place a plastic bag or clear plastic dome over the pot to create a mini greenhouse effect. This helps maintain high humidity around the cutting, encouraging root development.

Provide Indirect Light: Place the potted cutting in a location with bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, as it can be too intense for the young cutting.

Root Development: After a few weeks, you should start to see new growth and potential roots emerging from the nodes. Once the cutting has developed a strong root system and new growth, you can gradually acclimate it to normal indoor conditions by removing the plastic cover.

Tips: Remember, propagation success can vary, and patience is key. Not all cuttings will successfully root, so it’s a good idea to take multiple cuttings to increase your chances of success.

Common Pests and Diseases

Hoya Nova Ghost, like any other plant, can be susceptible to certain pests and diseases. Being aware of these potential issues and knowing how to identify and treat them is important for maintaining the health of your plant. Here are some common pests and diseases that can affect Hoya Nova Ghost:


Mealybugs (Pseudococcidae)

Mealybugs are small, soft-bodied insects that often appear as white, cottony masses on the leaves and stems of plants. They feed by piercing the plant tissue and sucking out the sap, leading to weakened growth and yellowing leaves.

To control mealybugs, manually remove them with a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. You can also use a solution of water and mild liquid soap to gently wipe the affected areas. If the infestation is severe, consider using an organic insecticidal soap or neem oil spray.

Scale Insects (Coccoidea)

Scale insects are tiny, oval-shaped pests that attach themselves to the stems and leaves of plants, forming hard, protective shells. They feed on the plant’s sap, causing yellowing, stunted growth, and leaf drop.

Like mealybugs, you can manually remove scale insects by gently scraping them off with a soft brush or cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol. For severe infestations, consider using horticultural oil or insecticidal soap sprays to control the population.

Spider Mites (Tetranychidae)

Spider mites are tiny arachnids that are difficult to spot with the naked eye. They often leave a fine webbing on the leaves and feed by piercing the plant cells, causing stippling, discoloration, and leaf curling.

 Increase humidity around the plant, as spider mites thrive in dry conditions. Regularly mist the leaves and wipe them with a damp cloth to deter these pests. In case of a severe infestation, use insecticidal soap or a neem oil-based spray, making sure to cover the undersides of the leaves where spider mites tend to hide.


Root Rot 

Root rot is a common fungal disease caused by overwatering or poorly drained soil. It leads to rotting of the roots, resulting in wilting, yellowing leaves, and stunted growth.

If root rot is suspected, carefully remove the plant from the pot and examine the roots. Trim away any mushy or discolored roots, and repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil. Ensure that the pot has proper drainage to prevent future occurrences of root rot. Adjust your watering practices to allow the soil to dry out slightly between waterings.

Leaf Spot

Leaf spot diseases are fungal infections that cause circular or irregular brown spots on the leaves. These spots may have a yellow halo around them, and severe cases can lead to defoliation.

Remove and destroy the affected leaves to prevent the spread of the disease. Avoid overhead watering, as it can contribute to the development of leaf spots. Ensure good air circulation around the plant and avoid overcrowding. If the disease persists, consider using a fungicidal spray following the manufacturer’s instructions.

It is important to regularly inspect your Hoya Nova Ghost for any signs of pests or diseases. Early detection and appropriate treatment increase the chances of successful control. 

Common Leaf Issues

Like any houseplant, Hoya Nova Ghost may experience some common leaf issues that can affect its appearance and health. Here are some common leaf issues to watch out for:

Yellowing Leaves: Yellowing leaves can be a sign of overwatering, underwatering, or poor drainage. Ensure the plant receives the right amount of water and the soil is well-draining. Adjust your watering schedule accordingly.

Brown Leaf Tips: Brown tips on the leaves may indicate that the plant is not getting enough humidity. Increase the humidity levels by misting the leaves regularly or using a humidifier.

Leaf Curling: Curling leaves can be caused by underwatering, low humidity, or exposure to cold drafts. Make sure the plant is adequately watered and kept in a warm, humid environment.

Brown Spots or Edges: Brown spots or edges on the leaves may be due to low humidity, over-fertilization, or exposure to direct sunlight. Maintain proper humidity levels, avoid excessive fertilization, and protect the plant from direct sunlight.

Leaf Dropping: Dropping leaves can be a response to changes in environmental conditions, such as temperature fluctuations or being moved to a new location. Try to maintain a consistent environment and avoid frequent repositioning.

Hoya Nova Ghost VS Grey Ghost

Hoya Nova Ghost features variegated leaves with creamy white and green hues, while Grey Ghost displays silver-grey foliage. Nova Ghost has pink and white flowers, while Grey Ghost has greenish-white blooms. Nova Ghost thrives in low light, and Grey Ghost prefers moderate light. Both are captivating houseplants, each with a unique and enchanting appearance.

Hoya Nova Ghost VS New Guinea Ghost

Hoya Nova Ghost (Hoya carnosa ‘Variegata’) and New Guinea Ghost (Hoya ‘Mathilde’) are captivating Hoya cultivars. Nova Ghost features variegated leaves with creamy white and green hues, while New Guinea Ghost displays unique silver-gray foliage. Nova Ghost produces pink and white flowers, whereas New Guinea Ghost blooms with star-shaped clusters of pale pink and maroon.  New Guinea Ghost prefers bright, indirect light and Nova Ghost thrives in low light. Both are popular houseplants, but Nova Ghost’s variegation and New Guinea Ghost’s silver-gray foliage offer distinct and enchanting choices for indoor gardens, each showcasing its individual beauty and charm.


1. Difference between Hoya Nova Ghost and Grey Ghost? 

Nova Ghost (Hoya carnosa ‘Variegata’) has variegated leaves with white and green hues, while Grey Ghost (Hoya australis ‘Lisa’) boasts silver-gray foliage. Nova Ghost has pink and white flowers, while Grey Ghost’s blooms are greenish-white.

2. Is Hoya Nova Ghost a carnosa variety? 

Yes, Hoya Nova Ghost (Hoya carnosa ‘Variegata’) is a variegated cultivar of the Hoya carnosa species.

3. What’s the rarest Hoya variety? 

Hoya bordenii is considered one of the rarest Hoya varieties due to its limited distribution and scarcity in cultivation.

4. How to care for Hoya Nova Ghost? 

Place in low light, water when the top inch of soil is dry, and maintain humidity. Avoid direct sun and overwatering. Prune occasionally.


Caring for Hoya Nova Ghost is a delightful journey into the world of enchanting houseplants. By providing it with the right balance of light, water, and attention, you’ll be rewarded with a mesmerizing display of variegated foliage and stunning blooms. With the tips and guidelines outlined in this comprehensive guide, you’ll be well-equipped to cultivate a thriving Hoya Nova Ghost that will add a touch of magic and beauty to your indoor space for years to come. Happy gardening!


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