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Wrinkled and soft leaves on a Hindu Rope Plant (Hoya Carnosa Compacta) are not always a sign of anything serious. There are a few issues that can cause wrinkled and soft leaves and we will go over them in this article.
Check out our Hindu Rope Plant Care Guide for more information on how to care for your plant.
Why a Hindu Rope Plant Has Wrinkled and Soft Leaves
The main reason that your Hoya Compacta would have wrinkled and soft leaves is due to watering needs.
Below is a picture of a Hindu Rope Plant that has wrinkled leaves due to needing water. Don’t worry no plants were harmed in the making of this, I just let it go a few extra days to get the picture so you can see what the wrinkled leaves will look like.
Underwatered Hoya Carnosa Compacta
The most common reason is that your plant is telling you it needs water.
Hoya Rope Plants store much of the water in their curly leaves. Once the water in the soil is depleted the plant will start to use up the water it has stored in the leaves. After it has used up the water in a leaf that leaf will appear wrinkled and will feel soft to the touch.
To be sure that it is lack of water that has caused the wrinkled leaves, check the moisture of the plant’s soil. By far the best way to do this is to stick your finger a few inches down into the soil. If you can’t do that you can also use a moisture meter. If it is dry then watering the plant should fix the issue and the leaves should start to appear unwrinkled by the next day.
If however, the soil is moist when you checked it then this could be more complicated than just needing water.
Overwatered Hoya Carnosa Compacta
If your Hindu Rope Plant has moist soil and the leaves are wrinkled and soft then this could be due to root rot.
Most often if it is due to root rot you will also notice yellow and mushy leaves alongside the wrinkled and soft ones.
Root rot can be detrimental to any houseplant, including Hindu Rope Plants. Root rot is caused by the plant being overwatered and/or sitting in soggy soil. This is most often due to soil that doesn’t drain well or a pot that doesn’t allow for any drainage.
You can try to save your Hoya by repotting the plant and replacing the soil. But repotting is not always a guarantee that the plant will survive. You will need to try to remove the root rot when you repot the plant.
To repot and replace the soil take your plant out of its pot and clean the soil off the root ball. Remove any damaged roots from the root ball. Damaged roots will usually appear darker than healthy roots and are mushy and maybe slimy. While you have the plant out of its pot check the pot for drainage. If you don’t see any drainage holes in your pot then you will need to get a new pot that allows for drainage. Put the plant back in its pot or into its new pot and give it new well-draining soil.
Many guides about Hoyas will say that low humidity can cause wrinkled leaves on the plant. Humidity levels only affect how fast the leaves will get wrinkled between watering.
Where I live in the winter the humidity is ranging around 10%-20% and the only thing this changes is the frequency that my Hoya needs water. During the winter I have to water my Rope Plant more often than in the summer. But raising humidity doesn’t change the fact that the plant needs water when the leaves get wrinkled.
So if you raise the humidity you will not have to water your plant as often and that can cut back on how fast the leaves can get wrinkled.