Do you love plants with waxy leaves? Or just want to know more about this specific type of plant? We’ve got you covered with a list of the 16 best plants with waxy leaves. From succulents to tropical plants, you’ll be surprised by the variety.
The most popular waxy leaf plants are the Hoya Carnosa and the Philodendron Hederaceum. However, if you want something a little smaller, or more unique, there are lots of options to suit your preferences.
If you want to learn more about some of our favorite plants with waxy leaves that will work great in your garden, continue reading. There are many more than 16 waxy plants out there, but the ones we cover here are all readily available and are easy to take care of, no matter your gardening level.
1. Hoya Carnosa – The Wax Plant, Honey Plant, Porcelain Flower
The Hoya Carnosa, or Wax Plant, is a common houseplant. While the deep green, waxy leaves are part of what makes this plant well-known, it also has tiny, delicate, star-shaped flowers that have a unique appearance and amazing smell.
It is part of the milkweed family. Native to the tropic region, the Hoya Carnosa prefers high humidities and warmer temperatures.
2. Peperomia – Radiator Plant
Another tropical species, the Peperomia loves heat and sunlight. In fact, that is where it is thought to have gotten its nickname from, as it enjoys the warm air that comes off of a radiator.
These plants are perfect for those living in a small apartment, as they don’t take up much space. There is a lot of variation in the Radiator Plant, as they can have heart-shaped or narrow lance-shaped leaves. Most of the time, the leaves are a bright solid green, but they can also feature stripes, spots, splotches, or marbling.
3. Spathiphyllum Wallisii – Peace Lily, Closet Plant
Peace Lilies are excellent indoor plants. They are very easy to take care of and do well in indoor conditions without much light. However, if you want the beautiful white spathes and for it to flower more, giving it a bit more light is ideal.
The Spathiphyllum Wallisii is a tropical plant that is used to living on the forest floor and receiving minimal light. While in homes, it usually doesn’t grow over 3 feet (1 m). But they can reach up to 6 feet (2 m) in height in ideal conditions, including in their natural, wild habitat.
4. Ficus Deltoidea – Mistletoe Fig, Delta Fig, Fig Shrub
The Mistletoe Fig can be used as an indoor or outdoor houseplant, depending on the climate. Despite its nickname, it is a tropical evergreen plant that does better in hot and humid climates.
Its name comes from the white berries that grow on this fig and that somewhat resemble a traditional Mistletoe plant.
The Ficus Deltoidea originates from Southeast Asia, where its species lives and grows on another plant but isn’t considered parasitic (epiphytic).
5.Philodendron Hederaceum – Heart Leaf Philodendron, Sweetheart Plant
Well-known as the most common of all Philodendron species, the Philodendron Hederaceum is native to the tropical regions of South America. It is easy to grow with bright sunlight, high heat, and humidity.
Despite being considered a waxy-leafed plant, its leaves aren’t as waxy as some others on this list. The Heart Leaf Philodendron has unique leaves that can sometimes start as a bronze color before turning green. As the name suggests, its leaves are also rounded and shaped like a heart.
6.Adenium Obesum – Desert Rose
The Desert Rose is a succulent. It grows very slowly, only managing about 12 inches (30 cm) a year. Many people even use it as a bonsai tree because of the way it grows. It is native to Africa, Madagascar, and the Middle East.
Though these plants can be outdoor plants in certain climates, many people get them as an indoor feature with their large, trumpet-shaped flowers as the main attraction.
7.Monstera Deliciosa – Swiss Cheese Plant
Thanks to its large waxy leaves full of holes and cuts, this Monstera is known as the Swiss Cheese Plant. In the wild, it is a tropical plant native to both North and South America. It can easily grow up to 70 feet (21 m) tall with each leaf reaching up to 3 feet (1 m) in width.
It is aneasy plant to take care of and is a very popular plant because of that.
8. Kalanchoe Blossfeldiana – Flaming Katy, Widow’s Thrill
The Flaming Katy is a succulent. It has waxy, green leaves with scalloped edges. It also has bright pink, orange, yellow, and white flowers that give the plant its name. Its flowers take up the whole plant and can last for months if treated right. The plant itself stays pretty small, only growing up to 12 inches (30 cm).
They are very fragile plants and need to be treated with care, despite their sturdy appearance.
9. Zamioculcas Plant – Zanzibar Gem, ZZ Plant
ZZ plants are well-known for their wide, oval-shaped leaves hailing from the tropical regions of Africa. Specifically, this plant thrives in Zanzibar and Tanzania. They are well-loved because they require minimal care and look stunning inside your home. The leaves are so waxy and lush that they are often mistaken for being fake.
These plants are slow-growing but stunning, and well worth the wait.
10. Crassula Ovata – Jade Plant, Lucky Plant, Money Plant
Jade Plants are not only gorgeous and simple to take care of, but also considered to bring good luck to the home if taken care of. They are succulents with small, gem-like leaves. They tend to grow similar to a small tree, or a bonsai.
Jade Plants are easy to propagate and easy to grow, making them perfect plants for everyone. However, if you have pets that are curious chewers, be careful as this plant can be toxic to them.
11. Euphorbia Flanaganii – Head of Medusa
The Head of Medusa is a succulent native to South Africa. It has many little branches that look like little green or white snakes, hence the name. It blooms in spring and summer with tiny little flowers that are simply adorable.
The leaves are rather small, only 0.4 inches (1 cm) in length, while the branches can spread out to 16 inches (40 cm).
This plant does not need a substrate to grow – it is able to survive by clinging to another plant or rock.
12. Gasteria Obliqua – Ox Tongue Plant, Cow Tongue, Lawyers Tongue
Another succulent from South Africa, the Ox Tongue Plant tends to be pretty small, but its flowers and flowering stems grow up tall and bend over the leaves. The leaves are small and green with white margins and speckles.
There are a lot of hybrids and variations of this plant, allowing owners to get the color and shape that best suits their home.
13. Nematanthus – Goldfish Plant
The Goldfish Plant is a tropical plant from Central and South America. Its flowers are bright orange and an unusual shape, similar to that of a goldfish – hence where it gets its name. As well as orange, the flowers can be red and yellow.
Most of the time, its leaves are waxy and thick, but can occasionally be fuzzy.
14. Ficus Elastica – Rubber Fig
The Rubber Fig is a tropical evergreen. It is a well-loved and unique houseplant that has been praised by NASA due to its incredible air-purifying properties.
The roots of the Rubber Fig can be powerful enough to create living bridges. The roots are guided by human hands until, over time, they grow and intertwine to span forest and waterways and become wind and flood-resistant marvels.
Bromeliads are tropical plants that are full of brilliant colors such as pink, orange, red, and yellow. Plants like pineapples and Spanish moss are part of the Bromeliad group.
They are slow growing and can take two to three years to reach maturity, but the bright colors and waxy leaves are well worth it.
16. Echeveria Succulent – Hens and Chicks
The Echeveria Succulent is native to Mexico and Central and South America. These succulents are everywhere and they are easy to find in any store with a garden department.
They are very easy to propagate, very low-maintenance, and can handle a lot of neglect.
Are There Waxy Leaf Plants With White Flowers?
Magnolia Grandiflora, or the Southern Magnolia, is one of the most well-known plants with white flowers and big, waxy leaves. They are evergreen with flowers that bloom in spring and summer and can grow pretty large, up to 70 feet (21 m).
Why Do Tropical Plants Have Waxy Leaves?
You may have noticed that all of the plants on this list are either succulents or tropical plants. This is because waxy leaves do a better job of retaining moisture. So for plants in hot environments where water evaporates quickly, it is important to have waxy leaves.
Why Do Plants Feel Waxy?
The reason that a plant feels waxy is because of something known as a cuticle. This is a material that is very wax-like and is made from something called hydroxy fatty acid.
Most of these waxy-leaved plants do great indoors or outdoors and would make a great addition to your garden. All you have to do is give them lots of heat, a fair amount of sunlight, and a bit of humidity.
The most popular waxy leaf plants are the Hoya Carnosa and the Philodendron Hederaceum.
While there are a lot more plants with waxy leaves out there, we find these 16 to be the easiest to take care of overall and some of the most unique! From small succulents that resemble snakes to large succulents that don’t mind taking over a space with their hole-filled leaves, there is a plant out there for everyone.