(image credit, IG: plantedbymish)
Hoya Krimson Queen or Hoya Tricolor (also know as Hoya Variegata) is a variegated variant of the Hoya carnosa. Its leaves are either pink or white to creamy white around the leaf edges. Cobia patented this Hoya variant in the 1950’s as a Hoya Tricolor. It was later sold as Hoya Krimson Queen and this is the name it goes by today.
New leaves on the Hoya Krimson Queen are often a very bright pink and some of the leaves can end up entirely white. A different variant is the Hoya Krimson Princess that has variegated leaves in the center.
If you haven’t caught the Hoya bug yet, the Hoya Krimson Queen is going to change that for good. Hoya Krimson Queen care needs bright filtered light or indirect light in an east-facing window. As a potting soil use a chunky mix using perlite and pumice as well as peat moss. Keep temperatures between 61°F (16°C ) and 95°F (35°C) and water 1-3 times a week once the soil becomes dry to the touch. Keep humidity at 70-80%, for the best results. Fertilize once a month in Spring and Summer using an organic fertilizer.
Hoyas are native to Thailand, India, and China, and further East Asian countries as well as Indonesia but are growing readily in the wild in countries such as the Philippines, New Guinea, Polynesia, and Australia.
The Hoya Krimson Queen belongs to the Apocynaceae family and is part of the Hoya genus. It is a variegated version of the Hoya carnosa.
Hoyas are perennials and are epiphytic vining plants that are growing ropey vines and make great vining plants in hanging baskets.
They are often grown for their waxy leaves and their beautiful star-shaped cluster of scented flowers.
The best thing with Hoyas is, that they are usually not too hard to grow. Let’s now dive into the care for the Hoya Krimson Queen.
- 1 Hoya Krimson Queen Care Guide
- 2 Common Problems with Hoya Krimson Queen
- 3 Tips to keep your Hoya Krimson Queen problem-free
- 4 Frequently asked questions about Hoya Krimson Queen
- 5 Conclusion
Hoya Krimson Queen Care Guide
Chose a well-draining soil mix for this Hoya as you would for most other houseplants. If you mix your soil on your own use a combination of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite. I always use an equal ratio and this has served my Queen and me well so far.
Alternatively, you can also create a mix using parts sand and fibrous soil using coconut husk and orchid bark as well as pumice and clay balls.
The chunkier, lighter, and more airy your soil mix ends up the better. What you want to achieve is a sol that is airy and well-draining but retains water well at the same time.
A list of ingredients for the perfect Hoya soil mix:
- Coconut husk: Prevents suffocation of roots. Enables oxygen to get to plant roots
- Orchid bark: Chunky pieces help to ensure airflow to roots
- Peat moss: Keeps humidity, softens the soil structure and improves drainage
- Vermiculite: Helps with moisture retention, adds aeration, helps added fertilizer release
- Perlite: Adds airyness and kees the soil loose
- Clay Balls: Add chunkyness and make the soil mix airy
- Coarse sand: Makes sure the soil doesn’t get too compact
Please note that you will not need all these ingredients in your soil to keep your Crimson Queen happy. A mix of some of these ingredients will ensure a healthy soil that prevents root rot and further diseases caused by soggy soil and overwatering.
In addition, this mix will prevent the soil from drying out too quickly as well. Choose the ingredients you can get or you have available and look for a good mix between chunky ingredients and soil mix content that will keep moisture and nutrients.
Many of the above-described components have similar benefits when added as houseplant soil.
Hoya carnosa needs bright indirect light or bright filtered sunlight. An east-facing window is optimal. You can always make use of a plant grow light if the ideal conditions in front of a window cannot be met or if you have a specific place where you want to put your plant.
It is important to note that variegated plants need more sunlight than the variegated versions as the variegation does not help the plant to photosynthesize. Only the green areas of the leaves can be used for photosynthesis.
The Hoya Carnosa Krimson Queen is no exception to this rule. There are many articles describing Hoyas in general as a medium to low light plants. However, it is important to mention that indoor conditions cannot be compared to outdoor conditions. If you want your Hoya to grow vigorously, make sure to provide sufficient light.
A plant growing in half or even full shade in nature will not necessarily grow well in a shaded area in your house as the sun outdoors is so much stronger than any place in your house.
So a shaded place in the wild might be compared to space for your plant with bright indirect light in your home. And even then chances are that your houseplants get less light.
To summarize, it is best to put your Hoya Tricolor in a bright spot with bright indirect light or filtered light for best results and variegation.
Hoyas are plants with woody stems and thick succulent like leaves. They are fairly drought tolerant and so is the Crimson Queen. These are the kind of houseplants that you can leave alone when going on vacation and you will find them still thriving once you come back.
The best is to water your Hoya Krimson Queen frequently about 1-3 times a week depending on how warm and dry your environment is in the summer and spring. Reduce watering in Autumn and Winter to about once or max twice a week.
Never water when the soil is still humid as this might lead to root rot. A good tip is to use the famous finger test to determine if water should be applied to your Hoya. Stick your index finder 1-2 inches into the soil. If it is still wet, do not water.
When you water thoroughly so that the water is flowing through the drainage holes of the pot. Drainage holes are an absolute must for a healthy Hoya.
It is almost impossible to water thoroughly and have the excess water drain without drainage holes.
The Hoya Krimson Queen prefer temperatures between 61°F (16°C ) and 95°F (35°C). They do not handle big temperature swings as well as very cold temperatures well.
In addition, they are not frost tolerant. Also, avoid constant temperatures in the 95°F (35°C) are or higher for an extended time as this weakens your Hoya.
Hoya Krimson queen grows outside in USDA Zones 10-12. They are the perfect indoor plant as their optimal temperature range contains general household temperatures and many keep the Hoya Carnosa Crimson Queen as a houseplant.
If you live in Florida or somewhere else where tropical temperatures reign, you can also give outdoor growing a shot.
High humidity around 70 to 80% is optimal for the best Hoya results and increased flowering. However, these humidity values will not be present in most households.
Hoyas will also do fine in lower humidity but there are certain ways to boost the humidity in your home.
The best tricks to increase humidity are:
- Do: Place a pebble tray beneath the pot of your plant and fill it with water. Water evaporation will directly go to your plant and increase the humidity around the plant.
- D0: If you can afford it and have space use a humidifier indoors to increase humidity levels in a room
- Do: Put plants closely together as this increases humidity for all of your plants in that cluster
- Don’t: Don’t mist the leaves of your Hoya Krimson Queen as this will create more bad than good. Wet leaves for too long just call for fungus to build up. You will need great ventilation to make this worl.
Generally do not stress too much about humidity. The higher you can get your surroundings the better. But this doesn’t mean that an East-Asian rainforest in your living room is the only way to keep your Hoya happy.
Use fertilizer containing sufficient amounts of potassium and phosphorous. Make sure that the (K) value in NPK is low as succulent like plants such as Hoyas need only little amounts of potassium.
I choose organic fertilizers whenever possible. I believe they are more beneficial to the overall health of your Hoya.
Synthetic fertilizer has a higher chance of causing fertilizer burn at the root level. Feed your Hoya Krimson Queen every two weeks in the growing season in Spring and Summer.
If liquid synthetic fertilizer is used remember to always use it at half the recommended strength for your houseplant to avoid any adverse effects and only use it once a month in the growing season.
Reduce or even pause fertilizing your Hoya in Autumn and Winter as it is then not in its main growing phase. Your plant will have reduced needs for nutrients during these seasons.
Propagate your Hoya Krimson Queen using stem cuttings. Once you made a cutting, it mainly comes down to your preference and the availability of different growing mediums.
You can either chose to grow your cutting in the soil directly, in water, or chose a propagation medium such as we perlite or sphagnum moss.
The best season to propagate your Hoya Krimson Queen is Spring or Summer. You can also propagate in Autumn or Winter but it will most likely take quite a bit longer before you have a new plant as the other seasons are better suited for plant growth.
I added a step by step tutorial for you to follow to successfully propagate your Hoya:
- Choose a cutting that is not too woody and still young that is not carrying any blooms. Make sure it has 1-3 leaves as this will speed up the propagation process
- Have your pruning shears or a knife ready
- Sterilize your tool of choice using rubbing alcohol and put it under an open flame for a few seconds to ensure no bacteria, virus, fungal issue or contamination can be caused on the cut
- Cut under below a node by doing a diagonal cut. This type of cut will help the cutting to take in more humidity and will prevent the cut piece to rot
- Optional: Dip your cutting in rooting hormone or cinnamon to increase root growth and put some fine coal or cinnamon on the cut at the mother plant to protect the wound
- Prepare your rooting medium of choice. If you choose water, make sure the water is at room temperature and as sterile as possible. I recommend distilled water for this purpose. Soil, as well as Spaghnum Moss, need to be moistened slightly before placing the cutting into it
- Make sure the node of the cutting is in touch with the rooting medium
- Avoid any leaves from being in touch with either soil, water or Sphagnum Moss as they might rot
- Use a high humidity environment using a humidity dome or a plastic box
- Ensure the cutting remained warm from below using a heat mat if possible
- Make sure your cutting is in a well light place as kept too dark it will not develop properly. Avoid direct sun or too much light at this stage
- Replant the cutting once you see roots building that are at least a couple of inches long and feeder roots have started to build
The most important point and the hardest at least for me is to be patient. It is absolutely normal that nothing is happening for weeks.
It can take anywhere from a couple of weeks to several months for roots and new leaves to build and for your cutting to be ready to be potted in a general Hoya potting mix.
A grown Hoya Krimson Queen can reach a length of 59 to 79 inches (1.5-2 meters). In the wild a length or height of 20 feet (6 meters) for a Hoya is not uncommon.
The petioles of these Hoyas are between 0.4-0.6 inches long (1-1,5 cm long).
Leaves are 1.6-2 inches long (4-5 cm) and are thick and fleshy as well as base rounded and slightly cordate and of a waxy texture. Cordate means heart-shaped. This is why Hoyas are also called Wax plants.
Hoyas are vigorous growers that grow well if conditions in terms of light, water, temperature, humidity nutrients, and soil composition are on point.
The most important thing is to use a pot with drain holes. They are susceptible to root rot and this is not something you want to deal with.
I care for all my Hoyas in terracotta pots because I like to profit from the porous texture of these pots. Terracotta will take in extra moisture and allows for oxygen exchange to the roots.
But of course, you can buy any kind of pot that is to your liking as long as it has drainage holes.
Repot your Hoya Krimson Queen frequently about every season or two. When you repot remember to also completely change the soil as this is a great opportunity to freshen up the growing medium for your Hoya.
Some helpful tips when repotting your Hoya:
- Do repot in a pot only 1 size bigger than the previous size
- Do add some fertilizer into the growing medium
- Do report in Spring and Summer
- Don’t repot in Winter or Autumn as your Hoya might lack the energy to fill the new pot with roots quickly.
- Don’t water right after repotting. Roots might have been damaged due to the repotting and need to callous over first
- Don’t repot in too big a pot. Bigger is not better and your Hoya will thrive in a pot too bog
- Don’t repot a plant that is blooming. Certainly not a Hoya Krimson Queen
Hoya Carnosa Crimson queen likes to be repotted frequently. By making use of the above tips&tricks you know everything you need to know to repot your plant.
It took my Hoya Krimson Queen 3 years from when I got it as a tiny little plant to the point where it was flowering the first time.
The bloom or inflorescence is a big factor why Hoya plants are so popular. An inflorescence on a Hoya Krimson Queen consists of up to 30 tiny flowers that build a round cluster of scented flowers.
When you see such a Hoya bloom for the first time you almost think it is fake as it looks too great.
The flowers itself are erect on 1.6 inches long (4cm) peduncles. Peduncles are the stalks that carry the flowers.
Inflorescences start in the leaf axils from perennial structured that are called spurs. Once the spurs emerge they do not produce flower buds but once they are present they can carry flowers each season. Therefore it is wise to make sure the spurs are not damaged as they carry the flowers each season.
The flowers itself form round clusters in a star shape and the pink waxy flowers with red centers.
Each of the nocturnal flower consists of two stars. A top and a bottom one. The flowers produce a drop of nectar each. The nectar smells of chocolate, vanilla, or honey.
The Hoya Krimson Queen is not poisonous. However, they produce milky white sap that is toxic. Hoya plants are not toxic to cats and dogs but can make them sick nevertheless. Cats and dogs are not made to digest loads of hoya leaves as this can lead them to throw up.
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Common Problems with Hoya Krimson Queen
A Common problem for my beloved Hoya Krimson Queen is root and stem rot. It is very easy to overwater a Hoya plant. The succulent like features such as the fleshy leaves indicate that these plants are drought tolerant and should not be overwatered.
In addition debris from the Hoya itself needs to be removed immediately to avoid and fungal build up in the pot before it swaps over to the stems of our green friend.
The healthier and the better off your plant is the less susceptible to any pest infestation your plant is. So the best defense is to take great care of your indoor plant.
In addition when the plant is stressed is it more likely to be attacked by fungi, bacteria, or insects. Stress can arise from transportation, from too much heat or cold, or any other impact that brings your houseplant out of its comfort zone.
Let’s now dive into the most common plant pests for Hoya Krimson queen:
Mealybugs are cotton-like white insects. Often it looks like some dust has built up on the stems or leaves of your Hoya. By closer inspection however it becomes clear that these are little bugs that are looking to suck the sap out of your plant.
They like to gather at the underside of leaves and have a big preference for new growth. The softer parts of the Hoya Krimson Queen are an easy target.
The good thing about these pests if there is anything good about them is that they are rather slow and the damage they can do is limited. They are not too small to be seen with the naked eye which is an additional plus.
A q tip with some rubbing alcohol on it is your best remedy to get rid of Mealybugs. Once the pests get in touch with the alcohol they will get be history.
Another great way to counter mealybugs is a soap-based spray when the population is rather large. I can personally recommend Castille soap. Put one tablespoon of natural Castille soap in one quart of water (~1 liter) and spray your Hoya Krimson Queen every two weeks with it until the mealybugs disappear for good.
Spider mites are a despicable breed of bugs. They are very small and therefore hard to spot and they emerge in big numbers.
This is the kind of plant pest that lets indoor and outdoor gardeners alike lose their cool.
A telltale to identify a Spider Mite infestation on your Hoya carnosa Crimson Queen is the small webs these spider mites build.
Spider mites gather on the underside of leaves and nodes and they leave spiderwebs everywhere on your plant.
You might need a magnifying app on your smartphone, or a physical magnifying glass in the first place to even see these bugs.
Once you confirmed your suspicion immediately quarantine your plant. Spider mites are hungry and they will not spare and of the plants around the infested one.
Prepare yourself for an extended battle and equip yourself with neem oil, insecticidal sprays, create your own soap-based sprays and use a cloth with diluted rubbing alcohol.
In addition make the environment as inhabitable as possible. Spider mites love warm and dry surroundings. Increase the humidity around your Hoya Krimson Queen if possible.
One way to achieve this is by placing your plant in the bathroom. A humidifier close by will do the trick as well.
It might be an extended battle but you will succeed eventually. Be vigilant and do not give up!
Scale is an armored yet pretty immobile insect. Not that they cannot move but they stay generally put. They love to gather on the stems of your Hoya plant and it might look like your Hoya has some kind of damage on its stems. They are again a plant sap-sucking type of bug with a strong shell for protection.
Since the shell is protecting these buggers, any kind of pesticide or soap treatment will not be that effective. The best is to pluck them one by one. You can either use your fingernails – we totally understand if the idea grosses you out – or a dull knife.
Alternatively, you can grab a toothbrush to scrape them off the stems of your Hoya Krimson Queen.
Make sure you get them all and you do not let any of them fall into the pot as they will reattach to the stems of your plant.
After that use a q-tip with alcohol, an insecticidal or soap-based spray to finish them off.
Tips to keep your Hoya Krimson Queen problem-free
- Use a pot with at least one drainage hole
- Use a well-draining potting mix
- Only water when the soil is dry to the touch
- General indoor temperatures are fine but avoid cold temperature drafts and excess heat
- High humidity above 70% is best if possible
- Keep your Hoya Krimson Queen in bright indirect or filtered sunlight
- Choose an East-facing window or make use of grow lights
- Fertilize frequently (once a month) in Spring and Summer
- Repot every 1-2 years
Frequently asked questions about Hoya Krimson Queen
What is the difference between Hoya Krimson Queen and Hoya Krimson Princess?
The Hoya Krimson Queen has pink or white leaves around the leaf edges. The leaves of the Hoya Krimson Princess are variegated in the center. This is the easiest way to tell these two Hoyas apart.
Why are the leaves of my Hoya Krimson Queen yellowing?
Yellow leave is an indication of either under-or overwatering. The most likely cause is that you are overwatering your plant. This happens easily with Hoyas as they have succulent like features and it is easy to overwater.
If leaves are yellowing check the roots of your plant. If the soil is soggy remove it completely and replace it with fresh soil. Remove dead or rotting roots by snipping them off.
Why are new shoots from my Hoya Krimson Queen drying and falling off?
The Hoya Krimson Queen is picky about where it is growing. It sends out multiple vines and when it reaches a spot that is not nice it will abort the particular vine. This may lead to tips drying and eventually falling off. Nothing to worry about as this your plant’s natural way to grow.
Hoya Krimson Queen is a strikingly beautiful and fast-growing Hoya under the right conditions. It is the Queen among other magnificent Hoyas such as Hoya Linearis, Hoya Fungii, and Hoya carnosa compacta.
If there is one thing about Hoya Krimson Queen care that is important for a happy Hoya it is watering. The more you love your Hoya plants the more you might tend to overwater them. Go easy on the watering and enjoy our Hoya to the max.
Marcel runs the place around here. He has a deep passion for houseplants & gardening and is constantly on the lookout for yet another special plant to add to his arsenal of houseplants, succulents & cacti.
Marcel is also the founder of Iseli International Commerce, a sole proprietorship company that publishes a variety of websites and online magazines.