(image credit, IG: plantedbymish)
Hoya Krimson Queen or Hoya Tricolor (also known as Hoya Variegata) is a variegated variant of the Hoya carnosa. Its leaves are pink or white to creamy white around the edges. Cobia patented this Hoya variant in the 1950s as a Hoya Tricolor. It was later sold as Hoya Krimson Queen, the name it goes by today.
New leaves on the Hoya Krimson Queen are often a very bright pink, and some can end up entirely white. A different variant is the Hoya Krimson Princess, which has variegated leaves in the center.
If you haven’t caught the Hoya bug like me, the Hoya Krimson Queen will change that for good. This is the Hoya that started my Hoya passion. Before, I wasn’t a big fan of this genus. But now, I want to collect all 500 varieties like Pokemon.
Hoya Krimson Queen Care
The Hoya Krimson Queen needs bright filtered light or indirect light in an east-facing window. As a potting soil, use a chunky mix of perlite, pumice, and 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.
Hoya Carnosa Krimson Queen
Hoyas are native to Thailand, India, 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 grow ropey vines and make great vining plants in hanging baskets.
They are often grown for their waxy leaves and a beautiful star-shaped clusters of scented flowers.
The best thing about Hoyas is that they are usually not too hard to grow. Let’s now dive into the care of the Hoya Krimson Queen.
Hoya Krimson Queen Care Guide – 10 Best Tips
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 create a mix using parts of 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 airiness and kees the soil loose
- Clay Balls: Add chunkiness 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 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 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 to houseplant soil.
Hoya carnosa needs bright indirect light or bright filtered sunlight. An east-facing window is optimal. You can always use 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. Many articles describe Hoyas in general, as 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, 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 much stronger than in any place.
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.
It is best to put your Hoya Tricolor in a bright spot with indirect 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 twice a week.
Never water when the soil is humid, which 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 it.
When you water thoroughly, the water flows through the pot’s drainage holes. Drainage holes are an absolute must for a healthy Hoya.
It is almost impossible to water thoroughly and drain excess water without drainage holes.
The Hoya Krimson Queen prefers temperatures between 61°F (16°C ) and 95°F (35°C). They do not handle big temperature swings or very cold temperatures well.
In addition, they are not frost tolerant. Also, avoid constant temperatures in the 95°F (35°C) 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 elsewhere 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 your plant pot 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 work.
Generally, do not stress too much about humidity. The higher you can get your surroundings, the better. But this doesn’t mean 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. Ensure that the (K) value in NPK is low, as succulent-like plants such as Hoyas need only small 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, 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 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 make a cutting, it mainly comes down to your preference and the availability of different growing mediums.
You can either grow your cutting in the soil directly, in water or choose a propagation medium such as 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 propagate your Hoya successfully:
- 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 remains warm from below using a heat mat if possible
- Ensure your cutting is in a well-lit place. If 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. Normally, nothing happens for weeks.
It can take 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 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, base rounded and slightly cordate, and of a waxy texture. Cordate means that they are heart-shaped. This is why Hoyas are also called Wax plants.
Hoyas are vigorous growers that grow well if conditions in 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, which you do not 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 allow oxygen exchange to the roots.
But of course, you can buy any kind of pot you like 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 one size bigger than the previous size
- Do add some fertilizer to 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 big
- Don’t repot a plant that is blooming. Certainly not a Hoya Krimson Queen
It likes to be repotted frequently. By making use of the above tips&tricks, you know everything you need to know to repot your plant.
10. Hoya Krimson Queen flower
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 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 structures that are called spurs. Once the spurs emerge, they do not produce flower buds; once they are present, they can carry flowers each season. Therefore it is wise to ensure the spurs are not damaged as they carry the flowers each season.
The flowers form round clusters in a star shape, and the pink waxy flowers with red centers.
Each 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. Cats and dogs are not made to digest loads of hoya leaves, which can lead them to throw up.
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Hoya Krimson Queen Pests and Diseases
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 must be removed immediately to avoid fungal build-up in the pot before it swaps over to the stems of our green friend.
One thing to mention in this section is that Hoyas are pest magnets. Mealybugs, Spider Mites, and Scale are the most common pests to attack your Hoya Krimson Queen.
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, it is more likely to be attacked by fungi, bacteria, or insects. Stress can arise from transportation, 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 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 is your best remedy to eliminate Mealybugs. Once the pests get in touch with the alcohol, they will get 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 until the mealybugs disappear.
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, leaving 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 confirm your suspicion, immediately quarantine your plant. Spider mites are hungry and will not spare any of the plants around the infested one.
Prepare yourself for an extended battle and equip yourself with neem oil and insecticidal sprays; create your 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 protects these buggers, any pesticide or soap treatment will not be that effective. The best is to pluck them one by one. You can either use your fingernails – I 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.
Ensure 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 or 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
Hoya Krimson Queen vs Princess
The main difference between the Krimson queen and the princess is that the princess has variegated leaves in the center. The queen has variegated leaves around the foliage’s edges and is green in the middle. In addition, the Queen grows taller with bigger leaves.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
Is Hoya Krimson queen rare?
It is an uncommon and harder-to-find plant. To define it as a rare plant is a bit far-fetched. But it mainly depends on your subjective definition of “rare.”
Does Hoya Krimson Queen bloom?
Hoya plants do bloom. The Krimson queen produces up to 30 scented flowers.
Are Hoya Krimson Queen easy to care for?
This plant is easy to care for if you are not overwatering it. Water only when the soil is dry; you should not have problems caring for this indoor plant.
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.
Hoya Krimson Queen care needs bright filtered light or indirect light in an
It 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.
Conclusion About Hoya Krimson Queen Care
To care for a Hoya Krimson Queen provide bright indirect light. The ideal temperature is between 61°F (16°C ) and 95°F (35°C). The best humidity level is 70-80%. Use chunky well-draining soil and water once a week once the top 2-3 inches are completely dry (5.0-7.5 cm). Fertilize once a month using a liquid fertilizer.
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