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Hoya Krimson Princess Care

This article shares my experience with hoya carnosa krimson princess care.

All about caring for the hoya carnosa krimson princess

I said in my hoya bilobata care and propagation guide that it would be my last hoya article for a while. But I lied! Because I forgot I also had an article about my lovely hoya carnosa krimson princess on my list of things to write. I have written about jade hoya carnosa care, as well as hoya carnosa krimson queen care. Why not add another?

If you’re new to my guides (hi!), plants in the hoya genus generally hail from Southeast and East Asia. They grow prolifically in the warm, wet environments there. The all-green jade variety is easiest type of hoya carnosa to find, and the princess and queen varieties are slightly harder to find.

beautiful hoya carnosa krimson princess plant

Hoya carnosa krimson princess care overview

  • Krimson princess is a variegated type of hoya carnosa.
  • Thrives in bright, indirect light; too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves, while lower light conditions may dull variegation.
  • Allow the soil to dry out almost completely between waterings; over-watering can harm the plant.
  • Plant in well-draining soil.
  • Prefers warm temperatures and tolerates average humidity levels well.
  • Propagate through stem cuttings.
  • Produces lovely flowers; flowers should not be trimmed after blooming as they can re-bloom from the same spot.

Krimson queen vs. krimson princess

You might be wondering what the difference between the hoya krimson queen and hoya krimson princess is. They look very similar and even have about the same colors in their variegation.

Krimson queens have variegation on the outside of the leaves. The leaves are deep green with white, cream, and pink around the border. Some of the leaves are even completely light pink or white.

Krimson princesses, on the other hand, have a medium-green border. Inside the border is a mix of pink, white, cream, and even sometimes yellow. The stems on my princess are also super pink, which is pretty neat.

hoya carnosa krimson queen leaves
Hoya carnosa ‘krimson queen’ leaves
beautiful hoya carnosa krimson princess plant
Hoya carnosa ‘krimson princess’ leaves

How much light is best?

So let’s jump right in to hoya krimson princess care needs. Like other hoyas, the princess enjoys bright, indirect light. It will do well in slightly lower light conditions, but keep in mind that variegated plants generally need a bit more light to maintain variegation and optimal growth.

Don’t give the princess too much direct light, though. It can withstand some direct morning sun since that light isn’t as harsh, but watch it closely. Direct light can burn the foliage. Signs of burnt foliage are deep red or brown leaves—the borders of the leaves, spots, or the entire leaf. Trim these off because you can’t bring back their green and cream color.

If you aren’t giving your plant enough light, the variegation can begin to dull and be less striking. You can also end up with less variegation overall. And the area between the leaves can increase as the plant literally “reaches” for more light—this is called “getting leggy.”

Outdoors for the summer, I had my princess hanging under my deck with most of my other vacationing hoyas. Under the deck on my DIY hanging plant rod is the perfect spot for plants that like bright indirect light!

beautiful plants hanging on a back deck with a swing and a cat
My krimson princess here hanging outside above Blanche on the swing

Watering needs

Most hoya plants have thick, juicy leaves that store water. Much like succulent plants. That means that they do not need a lot of water. In fact, less is more. I generally water my hoyas only after the soil has almost completely dried out.

This means roughly weekly indoors in the summer and every 2–3 weeks in the winter. It’s less about the timeframe and more about the moisture in the soil. Outside in the summer, I might even water them every few days if it’s scorching hot.

Others say to water when the top few inches of soil dries out—but in my experience, that can be too much. I just try to make sure the soil doesn’t get so dry that it begins caking and shrinking away from the edge of the planter. It’s a delicate balance, but you’ll figure it out once you get to know your plant.

If your plant’s leaves are wrinkling or you can easily bend and fold them (and if the soil is dry), your princess desperately needs a drink. Your plant should rebound fine, but try to monitor it more closely to avoid it happening again.

hoya carnosa krimson princess leaves

What is the best soil?

I’ve harped on watering and making sure you don’t water your princess too much. But soil is a critical part of your watering routine. Choose a well-draining houseplant soil to help ensure that your soil doesn’t retain too much water and allows for sufficient air flow to the plant’s roots.

For my hoyas, I use my well-draining houseplant mix that came premixed with some perlite, coco coir or fine moss, and other goodies in it. I then add in a bit more perlite and coco coir for enhanced drainage and aeration. 

This way, when you water your princess, all of the excess water will flow out of the drainage holes. Well-draining, airy soil will help your plant’s roots get the water it needs without bogging things down. If your soil is too heavy, it will likely lead to root rot. 

For more about houseplant soil and all of the different soil amendments you’ll encounter, check out my houseplant soil 101 guide!

hoya krimson princess plant

Temperature & humidity needs

The krimson princess likes to be warm. However, hoyas in general tolerate a wide range of normal household temperatures. I would say that you shouldn’t have your hoya in temperatures lower than 50 degrees Fahrenheit.

I have not personally experienced any negative effects having my princess outdoors in extremely high temperatures during the summer, either. It can easily clear 100 degrees Fahrenheit here, and I find I simply need to water it more.

This plant definitely cannot tolerate cold or frost, though, so it needs to come indoors where I live. If you’re lucky enough to live somewhere where it stays above 50 degrees year round, you can keep it outdoors, but growth will slow when it’s colder.

Hailing from tropical areas in Asia, krimson princess plants also love humidity. They do well in average humidity, too. They may not thrive, but they’ll be fine.

I noticed that my krimson queen had barely grown for like 2 years and decided to take it outside during the summer of 2021. And guess what? It EXPLODED with growth! Thanks largely to the super high humidity levels here, no doubt.

You could also choose to add a humidifier near the plant or set it on top of a saucer with rocks or LECA and water in it. Or consider something like an Ikea glass greenhouse cabinet to keep humidity levels a tad higher.

beautiful hoya carnosa krimson princess plant

Fertilizer needs

Generally I don’t fertilize my houseplant since the soil I use has a slow-release fertilizer in it. When repotting, I use fresh soil to replenish the nutrients. If I’m not repotting, I work some fresh organic worm castings into the top layer of soil.

If you want to fertilize your plants, you can dilute any liquid houseplant fertilizer and feed your plant roughly monthly, I’d say. Only in the spring and summer. Don’t overdo it—you can shock and burn the plant. More isn’t better, the right about is best 🙂

hoya carnosa krimson princess leaves
hoya carnosa krimson princess leaves

When should I repot my princess?

These are not fast-growing plants, so you can generally expect to not have to deal with repotting too often. They also quite like being a bit root-bound in their pots, meaning they don’t like a pot that is too much bigger than their rootball.

For all of my hoyas, I only repot when I see roots beginning to grow out of the bottom of the pot. This means that they are desperately searching for more room, and it’s time to give them a slightly bigger home!

One caveat, though—whenever possible, avoid repotting your plants in the winter. They won’t be growing much anyway, so if they aren’t actively suffering and dying, wait until the spring.

When your krimson princess is ready to be repotted, choose a pot that is about an inch wider in diameter. If you choose a pot that is too large, there will be too much soil, leading to too much water retention.

hanging hoya krimson princess plant

Hoya krimson princess propagation

I have a tutorial all about how to propagate all hoya carnosa varieties—including the princess. You can check that guide out for all of the detailed info, but here is an overview!

One of my favorite ways to propagate hoya krimson princess is using a stem cutting in sphagnum moss. The stem cutting should look a lot like the cutting below, having a handful of leaves on it and an inch or two of stem with the leaves removed.

Next wet some sphagnum moss and squeeze out all of the excess water. Mix with some chunky perlite, dip the stem cutting in rooting hormone, and pop it into the moss and perlite mixture. (Check out my guide all about how to root sphagnum plants in moss for more.)

Keep the moss damp and the humidity levels high by either placing the cutting in a DIY plastic propagation box or popping a clear plastic bag over the cutting. After a few weeks, you should have some nice roots!

Plant the cutting in soil, water it, and then water roughly weekly for a few weeks as the plant gets established. At that point, back off the watering a bit and treat the plant like any other hoya.

hoya krimson princess cutting for propagation
hoya krimson princess cutting rooting in moss and perlite
node and small root on a hoya krimson princess propagation
One week’s worth of new root growth in moss

Krimson princess flowering

Your hoya carnosa krimson princess will flower if you’re lucky! It will take a few years; the plant has to be mature, established, and happy. The optimal care conditions requires for flowering (other than age), are proper light and humidity.

Make sure you’re giving the plant plenty of bright, indirect light and as much humidity as you can. You can also opt to use a fertilizer designed to encourage blooming. After your plant flowers, don’t trim the stems the flowers grow from or remove the dead flowers—they will grow from there again! Read more about encouraging a hoya to bloom for more tips.

krimson princess leaves

Toxicity & safety

Yes! I included hoya carnosa plants in my roundup of pet-safe houseplants to add to your collection. However, they aren’t meant to be eaten, so it’s best to keep them out of reach from nibbling pets or kids.

In conclusion…

The hoya carnosa krimson princess is a stunning addition to any plant collection and is remarkably easy to care for. Its striking variegated leaves add a nice splash of color to your otherwise all-green plants, and with proper light, moderate watering, and well-draining soil, it thrives beautifully. 

I’d love to hear about your experiences with the krimson princess or any tips you might have! Share your stories in the comments below, and happy planting 🙂

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overhead shot of a plant with text that says caring for hoya carnosa 'krimson princess'

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