Hoya carnosas are beautiful houseplants, and the variegated versions are no exception! Learn about hoya carnosa krimson queen care, including the differences between hoya carnosa krimson queen and princess plants, how to propagate this plant, and more.
Your guide to hoya carnosa krimson queen care!
I’ve been writing a lot about hoyas lately, haven’t I? I have been accumulating more and more of them, so I figured I’d branch out on some of my care guides. For example, I already have a hoya carnosa care guide, but I am working on writing care guides for some of the specific hoya carnosa varieties.
So let’s get right to it! A quick hoya recap—hoya is the plant genus, carnosa is the species. And all of the different varieties of the hoya carnosa species are pretty similar as far as care requirements go.
Hoya carnosa tricolor, hoya carnosa strawberries and cream, or simply hoya carnosa variegata are other names that this beautiful plant goes by. They are native to eastern Asia in places like China, Vietnam, Japan, and Australia.
Hoya carnosa krimson queen vs. princess
You might also hear about “hoya carnosa krimson princess” plants. Are they the same? No! But they are awfully similar. They are both variegated carnosa plants that have a mixture of greens, creams, pinks, and occasionally ivories.
To tell the two varieties apart, remember this: hoya krimson queen plants have variegation on the outside of the leaves. They are typically green on the interior with whites, creams, and pinks around each leaf’s border.
Some leaves can also be completely white (or a very light pink when coming in). These leaves don’t offer much for the plant and suck up a lot of energy, so don’t be alarmed if they die off.
Hoya carnosa krimson princess plants, however, are green on the border, not the interior. The interior is typically a mix of pink, white, cream, and yellow.
How much light does a hoya carnosa krimson queen need?
These plants prefer brighter light conditions. The best space would be a few feet away from a south-facing window. So, about 2 to 5 feet away from a very brightly lit window. If you place the hoya krimson queen right next to a very bright window, it can burn.
If you have a north or east-facing window, you can place it right next to the window, but they might not be as happy compared to a brighter location. Through trial and error, you’ll find the perfect spot.
An alternative investment if you do not have access to a bright window would be to snag a grow light (check out my guide to using grow lights). Variegated plants need more sunlight compared to unvariegated types due to only the green areas of the leaves being able to absorb that sunlight.
This is also why heavily variegated or all-white leaves on the krimson queen can die off. They don’t absorb any sunlight, so the plant might just give up on them eventually. The ones I have pictured in this post lasted months, though!
If you’d like to move a hoya outside for the summer, make sure to put it in a shaded area. I had mine on my covered patio that gets dappled sunlight through the upper balcony’s slats. It has grown like a weed after not doing much inside for over 2 years!
Much like other hoya plants, the hoya carnosa krimson queen does not like to be overwatered. I don’t want to recommend underwatering, but it’s generally safer to always keep a lighter hand with water when it comes to hoyas.
Since these plants are succulent like, they can be drought-tolerant, so it is best to err on the side of watering less often. Water when the soil completely dries out—this could mean once or a few times a week depending on your soil and environment.
What is the best soil for hoyas?
Speaking of soil, it’s an important part of hoya carnosa krimson queen care. Since this plant doesn’t like to be overwatered, a chunky or lightweight soil mixture works best. Both options will help to facilitate drainage and allow for the roots to not be drowned when watering.
Well-draining soil will be best. A combination of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite could be a great choice as well as incorporating a bit of orchid bark for that chunky texture.
Most of my hoyas are in a well-draining houseplant soil mix with extra peat moss or coco coir mixed in, as well as some extra chunky perlite. Make sure to use some soil, though, because it has nutrients in it. For more about this topic, check out my soil 101 post!
Or another increasingly popular choice is transitioning to only a material called LECA. These are clay balls that are great at helping plants to develop extremely strong, healthy root systems. See my post about how to root plant cuttings in LECA for more.
Temperature & humidity needs
Hoya krimson queens aren’t picky when it comes to humidity. They’ll thrive in regular room levels of humidity. However, they will also enjoy some added humidity like that from a humidifier.
Regular room temperatures will be perfect for hoya crimson queens as long as it is between 61-95° F. Be sure that your hoya krimson queen is not exposed to frost or cold temperatures as this will quickly kill it!
Hoya carnosa krimson queen growth patterns & repotting
The hoya carnosa krimson queen is a perennial epiphytic vine. It can be in a hanging basket, or it can be trained to climb. I have mine in a hanging basket, but as the plant grew on the patio this summer, it quickly started winding and vining up the plant hanger.
Honestly, it doesn’t really need much training. Most hoya carnosas, including this one, will grab on to just about anything! I love how these plants vine up and trail down at the same time, creating a really full look.
Wild hoyas can be up to 20 feet long in nature. However, inside your home they can grow up to 6 feet long. When they are happy, they produce bulbous collections of many small flowers. It may take your queen a few years before it produces its first blooms.
For repotting, hoya krimson queens enjoy a frequent repot. You can repot it everyone year or two depending on how much growth you’ve had. Repotting is also a great time to freshen up the soil. It is best to repot in spring or summer. If your hoya is blooming, do not repot it.
A good rule of thumb for fertilizing your queen is doing a light fertilizing every month or so. However, in the spring and summer, you could fertilize every two weeks. Be sure not to over-fertilize. Organic fertilizers that have enough potassium and phosphorous are preferred.
However, I will be honest—I don’t really use fertilizer on my houseplants anymore! I repot with fresh soil in the spring, and the soil has fertilizer in it. I also add some fresh organic worm castings, which are super nutrient rich.
Hoya carnosa krimson queen propagation steps
It is super easy to propagate the hoya carnosa krimson queen, and the steps are pretty much the same as other hoya carnosa. You can propagate via a stem cutting. To take a great stem cutting, make sure the stem has a few nodes and at least two leaves.
You can then root the cutting in damp sphagnum moss and perlite, water, LECA, or event directly in soil. I like to use moss and perlite for rooting hoya cuttings and keep them nice and damp in a humid DIY propagation box.
I also have a guide for how to propagate hoya carnosa plants that you can check out. It has a ton more details, including examples of carnosa krimson queen cuttings!
Three problems you could encounter with hoya carnosa krimson queens
1. Small leaves or lessening variegation
This is normally caused by not having enough sunlight. Be sure that your queen is placed in a bright, indirect lighting area, or use a grow light.
2. Root rot
Root rot is caused by too much water. Don’t water on a schedule; instead, water only when the top few inches of the soil is completely dry. You can even let your hoyas dry out completely before watering them again, but you might have to aerate the soil with a fork or something if it cakes together too much.
If you have your hoya krimson queen in a pot without drainage holes, root rot will quickly appear. Choose a pot with drainage holes instead as these are essential for a healthy plant. You can use a plastic nursery pot and set it in a prettier pot if you’d like.
When watering, be sure to water enough so that the water comes out the bottom drainage holes. A good soak and then a week or two between watering is a recipe for success!
3. Pests & other nasty business
Overall I have had pretty good luck with hoyas and pests. But hoyas can attract pests easily. Mealybugs, spider mites, and scale are common types of pests that will prey on your hoya.
Mealybugs are white, cottony-looking small insects. Use a q-tip with rubbing alcohol to zap each and every one. I’d also blast the plant with a store-bought insecticide spray made for houseplants.
Spider mites can be easily spotted through the webbing that they leave on leaves. The mites are extremely small and can be hard to catch until they make their webs. Spray down your plant with diluted neem oil.
Scale is another insect that can look like small dots on the stem of your plant. They are strong since they have a shell which results in them being resistant to regular pesticides or treatments. The best way to remove these is to carefully scrape them off one by one. Then spray the plant down for good measure.
Are hoyas safe for pets?
Yes! Hoya plants are safe for pets. However, they aren’t meant to be ingested, so I recommend keeping them away from curious pets or kids. For more about pet-safe plants, check out my roundup of 16 non-toxic plants for pet-friendly homes.