Skip to Content

Hoya Carnosa Krimson Queen Care

Learn about hoya carnosa krimson queen care and how to help this variegated beauty thrive.

Your guide to hoya carnosa krimson queen care!

I have been accumulating more and more hoya plants, 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 far I have care and propagation guides for hoya carnosa chelsea and hoya carnosa compacta. But today I’m writing about hoya carnosa krimson queen care. So let’s get right to it!

A quick recap—hoya is the plant genus, carnosa is the species. And hoya carnosa ‘krimson queen’ is a type of carnosa. Hoya carnosa tricolor, hoya carnosa strawberries and cream, or simply hoya carnosa variegata are other names you might hear this plant called.

beautiful hoya carnosa krimson queen plant in a hanging basket

Hoya carnosa krimson queen care overview

  • Variegated plant that often has green on the interior with whites, creams, and pinks around each leaf’s border.
  • Grows best in bright, indirect light; direct sunlight can damage the plant.
  • Place near a south-facing window or right next to a north- or east-facing window.
  • Drought-tolerant and susceptible to overwatering; water infrequently, only when the soil is almost dry.
  • Use a well-draining mix for houseplants or tropical plants.
  • Does well in regular household temperatures; appreciates extra humidity.
  • Growth patterns include vining and trailing, suitable for hanging baskets or climbing supports. 
  • Hoyas are not considered toxic but are not meant to be ingested.

Krimson queen vs. krimson princess

You might also hear about “hoya carnosa krimson princess” plants. Are they the same as queens? No! But they are awfully similar. They are both variegated carnosa plants that have a mixture of greens, creams, pinks, and 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. 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.

On both plants, some of the leaves can 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. They sure are gorgeous, though.

hoya carnosa krimson princess plant
Hoya carnosa krimson princess

How much light is best?

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.

If you notice that your plant is producing smaller leaves or leaves that consistently have less variegation, it could be caused by a lack of light. You can trim back any non-variegated growth and switch up your lighting to encourage new growth with variegation.

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 below lasted months, though!

If you’d like to move a hoya outside for the summer, make sure to put it in a shaded area. One summer, I had mine on my covered patio that got dappled sunlight through the upper balcony’s slats. It grew like a weed after not doing much inside for over 2 years!

hoya carnosa krimson queen foliage
how carnosa krimson queen plant in a black pot
all white hoya carnosa krimson queen foliage

Watering needs

Much like other hoya plants, the hoya carnosa krimson queen does not like to be overwatered. Since these plants are succulent like, they are rather drought-tolerant. So it is best to err on the side of watering less often. Water when the soil has nearly dried out—this could mean once or a few times a week depending on your soil and environment.

When watering, be sure to water enough soak the soil thoroughly. Let the water drain out the bottom of the pot’s drainage holes. A good soak and then a week or two between watering is a recipe for success.

Remember that overwatering can lead to root rot. Root rot is caused by too much water for prolonged periods of time, which fills the air pockets in the soil and prevents the flow of oxygen to the plant’s roots. Also make sure to choose a pot with drainage holes so the excess water has somewhere to escape. You can use a plastic nursery pot and set it in a prettier pot if you’d like.

beautiful hoya carnosa krimson queen plant in a hanging basket

What is the best soil?

Since this plant doesn’t like to be overwatered, a chunky or lightweight well-draining soil mixture works best. Both options will help to facilitate drainage and allow for the roots to not be drowned when watering. A combination of potting soil and coco coir or fine moss, vermiculite, and perlite could be a great choice. As could incorporating a bit of orchid bark for that chunky texture.

Most of my hoyas are in a well-draining houseplant soil mix with extra moss or coco coir mixed in, as well as some extra chunky perlite. For more about houseplant soil and the different amendments you might encounter, check out my soil 101 guide.

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 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!

how carnosa krimson queen plant in a black pot

Growth patterns & repotting

The 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, throwing out long, tendril-like stems. You can choose to prune off some of these wild stems, or you can just let them do their thing. That’s what I do—see my plant below.

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.

I generally wait to repot my hoyas until the roots begin growing out of the pot’s drainage holes. That is usually a good sign that the plant needs a bit more growing room.

woman holding a climbing hoya carnosa krimson queen

Fertilizer needs

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 much! I repot with fresh soil in the spring, and the soil has fertilizer in it. If I am not repotting a plant, I will add some fresh organic worm castings, which are super nutrient rich. I also like Liqui-Dirt concentrated plant food.

hoya carnosa krimson queen foliage

Krimson queen flowering

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 (see more about hoya flowering here). I own a lot of hoyas, and my krimson queen is one of the very last plants to give me flowers.

But wow—when it finally flowered, it was spectacular! The peduncles—or the area the plant sprouts an umbel of little flowers from, was larger than those on my other hoyas. And the cluster of flowers was much larger, too.

I didn’t notice a strong scent—just a light, sweet smell. My plant produced one flower the first time. The second time it bloomed, I got three flowers. Remember to never cut off the plant’s peduncle when it is done blooming. It will re-bloom from the same spot in the future! I’m kicking myself for not getting a great picture, but below is a screen grab from a video I took.

hoya krimson queen bloom

How to propagate it

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!

hoya krimson queen plant cutting for propagation
hoya krimson queen plant cutting for propagation
how plants rooting in sphagnum moss in a DIY plant propagation box
how plants rooting in sphagnum moss in an Ikea greenhouse cabinet

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.

beautiful hoya carnosa krimson queen plants at a nursery

In conclusion…

Krimson queen prefers bright, indirect light, and overwatering is generally a bigger threat than underwatering. Choose a well-draining soil and a pot with drainage holes to help prevent root rot issues.

With these care tips in mind, you’re well on your way to nurturing a thriving queen. I’d love to hear your experiences and tips caring for this plant—share your stories in the comments below, and happy planting!

free plant care guide teaser image prompting readers to sign up below

Here is a link to the Dropbox folder with the guide!

teaser image of the cover of the houseplant care guide

Pin my guide!

collage that says caring for hoya carnosa krimson queen with pictures of the plant

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This blog's content is for entertainment purposes only and is not professional advice. By reading this blog and attempting to re-create any content shared on it, you assume all responsibility. Read my full Terms of Use here.