Hoya Krimson Princess is a variegated cultivar of the Hoya carnosa or the wax plant.
Increasingly popular and wonderfully versatile, it’s a superb addition to any home.
Growing a healthy Hoya is a bit of a balancing act, but with this grow guide, your Hoya Krimson Princess is sure to thrive!
What Is Hoya Krimson Princess?
Hoya Krimson Princess enjoys great popularity among houseplant aficionados due to its waxy leaves and showy, scented flowers.
The Hoya Krimson Princess leaves are oval-shaped, about 2 inches (5 cm) long, and variegated in shades of dark green, white, cream, and sometimes even light pink. They are thick and succulent-like, with a waxy shine that gives the plant its common name, ‘wax plant’.
Hoya Krimson Princess produces some truly spectacular flowers in spring and summer. They form umbrella-shaped clusters of tiny flowers that are usually pale pink but can also come in shades of white.
The flowers take the shape of small stars, with waxy petals that almost make them look like they’re made of plastic. They are also pleasantly fragrant and release a scent that’s similar to chocolate milk.
Hoya Krimson Princess vs Krimson Queen – What’s the Difference?
Both Hoya Krimson Princess and Krimson Queen are varieties of the same plant, Hoya carnosa.
The only difference between them is in the variegation of the leaves:
- Hoya Krimson Queen leaves are white around the edges, and green in the middle;
- Hoya Krimson Princess leaves are green around the edges and creamy white in the center.
Hoya Krimson Princess Care
You can grow it as a trailing plant, in hanging baskets, or encourage it to climb on moss poles or trellises.
Here’s what you need to know:
– Light Requirements
Hoya Krimson Princess grows best in bright, filtered light. However, a bit of direct sun won’t hurt it. Like many variegated plants, it needs a bit of extra light to keep its unique foliage, as well as for photosynthesis. In fact, some direct sun will also encourage flowering.
The trick when it comes to light is moderation. Although some direct light is helpful, the scorching summer sun can actually damage the leaves. Avoid exposing your Hoya Krimson Princess to direct sunlight at the height of summer.
When growing Hoya Krimson Princess indoors, pick a room that’s facing south or west, and place it about 2 feet away from the window. A bit of direct sun in the morning won’t harm the leaves, but the hot afternoon sun will burn them. Monitor the sun throughout the day and move your Hoya so that it receives the ideal amount of light.
If you’re growing Hoya Krimson Princess outdoors, place it in a part of your garden that receives dappled sunlight or bright shade. A spot that receives plenty of light in the morning, but is sheltered in the afternoon is ideal.
– Temperature Requirements
Hoya Krimson Princess grows best at a temperature range between 65 °F and 80 °F (18 °C to 27 °C). It can thrive in the average temperature found in most homes, yet it is very sensitive to cold.
If you plan to grow it in your garden, you can do so if you live in USDA Hardiness Zones 9-11. But if temperatures drop below 50 °F (10 °C), it’s best to bring your Hoya back inside, especially over winter.
– Water Requirements
Watering Hoya Krimson Princess can be a bit tricky for beginners. Although this is a tropical plant, it is also an epiphyte and succulent. Tropical plants prefer growing in moist soils, but epiphytes grow on trees, in small pockets of soil, and rotting leaves that don’t retain water very well. As a result, the thick, waxy leaves have adapted to retain moisture, allowing the plant to tolerate some drought.
Once you know how the Hoya plant receives its water in its native habitat, understanding its indoor watering needs becomes a bit easier. Ideally, you should water your Hoya Krimson Princess when the top inch of the soil feels dry to the touch. You can use the finger test to tell if it’s time for another watering.
Like all succulents, Hoya is deathly sensitive to overwatering or having ‘wet feet.’ Use a watering can with a long, narrow neck, and try to water the plant close to the roots, without splashing water on the leaves. Avoid soaking the soil, or letting water sit in the container dish.
Hoya Krimson Princess will need more frequent watering throughout spring and summer, during its growing and flowering season. In winter, you can reduce your watering schedule in half, to avoid problems such as root rot.
– Humidity Requirements
Hoya Krimson Princess loves a humid environment, as close as possible to that of its native habitat. The ideal range for this plant is at least 70%. Although it can grow in humidity as low as 40% — 50%, a humidity boost will do real wonders for this plant’s growth.
There are several ways you can increase humidity in your home, but the most efficient one is using a humidifier. Not only will this allow you to set the humidity settings to the desired level, but it also ensures even long-lasting air moisture.
Admittedly, humidifiers can be expensive, so here are some alternatives you can use:
- Use a pebble tray: simply place the plant pot on top of a wide, shallow tray filled with pebbles and some water. The evaporation will increase the humidity around your plant.
- Keep your Hoya in the bathroom: if your bathroom has a window that lets in enough light, it will be a perfect room for this plant.
- Group plants together: try to keep your Hoya next to other humidity-loving plants, such as ferns, Calatheas, Pothos, or peace lily.
Should you mist your Hoya Krimson Princess?
Misting is often recommended as a way to increase air moisture. However, this method rarely works for plants that need very high humidity levels. Spraying the leaves with water will only boost the moisture in the air for a short amount of time. For it to be effective, you would need to mist your Hoya several times a day.
In a pinch, misting your Hoya Krimson Princess can be used as a last resort to boost humidity. If you do decide to use this method, we recommend using room temperature water, as cold water will shock the plant.
Try to spray the air around the plant and not the leaves directly. Also, avoid misting your Hoya if you notice that it’s started flowering, as this can cause the blooms to develop brown spots and wilt.
– Fertilizer Requirements
Hoya Krimson Princess is a light feeder, and only needs fertilizers in spring and summer. Once a month, use a water-soluble fertilizer that’s rich in potassium and phosphorus. These two nutrients will encourage the plant to bloom. Check the specifications on the label for your fertilizer, and use a more diluted solution. Hoya can be sensitive to overfeeding.
Unlike many flowering plants, which need phosphorus-rich fertilizers before and during the blooming period, it’s recommended that you stop feeding your Hoya when it’s flowering. Fertilizing it may even discourage blooming. The plant will still need a nutrient boost, so you can use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer instead.
Hoya Krimson Princess needs fewer nutrients during the colder months, especially in winter. You can stop using fertilizers until spring, and allow the plant to ‘rest’ after the flowering season.
– Soil Requirements
Using the right soil mix for Hoya Krimson Princess is your key to healthy plant growth. This plant needs soils that are well-draining and aerated. One of the best mixes is combining equal parts peat, perlite, and orchid soil. You can substitute orchid for African violet soil mix, which is also light and well-draining.
When mixing the substrate needed for potting your Hoya plant, it’s important to create a balance between nutrients, drainage, aeration, and soil structure. The soil can become compacted with each watering, and it can end up retaining too much water while also suffocating the roots. On the other hand, soils that drain too fast won’t allow the plant to get all the water it needs, and are stripped of nutrients with each watering.
Here’s how different amendments will help improve the soil for your Hoya Krimson Princess:
- Peat: an excellent base for your potting mix, it helps retain moisture and nutrients in the soil, as well as drainage.
- Perlite: a must-have for succulents and tropical plants, it improves drainage and moisture retention.
- Fir or pine bark: a common ‘ingredient’ in orchid potting mixes, it helps give the soil structure, allowing air to get to the roots. It also adds a touch of acidity to the soil, which is what Hoya plants need.
- Coconut husks: they help keep the soil moist and airy, while also preventing compaction. Coconut husks are also high in lignin content, making them more resistant to bacteria and fungal problems.
- Clay balls or Leca: they absorb a lot of water, which the plant can then use as and when needed. Leca also improves the structure and aeration of the soil. In fact, some gardeners prefer growing Hoya plants in just Leca using a semi-hydroponics system.
– Repotting Hoya Krimson Princess
Hoya Krimson Princess has a slow growth rate and only needs to be repotted once every 2 or 3 years. This plant actually enjoys being a bit root-bound, so there’s no need to rush to repot it. When in doubt, check the bottom of the plant pot: if you see roots coming through, it’s time to repot your Hoya.
The best time to repot your Hoya Krimson Princess is in spring, as the plant enters its growth period. Hoyas don’t like having their roots disturbed, especially when they’re flowering. If you notice that your Hoya has started blooming, it’s best to postpone repotting it until the spring of the next year.
Pick a new pot that’s one size larger than the previous one, or 2 inches (5 cm) wider. Terracotta is the best container material for Hoya Krimson Princess. It allows air circulation to the roots, and it also prevents the soil from staying too wet.
– Pruning and Maintenance
The most important thing to be careful of when pruning Hoya Krimson Princess is the flowering stems or peduncles. These woody stems may look old and dead, but they are responsible for the flowers. If you remove the peduncle, your Hoya will not grow a new one on that vine, and you will have fewer blooms.
Once the flowers of your Hoya Krimson Princess have wilted, do not deadhead them. Simply allow the wilted flowers to dry and fall off naturally, and new ones will take their place. Avoid pruning any vines when your Hoya is blooming, to prevent shocking the plant.
How Do You Get Hoya Krimson Princess to Flower?
The main ingredient you need is patience. Hoya plants like to take their time when it comes to growing and blooming. In general, Hoya Krimson Princess will start flowering when it is at least 3 years old. If you notice that your plant is not growing any flowers, it could just be a sign that it’s too young.
Another factor that contributes to flowering is light. If your Hoya is old enough but is still not blooming, it could mean that you’re keeping it in a place that’s too dark. In spring and summer, try moving your Hoya Krimson Princess to a spot where it receives a bit more sun. Some direct sunlight early in the morning is fine, but avoid direct sun in the afternoon and the hottest parts of the day.
One of the most common mistakes that prevent your Hoya Krimson Princess from flowering is disturbing it. This plant is very sensitive to changes in growing conditions during the flowering season. Find a spot for it and keep it there for the rest of the season. Moving or even repotting Hoya plants when they’re flowering will actually cause the buds to drop off before opening.
Hoya Krimson Princess Propagation Guide
You can propagate Hoya Krimson Princess in spring and summer, during the plant’s growing season. We recommend that you don’t propagate it in winter, or if you notice that the plant has started growing flower buds.
The easiest way to propagate Hoya Krimson Princess is through stem cuttings. When deciding which stems to use, always go for the younger ones, which are green in color and springy. Each stem should have at least one growth node with leaves.
As tempting as it may be, never propagate stems that have flowers on them. The shock will kill the blooms, and there’s also the risk that the cutting will fail to grow roots.
Here’s our step-by-step guide for propagating Hoya Krimson Princess through stem cuttings:
- Prepare a sharp blade or pruning shears, and use alcohol to sterilize the blade.
- Find a stem that’s green or semi-green, and has at least one growth node. The leaves on the stem should be healthy, without any brown or yellow spots, or signs of pests.
- Cut the stems in 5-inch (13 cm) sections, and make sure that the bottom half-inch of the stem is left bare.
- You can either use soil or water as a propagation medium, depending on your preference. Simply place the bottom of the stem in the pot of soil or a glass of water.
- Make sure that the bottom leaves are above the water level, or that they’re not covered in soil.
- Keep your container in a bright and humid spot, but avoid exposing the cutting to direct sunlight. If you’re propagating Hoyas in water, remember to change the water in the glass once a week.
- High humidity will encourage the cuttings to grow roots faster. You can use a transparent plastic cover wrapped around the container to give them a boost.
- Hoya cuttings take a while to develop roots, so be patient. On average, it takes about 2 weeks before the roots start growing. If you’re propagating the plant in water, wait about 1 month for the roots to become developed enough, before transplanting them to the soil.
Common Pests and Problems
Hoya Krimson Princess is a tough plant that has very few problems with pests and diseases. Prevention is always the best cure, so even if you have a healthy plant, it’s best to be on the lookout.
Here are some of the most common problems, their symptoms, and how to fix them:
1. Too Much Light
If you notice that the leaves are starting to turn red, that’s a symptom of ‘sun stress’. Too much sun will also cause discoloration in the leaves, causing them to turn yellow and become shriveled.
Move your Hoya away from direct sun, especially during the hottest parts of the day. Some early morning sun is fine, but the hot afternoon sun will scorch the leaves.
2. Too Little Light
Insufficient light will give your Hoya a leggy look, with long, bare vines and yellowing leaves. If the plant stays in dark conditions for too long, it will stop growing new leaves, and even flowers. Make sure that your Hoya receives bright, filtered light for healthy growth.
3. Too Much Water
The most common problems with Hoya plants are caused by overwatering. This will cause the leaves to turn soft and yellow. If the stems and leaves are developing brown or black spots, and if they have a mushy texture, that indicates root rot. Your plant might not make a recovery if the roots are damaged by fungal diseases, so it’s important to water it correctly and use a well-draining potting mix.
4. Not Enough Water or Humidity
The leaves of your Hoya will start puckering or shriveling if your plant is thirsty. If the air is too dry, this can also cause the leaves and even the flower buds to fall off. Aim for a humidity level of 70%, and avoid letting your Hoya go thirsty for too long.
5. Common Pests
Hoya is tolerant to most houseplant pests, but it might still receive a ‘visit’ from spider mites, mealybugs, scale, or fungus gnats. Using a solution of neem oil, insecticidal soap or isopropyl alcohol will help in most cases. Ideally, check the leaves of your plant every time you water it, and take action immediately if you notice any pests.
The Krimson Princess Hoya is a remarkable plant that looks superb in any home. While it might seem tricky to get right at first, with this guide, your Hoya is sure to thrive!
Let’s take a look at the basics one more time:
- Hoya Krimson Princess can tolerate a little direct sunlight in the mornings, but avoid exposing it to the scorching afternoon sun;
- Getting the watering right is one of the most difficult things, but with a good, well-draining yet moisture-retentive soil mix, your Hoya will thrive;
- Avoid overfeeding your Hoya Krimson Princess with fertilizers, especially during the winter months;
- Patience is key when it comes to the Hoya Princess plant, so give it time, and it’ll blossom into a stunning addition to your home.
So, now you know the ideal growing conditions, why not pick up your own Hoya Krimson Princess?
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