Hoya “Krimson Queen” is a popular variety of the traditional hoya carnosa called a wax plant or porcelain plant.
The hoya carnosa Krimson Queen variety has unique foliage that makes it a stand-out star for indoor growing. Hoya carnosa plants are not difficult to grow, but getting these intriguing and classic houseplants to flower is challenging.
This guide will give you all the information you need to grow stunning hoya Krimson Queen hoya. We’ll give you some tips to help encourage your plants to flower.
What is Hoya Krimson Queen
Krimson Queen hoya was developed in the 1950s and is similar in many ways to Hoya Krimson Princess, differing only in how the foliage appears.
– What Does Hoya Krimson Queen Look Like
Like all varieties that come from the Hoya Carnosa plant, the Hoya Carnosa Krimson Queen features thick, succulent-like leaves and long vines that will climb or hang from a basket.
The Hoya Krimson Queen leaves are identifiable by the variegation that shows light pink or white edges. New leaves often grow in bright pink, then change to a predominantly green center with the characteristic variegated edges. Krimson Queen Hoya is usually sold in stores as Hoya Tricolor due to its foliage variations from other types of hoya carnosa plants.
– Hoya Krimson Queen’s Flowers
The hoya Krimson Queen’s flowers are one of the main reasons people enjoy growing this unique plant. The light pink to pale white flowers grow in showy clusters and have a waxy, porcelain-like appearance. They consist of two stars, layered over one another. When you first see a hoya Krimson Queen plant flowering, you might think the flowers are fake because of the perfect symmetry and delicate appearance.
How to Care for Hoya Krimson Queen
Many people may grow these plants for many years without ever seeing flowers but simply enjoying the Hoya Krimson Queen leaves. The key to getting great flowers from your plant is to make sure it has the best growing conditions possible.
We will show you the best way to plant, repot, water, and fertilize your hoya Krimson Queen plant to give you the best chance of blooming great flowers.
– Soil Conditions
It will help if you remember these plants originate from tropical and subtropical regions. They will require a unique soil mix different from what you would use for many other types of houseplants. You’ll have the best success by mixing soil for hoya krimson queen from commonly available ingredients. Krimson Queen Hoya plants prefer loose, airy soil that allows air to get to the roots.
Start with high-quality potting soil and mix one-third sphagnum or peat moss and one-third orchid bark, clay balls, pumice stone, or even broken terra cotta pots to help provide airiness to the soil. If the soil retains water too much, you can add coarse sand to improve drainage. Don’t forget to use a pot that has plenty of drainage in the bottom. Too much drainage is better than not enough for the soil for hoya Krimson Queen plants.
– Ideal Temperatures
Hoya Carnosa Krimson Queen plants like the same temperatures as we do- that’s to say, average room temperatures. These plants grow exceptionally well between 65-85 degrees. They will tolerate higher temperatures but may require more frequent watering, but colder temps should be avoided. Too cold will cause the plant to die quickly.
Like many subtropical plants, you’ll need to repot your Hoya Krimson Queen periodically. It’s essential only to increase the size of the pot slightly. These plants grow the healthiest when the roots are somewhat bound, but the plant will suffer when it doesn’t have enough room, either.
It is simple to repot Hoya Krimson Queen. Make sure to use a similar soil mixture as you would when planting. You should gently remove as much old soil as possible. Krimson Queen Hoya plants have delicate roots sensitive to rough handling, so you should repot carefully every year or two in the spring or summer.
During the spring and summer growing seasons, you may fertilize your hoya Krimson Queen plants once or twice each month. It’s good advice to select a mild fertilizer low in potassium. You’ll have the most success using an organic liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength. It isn’t necessary to fertilize in the fall and winter when plant growth is slow.
– Light Requirements
The quality and quantity of light that your plant receives will impact the growth rate of hoya Krimson Queen leaves and the potential number of flowers you can grow. These plants like bright, indirect light, but you should avoid leaving them in direct sun, even when inside.
The hoya Krimson Queen prefers filtered light and will even grow in dappled shade locations. You should select south or east-facing windows for the best results. North-facing windows tend to inhibit growth, and your plant may not flower. Hoya Carnosa Krimson queen plants near west-facing windows should be observed to avoid over-exposure to sunlight.
– Water Requirements
Many people who experience problems growing hoya Krimson Queen plants run into trouble when they water. It’s surprisingly easy to overwater hoya Krimson Queen plants, leading to rot, fungus, and pests while reducing the growth. Plants that are often overwatered will die. The main problem seems to be that it’s difficult to tell the difference between under- and over-watering for many people. The best way to know if it’s time for watering hoya Krimson Queen plants is to push your index finger about two inches deep into the soil. If the soil is damp, don’t water.
When you’re watering hoya Krimson Queen plants, the best practice is to slowly run water at the roots until you can see water running out of the drainage holes. Your plant will absorb water as it needs when you water this way, and you reduce the risk of creating growing problems. Hoya Krimson Queen plants grown in warmer, sunnier locations will need more frequent watering, sometimes several times each week. Less sunny spots can go as long as a month without watering.
– Humidity Requirements
This species of houseplant prefers a surprisingly humid environment. Ideally, an 80-90 percent humidity level will produce the best growth. Since that level of humidity is far above the average U.S. household, you’ll need to find other ways to increase humidity.
Unlike many humidity-loving plants, it isn’t a good idea to spray the leaves because you can inadvertently create perfect conditions for mildew. Instead, build an evaporative tray to set your plant on. The tray is simply pebbles or pumice stones that are sitting in enough water almost to cover them.
With the pot sitting on top of the rocks, it shouldn’t be in the water. Still, the tray’s evaporation will increase the humidity in the localized area to help improve hoya Krimson Queen growth habits.
Many people grow Hoya Krimson Queen plants for the attractive variegated foliage and trailing vines that bring a touch of the tropics to any room. The best thing about these plants is their fascinating nocturnal flowers that grow in colorful, fragrant clumps. While some varieties of hoya carnosa will produce a distasteful odor that smells like horse manure, the Krimson Queen variety has a wonderful scent.
People who are successful at producing flowers compare the scent to fresh chocolate. You can encourage your hoya carnosa Krimson Queen plants to flower by following some simple tips.
– Water, Light, Soil: The Essentials
Many hoya Krimson Queen plants will grow for years without ever flowering. Others will flower like clockwork several times every year. The difference often comes down to providing the perfect conditions to encourage the plants to bloom.
It can take three or four years of growth for a hoya Krimson Queen plant to be ready to produce flowers. You’ll want to take a few steps to provide the ultimate conditions for flowering so you can appreciate the delicious smell and fascinating appearance of hoya Krimson Queen flowers.
Hoya Krimson Queen plants flower in the spring and summer when temperatures rise, humidity is high, and rainfall is low. You can provide these same conditions for your growing plant by reducing the water in the spring and ensuring your plant has plenty of indirect, bright light. Hoya Krimson Queen plants will more readily bloom when you restrict watering and let the plant nearly dry out in spring. Overwatered plants won’t produce flowers quickly.
Your plant may be more likely to produce flowers if you use a bloom-boosting fertilizer in the spring. These fertilizers are higher in phosphorus which can increase bloom production.
It would help if you used caution to avoid burning your plant roots overfertilizing. It’s always a good idea to dilute the fertilizer and use it sparingly when encouraging blooms from hoya carnosa Krimson Queen.
– Special Notes
Hoya plants produce flowers in a somewhat different and slightly weird way. Each flower cluster first develops a “spur” that’s called a peduncle. The peduncle looks woody and has a thick clump or cluster of growth on end.
Flowers will grow from the end of the peduncle over and over, year after year. Once your plant has grown peduncles, you shouldn’t cut them off. If you do, your plant may stop flowering altogether. In the best-case scenario, cutting the plant’s peduncle will ensure that no more flowers grow from that spot.
– Pruning Guide
It’s expected that people want to know the right way to prune a hoya Krimson Queen plant. These plants tend to get pretty large, and trailing vines will seek out objects to cling to. You’ll often find vines producing roots when they touch a pot, window sill, or even your curtains.
You can snip off vines that you don’t want but always do so just above a leaf node. If you wish your hoya Krimson Queen plant to flower, don’t cut vines with a peduncle growing because your plant won’t flower.
How to Propagate Hoya Krimson Queen Plants
Before you start, ensure you have a sharp knife or scissors that are sterile, good-quality planting medium of your choice, and that it’s spring or summer when the plant is actively growing. You may have some success propagating in fall or winter. Still, generally, cuttings taken at that time of the year will rot before they root.
Select a vining section that has at least several leaves. Cut the vine off just above a node and strip the leaves back several inches. You’ll want to work quickly at this point to prevent harm to the cutting.
Hoya plants secrete a thick, milky sap, but it isn’t considered to be toxic. A sprinkle of ground cinnamon or powdered charcoal on the cut part of the plant will help prevent infections and attacks by sap-sucking pests.
– Methods of Propagating Cuttings
There are two schools of thought on the best way to propagate your hoya Krimson Queen cuttings. Many gardeners have lots of success by coiling the cut vine in a jar of distilled water with a bit of rooting hormone.
Make sure that leaves are not in the water because they will rot and ruin your cutting. You should see roots starting in 10 days, but it may take a few weeks, so be patient and keep the water clean.
The other popular method of propagating hoya carnosa Krimson Queen cuttings is to use soil. This method requires that you mix your soil according to the needs of the plant. Place the cut portion of the vine in clean, dry soil and don’t water immediately.
After a few days, your cutting will scab over, creating the perfect conditions for growing new roots. Water sparingly at first to prevent rot and other problems.
Hoya Krimson Queen Problems
Like many houseplants, the Krimson Queen variety of hoya carnosa does not have any disease and pests when the plants are well-cared for. You should make sure to prevent dead leaves from sitting in the soil and make sure you water correctly.
Some problems are relatively common and are usually easy to identify and solve before the plant is killed.
- Root Rot: This is the most common ailment hoya Krimson Queen plants suffer from. Root rot is the result of fungal growth in the roots, and it’s often the result of watering hoya krimson queen plants too much. Remember that these plants require fast-draining soil that doesn’t hold lots of moisture. If your plants are droopy, yellow, or you see mushy, soft areas around stems and stalks, you probably have root rot. You’ll need to repot hoya Krimson Queen and try to remove all of the old soil. Make sure you aren’t overwatering to prevent root rot from happening. If most of the roots are slimy, swollen, or look rotten, the plant may be too far gone to save. You can try and take cuttings to save what you can, but the roots should be destroyed.
- Powdery Mildew: Powdery mildew is the result of water accumulating on the leaves and nodes. You’ll notice fuzziness, and you may see yellow spots on the leaves that are infected. You can cut off the infected parts or treat them with rubbing alcohol on a cotton swab to kill mildew.
- Mealybugs: Among the most common pests that are attracted to the hoya Krimson Queen plant are mealybugs. These soft-bodied sap-sucking insects set up shop on the bottom sides of leaves. They pierce the leaves to suck sap and leave behind honeydew that attracts other pests. Mealybug infestations are easily controlled using commercial insecticides or a diluted spray of rubbing alcohol or neem oil. It may take several tries to get rid of all the mealybugs.
- Spider Mites: These tiny arachnids love hoya Krimson Queen. Like mealybugs, they suck the sap from plants and can cause a significant amount of damage in a short period. Controlling spider mites can be a serious challenge due to the rapid rate they reproduce. A diluted neem oil spray will work well to control spider mites, but it’ll take several applications in most cases.
– Identifying the Signs of a Problem
- Hoya Krimson Queen leaves turn red and shriveling: Most likely, your plant is getting too much sun. Move the plant to a less sunny location or at least farther from the light source.
- Leaves are shriveling: If your plant isn’t in too sunny of a location, shriveling leaves are a sign that you are not watering enough. You could be seeing signs of root rot, root binding, or mealybug infestations. If you have been underwatered for some time, slowly start adding water rather than flooding the pot to prevent shocking your hoya Krimson Queen.
- Limp leaves: This is almost always a sign of overwatering. You may need to remove your plant from its pot and let it have some time to dry out a little. Check for root rot when your plant is looking limp and cut off infected areas. Replant in new, clean soil.
- Leggy, stretching growth: Your hoya Krimson Queen plant will grow long vines with few leaves when it is in search of light. If your plant is growing long vines without leaves, you should move it to a sunnier location.
- No flowers: Many types of hoya carnosa have particular requirements to produce flowers. The Krimson Queen variety requires a dry spell in spring to produce flowers. Evenly watering all year will prevent the plant from flowering and can lead to other health problems.
- Leaves fall off: This is usually a sign of a plant exposed to too cold of drafts. The hoya Krimson Queen plant doesn’t tolerate cold temperatures well. It can drop leaves very quickly when conditions for growing aren’t right.
- The Hoya Krimson Queen is a variety of hoya carnosa that’s been a popular houseplant in the U.S. for decades.
- The hoya Krimson Queen leaves are light pink to white on the leaves’ outer edges and grow dense clusters of chocolate-scented flowers.
- Soil for Hoya Krimson Queen plants must be airy, light soil, with indirect bright light and regular watering. Still, care should be taken to prevent overwatering.
- Organic half-strength fertilizer can help the plant produce blooms.
- You can prune the vines to keep them under control, but avoid cutting vines with peduncles, or you won’t get any flowers.
- Propagating is easy: simply cutting from a growing vine and placing it in water or soil.
- Root rot is the most common problem, and it’s caused by overwatering. Other issues include mealybugs and mildew.
Growing hoya carnosa Krimson Queen can be very rewarding, even when the plant is stubborn about flowering. You can take some simple steps to encourage bloom production.
When you make sure that the conditions are perfect for growth, your hoya Krimson Queen plan will reward you with large, beautiful bunches of sweet, chocolatey flowers that bloom in the late evening of warm spring and summer nights.