The variety of Hoya carnosa called krimson queen is certainly an eye-catcher because its green waxy leaves can be outlined in colors that range from white to bright pink. If you want something that looks great and is easy to grow, the krimson queen is certainly a plant to consider. It is a climber and draper plant that looks especially good when planted in hanging baskets.
- Scientific name/common names: Hoya carnosa (variegated), Apocynaceae family/Hoya tricolor
- Origin: Asia and Australia
- Indoor/outdoor: either
- Height/structure: the tendrils get from 11 inches to 20 inches in length; the entire vine gets 5 to 6.5 feet in length
- Temperature: 60 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit
- Flower color: white with crimson centers
Hoya plants are often called wax plants because of their succulent-like waxy leaves. They have a distinct tropical look and are often compared to milkweed plants. However, these are two very different plants, as the only thing they have in common is the fact that they both release milky white sap whenever they are cut.
What makes the krimson queen houseplant unique? Mostly its variegated coloring, which shows itself on the edges of the leaves in colors such as white or different shades of pink. Sometimes, the color takes over the entire leaf, but it is mostly found only around the edges.
The krimson queen plant also has the following characteristics:
- It has waxy, succulent leaves.
- The leaves get to two to three inches long and about two inches wide.
- The hanging vines can grow to 5 or even 6 1/2 feet long.
- It is a perennial evergreen.
- It is best used up a moss pole or in a hanging basket.
- The blooms are star-shaped and white in color with crimson-red centers.
In fact, you can tell the difference between the krimson queen and the krimson princess because the latter has colors that begin in the center of each leaf instead of around the edges. When wanting to learn the differences between the two types of plants, just look at the leaves and how they are colored.
The krimson queen is relatively easy to grow, but the rules for its success still need to be adhered to. This starts with the right potting soil, which does best when it’s a fast-draining soil. If you couple that with a porous container, such as a pot made out of terracotta, soggy roots won’t be as much of a problem.
If you’re curious about which types of potting mixes do best, try those made just for succulents. These are always fast-draining mixes, and it’s even better if they have ingredients such as perlite, pumice, orchid bark, and peat moss. If you can find one that is made specifically for planting African violets, it’s a good idea to buy it because it is already premixed and perfect for krimson queen plants.
Just remember that you always need potting mixes that drain quickly and are specifically made for this type of houseplant. This shouldn’t be difficult because there are lots of these potting mixes on the market, and most of them are very inexpensive.
When you water the krimson queen, you should do so only when the top part of the soil is dry. If you touch the soil and it feels damp, it’s not yet time to water the plant. As you add water, watch for the excess water to come out of the bottom of the pot, then stop so that you don’t overwater it.
If you’re going to repot the plant, you should do so no more than once a year, preferably every two years. The spring and summer months are the best times to repot your krimson queen plant. Also, make sure the plant is not blooming when you decide to repot it.
In addition, don’t replant in a container that is too large; instead, use a pot that is only an inch or two bigger than your current one. If you choose a pot that is too large, the plant simply won’t bloom or grow the way it’s supposed to.
If you’re curious about when to repot, you can look for leaves that are turning yellow or roots that are growing out of the bottom of the pot or out of the top of the soil. These are clear signs that the plant should be repotted so that it can continue to grow and thrive.
When you decide to replant your krimson queen, make sure you water it a few days beforehand. This will help prevent shock to the plant once you get started repotting it. It also helps if you add a little bit of fertilizer to the soil before you repot the plant.
Fertilizing the soil of your krimson queen houseplant before repotting it stimulates the growth of the roots, which in turn makes it easier for the plant to fill up that bigger pot that you just bought. Fertilizers aren’t necessary, but in most cases they help the plant thrive a little better.
Just what type of fertilizer do you need for your krimson queen plant? One that is organic and gentle will work best, but if you decide to use a synthetic fertilizer, your best bet is to dilute it to half strength so that it doesn’t burn or otherwise damage the plant.
When you’re pouring the fertilizer into the plant, try to pour it directly into the soil or even from the base of the plant so that no damages will occur. A fertilizer that is water-soluble and rich in nitrogen will work best, and during the growing season, you can fertilize your krimson queen every two to four weeks. Never overfertilize in the winter because it can cause the buildup of minerals.
Finally, if you decide to use a fertilizer on your plant all year long, use half the recommended dosage each time. As you can see, using a fertilizer does a plant a lot of good, but never go overboard with it. It is not 100% necessary to fertilize a krimson queen plant, so it’s better to use too little rather than too much fertilizer.
It was mentioned earlier, but bears repeating, that the hoya krimson queen plant needs lots of bright light but not direct light. In the spring and winter months, if you want to give this plant a small amount of direct light each day – no more than an hour – that’s all right. But most of the light they receive should be indirect.
If the plant doesn’t get enough light throughout the day, it won’t bloom the way it should. If you have a window in your home that faces east, this will give it the amount of light it needs. Partial shade is also acceptable, but too much direct sunlight will scorch and burn the plant’s leaves.
As mentioned earlier, many people use this plant as a hanging basket, so it should be easy to move it from one location to another if you feel you need to. If you have it hanging in one location and you notice it isn’t thriving like you think it should, it’s easy enough to move it someplace where it can grow and look a lot better.
If you’re interested in propagating this plant, it is a simple thing to do. To begin with, take sharp pruning shears or a pair of scissors and cut a stem from the plant. Always cut from the top portion of the plant just under the node. The nodes are the small knobs or bumps found along the stem.
Make sure the stem is healthy, and don’t make the cutting too short because it has to be long enough to be anchored in the soil. Again, you’ll want a fast-draining soil, and some suggestions include a mixture of equal parts of cactus potting soil, orchid bark, and perlite.
To begin with, you’ll want to use a small pot, meaning one that is no more than five inches in diameter. It must have drainage holes so the cuttings don’t suffer with root rot. If you think the drainage holes are too big, simply line the bottom of the pot with some type of plastic mesh.
Once you fill the pot to the top with your potting mixture, it’s a good idea to add a basic rooting hormone to the cutting. This is not a necessity, but just a good idea to stimulate growth of the plant. Regardless of which brand of hormone you use, make sure you follow the instructions to the letter.
Place your cuttings in the soil, then water them until the water drains out of the bottom of the pot. Again, your krimson queen houseplant needs lots of indirect sunlight to grow. Remember to keep the humidity level higher rather than lower.
When you’re watering your krimson queen plant, including when you’re watering freshly planted cuttings, never let the plant soak in water. This is too much water and it can destroy the roots of the plant. This is why it is so important that you stop watering as soon as you see the water draining into the saucer of the pot.
Remember that you don’t want to water again until the soil feels dry to the touch. Most krimson queen plants need to be watered no more than two to three times a week, but the “touch” test will let you know exactly when you need to water again. If you ever notice the tips of the leaves starting to droop or wither, this is a clear indication that the plant needs to be watered again.
Do you need to mist/spray your krimson queen plant with a little water? Everyone has a different opinion when it comes to this issue. All hoyas, including the krimson queen, love humidity, but you have several options when it comes to keeping them humid enough to survive and thrive.
Misting your krimson queen plant certainly won’t hurt it, but it might be easier to place a small humidifier in the room. These are especially useful if you live in a dry or arid climate.
While the krimson queen also has flowers or blooms, they contain colors in their leaves as well, mostly shades of pink, green, and creamy white. When new leaves appear, they are typically bright pink in the beginning, developing cream-colored or white patches later on. In some cases, the leaves of the krimson queen turn completely white.
The main thing to remember about the krimson queen plant is to give it occasional water, lots of filtered light, and a humid climate. If you remember these three things, your krimson queen plant should grow and thrive for many years to come.
The Hoya carnosa family, also known as wax plants or porcelain flowers, come in numerous varieties. Most are low-maintenance plants, but if you’d like to add some flowers from other families that would look great with the carnosas, here are a few to consider:
- Other varieties of the Hoya carnosas, including krimson princess, Chelsea, Grey Ghost, Tri-Color, Indian Rope, and Wilbur Graves.
- Hoya pubicalyx plants, which have beautiful ovoid leaves and wonderfully scented fragrant flowers.
- Hoya macrophylla plants, whose leaves get up to five inches in length and have a unique 3D texture, prominent veins, and small flowers that bloom for a while.
- Hoya kerrii plants, also called the Sweetheart hoyas and have bright-green heart-shaped foliage.
- Hoya obovata plants, with large leaves and star-shaped blooms that can be in pink, purple, or red.
- Hoya lacunosa, also known as the Cinnamon hoya, which has beautiful flowers that smell just like cinnamon.
The good news is that, unlike some other hoya plants, the krimson queen plant is not toxic to either pets or humans. This means that small children and pets can be around this plant because there is nothing considered toxic in it. In fact, the ASPCA has designated the hoya krimson queen plant as safe for all animals, which is a good thing to know if you’re a pet parent.