The Hoya Krimson Princess is an epiphytic vine that looks very much like the ever popular Hoya carnosa. The only difference between them is its variegation (which the carnosa does not have).
Similarly, don’t get confused between the Hoya Krimson Princess and the Hoya Krimson Queen. While they have similar royal names, they are two different plants, albeit coming from the same Hoya carnosa line.
If you look closely, the Krimson Queen has white or pink variegation that’s either on the edges of its leaves or completely covering the leaves.
On the other hand the Krimson Princess’ variegation is closer to the center of its foliage. The colors are likewise different as they’re more pink or yellow.
Besides that, the two are very similar plants with amazing looks. So, it’s really up to you which one you prefer.
Because of its vining nature, you’ll often find the Hoya Krimson Princess housed in hanging baskets or containers that allow their long stems to train. Another popular look is to let them climb up some kind of vertical structure, where they will grow taller.
Outdoors, they can reach heights of up to 20 feet. But, their size is more manageable indoors up to about 3 to 6 feet.
Hoya Krimson Princess Plant Care
Hoya Krimson Princess Light Needs
The Hoya Krimson Princess needs lots of bright, indirect or filtered light to grow at its best.
It is likewise important to note that the plant cannot tolerate long hours of direct sunlight or direct sun during the hottest times. This includes the peak of summer and afternoons. Leaving it in these positions will cause its leaves to burn.
However, it will be okay with 2 or 3 hours of direct sunlight, especially that in the morning.
Because of this preference, it does well in an east facing window. You can likewise try a north facing window if you live in a warm region that gets a lot of sunlight.
But, be aware that while the plant will be happy with medium light, it likely won’t produce flowers unless it receives plenty of bright light.
On the other hand, the west and south facing windows do provide more light than that of the east. But, they also come with intense sun at its peak hours in the afternoons. So, you need to distance the plant from the window or provide some kind of filter (like curtains or blinds) to limit the direct sun.
Alternatively, you can go with grow lights if you cannot find a suitable location indoors.
It is likewise a good to note that since the Hoya Krimson Princess is a variegated plant, it needs more light than non-variegated ones. That’s because its variegations are not involved in photosynthesis. In contrast, all parts of solid green foliage do.
So, you need to give it enough light to support itself in terms of energy and food production.
The one final thing to understand with light is that indoor light is much less than outdoor light (except for an all glass greenhouse). That’s because your home has ceilings and walls that block out much of the sun. This only leaves the small openings of windows for light to pass.
In contrast, outdoors light can bounce from the surfaces to reach the plant from all directions.
As such, the plant will need more shade protection outdoors. This makes bright shade or light shade a good place for it outside.
Indoors, you want to give it bright filtered light and less shade for optimum growth.
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Your Hoya Krimson Princess hails from Southeast Asia, namely countries like Indonesia, China, India and Thailand. As such, it is accustomed to tropical conditions.
Thus, it prefers warm weather.
The good news is, it is happy with temperatures that humans are comfortable with. As long as you keep things between 60 to 95 degrees it will do well.
That said, it thrives in moderate to warm conditions. So, for the best results, keep temperatures between 65 and 80 degrees during the spring and summer.
In the winter, it will be able to tolerate down to 55 degrees. But, if you live areas where it snows, it is best to bring the plant indoors when the temperature drops under 60 degrees or before first frost.
Since the plant is not frost hardy, it will not survive freezing winters outside.
In contrast, if you live in USDA Hardiness zones 10 and 11, your Hoya Krimson Princess will be able to thrive outdoors all year round.
Hoya Krimson Princess Humidity
In keeping with its tropical nature, the ideal humidity for your Hoya Krimson Princess is between 70% and 80%.
Basically, the plant thrives in high humidity. This allows it to grow at its best. And, it also produces the best colors in this condition.
However, it can tolerate most home conditions. But, you want to watch out for these 3 situations:
- Your home’s humidity runs between the 30s and peaks at the low 40s. This is way too low for it. At the least, the plant needs at least 40% or higher.
- In very hot and dry summers, you will want to mist it or keep in on a pebble tray to improve moisture in the air. Also, know that air conditioning dries the air.
- During wintertime, the air gets dry as well. Additionally, heaters also add to this dryness.
In any of these conditions, you’ll need to either get a humidifier, mist your plant regularly, place it on a pebble tray that’s filled with water or group it with other plants.
While misting is one of the easiest, it is not the one I’d place on top of the list. In fact, if you can avoid doing so, it would be better.
That’s because its effects are temporary. So, you’ll need to keep spraying regularly. For the most part this can be everyday or 2 to 3 times a week.
Spraying the leaves with water can also be risky as excess water on its foliage that doesn’t dry quickly can lead to fungal infection or mold. So, you want to watch out for that if you decide to mist.
Hoya Krimson Princess Watering
Your Hoya Krimson Princess is not a thirsty plant. As such, it is better to stay on the conservative side when it comes to watering.
That’s because of four things:
- The plant is drought tolerant. So, you can actually forget to water it once in a while and it won’t have any problems with that. As long as you don’t allow it to go dry for long periods of time, it will be fine.
- Its thick, fleshy leaves store water. The Hoya Krimson Princess has succulent-like leaves. This lets it keep water in its foliage. As such, it is easier to overwater the plant.
- It is epiphytic. In its natural habitat, the plant clings onto trees. So, its roots get soaked when it rains. But, since they’re exposed to the air, they quickly dry. Thus, you want to mimic this kind of watering where its roots don’t stay in constantly wet or soggy conditions.
- It is susceptible to root rot. This is a potentially deadly fungal disease that is caused by overwatering or allowing the plant’s roots to sit in water too often or for too long. So, you want to avoid this at all costs.
Thus, the best way to achieve all this is to water the soil thoroughly. That is, soak it with water so the entire root ball is saturated. Then allow all the excess moisture to drain completely before returning it to its spot.
You also want to wait until the soil begins to dry out before watering again. This ensures that the plant will never end up sitting in water.
The easiest and most effective way to do this is to feel the soil. You can insert your index finger down 1 to 2 inches deep into the soil. It needs to be dry at that level before you water again. Wait if you feel any moistness.
During wintertime, scale back on watering. The goal during this time is to water it enough so the soil doesn’t go completely dry. As such, it is more maintenance that regular watering.
Because of this things I’ve listed above, your Hoya Krimson Princess does best in well-draining soil.
This kind of soil will help prevent overwatering even it you happen to give it too much water once in a while.
Additionally, because of its epiphytic nature, you want the soil to be loose and well-aerated. Again, this mimics its natural habitat where the roots get a lot of oxygen.
One of the best ways to do this is to use 2 parts peat moss combined with 1 part perlite. The peat moss retains enough water to hydrate the plant. Meanwhile, the perlite is there for increasing drainage.
The combination also helps keep the substrate from getting compacted over time which will limit oxygen and water flow. As such, I don’t recommend using sand where this situation can happen as time passes.
Other ingredients you can use include coconut coir, orchid bark and vermiculite.
Your Hoya Krimson Princess is a light feeder. As such, you only need to feed it once a month. When using a liquid fertilizer make sure to dilute it to half the recommended strength. This prevents fertilizer burn from too high a concentration.
Additionally, you don’t want to fertilize on dry soil. Always water when you feed your plants. This will prevent root burn which is a side effect of too much plant food or overly high doses.
That said, organic fertilizer helps avoid this. In contrast, cheap fertilizers are a no-no because they leave a good amount of salt residue. As this collects over time, it will damage your plant’s roots.
One the other hand, you can go with synthetic fertilizer which is cheaper than organic. It also offers more bang for your buck because the concentration is higher.
This means if you use synthetic, you want to make sure to dilute the dose by half or a quarter to avoid overly high concentration.
Another way to limit the potential of fertilizer burn is to flush your soil every 4 to 6 months. This will “wash out” the salt buildup along with other minerals and debris.
In the winter, cut back on feeding. You can likewise completely stop as well. The plant will rest during this time so you don’t need to feed it.
Keep in mind that while fertilizer helps the plant grow at its best, more is not better. In fact, less is better because it is safer. And, the plant, doesn’t need a lot of it.
In fact, if you use compost and add a new layer every spring, you won’t even need to apply fertilizer.
Like many Hoya plants, one of the allures of the Krimson Princess is its blooms. Its small, colorful clustering flowers are very beautiful.
But, the problem is they not only require a lot of patience, they are also never a sure thing.
Even when you give it all the right conditions, it may not flower in a given season.
That said, once it does, you’ll instantly know the time and effort was well worth it.
That said, plenty of bright light is one of the major requirements for blooming.
Similarly, keeping the plant slightly root bound increases its odds.
Finally, if the plant does bloom, don’t deadhead the flowers when they begin to fade. Instead, allow them to fall off naturally. Also, don’t prune the stalks from where they grew.
The Hoya Krimson Princess’ flowers re-bloom on new growth. As such, they will use the same stalks to flower on the next season. Trimming them will mean the shoots will need to grow again before having the chance to flower.
Pruning Hoya Krimson Princess
In addition to not deadheading the flowers, your Hoya Krimson Princess is also low maintenance when it comes trimming.
Pruning does not help promote new growth. So, it doesn’t help to do so.
As such, trimming is mostly for limiting size and controlling the shape of the plant. Similarly, it is a good idea to cut off the dead or unhealthy stems and leaves.
Finally, hard pruning is a no-no. You don’t want to aggressively trim large sections of the plant in one session.
Hoya Krimson Princess Propagation
If you want to grow more Hoya Krimson Princesses at home, the easiest way to do so is to propagate when via stem cuttings.
You want to wait for spring or early summer to do so as this is when the plant is in its growing phase. Also, warm temperature is important. Although, you can use heat mats or get a heated propagator to produce the right conditions for successful propagation.
That said, here’s how to propagate through stem cuttings.
- Choose a stem that doesn’t have any flowers. Just as importantly, you want to pick one with at least two nodes.
- Cut the stem to get a 6 or so inch cutting. You want to cut below a leaf node to ensure that roots have something to grow from.
- Remove the lower leaves since they’ll be buried into the soil.
- Dip the cut end of the cutting into rooting hormone. You don’t necessarily have to do this step. But, I’ve found that it helps rooting success and speeds things up.
- Insert the stem cutting into a potting soil in a small container.
- You can likewise decide to start propagating in water. This allows the cutting to root faster (2 or so weeks vs. 4 or so weeks for soil). But, you do need to move the cutting to soil afterwards. Both ways work, so it is all up to which you prefer and which you have more success from.
- Once in the pot, keep the container in a place with bright, indirect light. Make sure the space is warm and humid as well. If it lacks humidity, you can cover the plant with a plastic bag. Do make small holes for ventilation.
Hoya Krimson Princess Transplanting & Repotting
Like most hoyas, the Krimson Princess does not like to be moved or bothered once it finds a good spot to live in. This means that it is a good idea to only repot when necessary.
Often, this comes out to around 2 years or so. But, depending on how quickly the plant grows, it can be as long as 3 years or more.
That said, choosing a pot is very important when you repot. Here are a few things to remember.
- It has to have a drainage hole. One is great, many holes is better for distributed drainage.
- Go up only 1 size. This means a max of 1 or 2 inches larger. You don’t want to go bigger.
- Porous containers like terra cotta or clay help keep the roots healthy as they allow excess moisture to seep out from the sides as well. In contrast, non-porous ones like plastic do no.
Spring and summer are the best times to do the repotting. Make sure you use fresh potting soil that is well-draining.
Your Hoya Krimson Princess is not toxic. Thus, it is okay for kids, dogs and cats to be around it.
But, be aware the that sap, which is the milky white stuff that oozes from the stems when the plant is cut or injured is poisonous. So, it can make people and animals sick if ingested.
So, while the plant itself is safe, be wary that the sap can cause irritation and if ingested cause digestive or gastrointestinal issues.
Unfortunately, hoyas are vulnerable to pests. So, always be on the lookout so if they happen, you can treat them early before an infestation occurs.
That said, some varieties are more resistant to pests more than others. But, the Hoya Krimson Princess is not one of those.
However, if you keep the plant healthy. And, give it the right living conditions as listed above, you may never have to deal with any of these nuisances throughout its lifetime.
Nevertheless, it is a good idea to check for mealybugs, scale and spider mites regularly. These are the most common pests that will attack the plant.
When you spot them, quickly separate it from other plants as they can spread. Also, check to make sure they haven’t already done so.
Using insecticidal soap spray is often an effective way to treat them. You can also use neem oil. I prefer using sprays because of their coverage. I don’t like having to take the pests out one by one since that’s a really hassle and very time consuming.
In addition to pests, moisture related diseases can also happen with your plant. This includes root rot and other root diseases. Fungal infections and mold can likewise hit the leaves.
The good news is, keeping the plant on the dry side, and avoiding overwatering can prevent these things from happening.