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Hoya Krimson Queen is a new and distinct plant species that belongs to the milkweed (Asclepiadaceae) family of the Hoya genus. Today, I’ll teach you everything about Hoya Krimson Queen care. Although it closely resembles the original Hoya carnosa, its variegated variant, it differs from it by certain color characteristics, larger stems, wider and usually ovate leaf blades. You probably know it as Hoya Variegata, Hoya Tricolor, Strawberries and Cream or, most widely, Hoya “Krimson Queen“.
If you happen to have the marvelous Hoya Krimson Queen, this is what you should pay attention to. Provide bright indirect light to ensure abundant blooms, preferably by an east-facing window. Add perlite and peat moss to the potting mix and water the soil once it becomes dry, about once a week. Fertilize once in spring and summer during the growing season with an organic or a synthetic fertilizer, judiciously, in poor concentrations. Keep the room temperature between 15 and 30 degrees C and the humidity level above 60%.
Hoya plants as perennial, epiphytic climbing vines are one of the most widely sought-after houseplants among beginners and expert gardeners. Mostly because of their evergreen luxuriant foliage, astonishingly beautiful star-shaped flowers, and this variety is no exception.
Read on to find out all necessary guidelines that will help you take proper care of Hoya Krimson Queen.
About Hoya Crimson Queen Care
Hoya carnosa and its varieties are native to eastern India, southern China, Vietnam, Japan and Burma.
This plant species is one of the most desirable ones in the Hoya genus, being moderately vigorous, evergreen, woody-stemmer twining vine, certainly not a climber.
You can grow it against a small framework, in zones 10-11, more than 15 ft (5m) long.
The plant puts out long peduncles before putting out new leaves, which are glossy and oval. The leaves are likely to have tinges of pink if exposed to more sunlight and it happens usually with new leaves.
Other leaves are green and white to creamy white around the edges. It can happen that your plant puts out an entirely creamy-white leaf. The white accents on the leaves contrast beautifully to green leaves and pink flowers.
The inflorescence is marvelous, as is the case with other Hoya plants. The flowers are scented, star-shaped, usually pink, with deep pink centers. They are born in dense trusses from summer to fall. Unlike other varieties, the edges of the flowers are not pointed at the tip.
It might take two to three years for blooms to appear, so if your plant is young, don’t expect it to bloom any time soon. However, do not get disenchanted, since all good things in life are long-awaited before they happen and cultivating this variety is definitely worth the pursuit.
This tropical flowering plant makes a perfect display in hanging baskets and unusual plastic or terracotta pots. It will not only embellish your rooms but also your morning routine before the hectic working day starts. That’s why many people prefer displaying Hoya plants in rooms they walk into at the commencement of the day, such as the kitchen or the living room.
Here are some basic requirements for its care and maintenance.
There are a lot of different types of Hoyas, but here are some of the most popular ones:
Light Requirements for Hoya Krimson Queen Care
Hoya carnosa “Krimson Queen“ won’t flower profusely unless it receives very bright indirect sunlight, preferably the morning sun beside a south-facing or an east-facing window.
Southern and western-facing windows can pose a problem because the heat is more intense and it can burn the plant, so if you happen to have them, make sure to keep them at a fair distance from the window.
This subspecies of Hoya carnosa will even tolerate a little direct sunlight, but strong and direct afternoon sunlight should be avoided by all means. Curtains can help with that.
Experiment with different spots and find one that your plant will like best.
Artificial Lighting for Hoya Krimson Queen Care
In case your plant does not get enough exposure to the sun, you can always supplement the light by adding artificial lighting.
Generally speaking, Hoyas plants perform well under artificial or fluorescent lighting. Of course, only if it is at a reasonable distance of around 40 cm from the plant itself.
Make sure to turn on the blowing fan in the vicinity of it to provide enough airflow. In this scenario, when it is your supplementary lighting, you should turn the lighting on for approximately five hours.
On the other hand, in case it is your only source of light, let it on for around 14 hours each day.
Getting less light than they need will result in the shrinking in the size of the leaves or falling off, so you should transfer the plant to a plant shelf with artificial lighting to prevent that.
This variety of Hoya carnosa is not cold hardy. Neither does it tolerate frost nor temperature swings.
That said, the optimal temperature for the cultivation of this trailing species is between 16 and 30 degrees C.
Avoid draughty windows and bring the plant inside during the colder months in case you are growing it outdoors.
Keep the room temperature above 10 degrees C during the winter. You will have no trouble with Hoya Krimson Queen care after that.
Hoya Krimson Queen Care Humidity Requirements
Hoya “Krimson Queen“ is fond of high humidity levels, which enhances the blooming process.
The optimal humidity level is between 70% to 80%.
Since no household is likely to have this high humidity, you can always increase it.
For instance, you can place pebbles on a tray filled with water and put the plant on top.
Next, you can get a humidifier. This is especially important if you keep your plant close to the heating system, but try to avoid that.
You can also group your houseplants together since this increases the humidity level.
Refrain from misting this Hoya because it is a fertile ground for fungi.
The prerequisite for cultivating all Hoya plants is light, well-aerated and well-draining potting mixture .
You can use 80% peat moss and 20% perlite and add a bit of vermiculite. This combination of ingredients is ideal because the following requirements are thus met: humidity, good drainage, aerated and loose soil that retains moisture quite well.
Alternatively, you can also use coarse sand, fibrous soil, coconut husk, orchid bark, pumice and clay balls. The combination of these ingredients will enable oxygen to get to the roots, ensure airflow and the addition of chunky ingredients like clay balls will prevent the soil from becoming too compact.
You don’t have to use all of these, but a selection of a few will prevent root rot and ensure good drainage. That way, lesser damage is made to the plant in case of overwatering. However, the plant will be able to retain water and nutrients at the same time.
Watering Hoya Krimson Queen
When it comes to the watering, no plant likes to be underwatered and certainly not overwatered. The same rule applies to Krimson Queen.
It is advisable to water the plant once every 7 to 10 days. Should the plant need less water, signs like the yellowing of the leaves and falling off will be exhibited.
If it needs more water, the veins on the leaves will be more prominent and the leaves at the base will bend all the way.
It goes without saying that your pots should have drainage holes so that all the excess water can drain out. Wait for the soil to become dry on the surface and if you are unsure whether your plant needs watering or not, you can use the finger test or a testing kit to check.
If still in doubt, do not water, since it is better to add more water than fix the damage caused by overwatering.
I don’t recommend you to mist the plant since it can attract fungi and mealybugs.
In case you are going on vacation, there are many DIY tricks you can use to keep your plant hydrated while you are away.
Hoya Krimson Queen Care – Potting and Repotting
Trailing vines do not mind being slightly root bound and they don’t like being repotted frequently.
So in case you just got your Krimson Queen in a nursery pot and you are wondering whether to transplant it or not – do not. You can keep it in the same pot for up to one year. Provided that you do not encounter problems like root rot or similar.
If you are potting a newly propagated Krimson Queen, choose a wider pot that has drainage holes. That way, you won’t have to transplant it once the plant outgrows it.
Sometimes you will simply have to transplant your magnificent Queen. The first sign that your plant needs repotting is crumbly and compact soil. When you water it, the plant doesn’t absorb the water, but it drains out immediately. In this scenario, the plant definitely needs repotting because the soil is too old to perform in the same way as the new one.
Repotting is best done in spring or summer, but not when it is blooming.
When repotting, use sterilized pots that are larger in size and sterilized potting medium to prevent weeds, with the addition of fertilizer. You can also use terracotta pots which are said to take in extra moisture and allow the roots to absorb the oxygen more easily.
Do not water immediately after repotting.
It is common knowledge that plants’ real food is produced by way of photosynthesis. That said, fertilizing cannot compensate for the potential lack of nutrients obtained in that way, but it can supplement your potting mix and underpin the growing and blooming process altogether.
Nevertheless, you can treat your plants with a good fertilizer once a month during the growing season, in spring and summer, to supplement the capacity of your potting mix for ideal growth and flower production.
Since the primary nutrients are nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium, make sure that your fertilizer contains them, but in weak concentrations, since Hoya plants are not heavy feeders.
You can use a higher nitrogen fertilizer to encourage foliage growth and switch to a phosphorous one once the plant start blooming.
If you are using synthetic fertilizers, always make sure to cut the amount provided in the directions so as to avoid any detrimental effects.
Many prefer organic decomposition consisting of peat moss and bark, which will provide your plants with the necessary nutrients.
Discontinue fertilizing in the winter and fall since that’s the period when the plants aren’t growing and limit your maintenance only to watering.
As regards pruning Hoya Variegata, refrain from pruning when the flower buds begin to swell and do not remove the old flower spurs (peduncles) since new blooms will arise there.
That means that if you cut any stem with peduncles or the places where flowers will appear, you are removing new growth and depriving yourself of the possibility to get more blooms. Allow the flowers to fall naturally.
In case your plant develops an odd shape, you can trim those branches to make the appearance more appealing and lead them in the desired direction. Removing dead branches and leaves can also enhance new growth.
To prune, always use sterilized and clean shares to do that. Avoid over-pruning in order not to impede the blooming process.
The easiest way to propagate Hoya “Krimson Queen“ is from stem cuttings.
Make a clean cutting of your plant and choose the medium for propagation: solid or liquid.
The solid medium includes growing cuttings in soil, perlite, sphagnum moss or similar, while the liquid medium refers to water.
The best time to propagate is in spring or summer.
The steps for a successful propagation are as follows.
1. Sterilizing Your Tools
First and foremost, sterilize your garden shears or a knife by using alcohol or even heat it over a naked flame for a couple of seconds. This will deter bacteria, fungi and prevent unwanted contamination.
2. Choosing the Cutting
Secondly, select a young cutting that has up to three leaves and no blooms. Make a diagonal cut just below a node.
3. Using Vitamins and Rooting Hormone
At this point, you can dip your cutting in rooting hormone, vitamin B, honey, or cinnamon to enhance root growth. Put some of it on the cut of the parent plant, too.
4. Setting Up the Growing Medium
If your rooting medium is water, make sure that it is at room temperature and as sterile as possible. Pour some in the jar, cover it with foil and make a few holes, then put the cuttings inside through them, in a vertical position. Ideally, you want to use distilled water for this purpose.
On the other hand, soil, as well as sphagnum moss, needs to be slightly wet before placing the cutting into it.
The node of the cutting should be in contact with the rooting medium, but leaves shouldn’t be in contact either with soil, water or moss since it might lead to rot.
5. Placing the Plant in the Box
Place the plant in a plastic box to create a terrarium, for instance, so as to increase humidity levels.
6. Maintaining the Right Temperature
You can do that by choosing the proper location, or by using certain products. Th best way to keep the cutting warm is by using a heat mat.
Make sure your cutting is in a warm place with just enough bright light. Once the cutting gets accustomed to it, you can gradually increase the exposure to the sun.
7. Repotting when Necessary
Replant the cutting once the roots have grown at least a couple of inches long.
Arm yourself with patience since it can take up to several months for the plant to develop roots and new leaves. Only then you can pot your cutting.
Pests, Diseases and Other Problems
As with most Hoya plants, mealybugs are the most prevalent problem. You might think that is simply dust,but if you look more closely, it is blatantly obvious that they are actually pests.
They tend to appear in the crevices where the leaves’ pendicles meet the main stem and it is usually the case with new leaves. The easiest way to get rid of them is to take a cotton swab and dab it in alcohol, then clean the leaves with it. Another option is a soap-based spray such as Castille soap.
Similar to these pests are spider mites which can be spotted thanks to the web they build. Use oil, insecticidal sprays, a cloth with diluted alcohol or make your own soap-based spray to get rid of them.
Another insect is scale that gathers on the stem of the plant. Unfortunately, soaps and sprays won’t be so effective in this case, so it is best to pluck them one by one. You can try using a toothbrush as well.
Regardless of the insect in question, make sure to isolate the infected plant to protect other plants. Besides, if you are using sprays, treat your plants outside because some sprays tend to be poisonous and have a strong and bad odor.
Another problem is stem and root rot caused by overwatering.
Hoya plants belong to the milkweed family, one of the reasons being the white latex or a milky sap they produce. It is not necessarily poisonous, but it is safer to keep children and animals at a distance and wash your hands afterward.
Hoya Krimson Queen Care Tips in a Nutshell
To sum what has been said so far, here follows the list of do’s and don’t’s.
- Plant Krimson Queen in a pot with drainage holes
- Use a well-draining and well-aerated potting mix
- Water once the soil becomes dry
- Keep humidity high
- Expose the plant to bright indirect sunlight
- Isolate the infected plant
- Do not overpot
- Don’t fertilize excessively, once a month during the growing season will suffice
- Do not overwater, once a week will do
- Don’t ignore pests but be ever watchful of their presence
- Do not prune in the blooming period
- Do not use the full strength of synthetic fertilizers but only half of it
Frequently Asked Questions
What is an epiphytic plant?
Not all plants grow in soil. Some, known as epiphytes, anchor themselves onto other plants or tree trunks instead. They do not take nutrients from their hosts, but absorb water and nutrients from the air and rain, or sometimes from the dead leaves that collect around their base.
Is Hoya carnosa variegata a succulent plant?
Hoya carnosa “Krimson Queen“ is a semi-succulent, tropical, twining vine, perennial and evergreen. It is also an epiphytic plant.
Why are the leaves of my Hoya Krimson Queen yellowing?
Yellow leaves are a clear indicator that your watering routine needs to change. The most plausible explanation for such occurrence is overwatering.
Since the leaves of Hoya plants are succulent or semi-succulents, it is easy to overwater them so do be careful. It is better to underwater than to overwater.
In case the yellow leaves are abundant, check the roots of the plants and replace the old, soggy soil with fresh, remoting damaged roots as well.
What is the difference between Hoya carnosa, Hoya “Krimson Queen“ and Hoya “Krimson Princess“?
All three are twining plants found in China and Burma. Hoya carnosa is the parent plant and the other two are its variegated versions. That’s why they bear striking resemblance to it but have few modifications.
Hoya carnosa compacta have twisted, upward-folded leaves that give the plant a funny rope-like appearance. While Hoya “Krimson Queen“ is variegated on the edges of the leaves, that is, it has tinges of pink there, Hoya “Krimson Princess“ is variegated in the center.
Hoya carnosa “Krimson Queen“ is one of the most widely cultivated species of the Hoya genus. It is an easy-care plant for growing indoors for beginners and experts alike, provided that you follow the care pattern and the requirements it needs.
Not only is it low maintenance, but it is also strikingly beautiful with the color combination of the leaves in white, green and pink, as well as pink scented star-shaped flowers.
Although it might take more time for blooms to appear, cultivating it is definitely worth the while. This lack of blooms in the first year or two is compensated by the nicely colored leaves.
Hope you enjoyed my guide!