Hoya Krimson Queen is a succulent with strikingly variegated leaves. Growing this royal plant for the first time? Here is a detailed guide with everything you need to know about caring for your Hoya Krimson Queen.
Caring For Your Hoya Krimson Queen
Hoya Krimson Queen is a well-known plant in the gardening community. The pink leaves with white to cream margins give it the names of Hoya Tricolor and Hoya Variegata. Variegated Hoya Carnosa, Variegated Wax Plant, and African Violet Plant are some more common names this plant is referred to as. Like all the other Hoya species, Hoya Krimson Queen also has thick, waxy leaves that look stunning in any indoor setting.
The Hoya plant was first discovered in Australia and some parts of Southeast Asia. Though there used to be hundreds of impressive varieties of this plant, deforestation has pretty much wiped out most of the Hoya types. This is why it is important to conserve what we are left with and take proper care of these endangered species.
While the Hoya Krimson Queen does not require tons of effort on its upkeep, it can be pretty particular about what it likes. This guide will talk about everything you need to know to keep your Red Queen happy and healthy.
How To Care For Your Hoya Krimson Queen
In the wild, Hoya Krimson Queen grows best in hardiness zones 10 through 12. This makes it the perfect plant to keep in the house, as it handles the regular room temperature pretty well. If you live in a temperate to a tropical area, you might even succeed in growing it in your outdoor garden.
When it comes to soil, choose something that drains well and does not hold excess water for long. A potting mix with equal parts of peat moss, vermiculite, and perlite will serve your Hoya Krimson Queen very well. You can also add coconut husk or orchid bark to make your soil airy and porous. This allows the roots to breathe easily and prevents suffocation.
All Hoya varieties need plenty of sunlight to flourish. But it is even more important for variegated plants like the Hoya Krimson Queen. Because it is only the central green part of the leaves that contributes to photosynthesis, it must get enough sunlight to fulfill its nutrition needs.
An east-facing window is the best place to put your Hoya Krimson Queen. This position gets abundant bright, indirect sunlight that it requires. However, if you live in a country where days are short and the sun is rarely out, consider investing in a plant grow light to make up for the unavailable sunlight.
Hoya Krimson Queen is a sturdy succulent that you won’t have to water very often. A couple of times per week is enough to fulfill the Queen’s needs during the summer months and even less is required in the fall and winter.
You will know your plant is thirsty when the soil is dry to touch and doesn’t cling to your fingers. When you water your Hoya Krimson Queen, pour enough until you see excess water escaping the drainage holes. Thorough watering is essential to keep your succulents healthy.
The optimal humidity levels for Hoya Krimson Queen lie between 70 to 80 percent. But, of course, these levels do not exist indoors naturally.
However, high humidity levels can easily be maintained in a number of ways. For example, you can put your plant in the bathroom or kitchen, as these areas are generally more humid than the rest of the house. You can also line your drainage tray with pebbles so that the water evaporates when it touches them and increases the surrounding humidity. Another way to resolve the problem is by using a humidifier.
Some people will also mist their Hoya or put their plants close together to increase the humidity. However, these practices carry the risk of your plant developing fungus and transmitting infections and should be avoided when possible.
The hardy Hoya Krimson Queen can tolerate a wide range of temperatures between 60 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit. However, anything below 59 degrees Fahrenheit and your plant will begin to stress. If you live in a colder region, you will have to grow your Hoya Krimson Queen in a temperature-maintained terrarium.
In addition to being cold-sensitive, Hoya Krimson Queen also dislikes any big variations in the surrounding temperature. It does not readily adapt to change and will show signs of distress if the temperature is not consistent.
The wild Hoya Krimson Queen grows to a massive height of 20 feet, but when indoors, only a fraction of this impressive height can be reached. The average Hoya Krimson Queen will be 1.5 to 2 feet tall as a houseplant. But if the conditions are right and all its needs are met, even an indoor Hoya Krimson Queen may surprise you with its rapid growth.
The heart-shaped leaves are a petite 1.6 to 2 inches in length. They are thick, fleshy, and have a smooth, waxy texture.
Most of the growth happens over the summer and spring seasons. When compared to other varieties of the same genus, Hoya Krimson Queen is said to be a fast-growing vine, and you can see quick results of the effort you put into rearing this plant.
The magic minerals for Hoya Krimson Queen are phosphorus and potassium. When these are present in adequate amounts, you can expect your Queen to flourish like no other.
You have the choice between store-bought NPK fertilizer and organic compost for plant food. While the chemical ones you buy at the store are easier to manage, the risk of fertilizer burn is considerably higher with them. Diluting liquid chemical fertilizer and using it sparingly is one way to manage this risk. Organic compost that you prepare at home carries no such threat.
The optimal time to feed your Hoya Krimson Queen is during the active growth phase. This coincides with the summer and spring seasons, when you should be complementing the soil with fertilizer once a month. It is best to hold off on the treatment during the winter season.
All plants need to be repotted when the roots have started to crowd, and there is no more space left for them to spread. Being a faster-growing vine, Hoya Krimson Queen needs it much more frequently than the other varieties of the same family. Ideally, you should be replacing your Hoya Krimson Queen in a new pot every couple of growing seasons.
When repotting your Hoya Krimson Queen, always ensure that the container has a proper drainage system in place. If the pot doesn’t drain right, the Hoya is subject to root rot and dies. Another vital consideration when repotting is the size of the new pot – it should only be slightly bigger than the old one. If the new pot is too big, it is harder for Hoya Krimson Queen to adjust to the new environment. The ideal time to change pots is during the active growing period, but not when the plant is blooming.
The procedure to repot is as follows:
- Loosen up the soil around the edges and gently probe the Hoya Krimson Queen out of its pot along with the surrounding soil. Make sure that the roots stay intact.
- Place the plant in a slightly bigger pot filled three quarters with the appropriate potting mix.
- Cover the roots with more soil until the plant is stable.
- Wait for a day before watering the plant.
Hoya Krimson Queen is not a pet-friendly succulent. While it may not kill cats and dogs, ingesting the toxic sap will certainly make them very sick. Hence, it is best to put small children or mischievous pets out of reach.
How to Propagate the Hoya Krimson Queen
Want a Hoya Krimson Queen in every corner of your house? You can easily propagate this plant through stem cuttings. It is best to do this during the summer and spring when it is easier for the Hoya Krimson Queen to take.
To cultivate a new Hoya Krimson Queen from an existing one, follow the guide given below:
- Identify a healthy stem with a couple of nodes and a few leaves. Make sure that the stem is not in bloom.
- With sterilized pruning shears, make a diagonal cut under a node on that stem.
- Dip the cut in rooting hormone.
- Now, you can either proliferate your Hoya Krimson Queen cutting in distilled water, soil, or sphagnum moss. Make sure to keep the soil or sphagnum moss moist until the roots have sprouted.
- Bury your plant in the propagating medium of your choice until the level of the cut node.
- Maintain a high humidity level by covering the cut stem with a plastic bag and placing it under bright, indirect sunlight.
- Within a few weeks, you will begin to notice new roots sprouting from the cut end of the stem. When this happens, you can replant your Hoya Krimson Queen in its permanent pot.
Frequent pruning is not a requirement with Hoya Krimson Queen, but doing so every now and then does encourage their growth. Taking off the dead and dying leaves lessens the plant’s burden so it can grow new ones. It makes the plants bushier and also increases the number of flowers on them.
Growing Tips And Guide
Want to avoid some common problems with your Hoya Krimson Queen? Here are some growing tips that can help you maintain your plant’s health.
- Choose your container carefully. A terracotta pot with proper drainage holes is ideal for growing Hoya Krimson Queen and prevents root rot.
- Ensure that the potting mix is adequately airy and well-draining.
- Abstain from watering your Hoya Krimson Queen too frequently. Overwatering can damage your plant even with a good drainage system in place.
- Keep your plant away from direct sunlight – you do not want the leaves to burn.
- Try to keep a consistent surrounding temperature. The Hoya Krimson Queen does not adapt readily to temperature changes.
- Change the pot every two years to ensure that your soil is fresh and your plant is not root-bound.
- Refresh the potting mix every time you repot your plant.
Common Problems And How to Treat them
The problems encountered when growing Hoya Krimson Queen can be categorized under two causes:
Hoya Krimson Queen requires very little water, and overwatering this succulent is very common – especially with novices. However, if you water your plant too frequently or don’t have a proper drainage system in place, your Hoya Krimson Queen may be subject to root rot.
You will know you are overwatering your plant if the leaves start to turn yellow and curl onto themselves. Try with different watering schedules until you find one that works with the weather in your area and makes your Hoya Krimson Queen happy.
It is not uncommon to find Hoya Krimson Queen infested with mealybugs, spider mites, or scale. These pests feed on the sap of Hoya Krimson Queen, leaving little nutrition behind for its growth. They also leave the plant vulnerable to bacterial infections and over diseases and may also play a role in their transmission.
Mealybugs can be seen as cotton balls on the leaves. Spider mites can be recognized by the characteristic webs they leave behind. And lastly, scales appear as semi-permanent spots on the stem and leaves.
Insecticides and pesticides are excellent ways to get rid of these pests. However, you can also use organic neem oil if you want a chemical-free solution to the problem. In addition to this, spider mites can be combated with a humidifier, and scales will need to be individually picked off of your Hoya Krimson Queen.
Frequently Asked Questions
How can you tell apart Hoya Krimson Queen from Hoya Krimson Princess?
The main difference between the two species of royal Hoya is the site of variegation. The leaves of Krimson Queen are green in the center with white margins, whereas the Princess has a white center with green margins.
Why is my Hoya Krimson Queen losing its variegation?
The most common reason for this problem is too little sunlight. Try moving your Hoya Krimson Queen to an east-facing window to resolve the issue.
Why are the leaves turning brown?
Too much sunlight or overwatering can cause the Hoya Krimson Queen leaves to start browning. Work around with the placement and watering schedule of your Hoya Krimson Queen if you are facing this problem.
Wrapping It Up
As the name tells you, the Hoya Krimson Queen is the royalty of the Hoya family. Hence, it is only appropriate to give it the royal treatment it deserves. Use the tips in this guide to ensure the health of your Hoya Krimson Queen.