Hoya Krimson Queen vs. Hoya Princess: What’s The Difference?

If you’re looking at adding to your houseplant collection, chances are a Hoya carnosa is on your list. But the ever-popular Krimson Queen and Princess have probably thrown a spanner in the works with their similarities. While similar, the pair has a host of differences to look out for, which gardening expert Madison Moulton gets into in this article.

Hoya Krimson Queen vs. Hoya Princess

Hoya carnosa, commonly known as Wax Plants, has made a name for itself as houseplants in recent years. They’re easy-going, perfect for beginners, and they make great hanging alternatives to Pothos plants.

While there are several varieties and cultivars to choose from, the Krimson Princess and Krimson Queen are perhaps the most popular. The royal pair are easily mixed up, however, despite holding several differences. Before going off and buying just any old Hoya carnosa Krimson variety, make sure you know which variety you’re adding to your indoor collection.

Let’s take a deep dive into the pair to see what their differences are, and which is a better fit for you. But, with both being beginner-friendly and Pinterest-worthy, there’s no reason why you can’t add both to your houseplant collection.

Featured Image of Hoya Krimson Princess courtesy of @botanybro

Hoya Krimson Queen vs. Krimson Princess

Hoya Plants With Variegated Leaves

Specification

Scientific Name 

Native Region

Leaf Appearance

Leaf Color

Growth Difficulty  

Soil Preference

Sun Exposure

Tolerance

Krimson Queen

Hoya Carnosa ‘Krimson Queen’

Asia and Australia

Lanceolate-shaped 

Green Centers With White Margins

Beginner-friendly  

Light, Well-draining

Bright Indirect Light 

Not Drought Tolerant

Krimson Princess

Hoya Carnosa ‘Krimson Princess

Asia and Australia

Lanceolate-shaped

White Centers With Green Borders

Beginner-friendly

Light, Well-draining

Bright Indirect Light 

Not Drought Tolerant

Plant Overview

While these two plants do share certain similarities, there are differences with their taxonomy, and native areas. Let’s take a deeper look at the origins and technical differences of each.

Taxonomy

Hoya Carnosa Varieties
Each of these plants is a cultivar of the Hoya Carnosa plant.
Krimson Princess photo courtesy of @sophsplantstagram

The pair belong to the Hoya genus, which falls under the Apocynaceae, or Dogbane, family. Hoyas have many common names, including Wax Plant, Porcelain Flower, and Shooting Star, because of their small, star-shaped blooms. This trailing beauty also has deep symbolism, often believed to bring wealth and protection to the home.

Both the Krimson Princess and Krimson Queen are cultivars of the Hoya carnosa, each with their own twist on the classic Hoya look. This means that these plants are very closely related, with a couple of differences that make them unique.

The Hoya Krimson Queen goes by a few other common names, thanks to its unique variegation. It’s often called Hoya Tricolor or Hoya Variegata.

Native Area

Hoya Plants in Well Draining Soil
Both of these plants are from the tropical regions of Asia and Australia.
Krimson Princess photo courtesy of @the.plant.m.o.m

All Hoya plants hail from Australia and the tropical regions of Eastern Asia. As climbing plants, they’re often found creeping over roots and up trees in tropical forests, basking in the dappled sunlight and thriving in the high humidity.

As cultivars, both the Princess and Queen came about due to mutations. Most mutations occur in the wild, however, in some cases they can be encouraged by growers. Some mutations can be temporary, or stable for long-term growth, taking root through generations. These ‘stable mutations’ become sports of the original plant, which is the case for these royal plants.

Despite their mutations, both the Krimson Queen and Princess stay true to their tropical roots. They both thrive in jungle-like conditions, making them perfect houseplants.

Appearance

While these two hoyas do share some small similarities, they do have several distinct differences when it comes to their appearance. Let’s examine the differences of their color, size, growth rate, and flowers.

Differences in Color

Close Up of Plants With Leaves With White Edges and Green Edges
Leaf color is one of the best ways to tell these two plants apart.
Krimson Princess photo courtesy of @sophsplantstagram

The pair have striking leaves that make them wonderful decorative addition to any houseplant collection. However, they both have unique variegations that allow them to stand out, and apart from one another.

The Krimson Queen’s leaves have white outer margins that border dark green centers. Sometimes, the white margins have a pink hue, adding a splash of difference between the green and white. Younger leaves are pinker and whiter, and as they age, more green develops. The combination of the three colors is why this cultivar is often called the Hoya Tricolor.

Sometimes, however, some Krimson Queen leaves are completely white or creamy, showing no color whatsoever.

The Krimson Princess, on the other hand, is essentially the inverse of this. Its leaves have dark green borders and creamy white centers. These centers can also occasionally take on a pink hue. You’ll also seldom notice a completely white leaf growing on a Krimson Princess; so, if you spot one, chances are you have a Queen.

You’ll also notice that the pair have different colored stems too. The Krimson Princess has a pinkish-red hue, while the Queen is brown.

Leaf Size and Texture

Close Up of Hoya Leaves
The leaves are different once you take a closer look.
Krimson Princess image of Hoya Krimson Princess courtesy of @botanybro

The differences in the leaves don’t stop there. While they both have lanceolate-shaped leaves, their size and texture differ completely.

True to their Hoya nature, the Krimson Queen and Princess have waxy leaves – hence their common name, Wax Plant. However, the Queen’s leaves are more textured than its cousin’s, and they’re not as waxy.

The Princess’s leaves are also slightly shorter and much thicker than the Queen’s, giving it a very succulent-like look and feel.

Height and Growth Rate

Mature Hoya Plants Cascading Out of Pots
The Krimson Queen has the capability to grow larger than the Krimson Princess.
Krimson Princess photo courtesy of @lost.inthe.leaves

The growth rate and the mature height of these Hoya’s differ too. The Krimson Princess is slightly shorter than the Queen, only reaching about 4ft when grown indoors, and anywhere between 15 and 18 ft in the wild. The Queen, on the other hand, can grow up to 7 ft indoors and a whopping 25 ft when grown outside.

The Krimson Queen is also a much faster grower than its cousin. The lack of green on the striking Princess’s leaves allows it to stand out, however, it does mean there is a lot less chlorophyll within them. Chlorophyll is a key element in the process of photosynthesis, which allows plants to produce their own food for growth. The low chlorophyll count means the Princess doesn’t produce food as effectively as the Queen, resulting in slower growth.

Flowers

Hoya Flowers
Krimson Queen flowers are entirely pink as opposed to the red centers of the Krimson Princess.
Krimson Princess image courtesy of @plantsatnumber5

Using the flowers to differentiate between the Krimson Queen and Princess is extremely difficult. Namely, because they don’t often bloom when grown indoors, but also because you’d need a keen eye to spot the subtle differences between the Queen and the Princess.

No matter how subtle these differences are, they’re still noticeable, however. The star-shaped blooms of the Krimson Princess are a stunning pink, with a deep red center. On the other hand, the Krimson Queen sports the same star-shaped flowers, but they’re completely pink.

Hoya Krimson Queen Image Credit: “Hoya carnosa Krimson Queen” by epiforums is marked with CC BY-NC-SA 2.0.

Growing Conditions

Hoyas are easy to care for, no matter which variety you opt to grow. Their tropical origins allow them to thrive in indoor climates. Both the Hoya Krimson Princess and Queen have very similar needs to other popular houseplants, but they do differ from each other slightly. Let’s dive into what you can expect in each area of care.

Light

Hoya Plants in Bright Indirect Sunlight
As with most housplants, bright indirect light is best for growing both of these plants.
Krimson Princess photo courtesy of @lost.inthe.leaves

Thanks to their tropical roots, Hoyas thrive in bright, indirect sunlight, and this royal pair is no different. However, thanks to the limited amount of chlorophyll in the Krimson Princess, it requires a lot more sunlight than the Queen.

As a rule, your indoor plants should be placed near a south or west-facing window, or in a bright room that receives plenty of indirect sunlight. They should be out of the path of direct sunlight as it can scorch their stunning, sensitive leaves.

However, in the case of the Krimson Princess, a touch of direct sunlight in the morning will actually help it flourish. As long as its leaves aren’t exposed to the harsh afternoon sun, your Krimson Princess will thank you for a touch of direct sunlight. Place your Krimson Princess near an east-facing window for the best results.

The Krimson Queen is slightly easier to manage, requiring no access to direct sunlight. Its thin leaves also make it vulnerable to scorching, so it’s best to pop it near a sheer-curtain-covered west-facing window.

If you’re wanting to grow one of these Krimson Hoyas outside, it’s best to plant them in a shady spot. Ideally, they should be planted under trees or in bright, shady areas, as this replicates their natural habitats best.

Water

Happy Hoya Plants Growing Indoors
Wait until the soil has dried out before watering your hoya plant.
Krimson Princess photo courtesy of @lost.inthe.leaves

As is the case with most indoor plants, both the Krimson Princess and the Krimson Queen have strict watering requirements. The incorrect watering methods can quickly spell trouble for your plants, resulting in their leaves changing color and shape, and the development of disease.

However, unlike other houseplants, the Krimson Hoya Queen and Princess prefer drier soil, thanks to their epiphytic nature. Constantly moist soil and overwatering your Hoya can quickly result in root rot. It’s best to water your plants once the top couple of inches of soil has dried out.

The Krimson Queen, however, is slightly thirstier than its royal cousin. Its thin leaves don’t cling to water as much as the thick, succulent-like leaves of the Princess. You’ll find the Queen sucks up water far faster than the Princess, needing water more frequently.

Despite the Krimson Princess being slightly more drought tolerant than the Queen, it’s still imperative that it receives the correct amount of water. Overwatering or underwatering your Hoyas can lead to root rot, yellowing leaves, or the curling and browning of leaves. 

Only water your Hoyas when the top few inches of soil has dried out, and when watering, do so slowly and thoroughly. This allows every inch of the soil to get moist without becoming waterlogged.

Soil

Hoya Plants in Well Draining Soil
Be sure to use loose, well-draining soil for your hoya plants.
Photos courtesy of @the.plant.m.o.m

When it comes to soil, these two Hoyas don’t differ at all. Like other tropical houseplants, the Princess and Queen need well-draining, aerated soil. Heavy soil that stays moist can result in root rot and suffocate your Hoya’s roots.

Look for an orchid potting mix or amend any houseplant potting mix with additional bark or perlite to improve aeration and drainage.

Having the right soil is essential, however, it means very little if you’ve got the wrong pot for your Krimson Hoya. Both the Princess and Queen should be planted in a container that has sufficient drainage. Even with well-draining soil and the correct watering methods, the water will have nowhere to go if there aren’t enough drainage holes.

Temperature and Climate

Young Hoya Plants in Small Pots
Because these plants come from tropical regions, warm and humid climates are best for growing.
Krimson Princess photo courtesy of @love_and_oddities_nola

All variations of Hoyas enjoy the same temperature and humidity requirements, thanks to their tropical jungle roots.

In tropical rainforests or jungles, humidity levels remain high, and temperatures rarely drop below 65F. Temperatures don’t go much higher than 90F, often staying in the mid-80s throughout the year. This gives an idea of the temperature range that your Krimson Princess or Queen will enjoy the most: 65F – 85F.

This temperature range is like what we experience indoors anyway, meaning your Krimson Princess or Queen will be perfectly content anywhere in your home. However, their humidity requirements are slightly more difficult to replicate.

These plants thrive in environments with high levels of humidity. While they can somewhat tolerate levels as low as 50%, they grow best when exposed to at least 70% humidity.

The wrong humidity levels can cause several issues with your Hoya, from drying leaves to leaves turning yellow. Luckily, there are a couple of ways you can ensure your Krimson Hoya gets the humidity it needs.

You can either place it in the bathroom, the most humid room in the house, or you can invest in a humidifier. Humidifiers are the best way to increase the overall humidity in your home, and it gives you complete control over the humidity levels around your indoor plants.

Fertilizer

Healthy Wax Plants Close Up
Each of these plants will benefit from some additional food in the growing months.

In general, Hoyas are not heavy feeders, but they can benefit from a touch of extra food in spring and summer, their growing season, once all the nutrients on their soil have been depleted.

Fertilize at least once a month, using an organic liquid fertilizer with slightly higher levels of phosphorous and potassium. This will give the plant all the nutrients it needs to thrive while encouraging flower growth.

The Krimson Queen may call for more frequent fertilizing during its growing season, however, do so cautiously. They’re sensitive to over-fertilizing and root burn. You can opt to use a slow-release fertilizer then.

No matter what fertilizer you use for your Hoyas, always read the instructions very carefully before getting started. If using a liquid fertilizer, make sure to dilute it, or apply at half the strength, especially if the plants are already growing well.

Common Problems

Both the Krimson Princess and Krimson Queen are extremely easy to care for and require little fuss to thrive. However, they’re not exempt from a few problems and can still attract a handful of pests. Luckily all are easy to fix and avoid.

Discoloring Leaves

Discolored Hoya Leaves
Discolored leaves can be a sign something is awry with your hoya plant.

The striking leaves of these two Hoya cultivars are what make them so sought after, so it can be disheartening if you spot them discoloring. Yellowing or browning leaves are often the first indicators that something is wrong with your plant.

Browning leaf tips, coupled with drying leaves are a symptom of too little water or too low humidity levels. But brown, scorched spots are a sign of sunburn – a result of your Hoya receiving direct sunlight.

Yellowing leaves, on the other hand, are the first symptom of too much water. When coupled with leggy growth and bare vines, yellowing leaves could also indicate that your Krimson Hoya isn’t getting sufficient light. 

The best way to keep the Krimson Princess and Queen happy and vibrant is to follow the care instructions above.

Pests

Mealybugs
Mealybugs, as well as other pests, can become a problem for your hoyas.

Both the Queen and Princess attract the same pests – mealybugs, scale, fungus gnats, and spider mites.

Luckily, all these pests are easy to get rid of. A simple spraying of Neem Oil will get them off your plants and keep them from settling on them again.

It’s also important to note that a healthy plant, whose needs are met, attracts fewer pests than unhappy, unhealthy ones.

Plant Uses

Common Houseplant
These plants are loved as decor in the home because of their beautifully unique leaves.
Photo courtesy of @lost.inthe.leaves

Thanks to their striking leaves and vining growth habits, both the Princess and Queen make fantastic décor features. Their long, trailing stems allow them to cascade over the edges of hanging baskets or down bookshelves.

Their climbing abilities make them great for attaching to structures, or training along trellises. If trained correctly, you can create a stunning living wall with your chosen Krimson Hoya.

Final Thoughts

Belonging to the same family and genus, the Hoya Krimson Princess and Krimson Queen are extremely closely related. They have a few differences that set them apart, however, namely the leaf color. While there is a handful of differences when it comes to their needs, they’re both as easy to care for as any other houseplant.

Whether you opt for the striking Krimson Queen, with its pinkish hues, or the slightly more subtle Krimson Princess, you won’t be disappointed.

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