Hoya Carnosa ‘Tricolor’, often referred to as Krimson Princess or Variegated Wax Plant, is a captivating climbing and trailing plant originating from Southeast Asia and Australia.
Cherished for its attractive foliage, this succulent features thick, oval-shaped leaves with a creamy-white center and rich green edges. The mix of green and white, along with a touch of pink on new growth, creates a display that’s hard to resist. And, as it matures, this plant also brings clusters of fragrant, star-shaped flowers to the table.
Given proper care and attention, this hoya variety will grace you with its dazzling appearance and easygoing nature. Now, let’s see what it takes to ensure that your Krimson Princess remains a thriving and lively addition to your indoor garden!
Table of Contents
1. Taxonomy & General Information
|Scientific name:||Hoya carnosa ‘Tricolor’|
|Common names:||Varigated Wax Plant, Porcelain Flower, Honey Plant, Krimson Princess|
|Native to:||Southeast Asia and Australia|
|Toxicity:||Not toxic for pets and humans|
|Category:||Succulent, Climbing and Trailing Plant|
|Dormancy Period:||Winter (although Hoyas do not go through a true dormancy)|
|Flowering Season:||Spring and Summer, with the possibility of blooming intermittently throughout the year under ideal conditions|
|Height:||Up to 6.5 feet in length (2 m)|
2. Krimson Princess Care & Growing Requirements
Krimson Princess is a low-maintenance houseplant that won’t require a lot of attention to maintain its glossy, variegated leaves and boast fragrant, star-shaped flowers. However, to help it thrive, it’s better to understand its needs in terms of growing requirements.
Allow the top half of soil to dry out before watering your Krimson Princess. Typically, watering once every 7-10 days during the growing season (spring and summer) and once every 2-3 weeks during the fall and winter should suffice.
Try to avoid overwatering, as it can lead to root rot.
Krimson Princess thrives in bright, indirect light. A spot near a north or east-facing window is ideal. Direct sunlight may cause the variegated leaves to scorch, so make sure your plant is not exposed to harsh light for extended periods.
Hoya Carnosa Tricolor prefers a well-draining, aerated soil mix that mimics its natural epiphytic habitat. A suitable blend consists of equal parts of potting soil, perlite or pumice, and orchid bark. This mix will provide essential nutrients and support healthy root development while preventing excessive moisture retention, which can lead to root rot.
In addition to the soil mix, it’s important to consider the pH level for your Krimson Princess. This plant thrives in slightly acidic to neutral soil, with an optimal pH range of 6.0-7.0. To maintain the appropriate pH, you can use a pH tester and, if necessary, adjust the soil by incorporating amendments like limestone or sulfur.
Providing your Krimson Princess with the appropriate nutrients is essential for optimal growth and flowering. A fertilizer with a higher nitrogen content will encourage foliar growth, while one with a higher phosphorus content will support flower development.
You can use a water-soluble fertilizer diluted to half its strength twice a month during the growing season (spring and summer).
Alternatively, you can also apply a top dressing of worm castings or compost in the spring. This acts as a slow-release fertilizer, providing essential nutrients over an extended period.
Krimson Princess prefers temperatures between 65-85°F (18-29°C). Keep your plant away from cold drafts, heaters, and air conditioners to avoid extreme temperature fluctuations.
During winter, ensure the temperature does not drop below 50°F (10°C), as this can stress the plant and inhibit growth.
Hoya Carnosa Tricolor enjoys moderate to high humidity levels, ideally around 60-80%. To maintain humidity, place the plant on a tray filled with water and pebbles, or use a humidifier. You can also mist the leaves regularly with water, but avoid misting the flowers, as this can lead to rot.
3. Hoya carnosa ‘Tricolor’ Maintenance & Propagation
Hoya Carnosa ‘Tricolor’ typically requires repotting every 2-3 years or when the plant outgrows its current pot. The best time to repot is during the early spring, as this coincides with the beginning of the growing season.
When choosing a new pot, opt for one that is only slightly larger than the current pot, as Hoyas prefer to be slightly root-bound. Ensure the new pot has drainage holes to prevent waterlogging and promote a healthy root system.
Refresh the soil with the well-draining, aerated mix mentioned earlier, ensuring the pH remains within the optimal range of 6.0-7.0.
Pruning your Krimson Princess is essential for maintaining its shape and promoting healthy growth. Regularly remove any dead or yellowing leaves to encourage new foliage. Additionally, trim back leggy or overgrown vines to maintain the desired shape and size. The best time to do so is during the early spring, just before the growing season begins.
However, avoid removing the plant’s peduncles – the small, woody nubs from which flowers emerge – as these are important for future blooms.
Hoya Carnosa ‘Tricolor’ can easily be propagated through stem cuttings:
- Select a healthy vine with at least two to three sets of leaves and cut it below a node (the point where a leaf emerges from the stem) using a sterilized pair of scissors or pruning shears.
- Remove the leaves from the bottom node and let the cutting air-dry for a few hours to allow the cut to callous over.
- Place the cutting in a small container filled with a moistened mix of 50% perlite and 50% peat moss, or use the soil blend recommended earlier.
- Enclose the container in a plastic bag or cover it with a clear plastic dome to maintain humidity.
- Place the cutting in a warm, bright location with indirect light, and keep the growing medium moist but not soggy.
- In about 4-6 weeks, the cutting should develop roots. Once you observe new growth, you can remove the plastic covering and gradually acclimate the new plant to regular humidity levels before transplanting it to a larger pot.
4. Common issues while Growing a Krimson Princess
» Lack of Flowers
Sometimes Hoya carnosa ‘Tricolor’ plants may not produce flowers, and there can be several reasons for this.
- Insufficient lighting → These plants need bright, indirect light to thrive and produce flowers. If your plant is not getting enough light, it may not flower.
- Improper care or an unhealthy plant → Wax plants need well-draining soil and regular watering, but they do not tolerate overwatering. If the plant is stressed due to over- or underwatering, it may not produce flowers.
- Not getting the proper nutrients → Make sure to fertilize your plant regularly with a balanced, water-soluble fertilizer to ensure it has all the nutrients it needs to grow and produce flowers.
- The plant is not old enough → Hoyas take a long time to mature and may not flower until they are several years old. Be patient and continue to care for your plant properly, and it may eventually produce flowers.
» Leaves Turning Yellow
The most common causes of yellowing leaves are insufficient lighting, improper watering, lack of proper nutrients and infestations with pests such as aphids or mealybugs. Double check if your plant receives everything it needs in order to thrive.
» Wrinkled & Crisp leaves
Wrinkled or crisp leaves are usually a sign of underwatering. Optimize the watering schedule for your plant to ensure it is getting the proper amount of water and doesn’t sit in dry soil for prolonged periods of time.
» Flower Bud Drops
One common cause is temperature fluctuations, which can cause the flowers to drop. These plants prefer warm, moist conditions, so be sure to keep your plant away from cool drafts. However, low humidity can also cause this issue, so consider increasing the humidity around your plant.
5. Hoya carnosa ‘Tricolor’ Diseases & Pests
While wax plants are generally resistant to pests and diseases, they can still be affected by various pests and diseases from time to time. Some of the pests that may affect a Hoya carnosa ‘Tricolor’ include:
- Aphids: Aphids are small, pear-shaped insects that suck the sap from the plant’s stems and leaves, causing them to become yellow or stunted. They can also produce a sticky substance called honeydew that can attract ants and lead to the growth of sooty mold.
- Mealybugs: Mealybugs are small, white insects that tend to hide in the plant’s joints and leaf axils. They also suck the sap from the plant, causing the leaves to turn yellow and wilt.
- Spider mites: Spider mites are tiny, eight-legged creatures that spin webs on the plant’s leaves and stems. They feed on the plant’s sap, causing the leaves to turn yellow and become speckled with small, yellow dots.
- Thrips: Thrips are slender, winged insects that feed on the plant’s sap, causing the leaves to become distorted and turn yellow or silver.
In addition to pests, these plants may also be affected by diseases like:
- Root rot: Root rot is caused by a fungus that attacks the plant’s roots, causing them to become soft and rot. It is often caused by overwatering or poor drainage.
- Powdery mildew: Powdery mildew is a fungal disease that appears as a white or gray powdery substance on the plant’s leaves and stems. It is often caused by high humidity and poor air circulation.
- Leaf spot: Leaf spot is a fungal disease that appears as small, dark spots on the plant’s leaves. It is often caused by high humidity and poor air circulation.
To prevent pests and diseases from affecting your tricolor wax plant, make sure to keep it clean and healthy by growing it in proper conditions. Also, check your plant regularly for signs of pests and diseases and take appropriate action if you notice any.
Proper care is essential to keeping your variegated wax plant healthy and thriving. By following the tips mentioned above, you can help ensure your continues to grow and flourish, while also maintaining its Instagrammable appearance.