Both the Hoya Krimson Queen and the Hoya Krimson Princess are variants of the Hoya carnosa plant.
They are often mistaken for each other because their leaves are similarly-shaped, despite having different colors. The Hoya Krimson Queen’s leaves have green centers surrounded by white margins, while the Hoya Krimson Princess’ leaves have creamy-white centers with green margins. The Queen also has a brown stem while the Princess has a pinkish stem.
In this article, we will dive deeper into the differences and similarities between these two Hoya carnosa variants, so if you wish to learn more about either or both plants, then keep reading.
Why is it important to be able to tell these two plants apart?
Despite both varieties being derived from the same plant, the Hoya carnosa, the two have different water, light and fertilizer requirements. If you mistake one plant for the other, you might be caring for it incorrectly and this can lead to the plant’s demise. Differentiating the two may be tricky in the beginning, but the longer you are exposed to the plants, the easier it will become.
Hoya Krimson Queen and Hoya Krimson Princess: Differences
Rate of growth
With regards to the growth rate of these plants, the Krimson Princess is slower than the Krimson Queen because, as studies have shown, the Krimson Princess’ leaves have less chlorophyll than those of the Krimson Queen. Less chlorophyll means less food is produced for the plant, hence slower growth.
The Krimson Queen generally has to be repotted often or propagated frequently, thanks to the abundant chlorophyll in its green leaves.
The stem of the Krimson Queen is long, winding and brown in color.
The Krimson Princess’ stem, on the other hand, is pinkish.
The flowers on both plants can look very similar when you view them side by side, but a closer look will show that there are indeed differences.
The Krimson Queen’s flowers tend to be pink all the way through, while the Krimson Princess’ flowers, while also pink, have a reddish center.
Both plants have strikingly beautiful leaves that make them great decorative houseplants. As mentioned above, the most obvious difference in the plants’ appearance can be seen in their leaves.
The Krimson Queen’s leaves grow up to two inches long and are cordate-shaped, while the Krimson Princess’ leaves grow to one to one-and-a-half inches long and are much thicker.
The Krimson Queen has smooth, waxy leaves, while the Krimson Princess’ leaves are much waxier and more textured.
The Krimson Queen’s leaves are a mixture of white and pink, with green variegation. The center of the leaf is predominantly green, while the white and pink colors stay mostly on the edges. Younger leaves tend to contain more pink and white, and the older they become, the more the green starts to show. The Krimson Princess, meanwhile, will have the creamy-white color in the center of the leaf, with green outlines.
The Krimson Queen can grow up to seven feet long in indoor conditions, and up to 25 feet long in the wild. This difference in length is due to the fact that the plant can get plenty of sunlight outdoors, allowing for plentiful chlorophyll production and hence growth.
The Krimson Princess grows a lot more slowly than the Krimson Queen, and it will only grow to four feet long indoors and 18 feet in the wild. If you wish to grow either plant longer and to their potential, try placing them outside so they are exposed to more sunlight for longer periods of time.
Difference in growing requirements
Both plants appreciate plentiful indirect light, since they stem from a plant that is native to tropical conditions. If you want to keep your plant indoors, place it near an east-facing window.
Even if both plants do like some sunlight, the Krimson Princess needs much more exposure than the Krimson Queen.
The Krimson Queen’s leaves are thinner than those of the Krimson Princess, which means the latter can absorb and store more water. This is why it only needs to be watered every seven to ten days. The Krimson Queen’s thinner leaves mean it will need to be watered as often as three times a week. The best way to know if either plant needs to be watered is by touching the soil in the pot. If the soil is dry to the touch, water the plant, but if the soil is still damp to the touch, wait one or two days before checking it again.
Hoya plants, in general, do not need to be fertilized much, but if you have to, the Krimson Queen appreciates fertilizer that contains phosphorus and potassium. The Krimson Princess prefers a diluted liquid fertilizer, because too much fertilizer can have some adverse effects.
Remember to choose organic fertilizers as opposed to synthetic ones, and refrain from fertilizing either plant during the fall or winter because they do not consume nutrients as quickly during cold weather.
Hoya Krimson Queen and Hoya Krimson Princess: Similarities
Since both of these plants are variants of the Hoya carnosa, they have more similarities than differences.
Both plants prefer conditions with temperatures between 60 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit. As we discussed, these are tropical plants and they will not do well in frost. Try not to expose them to temperatures lower than 60 degrees Fahrenheit, as this may affect their blooms later on.
As long as the indoor temperature where the plants are kept during winter is between 60 and 95 degrees Fahrenheit, they will be just fine.
The two plants may have differences in the look and structure of their blooms, but their flowers do appear at around the same time.
Bloom in either plant is rare, occurring every two to three years on average, so do not be surprised if flowers do not appear annually; this is completely normal.
Because both the Krimson Queen and the Krimson Princess are tropical plants, they enjoy higher humidity than most other houseplants. Keep the humidity level around both plants at 70 to 80 percent if you want flowering to be consistent every flowering season.
In particularly low-humidity places or seasons, you can help the plant by using a humidity tray. Place the tray, filled with water and pebbles, under the pot and allow the water to evaporate directly into the plant’s soil and foliage to keep it from drying out.
You can also mist the plant’s leaves every once in a while, but note that misting the leaves can lead to fungal growth, so do so sparingly and only when needed.
If your budget allows, you can also purchase a humidifier to control the humidity around the plant automatically.
Both the Krimson Queen and Krimson Princess like to be planted in soil that drains well. A great combination would be a regular potting mix with one part perlite and two parts peat moss. It should absorb just enough moisture, while preventing the stagnation of water around the roots to reduce the chances of bacterial and fungal diseases.
Another potting mix combination you could try is orchid bark, coconut coir and pumice. This mix allows good air flow and drains water well.
Both plants can be repotted at least once a year or up to twice a year, depending on the speed of their growth. Remember to use fresh potting mix every time the plant is repotted, to replenish the nutrients. Also check that the pot is draining well.
Refrain from planting these plants in solid, non-porous materials such as steel or plastic pots. Use terracotta or clay pots, because they let both water and air pass through more easily than steel or plastic. Oxygen can easily penetrate both pot and soil to reach the plant’s roots, to keep the plant alive and happy.
These plants may need to be repotted often, but pruning does not seem to be needed as much. Necessary pruning can be done when you want to propagate the plant. While repotting the plant, inspect all the roots closely and remove any parts that have turned brown or black and look rotten. This will control any root rot and other infections.
If there are sections of the plant’s shoots or leaves that look infected or unhealthy, you are better off pruning those off, too. This will avoid the risk of infection spreading to the rest of the plant, or to other plants nearby.
The main differences between the Hoya Krimson Queen and the Hoya Krimson Princess are immediately apparent in their appearance.
The Krimson Queen typically grows taller and faster, and has thinner leaves with a green center and a white or pink outline.
The Krimson Princess does not grow quite as tall or fast due to its leaves having a mostly creamy-white center with a green outline, hence less chlorophyll.
The Krimson Queen needs more frequent watering because it has thinner leaves. It also prefers fertilizer that is high in potassium and phosphorus.
The Krimson Princess generally only needs to be watered once a week, because its leaves can absorb and store lots of water. It prefers diluted fertilizer, and needs more sunlight than the Krimson Queen because it has much less chlorophyll in its leaves.
Both plants like to be planted in a well-draining potting mix, and prefer a room temperature of 65 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit, high humidity, frequent repotting and almost no pruning.
Image: istockphoto.com / winbio