Hoya carnosa tricolor is a mesmerizing epiphytic plant having beautiful, succulent leaves and sweet-scented, pink, waxy flowers. This adorable houseplant is also known as Crimson Princess for its striking foliage, which has white, pink, or creamy variegations. It is believed to be the most easy-to-grow houseplant ever because of its surprisingly high capability to with-stand neglect.
You can add this vining plant to your plant collection to give an appealing appearance to your indoors. It can be grown in a hanging basket or on a tabletop, where it can trail freely and beautifully.
- Crimson Princess
- Porcelain flower
- Wax Plant
- Family: Apocynaceae
- Subfamily: Asclepiadoideae
- Genus: Hoya
About the Genus Hoya
Hoya is a genus of flowering plants, including about 200-300 species. These are mostly epiphytic vines that climb over other trees. These plants are famous for their star-shaped flowers and waxy leaves. The plants of this genus are native to several countries of Asia and some parts of Australia.
Origin and Distribution
Hoya tricolor, originally from Thailand, is a lovely succulent vine endemic to Eastern Asia and Australia.
Hoya Carnosa Tricolor Features
Foliage and Stem
This charismatic Hoya plant has ovate leaves that are thick and waxy in nature. The leaves of Hoya carnosa variegata tricolor have dark-green borders and white, cream, pink, or yellow variegations in the center. The juvenile leaves are often bright red in color. These leaves are 2 to 3 inches in length and grow on pink, slender stems. This beautiful cultivar got its name ‘tricolor’ from its three different variegations. The color of its leaves depends on this plant’s growing conditions.
Hoya Carnosa Tricolor Flower
This adorable mini Hoya species is also famous for its beautiful flowers. Hoya carnosa tricolor’s flowers grow in clusters, and each flower is 1 cm in size. These star-shaped flowers are honey-scented and hairy in texture. These are in shades of pink with red-tinged centers.
This pretty Hoya tricolor is an evergreen vine that does not lose its leaves in winter and autumn; it loses its leaves one by one throughout the year. This means its foliage remains green and functions in more than one growing season.
This plant trail over other plants and attain a maximum length of 6 meters in its natural habitat. However, when grown indoors, it gets as big as 2 meters. This is because, no matter how hard you try, you cannot provide it with its optimum growing conditions, similar to those in forests. Growing this Hoya carnosa tricolor outdoor in a home garden or in a greenhouse can help it reach its maximum height.
Hoya carnosa tricolor loves warmer surroundings. It is not tolerant of extreme temperatures. The maximum temperature that this plant can bear is 35°C. A temperature higher than this will burn its leaves.
Hoya carnosa tricolor is not frost-hardy as well. It should not be left outdoors in the freezing temperature in winters. It is better if you move it indoors during winters, as soon as the temperature drops below 10°C.
Being a tropical plant, this gorgeous is fond of high humidity. It prefers a high amount of moisture in its surroundings. However, low humidity is a big No-No for its glossy foliage. It should not be kept in a place where the humidity is below 50%.
There is no need to worry about the health of your plant if you are leaving for a long holiday because this Hoya carnosa tricolor is a drought-tolerant plant that can survive periods of low water availability. Its thick, waxy leaves can store water for such harsh conditions. Once you water it again after a no-watering period, your Hoya plant will bounce back to life, all fresh and green.
Disease and Pest Resistance
Mealybugs and spider mites are two types of insects that attack this Hoya carnosa tricolor. These pests feed on the sap of its stem and leaves. If left untreated, these can cause various diseases to your Hoya plant. It is better if you keep these pests at bay. You can do so by rubbing its foliage and stem with insecticidal soap or neem oil.
However, short-heighted, Hoya tricolor grows at a moderately faster rate. Its stem trails on support and reaches its mature height in about a year. The recommended plant hardiness growth zones for this plant are 10b to 11.
This plant is a complete package addition to indoors. It is beautiful, easy-to-grow, and even safe for pets and humans. You can hardly find any cons of growing this mini Hoya inside your home. It is a non-poisonous plant that can be grown indoors along with having your pets or toddlers around.
Hoya carnosa tricolor is a low-maintenance plant that has no long-listed requirements. All it needs is a bright spot and scheduled watering to thrive and grow properly.
This Hoya plant from the Apocynaceae family goes dormant in winters due to cooler temperatures. It stops growing and goes into its resting stage during these months. You can water it only once during its dormancy period.
How often does Hoya Carnosa Tricolor Bloom?
If given the right conditions, Hoya carnosa tricolor blooms every year in spring. Its flowers grow in clusters of 10-30 at a time. If your Hoya plant does not bloom during the first year, you need not worry; it will surely bear enchanting flowers in the coming year.
Hoya Carnosa Tricolor Care
This tropical plant requires weekly watering and frequent misting. The ideal pH range for its soil is 6.1-6.5. Its optimum temperature range is 16°C-21°C. It prefers high humidity, greater than 50%. It must be fertilized after every two weeks with a liquid fertilizer. The USDA recommended growth zones for this plant are 10b to 11.
Its watering schedule is simple and basic. You only need to water this plant only when its topsoil has gone completely dry. This normally happens after a week in summers and after a month in winters. Once its topsoil is completely dry, water this Hoya plant thoroughly until the extra water starts to drain out of its draining hole. Never over-water your Crimson Princess.
This beautiful vine prefers mildly acidic soil having a pH of about 6.1-6.5. You can lower the soil’s pH by adding crushed eggshells to it. This plant must be grown in rich, organic soil, provided that it is epiphytic in nature; it will have to extract the essential nutrients from its soil. You should add a little perlite to its potting mix to increase its drainage and aeration.
A bright spot with maximum indirect light exposure is perfect for Hoya tricolor. Its thick leaves need bright sun rays to produce enough chlorophyll for their waxy leaves. You should not place it in a window where direct sunrays fall on its leaves, as direct light exposure will scorch its leaves. However, 2-3 hours of the morning sun will ensure the lush growth of its foliage. An east-facing window will be a perfect spot for your Hoya tricolor.
This plant needs a temperature between 16°C and 21°C to grow properly. It loves warmer surroundings. You can grow it outdoors if you live in a tropical region. However, make sure that the temperature around it does not fluctuate much. It must not be kept in ways of hot or cold drafts.
This tropical vine prefers moderate to high humidity. The ideal humidity for its proper growth is above 50-60%. You can regulate this humidity level by growing it in a terrarium. Frequent misting will also help enhance the moisture level around this Hoya plant. There are some other simple tricks too that you can try to increase the humidity level. You can either grow this plant over a pebble tray or grow it in a group with other plants to regulate the humidity.
Liquid fertilizer is best for this beautiful plant. You should keep in mind that this trailing vine needs a high amount of phosphorus to bloom in the growing season. So, choose a fertilizer that has the right amount of major nutrients, i.e. nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium.
You should feed it after every two weeks in the growing season. No need to fertilize it during winters as this plant is quite dormant during those months.
Grooming and Pruning
Pruning of the long, stringy branches of this Hoya plant is important to groom it; it gives your plant an aesthetic look. You should prune the Hoya carnosa tricolor before every growing season to make more space for new buds. You can prune it by using a sharp pair of pruning shears. Never forget to sterilize the blades to protect your plant from getting an infection.
Once Hoya carnosa tricolor reaches its maximum height and outgrows its container, it must be moved to a bigger pot. This plant does not like to be root-bound. You should re-pot it once every year. It is best if you re-pot this plant at the beginning of the growing season. Re-new its soil with every re-potting session so that it never runs low on essential nutrients.
Propagation and increasing your collection is the legitimate right of this charming Hoya plant. The best time for its propagation is spring or summer when this plant is actively growing. You can easily propagate the Hoya carnosa tricolor through the following step-by-step guide.
- Take a sharp knife and sterilize it.
- Cut a 4-6 inches stem cutting of Hoya tricolor.
- Make sure that the stem cutting has 2 leaves on it.
- Take a pot and place the stem cutting in its center.
- Fill it with the appropriate potting mix.
- The leaves must be above the surface of the soil.
- Water the soil and place the pot in a bright spot, where it receives indirect sunlight.
New roots will grow in about 4-6 weeks, which will ensure that you have successfully propagated your Hoya carnosa tricolor.