Hoya Australis Lisa vs Krimson Princess

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It’s pretty common for Hoya Australis Lisa (do you know, it’s only the second time I’ve typed that and I’m already sick of it) to be sold as a Hoya Carnosa Krimson Princess so I thought I’d do a little comparison.

By common, I mean that I’ve never actually seen a Krimson Princess baby being sold – they’re all Australis Lisas.

This could just be a thing in my neck of the woods though. Let me know if it happens around you.

I’ve also never seen just a regular Hoya Australis. They’re just green.

Interestingly, when I google the differences myself like, a year ago, a lot of sites were saying that a Hoya Australis lisa isn’t variegated, which is weird because…it is. It has pretty similar variegation to the Krimson Princess in terms of colours, but it’s softer – like it’s been done with watercolours rather than acrylic paint.

In terms of price and availability, I’d say they’re pretty similar if you’re looking for a full plant. They’re easy to get hold of in a good garden centre and you should be able to get one for under £20.

Baby Australis Lisa’s are about £3.99 but Hoya grow pretty slowly so only go that route if you’re patient!

If you have a Hoya Australis Lisa or Krimson Princess in front of you and you’re not sure which it is, these are the differences between the two:

Leaf form

There are several differences between the leaves but bear in mind that Hoya have a tendency to throw out the odd wildcard – my Hoya Krinkle* 8 likes to throw out a pubicalyx leaf every once in a while:

*What’s with all the ‘k’ names? Did Kris Jenner name a load of Hoya??

I assume this happens because a lot of the Hoya species are cultivars that have been created by humans.

Every now and again there’s a bit of a throwback, like you sometimes get with dogs, no matter how ‘pure bred’ they are (my parents had a hench whippet with a verrry long pedigree but no mention of the OBVIOUS bull terrier that had been introduced a few generations ago to add a bit of spice to the gene pool). I think it’s good! We like variety!

But yeah, don’t be distracted by the odd leaf that refuses to conform. That’s just a Hoya thing.


Leaf shape

Hoya Krimson Princess are slimmer and have a more pointed leaf shape, and Hoya Australis Lisa are more rounded, though they also have a little point on the end.

Leaf size

Hoya Krimson Princess leaves vary a LOT, especially when they’re young. When they’re a little more established the leaves become a bit more uniform (in size at least).

Leaf thickness

They’re quite similar, but I’d say that Hoya Krimson princess have slightly thicker leaves than Australis lisa.


Both plants have bright pink on their new growth – sometimes it fades over time, sometimes it doesn’t – dictated, I assume, by the light. However, Hoya Australis Lisa tend to have cream and pale green over the majority of the leaf, and an outer ring of darker green.

With Krimson Princess, anything goes. The pale is in the middle and the green is around the edge in general, but apart from that, anything goes.

I have vines that are all green, vines that comes in pink, and vines that in cream. Half moons, marbled, solid colour…she does it all.

Hoya Autralis lisa tend to much more uniform.


Frequency of blooms

I can’tget either of them to bloom, but experts recommend that if you want either a Carnosa or an Australis specifically for the blooms, then Carnosa are more prolific flowerers.

Shape of blooms

hoya australis and krimson princess blooms
Krimson Princess on the Left, Australis on the right

Carnosa blooms smell sweet – some people say they smell like chocolate, others say it more like tootsie rolls. I can’t really smell much other than sweet, but I’ve also never smelled a tootsie roll.

Australis lisa blooms smell more flowery. I’m not a massive fan on the scent (it’s a bit like hyacinths) BUT they don’t smell nearly as strongly as carnosa blooms.

If you have a Hoya bella in bloom (by far, in my opinion, the most prolific hoya in terms of blooms) they’re similar in strength, in that you have to practically climb in the flower to smell it.


Growth pattern

I LOVE the growth pattern of these Hoya – it’s kind of wild and everywhere, but they do this thing where one vine goes off searching for support and the others just grow leaves.

My fave hoya in terms of growth pattern is Parasitica because it gets into everything.

hoya parasitica black margin vines

My Krimson queen to the left, minding her own business, just growing up. Parasitica is all up in our business on the sofa.

Propensity to vine

They both definitely do vine, but not excessively. You don’t see too much of this behaviour:

Hoya pubicalyx vines
Hoya pubicalyx


They have the same colours, but on Hoya Australis lisa it’s more creamy and diffused. There are stronger margins on Krimson Princess.

Final thoughts

I love both, they’re really voracious growers (you know…for Hoya) once they get going and I’m sure the blooms are lovely if you can get them. I personally like the variety you get from Krimson Princess leaves, but both are awesome, easy care Hoya.

Caroline Cocker

Caroline is the founder and writer (and plant keeper) of Planet Houseplant

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