I received this plant on trade a couple of years ago as Hoya lazaroi and to this date I am unable to confirm or deny that identification. During the winter months while under the artificial lights it put out much new growth and became a stable strong plant. About a month ago as I examined the hoya plants that grow on my shelf located on my lanai…I noticed a few buds that were puffing up under the leaves. This species hides it’s blooms below the stems so they are most visible from below. Good thing my shelf is at a height that they were easily spotted. After a couple weeks of watching and wondering what the flowers of Hoya lazaroi would look like I now know. They are a dark dark burgundy and almost black with a soft fuzz on the petals. The flowers quickly reflex and remain that way resembling a rocket ship for 5 days now. As they close up I am hoping to be able to take a couple more photos to show the progression from bud to dropping. Enjoy these flowers…they are very unique even in the Hoya Genus.
Monthly Archives: June 2013
The 2013 Hurricane Season has officially begun here in sunny Florida and the many preparations around the property are finally coming to an end. Along with the named storms that most are familiar with, we receive our share of daily storms each day around 3pm which may last into the late evening hours. These storms pop up and develop along the line where the sea breeze collides with the land breeze. This line is located in my exact location, so these violent storms literally come out of no where and with little warning. Most times I begin to hear the rumbling of the thunder and by the time I have the chance to look up into the sky to see which way the dark clouds are moving, it is pouring down rain. With these storms come gusting winds, thunder, lightning, and in rare instances hail and tornadoes. Florida is known as the ‘Lightning Capital’ of the country if not the world due to the immense amount of lightning strikes that occur during storms.
As the final task to protect the hoya plants was completed this am I now can sit back and enjoy the showers that I can almost set my clock by. The plants love the rainwater but the wind continued to be an issue. The shelf is a safe haven since they are off the ground but as the winds blew, they would often take nose dives off the shelf onto the pool deck because they are very top heavy. The result was broken vines, leaves and crushed blooms which mad me very sad. This morning I installed a sisal rope around the perimeter of the shelf to protect them from tumbling to the ground during these times. Now I will watch to see it they require a second protective guide to contain them high above the pool and deck. I am hoping this will also protect them from the daily storms and if a hurricane comes my way this season, which is predicted to be a very active one. As long as a tree does not far onto the screen enclosure, the hoya plants should be secure in their space.
It’s that time again when the plants are growing like crazy due to a few things. The first being, they have finally have adjusted comfortably to their new surroundings. They were cooped up inside the garage/greenhouse for the winter and although they seem very content they respond much better to residing in nature. Second thing, they got the necessary moisture from the numerous inches of rain that has happened in the past week or so. The plants greened up almost immediately but as soon as the sunshine reappeared they took off growing with leaps and bounds. Now if I only had a few days to spend untangling the vines :0).
That being said, I am now comfortable with cutting and sharing some of the established vines that have hardened off since the new growth will take it’s place in a month or so. Please do not think that I am offering shiny tender new growth because I am not…it does not travel well. The cuttings will be hearty and healthy and maybe a bit spotted from nature but should root very quickly for you. This time of year is the absolute best time for rooting!!!
The Specials will end at the end of June or when they have been exhausted…whichever happens first.
These blooms are very similar to another hoya that I have grown for many years, Hoya camphorifolia. The foliage is semi-similar but very beautiful. This plant is in bloom simultaneously with the mentioned. I do not think they are the same species but only a trained eye would be able to answer that question for sure. This is Hoya sp. MPR02.
This hoya is a very strong grower that I had for about 24 months before it all of the sudden took a turn for the worse. Don’t be alarmed if one of your hoyas seemingly is doing great one day and the next it looks like it is on it’s last leg. Just take as many cuttings as the plant will provide, fill up a small pot with fresh new mix and tuck the cuttings in. Water well until you see roots and do not forget to transfer the tag with the name of the hoya. Even if the leaves look sadly dehydrated or shriveled…as soon as they establish roots, the leaves will return to their plump state and the plant will begin to put out new growth. If the original plant had peduncles, be careful to preserve those and they too will usually continue on as before.
This must be my lucky week for spotting the Hoyas in open bloom. This color combination is stunning at any stage of bloom.
Once and awhile I am lucky enough to spot a bloom just after the flowers have had the chance to pop open. Most often I notice them as they are about to close and fade away. Or of course, they spend most of their time in the re flexed mode as shown here in the final photos. I would classify them as, re flexed is beautiful and open is more beautiful. This particular hoya smells wonderfully strong also and blooms for almost a week.
I thought it would be a great idea to share with you how SRQHoyas came to be, what I hoped it would become and my thoughts on where it will go in the future. So pour yourself a cup of coffee or a glass of wine and I’ll enlighten you…I promise to keep it short as I usually do.
Growing hoyas has been a passion of mine since my early adulthood but became a mission to follow through with by mid 2008. I searched high and low in every garden shop and nursery I could find, hoping to expand my collection. As a rule I came up empty handed or only found just one more variation of Hoya carnosa. Don’t get me wrong, carnosas are beautiful and easy to grow but I wanted some species I had never heard of and that posed a challenge to grow and bloom. My biggest question was and still is today, “Why is it rare to find someone who actually knows what as hoya is?” From my experience which takes me up to present day, about one out of every 20 people has even heard of a Hoya Plant let alone know what they look like or where to purchase one locally. As I made a return trip to Hawaii in June of 2008 I too decided to continue my search in every nursery I could find on Oahu. I was only successful at the second nursery I visited where I found and purchased about 10 species. The plants were not labeled but they were very easily identified. I felt that I had hit the jackpot and I could hardly contain myself. The had to be many more places around the island that too had hoya plants. After two days of visits and many of the same conversations beginning with, “Do you sell hoya plants?” I came up with the same blank look each time.
Since the purpose of my trip was to visit and meet with Carol Noel and Ted Green, I knew hoyas were indeed in my future as far as my trek across the Pacific. The trip was a success since I brought home with me many new species that I purchased or had been generously gifted.
When I returned home to Sarasota, Florida the excitement to grow out these cuttings as well as continue to grow full sized plants purchased prior to my trip was building. These plants had been a passion of mine for many years and now I was determined to turn this into a real business in hopes of at least sustaining, since I doubted then and still do today that anyone gets wealthy selling hoya plants. As soon as the plants were in their growing space and they adapted to what nature had to offer them here on my property I came up with the name, purchased the domain for a website and struggled as I began the daunting task of composing a website that was beautiful, informative and functional.
Many many long hours of photographing the plants, blooms and surroundings filled my days. I propagated what I could from the new growth but did not know how I would ever grow enough plants to fill the requests of my growing customer list. Knowing that I must find many more species of hoya plants online to buy meant I also must obtain import permits to ensure they arrive safely. The orders came in from Australia, Philippines, Thailand and Hawaii as unrooted cuttings. Some traveled well and arrived unscathed but of course the thin leafed species suffered, struggled but some actually survived. I gained confidence and learned the less I did for the struggling cuttings the more successful I was going to be. I still find this attitude to be true, provide humidity, light and warmth and ignore them.
The toughest part of sustaining SRQHoyas was learning how to transition from summer to winter since we rarely have a spring or autumn in this tropical state. After many hours of building, buying, rearranging and stressing, I put the finishing touches on their summer home, which is the lanai and the garage/greenhouse, where the hoya plants reside during the cooler months. Surprisingly enough some of the species prefer to be in under the artifical lighting and conditions and some thrive outside in nature and most enjoy both seasons equally.
The look and feel of SRQHoyas has gone evolved since 2008 but the integrity and goals have remained the same. The number one goal is the raise awareness of this unique and versatile species of plants. Spreading the word of how rewarding these hoya plants are to collect, grow, share and enjoy has always been my priority. Secondly, I would like everyone to realize the role I play in accomplishing this goal. I import cuttings and occasionally purchase plants from around the world. The names and numbers of these hoyas remain constant and they are also given a succession number prefaced by SRQ for my record keeping and yours too. I grow everything I sell so when you notice that inventory has been added it means that the plant has put out new growth and I deem it stable enough to offer it to my customers. The identification guarantee that I offer is, ‘The name it arrived with is the name it departs with’, I mean that with all sincerity. I am not in a place where I have time to be formally trained to identify and verify similarities and differences. I have left that to the experts who have been doing this for many years. Someday I hope to gain the knowledge to distinguish between the many similar species of hoyas but I do not have or pretend to have to know-how required. When I have conducted a co-op or group order, I am simply the machine that takes responsibility for importing and distributing the cuttings to the participants. No more and no less…the labels are that of the grower and I never remove and replace with the SRQHoyas labels since they are not plants grown by SRQHoyas.
The intent of my website and the thousands of photos is to show the collector exactly what the plant looks like. From the mother plant to the leaf close-ups to the reverse of the leaves to the blooms in the entire cluster to the single close up views to even the rear of the blooms. I describe the fragrant which is only my opinion and document the sizes from actual specimens. I try to provide any and all bits of information so the customer has no questions as to what I am offering. If you have any questions please contact me prior to placing your order.
Growing hoyas is a healthy, exciting, fun, gratifying and time consuming addiction for me and many others. Let’s keep it that way!
Just last week at this time I remember hoping and wishing for some much needed rain for my parched yard and surrounding areas. Even though I have a sprinkler system for many areas of my garden, the bulk of the property is at nature’s mercy to keep the native vegetation alive. My wish was granted as the unexpected sporadic rains start falling Sunday afternoon as I was about to take a dip in the pool and intending to fulfill a short refresher course on swimming with my pooch Nico. She passed her lesson, with flying colors, and the rest of the day was a washout which was a welcomed surprise for dry Sarasota. The days since have been filled with the same wet activity and intermittent sunshine but now we are facing the ferocious rain bands from our first Tropical Storm of the season. All week the activity was just that but late last evening I realized this situation now had a name, Andrea.
Over night the rains fell loudly enough on my metal roof to awaken Nico and I but only long enough for her to come over to my half of the bed and huddle close to me for safety. Little did I know that the storm had spawned a tornado that had touched down a mere 15 miles east of me…gulp. Since that time the area has been and still is under a Tornado Warning. If I would have turned the TV on to see the weather reports I would have moved my bed to an interior bathroom and spent the rest of the night in there. There are very few basements or underground structures in this state so the safest spot is where all four walls are interior…a spare bathroom for me.
After having my breakfast outside with my hoyas and checking on the blooms and standing water and who is going to bloom, I am now inside for the duration of the day hoping the storm does not throw anything my way that my home cannot handle. The plants are sort of sheltered on the lanai but a gust of wind coming from the wrong direction could throw them off the shelf. I have been planning to further secure the plants by building a ‘fence’ around the edge of the exposed perimeter of the shelf, hoping to resemble a boxing ring perimeter. I will assemble it so that when storms threaten I will be able to attach rope to the vertical supports that will corral them in but so I can remove the rope when the skies are clear. A trip to Home Depot was on my morning agenda but Andrea has changed those a bit. Since Hurricane season just begun I thought I had time to properly prepare…I was wrong.
For now I will keep one eye on the skies and the other on my website as I begin to add the new hoyas that I received from overseas this spring. You will find these hoyas on the NEW TO ME!!! link on my homepage. I found the most beautiful leaves and growth patterns I could find and had much success reviving them from their long journey. I know you will enjoy the photos as well as want to add these to your collection. The fastest way to do that is to add them to you Wish List and wait for the email saying they are available. I am guessing that I will be sharing a lot of these by the end of this season!