Monthly Archives: February 2015

Protecting Hoyas from the Weather During Winter

The most asked question from my website this time of year is ‘How will I be protecting hoyas from the Weather during winter times of shipping?’  My response is ‘With the aid of a 72 hour Heat Pack and insulating boxes.”  There have been no casualties yet this 2014-2015 cold season.  The only weekends I refrained from sending out the boxes on Saturday morning, due to cold temperatures, are the Holiday weekends.  The reason behind that decision is the 72 hours will have expired while still in transit.

Hoya plants are watered the Wednesday prior to shipping so they have had the chance to dry out to protect the roots from freezing.  The dry mixx is contained by carefully placing packing peanuts in a puzzle-like design on the surface and secured with masking tape.  The second step is to roll the hoya pot with the plant into a funnel shape with tissue paper.  This creates a space to further insulate the plant with Styrofoam peanuts and also support the vine.

Protecting Hoyas from the Weather During Winter

Create a Tissue Paper Funnel

Protecting Hoyas from the Weather During Winter

Hoya Plant with Mixx Secured

Protecting Hoyas from the Weather During Winter

Insulate the Hoya with Styrafoam Peanuts

With that accomplished, I wrap the newly activated 72 Hour Heat Pack in a half sheet of tissue and carefully place it on the bottom of the box.  The goal is to position this pack near where the roots of the plant will be but keeping the foliage shielded from the direct heat since this will burn the leaves for sure.  On top of the pack goes a sheet of insulting material whether it be foam or bubble wrap or simply some paper.

Protecting Hoyas from the Weather During Winter

Insulated Shipping Box with Heat Pack

If possible I also line the sides with insulation and then enclose the top with the same.  The inner protection must be warm but not air tight so that the plant is overwhelmed with heat.

Protecting Hoyas from the Weather During Winter

Close Insulated Box of Hoyas

This  method along with the inner packing peanuts between the plants has proven to be very easy to accomplished and since most of my materials are recycled it is also cost effective.  Now that you have knowledge of how I protect your order form the outside temperatures rest assure that your hoyas will arrive in about the same condition they left SRQHoyas PA.  Of course dehydration can occur but nothing a few hours of hydrating will not cure.

 

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings.

Hoyas try their Best to Attract Pollinators

While hoyas try their best to attract pollinators to produce seeds for expanding their species, they can become very sloppy but still beautiful.  This blooming umbel opened fully a full ten days ago and seems to be going strong even today but just a different kind of look.  It went from a tidy bunch of mint green re-curved flowers with tidy centers to this nectar stained dripping oozing bunch with the flower petals showing completely.  If the pollinators have yet to notice this yummy oasis, I doubt they ever will.  Being inside my sun room I doubt that many, if any, have gotten past Charlie the Anole, to discover this smorgasbord.

I wonder how many more days the umbel will hold onto these flowers before dropping the stained petal to the surface below?  Blooming for ten days is a very long time in the world of hoyas!  Rest assured that this is not the normal behavior for most Hoyas in bloom.  They are rarely this sticky and rarely ever present trouble for their surrounding that could be damaged from the syrup or nectar.

Hoyas try their Best to Attract Pollinators

Hoya kerrii on day 10 of Blooming

Hoya kerrii 'Revolute Margins' at SRQHoyas

Hoya kerrii SRQ 3293 @ SRQHoyas PA

 

 

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings, What's Blooming.

Hoya ‘Joy’ Flowers are Flawed

Setting up for the photo shoot, I noticed that Hoya ‘Joy’ flowers are very flawed this time around.  The ball of blooms measures approximately 1.5 inches across and has 31 flowers in total.  As a rule each flower has 5 corona scales which are fleshy and easy to spot.  On this umbel I notice about half of the coronas contain only 4 lobes and one only has 3 lobes.  I find this very odd and out of the ordinary.  I often chuckle I spot this oddity but this is the very first time I have noticed a ‘three’ on any hoya.  This same plant is about to open bloom on another umbel this week and I am curious to see how the coronas are developed on this second bunch of flowers.

Hoya ‘Joy’ is a cultivar (Hoya sp. Laos x Hoya vitellina) that grows easy and blooms usually 3 times per year here at SRQHoyas.  Although short lived, the blooms are open long enough to enjoy and usually bloom on multiple umbel throughout the mature plant.  The fragrance of the flowers is a slight citrus with an after scent of earthy.  The scent is not strong by evident when I actually sniff the umbel.  This is a fairly large plant but has very flexible vines so it can be tamed and trained to grow around a hoop or trellis easily.

Hoya 'Joy' Flowers are Flawed

Hoya ‘Joy’ with Four Corona Lobes

Hoya 'Joy' Flowers are Flawed

Hoya ‘Joy’ Blooms with a Bright Yellow and Melon

Hoya 'Joy' Flowers are Flawed

Hoya ‘Joy’ has a Three Lobed Corona

Hoya 'Joy' Flowers are Flawed

Hoya ‘Joy’ has a Fresh Citrus Scent

Hoya 'Joy' Flowers are Flawed

Hoya ‘Joy’ blooms on many Umbels at Once

Hoya 'Joy' Flowers are Flawed

‘Joy’ Makes a Beautiful Plant

 

 

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings, What's Blooming.

Using Hydroponics to Root Hoyas

In my experiences, with this method of soil-less growing, using hydroponics to root hoyas is the easiest way to root those sometimes impossible species.  Certainly I am not able to root all my cutting using this method because it would be too laborious to then switch the rooted plants into a mixx for them to go to their new homes.  But a select few will be added to this system throughout the year to ensure they root and not rot.  As a rule, when I import a bunch of rooted cuttings from Thailand or the Philippines , this is the first place they end up for a few reasons.  I feel that when hoyas are in this system, it is virtually impossible to over or under water them since the roots are tucked into some form of media that does not hold water for a longtime and allows for airflow above the plant and below in the reservoir.

This time I am experimenting with using a small form of Growstones which is made from glass but not sharp of shiny.  I have medium sized nuggets also but chose to begin with the tiny stones.  To the water reservoir I add rainwater, humic acid and Super Plant Tonic, which is an organic feed from Blue Mountain Organics.  I run the pump 24 hours day and 7 days a week and I have the system near the T5 grow lights but not under them.  It is positioned near a west facing window and has a heat pads underneath the tray that it is sitting on.  Although the cutting appreciate light, I feel that being directly under the lights would mean they may dry out and become dehydrated since until roots have developed, humidity is their only form of hydration.  I mist them at least twice per day being careful to not let the water sit on the leaves because too much moisture will still lead to rot.

If you are wondering which hoyas I have in this system they are: Hoya lacunosa ‘Langkawi Island’, Hoya platycaulis, Hoya linusii, Hoya lockii, Hoya lacunosa ‘Thai Clone’.  I hope to follow up in a couple of weeks when these have roots and I am ready to add another tough bunch to the system for rooting!

Using Hydroponics to Root Hoyas

Rooting Hoyas in Hydroponic System

 

 

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings.

Hoya australis ‘Lisa’ Roots without Issues

What is not to love about Hoya australis ‘Lisa’, she is beautiful when not in bloom and this hoya roots easily, quickly and with no signs of stress.  I have been growing this hoya for many years and she is so popular among hoya collectors that I have yet to watch her flowers grow from any of my plants.  Back in the fall I decided to start another plant that I would not take cuttings from in order to see the flowers and experience their sweet perfume.  This plant is growing beautifully as I would expect nothing less out of Hoya australis ‘Lisa’.

The compact growth of this hoya sometimes frustrates collectors who choose to root on their own.  The best way is to cut back some of the leaves and expose more of the stem.  I know that it is a tough thing to do but it is more advantageous to do that than let the leaves get buried in the mixx and end up rotting.  This rot in turn may spread to the stem and hinder the rooting process. So, if you find yourself in this predicament with this or any other hoya, the best thing to do is remove leaves to expose the healthy node and touch this just below the surface of the mixx.  In contrast to many other hoyas that root best in a moist to wet mixx, Hoya ‘Lisa’ prefers to be on the dry side and with more humidity than water touching her stem.  I mist these cuttings twice a day and add Humic Acid in the spray bottle to help in root development.

These are actual cuttings that will root and begin to grow here at SRQHoyas.  If you are interested in obtaining one of these beauties be sure to Add to your Wish List to be notified the minute they are added to inventory and available to purchase.

Hoyas are Rooting

Hoya australis ‘Lisa’ babies that are Rooting

 

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings.

Hoya kerrii ‘Revolute Margins’ at SRQHoyas

I imported Hoya kerrii ‘revolute margins’ from Thailand in the spring of 2014 and it has been a cinch to grow and maintain and now bloom.  This is not the normal Hoya kerrii that usually has the flat and very distinct heart shaped leaves.  Instead, this one has very large more rounded leaves with a dimple indentation on the end.  They resemble strangely stiff, solid green lily pads out connected to a stiff vine that reaches upwards.  The flowers were strong and determined to bloom fully on their first attempt.  They succeeded and continue to show their flowers even 4 days later.  The nectar is a perfectly round clear drop on the end of each corona on each of the flowers.  I find this amazing!  No scent has been detected which is a shame but the beauty of this plant makes it a must-have for your succulent collection.

Hoya kerrii 'Revolute Margins' at SRQHoyas

Hoya kerrii SRQ 3293 @ SRQHoyas PA

Hoya kerrii 'revolute margins'

Hoya kerrii SRQ 3293 a Stiff Vine

 

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings, What's Blooming.

Hoya Buds Appealing to Charlie the Anole

What would make these hoya buds appealing to Charlie the Anole?  The closed buds were not wet with water or yet open when they might have had nectar to offer. The photo below was taken a split second after I noticed Charlie’s nose stretching upwards to the buds on my Hoya pachyclada IML 0529.

This sweet little creature was added to my sun-room full of hoyas to  feast on anything he could find living in there, described by some as ‘Living Pesticide’.  He has done a really great job since absolutely no pests have been spotted on any of the plants to date and he looks well nourished.  I had hoped to run the sun-room/greenhouse without pesticides and with organics fertilizers and rain water and so far I have achieved great success within these guidelines.  I will continue to monitor his surroundings and antics as I mist to provide the much needed humidity to the hoyas.  I have also placed about half a dozen metal water bowls around the plant benches to serve as pseudo ponds when all other puddles have been dried but the heat and lights that are required for the hoyas to thrive indoors.

I have not seen Charlie’s buddy Freddie in sometime and although I do not want to conclude the worst…I think that he may no longer reside in my jungle of hoyas.  This is a very sad thing and I may never know for sure.

Charlie the Anole Interested in Hoya Buds

Charlie the Anole Interested in Hoya Buds

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings.

Misting Not Only for the Hoyas

I just realized why it is important and how important it is that I provide moisture as well as water to my hoyas each morning.  I was cleaning the room this morning so the last thing I needed was moisture when trying to vacuum and mop the floors. It is much easier to clean when the space is dry.  Five hours later the room is looking a lot better and the rain from the barrels now had to wet the plants.  You’re asking, “So what is the point?”  As I begun the spraying…I watched Charlie run to the highest leaf and begin lapping the drops from the leaf.  Poor thing was parched since the tray and plants were dry to the bone.  I must be more aware that I put him in this space to live and that I must provide what he needs to be happy and healthy.  Not sure what to do now that I removed my Greens Garden which provided many white flies for him to chow on?  I certainly did not want those around any longer…hoping he can find gnats or spiders to satisfy him.  Otherwise I may consider bringing in crickets for him to eat…yuk!

Charlie the Anole who lives at SRQHoyas

This is Charlie the Anole who lives at SRQHoyas

Posted in Hoya Chat.

Closing Flowers Resemble Fuzzy Pink Flying Bats

As this peduncle is just about out of energy the petals begins to open to close.  I really enjoy following the stages of all blooming hoyas.  From the time they begin puffing up to the time the stems drop to the floor they are fascinating to me. Sometime I enjoy the beginning or ending stages more than the actual flower in bloom.

This flower went from looking like a good old fashioned Hostess Sno Ball cake to a Fuzzy Pink Flying Bat. With the scent a mix of grape and wintergreen these are very cool to experience at close up!

Flowers Resemble Fuzzy Pink Flying Bats

Hoya obscura SRQ 3082 as a Hostess Sno Ball

Flowers Resemble Fuzzy Pink Flying Bats

Hoya obscura SRQ 3082

Flowers Resemble Fuzzy Pink Flying Bats

Hoya obscura SRQ 3082

Flowers Resemble Fuzzy Pink Flying Bats

Hoya obscura SRQ 3082

 

Hoya obscura SRQ 3082 as Furry Pink Flying Bats

Hoya obscura SRQ 3082 as Furry Pink Flying Bats

 

Posted in Hoya Chat, What's Blooming.

Light Intensity May Result in Intense Color

There is always speculation that light intensity may result in intense color for hoya flowers.  I am going to go out on a limb and say that maybe a factor in the coloring of some hoya flowers but there are always other factors that may also have a role in that theory.  As I scroll through the many photos of hoya blooms that I have, it is obvious that most species bloom very different from time to time and color would not be a constant in identification.  I will not pretend to draw conclusions to what alters the spectrum of color within a hoya species because there is no possible way to know for sure.

As I have grown outside under the intense Florida sunshine as well as under intense artificial lighting I notice there is not much change in the color of the flowers.  Does that mean that the grow lights and inside conditions can be mimicked closely enough to take out the nature factor?  Hoya obscura is one hoya that grows easily and blooms quite often under any conditions and you will notice the contrast in color of the cute fuzzy flowers.  Each just as beautiful and unique as the other.  The white flowers happened while growing 5 feet from a tinted west window in the middle of summer.  The intense pink color is from a flowing cycle that happened growing outdoors under a screened lanai covering in the middle of summer.  You decide which one you prefer.  For me, it is always interesting to experience what the blooms will eventually mature into since noting is consistent in nature!

Light Intensity May Result in Intense Color

Hoya obscura SRQ 3082 grown in Nature’s Light

Hoya obscura SRQ 3082 grown behind Tinted Glass

 

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings, What's Blooming.