Monthly Archives: August 2015

It Happens to All of Us…

Growing hoyas for many years brings challenges and yes, it happens to all of us.  As I inspect the hoyas for possible fresh new vines to root, I notice plants that have seen better days, and are in need of a makeover.  Over time, the vines become woody and sometimes even sparse from lack of leaves, even though they may be full of peduncles that have bloomed.  It may be a hard decision to make but I find it a necessity so I am able to continue to share my many species with collectors around the world.  The first few times you decide to revamp a sad looking hoya that is still full of life you may want to go easy on the pruning process and not cut back each vine.  It still makes me nervous to put the entire life of a species of hoya in the hands of my rooting techniques by totally trimming back 100% of the plant.  But, depending on the time of year and my mood, I take a chance and restart each and every viable leaf node.

To accomplish this task, I first prep the plant by watering it a few days prior to be sure the stems are as hydrated as they can possibly be.  A well hydrated hoya roots very easily and takes on much less stress than one that is already stressed.  But, there are times that the plant is already looking sad from dehydration, due to a compromised root system.  In this case, say a prayer, vow to be patient and provide a bit more humidity until roots have sprouted from the bottom of the vine which is under the mix.

I have found that hoyas root easiest when the cuttings are exactly two nodes.  Of course there are exceptions to that rule and rules were meant to be broken.  When taking cuttings, I have never had much success when burying a node from which to hope roots will sprout.  For me, the node almost always rots and at that time I must remove it and tuck the bare stem back into the mix.  I choose to not waste those precious days and start with a cutting that has two leaf-nodes beginning above the mix and the leaves are not touching the mix, if at all possible.

As you will see in the photos here, I have chose to root this particular rejuvenation in a six inch pot.  I can usually get away with doing this ONLY if I am tucking many cuttings into the pot at once.  When starting only one cutting, I always begin with a tiny two inch pot or a four inch pot for the large, heavy leafed species.  This Hoya elliptica ‘Clone A’ was rejuvenated almost one month ago and has lots of new active vines.  I do not believe there were any peduncles on the plant at the time I began working on it but if there was…they may or may not still be in tact.

If your hoya plants no longer look beautiful, lush and full, do not hesitate to restart them and make them all that you think they should be!  Who wants to look at a mature plant that blooms often from sparse leggy leafless vines? Not me, but it does happen to all of us if we grow hoya plants!!!

Tired Woody Hoya Plant

Tired Woody Hoya Plant

Rejuvenated Hoya

Rejuvenated Hoya

 

 

Posted in Hoya Chat.

Charlie…Rest in Peace 2014-2015

Yesterday was a very sad day here at the SRQHoyas sunroom.  My beloved ‘Mascot’ Charlie passed away from wounds he sustained from a dog attack.  He was very helpful in keeping the insects at bay and controlling anything that moved out in the room full of hoyas.  Also, having him living amongst the plants made me diligent about misting which doubled as providing him water to drink.

His downfall was that he liked to travel around the room to different benches full of plants and also onto the hanging hoyas.  He could actually be seen jumping about 3 feet from the hanging plants to the main benches.  I never saw how he descended from the main benches to visit the benches that house my ‘Plants for Sharing’ benches but I noticed him on that side of the room often.

So sad that this had to happen when there were many times I noticed him down below prior to Nico spotting him. I then had time to separate the two animals so they could no longer interact.  Unfortunately, yesterday while I was preparing my lunch, I heard a scuffle that I am very familiar with and ran to see what was going on.  This time is was too late and he was badly injured and bleeding.  Nico sat and watched as I scooped him up with a dust pan.  She knew she had played too rough and that he was not going to recover.

On Nico’s defense, living in Florida for most of her life, these lizards are just a part of walking outside.  These little guys scurry around the sidewalks, driveways and pool decks constantly like it is no big deal.  She used to make a game out of chasing them and sliding around.  Rarely did she succeed since they had places to hide and were a lot more ‘street smart’ than Charlie was.  He lived a life of captivity prior to coming to join us at SRQHoyas.  While he was here, I suppose he was still captive but had a huge lush space to roam around in with a measure of safety.

I am contemplating getting another to let live in the room and do the job he is put here to do…What do you think?

Charlie the Anole 2014-2015

Charlie the Anole 2014-2015

Posted in SRQHoyas Happenings.