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!!!