Category Archives: Hoya Chat

Peduncles Show ‘Rings’ for Each Bloom Cycle

This is one easy way to prove which hoyas bloom over and over and over again.  Count how many times this hoya has bloomed from this one peduncle! It is like rings on a tree…!  After time the peduncle will dry up and fall off but I find it only happens when the plant is not happy. I find this amazing!!!

Hoya sp. 97005 Rings

Hoya sp. 97005 Peduncle Rings

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

Does Removing Peduncles Encourage New Growth?

My Hoya megalaster plants, I have four different clones, continue to push out the huge red blooms month after month.  Will removing peduncles encourage new growth?  Although this is a good thing to many, it is not to me since I’d like to have new growth so I am able to share these plants with collectors.  After many months of the blooming cycle I have decided to remove the peduncles from two plants, blooming or not, and discard them.  My hope now is that the plants push out the new vines and fill in with leaves which may or may not happen.  The result may be that the vines go out and produce more peduncles prior to the greenery.  It will be interesting to see what kind of reaction each plant shows since cutting off their ‘reproductive tools’.

For the follow on this blog and experiment go here.

Does Removing Peduncles Encourage New Growth?

Hoya megalaster IML 1080

Does removing peduncles Encourage new growth

No more Peduncles

removing peduncles to encourage new growth

Hoya megalaster peduncles

removing peduncles to encourage new growth

Hoya megalaster Peduncles

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

Not Even in Florida’s Climate

A drastic change in climate, light and environment has slowed down the growth of the majority of my Hoya Collection significantly since departure in February of 2014.  Although the sun room was built to be sunny and bright to humans, and that it is, the plants have a far different opinion. This opinion has become evident as I provided the necessities to the plants during the bright and sunny days of summer in the North Eastern United States.  I noticed a slight response and a bit of growth being added but ever so slowly.  I struggled with what it was they could be in need of since these plants are native to the rain forests and underbrush of the jungles of the far east.  No matter how often I told myself that they will adjust and recover from the change I put them through…I knew it was never going to be the same as the sunny, humid natural environment they previously thrived in down south in SRQ, Florida.

So as the days became shorter and grayer I decided it was time to unpack the lights and grow bulbs that were in the basement storage room and find a way to hang them as to benefit the hoyas and not destroy the beautiful structure of my room.  The lights have been hung and shining from 7am through 9pm for almost a months to date.  I have fed the hoyas their 6 month supply of Osmocote for steady feeding.  The humidifier is set to 70% humidity for most of the time.  I continue use water from the outside rain barrel that I pump into the space to mist as well as my weekly waterings.  The result from all of these changes has been phenomenal and not even in Florida have I experienced this magnitude of growth or kind of growth I am seeing appear now on 90% of the plants.

While it is normal to see the hoyas put out the long vines that reach to the light and twine and twist and eventually spit out a peduncle which results in beautiful flowers..it it not normal to see the plant fill out with leaves at each old woody node.  Many of my plants lost their leaves during the trip to PA and I had lost hope that they would ever be more than leggy and brown at the base of the plant.  As they proceeded to pop out greenery at the tips and base remained unsightly.

But since implementing the changes and improvements to the living space I am elated each day that I notice new life sprouting from even the oldest brown growth.  This photo is a good example of the new greenery as it looks today…I wish I had a photo of the hoya just 4 short weeks ago. I even have hopes that this one will bloom again since the peduncle seems to be puffing up too!!!

Growth Pattern of Hoyas

Growth Pattern of Hoyas

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings.

LED Lights are in the Sunroom

The newest and best technology has made it’s way to SRQHoyas.  Among the T5 fluorescent and the Metal Halide fixtures is now some pink and blue LED spot lights.  I had a need to illuminate the plants that are hanging along the longest wall of windows of the sun-room which meant the lights have to face horizontal as opposed to shining down on the hoyas.  These great bulbs with the aid of some handmade fixture holdings and fancy wiring made this happen.  Now my hope is that the hanging plants will get the necessary spectrum of rays to thrive since the summer light has lessened due to the angle of the sun in Pennsylvania.

Homemade LED Hanging Light

Homemade LED Hanging Light

Pink and Blue Lights shine on SRQHoyas

Pink and Blue Lights shine on SRQHoyas

LED Lights in SRQHoyas

LED Lights in SRQHoyas

 

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings.

Growth on Old Wood Vines is Quite Odd

My past week has been spent rearranging the hoya plants in attempt to position them all under lights and in alphabetical order. Many have been happily growing under the warmth and sunlight of T5 fluorescent fixtures but some were still relying on the natural sunshine from the windows of my sun-room.  As I moved them I was making mental notes as to which plants’ growth has been stagnant or even halted since the relocation.  These are hoyas that I would soon take cuttings and start a new, lush ‘Mother Plant.’  I do this regularly throughout the year but this year has been quite different in that the majority have shown sluggish growth habits so I knew this year the task would be very very laborious.

I was pleasantly surprised when in handling the hoyas I noticed that many were showing new vines as well as leaves sprouting from very old woody stems.  This occurrence seems very unexpected and odd to me since in my years of growing I’ve not seen old leggy plants begin to again ‘fill out’.  I know that many plants do this and it is why I pinch back and hard prune other vines and bushes that I used to grow in the landscape but never the hoya plants? I have documented with photos to share and hope that in a month from now I’ll be able to report back that this odd growth spurt has continued and the plants that were struggling are now green and viable. It will certainly make my chore of restarting ‘Mother Plants’ very brief this season.

2014-11-19 18.29.55 2014-11-19 18.28.52 2014-11-19 18.26.09 2014-11-19 18.25.43 2014-11-19 18.25.15 2014-11-19 18.24.32 2014-11-19 18.24.20 2014-11-19 18.24.11 2014-11-19 18.23.05 2014-11-19 18.22.25 2014-11-19 18.21.04 2014-11-19 18.19.47

 

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings.

Sap-filled Blooms of Hoya manipurensis

This hoya is one of my favorite for three reasons. The first being the cute heart shaped leaves that are almost always pubescent and so perfectly lined up along the strong upward vines. The second reason to fall in love with this species is that it is super easy to propagate/root during the long as well as the short days of the year. No issues what so ever from the time I snip the cutting until the stable roots and new velvety growth appear. The final reason to grow this hoya is that it blooms ate an early age and does so at just about every node along the vines with tiny but stunning flowers.  The yellow trumpets are fuzzy and filled with dark red sap that appears to ooze from the horn as the flower matures. No, this is not a messy flower since I’ve not yet noticed any drops ever falling from the opening. If you have the chance to add this one to your collection I assure you will not be disappointed one bit.

Ever Blooming H. manipurensis

Ever Blooming H. manipurensis

Hoya manipurensis SRQ 3296 EPC 07777

Hoya manipurensis SRQ 3296 EPC 0777

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

Twisted and Deformed Leaves

As I was organizing and better arranging my collection under the newly hung grow lights I noticed this very odd plant. I imported this hoya from Thailand in the spring of 2013 and it has done very well but I’ve noticed some very strange leaf growth happening. Although I am not positive this growth appeared while positioned under a T5 fluorescent light fixture…I did not notice these odd shaped leaves when I moved it to the lighter spot. One of the long lean sculpted leaves is even twisted. I checked the leaves thoroughly and did not notice any pests or any foreign substances on any part of the plant? Anyone else have this happen? I have since…moved it to a position under a Metal Halide light which provides the needed light without being so close to the actual bulb. This hoya is labeled Hoya sp. UT 039.

Go here for a followup post!

Twisted and Deformed Leaves

Hoya sp. UT-039

Twisted and Deformed Leaves

What is the cause of deformed leaves?

Twisted and Deformed Leaves

Compare to growing outdoors in Florida sunshine.

 

Posted in Hoya Chat.

Heavy Feeding Hoyas

I have noticed again that some of my plants are losing the green in their leaves and turning a yellow in an almost ‘variegated manner’. I’ve never documented this but just feed those plants an extra strong dose or added Osmocote to their mix. This time I have photographed the many disturbing leaves and set the plant aside to monitor the changes. I am interested to see how quickly or slowly they leaves turn back into healthy looking growth. This condition is not to be confused with the yellowing of leaves that results from over or under watering which usually results in leaf shed. This condition appears to be definitely a lack of nitrogen since the leaves stay firm and intact and end up blending back in with the rest of the plant. I have started a list on my GUIDELINES page on my website of the species that seem to need more ‘nutrition’.  Check back to see the results after the feeding has had a chance to replenish what is lacking in these hoyas.

DSC02844

Hoya minihassae IML 1863

DSC02843

Hoya litoralis IML 0930

DSC02846

Hoya subcalva IML 0229

DSC02842

Hoya sp. MPR02 IML 1866

DSC02831

Hoya siariae SRQ 3060

DSC02828

Hoya obscura IML IML 0234

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings.

Feeding Hoyas and Giving them what they Need and Like

There are a few ways to feed hoyas and many choices of products they seem to respond to. The easiest and fastest method is foliar feeding or misting. This can be accomplished using a regular spray bottle, small manual pump spray bottle or a garden hose using an injector filled with full strength fertilizer. I have used each method and I find the easiest and most accurate method to be the Pump Sprayer.  Mixing is a cinch, and for me, pumping is much easier than squeezing since it takes quite sometime to be sure each leaf of my collection is moist.

The other way to feed is through drenching the roots or just watering the fertilizer into the mix or soil.  I choose to use collected Rain Water, weather permitting and when the barrels are dry I use my Tap Water which has all of the chlorine removed using a Whole House Purifier.

These are the feed choices I use regularly or have used in the past and some quick thoughts on each.  They are in no particular order and I have provided links to the products when available. I presently offer the MSU in a 8oz. size for convenience.

FOLIAR FEEDING or DRENCHING

Fish Emulsion – 1 teaspoon / gallon of non-chlorinated water – smells bad but the plants love it – use with EM-1 and the fishy smell seems to lessen

Humax – 1 teaspoon / gallon of non-chlorinated water – used to strengthen the root system – I use this in conjunction with other fertilizers

MSU – 1 oz. / gallon of non-chlorinated water  – promotes green growth and blooms – a weak feed that can be used at every watering

EM-1 – 1 oz. / gallon of non-chlorinated water – a soil conditioner that provides living organisms to the plant –  I use this in conjunction with other fertilizers

Grow & Gain – 1/2 teaspoon / gallon of non-chlorinated water  – promotes green growth and blooms

Blue Mountain Organics – Flower Power – 1 oz. / gallon of non-chlorinated water – Bloom Booster – relatively pricey if you have a large collection –  first season I’ve used this one – living organisms

Blue Mountain Organics – Grow it Green – .5 oz. / gallon of non-chlorinated water – first season I’ve used this one – living organisms

Blue Mountain Organics – Super Plant Tonic – 1 oz. / gallon of non-chlorinated water – good for starting out cuttings and reviving plants that just seem to ‘sit there’ (not for foliar feeding)

Superthrive – 1/4 teaspoon / gallon of non-chlorinated water – a carbohydrate for your hoyas – a must for soaking cutting just prior to potting them up for rooting

Compost Tea – use home grown compost or organic store bought soaked in water and sitting in the sun for a few days – I mix a super strong tea into my rainbarrels just prior to watering the hoyas each week during the summer months

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings.

Look at the Contrast of Leaves – Direct FL Sunlight vs. PA Sunroom Grown

DSC01771

Hoya oreogena IML 1214

I am just totally amazed and delighted all at the same time when I see the new beautiful leaves that are beginning to grow on my hoyas!  After many years of growing in the bright Florida sunshine for most of the year I now get to see first hand how many hoya plants should look in different growing conditions.  These photos show the contrast and are quite evident throughout the collection already.

Although they were growing underneath a screen enclosure the sun was for many hours and very direct for most of the season in Sarasota, FL.  The rate of growth with the humidity and moisture was extreme and soon I will be able to compare the factors that may affect the growth habits of these plants.  Here in PA they get little or no direct sunshine and at best it comes through windows that are tinted and double pane.  The skylights overhead provide light but certainly nothing direct.

DSC01775

Hoya baleansis ‘Splash’ SRQ 3191

DSC01780

Hoya waymaniae IML 1024

I have always been envious of the beautiful leafed hoyas I see in photos from particularly Sweden and wondered how to achieve their beauty along with still having the bounty of blooms. Maybe this environment I have created with give me the best of both worlds…only time will tell.

 

 

 

 

Hoya sp. Gunung Gading SRQ 3189

Hoya sp. Gunung Gading SRQ 3189

Posted in Hoya Chat.