Category Archives: SRQHoyas Happenings

Hoya Cuttings Special – Buy One Get One (same species) Free!!!

After spending most of the morning untangling mature vines on a small amount of the Mother Plants, I have decided to run another Special that will allow you to fill out you pot a bit faster.  You will receive either two 2-node cuttings or one extra large cutting of the same species. This will be at my discretion while making the cuttings since I will decide what is best for the Mother Plant.  Many of the plants offered are blooming and I will be happy to pass along the flowers and/or peduncles to you! These are limited but will be available until they are gone and the hoyas are back to a manageable size. Go here for the great deals!!!

Posted in SRQHoyas Happenings.

Preparing for the storms this season @ SRQHoyas

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.

hoya plants secured from the hurricanes, thunderstorms, hoyas protected

large hoya plants, protecting hoyas from the weather

Posted in SRQHoyas Happenings.

Tropical Storm Andrea Arrives @ SRQHoyas

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.

TS Andrea at SRQHoyasOver 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!

new hoyas for sale online

 

Posted in SRQHoyas Happenings.

Thanks for Making my $10 Spring Plant Sale a HUGE success!!!

You are probably wondering why I am thanking you when the sale continues on for the rest of the month?  You are correct but since I have had the time to write this now I thought I should do it now.  So many new and returning customers took advantage of the gorgeously large hoya plants that I had left that stock now is very limited.  Since I was only able to email my existing customers to invite to the $10 Spring Sale I will apologize to those of you who might have missed out.

If you are interested in partaking in the Plant Sale, there is still time to purchase the stock that remains! I know you will not be disappointed with these well established hoya plants.

Thanks again,

Joni

Posted in SRQHoyas Happenings.

SRQHoyas.com has gone Mobile for Small Devices

If only I was able to grow my hoyas and collect new species from around the world and spend my days caring for them and photographing them, my life would be quiet and carefree.  The problem is that nobody would have any idea of what I have to share, so I realize the necessity of the World Wide Web and my presence in it.  A few months ago I redesigned the site to showcase the photos of these beautiful plants as well as simplify the navigation within the site. From the feedback I have received from loyal and new collector’s, it has been a success!!!

Just when I think I have successfully waltzed into the 21st century with an effective and attractive way to share my hoyas, I am faced with the question, “Is it possible for my customer’s to browse and make purchases on their mobile devices.” After 2 minutes of attempting to access SRQHoyas online, I had my answer, “No.”

I discovered that I did not have many options when it came to choosing a company to accomplish this task and that my best guess was JSWeb out of the United Kingdom.  At first contact I knew I had made the right choice and despite the time difference and currency conversions I was confident that they would make this transition for me painless and effortless on my part. I can tell you that I do not know when they sleep since I was exchanging emails with them as late as 8pm EST which was 2am UK time.

The result is a fast, attractive mobile site that looks and acts very much like my Desktop site. The photos are all there and they load instantly upon clicking them. The text is large enough to read so there is no zooming in or out to read the pages. My customers have placed orders with no problems, added items to their Wish List and also contacted me with ease.  In the world of Websites and Webmasters, this is a great asset to my internet based company and I know you will appreciate the option to grab that cutting or plant from your smartphone when you are not able to get to your computer, especially when the Back in Stock Notification email has arrived and you are away from home.

Mention this blog when you place a Mobile Order and I will be happy to send you a ‘Gift’ cutting of my choice. Please feel free to contact me with any questions, concerns or issues you notice while browsing the Mobile or Desktop site. It is very important to me that you enjoy and understand the website and any issues on my end be resolved the best I can.  With your help I am making SRQHoyas.com the best place to buy hoya plants!!!

Mobile Phone

Posted in SRQHoyas Happenings. Tagged with , , , .

Hoyas Feel Effects of 45°F Temperatures

Due to the fact that the temperatures in Florida were very warm for most of the winter I decided to slowly move the Hoyas outside to their summer spot. On or about March 1 is the normal date when I begin doing this. The sun has positioned itself high enough in the sky to clear the large trees found outside my screened lanai and give the plants 5-6 hours of bright sunshine. Almost a week into loving their new place in nature as opposed to being under artificial conditions inside the garage/greenhouse the nighttime temperatures begun to drop into the 50s but since they climbed each day into at least the 70s, the plants did not suffer. When I accomplished relocating about 30% of the stock the weather forecast disappointed and predicted cold nights and cool days (40°F/60°F). At this point I know I either had to move all of the plants back inside or grab my blankets and a friend and tuck in the plants for the entire week of unfavorable weather. I chose the latter since I believed I could protect ‘everyone’ with my velux blankets which were thermal but very light weight. as the wind blew the first night I cringed and hoped the blankets were still covering all of the plants. I learned they were in place for the first cold night. The second day as the wind whipped through the screened enclosure the ends of the blankets broke loose and I tucked them in again just before dark.

This continued throughout that week and I thought for sure all of the plants had survived without damage.  At first glance I was right but as the days of warm sunshine continued, I noticed one by one, leaves turning yellow and then transparent and then mushy and then falling to the ground. Ugh, what an awful feeling since it happened so gradual and slowly. I would remove the damaged plant and take it inside under the lights to keep an eye on it. At the end of the two week period, following the week of cold, I had transported about a dozen plants inside and I then had to decide whether to take cutting and begin a new plant of nurse the existing back to health hoping the roots were still viable.

I now have all of the plants either in rooting stage or pruned completely back or most of the the leaf damage removed and I am left with a very sad specimen. Since most do not have to experience this trauma I thought I would share some of the results from hoyas that just got too cold.

DSC02367 DSC02368 DSC02369 DSC02371 DSC02372 DSC02373 DSC02374 DSC02375 DSC02376

Posted in SRQHoyas Happenings. Tagged with , .

Unbelieveable sight in late March

I have been in Florida since 1990 and have never experienced such cold temperatures this late in the year. It is normal for me to bring all of the hoyas outside on or about March 1 and by April I am basking in the sun floating in my swimming. But this year, is very very different from past decades.

As I cautiously moved the hoyas out onto the Shelf, which is their Summer destination, I now have them bundled up for the week since the threat of frost is still in the forecast. I also have many of the hanging hoyas outside but since they are a bit closer to the overhang I am chancing they will not suffer from the cold. Last week when I was sure spring was here, I ended up finding 3 plants with ‘cold’ damage.

This Winter Season has been very warm but full of extremes including many warm days followed by really cold nights. On the lighter side…I have much more information as to the cold temp tolerances of many of the plants. :0) I am working on updating this information on the product pages of my website.

Posted in SRQHoyas Happenings.

2013 is for Cuttings ONLY

This year will be a season that I will propagate few if any plants to offer to collectors. That being said, cuttings will be plenty and hopefully very generous since the plants will not have been ‘cut on’ for the purpose of starting plants. During the past I would put 2-3 two node cuttings into the pots to offer up as plants when they were well rooted. Since the plants will only be grown to offer fresh cuttings this season, I suspect they will be thriving in the Florida sunshine and warmth and cuttings will be plenty.

My reasoning behind this change in product comes from many places. The first reason being the space I have to offer my plants is limited. Although I have much space inside as well as outside, set up for growing, I am always striving to bring more species into the country to grow for distribution. This change will allow me to do this without worry of running out of productive space.  The second reason comes from the comments of many of my customers. They have expressed that their success with growing out a cutting has equal success with receiving a plant already rooted that may just sit there for months on end as it becomes acclimated to its new surroundings. In some cases you have told me that you cuttings far exceed the plants in new growth and blooms.  The third reason is the cost and excessive use of electricity involved in nursing the stock until they are ready to sell.  During the summer months I will be able to decrease the amount of lights needed inside the greenhouse/garage and use primarily sunshine. This will be better for the environment as well as keep my costs down. With lower operating costs I will be able to offer hoyas at a stable and lower price to my customers around the world! Now if I could only lower the cost of shipping them via USPS :0)

What will the 2014 Season bring…? This can only be answered at the close of this season. There is a chance I will begin propagating to again offer plants. I never say NEVER!!! Your comments, questions and concerns with this announcement are VERY welcomed and expected.

P.S. You are still able to purchase PLANTS that are still in stock from 2012…but when these are gone they are gone.

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings.

Potting Up…what I really mean

After receiving a new plant usually the first question I am asked is…”How soon can I re-pot my plant and what size pot should I plant it in?” As a rule, hoyas enjoy to have their roots in a small space.  Do not put you plant in a pot that will contain a lot of soil/mixx which will in turn cause moisture to be retained for long periods of time. The best solution I have found is to just put the plant and pot into a larger container in order to stabilize it when it becomes top heavy.

I start most of my plants/cuttings in a tiny 2″ pot. When the hoya has become semi-root bound and or top heavy, I re-pot into a 3″ square pot. From there, I sit that pot into a larger 6″ round pot. This way the plant has the base of support it requires. Keeping the roots in the smaller pot will allow the soil to dry out quickly will most likely prevent root rot.  I also use a larger bamboo hoop inside the 6″ pot for clipping the vines. Around the pot with soil I pour a mixture of silica stone and lava rock to stabilize the hoop as well as the 3″ pot.

At a glance, my plants appear to be growing in a large pot but an up close view shows they are thriving in a very small pot even as the plant grows large.

repotting a hoyaDSC01949DSC01950


Posted in SRQHoyas Happenings.

A Grow Lamp Above the Rest

A couple of months ago one of my digital grow lamp ballasts decided to implode and take a fairly new 1000w MH bulb done with it. The manufacturer quickly replaced the ballast but not the bulb since I could not prove it was the fault of the ballast. Exactly one month later, a second ballast blew also taking another 1000w bulb with it. Obviously these ballasts were not the quality they claimed to be so I requested an upgrade at no cost and they granted it. The issue at hand was replacing the bulbs with so many choices and claims to be that best.

I did a bunch of research on the internet but of course the convincing evidence could only come from my own experience with my own plants. I decided to diversify the light sources and at the end of the season I would have a clear view of which bulbs perform and what they have to offer my hoyas over the span of an indoor growing season.

In Fixture #1 I installed an AgroMax 1000w MH 4100K with an output of 100,500 lumens. In Fixture #2 I installed an AgroMax 1000w MH 6500k with an output of 90,000 lumens. In Fixture #3 I installed an Eye Hortilux Blue MH undisclosed lumens.

The cost of Bulb #1 and #2 was identically expensive and #3 was over double the cost of the others. I decided to set aside the budget in order to gain a good result from my experiment. Since I had been forced to purchase two new bulbs…what better time to initiate a learning experience!

The results were very different for each bulb and depending on the goal of the grower…each bulb has different advantages for sure.

The plants under Fixture #1 endured the most issues such as yellowing and dropping leaves but bloomed the most throughout the season. This bulb is for flowering but also is a warm color which I do not care to look at. The plants also did not appreciate the amount of heat this bulb put off and thus the leaf drop. When I touched the leaves I could feel the heat they were absorbing even 30 minutes after the bulb was lit for the day.

The plants under Fixture #2 had little or now stress issues and put out some new growth but not an abundance. This bulb was a bit cooler than #1 but still provided a great deal of warmth.

The plants under Fixture #3 showed no signs of stress or any slow-down during the cooler months. They took off growing like I had just put them back outside and hoyas like H. megalaster and H. subcalva have not yet stopped blooming! This is the space that I moved all of my ‘much coveted’ hoyas to bask in the wide spectrum of light with a minimum amount of heat stress. This bulb gives off very little heat which results in less stress to the leaves. The color is very natural and pleasing to look at.

My finding are very helpful to me in such that as the bulbs I use throughout the winter months lessen in strength or become damaged I have decided to replace them with the bulb I have now in Fixture #3.  Yes, I love to see blooms and yes, the space is heated by the bulbs alone…I need much growth so that I am able to share these lovely plants with my customers throughout the year and not only during the summer months. The only drawback of course is the hefty price tag on this bulb is $239.  Buy, I actually got what I paid for! The manufacturer suggests replacing this bulb every 24 months of use (as I use it) so it is not a bad investment if I can use it’s light for only 6 months out of the year?



Posted in SRQHoyas Happenings.