Focus on Hoya davidcummingii IML 0892

What’s not to like about this prolific blooming hoya?  The plant can be easily started from a cutting due to the air roots that are usually found at each node.  This fast growing hoya is satisfying enough but wait until you see and smell the flowers.  The bright, deep pink petals frame out a deep yellow middle and put out a scent that is unmistakably butterscotch.  In many instances, a bald vine will bloom at least two nodes prior to pushing out fresh new leaves.  This hoya make Hoya davidcummingii a MUST for every collector!

A Butterscotch Lover's Dream!

A Butterscotch Lover’s Dream!

Blooms at multiple  nodes even before leaves appear.

Blooms at multiple nodes even before leaves appear.

Nicely compact leaves that quickly fill out a hanging basket

Nicely compact leaves that quickly fill out a hanging basket

 

Posted in Hoya Chat, What's Blooming.

Focus on Hoya sp. 910307

If you have space for a possibly huge hoya, you might consider Hoya sp. 910307.  I received this great hoya as a cuttings many years ago and it rooted easily and have never given me any problems what-so-ever.  Hoya sp. 910307 is easy to grow and blooms on a regular basis, on many peduncles at one time.  The flowers are a lemony yellow but I detect little if any fragrance which may be a good thing since so many flowers showing at once may become overwhelming.  I just love this one and do not hesitate to take many cuttings at one time to be able to share as starter plants.

Yellow Flowers measure 13mm and show themselves often

Yellow flowers measure 13mm and show themselves often

Nice Leaves that have received a bit too much Light

Nice leaves that have received a bit too much light

Spotlight 910307-2

This hoya can get very full very quickly…just beautiful

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

Tiny Blooms with a Huge Fragrance

The species of hoyas known as Hoya lacunosa are some of the most fragrant ones you can grow.  At the moment, the tiniest of all of them, my Hoya lacunosa ‘Langkawi Island’, is blooming on just one peduncle and the scent fills the entire corner of the sun-room in the evening.  I would describe the scent as a sorta of lilac/rose which is very pleasant to me.  Goes to show you that bigger does not always mean better when it comes to fragrance and hoyas!

Hoya lacunosa 'Langkawi Island' blooms with a strong frangrance

Hoya lacunosa ‘Langkawi Island’ blooms with a strong fragrance

Tiny Flowers give a Big Punch

Flowers, measuring just 3mm wide, give a Big Punch

The entire plant is made up of tiny tear-drop shaped leaves

The entire plant is made up of tiny tear-drop shaped leaves

 

Posted in Hoya Chat, What's Blooming.

When Friends Visit…Put them to Work

The way to know if you have ‘True Friends’ is to put them to work when they arrive for a visit.  A chore that I wanted to accomplish and actually need to accomplish was to hang my T5 Fluorescent Light fixtures from a bar that was suspended from the ceiling.  As a temporary easy fix I purchased a great product from JumpStart, which allowed me to hang the four foot/eight bulb fixtures above my hoyas, with no alterations to the sun-room that was newly erected.  After having these in place for almost 12 months with only one mishap, I decided it was time to ‘bite the bullet’ and make them a permanent more stable fixture in the space.

After explaining to my dad, what I needed to accomplish, he suggested that I invest in a Little Giant Work Plank to create an easy scaffolding across the plants.  This would make it much easier and safer to work with the ceiling and not have to relocate so many hoyas while doing so.  It was a great idea and I even found a ‘Used’ plank on Amazon for a good price.  I just had to be sure that I had a second ladder to use when attempting this task…borrowed my dad’s ladder and we were all set.

My friends, Debbie and Rick, from Tampa, Florida arrived early last week and as soon as I mentioned what I wanted to do, they said, “Let’s do it!” I agreed and thought it would not be an all day project so I did not feel guilty making them work on their first day of vacation. Little did I know that 6 hours later, we hung the final two fixtures and I was exhausted but satisfied.

The largest obstacle we faced was finding the studs in the ceiling to screw in the hooks that will hold the 15 foot conduit which the lights would hang from.  Rick was very very hesitant to drill into the ceiling for fear of drilling into air, which happened, but not that many times.  Who really looks up at the ceiling anyway to see flaws?…Not me.

Removing the lights and light stands allowed me to dust off the tops of them and replace any and all bulbs that had burned out.  Since I had the power receptacles already in the ceiling, arranging the cords was an easy task, although I would have liked to tidy the cords a bit more that I was able to do.  Little did I realize that removing the upright stands was similar to removing walls in your house and provided a more open space with much more free room to place the hoyas.  Time to by more hoyas!!!

The Plank suspended across the Hoya Benches @ SRQHoyas.

The Plank suspended across the Hoya Benches @ SRQHoyas.

The Plank from Above the Benches @ SRQHoyas

Rick searching a rafter above the ceiling panel.

Rick searching a rafter above the ceiling panel.

Debbie was the Plank Walker since she fit fine under the ceiling. In other words....she's a bit shorter than I am. :0)

Debbie was the Plank Walker since she fit fine under the ceiling. In other words….she’s a bit shorter than I am. :0)

BEFORE - Lights hanging from Light Stands

BEFORE – Lights hanging from Light Stands

AFTER - Lights suspended from the Roof Rafters

AFTER – Lights suspended from the Roof Rafters

Murphy was now allowed back into the Sun-Room when the project was completed.

Murphy was now allowed back into the Sun-Room when the project was completed.

 

I had no doubt that Debbie and Rick are True Friends…and would do just about anything for me or with me.  Thanks guys!!! I owe you!!!

Posted in SRQHoyas Happenings.

Focus on Hoya sp. EPC 694

As a rule, hoyas love to grow wildly and bloom and there are many that I end up taking for granted because it is the normal here at SRQHoyas.  Hoya sp. EPC 694 is one of these plants that I have learned to love as well as neglect.  When it arrived from overseas, it was healthy, hydrated and in great condition even thought the root system was sparse.  After potting it into a 2.5″ tiny pot filled with a mix of sphagnum peat moss and perlite, I placed it into a medium lighting situation and provided a good amount of humidity each morning.

This hoya has grown into vibrant full plant that wraps around a bamboo hoop structure many many times with ease and support from clips.  The first blooms appeared in January of 2015 and even though the umbel was sparse, it was unique and pretty. For the past 8 months, this hoya has turned into one that has the energy to push out not only one full umbel of flowers but upwards of five at one time.  The scent is a mix of wintergreen and sweet rose.  I plan to move this plant to a lower light position in hopes of growing the leaves a darker green but hoping the flowers will continue to show their colors.

Hoya sp. EPC 694 - Many Blooms

Hoya sp. EPC 694 – Many Blooms

Wintergreen Scented Blooms

Wintergreen Scented Blooms

Very Beautiful Flowers on a Full Vine of SRQ 3285

Very Beautiful Flowers on a Full Vine of SRQ 3285

 

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

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.

Hoya sp. Estrella Waterfalls IML 1256 vs. IML 1627

There is some confusion regarding both of these great hoyas.  I am going to explain my experience and documentation since I have grown both of these which I purchased from the David Liddle collection directly.  I no longer have the Hoya Estrella Waterfall IML 1627 in my collection but still have photos to document the exact plant, here on my website.

I received both of these hoyas as cuttings in a group purchase in the spring of 2011.  They both arrived in great shape and tagged with the typed, white narrow tag stapled to each cuttings, so there are no mistakes in identification. Those tags do not fade away, tear, fall off or just get lost as many of my plants still have them attached from almost 10 years ago.

The Hoya sp. Estrella Waterfall IML 1627 bloomed for me back on July 31, 2011 which was just a few months after I rooted the cutting.  That is what I consider a great rooter and great grower!  According to the Liddle Master List I have, ends with IML 1902, this particular cutting was obtained from Ted Green.  To my knowledge, this hoya has not been published and/or renamed.

Hoya sp. Estrella Waterfall IML 1627

Hoya sp. Estrella Waterfall IML 1627

Hoya sp. Estrella Waterfall IML 1627

Hoya sp. Estrella Waterfall IML 1627

 

The Hoya sp. Estrella Waterfalls IML 1256 just recently bloomed for me and was so beautiful that I decided to share it on Ebay! Enjoy it!!!  According to the Liddle Master List I previously referenced, David Liddle obtained this hoya from DMC, David Cummings, who also collected this in the Philippines and called it DMC 5459 along with IML 1257 & IML 1258.  Not sure if this is a typo as I am reporting from the list.  To the best of my knowledge, this one has been published as Hoya estrellaensis, if the IML #s are accurate.  From the photos I have seen of Hoya estrellaensis, I am going to caution you to NOT update names just yet.  In my opinion, the plants and blooms are not similar in any way. Since I am not yet convinced of the correct identification, I will continue to refer to this one as Hoya sp. Estrella Waterfalls IML 1256.

Hoya sp. Estrella Waterfalls IML 1256

Hoya sp. Estrella Waterfalls IML 1256 Collected by DMC 5459

Hoya sp. Estrella Waterfalls IML 1256 Collected by DMC 5459

Hoya sp. Estrella Waterfalls IML 1256 Collected by DMC 5459

 

Welcome to the World of Hoyas!!! Naming and renaming happens as well as correctly and incorrectly identifying.  I am very very diligent when it comes to making sure the tags are intact and are not fading as I believe that in my business…a hoya without a tag is one that really should not be traded, much less sold.  Even if what is written on the tag is incorrect or named for ‘fun’, at least it has a trail of IDs that can be compared with the tags in your collection.  Purchasing duplicate hoyas is not pleasant and turn this hobby into a frustrating and very expensive one.

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

SRQHoyas Plants Being Offered vary Greatly

Here is an indication of the size hoya plants I offer on SRQHoyas.com. I hesitate to advertise that they are Hoya Starter Plants, Well-Rooted Cuttings, Small, Medium or Large plants since the difference in species, size, growth rate and age makes this impossible. I can say that they are have a strong root system and are stable whether they have new growth or not. Many have active blooming peduncles, since I take cuttings from my Mother Plant that have bloomed. This photo shows the variety of sizes and shapes that I offer.

Size and Shapes Vary

Size and Shapes Vary

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings.

Beware of Growstones and Growing Hoyas

After noticing that various hoya plants were not doing well although I had not changed anything I realized the issue was in the pot.  The very bottom of the six inch clear plastic pot, to be exact.

For many years, when using the large sized pots, I would put a layer of lava rock, Sunleaves, in the bottom for extra drainage in case the pots were ever sitting in puddles of water.  This seemed to be the perfect remedy until now.  However, I had made a change to what I was using as the  supposed drainage layer about a year ago.  I decided to try using Growstones in my hydroponics set ups and had a good part of the bag left over so I thought I’d use those before investing in another bag of the the Sunleaves growing media.  Come to find out, these two seemingly similar products are very different.

Evidently, the Growstones actually hold excess water for a long period of time without drying out.  So long that it is rotting some roots of quite a few of my hoyas.  We all know that hoyas need a mix that takes on water but dries out very quickly and this is not a good product for that result.  I will now purchase the previous growing media that I have used for years from Sunleaves and methodically tip out the large plants and rid the pots of the dreaded Growstones.  I am not happy about this but I am very happy that I  now know what has changed and why the plants are not happy when I thought I had not made any changes to my routine.  Until I have accomplished ridding the plant sof these thirsty rocks…I will not drench the hoyas but only water the top two-thirds of the mix.

Beware of this product if you are growing hoyas or any other plant that does not like to stay wet for any length of time.  I almost feel like I have added those water-holding gel crystals to the mix unknowingly.

 

Growstones NO

Posted in Hoya Chat, SRQHoyas Happenings.