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.