What the hoya?! *lol*

cmwren(Mid-Atlantic Coast, z7)May 15, 2010

It started as a rescue. The satisfaction of a month-late "must have green things NOW" urge. (I usually go a bit overboard buying houseplants when I am no longer able to abide winter's lack of green growing things; typically I last until February before succumbing. This year I made it into March! And I brought home less than half a dozen, thank you very much. I wouldn't even have picked up the orchid if it hadn't jumped off the display behind me and broken its clay to-hide-plastic-grower's-pot pot; what else was I to do other than say "heck, yes!" when it was offered to me for half price? It's currently on my desk at work, impressing the heck out of my co-workers.)

Retailers are fully aware of this need-green-growing-things-in-February condition, and plan their first shipments of houseplants accordingly. So there was this green thing at Wallyworld, still in relatively good shape after a few weeks of life in the indoor/outdoor section of the store. Not a bad price for the amount of plant in the pot. Mis-marked label, but I happened to know what it really was. (This time; on rarethankfully rareÂoccasions I have brought home plants I can't ID at the store. That rarely turns out well for the plant. Although my last plant purchase at the Big W netted me a lovely no-idea-what-it-is-but-isn't-it-pretty? that I have managed to allow to wilt flat twice and which has sprung back obligingly both times. What are they doing selling terrarium plants disguised as potted houseplants, anyway???)

Where was I? Oh, the hoya. So I found this lovely hoya, twining attractively up its little bamboo trellis. I bought it with half a mind that I may need it to replace at least one of the plants I may have killed while plant-sitting for my aunt. I may have been able to ID the plant before purchase, but I had to look up the specifics in my houseplant book when we arrived home. (Aunt, you may want to give your hoyas trellises They're climbers!)

Ok, not so bad, I can do this. I especially liked the "repot as a last resort" bit. I don't like repotting; I never feel it goes well. (For every few successes there is at least one abysmal failure: my five or so year-old ming aralia [you can't always believe the books; this "not a houseplant" was going gang-busters for me for years] was crashing, so I recently repotted it. Suffice it to say that at least it seems to be sending out tentative shoots at every leaf scar, so it's not quite dead yetÂ)

I put the hoya in a sunny window. Its thick waxy leaves have not been (much of) a temptation for the cats. (Yay!) I'm getting the feel for when it needs water; it has reciprocated by not keeling over. Indeed, it had even sent out a couple of tentative tendrils (funky way of putting out new leaves, this plant). Some more water, some more tendrils.

And then this past week or so WHAM! More little tendrils. A lot more little tendrils, which then sprouted little leaves which, in mere days, have become bigger leaves. Much bigger leaves. And what had been a nice, compact little perfectly-balanced and apparently happy-in-its-little-pot plant only a week ago has suddenly, practically overnight, become kudzu.

What happened to the nice little oval leaves? What happened to the nice little cream edges? My bought-in-ignorance on-a-whim little houseplant seems to be reverting to some kind of tropical monster.

*sigh* Guess I will have the chance to build it its own fancy copper trellis after all.

Ed. Note: Sorry for the lack of photos. Haven't posted any, and I have yet to find the necessary link from my blog's photo album... Please check out my blog; I should have photos later this weekend!

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Good morning! First, congrats on your hoya! The hoya forum here is awesome and friendly. But watch out: we'll have you lining your windows with new babies in no time! Second, I enjoyed your writing, so I checked out your blog, and then several back pages of your blog, and then subscribed.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 1:33PM
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AndrewH(z8 Vanc. WA)

Very entertaining post, thank you.

Welcome to the world of hoyas. It's a very diverse species with several types of growth, not all are climbers. Do check out the hoya forum as tigerdawn suggested, great people and info.

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 2:23PM
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cmwren(Mid-Atlantic Coast, z7)

Thank you, thank you!

Haven't been here in ages (I've been sooo lazy and have come close to killing off most of my houseplants in the past couple of years :o( ) but I had to share my hoya/houseplant addiction story. It was a toss up to post it here or at the hoya forum. Figured it was more a general houseplant topic...

Will definitely have to visit the hoya forum; honestly, I didn't think I would have this little guy long enough to need more info. Who knew the fiend hiding within those innocent little leaves?! *lol*

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 2:53PM
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cmwren(Mid-Atlantic Coast, z7)

Okay, a revised edition of this post--with photos--is on my blog. Now to figure out if I can (and how) link to that web album from here so I can post just the photos to the Hoya forum...

I'm going for classic hoya (carnosa?), but am thinking there may be two varieties in one pot; the plant on one side has one kind of leaf (small, ovoid, edged in cream/pink on some), the growing-out-of-control plant on the other side of the pot has large, all-green, lance-shaped leaves...

    Bookmark   May 15, 2010 at 7:50PM
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AndrewH(z8 Vanc. WA)

It's normal for variegated hoyas to occasionally grow a non-variegated vine, which will grow much faster than the variegated. Though if they're different shapes, you may have two different types in there.

I'm no expert, but I think the hoya folk would tell you to separate them.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 12:50AM
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cmwren(Mid-Atlantic Coast, z7)

I've had pothos do the same--shoot out "wild" strain green from a variegated plant. Guess we deserve it for forcing plants to do things they wouldn't normally do. ;o) I don't mind; the "natural" strains are usually hardier.

On the other hand, convincing these plants that they'd be better off separated... *snort*

BTW, I hope you all are happy--I ran into the Big W this morning before work to pick up some fuschias my mother's store didn't have, and guess what was new on the $5 houseplant rack? Hoyas!

*bwa-ha-ha-ha* Of course I bought one. I killed most of my mother's houseplants this winter. :o( (I forgot that although geraniums love a sunroom in winter, tropical houseplants absolutely do not.) I owe her, if I can part with any of my purchases...

*phhbbbbttt* I'm not going to play with you all any more! *lol* At this rate you'll have me cleaning my house, and setting up a schedule (*gasp*) so I can care for all of the new houseplants I'll undoubtably end up purchasing. I was independently wealthy the years when watering my houseplants took 10 gallons of water a week!!!

Thanks for all of the great responses!

~ Wren

    Bookmark   May 16, 2010 at 10:32AM
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