Care and feeding of potted Hoya

ann_2231555860December 17, 2006

I have a Hoya plant that I treasure. It has a northern exposure, and at night we turn the heat down to 55 deg.(Neither good I understand) We are leaving for Calif for 2 months on Jan 1 and a neighbor has agreed to take some of my plants to her home. Because I care so much for this plant, I want to know what care and feeding it should get while away from our house. We have never been gone for more than 3 weeks, so I worry about losing my Hoya. I hope I get an answer before we leave. THANKS!!!!!!!!!!!


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Can you convince her to water it ONE time only when you're gone? And keep it in the sun? That's all she should do.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 8:02PM
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Ann, you say you treasure your long have you had it....and how have you treated it. Your treatment, if the plant has done well by, then you should be able to tell your neighbor what works for you.

Might I say though, Hoya likes sun....and next Thursday is the shortest day of the year.....the northern exposure is not conducive to giving the plant much light at this time of season. Neither is the other exposures but a southern or western exposure would at least give the best available.
I do not recommend you resorting to the use of artificial light unless you are attempting to bring your plant out of dormancy.
You are giving it a northern exposure....what light might your neighbor give it then.
You give it low nighttime temperature....usually that is appreciated by most plants....Hoya is not one of them.
Hoya likes temperatures in the range of 70..constantly...and with some humidity.
The plant should be allowed to go dry between waterings somewhat....not too dry...and since the available light is so low at this time, it will need that much less water.

In the end though, it is you and your past treatment that should define what kind of treatment you suggest to your neighbor.

Plants, I agree, are like children, we trust our neighbors....but sometimes children go bad....I hesitate to think your neighbour will spank your child by attempting to feed it into health.
No fertilizer should be given your plant when it is not growing.

    Bookmark   December 17, 2006 at 10:18PM
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Lucy, when I underwater my hoya that much, the leaves get wrinkled. Is your plant in a giant pot?

    Bookmark   December 18, 2006 at 7:08PM
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greenelbows1(z9--so LA)

I used to under-water my hoyas and they mostly survived, but never did show that 'glow' a healthy plant has, and never bloomed. When I read that they are basically jungle plants--or at least many are--and need less sun than I'd been giving them and more water, they started to glow and some bloomed. Good 'ol carnosa hardly stopped all summer. Since then I've gotten some more, and some are even wicked (gasp!) and they're growing like crazy. Don't really expect much in the way of bloom 'til I can get them back outside. Some stayed outside too long--can't imagine anyone would recommend 28!--but it's fairly chilly in here when it's chilly outdoors. The heat doesn't come on 'til middle 60s. They certainly don't seem to require temps aabove 70 here--at least the ones I have in my circumstances. Always different strokes for different conditions and species.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 12:16AM
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I don't let mine get wrinkled, but it seems to be such an old story - someone leaves their 'babies' with their mother or friend and they end up being watered daily due to fears of its not being done enough, and the plants don't last very long. Plus, in winter, they can go pretty long between waterings. It's also fairly humid where I live (near the ocean), and that may have some bearing on things compared to .. someone's stuffy apt. in the midwest, or wherever.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 5:44AM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Ann, I fear that the advice to have your nice neighbor water your plant but once in two months and place it in the sun is not the best option for your plant. As jeannie suggested, your plant should be given as close as possible to the same conditions in your neighbor's home that it has now.

Even though these plants thrive on plenty of good light, to expose it suddenly might cause damage, especially at this time of year when a plant cannot respond to stress very quickly.

Feeding should not even be a concern at this time of year, so that is one less thing for your neighbor to worry about. Tell your neighbor how much water to give it per watering, as well as how many times to water. If his/her home is warmer than yours, more frequent watering might be necessary. Stress to him/her that overwatering is a very typical cause of plant problems, especially for a plant that likes to dry out considerably in between drenchings.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 1:11PM
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Often when we suspect a plant could use a watering, they can go for another couple of days. The finger method I think works best. Let your neighbor poke her finger down into the soil inch...two inches..before watering and then water to drainage, dump the excess.

A spray bottle that does a good job of spritzing ...a fine spray...can be given the foliage instead of watering for those times that watering may not be felt necessary.
Hoya likes their humidity and I cant think of a better immediate way to provide it than by spritzing the foliage.
Besides giving it moisture, it helps to clean the leaves of dust buildup and it has a very beneficial side to it; it can help defeat spider mites and lets the soil surface dry down a little more and gives soil gnats less to feed on.

    Bookmark   December 19, 2006 at 2:33PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Factually, misting is the least efficient method of improving the humidity for any kind of plant. Since transpiration ceases when there is a film of water plants, water uptake will cease for the few moments that the leaves remain moist, but that should not be a replacement for actual watering if the plant needs it. Misting does help remove dust from the leaves, though, lol.

Misting can spread fungal diseases and cause leaf spotting, too. It's a practice that does more for the sprayer, than the sprayee!

Ann, I hope you feel better about leaving your plant in the care of your neighbor. Hoyas are very carefree plants, needing very little care in order to thrive. Getting them to bloom on a regular basis provides some challenges, but that's another story!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 2:32PM
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I have always heard that misting does nothing to benefit plants in the long run and that its more beneficial to the gardener than to the plants. It has been called the 5 minute solution to a 24 hour problem. That being said, my Hoyas seem to absolutely love it. Their foliage actually looks better if they are misted once or twice daily. So since I enjoy it and they seem to as well I do it.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 7:21PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

And that's exactly the way it should be, fred! ;-) Misting, I mean. I'll confess.....mine could use a good shower right about now, just to get rid of the dust, lol!

    Bookmark   December 20, 2006 at 11:12PM
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I have a curly leaf hoya that was my mothers, it was always beautiful when she had it and bloomed about twice a year. I have had it for 3 years and the first year it started dropping leaves, 3 or 4 a day,I repotted it, made a new trellace, the 3 vines were a total of 24' long. It took about 6 months and it stopped dropping leaves and what was left became "wrinckled". It survived but has not bloomed for 3 years and has just started to grow new leaves. About 6 months ago I put 3 drops of "Joy" liquid dish soap in a quart of water to water it, in about 6 weeks most of the wrinckles were gone. Have watered it with the 3 drops of soap once a month since and it seems to really like it as it is growing allot of new leaves, just hoping it will bloom soon. I water it once a week with about one cup of rainwater.
Others were writing that their howa were wrinckled, this may help.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 1:13AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Patsy,

Why soap of all things? I wouldn't have thought to be a good idea.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2008 at 7:57PM
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I have a cutting off of a 30+ year old plant, my plant is about 8 years old. It has a gewey, sticky, white paste all over the top of the plant. The leaves are yellowish and it's not flowering. Help what can I do to get this plant green and flowering again?

    Bookmark   August 24, 2010 at 5:24PM
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my hoya is blooming what should I do with them? Let them fall off by themselves or can I take some off for others to see their beauty. I dont want to damage or stop it blooming.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 4:27PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I don't understand what you're asking. What about sitting back & just enjoying the blooms & maybe their fragrance? (Check for fragrance in evening too if you don't already know that.) I'd leave it alone 'til it's done blooming.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 11:29PM
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Dusty, why would you want to remove the flowers? I don't understand either. :)

Like PG said, sit back and enjoy. Toni

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 11:45AM
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I think Heather is asking if she can remove the flowers, put them in water, and share them with others - I think she said she wants to share their beauty. Or, does she have to wait until they die to them cut off them off.

I do not grow these and have no idea...

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 4:27PM
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Lath..Hoya flowers would die, off the stem, fairly quick.
Here's a pic my H. Hindu Rope.

It wouldn't make much of a bouquet.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 4:39PM
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I can understand someone wanting to share the results of their growing success in bouquet form... and one cut floret group might be nice in a small bud vase...

But I think an even better idea would be to take photographs of your lovely Hoya blooms, and share the pictures with your friends.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2011 at 9:33AM
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Your plant is just amazing. You can get these to flower? I have never seen a rope Hoya in flower.


    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 10:07AM
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Thanks Mike..You were supposed to post pics, too...what happened? toni

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 3:44PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hey Toni,

I've never seen H compacta flowers except at a distance. I especially like that each of the clusters is at a different stage of opening. Particularly nice to see, thanks for that.

Are they fragrant? I believe they're a type of Carnosa really so they may have a fragrance, maybe even chocolaty?

Great Pic, Toni, thanks.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2011 at 11:33PM
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