Suffering Hindu Rope

ccj962(8, Central TX)January 5, 2006

I have a little hoya (about 8" long) that's been coming long slowly over the past year from a clipping.

Until a couple of weeks ago it had been quite healthy, and was steadily growing for a couple of weeks prior to it taking a turn for the worse.

The mature leaves seem to be getting thinner, and a little more dry than ordinary. They also have greyish blotches on them.

It was not exposed to any extreme temperatures. I did have it in the house for a week during a cold snap. Could the lack of sunlight cause these symptoms or is it most likely some deficiency?

This little plant has some sentimental value, so I'd like to try to get my little friend some help soon.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you

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How often do you water it? In any event sounds to me like a watering problem instead of a light or temp problem. Here is a quick remedy to help your little plant get back on it's feet. Mix 1/4 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide with water and give it a drink. This for sure will kill any fungus, bacteria or any insects, it will also replenish any roots that may or have rotted due to overwatering or underwatering and it will deliver oxygen to the roots immediately. After you water, move it to a bright location where it will receive plenty of light, indirect light is best but it has to be bright. Leave it there and don't water it again until it's completely dry. It's winter, succulents should be not receiving normal waterings. You should be watering them at most once a month. Whatever you do. DO NOT REPOT...that is the last thing an ailing plant needs.

Your plant will recover. keep us posted on it's status. Hope this helps:)

    Bookmark   January 12, 2006 at 10:08AM
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ccj962(8, Central TX)

Thank you so much for your informative response.

I think you hit the nail on the head. Based on the information you gave me, I am watering too much. And there are critters (gnat-like insects that spend their time in the soil).

How much water should I use when watering? I have a single rope in a pot thatÂs about 7" in diameter and about the same height.

Oh, and how much water should I use when mixing the peroxide with it, and is this something I should only do if the plant is doing bad?

Thanks again for the great info. I will post back with results of your advice. IÂm still waiting for the soil to completely dry out.


    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 6:22AM
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If you have fungus gnats then yes you are watering too much. Now that you know the problem it's time to rectify the situation. Your plant can be saved. You asked How much water should I use when watering? I am assuming you are questioning the hydrogen peroxide. One cup of water mixed with 1/4 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide is enough and yes this remedy is only for "ailing plants". One time is enough. So the next time it's up for watering give it this drink. When watering your plants. You should water it enough to see the water come out through the drainage holes. Once you see the water come out through the drainage holes you will know that the root ball is wet and that everything got a good drink. You must then wait for it to completely dry out before watering again, which should be like about a month. Give it as much light as you can.

Hope this helps.

    Bookmark   January 17, 2006 at 8:56AM
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I have had a hindu rope for over 20 years. It blooms every year from spring until Oct. Nov. The problem is the leaves are turning yellow on most of the vines. I have kept it in the same place. In a southern window. I water about every 2-3 weeks and fertilize in the spring with Miracle Grow. What can I do to green up the leaves now. I would hate to lose this plant. Everyone comments on it. The ropes have gotten so long I have had to put them up over the pot several times. Please help.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 6:26PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

A single rope in a 7" pot is wayyyyy too big! Come Spring I'd pot that down by half at least (to a 3 or 4" pot).

Personally, my Hoyas do best when I pot them small, tho' few have ever bloomed for me, but they grow very well.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2007 at 6:35PM
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I have a Hindu Rope plant that flowered wonderfully for years. However after I moved, about two years ago, it hasn't bloomed at all. I know one of the spurs fell off in the move but other than that I don't know what could be the problem. Any suggestions?

    Bookmark   October 1, 2007 at 12:09PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Alison,

I don't get many Hoyas to bloom (I grow indoors only), but they grow well for me.

Have you changed the mix in the last 2 years? If not that would certainly help. Is it getting a similar amount of sunlight?

    Bookmark   October 2, 2007 at 3:09AM
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Hi, I have a little Hindu Rope that I got at the beginning of the summer, and mostly kept outside. It didn't really seem to grow much, and I don't know why, I guess the little curly leaves, but I kept having to evict spiders from my poor little plant! I've had it inside for about a month now, and it seems to be doing better, I'm just so afraid to go a month without watering it because the leaves seem really dry. I'm not an experienced gardener, I just loved the way this plant looked when I saw it, and I really don't want to kill it. The leaves are green, some of them dark green tinged with red. How do I know if it's too dry? And what do I do if this fall is as gray as last fall and I don't get a lot of sunlight?


    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 11:57AM
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Do you have a picture of your plant? Or can you describe how you care for it and what kind of sunlight and watering schedule it's on? Is it indoors or outdoors (if it was once outdoors, maybe it just needs to get used to being indoors). If it was indoors, was it facing a window that had stronger sun exposure than it does now? I grow all my hoyas indoors, and a bunch bloom for hoyas don't *need* to be outdoors to bloom (they do need good light though). I put a few hoyas outside this season, and only one bloomed out there.
You mentioned that one peduncle fell off....are there anymore on there? If not, then that's why it's not blooming!

Why do you need to go a month without watering your hoya? I'm just confused! If the leaves are really dry, then why are you not watering it? H. compacta ("hindu rope") likes to be kept more on the moist side. Also, in my experience they are pretty slow growing. To answer your question about how to know when it's too dry....if you haven't watered in a month, it's definitely too dry! If a plant is dry it feels light when you pick up the pot, and if you stick your finger into the soil you can feel if it's dry or not. As for sunlight, if you don't want to invest in artificial lighting, then just find the sunniest spot you can and put the hoya there. It doesn't need loads of sunlight to survive.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 12:47PM
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Oh, no, I water it when its dry, I've just been reading around and it seems like everyone's been saying not to water it that much in the winter. What sort of artificial lighting could I use if I wanted to invest? Thank you for your help!


    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 4:33PM
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If the plant is getting much much lower light than it does in the warmer months, then it would be good to cut back a little on watering.

I just got back from buying some bulbs at Lowes, at those kind of stores or hardware stores you can buy flourescent light fixtures that can be mounted underneath cabinets..usually they come with warm bulbs, either buy 2 single fixtures or one fixture with 2 bulbs - they come in 18", 24", and up - depending on how much room you have where you want to put them. Buy a single cool white bulb to replace one of the warms.

You can also buy fourescent "spotlight" type bulbs for recessed lighting fixtures. I have one over my sink and I took out the regular bulb and put in a flourescent one.

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 7:12PM
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my leaves are turning yellow and some of them had grey spots on the leaves. I only have 3 green vines left. please help what should i do. the bottom of my pot do not have any holes in it, i brought this plant from a gift shop at the hospital. please help, what should i do?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 3:46PM
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Mentha(9 CA)

Repot it into a pot with drainage. Hoyas like well draining soil, if there is no drainage they will rot. The black spots could be fungus, also a sign of over watering. If you want to keep it in the pot, find a way to drill a hole in the bottom of it.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2008 at 4:48PM
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ccj962(8, Central TX)

The advice given to me when my little plant was ailing was to give it one cup of water mixed with 1/4 teaspoon of hydrogen peroxide at the next watering.

Mine had the gray blotches like yours and it worked like a champ. You definitely need drainage.

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 6:17AM
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But the hydrogen peroxide won't help if you keep it in that pot with no drainage holes. I would definitely repot it into a pot that is NOT too big and a pot that has drainage holes (or drill holes in the bottom as Mentha said), and also use a very chunky soil (such as orchid bark, potting soil, and perlite - 1:1:1 ratio, or you can just do 1/2 perlite and 1/2 potting soil). After you do this, then it wouldn't hurt to use hydrogen peroxide...but doing that will not substitute for drainage holes.

If you want to keep the pot you have, another option besides drilling holes is to use it as a cache pot....just repot the hoya into a plastic pot with drainage holes and then put that pot into the pot your hoya is in now.

Good luck,

    Bookmark   September 2, 2008 at 11:02AM
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I've had my rope hoya for 6 months. It is in a hanging coconut fiber basket. It has been fine from the day I got it. Now all of a sudden the leaves are shriveling. It is in well drained soil and I water it by giving it a good drink every 2 weeks....It has been on this schedule since the day I got it and has been doing great. I have not changed anything.....why are my leaves acting up?

    Bookmark   July 23, 2010 at 10:08AM
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Well i am very new to this site as well as gardening/plants.... But early last yr. i found my hindu rope at a show and fell in love with its uniqueness. For several months i have experienced some shriveling(appologize for spelling) of a few of my "ropes"???I had bought one plant with five extentions and split them up into two pots. One is doing pretty well, but the other is suffering im afraid. As of yesterday, Some of the leaves were weak enough to just fall off. I have them inside in flouresent lighting right now, and had started to spray top soil and shoots with water bottle and they got better but now the one is doing worse than ever. This morning i tried the peroxide and water mix and i may need to change the pot and or soil??? I wish i new how to send a picture.... How many shoots is good for one pot? And should i try to replace some of the soil with new and wat kind??? As of right now, the bad one is in a six inch pot i think but it is filled only bout four inches. I really dont want this plant to die and i am feeling like if i dont do something quick ill loose it!!! If there are any suggestions i would greatly appreciate:)The leaves are shriveling, easy to pull off by the base, very flimsey feeling, and looks like ashes on some of the leaves- not sure if thats the gray spots people were talking about??? If it does have the gnat fungus- does the soil have to be replaced or will the peroxide and water take care of it? UGhhhhhh:( 0

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 11:24AM
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Hey there. ^_^ I'm not the resident Hoya compacta (Hindu Rope) expert, but mine did do the shrively paper thin falling off leaves thing shortly after I got it, so I know what you mean. I just wanted to step in and reassure you on a few points.

First off, the fungus gnats aren't like other evil insect pests. They will go away on their own (or be reduced to a paltry number) if you simply reduce your watering cycle so that your plants dry out between waterings. They aren't the kind of pest that needs to be treated for and they won't do your plants much harm unless they are in HUGE quantities. They feed primarily on fungus and dead plant matter, so your plan of attack is to let your medium dry out so there isn't so much fungus to feed on and pick up or prune dead leaves.

Secondly, it sounds like your problem might be overwatering (hence the fungus gnats). Generally, compacta likes to stay moist, but it's still possible to overdo it. If it just has a few shriveled leaves, I'd just let it recover on its own. If the plant really looks bad, Hoyas are susceptible to root and stem rot. You may want to gently withdraw the plant from the pot and examine its roots (very carefully, because it's already stressed). They should be somewhere between white and beige and look firm and flexible. If you see any that are gray, brown, or black and sort of mushy looking, then you've got root rot. Use some sterilized scissors to prune the rotting roots away. Then repot it using a nice well draining medium, as referenced above.

Third, I am assuming you have 2-3 vines per pot now, with both pots being around 4" (6" but not full). It would be easier to advise if we could eyeball it, but that doesn't sound too bad to me.

Personally, when my compacta did this shriveled leaf thing, it was because it was being underwatered, so understand that this could be symptomatic of a number of problems. Keep on the lookout for serious pests, like spider mites, aphids, or mealybugs. If you decide to examine the roots, look closely for pests crawling around down there, too.

As far as posting a picture goes, the way you do it on this forum is you need to upload the picture to a free hosting site (e.g. Flickr). Once it is there, the site will provide the HTML to post your picture. (e.g. Click on the button above that says "Share This"). Once you've copied the HTML, paste it here in the Message Box of the posting form. (Do not use the "Optional Link URL" box).

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 1:00PM
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I just purchased a hoya rope plant and mixed some cactus soil with regular potting soil. Is this mixture of soils good for my hoya rope plant? I have only for one day, and don't know if i did right or should i just use regular potting soil?

    Bookmark   June 11, 2011 at 10:04AM
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100% regular potting soil is definitely not a good idea for a Hoya. It should have extra quantities of perlite and/or bark mixed in.

I don't use a mix similar to the one you described, so I am not sure how this medium will handle with a Hoya compacta. Most Hoya growers use a medium more akin to orchid potting mix than cactus potting mix. I am assuming your mix is a blend of peat and sand? Compacta does like moisture more than many Hoyas, but that is a pretty water retentive mix as sand retains more moisture than people give it credit for.

I did do a quick search and it seems there are some people who use cactus soil. It seems the ratio used is 1:1:1 cactus mix, potting soil, and perlite.

Good luck and congratulations on your new plant! ^_^

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 2:27PM
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I've had my compacta for about four years now. About six months ago, I fell into a bad watering schedule (broke up with my boyfriend and turned into a robot for a little while), and lost two ropes to over-watering. I'm down to three ropes now, they are healthy and strong, but they *will not* grow. I bought this plant at three inches and after four years, each rope is no more than about 10 inches long, and it's never bloomed, not once. Which of the following care elements needs changing?

-- It gets about four hours of direct morning sun.
-- I've never repotted it.
-- I feed it maybe once every two months. Used to use regular miracle grow, but have switched all my plants to a 5-1-1 organic fish fertilizer, though I'm thinking of going back.
-- I water it only when it's starting to get dry, and the pot is sitting in a tray of stones to keep proper drainage.
-- I haven't flushed it in a little over a year because I'm afraid of water logging the roots all over again and losing my last three ropes.

I love this plant, and I want to add another hoya to my collection, but am hesitant to do so until I can have some success with this one. Please help :(

    Bookmark   February 26, 2012 at 10:17AM
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ccj962(8, Central TX)

Wow. It�s been six years and seven months since I put the first post in this thread, asking for help for my little Hindu Rope.

Today, the single strand is over three feet long , and it�s healthier than ever.

A couple of months ago, it flowered for the very first time in the 8+ years since I clipped it from my mother�s plant after she passed away.

Now for the point of this post:
- I understand that these plants usually flower every year. Why would it take so long for my little plant to flower?

- Thank you to Fairskyla for the life-saving first-aid advice for my little plant back in 2006. It worked wonderfully, and allowed me to keep a living memory of my mother, which I intend to keep in the family for hopefully many generations.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 10:49AM
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I wasn't around for your original post but I am glad to see that your hindu rope has not only survived but appears to be thriving. Congrats! Thanks for sharing a picture, it looks very happy.


    Bookmark   August 12, 2012 at 6:17PM
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ccj962, your compacta's bloom looks wonderful!

Do you have a "full bodied" photo of the plant? I'd love to see the whole deal! :)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 1:32AM
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ccj962(8, Central TX)

Plantomaniac08 - Thanks! :-)

alpanther: Picture attached.

This is a single strand of plant. I'm going to take a clipping today to start another.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2012 at 6:42AM
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That looks great! :)

So, when you followed the advice six years ago on the hydrogen peroxide suggestion, did the shriveling leaves recover? Or did they simply die off and the plant was able to rebound?

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 1:09PM
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ccj962(8, Central TX)

That was a long time ago, but I do recall that one or two dried up and fell off, but the ones that were still green and succulent recovered.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2012 at 6:26PM
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I have had my Hoya for 3 years now and it has been in very good health but recently I have noticed the leave becoming weaker and turning brown, I read all the posts above and will try a few of the suggestions but I had another question for anyone able to answer-my plan is over 3 yrs old and hasn't grown any at all, it stays the same size-has about 5 arms and no flowers. I water it whenever it gets dry usually once every week and half to 2 weeks but I watch it closely to make sure depending on the weather if it soaks up the water faster one time versus the next that it always gets water when I can feel the soil is dry enough to warrant more water, I have it potted in a good quality top soil mixed with a miracle grow soil and I spritz the leaves to keep them clean of webs and dust and happy with low water and then I also keep it in a sunny spot int he house since outside its too cold.

Am I doing anything wrong or less then I should? Is there any good guides on the best way to keep up this lil guy so I can encourage him to grow more? I would love to keep him as heal;thy as possible and growing to a large size if I can so he can vine on a wall we have in the house that gets good sunlight and is a half wall.

Any and all suggestions would be appreciated!

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 3:32PM
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It sounds like you're being careful with water. We all have problems from time to time with a plant that grows ill even though our care was generally good. Sometimes something goes wrong anyway, you know? Like it takes longer to dry out than usual and gets a little too cold at the same time. All you can do is try and get it back on track. Sometimes we'll never know what compromised the plant's health in the first place.

As far as it not growing... I always feel like the first thing to try is to increase sunlight. Even if you feel it's in a good window, if it's not growing... try more light. My mom has her Hoyas growing in an unobstructed East window and for the life of me I can't figure out why they aren't getting as much sun as mine. But I look at the leaves and I can see that they are too dark compared to the leaves on my blooming plants.

I know that's a super boring answer, but... often the most obvious variable is the best one to tinker with first. Good luck. :)

    Bookmark   December 26, 2012 at 3:55PM
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I have a Hoya compacta its right at a year old. The flower pods grew out but it never flowered although the flower pods are still there. I brought it indoors for the winter and forgot to water it for about a month and a half. Well now the ends of the vines are dried up and some of the leaves at the ends are also. I picked the leaves off but what do I need to do with the ends of the vines. I have it in a sunny window and since have given it water with a little fertilizer. I bought it as 2 little 4-5 inch long vines and put them in a pot together last spring. I may have had them in direct sunlight last summer not knowing not too. It has quadrupled in size and I have just fallen in love with it. Any help as to what I should do would be greatly appreciated because I do not want to lose my plant!! The picture is the plant in the summer night late September. PLEASE HELP!!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 12:02PM
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This is my Hoya now

    Bookmark   January 9, 2014 at 6:35PM
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On the 23rd of January my wife and I lost our house and everything in it to a completely devastating fire. Included in the long list of lost items was my little Hindu Rope. I'm interested to know if anyone knows where I might buy another. I'm in San Antonio, Texas.

Background: I started this thread back in 2006 after I inherited a nice little piece of Hindu Rope in 2004 after she passed away. Since Houzz took over gardenweb, my original profile (ccj962) is no longer accessible.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2015 at 5:08AM
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Walmart, Home Depot, Lowes, Amazon, ebay...usually the stores have them in the spring/summer. Amazon and ebay may have them year round. Someone on here may be able to trade. My compacta is sulking right now andwould not be a good candidate.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2015 at 11:20AM
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