Greentoe Winter Lull Hoya Dispatch

greentoe357February 2, 2014

These are too small to start separate threads for each, so here's a mishmash of my hoya news/questions.

H. carnosa Tricolor / "Krimson Queen": This runner is running away. Fast. I do like the look, but if I ever decide to train it up a trellis or a wire loop later, will the vine be too inflexible for that? Are they trainable only when young?

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H. brevialata: shooting away as well. There's an 8-inch pot under there somewhere.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 2:55AM
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The runners want to twine other plants, the plant stand, each other, my neck when I water... (ok maybe not the neck). It's kinda tight on the plant stand, and I am not quite sure how to handle it so the plant looks good aesthetically going forward. I've been untangling the runners periodically, but that's a losing battle, and I do not want to touch them too much. How do you handle multiple runners like these? The hanging option is out for now because the pot is one of these very heavy ceramic ones, and my mix is heavy as well. A trellis means I need to find more vertical space for it, which means light would be farther, which is not optimal. Let them all twine each other?

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 3:05AM
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I gave it a shower the other day, and days later I noticed the first peduncle on this plant! I swear many of my plants sing Hallelujah after they get a shower. They look better, they grow better - tap chemicals be damned. Highly recommended to everybody periodically. There are exceptions though, like plants in bloom and plants with leaves that cannot get wet (I guess, I do not grow African Violets, but I understand that would be a problem for them).

How quickly now is H. brevialata likely to bloom after it shoots out a peduncle? I think I see tiny bumps for future buds, but I may be wrong.

This peduncle is the only one I see so far, and it's on the longest runner far away from where leaf growth is trying to catch up to it.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 3:15AM
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H. carnosa Rubra aka Krimson Princess: I like this pot, but the drain hole is too small and a bit too high above the bottom. (obviously designed by a silk plant lover.) Slow drainage was a problem from the very beginning, and I think it's slowly getting worse, perhaps because of smaller mix particles plugging it. Now after every watering for an hour at least (!) it's just drip-drip-drip for it like this. I guess I'll unpot and drill the hole wider. Or pull the wick out - is that better for faster drainage and root health? (Al?) The mix is so chunky that it'll fall apart and roots will have to be disturbed a bit if I unpot - it's not like store-bought plants that you can generally easily unpot in one piece.

Thanks all, this is it for now.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 3:29AM
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Nice healthy looking plants Greentoe! The first thing I do with any pot with an attached saucer is rip it off - Pretty hard to do with your ceramic pot! Part of the reason I have so few hanging plants is that every time I water them I have to hang them in the shower (I installed a rod in the center of the shower just for such a task) and water them until water runs out of the pot. It takes a lot of time to water huge numbers of hanging baskets if you take them all to the shower!

I grow all of my trellised plants on humidity grids so the water runs right through them. There is no need to have to dump saucers. It works pretty well for me, but I'm sure that there are as many ways to water as there are watering cans.


    Bookmark   February 2, 2014 at 7:08AM
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Thanks for the reply, Doug! I gave it a bit more time hoping for others to weigh in. While I have you - thank you for a great web site, great videos and educational articles. I've read EVERYTHING you've written there (yeah, I have that king of time), and it's very helpful, especially to a fellow North-Eastern US grower like me. Gives me a lot of hope for my plants to be as great-looking as yours.

The first thing I do with any pot with an attached saucer is rip it off

So then I guess you have pots in a place where effluent can flow down and not make a mess, right? I do not have that luxury. My plants are mostly on a plant stand and on window sills. I either have to take them to the sink/shower to water freely or have saucers under and watch for water levels in them. A couple of my ceramic pots had saucers glued to them, and they came apart accidentally - that was a good accident to happen because now I have the option of a well-matching saucer - or not. This pot has the saucer baked into it though.

On another pot that is exactly the same but different color, I easily expanded the hole by a larger drill, but I do not want to unpot this hoya to do the same because it's growing so well (finally!) I'll have to do that though when draining becomes unbearably-slow.

I grow all of my trellised plants on humidity grids so the water runs right through them. There is no need to have to dump saucers.

And then what happens to that water? Evaporation? Or do you have to drain the big trays?

In other news, that peduncle on brevialata is definitely growing buds! Yay.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2014 at 10:36PM
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Nice looking plant set up Greentoe! The plants look like they are really liking it as well.

I'm glad that you have found useful information on my site. I have really enjoyed putting it all together.

The water that drains into my humidity trays never has to be emptied as it all evaporates within a few days. Once a year I give them a really good cleaning with vinegar to clean away all the gunk and mineral deposits.

My hanging baskets have to be watered and drained in the shower, or they would make a mess and destroy my house - That is why I have so few.

Congratulations on your brevialata buds; it is definitely one of the best Hoyas out there!


    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 9:30AM
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Doug, I see trays and brown grids in the two bottom pictures here ( What do you use for that and where do you get them? And what is under the brown grids?

I am always looking for ways to save time on watering. I used to water everything in the sink or bathtub. That got old pretty fast, so now I only do it sometimes, often in combination with a full-on shower, which my plants love too much to deny them. I mainly water plants right in their places now, which in addition to saving time also minimizes mechanical damage and the mess and damage of dropped pots. However, an occasional overflowing of a saucer is a problem, as is the need to drain saucers where too much water pools.

For me, time watering and expense of setups and plants themselves are the two limiting factors. Perhaps surprisingly, it is not space, even though I am in a NYC apartment.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2014 at 8:43PM
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My humidity trays are available in three sizes, and I got them at Charlie's Greenhouse. I think you can also find them on EBAY. They are brown and hold the plants 2 inches above the water in the bottom. While I consider them to be the best, they are terribly expensive - much more so than when I originally bought them. They are however an investment that will last virtually forever and pay for themselves in time saved. There are other options that are less money. You can buy boot trays and cut plastic egg crate grids (every HD and Lowes Carry them) with a hot blade to fit the trays.


    Bookmark   February 6, 2014 at 10:36AM
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Good pointers. I realized the trays will block the light to the bottom shelf though - more than the plants block it now. The choices are clear, it's just a matter of weighing them. Thanks.

    Bookmark   February 8, 2014 at 8:47AM
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