Variegated Hoya Kerrii Deformed New Growth

Bev660March 23, 2013

Please forgive me if I'm posting this in the wrong place. I'm new to this forum!

I have a pot containing three well-rooted hoya kerrii cuttings that have sprouted some new leaves. Lately, four or five new leaves have opened that look extremely deformed; they are curled/puckered and have dark brown 'veins' running through them. I see no sign of bugs.

Does anyone know what might be causing this issue and how to treat it? I'd be heartbroken if I lost this plant!

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ohmybloomers(7a)

Hi Bev - could you possibly post a picture?

Are the leaves dry, mushy, or neither? How are you growing them - how often do you water, what are they growing in, what kind of light? Are the leaves that aren't new still OK?

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 7:56AM
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Bev660

Thanks, ohmybloomers ... here's a photo and I'll try to post a second. I'm in Southwest Florida; the potted plant is on my screened, covered lanai facing west where it only gets a little direct sun in the late afternoon. It's planted in cactus/succulent mix, which I only water when dry.

The leaves are neither dry nor mushy. The leaves that aren't new look just fine, including earlier new growth. It's just the latest generation of leaves ... about five all together from three different cuttings in the same pot.

There were a couple of nights where the temp dropped into the mid to upper 40's ... could the temperature change have done this? I'm totally stumped.

This post was edited by Bev660 on Sun, Mar 24, 13 at 8:53

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 8:49AM
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Bev660

If the photos aren't viewable, please try the link to my Flickr photostream.

Thanks!
Bev

Here is a link that might be useful: My Flickr Photostream

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:49AM
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Bev660

If the photos aren't viewable, please try the link to my Flickr photostream.

Thanks!
Bev

Here is a link that might be useful: My Flickr Photostream

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:50AM
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Bev660

If the photos aren't viewable, please try the link to my Flickr photostream.

Thanks!
Bev

Here is a link that might be useful: My Flickr Photostream

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 9:51AM
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mdahms1979

The easiest way to post photos from Flickr is to click the Share button. Then copy the html code and paste it into your message where you want the photo to appear. When you preview your post you will be able to see the photo.

Hoya kerrii likes a lot of light. The regular green form can take full sun but it will probably look best if given a little shade during the afternoon. I think the problem with your plant is likely too little sun and too much moisture and fertilizer. This is a really tough Hoya and it also is designed to tolerate a fairly long dry season where it grows in nature. Giving the plant too much water in the winter is not a good idea. You should allow the plant to dry out completely while still giving it bright light. During the winter while the plant is being kept quite dry you can also withhold fertilizer as the plant should be encouraged not to grow. Of course if the plant seems to really want to grow then of course allow it but be sure to provide enough light. Growing this one too shady will cause soft growth that is not typical and this growth will be more susceptible to pests.
How big a pot is your plant in and how long does the potting media stay moist after you water? It is also possible that you are seeing the effects of a root system that is stressed from remaining moist for too long.
Of course after saying that, Hoyas sometimes develop strange leaves. If the rest of the growth develops as normal then I would simply remove the deformed leaf once the new growth is well underway.

Mike

Here is a link that might be useful: Hoya kerrii during the dry season in Thailand

    Bookmark   March 24, 2013 at 12:06PM
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Bev660

Thanks, Mike. You may have hit on something with the fertilizer. I do add a little liquid fertilizer when I water, thinking it's now springtime and it should be okay to do. I don't believe I overwater; I do wait until the soil is dry. The pot it's in is 8" in diameter and about 10" deep and the hoya is planted in succulent soil. The pot has a drainage hole.

The pot *does* probably take a little longer to dry out because of the humidity here, but I think the plant gets enough sun. Interestingly, I have another variegated hoya kerrii with reverse coloration in an identical pot in the same location and it's doing fine with no leaf deformation and I treat both plants exactly the same way. Odd!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 8:38AM
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denise_gw

Bev,

That's a pretty big pot, and cactus mix IMO is heavy. I've got mine in a soup bowl (I'm famous for drilling a hole in the bottom of anything that will make a good plant pot!) which is about 5" wide and 3.5" deep...

If I were using cactus mix, I would probably add at least 50% perlite to lighten it up. You want there to be plenty of air around the roots, which helps them dry out faster. Wet feet are a Hoya's worst enemy. It's hard to know why your reverse variegate does fine in the same conditions, but I would probably keep a close eye on it, too.

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 9:44AM
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mdahms1979

I agree with Denise. I have my plant in a 5" square pot and would not think of moving it to anything much bigger. Hoyas really don't like to be soggy so smaller pots work best. If the plant has filled the big pot with roots it might be ok but be extra careful with the watering if you decide not to repot. It's also good practice to add extra bark, perlite, etc., to the potting mix as most commercial ones are not the best choice for Hoyas. Cacti and succulent mix is usually quite heavy when wet because of the sand unless it's one of the ones heavy in shredded bark. Still adding something to keep it more open would be a good idea.

Mike

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 11:44AM
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Bev660

Thank you for your input. The roots are quite long so I'll concentrate on really allowing the soil to dry out and stop adding fertilizer to the water. I'll also aerate whatever loose soil I have and maybe allow the plant to get more direct sun.

Interestingly, the mother plant I took these cuttings from is at least a decade old and absolutely huge; I've never had any type of problem with it.

Let's see if your suggestions help ... I'll post a follow-up. As long as the plant isn't in imminent danger of demise, I'm relieved!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 12:55PM
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Bev660

Just a follow-up to my original post. I moved both of my Hoya Kerriis indoors into an east-facing window where they get direct sun in the morning and I also haven't watered either plant since my original post.

They are both thriving! Lots of perfectly normal leaves growing at an incredible rate. I can't believe the difference this has made. My thanks to everyone who responded with advice ... it made a world of difference!

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 9:17AM
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greedygh0st

Wonderful news, Bev. Thanks for the follow up! I find it so uplifting that you were able to turn things around with a few adjustments. :)

    Bookmark   April 9, 2013 at 11:01AM
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