What to expect

dsegel(6)March 30, 2013

I bought my first hoya last Fall. It is Hoya Samoensis. It was a rooted cutting with 7 leaves on it. I planted it in a mix of cactus and bonsai "soil" and hung it in a SW window. I watered it very sparingly. It has sat there all Winter with no growth but remaining green and seemingly OK. At the beginning of March it was looking sort of brittle so I have fertilized it with a Miracle Gro liquid houseplant fertilizer two times, two weeks apart. That seemed to perk it up a bit (lost its brittleness and seemed to lift it off the soil a bit) but I still don't see any growth. Can someone tell me what I might expect with this plant?

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As far as it not putting out new growth, that isn't unusual at all for a Hoya that has been recently purchased. Frequently it takes them a few months to a year to expand their root system in a new pot, adapt to a new environment, and really gear up to take off. So, don't get worried too early. It could be you're right around the corner from a growth spurt. As long as the plant looks healthy, and you're giving it enough light, just bide your time.

I fertilize my plants weakly with every watering, so I would continue feeding your plant if I were you. I'm not exactly sure what you mean by brittle, but if you're still concerned about its condition you could post a picture and we'll be able to tell you whether it looks like it's in good shape or not.

Otherwise, just stay the course and be patient. Hoyas aren't the quickest plants in the beginning, but once they get going, they are very steady growers and bloomers.

    Bookmark   March 30, 2013 at 5:01PM
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My experience with Hoya samoensis is that it likes it warm with a lot of humidity. I killed this plant many times in soil, but it grew like a weed and flowered a number of times when grown in semi-hydro. For your first Hoya, there might have been better candidates... Meaning - don't get discouraged it is not the easiest Hoya to grow.


    Bookmark   April 1, 2013 at 12:43PM
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Doug, What hoya would you recommend for a beginner?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 11:11AM
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Gosh, there are too many for me to mention here. Most people seem to start with a carnosa, and move on to other species from there. Here is just a partial list of a few of the many of easy beginner Hoyas off the top of my head. H. obovata, kerrii, lacunosas of all kind, lobbii, cumingiana, pubicalyx, nummularoides, DS-70, and H. wayetii. There are many more, but these are all very easy, and readily available almost everywhere.


    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 12:33PM
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Doug, I was mistaken about the hoya variety I have. I looked it up again after your post and realized it is a Hoya fitchii. Your thoughts on this one?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2013 at 1:15PM
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Someone else will have to help you out on that one, as I have never grown it.


    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 5:28AM
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GG suggested H. fitchii to me. Easy to grow, grows fast, and has beautiful leaves. I've never had an issue with it! It doesn't mind being dry, but prefers a regular watering. In the summer, I water it 1-2 times per week. In the winter, it's maybe 2-3 times a month.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:04AM
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How long did it take to get established and start putting out new growth? I got it last Fall and it's been OK but no signs of new growth yet. I just started a weak fertilizer about 3 weeks ago. I have it in a 6" pot with a cactus/bonsai mix--not a lot of regular soil.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2013 at 11:37AM
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Length of time can be cutting specific, not just species specific. Insofar as there are species differences, in speed of growth, fitchii is an average type Hoya.

For example,

I have one cutting of fitchii that I got from a vendor and it took a year before it started growing. Even now it doesn't grow very fast.

I have another cutting of fitchii that I got from a trade, and it started growing after a month. It has outstripped the other fitchii many times over.

They grow in the same soil, in the same light. At this point, I should just chop up the slow fitchii and restart it. There is something wrong with that cutting or the way it rooted. The plant is simply not thriving.

You, on the other hand, have only been waiting 6 fall & winter months. Bump up the light and continue fertilizing it. If it hasn't done anything by midsummer, then it's probably fair to say the plant is lacking something. At this point, it's still in the normal Hoya behavior zone.

    Bookmark   April 8, 2013 at 1:34PM
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