Will misting my hoya help it bloom?

squidy(8a)March 3, 2011

I have had my first hoya for a few months now. When I bought it, it had buds, but they dried up and fell off. It's trying to grow more buds now.

I keep reading that they love humidity, and it's not very humid in my living room. That seems to be the only thing I'm doing wrong. The rest of the plant looks perky and healthy.

Will misting the buds help?

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denise_gw(5)

Not necessarily. I take mine down to water them and at that time, I almost always spray them with VF-11 water to foliar feed. That's all the misting they get, but they bloom pretty regularly. Blooming is usually more an issue of light. What direction exposure is your Hoya in and how close to the window? If it's growing peduncles, it'll bloom when it's ready. It's not uncommon for new peduncles to blast the first buds, so just be patient.

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 8:16AM
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squidy(8a)

It's right next to an east-facing window, but it's sort of in the shadow of the roof's overhang.
The peduncles don't seem to be new, most of them have a few layers..

I haven't heard of foliar feeding. Can I use Schultz 10-15-10 for that?

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 11:05AM
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mdahms1979

Do you know if your plant is a Hoya carnosa? I find that if the leaf colour is dark green the plant has a much lower chance of blooming. If you move your plant so that it gets enough light to be a medium grassy green it will have a better chance of blooming. You could try adding a low watt compact florescent bulb to add a little more light to the area your plant is in.
When I moved my Hoya carnosa to a shaded South window it pretty much stopped blooming. When I grew the same plant in a sunny South facing window it sometimes had up to eight peduncles worth of flowers either open or developing at the same time.

Mike

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 12:09PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

Foliar feeding is not an efficient way to feed plants. First, roots are much better at absorbing minerals than leaves. Secondly, soil can store a much greater supply of minerals than leaf surfaces. Foliar feeding can be a good way to tell whether a plant has a nutrient deficiency though, because the minerals can be absorbed quickly and directly. If a plant improves after foliar feeding, then something is preventing the roots from doing their job (i.e. compacted soil, poor water quality, improper nutrient supply, etc).

As for misting, it's humidity raising effect is very short lived. It also presents potential problems like fungal growth and reduced photosynthesis. I'd try to focus on overall plant health, and give it some time like Denise said.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 12:10PM
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squidy(8a)

Thanks guys.
Wow, so much info and some of it conflicts. Maybe I WILL just wait and see for now, I don't want to start any new habits until I can better judge their necessity and effectiveness.
Yes, I think it is a carnosa. The leaves are darkish, but not REALLY dark.. here's a picture:

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 2:22PM
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debbie_ny

Hi squidy! I will say that light is the key factor to getting any hoya to bloom period. Yes, they need good nutrition and proper watering too...but without light, no blooms, period.....did you keep the plant nice and moist while it was budding up? I've found that when they start to bud they like to be kept on the moist side and not moved around to different locations...and I grow some fairly tempermental varieties....I do find that my plants like a little misting during the dry winter months....so i dilute some Elenors VF-11 and they seem to love it! I also use a high phosphate fertilizer which strengthens roots and promotes flowering......Let me know how it goes!

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 3:19PM
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denise_gw(5)

Penfold,

I don't agree about foliar feeding being less efficient. There are those that share your opinion, but there are many that believe foliar feeding is the more efficient way to feed your plants. Of course, you have to do it correctly. The majority of the absorption happens through the underside of the leaves, so one has to make sure both sides get misted. Also, stomata close during the heat of the day, so the best time to feed is early in the morning or in the evening. The advantage of foliar feeding is that the salts don't build up in the soil like they do if you root feed only. I give my plants the VF-11 both through the leaves and in my watering can - about once a month in the watering can, and a misting every watering. Then a couple times in summer, I give them a traditional bloom booster.

Denise in Omaha

Here is a link that might be useful: Wiki about foliar feeding

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 4:03PM
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mdahms1979

Squidy your plant is a Hoya carnosa and a fairly young one at that. Although I do see a peduncle I would suggest that with good light you will see more peduncles form as the plant grows. Do not cut any of the long leafless vines that appear as this is often where the peduncles form. I would agree that the colour of your plant is suggesting that it is getting good light.

Mike

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 7:55PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

A quick search will show that foliar feeding is widely regarded as a means of quickly correcting small nutrient deficiencies. But it is not an efficient method for supplying nutrients (particularly macros). Just think about the amount of water that can cling to foliage in comparison to the amount contained in a pot of soil. You would have to foliar feed many, many times in order to provide the amount of nutrition in a single soil feeding. And consider the amount of time a plant has to absorb nutrients before water evaporates. Minutes on foliage vs days in soil. Even if you could keep foliage wet for longer periods, you'd be encouraging disease. There are a few plants that are designed for foliar feeding (like Tillandsias which possess trichomes for enhanced water/nutrient absorption). Most plants, however, are not designed for this and will be very inefficient at it.

As for mineral accumulation, a healthy root system requires a porous soil that can be flushed at every watering. If you can't flush your soil without risk of rot, then you should change your soil, not your watering method.

I don't mean to be argumentative here. I just want to see that people get the full story.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 9:41PM
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denise_gw(5)

Pen,

Then I guess the amount I'm feeding via my watering can must be sufficient because my plants seem fat and happy!

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 9:06AM
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squidy(8a)

So, wait.. the salts build up in the soil? That means you have to change the soil occasionally, right? How often?

Sorry, I'm pretty new to all of this.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 1:57PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

If you water plants in small enough amounts that they don't drain, the minerals from your tap water and fertilizer will accumulate in the soil as pure water evaporates, leaving the minerals behind. If the mineral concentration becomes too high, this can prevent roots from absorbing water. The solution is to water your plants until water runs out the bottom. This allows excess minerals to be flushed out of the pot. Be sure to do this in the sink so that the water is actually removed, rather than just allowing the water to sit in a saucer beneath the pot.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 3:34PM
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generator_00

Hi squidy, I have found that if you want to get your carnosa to bloom it needs a lot of light and probably some fertilize of some type. I have 4 carnosas in a south facing window with a 4 foot long 2 bulb grow light that burns 16 hours a day in the winter. I don't know if 16 hours is really necessary but it's what works for me. I feed them very infrequently with Eleanors VF-11 and they don't have any trouble blooming. I have only gave them VF-11 once to the roots this winter so I really believe it is light that they need, probably both intensity and hours of light will make a difference. Also I will repeat what has already been said about the tendrils and make sure you don't cut them because they can bloom on them and my happiest hoyas have tendrils going everywhere.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2011 at 8:02PM
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squidy(8a)

Oh good, that's how I've been watering my plants. (Letting them drain out the bottom.)

Like I said, the buds are trying to grow again, so maybe it is getting enough light in this window. If they don't bloom this time, I'll consider getting a light, although the flowers would just be a bonus since I like it how it is already.

And no, I would never cut the tendrils!

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 3:11AM
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denise_gw(5)

Squidy,

In zone 10, you shouldn't need to supplement your light. If you put your Hoya outside after the danger of frost is past (do you get frost??), on a shady porch or under a tree, it will likely bloom like crazy in short order.

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   March 6, 2011 at 8:41PM
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squidy(8a)

I'm not in zone 10, it keeps defaulting to that for some reason. I'm apparently in zone 7, although according to other zone-finder things I'm in zone.. 4 maybe? Wherever Renton Washington is.
It's not a super bright/warm place.
I'm hesitant to put it outside even after the frost because the chance that it could randomly drop down below 40 at night persists for most of the year.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 1:25AM
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