Hoyas/Dischidias Outdoors in Southern California?

epiphyte78(9)April 22, 2013

Hi Folks,

Which species of Hoyas and Dischidias have people in Southern California (and similar climates) been growing outdoors year around? I've been interested in epiphytic plants for quite some time now but it wasn't until last year that I really started to branch out into Hoyas and Dischidias.

Here's a partial list of plants that I had outside in Glendale this last winter. One night it got down to at least 32F. All of them are mounted and a few are covered in plastic. I plan on propagating the ones covered in plastic so that I can try divisions under shade cloth.

Dischidia bengalensis - The base of mine rotted but I'm remounting it in my terrarium. A few of my friends are growing it outdoors.

Dischidia cleistantha - Strong summer grower but each winter around half of the new growth dies back. This last winter, because of the frost, the die back seemed especially severe. Here's a picture of one of mine wrapped around my Ficus "bonsai"...

Dischidia formosana - pretty great outdoors

Dischidia hirsuta - covered in plastic

Dischidia ioantha variegata - seems marginal outdoors

Dischidia milnei - slow but no winter dieback

Dischidia nummularia (large leaf type) - covered in plastic. The large leaf type which is probably from Australia seems more tolerant than the small leaf type from Malaysia, Singapore, etc. I also have a variety which is from China.

Dischidia rafflesiana - covered in plastic

Dischidia ruscifolia - covered in plastic and under shade cloth. Seems marginal.

Hoya australis ssp. keysii? - fairly succulent, yellowish and fuzzy. A bit of dieback but should be pretty good grower once better established.

Hoya australis ssp. oramicola - didn't seem too bothered by the frost but it very gradually began to drop its leaves. Now it only has one or two leaves left...not sure if it's going to recover.

Hoya australis ssp. not rupicola - purchased as rupicola but it's not nearly as succulent as the plants I've seen as rupicola. Leaves are fairly dark green and elongated. No problem with the cold.

Hoya bella - covered in plastic but shouldn't have a problem with more exposure.

Hoya cumingiana - covered in plastic but a friend lost his this last winter. He'd had it for several years but recently and accidentally decreased its drainage.

Hoya excavata - killed by the frost

Hoya fungii - has already sent out new growth

Hoya globulosa - just starting to send out new growth

Hoya kerri - no problem with the cold. Several of my friends are also growing it outdoors with no problem. Probably needs quite a bit of summer heat though so might not work for people along the coast.

Hoya khoniana 'Eskimo' - strong summer grower but unfortunately the freeze killed it. I gave some rooted plants to three friends with greenhouses so I should be able to get it back. This time I'll know to bring it indoors if there's a chance of frost.

Hoya lacunosa - mostly fried but I just stuck a few sad pieces in my terrarium.

Hoya litoralis - didn't seem to do that well to begin with...so kinda hard to say. I just have a small piece left covered in plastic.

Hoya loheri - strong summer grower and didn't even seem bothered by the frost

Hoya meliflua - killed by the frost

Hoya nummularioides - had around 5 established cuttings. Lost a couple...doesn't seem like a strong grower.

Hoya polyneura - seems pretty solid

Hoya serpens - no problem with the cold...a bit on the slow side.

Hoya shepherdii? - no problem with the cold

None of my "conclusions" are really definitive. Perhaps I just ended up with an especially tender clone...or maybe the plant just ended up in the coldest location in my garden. Or maybe the plant wasn't established enough.

A few others being grown outdoors by friends...

Hoya carnosa
Hoya linealis
Hoya obovata
Hoya pubicalyx

Here are some that might work based on their distribution...

Hoya acuminata
Hoya acuta
Hoya aldrichii
Hoya amoena/verticillata
Hoya angustifolia
Hoya arnottiana
Hoya bhutanica
Hoya burmanica
Hoya chinghungensis
Hoya crassifolia
Hoya edenii
Hoya erythrostemma
Hoya fusca
Hoya gonoloboides
Hoya griffithii
Hoya kanyakumariana
Hoya krohniana
Hoya latifolia
Hoya lobbii
Hoya manipurensis
Hoya micrantha
Hoya motoskei
Hoya nicholsoniae
Hoya oblanceolata
Hoya oreogena
Hoya ovalifolia
Hoya pachyclada
Hoya pallida
Hoya pandurata
Hoya parviflora
Hoya pauciflora
Hoya pottsii
Hoya pseudo-littoralis
Hoya retusa
Hoya revolubilis
Hoya rigida
Hoya teretifolia
Hoya thomsonii
Hoya vaccinoides
Hoya weebella/dickasoniana
Hoya wightii

I'm looking forward to hearing the experiences of other people who've been growing Hoyas and Dischidias outdoors in Southern California. I'm definitely interested in trying new species so if anybody in my area is interested in trading...please send me a message.

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I am about 1.5 hrs north of San diego and 1.5 hrs south of Los Angeles in the Inland Empire, it starts getting cold here at night about mid September to mid October. I bring almost all of my hoyas inside from the time the night temps drop below 55 degrees and keep them inside until April or May when they are back up to around 55. I was in Europe this past September and had my sister staying over to take care of my dogs and plants and I didn't think it would be a big deal to wait to bring them inside until I got back because temps were about 60 degrees when I left, they abruptly dropped to just below 50 while I was gone so they were in shock when I returned, I lost my Aldrichii and cv. Joy. My sister has hoyas too so I am sure it was the temp drop that shocked them and not the way she watered them. I am surprised you have been able to leave so many of yours out through the entire winter without mass casualties!

This winter it was close to freezing for several weeks, and was even under 20 degrees a few nights here. I left my Carnosa outside through the winter because its way too big to bring inside and it seemed to do fine. My Variegated Kerrii was subjected to those super cold temps inside my house and tons of leaves froze, then turned black or started to yellow, and dropped off :( It was too big to bring into the kitchen where I keep the rest of them during the winter, so I left it in the back bedroom next to a window and I guess it must have even gotten too cold in there for it... It has bounced back, but I'm assuming that's because of its size, if it was a small plant, I surely would have lost it. Any new leaves that have grown since the freeze are solid green, not sure if that is from the shock of the cold or what but I'm not too worried about it, I know the whole plant can revert to solid green because of this but I'm ok with that, I'm just glad it survived because it was in bad shape.

My hoyas that were in shock in the low 50's & high 40's:
Latifolia - this one is pretty sensitive so I won't be putting it back outside unless temps are consistently above 60.
Meliflua ssp. Fraterna
Cv. Joy - eventually lost
Diversifolia ssp. El nidicus - almost lost this one too
Aldrichii - eventually lost

The ones that were ok in the low 50's/high 40's but I brought them inside anyway (and they seemed grateful to be indoors):
Australis(not sure which ssp., purchased at local nursery & it was not labeled)
Pubicalyx - did drop a few leaves but was still ok

I am slowly bringing them all back outside now :)

Hopefully that gives you a good bit of insight from another Southern California Hoya lover.

I have also developed my own little system I would like to share that helps me be sure not to over or under water my hoyas regardless of the season, my trick is checking the mature leaves first before checking the soil, if they are stiff I know they are not ready to take water yet. If the mature leaves are soft, I then check the soil, and if it is dry, I can be sure they need water. If the leaves are soft and the soil is moist I check the leaves the next day and most of the time they are stiff by then and just needed a bit more time to soak up the water from the soil. Basically, I rely on the stiffness of the leaves to tell me if the plant is ready to be watered and I have not had over or under watering problems since I started doing it this way :)

My only hoyas large enough to take cuttings from are my Carnosa and Kerri, which are obviously pretty common, maybe we can do some trades next season once my other ones are large enough to take cuts from :)

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 5:40AM
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lovinmyblooms, thanks for sharing your experience!

That's pretty crazy that it gets down to below 20 degrees where you are. I'm surprised that carnosa could take it that low. I knew it was cold tolerant...but I had no idea it was that tolerant. I'm also surprised that you lost a couple Hoyas because of temperatures just below 50. That's very intolerant.

What helps me a bit is that I've been growing 100s of species of orchids outside for years. So a lot of what I've learned about growing orchids has helped me when it comes to Hoyas. Basically, it's safer to err on the side of too much drainage and too little water during winter.

In terms of trading...because I really only started collecting last year, I don't have any large specimens either. Plus, mounted Hoyas don't really grow as fast as potted ones. Well...at least outdoors here in Southern California. But I do have a few duplicates.

Have you had a chance to visit Kartuz? That's my favorite nursery in Southern California. I plan on visiting him within the next couple of weeks to drop off a ton of plants...including a very very succulent Hoya australis ssp. rupicola...and pick up a few plants. He's got a very succulent Hoya pachyclada with my name on it.

Kartuz is my primary "insurance". I try and give him divisions of all my rare plants. That way, if something happens to one of my plants...I can eventually get a division back from him. Plus, it's better all around when rarer plants are more readily available.

If anybody is interested...I also posted this thread in the following places...

Garden Web - California Forum - Cold Tolerant Hoyas/Dischidias

Growing on the Edge - Cold Tolerant Hoyas/Dischidias

PalmTalk - Cold Tolerant Hoyas/Dischidias?

Flickr - Epiphytes Group - Cold Tolerant Hoyas/Dischidias?

    Bookmark   April 28, 2013 at 4:55PM
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I couldnt believe we were getting low temps like that here either, I just so happened to be up super late one night and checked the weather online and saw that the current temp was 18F, it was like 2 AM but I flew outside and covered the carnosa with painter's plastic and started bringing my potted succulents inside. It was too late for most of my succulents, a few leaves froze on my Carnosa but it was ok(it's about 4 feet wide & 4 feet tall so I think it's mass saved it).
When we do get temps that low it's only for an hour or two, but its an hour or two enough to do some serious damage to most plants in my area, my palm trees got hit pretty bad too :(

I have never heard of Kartuz but I would sure like to check the place out some time! Thanks for letting me know about them :)

Good luck with your Hoyas!

    Bookmark   April 30, 2013 at 12:14AM
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Hoya heuschkeliana and Hoya pauciflora are two other species that took the frost for me. I recently figured out their IDs.

Here's a photo of another species that also survived the cold but I still haven't managed to learn its ID...

Here's the larger version of the photo.

It's an outstanding grower and I've seen it in several collections. Perhaps its just a little less commonly grown than Hoya shepherdii. But nobody who has it knows what it is and they've never seen it flower.

Here's a photo of it starting to climb my tree...

Here's the larger version of the photo.

Does anybody recognize it?

Here are some of the plants that I picked up from Kartuz in May...

Dischidia lancifolia
Hoya angustifolia
Hoya mindorensis
Hoya obscura major
Hoya pachyclada
Hoya paziae
Hoya pottsii ‘Chiang Mai’
Hoya pubicalyx 'Red Buttons'
Hoya wayetii

Some that I received from other friends...

Hoya plicata
Hoya NOID (large somewhat floppy leaves)
Hoya revolubilis
Hoya tsangii

They are all mounted on moss. I plan on testing them outside this winter. If I get a chance I'll share some pics.

The reason that I picked some of them from Kartuz is because their leaves are colorful. Generally I try and select test candidates based on their habitat/distribution. I don't know what happened this time. My appreciation of the superficial somehow managed to take control. Then again, if some of them turn out hardier than expected...more value will be created because more people will find these new options more valuable because of their colorful foliage.

Is anybody else in SoCal or similar climates going to test any Hoyas/Dischidias outside this winter?

Earlier in the year at the LA Fern & Exotic plant show and sale a lady in my fern society exhibited quite a nice collection of Hoyas. Most of the plants were recent acquisitions but she said that they had spent the winter outside. She lives in Corona...here's her list...

Hoya brevialata
Hoya carnosa
Hoya kerri
Hoya multiflora
Hoya nicholsoniae
Hoya obovata
Hoya pachyclada
Hoya plicata
Hoya polyneura
Hoya revolubilis
Hoya serpens
Hoya shepherdii
Hoya tsangii

Lastly, my Hoya serpens bloomed for the first time...

    Bookmark   November 14, 2013 at 2:04PM
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garyfla_gw(10 Florida)

was just going to post on a hoya choice to grow climbing a tree in the garden. the tree is a Cassia roxburghii and is now supporting several other epi's . has a wonderful dappled shade and very reasonable growth rate and as a bonus it doesn't seed like most cassia.
i'm thinking carnosa maybe a variagate would be the best choice ??. The last couple of winters have spolied me but know ma nature will strike again lol Thanks for any suggestions gary

    Bookmark   November 17, 2013 at 5:48AM
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Carnosa is nice but for me it would be like seeing a Monstera deliciosa climbing a tree. My friend had Monstera deliciosa climbing all over his tree...here's a video of a few of us removing most of it. The deliciosa is nice, but it takes up space that could be used for more interesting...unusual...oddball epiphytes. In economics the term is "opportunity cost".

I removed my decliciosa from my tree a while ago...and now I have the variegated one climbing it. It was growing a little too vigorously so I cut off all its roots that had gone into the ground. That slowed it down a bit.

Here's a photo I took in San Diego a while ago...

Maybe it's a carnosa? The variegated one would certainly be more interesting. But I think for me there are numerous other Hoyas that would be far more interesting.

Check out how cool Hoya pachyclada looks climbing a tree!!! It's neat because it has really succulent leaves. Even Hoya kerrii would be more interesting. Here it is growing on a tree. Check out how awesome that habitat looks!! Both kerrii and pachyclada are relatively drought tolerant once you get them established.

Plus, we already know that carnosa and australis are pretty cold tolerant...but there are numerous Hoyas where nobody knows just how much cold they can really take. The more of us that conduct cold tolerance trials the better!

Also, if you get some oddball Hoyas then we can trade later on! Because I'm definitely not going to trade Hoya loheri for Hoya carnosa no matter how variegated it is. No deal! :D

    Bookmark   December 3, 2013 at 9:03PM
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My friend in Rome, Italy has been growing Hoya linearis outside for several years.

Here in Glendale I've already had a casuality...Hoya mindorensis. So far the coldest it's gotten is 35F.

    Bookmark   December 20, 2013 at 5:13PM
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