I just spoke with Exotic Angel...

greentoe357April 16, 2014

So, I finally got tired of seeing some yummy hoyas on the EA website while NEVER seeing them in stores, and I gave them a call to find out how to get my sweaty little hands on some of their delicious little plants.

What they told me is that when a Home Depot or Lowes or somesuch chain orders with them, it's typically for an "assortment" of pots or baskets - which means the store doesn't know which specific plants they are going to get, and neither does EA themselves. The greenhouse filling the order just gives them an assortment of whichever plants are ready for shipping at that time.

Moreover, even if they could tell me when a BBS is getting a shipment, EA not only does not know which particular store is getting the plants, they do not even know which region of the country is getting them. (This is expected - the BBS decides itself how to distribute.)

More depressing news are for some of the species:

Multiflora (https://www.exoticangel.com/plant-library/species/hoya/item/346-) - not grown anymore, they told me.

Nummularioides (https://www.exoticangel.com/plant-library/species/hoya/item/352-) - she has not seen it on the availability list recently.

Longifolia (https://www.exoticangel.com/plant-library/species/hoya/item/344-) - availability seen occasionally, not recently, maybe not grown anymore.

Australis ssp. Tenuipes (https://www.exoticangel.com/plant-library/species/hoya/item/331-) - not grown right now.

Lacunosa 'Ruby Sue' (https://www.exoticangel.com/plant-library/species/hoya/item/354-) she has seen on the availability list before, but not now. (By the way, I have seen it in the store last year, but was stupid not to grab it).

These were the only 5 hoyas I asked about because they are at the top of my list of what's on their list.

It seemingly wasn't all bad news though. They put me in touch with a local EA distributor. But that hope was quickly crushed when they told me they do wholesale only.

So, I am back to seeing what I can find opportunistically - and relying on trades and purchases from specialized vendors, of course.

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greedygh0st

Interesting report on the situation. I guess that makes sense. I'm sure Omaha's big box stores aren't all going: Let's order nothing but KP for the millionth time in a row!

I think Ruby Sue is the only one of the Hoyas you listed that I've seen in a big box store, in the time I've been collecting. I definitely haven't heard of anyone getting a longifolia or multiflora. I would think multiflora would do well, since it tolerates overwatering better than other Hoyas. ;P Longifolia (at least my varieties) grows slow as heck, so I never understood why it was on their roster.

The good news is that none of the species that you listed are "rare" in the collector community, so I think long-term you should be able to get them all through trade relatively easily. Of course, you won't start out with a giant basket, but I still think that Hoyas grow better when you root them yourself in your own conditions. Most of the plants I obtained potted took a year or so before they started growing at the same pace as the Hoyas I rooted from cuttings, so the cuttings would catch up to them. And my EA plants have all died back and lost ground until they were at the same size, too.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:11PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Unfortunately that is true! I too called them last year and everything you mentioned is what they told be as well...that's why I finally gave up trying to get anything from them via the big box stores or anywhere else...its been very disappointing to say the least.

All I ever see in my area from Exotic Angels are IVYs and I don't even like them,lol...

    Bookmark   April 17, 2014 at 2:31PM
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DearAmbellina(4 MN)

I was perusing through posts on the forum and found out (I'm fairly new to Hoyas) that my "I am a Hoya "Rope" Hoya Carnosa Compacta (which is what the EA tag said it was, is actually what appears to be a Hoya Tsangii....

Does this happen often or maybe were tags switched at the Walmart? I just find it strange because it's definitely not a Rope Hoya.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 12:51AM
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greedygh0st

It does happen very often. It's best to Google the name on the tag when you get home and if it doesn't match, then you can go to the EA website, look through their offerings and make a better assessment.

I have no idea how it happens, but I suspect they're carelessly labeled before they get to the box store. Maybe they get labeled at a different location (a packaging/shipping warehouse) than where they were grown.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 2:01AM
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denise_gw(5)

I got my multiflora (aka javanica) back when EA sold it. I can see why they no longer sell it - the one I got was massive, about 3' wide, and they would take up way too much room. Of course, if they were smart, they would offer smaller versions of some of the Hoyas that do take of and get quite rambling... Another one I never see anymore is polyneura. Again, though, it does get large fast under ideal conditions. Unfortunately, I lost quite a bit of mine a few winters ago, and have a smallish pot of it now that seems to ebb and flow for me...

I've decided that certain parts of the country seem to get certain species while other parts get others. For instance, for awhile there, I kept hearing about folks getting retusa, yet I've never seen a hint of it around here. Longifolia was another one they had on their website, but I'd never seen it. (You're right, GG, it grows slow for me, too...) If I have the time to drive around and hit all the box stores in my area, I've found I can sometimes hit paydirt and find something I never see at the stores closest to me. But it's been a long time since I've done that... I haven't seen ANY of the lacunosas in a long time.

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 4:18PM
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greentoe357

> I was perusing through posts on the forum and found out (I'm fairly new to Hoyas) that my "I am a Hoya "Rope" Hoya Carnosa Compacta (which is what the EA tag said it was, is actually what appears to be a Hoya Tsangii....

...which is actually a Hoya DS-70. Welcome to the Wonderland world of EA labeling. Even when they happen to be labelled correctly, they are misspelled, like for TWO of TWO plants I bought at the same time (that is 100% fail rate if you are doing the math):

> Does this happen often or maybe were tags switched at the Walmart?

My guess is the latter. A careless shopper/browser or an employee replaced the label onto a wrong plant.

> Another one I never see anymore is polyneura.

I am happy to report I saw (and bought!) one just 2-3 weeks ago at a Home Depot in Manhattan.

> Unfortunately, I lost quite a bit of mine a few winters ago, and have a smallish pot of it now that seems to ebb and flow for me...

Want to trade then? :-)

> I haven't seen ANY of the lacunosas in a long time.

I saw THREE. DIFFERENT. ONES. AT THE SAME TIME. IN THE SAME STORE. O.M.G! AND one of them was flowering on at least one umbel. And I did not get any - "because the 8' baskets are too big". Stupid, I know.

> I've decided that certain parts of the country seem to get certain species while other parts get others.

Yes, that's probably what's happening.

    Bookmark   April 20, 2014 at 11:18PM
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greedygh0st

Probably the various nurseries EA works with tend to produce different species, and the box stores are just shipped plants from the closest one. There's definitely a regional effect that goes on. I gave up looking for EA plants. Minnesota and Nebraska get different Hoya species, but nothing exciting.

Yeah, agreed that multiflora and polyneura aren't the most streamlined plants. ;) It's neat that polyneura is till bopping around.

I do wish they'd sell them in 4" pots like they do the succulents. It would be easier to get them back on track.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2014 at 11:13AM
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greentoe357

> > Does this happen often or maybe were tags switched at the Walmart?

> My guess is the latter. A careless shopper/browser or an employee replaced the label onto a wrong plant.

Ha! I change my mind. Saw three pots of the same hoya at Lowes yesterday, and all three were mislabeled in exactly the same way (lacunosa labels on brevialata plants, all of them with no exception). This is that day's delivery, so shoppers or employees cannot be blamed - it's gotta be EA greenhouse's fault. There is really no limit to how little regard those people have for labeling plants correctly.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 3:08PM
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greedygh0st

lol! I've seen the same thing. That's exactly why I reached the conclusion I did.

Packaging labels seem like an easy enough thing to do right, but I've seen a bit of how it works in my industry, and I can easily think of several scenarios that would account for what we're seeing from EA.

    Bookmark   April 25, 2014 at 3:24PM
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greentoe357

It's funny - this is EXACTLY what somebody in publishing industry said about EA misspelling their labels. Happens more often than we think - and then, invariably after millions of copies are printed, somebody notices.

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 1:06PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

But what I'd like to know is why? I can almost understand the tags getting confused, or perhaps carelessly placed from the start.

But misspellings? There are people known as proofers for exactly this reason. As someone who has worked as a professional legal word processor (sometimes w/ proofers), it just boggles my mind!!!

    Bookmark   April 29, 2014 at 10:08PM
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greentoe357

I am going through old issues of Stemma, and in one of the issues (http://apodagis.com/files/StemmaV3_2.pdf, page 2) there is an interview with EA's head grower. It's old, but still pretty interesting. The issue of mislabeling did not come up. :-) But they did talk about a couple discontinued species. And the pics are amazing.

In a related story, somebody at my local plant society was telling me how EA allowed him, a non-pro in this industry, to tour one of their huge greenhouses during a trip to Florida. He had made arrangements by phone and was very impressed, by both how approachable and nice they were, and also of course by their operation.

    Bookmark   May 1, 2014 at 5:31AM
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bouldergrower

Maybe it is just because it is Spring but every time I ride over to my Home Depot, about 5 blocks away, they have a new batch of house plants. Today I was looking for Morning Glory seeds and came back with this Hoya, correctly labeled as far as I can tell.

Several weeks ago I came back with Hawthoria, Fenestraria, Pleiospilos, and Lithops from CactusCollection.com.

All of the plants were in the $2.50 range and just beautiful...I can't pass up very many plants for that price.

I have also noticed many of the $9.95 plants in nice ceramic pots are priced $5.50 on the plastic nursery pot. I just take them to the self-checkout and leave the ceramic pot behind and feel only slightly guilty.

June 7, latest $2.50 Exotic Angel Plant from Home Depot:
Dragon's Tongue, Hemipgraphis repanda. I may have to keep it wet.

Like the Parlor Palm I bought, there were about twenty plants in the pot. I separate them into at least two larger pots.

This post was edited by BoulderGrower on Sat, Jun 7, 14 at 19:21

    Bookmark   May 8, 2014 at 7:08PM
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greedygh0st

Ha! Compacta is kind of hard to screw up, huh? :) Congrats on your new plant!

Yeah, it's a racket trying to sell you a pot at the same time. I decided long ago that I'd rather have three plants in plastic pots than one plant in a ceramic one.

    Bookmark   May 9, 2014 at 5:31PM
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susancarol(7)

Our Wal-Mart has had a couple of the Exotic Angel Nummulariodes (sp) in the last (2) months.

My favorite thing to do is go plant hunting and visit all the big box stores in the area because for example, if you have (2) or (3) different Lowes or HD's in your area, each store will have something different.

Susan in Central Virginia

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:08AM
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dannie317

GT, I believe I have an EA H. Longifolia, picked up from the HD in Astoria (Woodside?) last summer. A big hanging pot. It overwintered well enough, despite the resident cat occasionally pulling large chunks of it out of the pot and leaving them on the floor for me. I'm waiting for the weather to be nice enough to put it back out on the patio.

Anyway, I've got several pieces rooting in water. I'll take a photo and post on Monday to see if I'm right. If so, I can send a few of these rooted pieces your way.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 11:49AM
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greedygh0st

@ susancarol

Nummulariodes is one I would not pass up in a basket. It's just the most perfect little Hoya.

@ Danielle

I'm curious to see your picture, because I'm wondering if it might be linearis. That's one of the ones my cat attacks a lot. Longifolia doesn't have a grassy enough look for my cat.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 12:05PM
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dannie317

I don't think it's H. linearis, they aren't "feathery" enough. The plant was in pretty poor shape when I got it, but for the price, I took it home. The leaves are healthy, just pretty scarred. They aren't flexible at all, so any jostling could cause them to snap, then scar. The leaves are between 3" and 4". What I really need to do is find a place for it to hang. I hear EA hoyas are temperamental about repotting, but this thing has taken some abuse and kept on trucking (even the chunks the cat pulled out are happily rooting in water), so I think I may break it up into more manageable pots.

I'll add another photo of the ones I have rooting.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 11:35AM
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dannie317

Here are a few that were pulled out of the pot. Some I didn't see until they were quite dehydrated, but they recovered nicely (they get better sunlight in the glass rooter, too). They'll be put in their own pot in within the week.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 11:39AM
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greedygh0st

Hey Danielle

Thanks for the great pictures!!

Yeah, you're right, definitely not linearis. LOL. Your cat is just a tougher little bandito than mine.

I would say you have a wayetii there and I definitely think you could break your EA pot into little sections. I personally don't think EA Hoyas are temperamental about re-potting. But even if they do stagger a bit, it's like re-setting a bone. It may be hard to bear, but the end result will be way healthier.

Usually breaking up an EA plant is the only way I can get all of it to survive. I did not break up my wayetii and now it looks lovely, but it lost a bunch of pieces before it got where it is today. I feel like what happens is one section is strong and the others are weaker and the strong one survives and the weaker ones struggle and often go downhill before you notice because you are blinded by the strong chunk.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 12:12PM
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dannie317

Thanks for the advice and the ID ... that is NOT what the tag said (which is now long gone)! This and a small pot of rope hoya are my first ones, and I believe they will be my onlys. I love the flowers, and hope to get this one happy enough to produce some, but I just don't like this type of unforgiving leaf. It's too easy to knock into it and then end up with a ratty looking plant, and I'm a bit of a stickler that way.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 1:50PM
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greentoe357

Danielle, it's very nice of you to offer me a cutting/plant. It looks great. I agree with GG that it's a Hoya wayetii, and I already have that one. Thanks none-the-less!

Are you in Astoria? Yay! Another hoya lover in NYC! I am in Brooklyn, Coney Island.

I did find with my 2 EA hoyas that they did not like my bare-root repotting at all, pouting for months afterwards. Several vines died, but most of them pulled through and both flowered soon after that. That pouting would not stop me from repotting them in the future though - but I'd also take cuttings at repotting time, just in case the main plant decides to commit harakiri.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 2:11PM
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greedygh0st

Maybe we could recommend to you some Hoyas with more forgiving leaves, Danielle. (wink wink) You happen to have two with very succulent leaves but there are many with very different leaves that range from leathery-armor to fuzzy-and-cuddly to light and thin.

It did take my EA wayetii a long long time to look presentable, so I totally get that. It hasn't been my average experience with the genus, tho.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 3:35PM
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dannie317

I may be back here for some recommendations for more "lovable" hoyas once a few things settle down. I really love the flowers, and if I had the space, there would be more hoyas in my life.

My obsession tends toward succulents (I work on the top floor of glass building, and sit next to a south-facing wall... it's almost TOO MUCH sun) and orchids (because I'm crazy ... is there any other answer?). The next few months will, I hope, see me moving to a new apartment, where I can hopefully have more dedicated space for my little green friends (Greentoe, I live in Sunnyside, just next to Astoria!).

I'm glad I took that photo above, because looking at it made it more obvious that the darn cat had uprooted a piece and left it in the pot (see the more withered bit on the left?). It has since been saved. This weekend it goes out on the patio. It is has lasted long enough in the house, poor thing!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 2:05PM
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