Ugly Ducklings of the Hoya family

greentoe357May 11, 2014

I hear all the time about people adding hoyas to their wish lists after somebody posts a bloom picture, or mentions the scent, or post a particularly delicious description of how the leaves look. Have you ever heard of somebody refusing to put something on their list, or crossing something out or going "eww"? Yeah, me neither.

We are a positive bunch, but let's be mean girls for a bit and talk about hoyas that don't do anything for us, that smell disgusting, grow all crooked or just do not speak to us in any other ways.

To start, here's my list.

* kerrii: untraineable branches, takes lots of space, ugly drippy messy bloody-looking flowers, and I am not gaga over the leaf shape, either (although this last one is especially a matter of taste, and I know many disagree).

* Eriostemmas: love 'em to death, actually, but it's not hot enough here and not enough light and space. So yeah, I am gonna tell myself I hate them, so that I can get over them. :-)

* arnottiana: the scent has been described as spoiled cheese or vomit or chlorine, none of which I have a strong desire to sniff.

* linearis: never seen it in person, but the look is kinda weird, lone, sickly, straggly and sad when just one or a few strands are hanging down. People say you need a really full pot for it to look good. If I ever get it, I hope to achieve THIS million-dollar look (suetran's picture):

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greentoe357

Then there are others like carnosa, lacunosa and pubicalyx that I do not hate at all, but I do have a few clones of each, and feel like the law of diminishing returns kicks in and I am resistant to get others - except for carnosa 'Holliana' because it looks so different from the carnosa type.

What's on your "Ugly Duckling" list?

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 11:50AM
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teisa(6)

Gt,

See I happen to LOVE the Linearis look....I don't really care for 1-2 small strands but I LOVE the big EA pots!! I wish EA still grew these. The last one I saw in a store I passed up, went back to get it and it was gone! Someone from my hometown listed one on eBay (I believe same plant) for 75.00!! I'm still kicking myself!

I'm not a big Lacunosa fan.... Its definately on my ugly duckling list!! I know others love it. But I just can't grow to love it at all.

This post was edited by teisa on Mon, May 12, 14 at 17:37

    Bookmark   May 11, 2014 at 7:12PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi GT,

I'm sure you're kidding around but still, I just don't care for the sexism here -- girls/women get plenty of bad raps w/out adding to it w/ these kinds of comments. It just perpetuates unhelpful stereotypes.

" be mean girls". No, how about you can just be the Mean Boy yourself.

Personally, I've crossed H. Compacta off my list for having too many nooks & cranies for mealy bugs, but that's not because I don't like it, it's just too risky for the rest of the collection. Actually I rather like its look & textures & it was one of my first Hoyas.

Curious to see if this thread gets much response, not sure many strongly dislike particular Hoyas as much as expressed here; we'll see.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 6:12PM
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greedygh0st

I thought it was just a nod to Lindsay Lohan's infamous "Mean Girls" movie.

I like this topic. I've been thinking and thinking and thinking of an answer. I can find something to love about any Hoya, but there are definitely some where I sit there looking at their leaves going... what is there positive to say.... ;P Certainly CB is constantly and unreservedly referring to Hoyas as eyesores, which always makes me giggle.

The ones I really have the most problem with are plants like subcalva, calycina, juanngoiana, bicolor, trigonolobus, naumanii, benitotanii

They all have gorgeous flowers, but in the meantime, while they're working up to it, they have big bland leaves.

There are tons and tons of Hoyas with small boring leaves, but it doesn't seem like as big of an issue when they're little, and usually they have short internodes, so they form, overall, a pretty little garland of a vine.

I actually put together a whole flat of Hoyas like this - with little boring leaves, and they look quite cute together. They are also the ones that the mealies like tho, lol...

    Bookmark   May 12, 2014 at 10:05PM
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susancarol(7)

I like the Hoyas with the large, waxy, shiny leaves..

I stopped growing compacta because of the mealybug issues.

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 10:03AM
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vermonthoyas

Hoya praetorii is one incredibly ugly plant especially the older it gets, but then it continually rewards you with all of those cool 1970's orange flowers so you put up with its ugliness.

I find that many Hoyas that just sit there and do nothing for months or even years become ugly in my eyes, but if they are actively growing and happy they are all beautiful.

Doug

    Bookmark   May 13, 2014 at 11:35AM
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denise_gw

I don't get very excited about 'Chelsea'. I've seen photos of it that look stunning, but my leaves grow rather irregularly and it just doesn't look like some of the nicer clones I've seen. It's an EA plant...

For me, it's more about growth habit. I used to grow cummingiana, but it's just too unruly for me, and since I could never get it to bloom, it just wasn't worth keeping. I also don't get real excited about multiflora (aka javanica) because it tends to get so out-of-hand. But it's an easy bloomer so I still have one that I grow semi-hydro.

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   May 14, 2014 at 9:56AM
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greentoe357

> I'm not a big Lacunosa fan..

Why not, Teisa? I love those dimpled leaves with depressions between veins. (Not every lacunosa has them, but the type species does.)

> Personally, I've crossed H. Compacta off my list for having too many nooks & cranies for mealy bugs, but that's not because I don't like it, it's just too risky for the rest of the collection.

That is as good a reason as they come. I did not mention compacta, but it's on my list as well - for rather long unleafed stem stretches, even when those vines are mature. (I've also seen exceptions of very full-looking plants, no hate mail, please!) But being a mealy magnet makes hating it so much easier for me.

GG, that picture made me LOL for sure! "Picking on kids edition" hehe.

> Certainly CB is constantly and unreservedly referring to Hoyas as eyesores, which always makes me giggle.

CB is something else, isn't she? :-/ :-)

Speaking of other people hating on some hoyas, I clearly realized how subjective this can be when I saw http://www.hoyor.net/en/showspecies.php?id=86 calling Hoya heuschkeliana "dull". This was one of the most unexpectedly-adorable cuttings in the batch for me personally. Go figure.

> I find that many Hoyas that just sit there and do nothing for months or even years become ugly in my eyes

There will probably come a time when I'll look at those like this a well, but for now they are more of a challenge - I'd try to find another place for them or maybe give them somehow different treatment. But more experienced growers (also of orchids) have told me that if it hasn't flowered in a year or so, then it's out - nothing personal.

> I don't get very excited about 'Chelsea'.

I'd think as a C&S person, you'd love it, Denise! Maybe you are right about some clones not being as interesting as others. Mine has nice depressions on both halves of the leaves, interesting wide leaf shape with an acute tip, and it gets a slightly reddish margin under stronger light.

> For me, it's more about growth habit. I used to grow cummingiana, but it's just too unruly for me,

Looping it onto trellis didn't work? I see them like that, and it looks ok, but of course looks online can be misleading.

> I also don't get real excited about multiflora (aka javanica) because it tends to get so out-of-hand.

It does look very out-of-control. But it's high on my wish list because of those shooting star type flowers. Love 'em!

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 3:13PM
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sunnysa(8)

I'm just starting my collection so I haven't found a Hoya that I don't love.

This post was edited by sunnysa on Fri, May 16, 14 at 22:07

    Bookmark   May 15, 2014 at 6:30PM
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greedygh0st

Eugene isn't holding our hand to the fire and forcing us to get rid of any of our ducklings, but it's clearly hard to say anything critical about our Hoyas. (It's because they can hear us thinking and will commit seppuku.)

I agree with Doug. Picking a Hoya is a bit like picking a boy/girlfriend. (That's what you said, right?? ^_~) You go shopping around and you're 90% sure you have a "type" and you know exactly what it is. Then when you get your first draft home, you end up feeling a bit like it was was maybe just mostly about the hunt. Then some plant you were totally not paying attention to, that you probably just accepted on a trade to round out the numbers, turns out to be the sweetest little love ever!.

And, honestly, I do feel a bit like, when one with pretty leaves blooms, I'm thinking: yeah, yeah, pretty girl, but shut up. On the other hand, when a very understated plant blooms, I'm like: you go girl!

Re: lacunosa

I can see that. I did feel a bit, when I got my first one, that people had gone on about it too much. It's just one of those plants that people tend to really love, and then they ruin it like a movie that gets talked about too much. I generally think lacunosa is a pretty plant, and some collections of it are absolutely GORGEOUS. o m g: EPC 329.. EPC 523… SRQ 3047… Langkawi… to name a few...

Re: carnosa 'Chelsea'

Do you ever feel like maybe the EA Hoyas are going downhill? It seems like the older versions of these plants are a lot prettier than the ones I see in the baskets now. Like they are just getting selected for vigorousness, while the defining attributes are slipping a bit. That's probably just growing conditions and my imagination, though. I think Chelsea is still one of my favorites, although Krinkle-8 blooms the most for me and is even prettier.

Re: javanica, praetorii, etc.

We all love/hate this bushy growth habit and I think it's because we're Hoya people. We were probably attracted to the genus in the first place because of its predominately vining habit, so these non-viney Hoyas go against the grain. That said, I have to laugh because I always see these plants and think: they are no bulkier or uglier than 99.9% of the classic houseplants people keep. And they're constantly in flower.

Re: cummingiana

I actually like this plant. I have two of them. One I got on a trade, and another I bought from CB because I was getting so tired of not being 100% sure of the difference between cummingiana and densifolia and I wanted to know I had the "right" ones, so I could wrap my mind around it. I always find these plants fun because they're such a challenge. It is my dream to get them to grow super super dense like that one picture that everyone always posts. I can do it during the summer, but during the winter they always get these dumb etiolated sections. =_= Anyway, it's like trying to get a pinball game right. I keep futzing with it.

Re: linearis

I just love this plant, even small. Maybe especially small. It's the cutest fuzziest little baby ever. Like a teeny tiny feather boa. I just lost mine this winter - I got cocky b/c it always grew so well for me, I guess.. :( So, if anyone has some to trade, hit me up and I bet we can work something out.

@ Sunny - I can see the davidcummingii but I can't see the javanica. :3 That one on the right looks more like a pauciflora or something like that.

This post was edited by greedyghost on Sun, May 18, 14 at 10:39

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 11:54AM
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sunnysa(8)

GG, I could very well be wrong... but I'll look again. I don't think I have a pauciflora. I took them outdoors for better lighting, but DH had a painting project going on so I couldn't move the other objects until they were dry. I'll try to take a better pic.

Anyway, ask GT, he should be getting his cuttings any day now. It would be the one labeled javanica, lol.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 1:36PM
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greedygh0st

Looking forward to the pic, sunny and/or GT. ;P

lol @ impossible photography conditions. Story of my life. Either I'm not in the mood, the Hoya isn't in the mood, or the light isn't in the mood.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 2:47PM
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greentoe357

Got the cuttings today, Sunnysa, thank you! They all arrived in good condition. I posted a separate thread on a couple of mixed up IDs here (http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/hoya/msg051556488330.html). No matter their names, they look cute.

GG, something's up with your picture - GW is not showing it and tells me to go to allthingsplants.com to see it for some reason.

Re: linearis. This may well be a case of one not photographing well for my eye. I have not seen one live, and even though most photos online look "meh" to me, there is totally a possibility that it looks much cuter in person.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 4:09PM
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sunnysa(8)

Hope you can correctly ID them.

This post was edited by sunnysa on Fri, May 16, 14 at 17:21

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 5:10PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Folks,

GT. There's an AMAZING Linearis posted somewhere around here (HP maybe). I saw it in the last couple of days. will check & post back. The pict'd plant is super lush & even had bloom which I'd never seen before. Back shortly.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 9:25PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

It IS posted at Houseplants, a thread entitled 'April Showers ...'

Am curious if it's the Poster's plant, but haven't asked.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 9:45PM
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greedygh0st

Yeah, I wasn't really that impressed by linearis from photo either. I felt totally like you. But it always made me smile on my shelf. One of those plants you put up front so you can look at it and pet it.

Sorry about the photo. Maybe this one will work better.


Hoya cumingiana, with nice compact internodes
Source: Ingrid's Green World Blog

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 10:44AM
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denise_gw

Now see THAT'S a nice looking cummingiana! And in the summer months, when it was outside, the leaves would become more compact. But in winter, the internodes would be long and it would look gangly, even sitting in the highest spot in my GH.

And I do like the look of a full linearis, but I can't seem to get my hands on one, so I've only had little snipets of it to start and it never really gets going well for me. And when I'd try to start new pieces for more fullness, more often than not it would rot off before it would root, so I never could get more than a strand or two growing at a time. It's just not the same...

As for Chelsea, if I could get my hands on a clone that looks like the photo below, I would probably just give my big one away. It looks nothing like it.

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 12:42PM
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denise_gw

Here's mine - no dippy leaves! =(

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 12:44PM
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greentoe357

Very good-looking cumingiana indeed, GG. I love back-lit plant photos.

I wonder if Chelsea's dimples can come out in particular cultural conditions. Has anyone had dimples appear or disappear when conditions changed? My rooted cutting from Joni does have the dimples, but no leaves that have grown with me so far, so I cannot tell you how those look for me.

If I ever do drag (again :-) ), remind me to use Chelsea Dimples as my name. Although it would be pretty hard to give up my last Halloween drag name, which was Natasha Slutanova. Oh, and there was a Hairy Fairy before then. Ah, good times.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 8:21AM
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greedygh0st

Re: Cumingiana

Yeah, same here. Mine grows beautiful and tight in the summer and longer internodes in the winter… even though I have it under grow lights! That extra sun from the adjacent north windows must really help!

It's never horribly etiolated, but not as nice as this grower's plant for sure, so I just keep working at it. I'm going to have to stick it on my double-light shelf once I set that up.

Re: Chelsea

I was thinking the same thing, GT. Because I remember getting a fairly dimpled plant originally, but when I go look at mine now, it's not very dimpled at all. So, either my memory is wrong, or my growing conditions are different. The two things about where I have mine are that it's right up against a bright east window that my carnosas like. Their leaves grow a lighter green there, kind of lime colored. Also, it's in a hanging basket and my hanging plants tend to get under-watered, so it's a bit dry at the moment. I'm wondering if it was grown under lower light and given lots of water, if it would dimple up again more. I know my mom's standard carnosa that she grows in low light rarely blooms, but has the most ornamental looking leaves compared to mine. They're very flat and very succulent.

Oh man, I think we could come up with quite a few good drag names from the Hoya genus. But we can't go too tarty or people will never be able to look at these species the same again.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 11:36AM
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summersunlight(5b)

Considering how easily Krimson Princess reverts to green, I would wonder if the reason your Chelsea doesn't look like Chelsea is because it reverted back to an undimpled form.

I wouldn't say I hate it, but I was underwhelmed by lacunosa when I saw one in bloom at Lowes. The scent didn't seem very appealing.

Does kerrii have a bad fragrance? I saw someone refer to its odor as being like "chlorine" so I am not sure how I will feel about it when mine blooms.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 1:48PM
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greentoe357

> Re: Cumingiana [...] Mine grows beautiful and tight in the summer and longer internodes in the winter… even though I have it under grow lights!

GG, this is very helpful. I know to put mine under the 2-bulb or maybe even 4-bulb light fixture is there's space.

What does everybody do with your etiolated winter growth? Do you cut it off in spring for it to bush out hopefully, or do you let it be?

> Re: Chelsea. I was thinking the same thing, GT. Because I remember getting a fairly dimpled plant originally, but when I go look at mine now, it's not very dimpled at all. So, either my memory is wrong, or my growing conditions are different.

I like taking pics of all my cuttings and other incoming plants, so that I can later compare how it looks if needed. It helped a few times when I was wondering if I had a new stem or leaf that I did not notice grow - so then I check the original pic.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 2:30PM
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greedygh0st

@ GT

Taking snaps of your cuttings is a cool idea. I never thought about doing that, but it has good logic.

I leave the etiolated growth on at the moment, because it's on a hoop and it grows fast and so, with several loops around the hoop, it is bushy overall and the etiolation is not apparent. Under lights we're talking maybe 1cm winter internodes, so they're not horrible, just not gorgeous. But if I ever get conditions perfect, I might just restart the plant so I can show off and feel all fancy.

@ Summer

I see your point, but I looked all the way back to the base of the plant, which was the original cutting, and even those leaves look undimpled. So it has to be that either the plant was never dimpled, or it has unilaterally un-dimpled (even old leaves) due to the conditions. Interestingly, the Krinkle-8 growing next to it is as dimply as ever…

So, you felt the lacunosa fragrance was lackluster or just not very strong? To me it is a very classic, very sweet, floral perfume. But, although pleasant, it is not my favorite by a long shot. I like the spicier more exotic smelling Hoyas. Boy, there are some you could bottle up and make a fortune on, especially in men's cologne. (Hey hey hey, I'm talking about you Estrella!)

That said, lacunosa is a common favorite because it's very normal smelling, whereas a lot of Hoyas have a fragrance that is a bit eccentric - like 90% sweet perfume with a very odd note mixed in. It's a little bit bizarre trying to fall asleep to the combined scent of publicalyx and carnosa.

I can't comment on kerrii as mine is a long ways from blooming.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 3:31PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

My Kerri's bloom wasn't fragrant as I recall (I tried smelling it in evening as well as day time).

Belated comment to GT & the thread:

I never saw the film 'Mean Girls', so I didn't get the reference by GT at all. So pls. excuse / forgive my comment which (not knowing the reference) is no longer applicable, sorry.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 4:33PM
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greentoe357

No worries, PG, no offense taken. I actually haven't seen the movie either, I just knew it was a phrase.

> Under lights we're talking maybe 1cm winter internodes, so they're not horrible, just not gorgeous.

I was expecting they'd be longer. My internodes on a cutting I received recently are even longer, I think, and it looks fine to me. I'll need to google up some images and look if my cutting is considered etiolated for this species.

One good thing about most strange smelling hoyas is the smell is not overwhelming in most cases, I understand.

GG, I am curious to smell Estrella Waterfall now after your comment about its fragrance. Sounds nice.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 4:55PM
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greedygh0st

It's said to smell like ginger, and it does. But it's just overall spicy, like the finlaysonii complex, and also musky… and really well balanced… it just smells like the sexiest man alive. I want to pour it all over my boyfriend.

And it's really one of those fragrances that is only noticeable at night, so if you aren't expecting it, it's like a strange man has been in your bedroom and you're like: what?!

Wow, this response really makes me sound like a nutcase. But that last part really did happen to me.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 5:06PM
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teisa(6)

GG,

You had me laughing about the "sexiest man alive" wearing our Hoya fragrance! One day a big perfume manufacture will come out with "Eau de Hoya!" Lol

PG, I LOVED that picture you recommended from the house plant section! gosh that is a beautiful Linearis!! I wish I could link something, but i have no idea how to on my iPad! That's the prettiest one I have ever saw :).

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 2:42AM
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greedygh0st

For others as lazy as me, here is the neat linearis photo PG was talking about.


Hoya linearis
Source: Houseplants: April Showers Bring May Flowers

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 3:58AM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

Not a Hoya
But I think Our Plants may be related
Or
At least have the same Tailor
LOL

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 11:20PM
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greedygh0st

Oh boy, Sue. Now your linearis needs a hat too. And maybe a bow tie, to get the upper hand again. ;)

Is that spanish moss, deth? Or...?

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 11:25PM
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dethcheez(Sunny SoCal Z10)

Yeap
It's Spanish moss draped over an up side down 54in. tomato cage

    Bookmark   May 29, 2014 at 2:14AM
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