In search of Shooting Star

Houndmom(Phoenix Az)May 16, 2014

Hi Everyone - I am just getting into Hoyas and I would really like to find a Shooting Star Hoya. I have checked locally at Lowes, HD and Walmart and cant find that particular one. Do you have any reputable online places that you would recommend me ordering from?? Thank you in advance!

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The proper name for the plant you are looking for is Hoya multiflora or Hoya javanica. So, try using those as your search terms.

Do you need a potted plant or is a cutting also okay?

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 4:06PM
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Houndmom(Phoenix Az)

Greedyghost - Since I am having a hard time finding them, I would be happy with either one. I didn't know they also went by Hoya Javanica, I will keep an eye out for that name as well. Thank you!

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 4:14PM
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Well, multiflora and javanica are two different plants, but they get mixed up with each other a lot. If you are looking for a plant with that type of flower, you will be fine with either one.

That's good you're open to rooting your own, since most Hoya vendors sell cuttings. I've heard before that multiflora/javanica are hard to root, but I've rooted both and they did not seem hard to me - just slow - so you'd really want to keep them humid to prevent moisture loss. I rooted in hydroton, myself.

I couldn't see anyone selling this plant in the U.S. at the moment. I've noticed in the past that it has taken people some time to track this plant down. It's not rare, so I'm not sure why. Maybe it's just really that popular? Or maybe most Hoya vendors just don't bother.

If I wanted one right this second, I'd mail Thailand for it because it's so hard to track down. But then you would want to order a whole bunch of plants and not the thickest leaved plant, yadda yadda yadda.

If I were you, I'd just keep your eyes peeled on ebay and keep checking Gardinos and SRQ Hoyas and even Violet Barn sells them off and on. ((I wouldn't normally recommend VB for Hoyas because Hoya vendors sell larger cuttings than VB's potted ones, but they do sell very sturdily rooted little Hoyas and multiflora grows so fast it's no bother if it starts small.)) You could try Ted Green, but again, he has a minimum order.

Your best bet, in my humble opinion, is to try posting a request in the exchange thread. Even if you only have non-Hoyas to trade, someone might be interested. Everyone and their mother has a multiflora.

You might need some patience for this quest but they'll start popping up again eventually.

    Bookmark   May 16, 2014 at 4:50PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

No I disagree, not everybody & their mother has Multiflora (anymore). I've had several over a decade+, but since my friend who grew these has died, I don't see it around. It doesn't show up anymore at my local plant society much either (where that friend had been from).

Fun but a bit wacky to grow, & rather a space hog for me. Still if I saw one these days, I'd scarf it up in a flash!

    Bookmark   May 17, 2014 at 9:25AM
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I grew and bloomed these things for years without problem and used to clip the flowers off by the hand-full because the nectar dripped on everything. I finally dumped all of them, because I gave up trying to keep the spider mites at bay. For some reason, in the last year every spray known to man could not keep them free of those nasty little beggars for more than a few weeks. Finally I threw in the towel. Here is a photo of some of the clipped blooms:

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 7:01AM
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Wow, that's an amazing photo, Doug!!! What a great thing to wake up to.

You must have some killer spider mites. I think I've only ever had them on one Hoya and I was so shocked I didn't even recognize the problem for a while. Luckily mine perished pretty quickly.

I do think there are some strains of our pests that are more resistant to treatment. :( It's so so so frustrating.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 10:35AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Both beautiful & heartbreaking ... you're a brave guy Doug.

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 1:16PM
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Well I just got one from Violet Barn. It was just delivered Thurs. It was a rooted cutting. I thought it would be a little larger than it came but atleast it is healthy! So maybe check out their website.

Here is a picture of my little guy. The date on the pot says it was rooted 6 months ago.

This post was edited by teisa on Sun, May 18, 14 at 23:42

    Bookmark   May 18, 2014 at 6:24PM
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Teisa, that is a very healthy looking starter plant, and looks like it is ready to take off and grow. I ordered many Gesnariads, and Begonias from Rob's when I was into those plants, and always was pleased with their service. I'll have to give them a look see for Hoyas.

Knock on wood, I've only seen one mealy bug in my life, but spider mites on the other hand... Last fall I had them really bad on every one of my plants that had thinner type leaves. I finally did get rid of them all with a product called Azamax using 3 sprayings one week apart. Apparently spider mites are the number one pest problem for indoor Marijuana growers. One can learn a lot about growing Hoyas from using many of the same techniques employed by that industry.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 6:18AM
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Hound mom,

I also just noticed you are from Pheonix. I was out there last fall and was looking for Hoyas. A place called "Moon Valley" carries the Shooting Star or Multiflora at some locations. Now I went to one and they did not have it at that particular location. You may have to check online, call, to verify which location does.

Also, what kind of hounds do you have?? I have 2 Basset Hounds! They are my big floppy, babies!

Thanks Doug (Vermont Hoyas), I was happy it was healthy! I know they have great Gesneriads at the Violet Barn so I thought I would add on a Hoya and try them. I always order my mom "Episcia" for mothers day! I hate you had the spider mite problem! Yours was Beautiful I'm sure!!

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 8:08AM
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Actually, I was collecting Gesneriads before I got into Hoyas, and Violet Barn was where I first realized there was "more than one Hoya." So, back then I ordered every Hoya they carried, and that's where my collection started.

Their rooted plants are smaller than a typical Hoya cutting, and they do clip big leaves for shipping (you can see this in Teisa's photo). But I have really been pleased with how well established their little starter plants are. I never really paid attention, as Teisa did, to how long ago they had been rooted, but 6 months is quite a while for a Hoya to grow in good greenhouse conditions. So these are great little plants especially for beginners to buy, because they really have their feet under them and won't be too sensitive. Plus, the price is right, and although they don't have any unusual species, they have some of the oldies-but-goodies that have gone a bit out of fashion and can be hard to track down. In fact, I just ordered a replacement serpens a few months ago, as that is another one that can be a bit of a pain to get your hands on even though it's not what I would call "rare."

Doug, you just blew my little socks off with your pronouncement that you've only had one mealie. I am going to have to revise my thinking that mealies are a fact of life for anyone who is a serious collector.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 11:55AM
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GG, the first few years of collecting Hoyas, I was paranoid about getting mealies because after reading the forums it seemed that everyone had them. I knew I didn't want to get them so I used BATS like everyone suggested. After awhile of never seeing any, I quit using BATS, and now I haven't used any for three years and still no mealies. I saw one for the first time last fall on a cutting I received in trade. I was almost kind of glad it had one so I could see what they looked like with my own eyes. I swabbed it with alcohol, and that was the end of my one mealie bug. Now I've probably jinxed myself for an invading army of non-stoppable mealies.

    Bookmark   May 19, 2014 at 6:39PM
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Houndmom(Phoenix Az)

Thank you all for the info, I will keep searching and hopefully find one!

teisa - I have 2 retired racing greyhounds that are my kids. As I call them, 45 mile per hour couch potatoes!

    Bookmark   May 20, 2014 at 6:21PM
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