Dehydrated Carnosa

jlt37869June 16, 2010

My carnosa dried up (the leaves are wilted and rubbery). I'm trying to figure out the best way to rehydrate and save the plant 1) a bit more water, a bit more often than "normal" or 2) soak the entire plant in water every day or so. Or some other option?!

I thought I was making progress (albeit slow) with option 1, but with our recent heat wave ,,, I'm not so sure.

Any suggestions? Thanks.


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What was the culture you were giving the plant before you noticed the problem? How often did you water and was this an established plant? If the roots are dead your only chance is to take cuttings and rehydrate them by soaking in water until they look better, then root and start over.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 1:54PM
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I agree with Mike. Can you post a photo? I've found it can be really difficult to revive one that's gotten dehydrated unless you take cuttings. And even if you do get it to improve, the comeback is painfully slow. So now when I have one that shows signs of dehydrating (and sometimes, it's just one vine...), I make cuttings of it, put a ball of moist Orchid moss at the base with a baggy/twist tie, and set the whole thing in my rooting aquarium. (See the link below for how to set up a rooting aquarium... it's a worthwhile investment!) Usually within a week, I see vast plumping of the cutting. It can take longer if you've let it get really dehydrated, but it most likely WILL plump back up and form roots in the moss. Then, once you have a baggy of roots, you plant it and they nearly burst into new growth. Trying to revive a sick plant from the roots usually ends up throwing it into a year or more of dormancy, and that's IF it makes it. I've brought Hoyas from what looks like the brink of death back using the aquarium method...

Denise in Omaha

Here is a link that might be useful: Rooting aquarium

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 7:21PM
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Yes, he's a big, old, established plant and the root system looked good when I transplanted him about 6 weeks ago. In other words, 7 or 8 weeks ago, the plant was fine. So I think the problem is just a moisture issue as a result of all the recent changes: new pot, new soil, new support, new location (outside versus inside the house), etc. Combined with our recent heat wave, I think I just screwed up and didn't water him enough over the last 6 weeks.

I do plan to increase watering and see if he bounces back. Hopefully, I won't over-water and further stress him out.

I'll try to post some pictures tomorrow.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 8:11PM
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Hi Jennifer,

Carnosa seems to be one of the most forgiving plants when it comes to abuse. I'd take cuttings, as suggested previously, and maybe move it to a spot where it can have afternoon shade. I think if you would err on watering too much or too little, a little more water in the summer won't hurt. Good luck!

    Bookmark   June 16, 2010 at 9:29PM
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Thanks for the great rooting aquarium guide! I suspect after I've moved, I won't be devoting all my aquariums to their original fish & freshwater planting uses again. (Maybe just a big hundred-moss one :3) Maybe then I'll be able to cut down on the puffy-moist bag decor theme I have going on...

I finally gave up on revitalizing my hospital hoya patient and turned the remainder of the vines into cuttings. They had languished in flaccid despair for about 6 months without dying or showing improvement. It was too depressing to go on. They seem happier already in their new tented cuttings rebirth.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 11:29AM
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Yes, they recover FAST using this method. It's the all-surrounding humidity that does it, I think.

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   June 17, 2010 at 3:33PM
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Stemma Journal is a free online magazine dedicated to Hoya, Eriostemma and Dischidia. There has not been a new issue in quite a while and there was talk of the end of the magazine but all back issues are available for download from the site. One of the early issues covers the various methods people use to propagate Hoyas. Later issues cover the sections within the genus and the species that have been placed in each section although this explanation/break down has not been completed but the most commonly seen sections and species have been covered.

Check it out you will be glad you did and don't miss the Hoya and Eriostemma tabs that lead to the photo gallery.

Many of us use the aquarium method because the results are so fast and most cuttings don't miss a beat. If you have the room it's well worth hunting down an old old fish tank at a garage sale. I have a small reptile heat pad that can be stuck to the outside bottom if the glass to add extra heat during cooler months or for fussy cuttings.


Here is a link that might be useful: Stemma Journal

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 11:31AM
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Thanks for the link, Mike ^_^ Aww I feel like a n00b being power-leveled.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 12:05PM
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Yeah there is no just stopping by the Hoya forum, were worse than a bunch of drug dealers here and it does not take long to get hooked on Hoyas. That sounds really cheesy, oh well. :)


    Bookmark   June 18, 2010 at 5:18PM
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LOL - good analogy Mike! We're all looking for that next Hoya fix! I've been jonesin' for some new Hoyas, but I'm holding out because I've got my Liddle order in and I figure surely it will be coming soon. Yet it's hard to resist when I have no idea when it's coming!

And BTW, it was David Liddle himself that gave me the detailed instructions on how to set up my rooting aquarium. I figure he should know, right!!

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   June 19, 2010 at 11:05PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi imatallun ...Good to see you...its been a while! How are your hoyas doing?

Denise, So right...David Liddle should know for sure!

    Bookmark   June 20, 2010 at 3:40PM
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