The resiliency of Hoyas!

denise_gw(5)June 15, 2011

I recently sold some Hoyas & Dischidias to one of our friends in the Great White North - I'd never sent plants up there before, and upon looking at the P.O.'s website, they estimated it would be 6-10 days before they arrived. Wow, that seemed like a long time for them to be in the mail, so I put some sphagnum moss wrapped in plastic on the cut ends, hoping that little bit of moisture might help minimize the shock. And I used lots of packing peanuts to hopefully keep them from smushing up against each other.

So I sent them out the day after Memorial Day. To my dismay, I came home from work that very afternoon to find an e-mail from the intended recipient - could I hold off with mailing them because the P.O. up there was going on strike in 2 days. **OH NO!!!** It's too late!!

So I worried and fretted - my precious plants were going to be at the mercy of a striking workforce! Sitting in some P.O. warehouse, in that dark box for God knows how long. When I e-mailed him yesterday morning and asked what the status of the strike was, he said that the strike was ongoing, that mail was "moving very slowly" (so apparently not at a complete standstill), but he "feared the worst." Yesterday was 2 weeks since I'd mailed them... Bummer... not looking good.

Well, later last evening, I got an e-mail from him saying they had arrived later in the day... AND THEY WERE ALL FINE! He said there were even a few roots in the moss on some of them. YAY! I'm so relieved to know none of my precious plants were murdered by the P.O.! Just goes to show ya how tough Hoyas are!

Denise in Omaha

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Well that is very good news because last night at about 8 the postal workers were locked out.No mail or packages will be going anywhere.
Its good to hear that the hoyas arrived safe and sound.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 4:45PM
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Wow, you really squeaked under the wire there, Denise! Way lucky! It is amazing what little troopers Hoyas are. ^_^

Well, at least most of them. Some are little fussbudgets.

Is it weird how long it takes mail to get to/from Canada, strikes aside? It's like the same as sending mail to Europe. I think it's because they only have that one yellow brick road.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 5:37PM
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My record for long haul Hoya cuttings was an order from Europe that took 21 days. Each and every cutting survived in that and other orders that were close to the same duration.

I have gotten packages form the US in a week but sometimes it takes forever for no apparent reason. I always use our Express Post service when plants are involved for fear of them sitting some place for a couple of weeks.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 6:00PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Wow...that's a great story with a happy ending! I guess some hoyas are very resilient and yet we do hear some "bad" experiences of hoyas arriving at or near death after a lengthy delay . Always nice to hear when cuttings arrive healthy.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 7:59PM
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Mike... Really? 3 weeks? Wow! I guess they're a lot tougher than I thought. Which makes me wonder... I've tried getting plants from a Thai vendor. It takes about 2 weeks for them to get here. My first order a year ago, 5 "rooting cuttings", were in pretty good shape except one that I lost. Second order later in the summer, they all arrived in bad condition. I salvaged one. They re-shiped the other four, and they were in bad shape but I salvaged one of those. They reshipped the last 3 again this spring (and I got one more, just to try to defray their costs) and they all came in just a slice above bad condition, and two have already died. The other two may come through, but it's still questionable. So I'm wondering now why...

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 8:37PM
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I have sort of given up getting hoya cuttings from Thailand.They all most always arrive dead.I have tried many different sellers and I am all ways very disappointed with how they arrive.
I have had cuttings take 3 weeks to get to me from david from this forum and they came looking like they were just cut.It takes 10 to 12 days from Europe to get cuttings to arrive and again they look perfect.
I think some of the problems with getting cuttings from Thailand is how long it takes for the seller to get them shipped after he has taken the cuts.If they sit around for a few hours in the heat they will arrive to you looking like they have been cooked.The seller needs to know the right way to protect the cutting for shipment.
I know Jack from Epiphytica knows what he is doing and so dose Apodgais.This is just my feelings on the matter and others may feel different.One thing for sure is we need to watch what we say on the forums about sellers because they do read this broad.


    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 9:27PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

My hypothesis is that it is the heat that does them in. If it is colder (but not freezing) it is like you are refrigerating the cuttings, which slows down the process of them going bad. When you're going from a hot place (Thailand) to a hot destination (much of the US during the summer) things get tricky. But if you're going from relatively mild (northern Europe) to maybe not too bad (depending on the weather in whatever part of Canada it's going at that time of year) things stay cooler and may last longer.

Or that's my theory, anyway.

    Bookmark   June 15, 2011 at 9:31PM
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The cuttings I get from Thailand are usually pretty rough looking by the time they arrive. My last order took almost two weeks but the cuttings have all rooted and look fine now. Other orders have not fared so well but I have only lost a few cuttings even when they are very stressed. I find that any plastic in the package is a invitation to rot and one particularly bad experience where almost the entire order was lost was due to bubble wrap.
The cuttings I get from Paul Shirley are always just in a box full of corn starch packing peanuts and those cuttings always look great even the order that took 21 days.
I always soak my cuttings and sometimes depending on just how badly dehydrated they are it can be for up to 24 hours. I know that some people do not have good success with this method by I do for some reason.

Quinn I agree that cuttings coming from hot countries face many more heat and humidity related problems than cuttings from more temperate areas. It does get very hot and humid in the summer where I am in Canada but something makes me suspect that the damage is done at the beginning of the cuttings journey.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 1:02AM
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Both times I ordered cuttings from Thailand (1. shipped bare 2. shipped with very tiny packets of damp sphagnum at their cut ends), they arrived in pretty good condition, considering the distance they had traveled.

For example, I ordered danumensis from both Ted Green and Aleya this year and the Aleya danumensis actually looked comparable to the condition of the TG cutting, which had been in the mail for a MUCH shorter time. It was like the plant experienced a shock, sulked, but did not get worse than the initial upset. Although I failed with both cuttings, they hung in there for roughly equal days. (Note: Usually TG cuttings do arrive MUCH fresher looking than Thai cuttings, but danumensis is an interesting example, because of its fragility. Maybe there is a sort of plateau after a certain level of shock and it takes plants different durations to reach that point. So, like danumensis @ 2 days = lvl10 and danumensis @ 19 days = lvl10, however rigida @ 2 days = lvl1 and rigida @ 19 days = lvl 3.)

My ultimate success rate with Thai cuttings has been between 50-60%. (Keeping in mind that parts of these orders are known delicates like lasiantha/praetorii and campanulata/danumensis.) Because they look viable upon arrival, and then quite bad after a brief soak, I feel I need to experiment with their transition from "survive in a box" to "start a new life in a rooting aquarium." My gut read on the situation is that they experience a shock, akin to a desert survivor drinking too much water at once.

I really feel like the answer is out there and it's worth it to figure it out. On my next order, I'll probably buy a couple cuttings of each type and run an experiment using multiple rehabilitation and rooting strategies.

I should also mention that certain cuttings just handle the transport very well and root without skipping a beat, as though they'd come from next door. Maybe we should make a list of cuttings that were particularly unproblematic for us, after being shipped from Thailand or the Philippines.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 12:44PM
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