Grandmother Hoya

greedygh0stJune 25, 2013

I got my first Hoya from my Oma's (grandmother) plant. She was an avid gardener for as long as I knew her, but she was very particular about which plants she wanted to grow and which she didn't. Sometimes I think she liked weeding more than she liked growing. If she wanted something to grow, though, it would grow. Her Hoya carnosa was a huge plant that cast her whole kitchen in shade. I guess Hoyas pleased her. ;)

On father's day, she died. I am preparing to go down to Florida for a memorial service. My mother comes from a large spread-out family, so there will be that.

I started some cuttings from my Oma's carnosa, so that I can give them to any family members that want a bit of something alive to remind them of her. Plants are wonderful in this way. They can be shared so easily. And, for me, anyway, they seem more intimate than an inanimate object.

It seems like a pretty obvious thing for any plant-lover to do, so I was wondering if anyone else here has had any experience with inheriting and/or sharing plants from a beloved green thumb who has passed away. Maybe some advice for me?

Maybe this topic is too gloomy, but I don't mean it to be. Hang in there everyone and call someone you love. xo J

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I recently got a cutting of carnosa crinkle ? from my sister. Her plant is a descendant from the one my mother grew. My mother passed away in 1985 so I'm pretty impressed my sister has kept it alive for so long. When ever i look at that plant I think of my mother. That is what is all about, right?


    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 6:28PM
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Hi Laura :)

Yep, that's what it's all about.

If you're talking about the plant I assume you're talking about, it's "Hoya carnosa Krinkle-8."
Source: The Hoyan 5, 4

Good for your sister, keeping it going! My sister already told me she doesn't want the burden of trying to keep any of my Hoyas alive, lol.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 6:50PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi GG, I just wanted to say how very sorry I am to hear about your grandmother's deepest condolences. What you are doing with your grandmother's hoya is just wonderful, I'm sure they will treasure the cuttings from her... I wish you well...Hang in there...

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 7:29PM
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My father had a Hoya for years growing just near the back of the house. Turns out it's H. carnosa. When he was hospitalised no one looked after the garden and the Hoya went rampant, twined through everything and weeds grew through it. (My sister was living there but she doesn't have a 'green thumb'). Last year my father passed away. When I went down I cleaned up the Hoya and repotted it. Also his orchids (a lot were dead). I took cuttings of the Hoya and gave some away to family. Some of the cuttings have grown well for me but still haven't flowered. It's sort of nice though to have them anyway, sort of a comforting feeling.

    Bookmark   June 25, 2013 at 10:38PM
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Hey GG,

I am sorry to hear about the loss of your Grandmother. I know you must be going through a very hard time right now. I think it is a very good idea to prepare the Hoya for your family members. They will really appreciate the sentimentalness of it. It is especially fitting since she loved Hoyas as much as she did.

I have plants from my Grandmother that passed away, and from an Aunt. Several of my aunts nieces got cacuts' that belonged to my her. It is a way for us to have something living of hers. Im sure it will mean alot.

I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers!!


    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 12:38AM
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Hi GG. I think there are a lot of "heirloom" carnosas out there. Seems like Hoyas (and a few others, like Christmas cactus...) can live and thrive a long time and I think there are a lot of good memories triggered by plants. I have an old carnosa that was started from a plant of my mom's 2nd husband's mother's plant. (Confusing enough? I called her my step-grandma...) She passed away several years ago, but I can still see her standing in front the the kitchen sink it hung over. It would go into a blooming cycle and her husband would kvetch about the "nasty smell."

Nope, I don't think it's a morbid subject at all. We all leave this earth eventually and it's nice when those who love us can have a living memorial. And with a little luck, maybe we can watch over both our loved ones AND the plant they kept in memory of us. I have a few I got from a dear friend in our local cactus club and I think of her guiding me to take good care of them.

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 9:04AM
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Thanks for your kind wishes, guys. :)

It is my experience that only people who feel confident about plants enjoy receiving them, so I didn't want to go too crazy with the idea. I am usually pretty good at putting myself in other people's shoes, but it's difficult for me to tell how un/enthusiastic the "average" person is about this kind of gesture.

Green thumbs seem to be a recessive gene (lol), but it does seem to be a trait that gets passed down reliably. I bet I have some green cousins and just don't realize it.

It does feel more comforting, with something alive. I don't know why. Maybe the plants just make it easier for us to recognize the deep continuity of life.

Thanks so much for encouraging me.

@ pug

Thanks for the quick response. I've been a bit teary. ^_^'

@ tropicbreeze

Good thing Hoyas are so self-reliant. They're like the cats of the plant world. Probably carnosa is an easy enough plant not to be a worry even to black thumbs.

@ teisa

Oma has some plants at her current house, but I guess they are kind of rooted into the outdoors, like they tend to do in Florida. I'm not sure if they will be going with anyone... @_@ I'll have to take a look at them.

@ denise

Yeah Christmas cactus is definitely another one that falls into this category. That is the plant I associate with my paternal grandmother, who is also a green thumb. Explaining your relationship with people IS confusing - but it feels straightforward enough in the heart lol.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:53AM
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GG, my condolences on your grandmother's passing. I have a similar story about my carnosa. You all know I nicknamed my carnosa Nikki after my best friend who passed the summer before our senior year in high school. I took cuttings off of it about a year or so ago, and gave them to a friend who was also close to Nikki. They're now growing happily in her mother's kitchen. I may do this again with this picnic I have planned with a few of my old high school friends, and one being Nikki's younger brother.

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 12:37PM
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