Shooting Star.....shooting!!

grmadarr(8a)June 26, 2013

My Multiflora (shooting star) has reached app. 3 feet tall or more with beautiful blooms. It has 2 healthy stems.Do I need to cut it back to get it to branch out or is this how it grows?It is about 1 and 1/2 yrs old. I don't know if I have the heart to cut it!
Another question: I have been starting cuttings in an aquarium ; with perlite and have good luck except the perlite turns green after a while. What do some of you use to start cuttings this way? Still haven't gotten pictures on the web! Thanks for any suggestions offered. Grmadarr

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ive been wondering the same thing about my h. javanica (which a lot of people confuse for multiflora).. its just one straight trunk with leaves and is creating its newest buds right now and a new set of leaves... ive been wondering if i should cut it back to try and get it to branch... if i do ill wait till next year when its even bigger...

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 8:45PM
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Mine has branched when I cut it. But a lot of the time Hoyas don't so much branch as grow around lol. They're just not as neat and predictable as a vining Gesneriad or something like that. I didn't find mine more attractive or bushy after the pruning/branching, so I don't think it's necessary at all. It just kind of grows the way it grows and gets fuller with age. Lasiantha grows the same way - they seem to like to have a balanced branch on each side.

Maybe someone else has had a different experience, but that's my 2 cents. :)

I've tried rooting in perlite before, but I didn't have the right touch for it. I usually just stick the cutting in the medium I plan on growing it in. 99% of Hoyas root great this way. If it's especially quick to dry out, or the middle of winter, then I use hydroton.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2013 at 11:28PM
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GG, do you use a support of some kind for yours? mine in getting quite tall and i need to pot it in a heavier pot because it likes to tip over when there is a strong breeze outside. it also like to lean a lot which doesent help with the tipping... obviously these plants cant be trained the way one of the vineing hoyas but do you use anything to help support it?

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 8:22AM
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GG Thanks for the advice. Guess I will just leave it as I think it is too pretty to cut! Would vermiculite do the same as perlite?
Amber; I built a trellis and have mine tied to it and the trellis, nailed to the shelf in my GH right now.
We live on a boat so the rest of the hoyas are hanging on the stern of the boat and doing great. Thanks again all and happy hoying (guess that's

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 5:00PM
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@ Amber

Mine is in a heavy pot. It's unsupported atm because it had that setback over the winter, so it's just getting bushy again. In the past, I put a hoop in there just to give it a better center of gravity. When I need to do so again, I'll probably just bind the lower section of each branch to a couple not-too-ugly short stakes. The hoop looked so stupid!

@ gmadarr

Hoyas on a boat = awesome!!!

I wouldn't use vermiculite with Hoyas at all. They really don't need that extra water retention, so save it for your other plants. I had assumed you were rooting in 100% perlite using the semi-hydro method. There are some who use it in place of hydroton, as a temporary rooting medium.

Or, do you mean that you were using a medium of perlite + potting soil, and you are concerned about having some algae growth on the top level? Or you just don't like the aesthetics?

You can kill the algae with a bit of hydrogen peroxide mixed with water. Or there are various algae killing solutions available for sale that can be mixed in when you water. But, really, the algae is just growing in the aquarium context because it never fully dries out and there is little air flow. Once you remove the plants from the aquarium, after they are rooted, the perlite will whiten up again. So, I don't get too bothered about it, myself, even though I do have algaecide on hand.

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 5:56PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Vermiculite holds water, so we don't want that in this context, we want fast draining, not water retentive mix.

Aquarium grade charcoal bits (from the pet shop) will also control algae growth. I throw some of these chips into my hydro setups &/or water rooting cuttings (just a few, like 1/4 teaspoon worth). I throw a bit in w/ my mixes too (it helps combat rot).

    Bookmark   June 27, 2013 at 6:27PM
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I'm growing this one in S/H, and it's ridiculous how fast it grows, so you cut it back and it branches and grows faster lol - talk about something back firing on you :)

I've put the container in a basket that I hang, so it just goes wherever, makes it easier to deal with.

This is a very easy to grow, but very rewarding one. Congrats on it.


    Bookmark   June 28, 2013 at 7:47AM
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