Unexpected faves and the opposite

quinnfyre(z7 PA)June 15, 2011

Going through and checking the hoyas to see who needs watering, I am struck again by how much I like polyneura. Don't get me wrong, I never expected to DISlike it, but it was one of those hoyas that never quite grabbed me, partially because I'd heard it was finicky. Mine is anything but. It has been super patient with me during the funk of 2011, and now that I've gotten over that, for the most part, it is rewarding me with growth. I really like this little guy.

On the opposite side, will cinnamomifolia ever do anything? It is like a fake plant. Leaves look great, but no new vines or leaves or even an attempt that failed. It had prime real estate at the front of my south window but has now been ousted by benguetensis, who is rewarding me with lovely red coloration on its leaves.

What about you? Do you have hoyas that snuck up and vined their way into your heart? Or one you were excited about but has been a little disappointing thus far?

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To be honest, I initially ordered my chlorantha as filler for an "order 10 or more items and get a discount" offer. I expected it to be a fairly plain green leafed vine with small green flowers. I expected the green flowers to be interesting but nothing spectacular. It's been the exact opposite of what I thought it would be, the leaves and vines are gorgeous and the thing flowers constantly with big bundles of yellow-green flowers.

On the other hand I ordered my imperialis hoping it would grow and look as impressive as it does in pictures I see online. It's definitely growing, but I feel like the plant is taking up far too much space and not quite giving enough in return. The leaves are large but somewhat clumsy looking, and it doesn't seem to be very happy under my lights. I'm incredibly jealous of pug's imperialis though, so I'm keeping it around hoping it'll end up like that some day.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 12:22AM
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One that would "bang" right to the top of my list if it would just take off... deykeae. I've had it 2 years and it's put on some new growth, but nothing significant. But enough that I'm totally enthralled with the leaves. I've been afraid to disturb it (for fear of losing it), but a few weeks ago, I decided to take a deep breath and move it up to a larger pot in hopes of it taking off. I'm relieved to say there's a new sprig of growth on it, so it looks like it's no worse for wear. And who knows - maybe the move will bring on that burst of new growth that will make it #1!

And I have to agree with Rennet that I'm very disappointed (so far) with imperialis. I can't even brag about mine taking up too much room. I've had to restart it twice - it seems to be more susceptible to colder temps in winter than other Hoyas. I really want to grow it well, but it may just be that elusive one for me...

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 12:39AM
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The key word here is "unexpected" - there are plenty of favorites that are not on this list because, frankly, I expected them to be favorites, and they were.

Unexpected favorites:

I have already explained elsewhere why many of these are particularly adored, so I won't repeat myself here.


I had no idea this one was going to be so striking - like a bigger but equally sharp and snazzy acuta

I'm going to try my hand at seriously describing these leaves soon, but for now I'll just say that they have an amazing leathery texture with an elaborate network of raised veins I haven't seen in any other Hoya


This one just takes off for me like a spritely little weed



I thought mitrata was pretty but weird when we first met, now it has performed so loyally I'm never going to cut it.

There's no way you could get this plant and go: meh

I recently got this one from Aleya and I couldn't believe how vigorous it is. One of those instances where you figure since it's an eccentric plant, it will be a troublemaker, and then... it isn't!

I lost my first patella, so I only grudgingly reordered it, because it's a special sort of plant and I figured I had to have it. Well, it's growing like it's in a fever to beat every other plant in my collection and I've had to revise my opinion

pottsii IML 0022

rigida 1424
Everyone here knows I am obsessed with rigida, but probably I've never mentioned the fact that I just randomly added my first rigida (this one) onto an order, for no apparent reason. When I took it out of the box I was just bowled over and have stayed that way.

sp. Haraku

sp. Ban Ngon Ngoy

sp. square leaf
Have you ever been in the situation where all your friends are talking about this one book or this one movie and something in you stubbornly resists until it's 10 years later and you WILL NOT READ HARRY POTTER. That's how I felt about sp. square leaf. And now I love it.

I resisted this one for a long time because it's big. Well, yeah, it is big. But how can you not love a plant that is so smooth and pretty and vigorous?

Unexpected UNfavorites:

I don't know why. If this plant was rare, I would probably love the heck out of it? I just can't get into this little guy, even though it does well for me.

We used to be in love, and then I moved, and I haven't been able to make her happy since. :( I think we are going to break up! :(

Once upon a time I thought I lost my first deykea because it arrived too wet and got cold in an over-air-conditioned apartment. Now I know that even when I receive a giant plant from Joni in robust health, it will still act like a pouty little punk unless I keep it in the aquarium. Also, there are like 10 different spellings of this name and I can't figure out which is the published...

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 1:33PM
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These are mine, although I haven't grown them for long. So, just first impressions.

Unexpected favorites:

  • H. obovata: just nicer than I anticipated. Do these always have speckles? I expected all green.

  • H. carnosa 'krinkle-8': Why do some people call it boring? It isn't at all. It's shiny, dimply, and the underside of the leaves is much lighter green. It has a very nice look to it, and it grows fast. It may even be a favorite, although I like my new waymaniae and subquintuplinervis very much at the moment, too. This plant looks like my much loved winter scarf; its two colors are almost the same, and on reverse sides, too.

  • H. cv 'Mathilde': small, freckled, thick-leaved and may even grow those big flowers someday.

  • H. memoria: good proportions, reddish new growth, nice growth habit.

  • H.ÃÂ sp.ÃÂ SarawakÃÂ L97002ÃÂ GPSÃÂ 10073: I didn't know exactly what someone thought I might like and sent to me in a trade; turns out that this one has very nice light venation and I like the shape of the leaves too.

Unexpected unfavorites:

  • H. Pubicalyx Royal Hawaiian Purple: I already have two other nice pubicalyxes, and since I doubt I'll ever see their flowers here in the dark north, these may just be too similar for me to grow in three separate pots.

  • Hoya parasitica: my cutting has two solid green leaves, and because the other had some odd hard beige spots that I scraped away (parasitica, hmm...), only one of them is presentable right now. I DO like all green flowers, though.

  • Both H. buotii and wallichii have thinner leaves than I expected, and I find that un-Hoya-like. These just don't look tough enough, and it makes me unconfident.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 3:39PM
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Well, I love all the ones I have, but my most favorite has to be pubicalyx. I have purple hybrid. Splash, and Pink Silver that survived the freeze. They are just comming back into putting out new leaves. I love them because they flower all summer long, and their fragrance is beautiful.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 4:47PM
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Unexpected favorites:

DS70: The leaves didn't look quite so nice when I first bought it, plus it was sparse and sort of boring. But since I've had it, it has filled out considerably, and I find myself petting the leaves quite often. Also, the purple edge to the leaves is quite nice. lol

Unexpected UNfavorites:

polyneura: I was really excited to get this one, and when I found it on discount at Lowe's, that made it even better. It even has the veination on the leaves that I like. I can't even put my finger on exactly what it is that I don't like about it.

brevialata: this one is just not happy no matter what I do. It grows a leaf and then promptly drops 4. It kind of makes itself hard to like. lol

multiflora: It's just so... thin and dainty, but not in a good way. Like it's sort of weak. Maybe it's just my plant?

In any case, these are going to be around for a while, at least, just in case they decide to do something unexpected, like grow, or even flower. lol

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 4:50PM
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Quinn, thanks for reminding me about my unfavorite. It would have to be multiflora too. It is tall, about 2 1/2 to 3 ft. tall with leaves just at the top. I'm tempted to cut it back and root the top, but it blooms quite frequently, so I hesitate. I'm not sure if the bare stem will start growing new leaves. Any one out there have any idea if this will happen?

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 6:09PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

Yup, unexpected IS the key word. I have plenty of faves that I knew full well I would love, and I do. I wouldn't say that cinnamomifolia is an unfavorite, but it irks me. I guess burtoniae also falls into that category. I want to love it, but it doesn't do much. Except die back, little by little, now and again.

Ha ha, it took me a really long time to finally read Harry Potter too.

Kukka, I don't grow wallichii, so I can't advise on that, but don't feel unconfident about buotii until it gives you a good reason (like dropping leaves or something) because it is one of the easiest hoyas I grow! It only looks delicate. Mine seems to grow through anything. I have let it dry out multiple times this year (not on purpose) and it barely showed any signs of caring. It is the second fastest grower I have.

GG, I also really love dischorensis. It's hard to see how attractive it is in pictures. I had issues with nummularioides too. It is doing pretty well now, at least. And curtisii is failing to wow me as well. Don't know what it is. Maybe I will move it somewhere else, sometime.

So, imperialis seems to be a bit of a troublemaker, eh? I will have to keep that in mind. Chlorantha is definitely on my wish list. Deykeae looks pretty cool in pics. I hope it does take off for you, Denise.

Brevialata definitely gave me problems to start. The first cuttings I got rooted pretty well, but it would put out some leaves and vines, and then lose more than it grew. Then nothing. Then the same thing again. It finally seems to have evened out and is growing steadily. I also found a big pot of it at Lowe's. I decided to divide it up, give some away and replace the soil. Half of it just up and died, absolutely hated me. The part that is left is perfectly fine. What a weird plant.

I don't know if multiflora will put out more leaves from the bare stem, but I know variegated macrophylla did just that! It grew new leaves from where it had dropped leaves previously. I think it was determined that my plant is javanica, not multiflora, but it does pretty well being wick watered. Mine is pretty sturdy and is filled out rather nicely but it is directly under a light. I believe it is a 30W CFL? It blooms pretty regularly there also.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 10:02PM
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Don't hesitate to hack your multiflora back and root the top in water. After cutting the plant back you will get growth points from the nodes below the cut. I let my plant hang and I like it that way but it is a space hog when it becomes a multi growth plant.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2011 at 10:57PM
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Unexpected favorites:

diptera - I love the clean & shiny look of its leaves. Plus it is such an easy bloomer for me. I've heard others call it boring, but I beg to differ.

davidcummingii - I bought this for the flowers but was surprised to find the leaves very attractive.

Unexpected unfavorites:

mindorensis! Maybe if it ever blooms I'll change my mind. What a spindly grower! Maybe I'm not doing something right with it. ?? who knows

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 11:20AM
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/Kukka I really like Krinkle 8, too. It almost made it onto my top 10 list. People downplay carnosa b/c it's so common, but this is a really neat cultivar.

My obovata has speckles, although not very heavy, at least not in my light.

There are a lot of Hoyas with thin leaves, so I guess it IS "Hoyalike" (lol), but I agree that what originally drew me to these plants was the tough succulent specimens.

/Kids You make a great point about DS-70. This is definitely a very attractive Hoya.

I was slow to like multiflora (and its doppelgangers) also, but I like it now that it has entered its space hog phase. It does grow well from points where it has been hacked off. If your plant can be described as 'spindly' you probably want to change your strategy for it, because it should be 'bushy' and 'aggressive.' I don't really do the whole self-watering thing, but I keep my plant in the kitchen where it's always in the way. My mom always says "you can forget to feed a dog but you can never forget to feed a cat" and multiflora is one that needs to be underfoot and getting in the way, like a cat, so it gets fed as much as it likes. :P

/Quinn Maybe you're right and the solution for my lackluster opinion of curtisii is to rearrange it... grow it elsewhere or differently than I have been. Simone says it's more attractive if you give it something to climb up, and I have to agree with her. I don't want another plant on cork, but I may have to mull over the possibilities a bit.

/Beth I totally agree that diptera is a beautiful Hoya, although mine hasn't bloomed for me yet.

Which mindorensis do you have? I find they vary a lot.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 12:30PM
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Well I cut back one of two stems on my Multiflower/Javanica. At least if the cut stem doesn't grow, I'll still have the one. Sure hope this works. I would like to fill the pot. It looks so scraggly. I'll have to take a picture now and post it.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 12:30PM
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GG, I couldn't even remember which mindorensis I have, so I checked Joni's site just now. I think it is IML 0768. Isn't that the most "ordinary" of them? I remember you talking about a wonderful mindorensis that you have that outshines all the others, but which one is that, I forget! Can you remind me?

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 10:09PM
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H. mindorensis (IML 0768)

H. mindorensis 'True Red'

Hoya aff. mindorensis (IML 1777)

These are the three mindorensis I currently have and the one I always rave about is the first one, IML 0768, which you also have.

I have also had (albeit briefly) two other mindorensis in my possession and their leaves matched those of the latter two photos, not the first.

In my opinion, IML 0768 is much much more beautiful, succulent with visible veining and a matte texture. I do notice that one of its leaves is larger and less succulent than the others, but it is not the eldest leaf, so I'm not sure if it's an issue of the conditions when it was formed, or if the plant just sporadically throws leaves more in keeping with other mindorensis. The leaf I'm referring to is the one upper left in the photograph, which unfortunately makes the photograph misleading, because that's the leaf that gives the clearest view of thickness. It is, however, still a mossy forest green, like the others and the venation is more pronounced, so that's a cool trade.

I should note that all three plants are grown in the same conditions.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2011 at 10:39PM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

Oooh, you are right, it IS lovely. Maybe I should get that one, to soothe my soul over my current mindorensis being El Crankypants. I gotta ask, how are you taking pics of your plants? It looks like you've got them in a light box or something. It's like that early George Lucas film THX 1168, where there are no shadows. I forget the technical term for his lighting.

I do grow some curtisii on cork. It's kinda cool, but it's not super happy with me because I let it get dry too often this year. I have more in a pot, that is doing better, but neither has really taken off, so it's not exciting to me. They are small and hide in the back. If I move them so that they are more visible, maybe I will enjoy them more. I can't do that just yet, but I'm keeping it in mind.

Rigida is moving into the land of favorites right now because it is starting to put out some nice solid growth. If all of this growth makes it, it will leap into becoming one of my largest plants, simply because its leaves are so large. Fun!

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 1:29AM
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Wow, I think your "True Red" is the neatest looking of yours! You mention you grow them in the same conditions. Can I ask what conditions you grow them in? Just want to make sure I'm doing it right :)

Actually, the growth habit of your IML 0768 looks much more compact than mine, and the leaves look more beautiful than mine! I should post pics on here, I'll try to do that later today.

    Bookmark   June 18, 2011 at 2:16PM
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Quinn, I built a lightbox this year because I wanted to be able to take yearbook photos of my plants to see how they changed over time. I think I'm going to build another bigger one as the current one is only a few feet high. I used the guide below as my model and it was pretty easy to whip out once I'd assembled everything. I've really enjoyed working with it so far.

Beth, I grow my mindorensises under bright artificial light in a chunky bark based medium. Since I let my apartment get pretty cold in the winter, I overwinter them in the heated aquariums. I don't really think that's necessary but I have had other temperate varieties react badly, so I don't like to chance it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Light Box Guide

    Bookmark   June 25, 2011 at 9:52PM
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