Sick Rope Plant. Please Help!

popke(10 Seminole, FL)July 18, 2013

I posted the other day about sunburn and I am very grateful for Amber's advice. I posted a picture and I am hoping someone knows what is going on with my Rope Plant and how I can try to help it.
Thank you!

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It looks like sunburn to me. If there are healthy looking parts of the vine I would take cuttings and root them. I do have bad experience with baking rope in Florida sun, and over watering it to death later.... It is very hard to recover long vines with most of leaves damaged so rooting is a best option in my opinion. You were mentioning ant infestation in another post; check if ants aren't "farming" aphids on your plants as this can cause more stress on already declining plant, I recommend getting rid of all insects on your hoya!

Good luck, Aggie

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 6:45PM
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popke(10 Seminole, FL)

Thank you Aggie! How would I know if they were farming aphids? I have seen some yellow aphids on the new growth on some of them and I have spayed with Neem Oil. It is so hard to manage the ants because they are in the tree that these are hanging in.

I really appreciate the advice, thank you!

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 6:50PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Sorry, but I think the only way to diagnose this plant is to turn it out of the pot. What kind of mix is that in? Could you perhaps pls. show a pic of the whole thing, can't see much in that shot.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2013 at 10:01PM
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@PG I believe she already checked roots in another post!


If there are aphids and ants on the same plant it will be difficult to get rid of aphids while leaving ants alone! Ants will bring more aphids because they love to feed on aphid "juice", I have same issue! I drown ants by submerging whole thing in the bucket with water, and then try to remember to spray ant killing stuff on the base of the tree trunk and major branches. Not an animal friendly approach but when it comes to my Hoyas and desert roses bugs must go!

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 8:59AM
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popke(10 Seminole, FL)

Thank you both! I went out and tried to get it all the way out of the pot but it is hard to get coconut liner off of the soil. I soaked it in a bucket and now I have a new problem. All those darn ants are crawling up the ropes and out of the buckets. Not sure what to do now.
I am going to soak it for a little while and see if I can get a better look at the roots.

Here are some more pics of the plant.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 10:17AM
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popke(10 Seminole, FL)

Here it is soaking and the ants are crawling out

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 10:18AM
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popke(10 Seminole, FL)

Here is one of the big ants with wings but the little ones aren't showing up in the pictures.

    Bookmark   July 19, 2013 at 10:20AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

I'm sorry but I don't know what to tell you. I hadn't known it was in a coconut fiber lined pot. I do not know how to handle these, & might not have suggested unpotting if I'd known that. How were the roots other than ant-filled?

Wish I knew what to suggest, sorry. Anybody else?

    Bookmark   July 20, 2013 at 8:02AM
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popke(10 Seminole, FL)

Thank you Pirate_girl.
The roots looked good for what I could see but 2 of the ropes are definitely not right. One Snapped off at the top and the other isn't far behind. Those darn ants are still crawling out so I guess they are there to stay. Half of the plant has ropes that look good so I may just repot it with fresh soil and see how it goes. If that doesn't work I will just take cuttings and start that one over. I just think the heat, tons of rain, and stupid squirrels using them for sitting places have taken a toll on them. I would bring them into the patio but I don't want the ants to come along. Plus I have one BIG rope plant that is too heavy to lift so it will have to stay in the tree it is in.
Thanks again for trying to help.

    Bookmark   July 21, 2013 at 9:47PM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

If you haven't yet repotted yet, perhaps sprinkle some cinnamon around the roots & the base of any questionable 'ropes'. It's a natural anti-fungal, hopefully help to stave off any rot.

Sorry I couldn't be of further help.

    Bookmark   July 22, 2013 at 12:56PM
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I spray a mixture of dawn and water on some of my plants that get aphids and ants,leave it on for awhile then hose them off with the blast of water from the hose.Works for me.

    Bookmark   July 23, 2013 at 10:46PM
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popke(10 Seminole, FL)

Thank you all again for your advice. After I soaked my plant it was still too far gone. Luckily I have a couple other happy rope plants so I can take cuttings off of them to replace the other one. :) Kristen

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 9:54PM
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Wow! The Hoya Rope is one of my favorite Hoyas! Yours looks beautiful hanging in that tree!!! I love it!

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 12:17AM
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popke(10 Seminole, FL)

Thank you Teisa! This rope is definitely my favorite, it is HUGE! I'm dreading the day I ever have to move it because it is way too heavy for me to lift. :)

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 3:45PM
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LatinLady(6 New York City)

Insects & Pests:
I've rarely had any insects or pests invade my houseplats. However, I once had to toss out a beautiful Scheflerra tree because it became infested with scale and I didn't know what to do.

Now, particularly during the summer months, I use a home-made bio-control solution to keep away anything that even thinks of visiting. It's called 4-4-2 spray and I learned this little secret from master gardener, Jerry Baker. There are many great bio control concoctions out there. Jerry Baker had some of the easiest to prepare and most effective I've ever used. When I had a house in the Carribbean I used concoctions of tobacco juice, alcohol, mouthwash, beer (for slugs!), etc. Baker is also great at homemade preparations right out of your kitchen for feeding your growing plants, vegetables, flowers (roses!) so they're greener, more vibrant, larger, tastier, etc.

Recipe for 4-4-2 Spray
Garden batch:
Need: 1 large plastic gallon jug, baking soda, cooking oil, dishwashing liquid
Mix well: 4 teaspoons Baking Soda, 4 teaspoons Cooking Oil, 1 gallon Water (128 oz)
Add: 2 teaspoons Dishwashing Liquid

Home batch: (1/4 amount)
Need: 1 plastic spray bottle, baking soda, cooking oil, dishwashing liquid
Mix well: 1 teaspoon Baking Soda, 1 teaspoon Cooking Oil, 22-32 oz Water
Add: 1/2 teaspoon Dishwashing Liquid
Spray plants daily until problem clears; will kill most insects. Pay special attention to the underside of leaves, where insect like to hide and lay their eggs along the veins of the leaf. Mixture will keep for about 2 weeks and will eventually emulsify. ***You can add 1/2 teaspoon of alcohol to specifically kill mites or 1/2 teaspoon minty mouthwash to keep away gnats.

Other than this method, I only use something called a "systemic," which consists of a powder that is sprinkled onto the soil periodically. It works its way into the plant through the root structure without harming the plant and kills anything that tries to set up house in the soil. A systemic helped me get rid of a terrible gnat problem that attacked all my houseplants one year. Gnats are a particular nuisance because while you're getting rid of the ones you see, they've laid their eggs in your topsoil and those will hatch to begin the same perpetual cycle. A systemic is the most effective way to kill their eggs and keep gnats from invading your houseplants while your windows are open during the summer - They fit right through the window screens.

I use a product called Bonide, which kills mealy bugs, scale, aphids, whiteflies, and other pests. You're supposed to use it every two months but I only use occasionally, like every two years. I hit all my houseplants at once and they stay pest free.

Actually, your Hoya is spectacular! Congrats on a job well done!

This post was edited by LatinLady on Fri, Aug 16, 13 at 0:15

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 4:07PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Wow...your Rope plant is amazing!! Very healthy and look at those blooms!!

    Bookmark   August 13, 2013 at 4:43PM
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popke(10 Seminole, FL)

Thank you LatinLady for such thorough advice!

Thank you puglvr1 for the compliment! It is one of my favorite plants and I love it when it blooms like this. :)

    Bookmark   August 15, 2013 at 7:58PM
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