H.Macgillivrayii, Am I Lucky, Or A Good Gardener?

aveo5July 28, 2011

This is really throwing me for a loop. I put my 'baby' Mac, that I have had on my back porch getting morning sun through plastic coated screening,(in Fla. it keeps the rain off your porch)its really screening layered between plastic. So you get light, but no bugs,no rain, and it isnt a cement wall. Anyway, I had it there for like 3 years. The mother plant up and died one day out of the blue, on my northern facing front porch, outside,few years back, after years of blooming and growing like a weed! I didnt know I had such an 'valuable' plant, though it cost me a fortune to buy the mother, a tiny starter cutting. and it bloomed a lot and frequently. Luckily I had taken these cuttings and they rooted.

Now that I know what I have, selling or trading cuttings and rooted cuttings will get me more huge flowered hoyas, or my deep red fuzzy ones that I love! Well in less than 1 month this plant has put out 4 new vines,huge leaves, the leaves keep getting bigger and bigger as the vines grow,and it is not getting any direct sun,and I am not forcing it with fertilizer. I can almost see the first umbel in my mind on this plant.

I thought this Hoya was suppose to get direct sun in the morning at least, and not grow in shade? Though it barely grew on the back porch getting morning sun, and that it was a pig for food? I look at it every few days, and have to water it, it is dry, I soak it, and there is now growth,and new vines starting.

Am I just luckily, or am I heading for a 'one day it just up and died on me day'...again? The leaves are coming out nice and red/green,and then turning all green, I thought it needed to be root bound, so that is why I put it in a 5-6in hanging basket, it was in a 4in pot for all the years I had it on the back porch,and it did some growing, but never a bud, at least it lived. But it seems that the shade and water is making it act like the mother plant, and it bloomed for me from a rooted cutting in under 1 season!

So...am I pushing my luck, or is this what 'Mac' likes? I finally remembered that the variety that it is...it is called 'Pandanus Creek'? If that makes a difference. I saw it listed on that page of hoyas that Mike sent me to a week ago. So...whats the story. Any other fellow 'Mac' growers having this kind of luck? Or do I have an odd plant on my hands?

The mother did so well for years, and it just never occurred to me to take and root all the cuttings I cut off and tossed away like a dope! Not this time around!! But she did great, and in a tiny hanging basket as well, but it did up and die one day, and I still dont know why. Other than maybe my watering practices? Maybe I let it get to dry,or to wet.

Well...any input would be great to hear. The day i see an umbel I will finally figure out how to post pictures and do it til I get open blooms, to post here!

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Some plants are just stronger than others so it is not unusual to have multiple different varieties of a species and to have them perform differently from each other.
These different varieties are all individuals that were collected in different areas vs cuttings which are technically clones of a single plant. Some plants like people are just stronger or weaker than others and genetics come into play here. If you are experienced growing plants from seed you will know that some seedlings are just weak while others grow very well and that selecting these strong varieties and discarding the weak plants is how horticulture continues to develop new and better plants all the time. Plant breeders will plant thousands of seeds and they may discard 99% once they see the flowers but when your goal is to improve on past generations there is no reason to keep the rest when they are just average quality.

There are also situations where a cutting will just not develop a strong root system when you first root it and thus the plants performance will be affected. Plants also have an immune system like people and they can be weakened and at times this will be enough to end up in death if an infection sets in the root system etc.
Many plants will grow very lush in the shade but might not bloom so you will have to see how your plant performs. If it does not bloom for you once it gets big enough you might have to consider giving it a little more light.

I think if your plant does very well you should really consider using the cuttings to trade for more plants because this is a Hoya that is very impressive to everyone that sees it. Good luck with your plant.


    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 4:57PM
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The main point of my post was to see if it odd for the 'Mac' to grow in shade,like the mother did for like 4-5 years, and bloomed constantly, and basically to grow so fast after re-potting?

I intend to trade, or sell, cuttings either rooted or unrooted as soon as I can. And as soon as i get my first umbel, I am going to figure out how to post pics. of the blooms. I have some now, but I still do not understand 'photobucket'. I've tried and tried and all I get is a row of numbers and letters in my post. But I have pictures of the mothers blooms, on 'real' film, and on the computer, I have to look for them, and see if I can post them. to get the hang of it. I just wondered if I got lucky and got an odd 'Mac' that likes what it isn't suppose to like, shade, water,and small potted. I think it likes to be potbound, right? So it will be in the 6in basket for a while.

It is humid beyond belief and hot as all heck, but it is a outside northern exposure open porch. It WAS on a semi enclosed southern porch, getting morning sun on it till 11am or so. And it grew little, it was just stagnant. Then I potted it up into a small hanging basket and in less than 1 month it is growing like gang busters. Is that odd? Or pure luck?

Just wondered if others grew their 'Macs' with that kind of exposure ,or some other way? Maybe had some hints to get it going even better?

So far my new starter plant of H. Albiflora, my new 'big flower' is taking off to. It is on the back porch right now, but I have to find a place right next to the Mac to hang it, and see if it likes that area as well. Want to hang it up in a basket as well, and get vines all over the place.

Still trying to find places to put all the other more common hoyas that I love, all my fuzzy ones:) Like my 'Red Buttons' plant, a place to live out front. Thats where every hoya I have lives, except my 'Tsangii', it is on the back porch and it grows great,and the smell of hot melted butter from the blooms is just overwhelming! But every other one likes the front. I guess its the air and humidity and it is very bright,just no direct sun. Even my most common 'H. Carnosa Variegata Rubra', that I got at Lowes, just for the foliage, never thought about its blooms, is covered in about 20 big round balls of pink fuzzy flowers! I just looked at the 'Mac' next to it, and its only been two days and the new growth has doubled in size, and the newest growth is still deep red...so pretty.

Maybe this is my reward for all the cr-p I have had last year and this year, so far. I hope. Send me even 1 'Mac' flower, and I'll be thrilled!

    Bookmark   July 29, 2011 at 11:59PM
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Odd or not if your plant is growing well in the shade then it's got to be happy! Maybe the plant just wanted to grow a bigger root system and the room in the new pot put it in the mood to grow.


    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 12:10AM
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pirate_girl(Zone7 NYC)

Hi Aveo,

I can't speak about MacG..., know of it, but have never grown it.

As to Photobucket, perhaps I can be of help, it's the site I use & so I know how to post pix from there.

What you said:

"all I get is a row of numbers and letters in my post"

may not be entirely wrong, if you proceeded from there to the Preview feature, if done right, you'll see the image from where it was just letters & numbers.

OR, from the beginning, first put your pix on Photobucket. Then post a message here & into that, copy & paste the THIRD LINE OF CODE (often marked HTML) into the posted message here. At first, it'll just look like gobbledy gook (letter & numbers). But then, if you proceed to the Preview feature, it will appear as the photo image you wish. If not, try again, it can take a couple of tries or more to get it right.

So if you succeed w/ this, can I pls. get on line for a cutting sometime? ;>)

Seriously, hoping this helps.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 11:12AM
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I will try it someday. Once i get LONG vines,and get my first umble & blooms, THEN I will be giving/trading/selling my cuttings. And you can have one or two,pirate Girl,...free,or traded or whatever. I am hoping it will happen by this fall,if we dont get hit by any hurricanes. THEY are a major inconvenience!!!!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2011 at 1:22PM
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