Culture advice needed

rennflSeptember 27, 2011

I got a small shipment of new Hoyas a couple weeks ago, and I'm about ready to repot them.

Can anyone let me know how they grow these guys?

Does it like to stay moist, or dry out?

What light levels?

Any special cultural needs?

Here is the list



aff. parasitica 'Lao 2'

sp. Thai #3


I've gotten some conficting advice by doing searches, so I thought I'd ask you all.

TIA Renee

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puglvr1(9b central FL)

I only have two of the ones from your list(dipetera and 'Lao 2'), but to be honest I grow most of the hoyas the same way. Since I use a very porous fast draining potting mix I let them just "slighly" dry out before I give them a good drench. Siariae is on my list for next Spring, so I'll be watching for the advise on that one.

Congrats on your new hoyas and best of luck with them!!

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 11:53AM
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Your Hoya parasitica and Thai #3 (rigida?) will do well in bright light. Give the Thai 3 a dryer winter, too much water can cause issues so as long as it's established let it dry out once winter hits.

Hoya diptera seems to like it a bit more shaded or it gets very light coloured leaves. Hoya lobbii likes it either shady or bright indirect light. My lobbii plant does very well in a shaded South window.

I don't have Hoya siariae but I do have Hoya blashernazii which is similar. I find that too much light causes unattractive leaves so I keep my plant in bright diffused light, a South window with a sheer curtain and shade from other plants.

So what do you think about your Hoya parasitica Laos 2? I have been thinking about getting this one ever since I saw a friends plant. Does yours have nice flecks of white on it's leaves? I would love to see a leaf photo of this one if you can.


    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 12:18PM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Hi Mike, I LOVE my Parasitica 'laos 2' even if it never blooms I would be okay with it (of course I would love to see blooms someday,lol). Here's a couple of pictures of my leaves.

I would love to see pictures of yours also Renee.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 2:19PM
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Keep it in the small pot and fertilize it with Peter's Variegated Violet special every few weeks. Should flower shortly thereafter. Bright light, good air circulation nd warmth are extras to ensure it flowers and stay flowering.

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 4:39PM
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Thanks guys, this is helpful.

Mike, I'll get a pic of it tomorrow, it's still dark out now, and I have to head off to school here soon, and then I work right after. But the leaves look similar to Pugs.

RFG - which plant are you referring to?


    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 7:12AM
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Thanks for the photos Pug. This Hoya is often only shown in photos as the flowers which is a shame seeing as the leaves are so much nicer than the average all green Hoya parasitica.


    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 11:40AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

You're welcome Mike. You're right, the leaves is definitely one of the best part of this hoya, which is the reason I got it. I never even considered the all green variety because I prefer hoyas with the pretty leaves, especially when space is an issue.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 12:20PM
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RainforestGuy...many of us followed your advice and purchased the Growmore seaweed extract and the Peter's Variegated Violet fertilizer...however, we did not receive instructions with the fertilizer...please tell us what the dosage is for fertilizing hoyas. You mentioned that we should start off with a half dose and move up to a full dose, but we don't know what a "dose" is, or a half dose for that matter. I e-mailed Peter's over two weeks ago and received no response. Thanks a million!! Fondly, Patrick

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 9:58PM
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I believe Peter's came with a spoon inside the tub (This may be different now) it is about a half tablespoon use one scoop for a 2 gallon solution. Use this to fertilize water (i.e. by cup, or even drenching pot area) I am from the old school and add a few drops of Superthrive to the water. I have found that this makes a difference as ST contains B-1 in an interesting formulation that activates plants roots to draw up this and everything mixed with it. For a simple experiment, on a wet table, or even in your sink, add a single drop to this wet sink and tell me what happens. If this isn't enough to open your eyes, nothing will.
I do believe that alternating the Seaweed and feeding with Peter's will miraculously make your plants grow and bloom like everything that does well.
The most important instruction of all is to just water with plain water to flush out the impurities so that each time you fertilizer/water the plants will get the most out of it. Peters contains some trace that unfortunately comes with the mix. Plants will absorb of of this and then won't need it any more. The watering will help flush this out and rid the media from build up. Miracle Grow on the other hand is just too toxic and too full of these trace. Not good for pit culture but better for free soil in the ground.
You will notice that each and every person's plants will use Peters in different amounts. Those who have them in outdoor conditions where excess light, excellent air circulation, etc. will make my recommendations seem like a diet for them. In a good environment, these hoyas will be fat succulent, thick stemmed, compact plants well fed and kept tough by exposing them to the elements. As these plants are virtually succulent in nature practicing the CAM-pathway, (Crassulacean Acid Metabolism) like Aloes, Gasterias, Euphorbias, etc. They make the most of their moisture use at night so they do not lose valuable water and moisture to the environment. This is why they need to be grown hard and not pampered. And those plants that are grown hard will benefit the most out of this.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 1:39AM
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Patrick if you get a TDS meter from EBay you can easily check you water and then mix the fertilizer solution so that it is not too strong. TDS or conductivity meters are quite inexpensive now and well worth the expense, this is especially true if you think you have hard water.


    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 1:38PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

I posted a link to a fertilizer calculator in this thread:

The violet fertilizer

The calculator gives a result of 1.82 teaspoons for a typical full strength concentration of 120ppm nitrogen. You can cut that down to whatever you like since most Hoyas don't seem to need a lot of fertilizer. I use about 30ppm N on my Hoyas, which would be about 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of the 5-50-18. It's a good idea to start thinking of fertilizers in terms of ppm N. That way you get a much better idea of what plants need, rather than blindly relying on manufacturer recommendations.

I also don't recommend high phosphorus fertilizers, but you can make your own judgement after trying it. In fact, one of the advantages of calculating concentrations is that you can make more accurate comparisons of fertilizers by using equivalent concentrations.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 2:52PM
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Phosphorus works in more ways than just as a blossom booster for hoyas. Calcium also thickens stems and increases root volume, which in turn triggers flowering in hoyas, and most plants. Nitrogen is an overrated nutrient and in most indoor growing situations, this is really not needed as much since we don't want lots of leaves and no flowers.
High phosphorus also triggers a lot of growth factors for so many plants that it is difficult to say that it is only good for this or that. Hoyas will concentrate high volumes of phosphorus more so than any other nutrient for storage and long term reserves for when plants are weak or growth erratic due to poor water availability, or lesser other factors.
Phosphorus will also increase color in many of the red-purple colored leafed species and hybrids. Hoya carnosa variegates when fertilized with high phosphorus will produce better pink, red, purple colored foliage with more holding qualities. H. caudata is an excellent example of the significance of phosphorus and how it works. A well fed caudata (with P) will produce very thick leathery fat leaves adorned with red-purple and splotches of silver). Growing in areas high in Limestone and phosphorus has something to do with this. It does respond favorably to these nutrients and excesses are a plus for this species.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 8:32PM
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penfold2(4b, MN)

It is widely accepted that plants absorb nutrients in fairly specific ratios with little regard to the ratio available to them. This is confirmed by tissue analyses of both wild and cultivated plants. I don't have any data on Hoyas, but here is an article with the results of a study on orchid tissue composition.

Care and Feeding of Orchids TYPICAL COMPOSITION OF DRY ORCHID TISSUE BY PERCENT Nitrogen Phosphate Potassium Calcium Magnesium Iron Leaves 1.8 0.2 4.2 1.3 0.5 0.01 Roots 2.0 0.3 2.2 0.8 0.8 0.04

As you can see, P is used in relatively small amounts, and this holds true for all different kinds of plants. No plant that I am aware of has ever been shown to absorb more P than N or K. So how does a plant benefit from all of the excess P in a fertilizer such as a 5-50-18 formula? "Nitrogen is an overrated nutrient and in most indoor growing situations, this is really not needed as much since we don't want lots of leaves and no flowers."

It's true that temporarily decreasing N can improve flowering in some cases, but N is still one of the largest nutrient requirements for plant growth. Depriving a plant of N will generally result in a weaker plant. Light level is a much bigger factor in flower production. "Hoyas will concentrate high volumes of phosphorus more so than any other nutrient for storage and long term reserves for when plants are weak or growth erratic due to poor water availability, or lesser other factors."

I'm quite sure this is not the case, but I would be interested in seeing any data that suggests otherwise.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2011 at 11:03PM
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Wow penfold you must be some sort of scientific person to be able to read and understand all of this info.
I for one go by trying out different products and different ways to grow my plants.I feel giving something a try for a few months, one will be able to see if it works or not.
I enjoy reading everyone's different ideas how everyone grows there hoya's.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 12:03AM
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RainforestGuy, Mike and Penfold...thanks so much for sharing your knowledge. I plan on following RFG's suggestions to a "T"...if it dosen't work, then I'll stop. I like the idea of alernating between the seaweed extract and the Variegated Violet fertilizer. One thing I noticed is RFG's suggestion to feed H. caudata with lime and keep it moist...I did so immediately...and so far, the difference is phenomenal....lot of new growth and a new vine. Upto this point my caudata has been like a "plastic" plant....but, I could tell it wasn't plastic, as there's was constant dying of the plant has new leaves on every vine, and a 2-foot new vine. Thanks so much RFG, I never would have done this without your recommendation. I've since added lime to a good number of plants...and hope to see comparable growth...and with the seaweed extract and the fertilizer, I'm hoping to see more blooms/growth. I followed Mike's suggestions and purchased all new T5 lights for my sunroom...the difference is much brighter...BUT, those fixtures and lights cost a small fortune!! Thanks're always so helpful. Fondly, Patrick

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 9:34AM
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mairzy_dotes(zone 10)

The lights could have contributed to the caudata's growth also. I got a small one for my aquarium "rooters" and noticed they are growing lots of new leaves too.
It IS wonderful that we have a forum with lots of Knowledgeable people with great info. to share with us. I try lots of different advise and see what works for me. It can be fun to experiment.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 10:42AM
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I can also attest to the increased growth of my Hoya caudata after stepping up the watering. I used to water my plant when it was just dry and it has grown and bloomed for me several times but still it is not an impressive growth rate and the new growth often only reaches a length of a couple feet before it dies back at the tip. Since watering more often the plant has thrown a new vine and a peduncle so I am happy with its performance. I will add some dolomitic lime to the potting mix and see what that does. I would really like to update my photos of Hoya caudata but I won't be doing that until it blooms again.

I have moved some Hoyas around recently and they have responded by producing peduncles for the first time. The strange thing is that the new positions are not necessarily brighter but the overall amount of diffused light and good morning sun is much better even if the duration is shorter. I also watered the Hoyas with a high P fertilizer that I used for my Gesneriads, there is no doubt that it works on the Gesneriads and now I have a feeling that it has helped coax peduncles out of some of those Hoyas. I will continue to use the high P fertilizer at intervals and to make sure to flush the pots heavily in between as I did notice some salt buildup in the moisture retentive Kohleria potting mix.

Kohleria Strawberry Fields blooming shortly after the fertilizer application. I have about ten other Kohlerias coming into bloom as well.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 11:45AM
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Ament(5a SD)

Mike, that is beautiful! I just love it. :) Thank you for sharing. Will you post more images? I just love to oogle lovelies others post. :D I know, I'm bad that way... Haha!


    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 2:26PM
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Thanks Tina. If you click on any of my photos you will go to my Flickr page where you can look around.


    Bookmark   September 30, 2011 at 4:33PM
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Mike, sorry it took so long to get this picture. I had an extremely busy weekend, and then had projects due for school.

But anyways, here is the picture of my new 'Laos 2'. BTW, my tag read 'Lao 2', is that a typo?

Interesting turn this thread has taken, and to add a couple comments, I started using the seaweed extract this past spring, with every fertilizing. Also to add the vast majority of my plant collection is orchids, and due to that, the Hoyas get fertilized and watered along with them. I found that using the seaweed extract caused them to grow too fast, and the new growths were weak and floppy on the orchids. So I cut back to using the seaweed extract only once a month, and this seems to be the right amount for me.

The Hoya's new growth was just amazing, and the orchids put out twice the new growths than they usually did on average.

I have stopped using the seaweed extract now though, as the majority of my orchids are seasonal growers and I actually don't want them putting out new growth and roots this time of year, going into winter.

The exception to this is, a bunch of cuttings I started a few weeks ago from my Hoyas, yes I know it's the wrong time of year, but using the seaweed extract in their water, 95% rooted within 2 weeks. These are just sitting in the shade outside, no special treatment.

My two cents lol


    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 8:51AM
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puglvr1(9b central FL)

Nice Hoya Renee...I love my leaves too! I'm glad you asked Mike about the spelling...mine came spelled the same as yours,"Lao 2". Waiting to see what Mike has to say if there's suppose to be a "s" at the end also. Thanks in advance Mike!

    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 12:02PM
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Thanks Renee you plant is very nice. You know I had a chance to order a cutting of Hoya parasitica Lao but I went and ordered Hoya chinghungensis instead, not sure what I was thinking. LOL
The tag is not necessarily a typo but I am making the assumption that the plant was collected in Laos, I have been wrong many times before. :)

I love using seaweed extract as well but like you mention it really gets plants growing so it's best to use it sparingly. I tend to use a weak solution along with my regular fertilizer or a stronger solution if I use it alone.


    Bookmark   October 6, 2011 at 12:06PM
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Hi Everyone. I'm here just taking in all this advise. I need to know where I can get the seaweed extract and how much to use when I do use it.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2011 at 8:32PM
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