How did your love for Hoyas begin?

teisa(6)October 24, 2010

A few people have told how their love for Hoyas began...but not everyone. I would love to hear individual stories about how you first got addicted to Hoyas.

My personal story is as follows:

My mother bought a Hoya Rope in 1985. She hung it in the living room and every visitor to the house made comments about it. I know I heard over and over,"it is a Hoya Rope." Well she had it for several years and I remember it finally bloomed! I loved the smell and the beautiful flowers it produced. She grew it for about 10-15 yrs. However, it finally died due to mealies. Back then I don't think there was anything on the market like today to combat them. All she ever knew to use was alcohol on swabs.

Over the years later, we would remember and talk about that flower and how pretty it was. We did not see another one anywhere to purchase. My mother always had a green thumb and grew alot of plants. Then one day I was searching the internet on Ebay and came across Hoya Compacta! I ordered 2 small plants-one for me and mom. Well then I found the seller had different Hoya varieties. That is when I ordered more and started looking in stores for the Hoya varieties. They seemed to be everywhere on the internet! I simply love the blooms and can't get all of the different varieties. I'm totally addicted at this point!

I found the Hoya Forum shortly afterward. I feel like I know alot of you just by reading the post everyday. I've even made some friends on here and hope to make more!

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Great thread, teisa!

I think I've shared my story a time or two, but I'll share again for some newbies.

The first hoya I ever saw was the high school home-ec teacher's (whom I had for several subjects). Hers is a huge plant that I got the oppertunity to take care of (her plant is a carnosa). I was her aide my senior year and the main thing I did for her was water her plants (two geraniums, four asparagus ferns, an umbrella tree and the hoya) once a week. Well, about the time for the seniors to end their classes, she gave me a cutting off the hoya.
I took care of it for about a year before joining the hoya forum (I was a lurker for awhile). I joined last year in September and my first trades were more carnosa cuttings to make my plant look fuller (I learned of more varieties on here as well). I can tell which cutting was from my teacher's because it has a thicker vine than the others. My carnosa hasn't bloomed yet like many of my other hoyas, but I'm looking forward to it. I have nicknamed my carnosa Nikki in honor of my best friend that passed away before senior year.

I am totally hooked on hoyas! I mention them to people I talk to when I'm in the plant section of one of the box stores or at a nursery. I've given some cuttings/plants away to neighbors/friends and they love them too.

Brad AKA Moonwolf

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 9:36AM
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Believe it or not, back when your mom had mealies, there were much "better" (translation: stronger but also far more dangerous) products that kicked mealies' butts! I couldn't name any of them because I didn't use any kind of chemicals back then, but when I joined my cactus club about 10 years ago, I remember one of the main members would buy a product in bulk that was VERY expensive and split it amongst the members that wanted some. Within a year or two, he said he couldn't get it anymore because it had been outlawed due to its very serious toxicity...

Anyway, I got my first Hoya on Valentine's Day from my high school boyfriend (who later became my husband, then my ex...) in 1977. It was a 'Krimson Queen'. I thought it was absolutely the most beautiful plant I'd ever seen. In the late 70's, I subscribed to a new plant magazine called "House Plants & Porch Gardens" and a few months into the subscription, they did an article on Hoyas, which was when/how I found out there were other Hoyas, and the pictures had me totally hooked. But they were nearly impossible to find locally, and mail order plants back then hardly ever survived. I'd find one here, one there over the years - kerrii, compacta, carnosa, australis ssp. australis are a few I found over the years at local nurseries. It wasn't until I got online that I found just how many there were and started getting them from vendors that my collection multiplied.

I think it's a pretty healthy obsession! Plants are aesthetically pleasing, they "clean" the air, and they cultivate our nurturing side. Win, win, win!

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 10:26AM
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I know when I first joined I gave a rendition of my story, but I like this thread, so here we go again.

I grew up with a green silver-speckled carnosa in pots all over the house. My mother is a green thumb and has dainty pots of plants at every window. She keeps many of the pots of carnosa in dimmer spots where it climbs delicately and takes on a deep black-green shade. I first admired this plant where she'd put a pot of it in my sister's room and it twined all around the iron headboard, stealthily making its way toward the window.

Although apparently this carnosa had always bloomed for my mom, she kept this fact to herself and I wasn't aware that it produced flowers until I was in college. She had gotten it from her mother but Oma was more of an outdoor gardener and I don't remember ever seeing the grandmother plant. Point being, my mother actually keeps her carnosas trimmed quite small, so I had no idea how big these plants could get until I got online. I thought of them as small plants, like African Violets. I also thought of them as shade loving plants. ^_^;

African Violets were how I discovered there was more than one kind of "Oma Plant." Whereas my sister's room got a Hoya, mine had had an African Violet, so gesneriads were the first family I started to collect once the horticulture gene manifested in me. When I saw Hoyas on the Violet Barn site, I recognized the blooms right away and the rest is history.

I joined this forum nearly a year after I'd started collecting and around 13 years after I'd started my first carnosa cutting.

    Bookmark   October 25, 2010 at 1:28PM
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