The 'Chimera' Effect ,And No Growth Whats up?

aveo5December 4, 2011

Hi. I have a question about my "H.Pubicalyx 'Philippine Black Chimera' Red Buttons". I got it in July, and along with like 8 other hoyas. The Chimera one has put out a new vine, that is maroon and green. It started out green, boring,...then it started to grow maroon! The vine and the leaves. The first leaf was green around the sides with a red streak in the middle. Then the next 3 leafs are all maroon along with the stem.

Is this the 'chimera' gene in the plant? IF this stem/vine ever blooms, will it give me the VERY dark red blooms that i am hoping for,...while the green vines will produce a lighter red? The 'regular' red Buttons color? Isn't it a deep red anyway?

But will the maroon continue on that vine,or will it 'turn on and off'? become green on some leaves, and maroon on some? Or will this vine continue to grow maroon, almost black, and give me super deep red blooms? Or is this chimera the unstable part of this plants genes, and it might revert back to green whenever it feels like it?

This new maroon vine is the only new growth on this hoya since I got it,and it just came out last week. But its healthy, BUT for some reason only 3 of my new hoyas have grown at all since June/July. This chimera, and my Cilata is growing so fast, and my H.Archboldiana has put out a vine over 5 feet long so far.

But 4 other hoyas,rather common ones, easy to grow, havent grown an inch,and I know how to grow hoyas basically, yet all my 'old ones' are growing and blooming as usual. It is like these new ones are asleep. Except for the 3 I mentioned, nothing has grown a single leaf, and 2 plants died. I lost a lot of money on those 2.

So...any opinions about this 'Chimera effect', and why are about half of my new hoyas not growing at all? While these 3 'hard to grow ones', at least the Cilata I was told is hard to grow, are growing fast.

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mdahms1979

Don't worry about the fact that some of your plants are not growing, they will grow when they are ready. You are not necessarily doing anything wrong and often times the plants are just waiting for the right time to grow. I have some cuttings that have done absolutely nothing in over a year. Sometimes you can recut the cutting and root it in the pot with the other piece and that will get things going but do it in the spring for best results.

Many Hoya pubicalyx plants have dark maroon vines although fewer have this colouration in the new leaves. As for genetics a plant either has a certain gene or it doesn't, there is no turning on and off of genes the way you are thinking. Gene expression is of course different again because an organism can have a certain gene but not show it outwardly. I am not familiar with Hoya genetics but perhaps with an internet search you can find some info but it will only be on the horticulturally significant varieties, not much of this research going on just for curiosities sake.

The word Chimera has been attached to this Hoya pubicalyx because of the unusual and unstable distribution of pigment in the flowers. All flowers on the plant can possibly show this effect but it is not predictable. If you notice that there is a pattern please let us know. The gene can of course also affect the new growth like you have been seeing and that explains why it is also showing up unpredictably.

Mike

    Bookmark   December 4, 2011 at 6:32PM
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aveo5

All the plants that are not growing and that died, are young plants,in 3in pots. Not cuttings. The 3 plants that are growing are in the same size plants in 3in pots. I went threw a hoya buying 'spree' eariler this year,and expected to have massive growth all summer and maybe blooms by now on the very common ones, like the Pubicalyx types, they bloom constantly for me. But like I said, 3 died, and the rest are either not growing at all,or I have this Chimrea 'effect' going on. And teh H.Archboldiana is doing great. That is one of those huge flowering ones, i keep looking for a bloom spur, nothing yet. Well I guess time will tell if this 'Red Buttons' variety will give me several shades of blooms or not.
And if the vines will continue to grow in this odd color...it is pretty,but i know it needs some green growth to 'feed the plant'. Well..maybe in the spring I'll get a blooming burst or growth spurt on my hoyas.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 5:25PM
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mdahms1979

Just because the growths are coming in purple does not mean there is no chlorophyll for photosynthesis. The chlorophyll is simply being masked by the high Anthocyanin levels. There is no need to remove the dark growth just in case you were considering it.

Mike

    Bookmark   December 5, 2011 at 6:24PM
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aveo5

There is no way i am removing my maroon/red new vine,it is now all maroon,its about 3ins. longer now. And the vine is maroon,now waiting for the next leaf. I am hoping for VERY dark blooms one day. The 'regular' part has yet to grow at all,so,it is this part that is growing and I assume supporting the plant. There are green leaves with silver streaks,but this is the only part that is growing.good to know it has some chlorophyll to 'feed' the plant.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2011 at 5:18PM
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