New and old Hoya questions

aseedisapromiseDecember 3, 2012

So, I just succumbed to an impulse buy, and maybe I'm a little sorry. I bought an EA Krimson Princess, which is a little different than the carnosa I've had for twenty years, and the varigated carnosa I've had for longer than that, so it seemed a good idea at the time. I have a couple of questions. One thing I am wondering is whether the Hoya named Krimson Queen is an older cultivar that has been around for a long time, and whether the one that I have had for twenty years that I have always just called varigated H. carnosa is actually Krimson Queen. The flowers on it aren't fragrant like the plain green carnosa, but it looks like the pictures of ones with that name. I'm sorry, I looked and I don't have a photo of its blooms. It isn't as prolific a bloomer as the regular carnosa.

The Krimson Princess I just bought was in a six or eight inch pot and very pretty, it's leaves are smaller than the other ones I have. When I got it home I realized that it isn't drying out any. I've had it about two weeks and it is still soaking. It seemed like some of the the growing points were drying out, like it wasn't doing very well. Also, someone in a post on this forum mentioned that these EA Hoyas will never bloom with so many cuttings as they have in the pot. I took it out to my potting shed to look at it more closely, and it has about twenty cuttings in the one pot. I shook the peaty wet stuff off them, and most of the soil came away easily. The roots were nice and white, but none were more than about two inches long. Any peat that clung to them I left on them. I repotted the cuttings in various pots in gritty mix, which is what I happened to have. I think I will have to be watering them frequently, as they aren't very old cuttings and the gritty should dry out more quickly than the peat. I don't have enough room for twenty pots of Hoya, so a lot of them are doubled and tripled up. We'll have to see how they do. This really is a test, as I have to repot my old Hoyas soon, and I want to see how it goes. I have never repotted the old Hoyas in twenty years, just potted up and put a little mix on top, so I'd like to give them some new mix. Is a 5-1-1 a good mix for them? The photo is of the new Hoya before repotting.

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The Hoya in the photo is 'Krimson Princess.' 'KP' has cream in the middle, green on the edges, 'KQ' green in the middle and cream on the edges. They're both beauties, though for me, 'KP' quickly reverts back to all green, whereas 'KQ' keeps it's variegation, often even all-white vines.

How many cuttings are in a pot has nothing to do with how soon it will bloom, so I would have simply repotted them all up in a new pot with new potting soil. But you can always trade off some of those potted up cuttings for something else.

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 9:44PM
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I just looked around on that "other" website, and found a poster who said that Krimson Queen has been around since the fifties, and the patent expired in the seventies. So that answers that question.

I kind of wondered about that comment about the cuttings not blooming, so thanks for giving me your two cents worth. I figure if you can give a plant the things it needs, it will do fine and bloom. These aren't going to bloom any time soon with two inch roots, though. But I can be patient. I have seen in other posts, Denise, you have a lot of different Hoyas, and I wonder if you have experienced Krimson Queen blooming a little less often and less profusely than the plain green one? Actually the flower clusters are larger but fewer on Queen. Will Krimson Princess be the same as Queen, or more like the plain green one? Maybe you don't have these, but in case you do, thanks for your response!

    Bookmark   December 3, 2012 at 11:06PM
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Unlike a lot of folks, I find anything carnosa hard to bloom. Well, let me rephrase... They have to be very mature to bloom. My current plain green carnosa is a pot of cuttings off my step-grandmother's plant and, though about 7 years old, has yet to bloom. In it's defense, I do grow it in a north window. My KQ grows well in an east window, but after 5 or so years, still hasn't bloomed. Other Hoyas are much easier to bloom for me, but carnosas are worth growing for their beautiful foliage.

When I pick Hoyas to grow, I always pick by foliage, not flowers so that if they don't bloom, I'm still happy with them.

Denise in Omaha

    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:06PM
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My Hoya carnosa used to bloom well but it has not bloomed since being moved to an area with less light. I just do not have enough room for it near the windows.
I think the best spot for Hoya carnosa is in a South window where it gets bright light. If the leaves are dark emerald green then your plant will probably never bloom. A medium green is best for both the appearance of the leaves and the production of flowers. Very bright light makes for lots of flowers but then the leaves get a bit washed out.
Is it possible for you to add some artificial light?


    Bookmark   December 4, 2012 at 10:46PM
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I had my older two in a somewhat large WSW window that had a deep porch outside it. They still bloomed, all up and down the plain green one, and about three clusters on the variegated. It would start in the spring, and then would repeat. They are pretty old, as I said. I write this in past tense because I moved, and had to move them, and they had grown together and were inseparable from each other and their macrame pot hangers. Over time I had wrapped them around and around. Big mistake. I tried to save as many bloom stalk thingys as I could, but I did have to cut some. The plain green has bloomed in its current east window in my new house, but not the variegated one. Now that they are separate entities, I may repot them. A lot of the older leaves on both plants got "washed out", so I think they got plenty of sun, or else the leaves just got old.

It's really hard to decide sometimes which plants get the best positions out of the ones that we can provide. I'm pretty adverse to lights myself, except when I am starting seeds. So I just make do. This time of year, in my wood heat house, it's the temps that are harder to manage.

I'll do a search on this forum for soil mix and see what I can come up with. Thanks.

    Bookmark   December 5, 2012 at 10:15PM
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I grew up in a home heated with a wood stove and I can only imagine the problems it would cause when growing plants. One good thing is that Hoya carnosa is very tolerant of cool weather and this is most often when the plant begins blooming.
You will find that if you repot, the plant will put out lots of new growth. You could always trim the main plant back and wait for new growth and then use the ends of the growths as cuttings. It is probably not the best time of year for you to take cuttings though considering your growing conditions.


    Bookmark   December 6, 2012 at 1:45AM
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Well, I do tend to have certain kinds of plants that I can grow well, and others I stay away from. Hoyas are a pretty good fit. Cuttings now aren't really a good idea, at least not without getting out the heat mat, and I'd rather not do that, just like I'd rather not do artificial lights. I think I am going to wait a bit to do the repotting anyway, since I used up all the mix I had doing up the new Hoya. I think I'd like to do the 5-1-1, and I want a better quality peat component than what I have right now.

    Bookmark   December 7, 2012 at 10:11PM
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I use standard potting soil or a promix type potting mix and then just add medium sized orchid bark, perlite, and my new favourite which is Diatomite. As for the ratio I simply make a mix that if squeezed into a ball, will not retain that shape. A nice open mix with good drainage.
I agree that waiting to repot is a good idea. When there are good conditions for growth then repotting at that time will avoid any problems that might otherwise arise.

Let us know how it goes.


    Bookmark   December 8, 2012 at 12:00AM
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