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What I learned this winter

Posted by rennfl none (My Page) on
Sat, Mar 31, 12 at 11:58

As usual I push the limits when growing plants. As my plant collection gets out of control, I'm constantly experimenting. (That way some die off lol)

1. H. dasyantha grows outside just fine down to freezing. It even continued to grow through the winter.

2. Both of my speckled leaves publicalyx grow outside just fine down to freezing. They slowed down the growth during the coldest part of the winter, but picked right back up when it warmed up.

3. My plain green leaf publicalys hated the cold. Had to bring it in and put it in ICU. Has since recovered.

4. Diversifolia, bella, polyneura, fungii, DS-70 and obovata did wonderfully through their second winter outside down to freezing.

5. In experimenting through the winter with rooting cuttings. Rooting in a Turface/Perlite mix, about 60% of the cuttings rooted and have started to grow. Also compared against rooting in S/H. About 90% rooting rate. (BTW, when using S/H to root plants that do not like to remain wet, when rooted I just poke holes in the bottom of the pot, converting it away from S/H without disturbing the plant)

6. I tried a mounting experiment on some plants. Serpens, calycina, diversifolia, obovata and probably a couple more I'm not thinking of. I used a cedar shingle, lined with spag, and tied down with fishing line. All have rooted and started growth. The serpens even is budding up.

7. My tap water absolutely does not have enough Ca in it I think. Once I started supplementing with Ca, yellow leaf drop stopped.

8. sp. Tanna Island doesn't know how to stop growing. The main plant grew even when I forgot it and didn't water it for a month. I left some rooted cuttings outside down to freezing, they grew. I have thrown every possible obstacle at this thing and it is still growing out of control. Now if I could just figure out how to bloom it.

I wonder what I'll think up next winter :)

Renee


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: What I learned this winter..

And somehow I forgot to include the most important thing I learned.

Seaweed extract is the wonder drug for plants. All I can say about it is OMG!

On both my Hoyas and my orchids.

Renee


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RE: What I learned this winter

Great idea with the cedar shingle. You should post a pic. Found your rooting experience interesting.


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RE: What I learned this winter

That's very incouraging news. Did you have to keep the plants dryer during the coldest part of the winter? I would have imagined that cold and moist would be terrible for many of those Hoyas. I guess the day time highs would have to be pretty warm for success as well.

I really do need to get more seaweed extract because I feel the same way about it. Plants really do great things when you use it.

Mike


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RE: What I learned this winter

How often do you use the seaweed extract and at what strength? I have been searching locally for some of the fertilizers mentioned in posts but haven't had much luck. I really don't want to order on-line, shipping is a bit too costly!
Tami


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RE: What I learned this winter...

Mike, actually they do get watered through the winter just not as often. Our days get warmish and I keep them in pretty bright sunlight. In January we will have days in the 50s usually. Sometimes 60s. Nights in the 30s or 40s.

As for the seaweed extract I use it twice a month in spring, summer, fall, and just once a month in winter.

Renee


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RE: What I learned this winter

Renee..very interesting!! When you say Ca, do you mean calcium? Calcium is very important for plants...how do you give this to your hoyas? Also, would you kindly mention what type of S/H you use..hydroton? I use hydroton in a "net" pot, so it's open on all sides, I simply keep the pot in standing water...it works well for many of the thirsty hoyas, especially H. elliptica. I've never tried rooting anything in this fashion, other than elliptica...do you think this would work for other types of hoyas, or are some of them too keen on a drying out period? I use Growmore's Seaweed Extract at every other watering...available on the web, but the shipping charges are a bit high...I order 2 gallons at a time which cuts the shipping cost significantly. I hope you have an equally good winter in 2012! Fondly, Patrick


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RE: What I learned this winter

Fantastic list of knowledge bytes!

It sure is weird that your green publicalyx suffered like that. Maybe its just a less vigorous strain than the cultivars.

I agree that hydroton is the most awesome rooting tool ever. I didn't think the difference was going to be so dramatic but it really is. Everyone should have some of this stuff on hand just for rooting.

Nice strategy with the net pots, Patrick. I always just fill up a skinny clear plastic IKEA kitchen container with hydroton and water and root the whole group together so they can share their little natural rooting hormones, etc. When I can see roots, I move them over to my regular medium. I haven't noticed any kickback from the switch and they can keep any hydroton they stick to.

Why do I keep putting off testing my water? I am such a bad person! It's like going to the Dr.

I love seaweed extract too. It's like stinky magic. Shipping fees scan be annoying. I just create a list of things I need to order from various online vendors and when I have enough to justify the shipping fees, I place my order. You have to be a bit organized, but it's worth getting the stuff that best fits your needs and makes your life easier.


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RE: update

Patrick, yes, Ca is Calcium. I am reducing my fertilizer concentration a bit and adding in Calcium Nitrate. That was the easiest way for me to do it. Orchids seem to be benefiting from it also.

As for the S/H, yes I usually use Hydroton, and I root all cuttings in it. Once the roots start to grow, if it is one that likes it dry, I poke holes in the bottom of the pot and convert to tradional potting style using Hydroton. About half of my Hoyas are growing in inorganic media, either Hydroton or Turface/Perlite. Although since I ran out of Hydroton a couple months ago, and you want to talk about expensive shipping lol. I was a little broke also, so I just bought a bag of Hydroballs from the pet store, and they seem to work fine too. Of the last 20 cuttings I started in the Hydroballs, 17 have rooted within 3 weeks. Will be ordering the 47lb box of Hydroton here soon though.

I've seen your idea of the net pots in water, and it would work for most people, but it dries too fast for me, as most of my plants are outside for a good part of the year, and the sea breeze is almost constant, things just dry so fast for me.

I use the Growmore brand also. Love the stuff.

PerrenialGirl, I'll try and get some pics of the mounted ones this weekend and post them.

Renee


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RE: What I learned this winter

I actually found the Growmore seaweed extract, I was amazed when I saw it in our little hardware store. Only a 16 oz bottle but at least I found some. Thanks for the info about it, I am anxious to see what my plants do when I start using it.
Tami


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RE: What I learned this winter

Renee..thanks a million for the information; I really appreciate it. Yup, I can imagine how quickly the net pots would dry out...I live in zone 5 and have to water all hoyas in hydroton/net pots every 3 days..and it'll be more frequently once it warms up. Again, thanks so much! Fondly, Patrick


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RE: What I learned this winter

PerrenialGirl,

Finally got a couple snapshots of the mounted ones. First is serpens, and the lighter colored leaves are the new ones.

Photobucket

And then calycina, that long stem has grown since mounted. Eventually, I'm hoping these will branch, and basically take over the mount, pretty much giving a wall of plant.

Photobucket

Will have to wait and see.

Renee


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RE: What I learned this winter

Renee I love the look of your mounted hoyas.I have a few times tried to mount a few different ones and have always fail.
I think your calycina is australis.


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RE: What I mounted

cpawl thanks. My high humidity much of the year probably helps with the plant adjusting to the mount. And they get watered every sunny day as well.

And could be australis. I do have australis ssp. australis and australis ssp keysii, and it doesn't have the same leaves as those two, but all three were from trades, so any of them could be wrong, none of them came with numbers to track. I've got another piece of it in bud right now, if it goes on to bloom, I'll post it and see what you think.

Renee


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RE: What I learned this winter

This has been so educational.

I was luck enough to find hydrotone tucked in the bottom shelf at our mclendons (you wouldn't know it even by looking at the bag! It was just the brown, plastic covered end showing.. Even the employees had never heard of it, I was lucky to spot it.) So everyone should keep their eyes peeled. Now i'm going to look around for seaweed extract and calcium nitrate.

I can't wait to see how the mounted hoyas turn out :)


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RE: What I learned this winter

Renee calycina has fuzzy leaves and it looks by your photo the leaves not fuzzy.

Cindy


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RE: What I learned this winter

I'm with you, Cindy. I have a few Dischidia I grow mounted but it's really hard for me! I won't be starting any more mounted plants until I've mastered these. I have to say that that 'noid' looks very pretty grown that way, though!

Some of those australises grow on rocky parched looking bluffs. I bet they'd be easy to grow mounted.


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RE: What I learned this winter

Love seeing the mounted plants! I wonder how many Hoyas naturally grow as true epiphytes. Dischidias are frequently grown mounted, but you don't see Hoyas mounted very often. I plan on trying it with a DS-70 that once attached itself to some cement blocks I had allowed it to grow over. I'd love to try it with a serpens if I get one some day.

-Chris


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RE: What I learned this winter

Chris most Hoyas are true epiphytes. The problem with growing them mounted is that in their habitats they usually experience much higher humidity even during dry periods. When a plant comes from a higher altitude where it experiences heavy mists or an area with very high rainfall growing on a tree is much easier to accomplish. Many Hoya species are true canopy growing plants so they are rarely seen down near the ground, others are easy to see and grow just above the ground on tree trunks, roots, fallen logs and rocks. Often times many epiphytes grow in what amounts to clay faces or cliffs (also limestone) where water naturally seeps and keeps everything moist. These sites are great places to see what would otherwise be considered epiphytic plants. The tangle of plants, mosses etc makes a perfect perch for epiphytes that like to have a nice airy but moist place to grow.

If you want to see some great in situ photos check out Thailand Hoya Club forum and their photo sections. Some of the members share amazing photos of the forest treks and the plants that they find. If you look on my Flickr photo page under my favourites you will also see other Hoya species growing in nature including one that is very close to the plant we call DS-70.

Mike

Here is a link that might be useful: Wild Hoyas threads on Thailand Hoya Club


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RE: What I learned this winter

Thanks, Mike. I've seen that site before, but never realized they have a forum for wild plants. The site is very slow and google's translation leaves much to be desired, but the photos are well worth it.

You have quite a collection as well. Lots to look at now.

-Chris


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