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which one big growing hoya would you choose for indoors?

Posted by greentoe357 7b NYC under lights (My Page) on
Mon, May 5, 14 at 19:10

I've been salivating over eriostemmas and other big growing hoya'ish plants for a while now. They are huge, the vines want to grow to the tops of trees forever, they want plenty of light, air movement, warmth and humidity, and they flower no sooner than when they get all of the above - if they feel like it. So, naturally (haha), as an indoor New York grower, I want one. :-)

The goal is not just to grow a cutting successfully - there are MANY hoyas I'd prefer for the leaf look way ahead of eriostemmas - no, the goal is to flower the beast.

Which one or a few would you recommend for my circumstances and why?

What would flowering it entail? I saw on Doug's website that he grows one of these (macgilvrayi, maybe also others) inches away from a 2-bulb T5 lamp mounted vertically to shine sideways. I might dedicate a fixture to it, maybe, but probably not if they are are princesses in many other ways.

Will I have to enclose it into some sort of humidity chamber for much of the year to look ugly or invisible for me rather than how a decent law-abiding house plant is supposed to look?

I am considering ordering a bunch of less high-maintenance hoyas from a seller who also has macgillvrayi, ruthie and ciliata for sale, so words of advice are appreciated.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: which one big growing hoya would you choose for indoors?

Eriostemmas are really hard to grow well in the northern climes. I've tried a few (still have a couple) and they have never done well for me. Not even 'Ruthie', which Carol N. refers to as "a real slutty Hoya that grows in any condition." Not for me, the b*%@h LOL!

I've never seen macgillivrayii referred to as an eriostemma and it grows well for me. Does it bloom?? NO! But I love it anyway!! I know it will bloom for me someday (this is my optimistic side talking, BTW!!) It's worth growing whether it blooms or not...

But what made me come to post was your title - "big growing Hoya". Which made me think macrophylla. Do you grow it yet? The clone I have gets MASSIVE leaves. The flowers are pretty, though not big. But who cares? The leaves will knock your socks off!! No extra lights necessary!

Just my humble opinion...

Denise in Omaha


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RE: which one big growing hoya would you choose for indoors?

First let me say that I agree with Denise on the Eriostemmas. I've tried many and eventually failed with all of them. I simply don't have the sunlight available to me in Vermont, and proper conditions to fool with them any longer.

The entire macgillivrayi/archboldiana/onychoides complex are not that hard for me to bloom using artificial light. Given enough 12-14 hour days and plenty of light they will flower.

Hoya magnifica has a huge white flower, and will bloom quite readily in the fall after spending a summer outside,without the use of artificial light. The plant itself however does go downhill quite badly for me over the long dry winter.

I would have to say that if I had to pick one large flowered Hoya to keep, it would have to be imperialis. If you find the right clone, it is capable of blooming at 18 months of age. I was lucky enough to get a seedling from one of Carol's trips that did just that. After producing what seemed like hundreds of flowers over the time I had it, I was forced to give it away, because of having to move and not having the space. I did however take cuttings, one of which already has a peduncle with seven decent sized buds. If you can keep this plant warm enough, always above 66°F, it actually requires very little light relatively speaking to flower. It also does not seem to require the very high humidity that many Hoyas need and does not shut down all growth over the winter.

Doug


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RE: which one big growing hoya would you choose for indoors?

Oh boy, if Denise and Doug can't flower eriostemmas, I am very inclined to pass them by.

> I've never seen macgillivrayii referred to as an eriostemma

Haha because it it isn't one, as I now realize. It's just, the flower is bold and massive and purple and... unobtainable-looking to me, so in my mind it must be an eriostemma. That's Latin for "GT, just keep moving down the list", right? :-)

> [H. macgillvrayi is] worth growing whether it blooms or not...

Why, Denise? Leaves look very plain to me, and the growth habit is pretty straightforward. (For those of you macgillvrayi lovers gasping for air and clutching your pearls - I apologize. :-) )

> But what made me come to post was your title - "big growing Hoya". Which made me think macrophylla. Do you grow it yet?

No, but I am about to! Looks spectacular! The same seller has it, both the all-green and the variegated varieties. How are they different, by the way, other than the variegated look, obviously? Does the variegated one grow slower, pretty much like all variegated ones compared to their more efficient green respective counterparts? Any other differences?

> I would have to say that if I had to pick one large flowered Hoya to keep, it would have to be imperialis.

Not for sale where I am looking now, Doug, but into my wish list it goes!

Thank you both! Very helpful.


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RE: which one big growing hoya would you choose for indoors?

I grow the variegated Macrophylla, and it is a beauty! It's never bloomed, but with these leaves you won't mind! I've had it about 4 yrs. I've since fell in love with the big leaved Hoyas like Archboldiana, Onychoides, Macgrivalii, and H. Subcalva. Those were my most recent cuttings! I can't wait for them to get really large and (hopefully) bloom!

Teisa


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RE: which one big growing hoya would you choose for indoors?

Re: Eriostemmas

Once upon a time, I too was convinced I was going to grow a bunch of Eriostemmas. I actually manage to lose about one a winter. They get huge fast, but they're very vulnerable in cooler temperatures. Not like they'll die the moment your temperature dips below 70 degree, they just seem more prone to contracting root damage or other common ailments. They are also needy compared to other Hoyas in terms of the level of support you need to provide, since they won't bend or twine. I have a few left, and I do find their leaves quite beautiful because they are such a soft summery green, and often very fuzzy. But I won't buy another one because it just seems cruel.

Re: Macgillivrayii/Onychoides/Archboldiana

I am just going to lump these together because it's all the same to me. They have a very similar leaf and growth pattern, so it's take your pick on which flower is most attractive to you, imo.

Like Denise, I find these the most attractive of the large flowered species. It's hard to describe what makes them so appealing in person. They just have these long smooth dark hooked leaves that look extremely ornamental, like something from an art nouveau panel. The leaves match the flowers so so much - kind of dark and goth looking. I like to grow them hanging down the sides of my growing shelves because their vines are very pliant and have an elegant drape. I don't care if they never bloom because of their unique beauty, distinct from other Hoyas, and because they are very easy to grow.

Re: Imperialis

I find your experiences with this plant very encouraging, Doug. I actually like this plant least of the large flowering species, because it has the same stiff upright growth as Eriostemmas, so it's a pain in the *ss to find a good spot for it. But they are easy to grow. I don't have one that has bloomed yet, but one has budded up on me, so here's hoping the day will come. In addition to my old imperialis, I have a couple of cuttings from Carol's imperialis seedlings that aren't very old yet - I hope they end up behaving like yours.

Re: Big leaf species

I don't find the variegated macrophylla slow growing once it takes off. I got mine as a rooted plant, so it took a few years before it really got its feet under it, but now it grows like a weed. Climbs really beautifully, so you have to watch it if you don't want it permanently laced into your shelving.

I do not have an unvariegated macrophylla, but I do have a few of the close relatives and I much prefer them to my variegated mac. Take that with a grain of salt, though, because I'm really not passionate about variegated plants.

Polystachya, though, is a showstopper. I have IML 1043 and the plant TG sells as latifolia concolor. (CB claims that this plant is either polystachya, macrophylla, or clandestina). Whatever it is, it has the most beautiful large leaves in my collection. And its vines are as thick as my finger which gives it a crazy old look that is very thrilling. I got it because I thought it might most resemble Denise's macrophylla.

Anyway, both of these have massive leaves. You almost can't even believe something like that managed to grow in your home. It's so primordial. The IML 1043 blooms like crazy, too. Wonderful plant. My sister has no more practical experience with plants than would fill a thimble, but she has grow and bloomed this plant with no trouble for years now.

Some of the rigidas and aff. rigidas have very beautiful leaves and others are quite boring, but if you ever want advice on which are the most showy, I can speak to that subject quite well.

You might think: Oh dear, huge leaves, I can't afford the space. But in my experience there are plenty of medium sized leaf Hoyas that take up twice as much space in the same amount of time. Any time you take on a publicalyx or an obscura, you are committing the same amount of space as your average rigida requires, just because rigida grows at a much more dignified pace. That's right, obscura, I just called you undignified. Every time I see you, you're twice the size as last time, like a boa constrictor that just ate a cat. Another innocent-looking but space hogging plant that comes to mind is something like ischnopus or montana. Sure they look small enough, but their leaves get fairly big and stick straight out horizontally, so they don't play well with neighbors, and end up needing to be placed with the "big plants" before they're even a foot long.

This post was edited by greedyghost on Wed, May 7, 14 at 16:00


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RE: which one big growing hoya would you choose for indoors?

My SIL grew 2 big hanging baskets of them in their downstairs office. She knew nothing about growing plants. They bloomed like crazy every year. They have very sunny windows. They live in SE Pa. It was just a basic hoya. Green leaves with silver splotches. I grew one from a cutting and I have two blooms on mine now. It gets no special care. Mine is in a north window. Why don't you buy a small one and see if you can grow it?


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RE: which one big growing hoya would you choose for indoors?

GT, what I love about macgillivrayii (and as GG pointed out, archie and onychoides) are the super-succulent, almost black-green leaves. She described them perfectly: "goth-looking." They feel so rain-forest, you almost expect to hear the monkeys chirping! Archie bloomed for me once - they were spectacular! Then I almost lost it and it's been recovering since. I have several macs and sell them regularly - it's so easy to start, and I just want to share it with everyone! It's a faithful grower and super-duper easy.

I grow both the green and variegated macrophyllas, but my plain green one is uniquely different from all the greens I've come across since I got it many, many years ago. The leaves are significantly wider than most clones. I got it as a rooted cutting at my local C&S club's show/sale one year - it was $17, more than I had ever, ever spent on one plant at that time. I shudder to think I almost passed it up, thinking "what if I kill a $17 plant??!!" Makes me laugh now, when I consider how many $17 plants I've killed! Anyway, Bob Smoley used to sell a macrophylla he referred to as a "wide-leaf clone", but I see it's not listed anymore. Variegated macrophylla doesn't really grow slower than green mac, and it may even grow more vigorously, which yes, is unusual for a variegated plant. Both are worth growing! They are stunners...

I do grow imperialis, and I have periods where it looks outstanding, and periods where it really falters for me. It looked like poo-poo this winter, but it's coming out of it and looking quite happy now. I read it should be put in a spot and not moved. Since I heeded that advice, it seems to have decided to recover. Blooms? Not yet! **Sigh**

Denise in Omaha


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RE: which one big growing hoya would you choose for indoors?

Interesting advice about imperialis. I haven't successfully bloomed this one, but I haven't had poo-poo periods either. I don't really move them much, but that's just because they are annoying Hoyas that won't loop, so they can't go in flats.

Can you tell I really resent Hoyas that aren't good little viners? Except for lobbii. I love you lobbii! Best friends forever!


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RE: which one big growing hoya would you choose for indoors?

Really, GG? Lobbii?? There IS something about it, isn't there? It's so un-trainable to the point of almost being annoying. Then it blooms it's lovely flowers... I whack at mine, trying to get it "bushy". It is NOT cooperative. But my new starts look so amazingly cute. It's a fierce plant! I'm with you... BFF, lobbii!

Denise in Omaha


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RE: which one big growing hoya would you choose for indoors?

> I grow the variegated Macrophylla, and it is a beauty! It's never bloomed, but with these leaves you won't mind!

I hear you. And its flowers look very non-remarkable to me anyway - almost as if nature was dog-tired after creating the leaves and said "let's just do whatever" when it came time for the flowers.

Re macgillvrayi leaves - I've never seen them in person, and googled images do not inspire. But I am very intrigued after what Denise and GG had to say. I am getting a cutting.

> Polystachya is a showstopper. I have IML 1043.

Me too, GG! Got it from Joni in late October. Love it. It rooted fine, but ZERO growth above ground since then. Not a nub, not a hint of swelling, nothing! I put it under stronger lights in late February, and well, it did start shedding its bark (which probably means the stem is swelling), but that's as much activity as I get from it above the soil. Fine, polystachya, we're still staring, and I have not blinked!

> You might think: Oh dear, huge leaves, I can't afford the space. But in my experience there are plenty of medium sized leaf Hoyas that take up twice as much space in the same amount of time.

This is interesting. I haven't thought of it this way, but now that I think about growth habits of some of my medium leaf plants, it makes sense. (Yes, I am talking about you, australis ssp. australis!) With those fuzzy leaves, I can't be mad at it for long though.

> That's right, obscura, I just called you undignified.

You guys keep bringing plants I am getting, and this is another one I could not pass by. Those red leaves are amazing.

> Another innocent-looking but space hogging plant that comes to mind is something like ischnopus or montana.

Ha! Montana is yet another one I am getting.

Never heard of ischnopus, but the pictures look great, and that name! - the funny name always helps in my book.

> Lobbii?? There IS something about it, isn't there? It's so un-trainable to the point of almost being annoying. Then it blooms it's lovely flowers...

OK, enough lobbiing for lobbii - I got that one too. :-) It sounds like it's the Honey Badger of the plant kingdom - it just does what it wants.

> Variegated macrophylla doesn't really grow slower than green mac, and it may even grow more vigorously, which yes, is unusual for a variegated plant. Both are worth growing!

Denise, that's what I ended up getting - both of them. Looks like one is not obviously more interesting than the other, so both it was then. The price was good, so that helped.

Actually, I sort of went overboard within just a few days with getting new cuttings. I was casually talking to a couple people to see what they have. One conversation ended up as an order for 18 cuttings, the other for yet undetermined number, but likely more than zero. And another person surfaced and that lead to 8 more cuttings. So, there we go - I might not even need large leaves and rambling growth habit to overwhelm my plant stand in the next few weeks. I suspect some non-hoyas and non-orchids will have to move to relatively dark windows, never to see delicious fluorescent light again. :-(

Re imperialis, I said I wasn't getting it now, but turns out I lied - one of the three people I am getting cuts from has it, and so I am gonna be a proud owner of one soon.

Some of the other large('ish) leaf ones I am getting are:
* erythrostemma (unknown IML, sadly) (GG, your cutting of aff. erythrostemma IML 1423 helped make this choice),
* finnlaysonii 'Ripple Leaf' (YASSSS! Come to papa!),
* aldrichii,
* fungii (some pics look like leaves are very veiny and bubbly - I like the look),
* hellwigiana (anything that looks like pottsii gets my attention),
* pachyclada (the tight growth habit, the slightly folded leaves, those tight umbels - can you BE any cuter, pachyclada?),
* wibergiae (the paint speckles on the leaves are DA BOMB!)

This post was edited by greentoe357 on Thu, May 8, 14 at 9:40


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RE: which one big growing hoya would you choose for indoors?

Re: Lobbii

Hahahahahahahahaha. Yeah, sure is hard to be mad at such a faithful and beautiful bloomer. You stick it in some corner, just to get it out of the way, and it goes: Hi :) I made you some flowers. Ooops, I did it again. :) Hello, flower delivery. :) I love you even if you don't love me. :) flowers :) flowers :) flowers :) flowers :)

It does have a unique sort of beauty, once you get over wanting it to be like the others. I honestly think, in a large space, like an entryway, it would create quite the elegant waterfall.

@ GT: "honeybadger" lol lol lol lol lol lol lol I won't forget that one.

Re: Macgillivrayii

I had to Google macgillivrayii to see what you were talking about and I see exactly what you mean. They do not translate to photo at all! I think it's because what makes them beautiful is they are thin, but thin like a knife... hard and crisp. It's very textural. They have sharp edges. And the way they drip vertically from the vine makes their hooks seem very pronounced, like talons.

Re: Polystachya

I wouldn't worry about it not growing for you right away. I think most Hoyas take time off growing new foliage and then do a bunch in a long spurt. (Just like me with filing!) It's just more obvious when a large Hoya is standing still. I find it to be a very dependable grower - faster than most of my rigidas. I took the most modest 1-node cutting possible from my sister's plant last fall and over the winter it turned into a very respectable young plant.

Re: Big leaf plants vs Rapid growing plants

It is hard to get mad at fast growing plants. They're kind of annoying because they're always causing work and problems, swarming and tangling into things they would do best to leave alone or at best transforming into huge wreaths that fall over every time you look at them. (I should just get a big ol' wreath frame, cut a hole in the bottom for a pot, and wrap tannaensis around it.) But then you're like, aww, okay you happy little dude.

Re: greentoe's new plants

Ischnopus & Montana. When I think of this type of Hoya, I always think of this quote from CB 6/17/12 regarding flavescens IML 1117:

This is one of those NE New Guinea species collected and published by R, Schlechter in the early 1900s. We hoya collectors of the period between 1970 and 1990 used to refer to them as "Them Yaller Thangs" as there were around a half dozen yellow flowered hoyas with varying widths of hairy borders around each flower. They were often thought to be a single species but a careful, close up look showed some of them with big fat roundish corona lobes and some long slender ones. There were also differences in the hairy border widths and shapes on the flower petals and differences in the calyx lobes and the pollinaria. I always have liked Hoya flavescens best of the bunch.

So, now I also think of them as "them yaller thangs." :)

Obscura is a pretty plant even green. Everyone loves it. All its forms, from the white flowered one to Sunrise, are super aggressive growers. You might as well start it on a big hoop from day one. It won't stay little long.

I personally think the aff. erythrostemma has the prettiest leaves, kind of like they are exaggerated versions of the other erythrostemmas (more veined, more succulent and hard), but every erythrostemma I have collected has been sweet and pretty. It has similar flowers to mindorensis, but is much much much more attractive leaf-wise. There is only one mindorensis with pretty leaves, imo: IML 0768. The others are all like floppy dog ears, so you should just choose them for the flowers LOL.

Aldrichii is a great choice!! I feel like this one gets ignored a lot, but it is such an angel. Very beautiful.

Yeah, you have to have a wibergiae, for sure. There's nothing like those metallic pink splashes. It's kind of annoying that it's so big, but it's worth a big leaf plant slot.

Haha I've been reorganizing my plants (more on this in another thread) and in the process I realized I was able to fill an entire flat (18 slots) with only plants with finlaysonii type leaves. I didn't realize how many I had before, because they were scattered all about. I think my favorite actual finlaysonii is EPC 057, but the various related "sp." tend to have the most pronounced veining (e.g. Kalimantan, Maenam, etc). I do, however, find Ripple Leaf to be the fastest grower, so it's easy to have a big beautiful plant quickly. It's also nice because it has thinner flatter leaves, so it displays very different from the others.

I always think it's a shame that EA doesn't offer fungii instead of carnosa. We probably have enough sources of carnosa out in the world, and fungii is like carnosa +1. No offense, carnosa.

I am enjoying your ordering frenzy. There's really nothing like that initial period of building up your collection, when every conversation leads to acquisitions of 8+, and you can't read a thread without tripping over a wonderful Hoya you didn't know about. I didn't go through that stage without making tons of mistakes, but it was a very happy time - like falling in love. And like romantic infatuation, it will eventually grow into a more mellow love, so I think you should live it up and give into all your wild impulses like a crazy person. You may feel more dignified once you are saying things like "I really only want one cutting - I don't have room for more," but stage 1 is waaaaaay more fun!!


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RE: which one big growing hoya would you choose for indoors?

> > Polystachya is a showstopper. I have IML 1043.

> Me too, GG! It rooted fine, but ZERO growth above ground. Not a nub, not a hint of swelling, nothing!

Of course, as if to say, "I am HERE, I can HEAR you, and I am doing the best I can!", it sent out a shoot with the most adorable little leaf not even three days after I said that (and after sitting there for 7+months prior to that). And a few days later the leaf is the size of adults growing next to it. Sorry, polystachya, I'll be more patient next time!

> So, now I also think of them as "them yaller thangs." :)

I took "yaller" to mean "yeller" at first - as in "one that demands attention". Maybe they are also THAT - in addition to being "yellow".

> There's really nothing like that initial period of building up your collection, when every conversation leads to acquisitions of 8+, and you can't read a thread without tripping over a wonderful Hoya you didn't know about. I didn't go through that stage without making tons of mistakes,

What are some of those mistakes you made, GG? (in another thread, or here - whatever you feel like).


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