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To prune or not to prune

Posted by hopefulauthor z5IL (My Page) on
Wed, Oct 6, 10 at 15:36

Hi All. First, my Hoyas go outdoors in summer. Last week, we had a frost. Actually 3 nighs in a row. Then, the last 3-4 wks, temps day 90 the next 70..same with nights. 80 then 55F.

Last wkend, I started hauling plants inside. While carrying Hoyas, I noticed several tips had browned. I think the tips are dead, however, the remaining stems/branches are alive, no problems with foliage.

Do I trim tips? If so, should they be cut in line with dry/living area, or into green? OR:
Let them be, see what they do? Thanks so much, Toni

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: To prune or not to prune

I'd trim off anything that's dead or dying. I'd trim back to the point of healthy growth because that will give you new growth the fastest.

Glad to hear it was only minor damage...

Denise in Omaha

RE: To prune or not to prune

Denise, thanks so much. Should I prune now or wait until spring? I'm in z5, IL.
One more question. I'm not sure, not 100%, the stem is dead. How can I tell? Should I cut into the tip..if it's not flexible determine tips are dead? I don't want to cut too much, you know?

BTW, how are you? It's been a long time..Toni

RE: To prune or not to prune

Hi Toni! I agree with Denise...I would say its safe to prune off the dead tips now. It shouldn't hurt anything. Good to see you!

RE: To prune or not to prune

Hey Pug..I'll clip tomorrow..
BTW, I'm holding you gals responsible, lol... j/k

I wonder if, by clipping, each stem will double. Wishful thinking..Toni

RE: To prune or not to prune

Hi Toni,

All's good! We came close to a frost Sat. night, but it's warmed back up for us. I'm surprised you've already had a frost - the cold Arctic air must have missed us and dipped into Illinois...

I prune mine all year round. Most Hoyas never really go into full dormancy, so it certainly won't hurt them to be cut back anytime. In spring/summer, they can't seem to wait to sprout new growth when you cut them back. In fall/winter, it can sometimes do the same.

Denise in Omaha

RE: To prune or not to prune

Hey, Toni,
I have some browned, twiggy ends on a few vines.
I agree with the advice to snip away the damaged tips.

I cut back to just before the green tissue, leaving a tiny stub of the dried/browned tips.
The vine should begin back-budding immediately (within a couple days).
Good luck!


RE: To prune or not to prune

Denise...Lately, weather doesn't know what it wants to do. One day hot, the next day cold.
Cold enough to turn on the heat. Heat goes on when temps drop in the mid-40's, or house is under 60F..

Do your Hoyas bloom in winter? If so, any particular types? I know you have, at the minimum, three times as many hoyas as I do, and much rarer types.
Rarer opposed to Carnosas, etc.

Do you use artificial lights? Also, which directions do your windows face?
Don't know if you recall, last year I mentioned installing a light fixture, specifically for hoyas..had to pass it up, but hoping to get one soon. Praying to get one soon, lol.

My Hoyas don't bloom in winter. If they grow, it's hardly noticable. I don't fertilize, could that be the reason? Do you?

Denise, do you prune all your Hoyas? Even uprights?

Josh, glad to see you here.
Funny you should mention cutting into the brown, rather than green.
When I trim a leaf tip, I leave about 1/8" of brown on the leaf. Something I read many moons ago. The reason is, if a leaf is cut into the green, it'll brown again. Since reading that article, when pruning, it was done the way the article advised.

Denise, forgot to mention..Another article I read, 'again, long ago,' said never trim/prune Hoyas. Chances are it'll never bloom.
The article didn't mention any certain stem, one that had or hadn't bloomed before. Since reading this article, the only Hpoya pruned was an overly large Krinkle. It used to bloom several times a year, especially winter. After trimming, it stopped..'this was at least 10 yrs ago.' Actually, this summer was the first time it bloomed, 'two clusters,' since pruning. Coicidence? Don't know. I'm am confused. lol.

Thanks Denise and Josh, Toni

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