Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hoya issues.


The black spots. What are they? Where do they come from? Are they really, as someone on Gardenweb said, spots from overexposure to the sun? Or are they a fungus? Should I panic and liberally douse with cinnamon?

And now for the review.

Hoyas are wonderful. Hoyas are great. For anyone who does not know, hoyas are tropical climbing plants related to common milkweed, possessing waxy green (and sometimes variegated) leaves, and known for their tightly-packed, fragrant, clusters of flowers.

Originally I’ve read up on them some two months ago, and immediately had to have one. After all, fragrant flowers are rather hard to come by in the grand scope of potted plants, and this one even had its own Gardenweb forum section.. Elrin immediately didn’t like the idea. It’s not that he doesn’t like plants (he is indifferent with an occasional “hm, that one’s pretty” reaction): it’s that he thinks I’ve got too many of them as it is. (40 containers, down from 52 earlier in the year, and about a third of them are literally plastic cups with either sprouting seeds (lemon/lime) or African violet babies). So technically, I probably do have too many plants.

But, then—what else is one supposed to do with the extra window space, but populate it with more plants?

Back to the hoya issue, we eventually did find some at a locally owned greenhouse. A little container with three individual rooted cuttings (one-variegated) cost about 8$, which is a bit much, since we later found out that Lowe’s had a much larger basket for about the same price. Oh well!

What the hoya enthusiasts do not tell you is that the plant can go for years without blooming, and tends to be quite finicky about watering. The former you wouldn’t think would be an issue, since our plant’s now on the south side, and the latter shouldn’t be an issue, since I tend to under- rather than over-water. (With the exception of the mosaic plant.)

Rather than forming peduncles and getting to the business of producing flowers, our hoya(s) decided that they wanted to grow, and grow they did, doubling in length and being tame enough to be trained along the tied-twine supports of their small hanging basket. An awesome hanging basket, too, acquired en-batch for 1$ ea at the local flea market. They’ve also developed the above-mentioned black spots. … Guess I’ll go’head and sprinkle them with cinnamon just in case (wonder if pumpkin spice would work? It’s got cinnamon in it..). Any advice would be much appreciated.