Growing conditions forum: Hoya Resurection

After 13 years online, Cubits.org is scheduled to be shut down. Please make sure you have the contact information for all your friends, and that you download whatever content you want from this site.

Views: 62, Replies: 19 » Jump to the end
Imagepropmaker
Jun 27, 2010 6:35 PM CST
Name: Dominic Murray
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

I was wondering wether anyone had experienced this? A well grown Hoya plant, 5 or 6 years old, which you kinda take for granted and just enjoy, suddenly goes into decline..you notice the leaves dont look 'right', and when you touch them they feel wrong, then you bend them a little, and they 'wrinkle', and you think...'oh ****, what have I done wrong?'..over water?, underwater? , taken for granted?".....you take cuttings hoping it isnt too late to salvage the specimen...........and, 2 or 3 months later....it starts to recover......the deathly pallor of the leaves, which havent dropped, starts to improve, the leaves plump up, and.........lo and behold, the plant recovers, and starts to grow again.......and you have several well rooted cutings to spare? Its happened to me a few times now......its just happened to my H magnifica ( heartbreaking time that was ), it happened with my H Fraterna and is happening at the mo. to a 5 year old H aff. parasitica I love.....fingers crossed....
Obviously the roots go, but, with a bit of careful watering, they seem to re root somewhere.....I can think of no other explanation, and off they go again. I have a 22 year old cat that does the same..you think she's on her way out.....a frantic flight to the vet where they look at me with that ' she is over 20 you know', then, seeing the panic in my eyes, give her a vitamin shot ( not much else they can do, but they know from my face they have to do 'something' and I aint gonn leave till they do ) and then, 4 hours later, she's scoffed down 2 tins of Tuna and have wholloped the Dog 3 times.!!......Not exactly the same, but you get my drift.
So, what happens? You read that Hoyas flower better when they are root bound. I read in ps the Hoyan this month Ms Burtons theory about Exotic Angel plants failing after a while because there were too many cuttings/plants in a pot and the roots became suffocated with lack of air.......but isnt that what pot/root bound plants acquire ? Dont get me wrong Christine, its a good theory, perfect climate in the greenhouse etc and they commit suicide when they get to us......and I have asked about this 'Witch Doctor Voodoo ' they have to keep the H bellas and H linearis so healthy looking to guile us out of our dosh before..........but it dosent make sense. If these plants are choking, so also are suposedly pot/root bound Hoyas people are encouraged to cultivate..or am I wrong?
Was it Doug who said he grew H linearis basically as an annual each year....and he started it from cuttings each season and ended up with flowers at the end of the year, then started over again? well, maybe thats how some of these Hoyas are best to grow for some people ( I'm having great success........at the mo......growing all these difficult ones in just spaghnum..time will tell )
Carol...over to you........rootbound to flower and/or a way to kill a plant? Most plants throw out flowers when stressed before they die as we know..self preservation. In nature, plants adapt to their environment, so is pot binding a plant a death sentence if we want to keep the plant, and is it not better to give the plant room to grow and just be patient for the flowers? I, personally, have started 'over potting' my Hoyas and am prepared to wait.
On a last note.... I have been growing most of my Hoyas in Clay pots and they have been drying out 2 or three times a week, as I had read you must let them dry out between waterings, and I think this has been too drastic, and Im changing how I do it. I think Ive been over cautious with the watering, and when Ive been checking the roots, altho they are still growing, there has been a lot of root death, and then re growth of the roots..I can only presume it has been too extreem, the dryness to the wetness, and it hasnt been healthy, so Im hoping that in the new baskets Im potting into, they will stay wetter a bit longer, but are still allowed to dry out a little inbetween waterings. The ones I did this to last year are growing much better, so Ive come to the theory that they like to dry out often, but they dont like it to happen as often as Ife been letting them dry out.................Oh, its confusing, isnt it......Petunias are so much easier...:))
ImageHoyaDoug
Jun 29, 2010 11:27 AM CST
Name: Doug
Lamoille County, VT
Dominic,

I also have experienced this "resurection" a number of times in the past. Several times when it looked certain that I would lose a particular plant, I took cuttings, and that practice inevitably led to having duplicate plants. The plant I thought for sure that was going to die recovered, and then my cuttings lived as well. It is also funny that one of the plants that you mentioned - H magnifica was also one of my offenders.

As many of you know, I take pride in trying to raise large specimen plants. Some of mine have recently not performed up to expectations, and in almost all cases, they were incredibly root bound when unpotted. While some Hoyas perform better while rootbound, I am beginning to believe that the majority do not. It is however a very tricky balance, because it is far easier to kill a recently repotted plant, then a rootbound one. Although, I did recently kill beautiful specimen of H. leucorhoda that was rootbound by overwatering Angry

Any how, I can't wait to return to regularly posting here. Right now life does not really permit, but in a couple of months I should be back. By then I will be able to post photos of my new windowed plant room - I'm very excited about it.

Doug
AlohaHoya
Jun 29, 2010 3:40 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Hmmmmmm. Lots of food for thought, there, Dom. Being basically scatterbrained, I will just chat:

I dislike clay because as it is porous, the roots tend to cling to it...and so when the clay pot dries, so do the tiny roots...and they dry in such a way that they die. There are some hoyas, I find, that like to really be pot bound, and they are the pubicalyx/carnosa group. I use plastic pots, sometimes inside a clay pot (but then if the clay pot gets really moist it can give too much moisture to the pot inside...hard to balance that). I like plastic because it is easy to squish the pot to loosen the root ball to either water more thoroughly or tip out the plant. Those that are tight in the pots, I squeeze the pot to loosen the roots and then water...and it finds it's way down the pot.

The only drawback to letting a plant get too rootbound, is that the whole rootball/soil gets so tight the water just runs down the sides of the rootball or wets the top 1/3. Often I will tip those plants out of the pot to check the moisture...and if still dry, I soak the pot for a few mins in a tub of water. Conversely, a thoroughly moist rootbound plant doesn't dry out quite as fast. Some, like the magnifica/calycina/albiflora clan really do appreciate more room around their roots, and they like to be fed a lot too!

Generally, when I cannot squeeze the pot I pot it up. The roots can sometimes squeeze the plant UP in the pot...then it is time to repot.

Yes, I have found plants self correcting themselves: tipping the plant out, expecting to find a rotting mass of roots, I find some dead roots, but also little white new roots...usually towards the top of the pot. I cut off all of the old carpy stuff and repot...careful not to overwater.

I was just thinking about this whole thing the other day in the greenhouse when I repotted a plant and found some of the vines that were wound around and around the trellis had actually rooted in the pot. I had an AHA moment in that I thought, If when the plant is growing and it has to be wound around something, the first circle around should bring the vine in contact with the pot surface so it could root... Then if rootrot set in and the original plant is not able to be saved, another is there, in the making...already rooted. In the wild, the plant roots all along the vine where it touches the tree/branch etc. it is growing on.
Leap. The net will appear.
Imagepropmaker
Jun 29, 2010 3:48 PM CST
Name: Dominic Murray
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

That makes sense Carol...even if not using hoops, winding some stems back down to ground level will encourage them to root at other points. Gonna start trying that.
Yes, it was a bit of a ramble....I got a bee in my bonnet about a couple of things...Hoyas can be very frustrating at times :))
AlohaHoya
Jun 29, 2010 11:03 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
I have been thinking about this (Oh, on and off for about 5 years), especially since this thread started and there is one thing that popped into my head: in the wild, the same single root system is not asked to support the whole plant for decades, right? I mean...it starts out rooting at a node, but then as the plant grows in the wild it attaches/adheres/thrives at most of the nodes as it scrambles around. The plant knows no difference between the way it likes to grow and how it is growing...wound around and around a hoop/trellis...but the energies produced by the main rootstock must wear out!!! HELP...it is screaming...I can't do this alone. Even eriostemmas in the wild put out secondary root systems to the main root....

So, yes...I think that the plant gets old and croaks sometimes. I would think a sign of it would be when the base of the plant, at the soil, becomes woody and cracked. Then is a wonderful time to make sure you have a secondary root system.... and you can continue without skipping a beat, or start another plant. Make sure the old roots' dirt gets replaced as you don't want any evil bacteria lurking.... Confused
Leap. The net will appear.
Imagepropmaker
Jun 30, 2010 1:09 AM CST
Name: Dominic Murray
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

A lot of plants do the same. Take Lampranthus, for example. I planted some last year and was wondering how a plant could spread so rapidly, and healthily, when they only have a small root system, and on checking this year, all along the plants they has set out dozens of secondary root systems all along the stems to help feed itself and support its expanding size. Break off any part with roots, or the centre die, and you have instant self supporting plants.
The more you think about it, the more plants do it. At times Ive been lazy controlling a Hoya and it has scrambled along the ground. A year later when you move it, it has attached itself, quite strongly to rocks with strong roots, and the only way to remove the rocks is to cut off the newly formed roots. Carol, did you not post a pic a few years ago of H lauterbachii that you had had to take a chain saw too to cut back because the roots were taking up...or potentially could take up , roof tiles where it was rooting all along climbing stems?
Air layering is one way to propagate Hoyas, but more time consuming...but they are doing it naturally, given the chance.
It sure would make sense to pin stems back to the pot from time to time with hair grips or something, to encourage this kind of layering, wouldnt it? Its like the roots sticking to the inside of a clay pot. Doesent happen to a lot of plants, but the hoyas do seem to like to adhere to anything damp and porous. Its a shame clay hoops would be so impractical. Moss sticks theoretically look and sound good, but dry out in minutes after they have been wetted so dont really work.
A few years ago I was asking , on some forum, the difference between Ariel Roots and Ground Roots, and wether the Ariel Roots were potential Ground Roots. I was told this was not so, they were designed for a different purpose, mainly to help the plant climb....but Im not sure. Im convinced they not only help the plant climb, but also are vantage points to form potential root systems capable of feeding the plant as well if they reach points which allow them to get a foot hold in something delicious, which goes along with this thought.
Going back to H linearis. At every node that plant has 'Ariel Roots', and a very fragile 'Ground Root' system to start the plant. As a general rule, this Hoya roots very easily as a fresh cutting. Is this hoya designed as such that it can do so as it breaks, or reaches other spots to root as its 'Ground Root ' system is fragile, almost like a Spider Plant ...each node being a potential seperate plant?
AlohaHoya
Jun 30, 2010 11:31 AM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Dom...I have ceased to ponder H. linearis. I can't figure that plant out at all!!!!

For instance, if you sprayed a climbing hoya with round-up, it would kill the part of the plant you hit...but as it is rooted further up or further down, it will continue to grow...at least I have found that. NO, I try not to spray them...but it happens sometimes!!!!

I feel strongly that the aerial roots DO become feeder and anchoring roots. In droughts the hoyas I have climbing up trees do not suffer like those in pots with no help. Some, like lacunosa, set out roots all along the stem....and they are really stuck on it...!!!
Leap. The net will appear.
ImagePerennialgirl
Feb 25, 2012 8:43 PM CST
Name: Donna
Winnipeg, Manitoba Zone 4
Been catching up on the threads and find this one very interesting. Carol your suggestion about the vine back into the ground as done in nature make alot of sense!!

I agree
ImageLauraCarnosa
Feb 25, 2012 10:16 PM CST
Name: Laura Gardiner
Manitoba, Canada
You can't 'un-ring' a bell.
YES! I think we were talking about this last week! This is the one to which I was referring!
"When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other."
- Chinese Proverb
AlohaHoya
Feb 25, 2012 11:00 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
SO...DOM...how's it going with your plants in the clay pots?

Basically (did I mention this before) I keep the plants in the same pot until (after a heavy watering) I tip the plant out and the inner media...(the sides, top and bottom are wet_ is dry and I realize the roots are way too tight.

Basically, we are asking these plants that scramble thru trees attaching roots to whichever surface they touch to grow out of one pot, on one set of roots and one food source.... Confused
Leap. The net will appear.
ImageLauraCarnosa
Feb 26, 2012 1:46 AM CST
Name: Laura Gardiner
Manitoba, Canada
You can't 'un-ring' a bell.
and we are Confused when they fail! Blinking Not how the Great Earth Mother intended these guys to live... Hilarious!
I try to keep this post in mind when I receive cuts or re-pot. I loop back naked stems into the pot and cover with medium... Or with cuts I'll coil naked stems into a pot... so far, so good. Thanks for the insight! I tip my hat to you.
"When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other."
- Chinese Proverb
ImageJulieK
Feb 26, 2012 10:58 AM CST
Name: Julie Kennedy
UK
LauraCarnosa wrote:and we are Confused when they fail! Blinking Not how the Great Earth Mother intended these guys to live... Hilarious!
I try to keep this post in mind when I receive cuts or re-pot. I loop back naked stems into the pot and cover with medium... Or with cuts I'll coil naked stems into a pot... so far, so good. Thanks for the insight! I tip my hat to you.


I've got some serious repotting this year. Some of my babes have been in the same pot/compost for 5+ years. I will be keeping this thread in mind when I do get round to giving them some root space!

The air layering is because I KNOW I am going to kill a few when I try to repot them. I don't think there is any compost left in my australis pots.....and they still bloom like crazy. I doubt the centre of the root ball has been properly moistened in ages Blinking
ImageLauraCarnosa
Feb 27, 2012 1:10 AM CST
Name: Laura Gardiner
Manitoba, Canada
You can't 'un-ring' a bell.
Good luck to you, Julie. I wish you to come out of this, without fatalities! Angel Group hug Angel
"When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other."
- Chinese Proverb
ImageJulieK
Feb 28, 2012 1:42 AM CST
Name: Julie Kennedy
UK
Thanks Laura :)

I do feel it's of my own making, leaving them so long....ho hum, that'll teach me to be a lazy girl!
RandyBoatwright
Feb 28, 2012 6:55 PM CST
Julie, as well as your plants have been doing for you I would think you would be blown away after an upgrade on 5 year old pots!
ImageJulieK
Feb 29, 2012 1:21 AM CST
Name: Julie Kennedy
UK
I do hope so Randy. My fear is that my beloved australis's are SO root bound that they are beyond help - hence my attempts to air layer.
I am always hopeful, but cutting are my insurance policy!
AlohaHoya
Feb 29, 2012 11:15 AM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Julie...be brave!!! Hoyas are constantly ripped off trees, trampled by animals etc., it shouldn't phase an australis. Suggestion: soak the root ball before you pot it up.... Big Grin
Leap. The net will appear.
Imagepropmaker
Feb 29, 2012 4:01 PM CST
Name: Dominic Murray
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Oo..mine all came out of clay pots and are happily now in baskets or plastic pots...:))
RandyBoatwright
Feb 29, 2012 7:05 PM CST
I potted up a dozen or so of my hoyas in clay pots with Doug's or Dom's method of lining the pot with a plastic bag. I did that some months ago and those plants are doing well. You have to remember to make sure you poke a hole in the bottom so water will drain tho!
DianaGale
Jul 23, 2013 2:09 PM CST
Wonderful thread.... going now to circle a few vines into pots.

« Back to the top
« Cubits.org homepage
« Hooked on Hoya cubit homepage
« Growing conditions forum

You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.