Growing conditions forum: Hoya australis ssp. rupicola

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Nov 10, 2010 7:34 AM CST
Managed to take some photos of this one in habitat today while at work. A lot of people probably underestimate just how harsh its growing conditions are, even if picturesque. Here it is in the middle of the photo, growing out of cracks in rock and exposed to full sun most of the day. The rocks get very hot during the day and retain a lot of heat well into the night.
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Nov 10, 2010 7:39 AM CST
Close up of the same plants. No shade except for the roots. There were quite a lot of plants spread back through the rocks and grass.
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Nov 10, 2010 7:43 AM CST
Not far away this one was growing in complete shade (but bright light) under a boulder. It's produced a seed pod so must be doing alright.
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Nov 10, 2010 7:55 AM CST
I've tried to replicate the conditions at home by building a rocky environment out in the sun. The inside of this rock pile is made up of mostly rock with weathered charcoal and sand.

Last year I found one plant growing (in the wild) with roots wrapping up a lump of charcoal next to it. So guessed the plants have a liking for it.

Leaves fall down on my rock pile and over time break down. Occasionally I sprinkle aged poultry manure. They get rain whenever, but during the dry season I may give them some extra water once a month or so. The idea is to get the Hoya to completely cover the rocks. They still have a way to go for that.
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Nov 10, 2010 1:26 PM CST
Name: Dominic Murray
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Great photos. I just cant figure mine out. The last month it has looked very sorry for I tipped it out of its pot expecting to see rotten roots, yet the roots are fine, no sign of rot and lots of them but the leaves look a little shrivelled
Nov 10, 2010 10:10 PM CST
You mean like this?
Thumb of 2010-11-11/tropicbreeze/8eef1c
Nov 10, 2010 10:13 PM CST
The previous dry season (2009) started early, finished late and stayed hot, sometimes with low humidity. A lot of native plants showed stress including the Hoyas. Given that they like hanging off rocky crags out in the sun it's not surprising.
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Nov 10, 2010 10:15 PM CST
They still had peduncles though.
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Nov 10, 2010 10:18 PM CST
I'd taken a cutting earlier in the season before they started shrivelling and potted it up, giving it very little water. Later I took some of the 'shrivelled' ones, potted them up and gave them a bit more water though still sparingly. It took a long time before the shrivelled one caught up with the one that hadn't been stressed. You can see the difference even after a few months of TLC.
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Nov 10, 2010 10:20 PM CST
But through the wet season they all seemed to come good and you couldn't tell what they'd looked like several months earlier. Here's one in the middle of 2010 dry season, getting close up and cozy with a Ficus platypoda.
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Nov 10, 2010 10:22 PM CST
Often where they grow, being in sandstone country, they get constant seepage throughout the wet season. That seems to be okay, provided it hot weather, and it's definitely seepage (moving) and not standing water.
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Nov 10, 2010 10:24 PM CST
If ever anyone gets out here I can take them to where these Hoyas simple cover acres and acres of rocky areas. It's quite a sight, especially when they come out in flower.
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Nov 11, 2010 2:13 AM CST
Name: Dominic Murray
Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Ill take a photo Zig. Its not as shrivelled as the first photo, and the roots are 'damp', not wet.
My wet season here is in the winter when the temperatures are lowest. I keep a lot of my Hoyas covered so they dont get soaked when its cooler.
Photo will show better....on its way
Nov 11, 2010 8:42 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Dom...I grow my ssp. rupicola very dry VERYdry, watering maybe every other week in the summer and the leaves fold in on themselves like that, but they are 'full'..if I water MORE the leaves would flatten out more, I think, but also get smaller. When I was told to grow it very dry...I figured all the time...then I learned that it was important to grow them very dry in the winter (which is like yours, right?) I mixed it up. The folding and thinning of the leaves, I think, is to preserve moisture...

The fragrance in the fields must be amazing, Zig!!! For me it smells like baby powder...J&J!!
Leap. The net will appear.
Nov 13, 2010 7:07 PM CST
Name: Christine Wootton
Whitby, Ontario, Canada
Wonderful shots tropic!! Thanks for the chance to see this specimen in nature.

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