Hoya talk forum: Let's talk about blooming...

 
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AlohaHoya
May 2, 2012 11:16 AM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Big Grin

Enlisting the help of everyone here....(hey, Dave, Doug, Christina, Joni....that means you all,too!!!) What have been your observations as to: 1) why hoyas bloom or don't bloom, 2) what to do about it?

I'll start it off........

What I know: Producing flowers is the way a plant reproduces; flowers call the pollinators which visit the plant and hopefully seeds ensue. It's a plants' natural instinct to bloom (in whatever their pattern might be...often, seldom, one and then they die...whatever). Most plants, when stressed or dying, will bloom in an effort to save their species... Glare but this isn't a recommended method.

The fertilizers we use have N-P-K numbers (generally)...and those numbers refer to the N=Nitrogen (for growth) P=Phosphorous (for flowers and roots) K=Potassium (for over all health)...and there are good fertilizers and better fertilizers out there...each with a purpose and each fills specific needs better than others. This is really a basic view...it is far more complicated. I am a very average bear and don't know much about chemistry...just learning from experience.

Experience:

Last year I was all keen on Chicken Manure (3-1-1) and (unfortunately for me) I got a lot of growth and very few flowers....and it was a very good lesson to learn. A grower had told me he used Chicken Manure with great results...and then I realized that this grower sold cuttings and, of course, he was interested in producing LOTS of vegetative growth on his plants.... If I had thought about it more carefully I would have realized that.

Early this year I began using a BLOOM fertilizer (15-30-15) and I am thrilled with the results. Dyna-Bloom good choice. Fertilizers for Tomatoes is good too.

I still use Chicken Manure (a little bit in my medium) when I pot up rooted cuttings and plants.

IF I were having trouble blooming mature plants (not just one or two, but an overall problem) I would suggest testing the pH of your planting medium and water. I would also look at the water used for watering the plants: most tropicals do NOT like treated water (with all the chemicals used like chlorine and flouride etc.). If you cannot access rain water, allowing the water to sit in an open container for 24+ hours allow the chemicals to 'flash' off.

Now...please don't consider this as the Gospel According to Carol - it isn't. This is just to open a dialogue about fertilizing...and what does and doesn't work to encourage blooming..... Big Grin
Leap. The net will appear.
ImageHoyaDoug
May 2, 2012 2:14 PM CST
Name: Doug
Lamoille County, VT
Good topic Carol! I can't dispute any of your observations. I would only add that certain Hoyas seem to be brought into bloom based on a specific photo period at least for me. I seem to have very good luck bringing the Mac/Archie complex into bloom where others are not so lucky. I find that they need a certain number of 12 hour days (12 daylight hours) in order to bloom for me. I would add that serpens seems to need the increasing daylight hours of spring time to bud up and flower. Others such as the Australis complex seem to need the decreasing daylight hours of fall to come into bloom.

As far as fertlizers are concerned I fertilize with almost every watering at about half the reccomended strength of a complete fertilizer - I mostly use MSU, but there are many great ones out there.

Doug
ImageJulieK
May 3, 2012 2:13 AM CST
Name: Julie Kennedy
UK
Oh great topic Carol!

My two pennyworth...I think its also good to do as much research as possible on the original growing conditions the plant was found in. Although many hoyas are totally adaptable to whatever conditions you give them (carnosa's and pubicalyx's for example), others do not thrive unless you can give them the conditions they need. If they don't thrive, they don't bloom.

We have all seen the variety of growing methods and mediums that people have adapted for use in their own specific conditions - and most of this is trial and error. As we are such a geographically diverse group of people, what works for one person may or may not work for another. I personally grow a lot of my hoyas in unprotected west facing windows with direct sun - which many of you wouldn't dream of. I rarely get a scorched leaf!! I sit my plants on trays of grit which is watered regularly to increase humidity and (now thanks to info gleaned from other growers) fertilise at almost every watering with a half strength african violet or seaweed fertiliser.

I have concentrated my growing on getting healthy flourishing plants - if I can do this, then I hope they will bloom for me. Any that don't adapt to the conditions I give them, I restart and try a different medium. Since using semi-hydro for 'difficult' (for me) plants, I have been amazed at the results. So much so that I have started trying to root cuttings in hydroton too. I am lucky to grow H engleriana very successfully - and am rooting some cuttings in hydroton for a friend. They have rooted and shooted so quickly and successfully, I am now considering restarting my own plant in this way!

I totally agree with Doug regarding light. I need to heavily invest in some grow lights if I ever want some of my plants to bloom. We have seen the sun once (briefly) in the last 6 weeks. Gloomy low cloud and dark conditions persist - tricking my australis's into thinking its Autumn already. Some are budding up.
Imagemitzi
May 3, 2012 4:27 AM CST
Name: Mitzi Costa
Sao Paulo/Brazil
Hi all,

What kind of lamps are you guys talking about? I've been looking for this lamps here but didn't find. Any links available would help a lot, as we are tropical country lamps are unusual to grow plants. But now is getting cold in Brazil and lamps would be a good choice, my javanica lost two new leaves due to the cold (I think), it was around 10º Celcius during the night, the only lamp I could find was for fish aquarium!!!

Mitzi
ImageHoyaDoug
May 3, 2012 6:18 AM CST
Name: Doug
Lamoille County, VT
Mitzi, most of us that use grow lamps use t-5 fluorescents. They are available in many configurations. Here is a link to a very reliable vendor that I use all the time:
http://www.htgsupply.com/Category-Fluorescent-Grow-Lights.as...

Julie, you are 100% right when you say that if your plants don't thrive, they do not bloom. That says it all! It is all about finding those conditions that make your plants grow well that bring about all of the blooming.

Doug
Imagemitzi
May 3, 2012 7:48 AM CST
Name: Mitzi Costa
Sao Paulo/Brazil
Thank you Doug, I'll be looking for it here!
RenFlowers
May 7, 2012 12:21 AM CST
Great information and very helpful! Thumbs up I spend hours reading about hoya care, there is no end! Unfortunately I have no information to add and next to no personal experience. But hearing everyone's advice (in this thread and many many others) really helps me get going on the right tracks. Group hug I did run into a very informative post on another forum (is it alright to link that here?) regarding different soil mix's effects on water movement.

~Keiko
[Last edited May 7, 2012 12:26 AM CST]
Quote | Post #865615 (7)
AlohaHoya
May 7, 2012 7:36 AM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Going around the backdoor, there is good information on growing conditions for orchids (more popular for a longer period of time than hoya)...comparing the sites of origen and understanding what the growing conditions are you can translate to hoyas....

Just a thought....
Leap. The net will appear.
Iochroma
May 7, 2012 8:36 AM CST
Name: David
San Francisco Bay area
Keiko, I have read "Tapla's" writings with interest. There is much good in his writings, but it is not complete and up-to-date with the current state of the science of soil science for containers. I wish I could refer you to something better, but the research is not gathered in one spot for casual study.

I'll have more on this topic later when the spring rush here abates...
Imagejohoya
May 24, 2012 6:49 AM CST
Name: Jelinda Ivey
Thomson,Ga.
zone 8a

I still consider myself a fairly newbie at growing Hoya's.I have found that adding super thrive to the 15-30-15 that i use about every 2 weeks,then i add it to plain water once a week.So my Hoya's are fertilized every 2 weeks or so and given super thrive every week.

I have found that the super thrive not being a fertilizer can be added to whatever fertilizer i use and then added with as often as i feel needed.Does anyone have an opinion on the way i feed my hoya's?I am always wanting to learn something new
I asked for a flower and he gave me a garden,then grand-kids to work in it with me!!!!
AlohaHoya
May 24, 2012 10:14 AM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
According to a soil scientist here...SuperThrive is good as a rooting compound...but is relatively useless otherwise. Same with VF-11 altho I know folks who swear by it. The patent on ST ran out years back...and there are comparable compounds for less $$$
Leap. The net will appear.
Susan727
May 24, 2012 1:23 PM CST
I hear what you're saying Carol but I swear I can see a difference with ST.

Susan
Imagemitzi
May 25, 2012 6:47 AM CST
Name: Mitzi Costa
Sao Paulo/Brazil
Let's takl about blooming............


Let me talk, my hoyas never bloomed!!!!!!!!!! Grumbling Grumbling Grumbling
AlohaHoya
May 25, 2012 10:39 AM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
The correctly balanced fertilizer will help...feeding a little bit each time you water....
Leap. The net will appear.
Imagemitzi
May 25, 2012 11:44 AM CST
Name: Mitzi Costa
Sao Paulo/Brazil
Carol,

I do fertilize every water, with less than the normal recommended, maybe they are too "young"
AlohaHoya
May 25, 2012 1:12 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
A good fert. to use would be something with a higher middle number....that gives you blooms/fruit. First number is for plant growth (Nitrogen) and last number is for roots ... a big simplification, but very much the case. One year I used only chicken manure and got VERY few blooms (it is about 3-1-1)....
Leap. The net will appear.
plumania
May 25, 2012 2:37 PM CST
Name: Alka
South Florida
Carol,that chicken manure must have made your plants much stronger and also willing to bloom. So, it may be worth using Chicken Manure every now and then .

I could not find chicken manure in the local nurseries and I do not know of any feed store here.
I did use some cow manure on one plant and it is growing good but it was also repotted so I do not know if Cow Manure helped or not.I hesitate using cow manure because I find it often has weed/grass seeds in there.
AlohaHoya
May 25, 2012 6:29 PM CST
Name: Carol Noel
Hawaii (near Hilo)
It's all about choices.
Sometimes the box stores like Home Depot have chicken manure.... Big Grin
Leap. The net will appear.
plumania
May 26, 2012 4:22 AM CST
Name: Alka
South Florida
HD here did not have it, I went to 3 stores. And Lowes did not either. I even went to a local feed store,specialty nurseries- no success. I saw it being sold in a plant fair organised by county but I was not aware of it's benefits back then and the guy was selling it too expensive without explaining anything. I went to a recent fair but no luck. I will keep trying.

Imagemitzi
May 26, 2012 5:11 AM CST
Name: Mitzi Costa
Sao Paulo/Brazil
Manure is a very easy "thing" to find here in any nursery.

I believe that my main problem is that the cuts are too young to bloom... and I grow all my hoyas indoor, in my apartment.

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