15 January 2019

Winter Wonder

Yes, winter is here, but Honey Hoya doesn't care!!!

Lizard inherited three hoya plants from his father back in 2002. For years, he thought the straight-leaf plant was hemlock. He didn't expect blooms. He'd seen the curly-leaf plant blooming at his father's house, but didn't realize when he took in the plants they might one day be exotic and beautiful.

Lizard married me in 2005. The plants (and his spectacular Christmas cacti) moved into my apartment with my new hubby. The plants never bloomed in my apartment.

We bought a fixer-upper in 2009. It has lots of east-facing windows, which means plenty of daylight for my indoor garden, including those evergreen hoyas.

I excitedly screamed for Lizard when I noticed the first time the curly-leaf hoya bloomed, just prior to our wedding anniversary the year we bought our home. Lizard came running with a magazine rolled up into a swatter because thought I'd found a spider...

He could not contain my excitement, but he probably didn't want to, either! He remembered having seen similar blooms at his father's house many years, but he had never really looked at the blossoms closely. Now, in addition to being able to really look at the flowers, he had my macro photography... unending!!!

The curly leaf plant made so many gorgeous blossoms and brought us three years of exhilaration!

In 2012, we lost the curly-leaf hoya to mealy bugs. I tried everything I could to save it, even trying to root a cutting, which was infested with more mealies before it formed enough roots to be transplanted in soil. The next year, I found a similar baby plant in a home improvement center, and I quickly snatched it up and placed it where Lizard's father's plant had thrived.

It was so tiny back then! I'd read the ropes must reach six feet before producing flowers. I don't know that we had to wait that long, but now there are three ropes longer than six feet, and I can't even keep count of the flowers anymore! So, it's not Lizard's father's plant, but without his father's plant, I wouldn't have known to love hoyas so much!

The year we lost the original curly-leaf hoya, one of the straight-leaf plants bloomed for the first time, almost as if to console us. Lizard was as shocked as me! Ever since about 2014, we've had both white and pink blossoms.

The straight-leaf plants haven't bloomed yet this year, but I expect magnificent things from them in the future.

One of the straight-leaf plants began dropping leaves last autumn, and I couldn't figure out why. I hadn't changed anything, but one plant was decidedly not happy. I thought perhaps they might be root bound. They'd been in the same tiny little clay pots for perhaps 20 years and had never been repotted, as far as The Lizard knows.

During the Thanksgiving break, Lizard had to work, but I had four days off. So I repotted all three hoyas and a couple of Christmas cacti that were still in plastic pots. I'd read terracotta is better for indoor plants than plastic, so I've been on a very slow mission of replacing all the plastic pots in my entire indoor and outdoor collection.

Christmas came early for the straight-leaf hoyas, which turned out to be in even tinier plastic containers inside the tiny clay pots, with no drainage all those years. I wish I'd taken a photo of the hoya roots growing up and around the terracotta watering stakes, famished for nutrients! Those poor babies! No wonder one was losing leaves, and how amazing that either of those plants ever bloomed for us!

I think it will take a while for all three hoyas to get used to their new environs, but I think they will be happy hoyas once they realize they are free to grow!

The decorative plastic stakes are terracotta on the bottom, where it counts. I don't know if we will get any white hoya flowers this year, but that pink curly hoya, oh, my!!! We're going to have a flower-filled winter!

1 comment :

  1. 20 years in the same pot sure must get boring. I take it spiders freak you out if he came running ready to whack one? Stinks the bugs got the first.


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