Saturday, December 30, 2006

I'm Back!

I left the plants for five days... was it five days? I don't know! Anyway, the javanica/multiflora, australis ssp tenuipes and retusa obviously were not amused and all produced a yellow leaf for me, but I think they all pulled through fine. Even the lacunosa tove cuttings which I decided to pot up when I'd had one cider too many seem to have pulled through. Bristol is still miserable, the weather for the new year has been forecast for drenching rain and gales and I do worry that the plants will have to live through another two months of cold and low light before, if they and I are lucky enough, we see some sun. The bulbs outside don't seem to mind too much though and are all ready pushing their way through into the outside light...

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Christmas Comes To The Hoyas....

I hope you'll forgive me but I'm feeling particularly festive (if not tipsy... after 12 hours of drinking cider, oops) and I hope you all have a good holiday... I'll be here next week, but I may be away over the "festive season"!!!! ha ha a break for a change!

P.S. I'd like you to note I rent this place and therefore have no say over the curtains or the nasty wallpaper (and this is the room I spend the most time in, with the radiator that has so much sludge in it it doesn't work.. grumph)...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

It Seems Everything But the Hoyas Are Flowering...

Yes, this is my African Violet. It is a really happy bunny at the moment. These plants seem to go through periods of misery, not growing, not really doing anything, then they get used to their surroundings and decide to flower. This one has flowered twice in fairly rapid succession so I'm really pleased. It's at work and not in any direct sunlight, and fairly cool (we all freeze at our desks!). It sits on a pebble tray and gets watered very infrequently. I hope it'll be ok over the Christmas period when they shut all heating off in the department. I think it's a real tough plant.

PS you may guess from this picture and the one of the Schlum I'm not the tidiest person ever!!

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Hooray - The Lacunosa "Tove" Starts to Grow!

I got this plant six months ago in a trade with a Swedish girl. I decided to bring it into work, with rooting hormone on it, but it just sat there, not rooting. After a while the leaves started to look a bit shrivelled so I got concerned. I cut off some nodes to try and get at least some of it to root, but still nada. In the end I placed all the cuttings in water. A couple of weeks later, bingo, roots start growing. I think, hooray, maybe now they'll be happy. I thought too soon. I place the now-rooted plants back in their pot and the plants continue to look sad and unhappy (don't ask me how I know this, they just did. The leaves just kept looking withered). Another couple of weeks go by, and the plants just aren't doing well and haven't fixed themselves in the soil. Around this time I get a little plant incubator for the cuttings I got from Paul Shirley. I decide to take the Lacunosa home and place it in the incubator. I pot all my new aquisitions that aren't doing very well, including the Lacunosa, into Jiffy 7's. Two thirds of the cuttings from P.S. root, the rest die probably because I did something wrong (too cold/too humid/not enough sun etc etc) and the lacunosa is still sat in the incubator not really rooting and not really dying. Finally this cutting fixes itself into the soil and starts looking happier again (the leaves filled out...) so I take it out of the incubator and place it on the cuttings shelf - my lounge window, a place where all cuttings that have finally fixed themselves in the soil are left until I have too many and have to figure out whether they'd cope being upstairs instead. Finally, one month later it's sprouted its first new leaf. Yay, and possibly phew! Now all I have to wait to grow is the pentaphlebia...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Awww... look. It's my first new leaves on the lauterbachii and they're all cute and fuzzy!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

And Now For Something Completely Different....

Ok, it's not a hoya. But it's pretty, and it's very happy this year. I have been particularly mean to it though - it's in the hardest soil ever, the pot is packed with bits that have fallen off and been repotted and it's in the darkest and coldest window of the house. I did feed, water and mist it like the hoyas and maybe it liked that. I thought you guys might enjoy it.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hoya Retusa : The Bad Hair Day Hoya

So, the retusa has been potted, and to be honest it doesn't look any tidier that it did when I received it... The anonymous poster who posted below, beware for the plant is potted in very heavy soil - I'm not sure if it likes this (although it was flowering when I recieved it), so I've put in some perlite and vermiculite to aerate the soil a bit. According to some people, it likes to be kept dry so I've had to leave it on the incubator during the day in a vague attempt to dry out the soil a bit. I'm not winning at the moment, but I can but try.
So, some information about this plant, which I've nicknamed "The Bad Hair Day Hoya" because it always looks like it needs a good combing out. It is related to pauciflora (so if my cutting is really dead, it doesn't matter), the major difference being the leaves which are really strange - flat, narrow, long, and with this bizarre, almost heart-shaped, indentation at the end of the leaves.

One of the websites I found, after having to translate it into English, kept saying the word "barbed wire". I was really confused about this until I noticed that the pattern of stem and leaves did resemble barbed wire a bit. It also said that the flowers have no smell, and me with my very strong sense of smell found no smell either. The flowers are relatively large in comparison to the narrowness of the leaves and there are about 2 or so to a node, and it seems to flower profusely, from what I've read, once it's an established plant. Most of my flowers have faded due to the bad light/knocking around/repotting recieved, but I hope it'll spring back soon enough.
Aaargh - just found mealies on this plant. I've been mealy-free for 3 months!

Saturday, November 18, 2006

The Heuschkeliana Gives It Another Go

A couple of months ago this hoya tried to flower and I moved it just at the wrong moment. Then it went through a dark phase where it didn't grow and a leaf went yellow and died off. I was a bit worried. Now it's starting to grow again, and I can see these peduncles. You can't but fault this little plant for trying. I hope that it'll finish what it's started this time.
But, as I looked at this plant, I wondered:-
a) why it's so bloody hard to photograph things using a conventional digital camera when it's dark
b) why people argue so much over something that has such beauty. I know we all have differing opinions, that's what makes us all individual, but there's no need to bitch. Really. I now take a policy where I lurk, listen and learn, but people being rude makes me sad.
c) what on earth I'm going to do with these plants if this little thing can get to this size... eeek!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Letting My Babies Go

I guess it'll always be hard for me - you take cuttings, you root them... and then one day you have to decide that it is time for them to go out into the wide world. I hope that it will be happy out there, grow lots and produce flowers for its new owner.
So, bye bye Australis, may you have a safe trip and a good life somewhere. Oh, and make me some money while you're at it :)

Sunday, November 05, 2006

New growth

After a few weeks of rain and a week of bitter cold (brrr!) I'm surprised my plants are actually quite happy at the moment, and some so much they're actively growing.
First of all, my Hoya multiflora/javanica/insert name here. This one was the first to sprout new leaves as soon as it had rooted. I have a nasty feeling I'm going to have a very large plant in a very short time..... I don't mind as I've been told it's quick to flower.
Next, my two favorites. I know, I'm probably not supposed to have favourites in case the other plants get jealous but there were always a couple that I really wanted and here they are, and they're growing - YAY!

The imperialis was one of the cutting trades that I did that didn't work so well - this one and my original multiflora/etc/etc were put in the bathroom where I hadn't really noticed that the candles in there were being melted by the intensity of the sun - so the poor plants got burnt...
I know, I'm a bad person. The multiflora, unsurprisingly given it hates too much direct sunlight, didn't make it. The imperialis suprised me by a) taking root 3 months after I got the cutting and b) now actually growing. Although it's a bit slow now it's so cold... The lacunosa tove, that I got in the same batch, is finally thinking about growing after some intensive time in the heated propagator...

And finally, the lauterbachii. I was so, so happy to get this cutting from a Swedish girl who kindly agreed to trade with me after I'd made a bit of a mess of trying to pay for the plant. I was then worried it would die instantly but it rooted like a charm in one of those Jiffy 8 plugs in the propagator. So I potted it up into this tiny little pot, which it would not stand up in, and left it in the propagator. It must like me because it is actually growing now! I was led to believe this is one tricky and fussy plant but seems to be relatively easier than some of the others!!! The leaves on this plant are HUGE - much bigger than the other hoyas I have - and round, and really fuzzy. Very cute. Now all I have to do is get it to flower...

Friday, November 03, 2006

This Picture Made Me Happy

Lots of Hoyas

Oh, if only to have a little corner like that. One day, I will have a conservatory. I'm wondering whether I'll still have all the plants.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Hoya Retusa

Well I caved in and bought the retusa on Ebay the other day. What I got this morning, however, was a mess of leaves, flowers and soil:

I am not impressed. I spent good money on this plant, and what I get is a mess. The soil went everywhere, including my porridge, which meant I only got 3 quarters of my breakfast!
So I complained, and I hope that I will get some money back. Meanwhile I can have a great time tonight making a big mess sorting out the plant and repotting it - yay!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Moving On...

Ok I'm so annoyed with the setting for the geocities blog page - inability to read anything, bad pictures and the fact I have to go to my own page in order to read comments left I'm moving to Blogger. We like Blogger. It's my friend.

Ok rant over and a picture for you. This is what my front room currently looks like. The cuttings that made it from the ones I bought from Paul Shirley (the pauciflora is pretty much dead and the odorata I think is just being green to keep me being hopeful!) are now taking up some space here. I think, once I get rid of my useless tomato plant, the ones who don't mind not so much sun such as the multifloras, will have to go on the back window, although it is colder there.
Ok... can I get this right.. in order from left to right... australis ssp.australis, engleriana, growbox containing lauterbachii (with new leaves - yay!), several bits of lacunosa "tove" (maybe finally growing, stupid thing), australis ssp tenuipes (cutting from upstairs plant that has roots and will have to go soon), dead pauciflora and dying odorata. Then weebella, the two multifloras, multiflora and javanica, heushkeliana, pentaphlebia, IML-557, lacunosa, the orchid I've not taken any care of and has flourished for the first time this year, and of course carnosa. Guess where I cheated in that list! Oh dear - 13 plants on one shelf, I hope that's not unlucky!

Monday, October 30, 2006

Hoya Publicalyx cv. Pink Silver

Well, I tell you, I don't believe it. I bought this publicalyx earlier this year as a five-leaf rooted plant and it's now 20 times bigger. I thought it would take YEARS to produce a bud, just like my carnosa. However when I went to look at the plant yesterday, I found this:

If you look really hard, right in the centre of the picture is a peduncle! Wow. I hope it will flower for me next year.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Fixing Bugs and Making Wire Hoops

Right I'm going to try this and see if it works. Any of you who come here often may notice that i've managed to make the typeface a bit bigger so you can actually read it. Now I'm going to try adding a photo in that you can click on to see a bit more of....
This is my Hoya Variegata, also known as "Krimson Queen" I believe, although I always have to check because I forget which one is which. The wire hoop it's now weaving its way along is made by me from heavy duty garden wire. Well I couldn't find any in the shop so I had to make my own. it was very simple, just make a hoop and then twist round the wire on itself. I did this with one wire twisted round itself then cut it off at the end. I then got the wire again and twisted it round the loop part again in a circle to ensure it was strong enough to take the plant. The plant is now happily trailing its way round the loop - yay!