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!


Diane said...

Nice flower! I hope you have many more off this messy looking "Bad Hair Day Hoya"! Looks great!

As far as the mealies go.... seems to be normal for new Hoyas to come home with them. I think prevention is key to a mealie free home. I add a drop of dish soap and a couple drops of GSE (Grapefruit seed extract) to all my misting bottles. Everytime I mist, which is about every other day, they get a mild treatment. Newbies get a much harsher treatment with straight alcohol till I'm certain they are clean! They don't seem to mind:-)

Good luck with the battle and enjoy those flowers!

Sandy said...

Hi Hilary,

Nice looking retusa....that is definately on my "want" list if i order from David Liddle in the spring....hope your winning the battle of the mealies...its seems an ongoing battle doesnt it? have some great hoya finds..where did you get retusa from?


Sandy said...

Hi Again, if i read further down in your blog, i would of found out where you got retusa from!..Ebay :)