Wednesday, July 23, 2008

My Hoya Plants

In 1989, I moved back to Colorado from northern California. I stashed all my houseplants in the moving truck. It was November. As you might imagine, nearly all the plants froze to death.

I have two hoya plants now, that either survived that freezing move, or my Mother gave them to me when I got settled into my new home in Colorado. I cannot remember now, (Years later, when I moved to Tokyo, I gave away all my houseplants to friends. My bonsai tree lived at my oldest sister's house for a year. She did a great job with it! My tiny Redwood trees lived at my younger sister's home. She did a great job with them! I got the bonsai, the Redwoods, and a few other plants back when we moved back to Colorado.)

One of the hoyas has never bloomed. It sits on the same plant shelf unit as the blooming one, but it is on a lower shelf and it does not have a basket handle to climb. I think they love to climb.

The one on the top shelf, inside the big basket THRIVES. I rarely water it. I mean maybe once a month, The less I water it, the more it blooms. The flowers are really interesting. They start out looking like a dried up part you might want to pick off because it is ugly. Then tiny pink star buds appear. They grow in size until they BURST from the center of each one into a waxy star flower. The flowers hang in clusters. The smell is so sweet and powerful! Especially in the late evening, for some reason. Each flower then drips nectar. Then, the blooms wilt, the petal edges curl up, and begin turning brown and drying up. Once fully brown, the cluster of spent flowers falls one-by-one to the floor.

I wish I could describe this lovely plant to you in a way that you could truly understand. It is the most interesting plant! The smell is heady ... intoxicating ... if you are of a mind. Annoyingly strong ... if you are not of a mind.

Here are some photos I took yesterday, to show the flowering process:


Mary said...

Oh Holly! I envy you your beautiful hoya! I was the lucky recipient of one years ago, but it got scale, and even after babying it, carefully removing the scale at least once a week for 3 months, it lost the battle. I have now moved to Colorado and am looking for a new hoya - I especially loved the carnosa Krinkle I had but it looks like the one you have is a beautiful variegated variety. Do you know of any local Colorado sellers? I'm leary of buying online since I won't be able to inspect the plant prior to buying it.

Holly said...

Hi Mary - I am not sure where hoyas are sold in Colorado. I would ask at any reputable nursery. See if they can order them, and how they are with returns. Good luck! Mine is nearly done blooming for now. The last of the blooms are turning brown and falling off. -Holly

nanchang said...

I've never seen such a beautiful plant. I love having a history with my plants too.

nanchang said...

And I thought hoyas were some kind of animal. I know some high school in west Texas' mascot is the joya. or maybe no. doesn't seem very tough to have a plant as your mascot,does it? at least it doesn't offend other ethnic groups!