Friday, January 7, 2011

Hoya Carnosa Krinkle Curl

There's not much blooming around the house here lately.  In fact, I can't think of anything other than my orchid that just started blooming!  Oh, I can't wait for Spring!

About a month ago I uploaded some pictures of my Hindu Rope Hoya to photobucket and forgot all about it.  So to help brighten the dreary days of Winter and make us long for warm weather all the more, I'm breaking out those old photos.

On several gardening forums I've read about people having big trouble getting their hoyas to bloom.  To me, the hoya is one of the easiest, low maintince plants to grow.  Maybe they're trying too hard, as mine seem to do best with a little neglect!

Hoyas like bright, indirect light and well drained soil.  I keep mine hanging in a western facing window, with white blinds that usually stay shut.  On occasion, and more so in the winter, I will open the blinds for a few hours to let a little extra light in.  The soil is a fast draining mix, similar to what you would use for an orchid, with a sphagnum moss and light soil mixture.  Hoyas like to be root bound so if you get a new plant you probably won't need to repot it for some time; mine's been in the same pot for 4 years!   I water it about once a week, sometimes less frequently, judging by the weight of the pot and the top of the soil.  It seems mine do best when I let the soil get almost all the way dry and then slowly add water, saturating the soil.  If you live in a dry climate, it's probably a good idea to mist your plant regularly as well.

The plant itself is beautiful, but the main reason I like hoyas so much is the beautiful and yummy smelling blooms!!  They bloom from Spring to mid Fall here, but colder areas will have a slightly shorter growing season.  The blooms can be born on new stem growth, or on older stubs where flowers have previously bloomed.  The following picture an example of the latter.

It only takes a few days for the flowers to open after you see them appear.  The little round buds you see in the above photo will start to take on a glossy, ballooned star shape and begin to spread apart into an umbrella. 
The petals then begin to fold back, showcasing the "inside" of the flower.
The center "star" is glossy, while the outer has a furry look!  This is when you'll be able to really smell them.  To me, they smell just like chocolate, but I've heard some people think they stink!  What?!?  You do have to get close to the bloom to smell their fragrance, though.  As the bloom ages, the smell with get fainter, until you really can't smell it at all.  For me, the blooms usually last around 2 weeks from start to finish.
This evergreen houseplant truly is beautiful and I highly recommend it!  Treated properly, it will bring happiness to you for years!  And, it is super easy to propagate from cuttings and air layering!

Update: Two days after posting this my I noticed a flower bud just starting to form on my hoya.  The entire process of budding, flowering and finally the blooms falling off lasted until February 25!

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