Hoya - soaring spheres of wax ivy
Indoor vines - plants are not just multifaceted, but also surprisingly plastic in their use. On supports, simply in pots, in ampels, or shaped into outlandish figures and even sculptures, they offer to bring massive greens and vertical accents to the design. Hoya, which has become a truly classic plant in the new millennium, is no exception. The unique, soaring and elegant balls of inflorescences with unusual flower-stars captivate at first sight. And it’s not so difficult to take care of hoyas, or “wax ivies”.
Hoya - luxuriously flowering indoor creepers
Hoyas are so popular that sometimes they can be found not in flower shops, but in gift shops. True, this is not about huge vines, but only about rooted leaves: green "hearts" that have taken root in a pot are a great gift for Valentine's Day. But full-fledged hoyas have earned the status of one of the most “reliable” indoor vines. The plant received the “folk” nicknames of “sunflower” and “wax ivy” for the seemingly waxy, unusually dense texture of the stars in the inflorescences and the special texture of the leaves.
Hoya (Hoya) Is a genus of evergreen climbing, creeping or drooping shrubs and shrubs with long and thin shoots. The height of the hoya ranges from 15 cm to 2 m. True, tiny plants are rooted leaves of the kerra hoya, while all adult cultures are much larger, albeit limited in height by the supports on which they grow.
Hoyas are not grown without supports, and the choice of a specific form and type of support allows you to modify the plant and its size as you like. The leaves of the hoya are dark, fleshy, but not too thick, leathery, always whole and opposite. And the shape and size of the leaves of individual hoi can be radically different.
Hoya bloom from May to October. The flowers of this creeper are unusually original, elegant, star-shaped, with an unusual double structure: inside the large five-pointed “star” there is a contrasting little star-crown. Both the shape of the stipules and their original wax, and sometimes almost fur texture, distinguished the plant and made it a legend. Hoya flower stars are collected in umbrella-shaped inflorescences, which most often wilt, hang like magic porcelain baskets.
Among plants, there are varieties with white, pink and cream color, while almost always star flowers are decorated with a dark or bright crown in the center. A distinctive feature of all hoi is the ability to exude a surprisingly delicate aroma at night.
Types of Hoya
As a houseplant, Kerra and fleshy hoya are the most common.
At Hoya Kerra (Hoya kerrii) shoots in length can reach 2 meters. But it’s not the flexible creeping shoots of the climbers that attract attention, but large, leathery leaves in the shape of an inverted heart. In length and width, the leaves of this hoya reach 15 cm, and their color - saturated, bright green - creates a feeling of freshness. Umbrella-shaped inflorescences are very elegant.
They collected numerous white flowers with a beautiful dark center and a basic cream and cream color. The species is slowly growing, in room culture it maintains stability and is well “managed”. In addition to the base plant, the variegate form with cream leaves is also very popular.
Noteworthy gardeners and more modest in size meaty hoya (Hoya carnosa) It is this plant that was originally called wax ivy. Liana shoots grow to only 1 m, but it will outshine its counterparts in ampelous culture. An elegant, if not graceful plant needs a garter, flaunting fleshy, rather dark glossy leaves of pointed shape, smaller than in other species.
If you look closely, then on the leaves of wax ivy you can see small whitish and yellowish spots. This hoya forms thick bushes, its leaves are evergreen. Inflorescences sit on short pedicels, in small umbrellas. Individual flowers of wax ivy are very beautiful, star-shaped with a red crown in the center, giving variegation to the whole inflorescence. In addition to the basic form, there is a more small-leaved compact form hoya.
It is also worth paying attention to other types of hoya:
- Ampel small-leaved beauty beautiful hoya (Hoya bella) Is a dwarf species that, although it is less common, is also very decorative. It is not so lush, but more densely leafy, with beautiful leaves up to 3 cm long oval with a pointed tip and numerous small drooping star-flowers with a raspberry center.
- Majestic hoya (Hoya imperialis) - a curly look with pubescent shoots, large oval leaves up to 20 cm long with a rounded edge at the base and pointed at the apex. The flowers are gathered in hanging umbrellas, pink-red, with a pubescent crown, seem like a radiant vision.
- Hoya multi-flowered (Hoya multiflora) - a compact form with narrow, up to 14 cm leaves, unusually thin, prominent veins and yellow-white flowers, in which the outer asterisk seems to be bent back. This hoya became famous for its lemon scent, reminiscent of shooting stars flowers collected in inflorescences up to 40 flowers each.
Hoyas are creepers that are not so difficult to grow. But they require really attentive care, constant monitoring and careful correction of conditions at the slightest sign of "discontent." These beauties need sensitive, caring owners who can satisfy all their needs and provide the necessary care.
Hoya care at home
Wax Ivy Lighting
Hoya is rightly considered to be light-dependent plants. To grow these beauties, regardless of type, you need to choose bright areas. But at the same time, it is better to protect from the direct sunlight in the summer (during the rest of the year they are not scary), as well as the slightest shade of the hoya. Western and eastern window sills are ideal for hoya. In winter, hoya can be moved to the southern windows, but the plant will not suffer too much and if it remains in the same place. It is better to protect the hoya from a sharp increase in lighting in spring, gradually adapting to new conditions.
Please note that the hoya can not tolerate any change of location, ranging from the stage of budding to the middle of flowering. The plant can not be moved from place to place, rearranged in new conditions, it is better not to even turn the pot at all, because the hoya can discard the formed buds.
Hoya will not cause any trouble with the selection of comfortable temperatures. This liana will be comfortable in the usual room range, it is not afraid of extreme heat, but it reaches the greatest decorativeness in cool, at temperatures of about 18-20 degrees. At normal room temperatures, hoya can be grown all year round, but it is better to lower the temperature from November to February at least a few degrees. The minimum threshold for temperatures acceptable for the liana is 12-15 degrees for most hoya and 18 degrees for the most beautiful hoya.
Hoyi love fresh air. The rooms in which they grow are best ventilated regularly. But at the same time, the plant cannot be taken out to fresh air, and in the cold season they protect the hoya from cold air currents.
Watering and humidity
Despite their relatively large size, the hoya do not like excess moisture and need a restrained approach to irrigation. These beauties are watered lightly, allowing the upper prosharca of earth in pots to dry between procedures. In this case, complete drought should not be allowed, maintaining light, stable humidity. Starting in October, watering was reduced for all hoi, allowing the substrate to dry out more between the procedures, but still not leading to the complete drying out of the earthen coma.
Hoya love high humidity, but not enough to create greenhouse conditions for beautiful vines. For these hardy climbers, it is enough to provide spraying of leaves, which will compensate even the operation of heating systems.
During the procedures, it is worthwhile to ensure that water does not get on the flowers, spray the plant gently and only on the leaves. If the hoya grows in cool room temperatures, then the humidity does not matter for her. But if that vine is grown in the heat, then the leaves should be sprayed as often as possible.
And for watering, and for spraying, you need to use soft water. Hard, not defended water will cause stains on the leaves.
In addition to the usual procedures, a regular cleaning of the leaves from dust should be included in the beauty care program. The procedure is best done once a week using a damp sponge or cloth.
Despite the large size of the plant, the hoya does not need strong, frequent top dressing. In this parameter, it is similar to most indoor crops. Fertilizers for it are applied every 3-4 weeks with a standard dose or every 2 weeks with a half-reduced dose.
From October to February, feeding is not done at all. Each feeding procedure must be completed by carefully loosening the top layer of the substrate, during which the roots cannot be poured. Complex universal preparations are best suited for hoya (nitrogen is just as important for it as phosphorus and potassium).
Stimulating flowering wax ivy
A beautiful hoya in room culture is recommended to “force” to bloom. The plant will open flower buds on its own, but if you want to observe really magnificent flowering, it is better to further stimulate the process. Procedures are especially important if temperature drops in the winter could not be achieved.
To stimulate, the whole plant with the beginning of active growth in the spring is immersed in warm water (temperature - 34-36 degrees Celsius). You can limit yourself to soaking only a pot with roots in water of the same temperature. If you soak the whole plant, carry out the procedure for 30 minutes, the pot is soaked for 2 hours.
It also stimulates abundant flowering and increased light intensity, including with the help of artificial illumination.
When growing hoya, one very important rule should be remembered: in a plant, one should never “touch” peduncles, stems on which an inflorescence rises. They can not be cut, break off even after flowering. When flowering, flower shoots should be left on the plant: perhaps the plant will again produce flowers in comfortable conditions. But the main reason is that on old peduncles the hoya will release inflorescences next year. And if you cut them, then you will have to wait a long time for a new flowering.
But the remaining shoots can not be cut, curling around the supports or shorten only the longest branches after flowering. They are cut to short branches, on which flower buds will also form next year. You can also form a plant according to your needs: as soon as the branches are too extended, become unattractive, you can pinch or slightly trim them, and if desired, cut them to half length (on such shortened branches next year inflorescences will also form).
Heavy umbrellas of hoya inflorescences wilted, and if you want to appreciate all their beauty and at the same time grow a vine in classic pots, it is better to substitute small props on the inflorescence.
Transplant and substrate
The frequency of transplantation of hoya directly depends on the age of the plant. Young vines are best transplanted annually, increasing capacity. Adults and old plants can be transplanted once every 2-3 years. When transplanting, immediately establish support for the plant. Optimal dates are early spring. When transplanting a hoya, it is very important to lay a powerful drainage layer at the bottom of the tank.
For hoya it is better to choose permeable, light and nutritious substrates with a neutral or slightly acidic reaction. It is believed that this plant can bloom perfectly and in high-quality garden soil, if only sand is added to it, but more suitable for hoyam is a mixture of soddy soil, humus, peat and sand with the addition of a double portion of sheet soil.
Hoya is great for hydroponics.
Wax ivy diseases and pests
Hoya suffers from pests only with improper care and violations of comfortable growing conditions. The plant attracts scabs, which must be controlled by mechanical flushing and insecticides. Often there is powdery mildew in the hoyas, the fight against which is also better to be carried out by complex measures - moisture correction and treatment with fungicides.
Common problems in growing hoya:
- falling buds when moving the pot, moving to another room;
- the appearance of spots on the leaves with too little light or in direct sunlight, exceeding the norms of fertilizing, watering with cold water;
- the lack of flowering with poor lighting, depletion of the soil, during wintering without lowering the temperature by at least 2-3 degrees and pruning of flower stalks;
- falling of leaves in extremely dry air;
- curling, leaf drying, or drying at low temperatures and in direct sunlight;
- dropping flower buds in case of heat, improper watering;
- dropping leaves and even shoots when waterlogged;
- dropping flowers when changing places or in poor lighting;
- slow growth and blanching of leaves with a lack of nitrogen, the use of fertilizers only for flowering plants.
The most common method of propagation of this houseplant is considered to be cuttings. At the same time, for the hoya, you need to use the shoots of last year, cut them in spring or autumn. For hoya on cuttings, it is better to leave from 2 pairs of leaves, removing the lower and shortening the upper. Rooted cuttings in the internodes, so cut them a few centimeters below the leaf node. Roots can be rooted in the substrate, and in the sand, and even in the water.
The main thing is to maintain a temperature of at least 20 degrees Celsius and high humidity. After rooting, which usually takes 1 month, the hoyi are planted in small pots of 2-3 pcs. Plants will bloom only in the fourth year. For such a hoi, it is important to pinch, shortening the shoots after 3-4 sheets for thickening.
Much earlier flowering, in the same year, allows you to get the method of stem layering. On the shoot between the nodes of the leaves, an incision is made, wrapped with wet moss and fixed with a film, foil, twine. After rooting, the upper part is cut off and used as an independent plant.