Stubborn - Hoya kerrii

Discussion in 'Indoor and Greenhouse Plants' started by gladi34, Jan 11, 2009.

  1. gladi34

    gladi34 Member

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    Hi

    I purchased a Hoya kerrii plant (heart shaped) about 10 months ago. To date it has not grown at all.

    I find it strange that it does not grow at ALL. I have repotted it since. It looks nice and healthy as the day it was purchased. The pot is ceramic and does not have holes at the bottom. I am very careful no to over water - is this the problem ?

    Should I change the soil ? I have used normal compost and a bit of gravel on top.

    Please advice

    Thanks
    Michelle
     
  2. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    hoya plants are slow growers to begin with and if you've got any of their circumstances (growing medium, light, water) off a bit, then their growth will be even slower.

    hoya's like very well draining soil and don't usually like to get too dry...some like to be kept moister than others. i don't have h. kerri, so i don't know it's particulars.

    if it's maintained, then i'd say you're doing enough things right. the only thing i'd recommend is changing the soil out to at least a mix of regular soil and orchid or cactus mix.
     
  3. Chester

    Chester Active Member 10 Years

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    Not to be argumentative, but I've not found Hoyas to be slow growers (at least the ones I have), but I did buy a kerrii a few years ago, and mine didn't grow at all as well. It eventually just packed it in and died. Yet my other Hoyas are doing very well. I didn't follow it up as I'm not that fond of it anyway, but there must be plenty of info out there. There are whole sites and blogs devoted to the particulars of Hoyas...
     
  4. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    well, that actually is being argumentative.

    generally, most are slow growing. some of this is due to the particular variety and some of it is due to not being able to provide optimum growing conditions - it's pretty hard to duplicate rainforest conditions in most homes! so, you must be doing something in particularly to experience a good growth rate and/or whatever varieties you have are in the grouping that are faster growing. i'd be interested to hear about what you've done to promote fast growth!

    if you have a list of sites with info, i'd be interested in that, also. i've not found many - and more than likely what i have found is in another language...and, the forums that are available (which are very few) are full of nasty, know-it-all's who like to berate newbies looking for info and assistance.

    if you, or anyone, has good solid info on growing hoya's, i definitely want to know what it is! i have 6 and only a few are doing particularly well...so, i need more info!!
     
  5. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Be careful, gravel on top of the soil cuts down on air flow and can keep the soil moist, or wet longer and could cause fungus or rot.

    I agree, some hoyas can be slow growers to begin with, and that all hoyas need a fast draining mix.

    H. pubicalyx and carnosa's seem to be of a faster speed. H kerrii though is a VERY slow grower. Mine didn't do a thing for a very long time either, then I almost lost it. If for whatever reason it ever dies (it's a small one) I won't be getting another one! I guess if you want this hoya, it's best to get one that's already a decent size.

    H.. kerrii does well being a a little bit tight in the pot for at least a couple years until the roots fill the pot, too big a pot and it can rot. They like plenty of indirect and a little bit direct light indoors and you might find it helps some summering it outdoors. Just be careful with the amount of sun it gets, it should be limited.

    Give it some diluted food now and then and a good drink once a week, or when it's dry and keep watching for a new leaf bud or two, it will eventually happen:)
     
  6. gladi34

    gladi34 Member

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    I checked many sites sbefore posting my requests and most of it was 'nasty know it all's' or just lots of pics with minimal info. Check http://www.myhoyas.com/Hoya kerrii.htm


    Taking all this into account I think I will :

    change it from the non draining ceramic pot to one that is clay with holes.
    will take off the gravel - a cactus grower adviced me to put gravel on top to help keep the top layer dry which is why i thought it would avoid the plant from rotting.
    will replace it with cactus soil

    The question now is - is this the right time to do it or should I wait till spring ?

    It is a very small plant ONE HEART SHAPED LEAF ABOUT 4 inches tall (for the last 10 months) !! just like this one http://www.houseofplants.co.uk/Hoya_Kerrii_Heart_shaped_hoya.htm

    Coming to think of it non of my many cactuses are growing as well and I think I have used the wrong soil content. Is now a good time to change it ? If so can anyone recommend a good place to get cactus soil ?

    Thanks very much for all the advice I really do appreciate it as its heart breaking to watch them die.
     
  7. Chester

    Chester Active Member 10 Years

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    Joclyn, when someone's opinion and experience differs from yours, is that being argumentative? I just found your comment to be a generalization about the growth rates of Hoyas. There are so many species, and there is certainly variability in their rates of growth... I didn't say that mine were fast growers though, I would say moderate, although my lacunosa has ventured into a quite fast rate of growth. I do not commit to memory (or favorites) what sites, but the aforementioned myhoyas was one for sure. She doesn't answer questions as I recall, which isn't much help.
     
  8. joclyn

    joclyn Rising Contributor

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    chester, i was not in a particularly good mood over the weekend and reacted out of character (totally overboard) to your comment. i apologize and i do hope you accept it as it IS sincere!

    my original post wasn't clear enough, either - again, apologies to all. i WAS making a general comment and should have specified that 'in general most hoya's are slow-growing'.

    i know better than to post on forums when i am not myself...i tend to not get my complete thought out (when re-reading before submitting i'll find letters or words and sometimes whole phrases missing - which makes for some pretty odd comments :) . i also tend to be overly sensitive to comments - directed towards myself or others.

    the myhoyas site is a very good one for reference purposes (i've got that in my favs). lots of fabulous pictures and it's quite a collection! a bit slight on growing info, though and it's not all that up-to-date. i've never tried to contact her, so i don't know if she'd respond.

    there is some good info in the david liddle catalog - a guide to the basic requirements and/or how easy or hard the different varieties are to grow. i need to find my copy...

    chester, if you could go into some detail about the growing medium, heat levels, lighting, watering and fertilizer you use, we would definitely appreciate it!! you, too, bluewing! i know you've got quite a few yourself!

    gladi, now really isn't the optimum time to repot - it would be best to wait until mid to late march. although, if something is in dire straights, then you'd have no choice. you could put the kerri in the clay pot now - just keep whatever soil that it's in and then, come spring, you can move it to a better growing medium (the idea is to move it without disturbing the roots if at all possible - so keeping it in the same stuff & just gently pouring or scooping it into a better container would be a workable short-term solution).

    most cacti go into dormancy in the winter - so you won't see any growth and shouldn't water them as frequently as you do in the summer because you run the risk of rot. i basically leave all true cacti dry, dry, dry over winter...last watering late october/early november and then i water, just a touch, late january/early february and then pick up the usual schedule come late april. euphorbia's get watered every 6 weeks in winter and same for aeoniums. crassula's (jades and the like) get monthly waterings over winter. none of the succulents or cacti do much in the way of growth in winter - at least not where i'm located. well, except for the one jade and the one aeonium...i have them in a west-facing window and they both have little growth spurts in january. the jades and crassula's in the other room with an east window don't do anything in winter.
     
  9. Bluewing

    Bluewing Well-Known Member

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    Different people use different mixes for their hoya that are good. I use small amounts of soil with more amounts of small pieces of orchid bark and believe it or not, fake snow, or pieces of packing peanuts. The fake snow is basically the the same thing, only in small round balls which makes for a well draining mix.

    Temp levels are average, 65 degrees overnight, 75 daytime.

    They like bright indirect light most of the day with a few hrs of direct sun. H.compacta (hindu rope) wasn't blooming until it was getting hours of direct sun.

    The soil should be allowed to dry between waterings.

    Reg fertilizer with a high middle number to boost flowering like, 10-15-10
     
  10. gladi34

    gladi34 Member

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    Joclyn /Bluewing

    Thanks very much for this. You guys are so helpful I should have signed up on this forum earlier (then maybe I wouldn’t have lost the one cactus I loved best and the so many others).

    I am planning to change all the soil in my cactus and Hoya pots tomorrow as I have used regular compost on all of them being a first timer with little time for research.

    I know the timing is not perfect but I don’t think they will last till spring.

    Will keep you posted. Thanks very much once again I really appreciate all your help.
     
  11. Teddybear

    Teddybear Member

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    Regarding Hoya Kerrii:
    It sounds as if you may have a leaf cutting of kerrii ( just leaf with a small portion of leaf stem). I have this type of cutting of kerrii and have had it since 2005, so far I only have 4 leaves and this year I got a flower spike, I have read many articles and they have stated that this type of cutting never does well. I don't mind it is a space saver. It is still in the original 4" pot I bought it in and this one gets very large. I agree that it should be in well drained soil with drainage holes in the pot. I water, then let dry a bit, when growing, if yours ever does, more water. Another note: if your cutting is the variagated type, this is also a slow grower.
     
  12. gladi34

    gladi34 Member

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    Thanks for all this advice.

    It is now in a clay pot with cactus soil. I cant do much about temp and sunlight -- its winter (1C) outside and about 20C when the heater is on for about 5 hrs a day.

    I hope the new soil and a little bit of sun in the coming months will 'force' it to grow.

    Thanks for all the help

    Michelle
     

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