[gardeners] Hoya blooming!

Liz Albrook (gardeners@globalgarden.com)
Sun, 19 Jul 1998 10:42:21 +0000

I've gotten the first hoya blooms.  This particular hoya, which is 
supposed to be hoya carnosa but isn't, has blossoms that smell like 
chocolate liquer with a hint of cinnamon -- very exotic.  There are 3 
blooming pendula, each a cluster of about 30 flowers.  The flowers 
are about 1/2 inch in diameter with a pale pink fuzzy background, 
dark pink petals and white stamen.  (One day I may get around to 
learning the appropriate terminology [latinus impressimus] for all 
those flower parts.)  True to hoya standards, the blooms are 
completely scentless during the daylight hours and become quite heady 
after sunset -- the aroma of chocolate was pervasive by 11pm.

This is one of the plants I bought at a local nurseries going out of 
business sale last September.  It was in a 4 inch pot and set me back 
a whopping $0.75.  It now fills a 12" diameter hanging pot.  The 
conventional wisdom about hoyas is that they grow very slowly and are 
demanding about moisture.  That hasn't been my experience with any of 
the 13 different hoyas that I have.  Some of these were in sad shape 
when I bought them -- infected with fungal diseases (I picked off 
lots of leaves) and showing signs of long term neglect.  They are, 
with one exception, healthy plants now.  Perhaps I should say were 
healthy plants -- they've been sitting on the carport through this 
heatwave and I've neglected them quite a bit by not watering them 
regularly.  Still, they seem to be growing happily with a touch of 
balanced fertilizer and water when I remember them.