Hoyas forum→Hoya carnosa HELP!

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Name: Alba
London, UK
Image
Albaintherainbow25
Jul 22, 2021 5:18 AM CST
Hi everyone :)

My name is Alba and about 3 months ago I bought a gorgeous Hoya Carnosa Tricolor (what a beauty!) but I've noticed that all the little leaves that were there when I bought it are still…little.

The plant didn't grow at all (also, noticed a yellow leaf and a couple of soft ones and some of the new leaves even dried out!)

I'm obviously not an expert but I'm using a moisture reader to avoid overwaterning, and it's still not completely dry even after more that 20 days (is that normal?)

Moral of the story is: my plant looks great atm but there are signs that something is wrong, and I'm really feeling a bad mom.

what can I do?

Thanks a lot for your help 🙂
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Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Image
BigBill
Jul 22, 2021 5:27 AM CST
There is nothing wrong from what I see. Hoyas are not particularly fast growing plants. I have the exact plant and mine likes to grow dry. Too much moisture makes them unhappy.
When the plant is happy it makes lots of new shoots with tiny leaves. Those leaves expand very slowly.
Hoyas do not need a lot of light. Just make sure that the pot it is in has drainage holes. I water mine about once every two to three weeks.

And you may have discovered the problem with growing plants, moisture meters!!!! They are terribly inaccurate and in my mind useless! I suggest that if you want to learn how to grow plants, a moisture meter is not the way to go.
When you grow orchids, it is all about the ROOTS!!!
Name: Alba
London, UK
Image
Albaintherainbow25
Jul 22, 2021 5:35 AM CST
Hi Bill, thank you so much for your answer :)

The thing that worries me the most is that the little leaves that were about to grow dried out now! tried to touch one of them and it fell off Crying

About moisture meters, really? Oh man, I knew I couldn't trust them! I find it really difficult to put my finger into the soil and actually understand if the plant needs water or not, but I'll learn.

BigBill said:There is nothing wrong from what I see. Hoyas are not particularly fast growing plants. I have the exact plant and mine likes to grow dry. Too much moisture makes them unhappy.
When the plant is happy it makes lots of new shoots with tiny leaves. Those leaves expand very slowly.
Hoyas do not need a lot of light. Just make sure that the pot it is in has drainage holes. I water mine about once every two to three weeks.

And you may have discovered the problem with growing plants, moisture meters!!!! They are terribly inaccurate and in my mind useless! I suggest that if you want to learn how to grow plants, a moisture meter is not the way to go.


Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Image
BigBill
Jul 22, 2021 6:03 AM CST
Listen Alba, all you need to do is water it well every two weeks and see how things go. If you forget and it's three weeks, it will be okay.
But every time you lift that plant you will learn what it feels like after watering and when it is dry. Over time you will know just by picking it up.

Yes they lose leaves which is no big deal. Put Hoyas are really easy to grow. Just as long as they are not over watered. Plus don't give them too much sun.
You will catch on. It is a really nice plant.
When you grow orchids, it is all about the ROOTS!!!
Name: Alba
London, UK
Image
Albaintherainbow25
Jul 22, 2021 6:10 AM CST
You're so right! I love this plant, the leaves are gorgeous and I really want to look after her. I'll follow your precious advice. thanks a lot!


BigBill said:Listen Alba, all you need to do is water it well every two weeks and see how things go. If you forget and it's three weeks, it will be okay.
But every time you lift that plant you will learn what it feels like after watering and when it is dry. Over time you will know just by picking it up.

Yes they lose leaves which is no big deal. Put Hoyas are really easy to grow. Just as long as they are not over watered. Plus don't give them too much sun.
You will catch on. It is a really nice plant.


Name: Big Bill
Livonia, Michigan (Zone 6a)
American Orchid Society Judge
Region: United States of America Critters Allowed Growing under artificial light Echinacea Hostas Region: Michigan
Butterflies Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Orchids Cat Lover Birds Bee Lover
Image
BigBill
Jul 22, 2021 6:37 AM CST
Well everyone will have an opinion on how to grow them but years ago I learned how to grow these guys. I gave them way too much water.
You're welcome!
Welcome to the site.
When you grow orchids, it is all about the ROOTS!!!
Name: Alba
London, UK
Image
Albaintherainbow25
Jul 22, 2021 6:54 AM CST
Thank you, happy to be part of this community :)

Yeah I bet, that's so easy to overwater the plants! You think you're giving them love but, instead, you're hurting them, and that's a lesson I think I'm learning :)

BigBill said:Well everyone will have an opinion on how to grow them but years ago I learned how to grow these guys. I gave them way too much water.
You're welcome!
Welcome to the site.


Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Procrastinator
Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener Houseplants
Image
plantladylin
Jul 22, 2021 10:12 AM CST
Hi Alba, Welcome!

Your Krimson Queen Hoya (Hoya carnosa 'Tricolor') is very pretty. Yellowing leaves can be a sign of both over watering and under watering. I've been growing Hoyas (and many other tropical plants) for 54 years now but I've never used a moisture meter because I've read many times that they are quite unreliable at detecting proper soil moisture.

About 16 years ago, I learned from a Hoya nursery in Hawaii that a good potting medium for these types of plants is a combination of potting soil, with lots of chunky matter mixed in. I always add lots of orchid bark mix, perlite, or coconut husk chips to potting soil for all of my Hoyas and other plants. Some people add Leca (clay pebbles) to the soil, as an alternative to the bark. This type of potting mix prevents root suffocation and rot by allowing for excellent aeration at root level and aiding in proper drainage. This type of potting media dries out much, much faster than using a dense potting soil alone but it sure helps greatly in preventing root issues.

All of that being said, I wouldn't suggest repotting a possibly already stressed plant. If you can determine that over watering was the issue, just allow the soil to dry for longer periods and if you can determine that the soil was not getting moistened at root level, water thoroughly and wait until the top 1 to 2 inches of soil feels dry before adding more water. The key is to try to keep the soil barely moist, not too wet and never allowing it to remain totally dry for long.

With moisture meters being so unreliable, it's difficult to know if your plant is staying too wet, or too dry but if new leaves have dried out and dropped, I'm leaning towards lack of sufficient moisture. When you water, remove the plant from the decorative hanging container, pour water atop the soil until it's freely exiting the drainage holes. Allow the plant to sit out and drain for awhile; never allow water to remain in the bottom of the pretty outer pot.

Again, Welcome and please keep us posted on how your plant is doing! Also, you may like to check our our Hoya Forum where those of us who grow these great plants like to chat about and share photos about our plants. The Hoya Forum can be accessed here: https://garden.org/forums/view...
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Alba
London, UK
Image
Albaintherainbow25
Jul 22, 2021 11:36 AM CST
Hi :)

Thank you so much for your answer and for welcoming me in this community!

I'm just a little bit worried because all the very small leaves never had the chance to grow and they look really dry to me, so it looks like the plant is going backwards instead of growing as it should.

I really hope I won't kill it!

plantladylin said:Hi Alba, Welcome!

Your Krimson Queen Hoya (Hoya carnosa 'Tricolor') is very pretty. Yellowing leaves can be a sign of both over watering and under watering. I've been growing Hoyas (and many other tropical plants) for 54 years now but I've never used a moisture meter because I've read many times that they are quite unreliable at detecting proper soil moisture.

About 16 years ago, I learned from a Hoya nursery in Hawaii that a good potting medium for these types of plants is a combination of potting soil, with lots of chunky matter mixed in. I always add lots of orchid bark mix, perlite, or coconut husk chips to potting soil for all of my Hoyas and other plants. Some people add Leca (clay pebbles) to the soil, as an alternative to the bark. This type of potting mix prevents root suffocation and rot by allowing for excellent aeration at root level and aiding in proper drainage. This type of potting media dries out much, much faster than using a dense potting soil alone but it sure helps greatly in preventing root issues.

All of that being said, I wouldn't suggest repotting a possibly already stressed plant. If you can determine that over watering was the issue, just allow the soil to dry for longer periods and if you can determine that the soil was not getting moistened at root level, water thoroughly and wait until the top 1 to 2 inches of soil feels dry before adding more water. The key is to try to keep the soil barely moist, not too wet and never allowing it to remain totally dry for long.

With moisture meters being so unreliable, it's difficult to know if your plant is staying too wet, or too dry but if new leaves have dried out and dropped, I'm leaning towards lack of sufficient moisture. When you water, remove the plant from the decorative hanging container, pour water atop the soil until it's freely exiting the drainage holes. Allow the plant to sit out and drain for awhile; never allow water to remain in the bottom of the pretty outer pot.

Again, Welcome and please keep us posted on how your plant is doing! Also, you may like to check our our Hoya Forum where those of us who grow these great plants like to chat about and share photos about our plants. The Hoya Forum can be accessed here: https://garden.org/forums/view...


Name: Alba
London, UK
Image
Albaintherainbow25
Jul 23, 2021 5:44 AM CST
Little update: I've checked the stem that had the droopy and yellow leaves and that's what I've found out (check pictures).

Do you think it's completely gone? should I try to put it in water? it looks rotten to me Sad
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Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: United States of America Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Garden Procrastinator
Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener Houseplants
Image
plantladylin
Jul 23, 2021 7:30 AM CST
The fine white feeder roots appear healthy but the last three photos do show something going on with the leaf petiole and leaf on the leaf; it looks to be soft and bent where it attaches to the stem. The leaf on the right and it's petiole look okay. The stem in the center without leaves is dead.

The main plant stem isn't black like I usually see with rot and the feeder roots look good. Does the stem feel firm when gently squeezed? If it feels soft or has any give when you squeeze it, there may be a fungal issue.

I'd be concerned about the nursery pot sitting down inside that pretty hanging planter because it may block proper air circulation which will definitely cause problems. Hoyas need really, really good air circulation at root level for the plant to remain healthy and thrive.
~ I'm an old gal who still loves playing in the dirt!
~ Playing in the dirt is my therapy ... and I'm in therapy a lot!


Name: Alba
London, UK
Image
Albaintherainbow25
Jul 23, 2021 7:38 AM CST
Thank you so much for your answer :)

The main stem looks quite firm to me, but the ones where the leaves are attached are really soft.

Oh, I never considered that the pot could cause damage to the plant! I might consider to create holes in it.

What would you suggest do with this stem? should I cut the leaves and trying to put it in water? Or in a plastic bag creating a humid environment?
I would love to rescue it Sad

plantladylin said:The fine white feeder roots appear healthy but the last three photos do show something going on with the leaf petiole and leaf on the leaf; it looks to be soft and bent where it attaches to the stem. The leaf on the right and it's petiole look okay. The stem in the center without leaves is dead.

The main plant stem isn't black like I usually see with rot and the feeder roots look good. Does the stem feel firm when gently squeezed? If it feels soft or has any give when you squeeze it, there may be a fungal issue.

I'd be concerned about the nursery pot sitting down inside that pretty hanging planter because it may block proper air circulation which will definitely cause problems. Hoyas need really, really good air circulation at root level for the plant to remain healthy and thrive.


Name: Peggy
SW Oklahoma (Zone 7b)
Butterflies Houseplants
Image
Magpie26
Jul 24, 2021 5:41 PM CST
I don't have anything that Lin and Bill haven't already said so I'll just say Welcome!
Name: Alba
London, UK
Image
Albaintherainbow25
Jul 27, 2021 5:09 AM CST
Thank you so much! Lovey dubby

Magpie26 said:I don't have anything that Lin and Bill haven't already said so I'll just say Welcome!


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