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Sep 29, 2015 4:31 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
My little Hoya mathilde, in a 3" pot, whom I've had for maybe a little over a month is developing yellow on the leaves. It was quite dry, and the leaves were lightening up, so I watered it. Now it's even worse! Here are two pics--one with flash and one without. See the yellowing? What would this indicate? It's in bright indirect light. Thank you!


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Sep 29, 2015 6:11 PM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: Ukraine Region: United States of America Bird Bath, Fountain and Waterfall Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Are some of the leaves buried in the soil? My eyes aren't the best but I'm seeing what appears to be some leaf petioles not visible, as though they are beneath the soil line. I see a couple of leaves (the one at far right and the one at center bottom of the first photo) that appear to have soft, brown spots which makes me think there might be a fungal issue but it could just be those leaves are getting yellowish-brown and mushy because they are rotting.

It looks to me like the soil or plant might be retaining too much moisture. Like other succulents, Hoyas store water in their leaves. I'd remove the plant from the pot, remove those soft leaves and those that look almost totally yellow, allow the roots to dry out for a day or two and re-pot in a chunky potting medium. I do see a good amount of what appears to be perlite on top of the soil but there may not be enough air circulation around the roots of the plant which may be causing moisture retention. I use a lot of orchid bark mix in with potting soil for my hoyas ... well, actually I use the same mix for every plant that I grow but I live in a very humid climate so that mix gives good drainage and allows for good air circulation at root level.

Hopefully someone more familiar will be along with suggestions soon.
~ 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!


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Sep 29, 2015 8:48 PM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
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It does seem it got overwatered. I would do as Lin mentioned, pull out the remaining good leaves, let dry and plant again in a coarser media like orchid bark mix, smaller lava rocks, clay rocks, so there is really more air circulation at the root zone area. I do hope it has some good roots left still. And use a much smaller container, you only got very few good leaves left.
Avatar for Plantomaniac08
Sep 30, 2015 9:55 AM CST

How big is the root ball? Hoyas like to be pot-bound and aren't too happy with being overpotted (what I mean is that it looks very overpotted, but if the rootball was large, that wouldn't be the case).

Yellow leaves can either mean it was overwatered or allowed to dry out too much. You have to find the perfect medium with these; they don't want to be wet (although nothing that I know of wants to stay wet unless it's a bog plant), but they don't want to dry out completely either. Too much either way seems to cause yellowing leaves. Now how I figured out what that perfect medium was for mine, I wish I could tell you, but it was just more trial and error than anything.
Last edited by Plantomaniac08 Sep 30, 2015 9:56 AM Icon for preview
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Sep 30, 2015 4:31 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
No, there were no leaves below the soil. And yes, some of the leaves were rotted, and they came right off when I touched it. It didn't get overwatered--at least not by me, as I made sure it was dry before I watered, as I do with all my hoyas. I've had it a month or so, and it wasn't overwatered in that time.

Okay, I repotted it in a 2" clay pot with orchid bark and perlite. Below is a pic, and you can see how many leaves are left--not many! And at least two or three of those are more than half yellow and look like they will fall off soon. It did have a very small amount of roots. All I can do is wait, I suppose, but it looks to me like it sure doesn't have a good chance of making it. Thanks so much for the prompt replies!


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Sep 30, 2015 4:50 PM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Give PEACE a chance!
Adeniums Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox
Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder
Good luck saecho! I read somewhere, but this is with orchid leaves. some growers would water or spray mist with solution with epsom salt. I am not sure if it will work on your plant. Hoya leaves are more succulent than most orchid leaves so maybe give it a week and try to do an epsom salt water solution directly on the root zone area.
Last edited by tarev Sep 30, 2015 4:50 PM Icon for preview
Avatar for Plantomaniac08
Sep 30, 2015 5:06 PM CST

Sometimes plants aren't healthy to start with and their quick demise has nothing to do with your care.
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Sep 30, 2015 5:42 PM CST
Name: Lin Vosbury
Sebastian, Florida (Zone 10a)

Region: Ukraine Region: United States of America Bird Bath, Fountain and Waterfall Region: Florida Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Birds Butterflies Bee Lover Hummingbirder Container Gardener
Maybe you can contact the nursery or vendor where you purchased 'Mathilde' and see what advice they might have. Since you haven't had it very long and it's doing so poorly, maybe they will offer to replace it.
~ 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!


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Sep 30, 2015 7:40 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
I got it from Cowboyflowerman on bay, and I don't think I've ever heard about him ever replacing plants, but I could be wrong.
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Sep 30, 2015 8:40 PM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Give PEACE a chance!
Adeniums Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox
Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder
Looking at the first picture again..where those leaves planted without the vine stem?
It seems the remaining green ones are still attached to some stem. Is that stem the ones with roots?

Maybe it needs the vine stem with the leaves to form the roots, otherwise the leaf alone will just rot if stuck in the media. Or if you really want to root the leaf alone, maybe do like we usually do with the other types of succulents, lay it on the soil and keep warm till roots come out.
Avatar for Plantomaniac08
Oct 1, 2015 12:43 AM CST

Hoyas won't produce new vines from a leaf from what I've read (even if the leaf were to root), you need an actual vine fo make a "new plant." There's a gimmick around Valentine's Day where you'll find a single 'Kerri' leaf rooted (and sometimes painted), but they die eventually.
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Oct 1, 2015 9:00 AM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Give PEACE a chance!
Adeniums Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox
Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder
Oh yes, Hoya kerri variegata is really reticent to form leaves. My plant just makes one or 2 leaves each year, its leaves and vine really thicker and less flexible compared to other hoyas. Have not dared to root a part of it, too afraid it just might not make it, being so reticent as it is, don't want to waste the precious vine and stem.

Saecho, give your plants some time. Plants are beginning to adjust their growing mode now that it is Fall, whether your grow them indoors or outdoors. Sunlight is getting shorter and temps going cooler. I hope your plant recovers. Smiling Hoyas are tropical plants so it will pout first before it adjusts.
Avatar for Plantomaniac08
Oct 1, 2015 9:34 AM CST

Or in the case of the South, the sun is non-existent at the moment. Sad
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Dec 18, 2015 3:01 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
Thank you for all the replies. No, Tarev, none of the leaves were planted without the stem. Well, the plant died. Eventually all the leaves yellowed and fell off, and the stem was dead (brown in the center). It was such a small plant to begin with that I think the shock of coming all the way from FL to CA was just too much for it. I don't think I'll try another one. Instead, I'm thinking of a Musa Poquito banana plant and a Red Buttons hoya. Wish me luck!
Avatar for Plantomaniac08
Dec 18, 2015 7:06 PM CST

I have read that one is more successful rooting shorter stems than longer stems, but I think there is a minimum requirement for stem length. Not too short, but not too long. It sounds like the stem you received was too short. That with, as you said the added stress, it was unlikely to survive.
Last edited by Plantomaniac08 Dec 19, 2015 8:43 AM Icon for preview
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Jan 5, 2016 11:23 AM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Give PEACE a chance!
Adeniums Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox
Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder
Hi Saecho, sorry I have been away for the whole month of Dec, so just finally catching up with the threads. Sad to hear about your plant loss. Hope you can try again..but maybe time the purchase when it is heading into Spring rather than heading into winter. I have learned my lesson in that aspect..really got to observe the seasonal change.

So you are going to try a banana plant?? Would love to see how that goes with you. I have never dared to try any type of banana, knowing how they truly enjoy a more tropical and humid setting in my homeland. I know there are some cold tolerant varieties but do watch the temps.
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Jan 6, 2016 10:49 PM CST
Thread OP
Name: seaecho
Phelan, Ca. (Zone 8b)
There is ALWAYS room for one more p
I couldn't help it, tarev! I needed a plant fix, and couldn't wait until spring! I'm terrible that way. I have a Musa Poquito that is doing well, and my Little Prince is hanging in there. They will be kept indoors exclusively. Not outside even in spring, because it's so dry here. I did keep one alive years ago that I grew in hydro, and it did very well, and I'm hoping these do too. I love banana plants, particularly the dwarves. It never gets below 62 where the plants are.
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Jan 6, 2016 11:02 PM CST
Name: tarev
San Joaquin County, CA (Zone 9b)
Give PEACE a chance!
Adeniums Cat Lover Garden Photography Region: California Houseplants Plays in the sandbox
Orchids Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Composter Cactus and Succulents Dragonflies Hummingbirder
Oh okay, so bananas are in good hands Big Grin My plant fix in winter are my Oncidium orchids, they are happily in bloom right now and I am also watching my clivia plants, I was able to make it bloom last year at this time..hoping for a comeback! I miss my Hoya carnosa KQ though, I have it hidden in my growcamp, and it has been raining a lot so I have not been able to peek and see how it is doing.
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