Plant Diary | May 2021
It’s time for another plant journal update, and this month I wanted to capture some photos of my little cuttings as I know that they will grow lots and look very different in just a few short months.
Hoya is probably my favourite genus of houseplant, and I have fallen deep down the rabbit hole with them. I have bought tiny cuttings from eBay and Etsy sellers because they are affordable that way at just a few pounds each – I refuse to pay silly money for a plant, no matter how beautiful it is. I have the time and the patience to put in to growing these plants from cuttings, and I really enjoy watching them root then push out new leaves. I don’t think I’d get the same sense of satisfaction if I took care of a more mature (and more expensive) plant!
My hoya collection fits on one small table and the windowsill and when they grow a bit bigger I will trellis them to keep their footprint small, so although there are quite a few of them, they take up less space than a single palm or aroid! Hoya cuttings are always in demand so if they end up too big for my space, I can always prune them and sell cuttings for an affordable price to give back to the community I bought my cuttings from. I don’t plan to make a profit from them, but just to put cuttings back into circulation so that other people can enjoy collecting them as much as I do.
Okay, tell a lie, one of these is not like the others, but it’s an aeschynanthus which is a different genus to hoya, but very similar. I love the pattern on the leaves! This one has a few names, the botanical species name is longicaulis but it is sometimes also listed under a synonym as aeschynanthus marmoratus.
I have given a few of my plants trellises fashioned from copper wire which I shaped around a big glass jar. Etsy sellers flog these for £20 each which makes me laugh because 5m of 2mm copper wire cost less than £5 and will make many, many trellises for very little effort.
I sometimes like to sit and stare at my plants, especially on sunny afternoons. It’s very relaxing. I am fully aware that I am a crazy plant person but they make me happy, so it doesn’t really matter. It’s a fairly harmless hobby and habit as hobbies and habits go.
My hoya polyneura has finished putting out a second set of leaves and the most recent pair are much bigger and look more typical in size and shape than the first pair. It lives in the little IKEA glasshouse but I took it out for photos.
This was sold to me as hoya lacunosa but to be honest I can’t tell the difference between lacunosa and khroniana. I’ll see what it is if it ever blooms. I gave it a trellis as it was starting to be a bit top heavy and space is at a premium in the glasshouse!
I’m pretty sure this is hoya sp. aff. burtoniae although the Etsy seller sold it to me as hoya tsangii. There are a few species that look very similar – bilobata, DS-70, burtoniae and sp. aff. burtoniae. The real hoya tsangii actually looks very different so I don’t know why that one gets confused with the others. Anyway, whatever this one is called, it has soft, fuzzy leaves and I like it very much. I split the cutting in two when I got it and both pieces are now putting out new leaves and stems and filling in the pot nicely.
The last two are both classified as hoya verticillata but they look like different plants to me. I think the reason they are both classified as verticillata despite looking very different to one another might be because they grow in different parts of the world and so they’ve adapted to different climates, but I’m not sure. Hoya naming rules and botanical classifications are still a bit of a mystery to me, and to people with a lot more experience and knowledge than me. It’s all part of the fun.
I did warn you I’d fallen down a rabbit hole!