Friday, April 24, 2015

My favorite plant this week: Hoya multiflora

Even with many of my plants looking parched, it's hard to choose a favorite during this time of year.  Alstroemeria, Centranthus, Cotula lineariloba, Argyranthemum and Solanum are all in full bloom.  My Arthropodium cirratum are getting ready to burst into flower and the Agapanthus scattered throughout the garden have produced buds.  Still, what's grabbing my attention right now is the Hoya multiflora (syn. Centrostemma multiflora) sitting in my home office.  I picked up this plant at a local cactus and succulent show and sale a couple of weeks ago.




I'd been looking for this plant for some time.  I had a smaller plant a couple of years ago but I gave it too much sun and too little water and it perished.  I've been looking for another ever since.  When I saw this one at the succulent sale, I snapped it up, practically under the nose of another shopper.  (There were more hanging nearby.)

Also known as the shooting star hoya, it had a few buds but no blooms when I brought it home.  It now has more buds and lots of blooms.

Close-up of the off-white buds

Looking at the blooms, you can understand how it got its common name

According to some on-line sources, this evergreen shrub can get 4 to 5 feet feet tall if provided the conditions it prefers, although sources vary significantly in describing those conditions.  Some call for full to partial sun, while others refer to filtered light.  Some say to keep the plant moist, while others warn against over-watering.  All that appears clear is that it won't tolerate low temperatures, which isn't surprising as the plant's origins are in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines.  Having given my other plant too much sun and too little water, I'm giving this one bright indoor light and allowing it to dry out during regular weekly waterings.  It looks happy thus far.

The flowers produce a sticky dew, which has a sweet taste


Loree of danger garden is hosting her monthly wrap-up of favorite plants with her post today.  Earlier this month, I featured Gazania rigens hybrids and, I'm happy to report that, just yesterday, I was finally able to locate more of my favorite G. 'Kiss Frosty White Flame', which I'll be adding to my front garden this weekend.



Enjoy your weekend, however you plan to spend your time!


All material © 2012-2015 by Kris Peterson for Late to the Garden Party

21 comments:

  1. Wow that Hoya is a definite stunner!

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    1. This one is big enough to make a dramatic addition to my office too. I hope it continues to find the space hospitable.

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  2. Replies
    1. It's supposed to bloom year-round too!

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  3. I'm dying of jealousy over that hoya! It's so nice and full! I have one of these, too, that I grew from a cutting almost 4 years ago. I've cut it back repeatedly trying to get it to branch out, but it never does. It's slow to start growing again after you cut it (for me at least) so it's still pretty small. It finally has a couple buds near the base that have been swelling slowly. I hope it finally branches out. I'm also lusting after a variegated form that I've seen pictures of, but no sources in the U.S.

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    1. I saw the variegated form when I was researching the plant on-line but I've never seen that one either. Logee's used to carry this one but doesn't do so at present - the closest species they advertise is H. cumingiana. If my plant does well, I'll try my hand propagating it as well.

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    2. It's not hard to root, just slower than other hoyas I've propagated. My brother rather likes it, so the latest trimming turned into a cutting for him.

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  4. What an exciting plant to feature :) It does look happy with your current regimen... So glad you were able to find those Gazanias!

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    1. It may be too early to tell if I'm doing right by the plant but, as I clearly did wrong last time, I'm relying on the counterpoint to the advice I followed last time.

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  5. Fantastic! I love the common name, it couldn't be more perfect.

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    1. As common names go, this one is descriptive.

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  6. That's pretty fabulous! And don't you just love that conflicting care info? It's more common than you'd think. Thanks for participating and linking Kris!

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    1. I think it's harder to give universal plant advice than we'd like to think. Plants recommended for full sun quite often do better with some shade during the hottest part of the day here - the light requirements fail to factor prevailing temperatures into the mix. The same is often true about tags proclaiming drought tolerance - drought tolerant in the PNW is a very different thing than drought tolerance in SoCal, where the period of dryness can extend for an exceptionally long period. I imagine frost tolerance predictions also fail take to take duration into consideration in many instances.

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  7. That's just great about the filtered light/part sun/keep moist/don't over water conundrum. Apparently either everything or nothing you do will keep the plant alive/kill it.

    Um, so you tasted the dew? You knew that was OK to do or just were feeling reckless, like you needed a little bump of plant juice? Maybe it was after you read all the conflicting care information and you were just ready to eat the durned thing? I'm guilty of not wearing gloves enough when I'm working with plants but I'm pretty good about not putting them in my mouth... : )

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    1. Well, in my defense (lest you think me completely reckless), I did read that an elementary school teacher kept one of these plants in her classroom and used dew-tasting to teach her students about nectar-seeking birds. And, I tried just the tiniest taste...

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  8. That Hoya is magnificent - the flowers are so unusual....what a great plant to feature!

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  9. I' be never seen this Hoya before, it' s amazing. I can see why you snapped it up.

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  10. Shooting stars, yes…but I immediately thought of squids! It is a beautiful, interesting bloom. I understand your determination to find another one!

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  11. Oh wow, I've never seen this one before. It's going on my wish list!

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  12. What a neat plant!

    I have a small Hoya but I am not sure what its bloom will be like. I got it as a little 2 leaf start 2 years ago and it's now got 10 leaves. Not a very fast grower.

    The great thing about this plant is that my mother's cousin brought the starts to a family reunion 2 years ago and they come from the "mother" plant that my great-grandmother kept in her house. The cousin got the "mother" plant about 40 years ago before my great-grandmother passed away and has been tending the Hoyas ever since. I hope I can keep mine healthy and eventually get some blooms.

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  13. The Hoya flowers are beautiful!

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