Succulent Ramblings

I like to ramble on about my plants... and other things! My hope is to log the progress of plants and talk about my frustrations with others. So, tune in, turn on, or drop out (if you find it boring!)

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Lot's going on!

I'll just jump right in...  H. lucardensiana is FINALLY taking off. I've had this for nearly 2 years, grown from a cutting, and it's not that it hasn't grown at all, but it's just been SO slow!  Well, Now I have 4 new growth points and there are two peduncles on the plant, one of which is budding up!  I'm so excited.  It's such a sweet little plant.  I'll be watching the bud closely to get a photo when it blooms!

Oh, so many others are growing!!  H. paulshirleyi has grown all winter, and the leaves have turned a beautiful red.  I moved it back slightly from the window, thinking maybe as the sun grows stronger, it might be TOO much for it, and I clipped a vine to the shelf above.  Lo and behold, today I found that vine has THREE little peduncles forming!!

Apparently they are going to be tiny flowers.  I'm very excited.  On the same shelf, I found that one peduncle on clemonsiorum budding up again.  I got this one from Carol last year and it rooted nicely but has not grown an iota.  It had a peduncle on it when I got it, and it has budded up a couple times, but it seems to abort before it matures.  Maybe this will be the time.  But to be honest, I'd be much more excited about new growth!  I'm watching it like a hawk!
It is one gnarly looking plant!  So sort of prehistoric looking...

I moved my H. pubicalyx 'Bright One' from my bedroom into the spare bedroom (it hangs about 5' behind where I sit here at the computer).  The other morning, I was up very early at the computer and it was blooming - the fragrance was absolutely overpowering!  Here's what the blooms look like:
Hoya fitchii is doing well for me this time.  In fact, it recently bloomed:
I'd gotten a cutting of fitchii from (I think) Ted Green some time ago.  It never did well for me.  Then last year, I got a nice sized cutting from Carol and it rooted fast and has grown quite a bit.  I don't get it - Carol and Ted are both in Hawaii, but Ted's cuttings have always been kind of stingy, for starters, and then they never seem to do that well for me.  Carol's are always very generous and they root and take right off, often time blooming within a year.

Lobbii is also budding up...
It seems like lobbii's flowers take FOREVER to mature.  So many Hoyas bud up and bloom fairly fast, sometimes so fast that I miss the "grand opening".  No lobbii!  I wonder why I don't get more demand for this species.  It has an unusual growth habit for a Hoya, but it's such an EASY one to grow, and it roots fast, and it doesn't seem to take forever to bloom.  It surprises me that I don't sell the hell out of it!!

I started this blog last week and never "published" it so will just continue on, on this fine Sunday.  

First, a quick rant... We have a house next door - it's a rental.  Has a TERRIBLE parking pad at the back of the house that abuts 42nd St., a very busy street, and it's one of those where you can't really see until you're out in the street. Add to the fact that it's got about a 45 degree incline, and wintertime snow/ice...  So the people who typically live in that house rarely use the driveway/parking pad.  They park out on the street, but there is a no parking zone and parking starts back two houses down from that house.  So it goes the rental on the corner, our house, then our neighbor to the west, whose house they park in front of.  Well, new renters often try to get away with parking in the no parking zone, so I just call the cops and after a couple tickets, they stop doing that.  

Well, the people who own the house are fixing it up to sell it.  They (and their agents) have been consistently parking in the no parking area, and I have been tolerant since it's a long way to haul stuff to legal parking.  Well, today, after a long and late day/night at work last night, so I'm exhausted and bleary-eyed, I went to move my car so Mark could go somewhere and **BAM** I hit their truck.  Oh, man, was I mad.  First of all, it's freakin' Sunday!  I guess I figured no one would be there on a Sunday.  But put that aside.  THEY are illegally parked, and now MY insurance is going to go up.  How fair is that?!!  I'm just so mad I could spit.  I know, I know... it is my fault because I hit a non-moving object.  But for the fact that they were parked illegally, it would have never happened!  Is that FAIR??  I'm really more pissed off at MYSELF than anyone, for not calling the cops every single time these people have parked illegally.  But believe me, I will in the future!!

Ok, so enough ranting... now on to funner things that will make me feel less P.O.'d!

So check it out!

I was tidying up my australis ssp. tenuipes and found this lone flower!  First, it's weird because the umbels on these are usually 10-15 flowers.  Second, this species usually blooms in the fall.  I've been a little concerned that it's not very happy lately - just some familiar signs that reminded me of a couple years ago when the whole thing collapsed and I had to take all kinds of cuttings.  But it's looking happy as can be and I'm hoping this little single flower is a sign that it's doing well...

And then I found this above my sink...
Hoya shepherdell has a single umbel open (or I should say "openING" - as you can see, there are a few flowers yet unopened...)  What a stunning little flower ball!  The flowers themselves are about the same size as carnosa flowers, but the pedicels are much shorter, giving it this little "tight ball" look.  And I love the mauve color.

Hoya lobbii has an open umbel of flowers as well:
I never tire of seeing lobbii flowers, but they hid under the foliage, so you have to watch for them.  They develop very slowly.  I grow mine on the top shelf in the GH in a somewhat shady spot and it's happy as can be.

I got a cutting of chinghungensis from Doug (of Vermont Hoyas) last summer and it is doing nicely in my sunroom...

The leaves on this are just adorable!  Itty-bitty heart-shaped leaves on a pendulant vine.  I can't wait for it to grow up!  I may take some cuttings and root to put back in the pot to make it fuller.  I'm sure it would also encourage it to grow.

But the most exciting news in MY Hoya camp is that the Hoya that is probably my favorite of all time Hoya has produced two new leaves!!!  This is Hoya deykeae...
Look at those outstanding leaves!!  I love this species.  First of all, the leaf shape is just interesting.  But the splashy, silver flecking on the leaves is absolutely stunning!  I've had this since 2009 and I got it as a cutting.  It has done beautifully for me, but it grows OH SO SLOW!!!  If it puts on 3 or more leaves a year, I'm thrilled.  And here are two new leaves!!  Maybe it will put on more growth this year.  It's one of those that Hoya growers describe as "difficult" so I worry about changing its condition since it's doing well...

Enough for this post!