Saturday, June 23, 2012

Hoya kerrii

Hoyas are neat plants. I haven't gotten one to bloom yet, but to be fair most of mine are too small to. Last year I started collecting a few small starts of variegated ones because I really like vines, and especially like variegation.

Hoya kerrii, accidental feet for size reference

I saw this one in the local garden center I frequent, but it was really too big. I don't have space for one that size! It sat there for at least two years. No one ever bought it. Meanwhile, I decided I wanted one really bad. I looked around on the web for a small start. By the time it ever gets large, I'll be in a bigger space for sure so no worries. Apparently a variegated  H. kerrii is really expensive. Most places were charging $20-40 for a 3-4 leaf vine. So out of curiosity I checked the price tag on the one at the garden center. $17.99. So here is this (rare?) Hoya, that no one likes or wants at insanely cheap price for it's exceptional size. I watched it get shuffled around, constantly being pushed out of the way for new stuff or to the back of the racks. It was almost like a game. Every time I went there, even if it was just for a pot, I would check to see if it was still there too. It always was. I wanted it, but always rationally talked myself out of buying due to my space constraints. One night I was there really late for something stupid I had run out of. There was a small Portulacaria afra variegata stuck into the soil. An employee must've been trying to reroot it and figured no one would even notice it in there. They probably expected that plant would sit there forever at this point.

So if you haven't already guessed we were coming to this, I bought it.

I have no idea what I'm going to do with a plant this large come winter when everything needs to come back inside. The only good thing is it doesn't like high light. I've already burned it a bit trying to figure out just how much light it needs. There's too much conflicting information about how to grow these. But more than anything else, I wish I could've been there to see the look on whatever employees face when they discovered that someone actually bought this thing, after years of having to take care of it. Years ago, I worked in retail sales, selling nutritional supplements in a store similar to a GNC. There's always a product no one wants. It sits there and you move it around until maybe it finally expires and you send it back to the warehouse to get disposed of. You see it every day and it just becomes part of the scenery of the job. You definitely notice the day it's gone. I always think, "Wow, someone actually wanted this!" Hell yes I wanted this.


  1. This is a very beautiful plant, and you got yourself a great buy! I have two of these, a lot smaller than yours, but I think they're just lovely, they're called the sweetheart hoya, and the variegated variety are a lot prettier I think; the leaves are just so beautiful, and the all yellow ones look very special. I've been told to keep them root bound in a small pot, and this helps them to flower, which is scented. Mine grows so slowly, so it was wise and lucky that you got a larger plant. I like the Hoya compacta, Indian rope, a lot too, it's crazily beautiful, and also comes in variegated form, see what you think. I'm saving for this one, and have found a good plant in a local garden center, that many people have ignored, hopefully it will go unnoticed until I get it.:-)

    1. Actually the variegated Hoya compacata was my 1st ever hoya! Mine is very small still, so it'll be a while before that one blooms. I'm always surprised to see how poorly Hoyas sell in general, but people like the immediate gratification of plants already in bloom around here. I hope you get lucky and people don't notice the Hoya you have your eye on either!!!