Catch a Shooting Star

Catch a Shooting Star

    

    “ Grab a shooting star and hang it on your front porch, in the early light of day….Buy a shooting star and hang it in some bright shade, let it bring you joy today…”

    For some strange reason, when I see this plant, an old Perry Como song starts playing in my head, with a little change in the words, of course. This unusual hunk of gorgeous greenery is called a Shooting Star Hoya. “ Wait—did you say hoya? I thought hoyas were succulent plants with thick waxy leaves.” Yes they are, except this one.
True, most hoyas have thick leaves with a waxy coating, which makes them a plant that can stand going dry without too much harm. The leaves can be pointed  or round or totally curled up  in little curlicues! Many have degrees of variegation that makes them quite colorful. Mr. Shooting Star has dark green leaves that are much larger than most hoya leaves, and not nearly as thick. Also, if you are familiar with the way that most hoyas grow, you would expect long trailing stems. And on these looong trailing stems are where the flower structures will form. Take another look at Mr. round leaf here.  These plants like to twine and climb and generally get entangled in whatever is near. This makes them tricky to take in for the winter, and extricate them from their indoor habitat. They always rebloom on the same stem structures, so if you give them a trim, you are also cutting off future flowers. “Oh dear! What’s a hoya lover to do?

    Ta daaa! Mr. Shooting Star to the rescue. Notice that his habit is broad and bushy rather than long and dangly.  As he spreads out, he gets more and more flowers. None of this waiting till the stems are mature enough to bloom; it blooms right out of the chute. Take another look at the flower cluster on a “normal” hoya. They hang down in a tight downward facing shape called an umbel. Now look at Mr. Shooting Star.  Holy comets batman! They really do look like shooting stars! And these strange looking things that look like space shuttle capsules are their buds.
    

    If this new hoya has any drawbacks at all, it is that they can’t be allowed to dry out as much. They shouldn’t be allowed to droop. I water when the top of the soil has dried out and the weight of the pot is less. They can take the heat outside as long as they are in shade. I don’t have to water them every day unless it’s windy and super hot. I also mulched the top of my container in crushed granite.

    So fly on over to Calverts to catch a Shooting Star,  before I break out in song again.

2 comments (Add your own)

1. Jamalko wrote:
Awesome is all I can say. Great pictures and of crsuoe the subject manner is amazing. What a handsome family. You did a super job capturing them. So glad I got to see these. Aunty K in Ontario

Wed, October 3, 2012 @ 2:21 AM

2. Tinybones wrote:
Hello!!!!!
Do you mind telling me whar the proper Hoya name for Mr. Round leaf would be? The leaves are so special and I've been searching for the internet for the right name and came across your post! Hoping you could help...!

Thank you for your time.

Thu, September 19, 2013 @ 10:46 PM

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