Sunday, March 16, 2014

Recycling Works Well

I am sure by now you are maybe already concluding that i am so deep into hoyas! And you are correct. I go home to the province more in a month than i am used to, just because i need to tend to my hoyas. I entrusted them to my sister, who hates them at first, but when they started to flower she is also now watering them with love and caring. My posted photos previous to these are all hoyas too!

The only thing not favorable for me is the hoyas inability to bloom when i am at home. It is very difficult to see them opening during weekends, so most of the time i can only photograph the still closed flower buds, like the one below. But even at this stage it is already alluring, don't you agree?

Hoyas need to have pot-bound roots for more flowers to come out. Sometimes i use recycled plastic bottles as their containers. Are you familiar with the bottle above? I am sure you do because the 1.5 L coke bottles are the best suited for them. The bottle's bottom half is inserted below to collect the leachates from the media during watering. That way a higher humidity is given to them for better growth.  

The above umbel is not intentionally placed at that position, it serendipitously flowered there. This hoya knows how to get attention! And this species got my sister hooked. 

This is how it looked when the flowers fully opened. Those corollas recurve backwards, leaving the protruding corona fully exposed. Don't you think it is amazing!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Hoyas for March GBBD

I lost track of dates again! When i am busy the 15th of the month is sacrificed, that means i forget to post for GBBD. I am just reminded when i see a link in Facebook. So, i suddenly get busy with the blog and hurriedly do the post. This is not uncommon for me, actually that is my normal habit with regards to sharing my blooms for GBBD. I hope i will not be relegated to the end of the linkers again.

I will be posting all hoyas now, as they are more unique than my usual posts. This is a different blooming set now, as most of them are just flowering for the first time. They are bought as 1- or 2-node cuttings last year, and their good growth and adaptation to our very hot climate in my province, proved wonderful as you will observe with my photos.

 This is a normal Hoya crassicaulis umbel, and being my oldest hoya, has been blooming for 3 years! Above photo is its normal appearance. Upon opening the corolla are spread apart which revert a few  hours after opening. It opens at night and the above is the normal look in the morning.

 This one is real special. The corollas are not able to revert its whole life, because there are plenty of blooms bumping one another not leaving any space for the corollas to move backwards. But that is a very welcome condition,

Even the space for the peduncle  is very thick not allowing any of them to move. It is a perfect round umbel.

 This is Hoya buotii of the purplish form, this is also its first bloom.

Hoya buotii, the yellow form with its prominently displayed corona and very thick hairs on the corolla.

Individually, they are so elegant, look at those proud and thick corona! Isn't it lovely?

This is the plant, and it has 2 simultaneous open umbels with one following.

Hoya mindorensis is also in its first flowering. This is its first bloom.

After dropping the first blooms, another follow-up buds appear and they bloomed in succession. 

This is the 2nd bloom a few hours after opening. It is amazing how they change forms from opening, and sometimes change the hues among bloom successions. This is the species with the longest hairs on the corolla.

This one is also a prolific bloomer, buds appear immediately after dropping the previous one. However, this belongs to the small hoyas, as the umbel is only a few mellimeters more than an inch. It didn't open when i was at home last weekend. Anyway, i already watched them the first time of blooming. It now has many umbels growing on the newly forming long stems.

All of them prod me to go home more often than monthly. Next week, i will be back, hoping some blooms are still waiting for me.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Insects with Red Choices

Don't you get tired of so plenty of reds? I am, but I need not be! At this time of the year when our dry season is starting, our temperatures start to soar. It is just starting at mid 20Cs but with the high humidity, it is already difficult to stay outdoors at 9:00 in the morning. And with these environmental conditions, what we see among our plants are mostly reds and green. Being a hot color, it even magnifies the feeling of hotness in our consciousness! Thanks for airconditioned rooms, we go to our offices early and leave at late afternnons. That alleviates the intensity and let us escape our real conditions!

And during the height of our dry season, annuals are only seen in very well maintained gardens and parks.  Grasses at roadsides get totally brown. Flowers are very seldom seen too in normal habitats. Even residential gardes must be very well planned and maintained to get a semblance of normalcy, that is to produce some colors.

 Odontonema strictum or firespike is one plant that can grow even under moderate canopies. So in our yard they are found flowering under the mango trees, and they seem happy there. Insects also get some solace in those red flowers. I just don't know if they get the nectar or prey on some smaller insects there.

The insect above looks unusual with those very long hind legs. It looks still very immature because the wings are not apparent yet. Perhaps they are more of the predators than the prey, because they seem so obvious in that red background. Oh maybe it is preying on the mealy bugs or planthopper nymphs, which are on those whitish cottony stuff at the back. 

I've been looking for some more insects. but they seem not to be around.