Hey you! Hoya in Bangalore

Hey you! Hoya in Bangalore
The first time I saw a Hoya was years ago on my friends terrace garden in Fraser town. It was the most beautiful terrace garden I had ever seen and I went to see it to write about it for the newspapers. As I walked around the garden I could not imagine anything so natural and I could have sworn it was on the ground and not on the 5th floor. There was a lush bed of grass and hanging Quis Qualis or the Rangoon creeper, which covered one wall and emitted a delightful scent.

So we walked around her garden and she showed me all the different plants and told me where she had bought them from. Infact in the little arbour tiny bats would congregate in the day and she never shooed them away!Creepy? But she was right, they kept mosquitos at bay when she sat out in the evening.

Then as we sipped tea and walked along the side of the garden another delicate scent assailed my nostrils and I looked around. She laughed and said, “ You are so quick my friend. Yes the scent are from my chocolate hoyas.” And there in all its splendour was a pot with these gorgeous waxy blooms that poured over a wire stand and I stood there entranced with them.

That was it -- I wanted a Hoya of my own, but like all jealous gardeners, she said sure I will give you a piece of the plant and never did! But my hankering went over the waves to my younger sister in Australia and I told her about the Hoya. “ Oh! remind me I will bring you cuttings when I come next,” she said and I forgot about it.

Sure enough she did bring me several cuttings and I put them down in two large pots after dipping the ends in honey like she told me and left them to grow. They did grow and really well and so I stuck two coir sticks into the pots to help wind the plant around. Round and round I would the tendrils and the plant kept growing and growing with its waxy leaves.

“ No flowers Christine! “ I wailed and she gave me lots of strict instructions. * Don’t overwater. I was not over watering. * Don’t keep it in direct sun, I moved the pots in the shade. * It needs to get pot bound before it flowers. Ok so its pot bound now I am sure after three years for heaven’s sake? And I watched over it like a mother hen, digging up the top of the soil so it was aerated.

What made matters worse another friend who had a Hoya got a profusion of flowers on her plant much to my annoyance and not one single one on mine?? She crowed and crowed with pictures of her bursting with flowers plant and I looked at mine almost scoldingly. “When are you going to flower mate?” I asked as the plant had an Aussie passport!

Then one day I thought I was seeing things. There was a funny bunch of poky buds sticking out the side of one tendril. My heart lurched. Could it be the makings of a bunch of flowers I wondered. I took pictures and sent Christine. Ha ha! She whatsapped me. Ofcourse they are she said. They need to grow and then bloom. So I checked every single day till finally the buds opened up like tiny scented stars and I stood stunned and entranced at their beauty.

Now I have my very own Hoya and my heart is full --- ANd it has a dual passport, both Australian and Indian!

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