My hoya is in bloom. I believe it's Hoya bella. 'Bella' means pretty, and that it is. It's the first hoya I've ever had and it was a gift from Hoppingcrow, a geocaching friend that I've never met in real life, but know online. Hoppingcrow isn't her real name, but that's how she signs the log book when she finds a geocache. Probably more than a few of you are thinking, "Huh?" Let me clear things up for you a little bit, then I'll show you the hoya.
About three years ago, Romie and I were on our way to catch a plane to Florida, and I was reading the newspaper. An article told about a game where you use a GPS receiver to find geocaches (containers with trinkets and a log book inside) that other people hide. They might be in a city park, or a nature preserve, or just about anywhere. We thought it sounded like fun and we tried it shortly after we got back home. In the last three years, we've found over 450 caches in ten states. When we want to go out and get a little fresh air and hike through the woods, we grab the GPS and go. This geocaching website explains it best.
Anyway, there are geocaching forums, and you'll find me hanging out there occasionally. It was in these forums that I met Hoppingcrow, a woman from Washington State. It's a pretty well-known fact in the forums that I love gardening, so she offered to send me some cuttings from her hoya plant. She got hers from starts she received from her hairdresser. That makes this a 'pass along plant.'
It came last summer sometime and it's done very well ever since. I've read that if you can't grow a hoya, you can't grow anything, and I'd have to say that's probably true. It's one of those plants that isn't fussy about anything. I have it hanging in a south window in our family room and more times than not, when I remember to water it, it's bone dry. And it keeps shooting out laterally from each stem. It seems to thrive on neglect!
Just this week, after several weeks of waiting for the flower clusters to open (they take a looooong time), they are blooming. Hoyas have a reputation for having a fragrance like cotton candy, but I can't smell a thing. This combination flu/cold that I've had is probably to blame for that.
This particular species of hoya originates from India. Hoyas as a genus also come from China and Australia. But it likes it just fine in my family room here in Ohio. It has grown so much that I need to take cuttings and root them in water. Then I'll be able to pay it forward and pass along cuttings from my hoya. It's the gift that keeps on giving.