It did not take too long to move from a two inch net pot up to a three inch. It grew fairly strongly until the roots were coming out of the pot. At about this time I received a book called A Guide To Hoyas Of Borneo where there was an entry on Hoya ruthiae. It said that the plant was endemic to “Borneo and lived on the limestone of Bukit Baturong.” The part about the limestone got me thinking; so in early 2018 when I transplanted the Hoya to a four inch net pot I incorporated considerable ground oyster shell to the mix.
When I started Hoya ruthiae over again at the end of 2016, I had discovered net pots which gave me far greater knowledge of when a new plant actually needed to be watered. I started my meager little cutting in a two inch net pot and not only did it start to root, but started growing stronger right from the get go. I don’t know if it was the breathe-ability of the pot, or what by I was pleased at the rate of growth.
I managed to get just enough of the plant to take a couple of small cuttings and start the plant over again in 2015. Once again it rooted and only put out a couple of leaves and then lost one of those. I checked the roots in about a year and sure enough more sign of root rot. By then it was late in 2016, and I barely had enough plant to take a single cutting that I was sure would fail.
I received Hoya ruthiae (Hoya sp. UT-168) as a cutting from Thailand in the summer of 2013. I got it to root, but it showed very little growth. It might have put on three leaves with almost no vine over the course of the next year or two. I finally pulled it out of the pot and saw unmistakable signs of root rot.
Rather than the milky latex that 95% of Hoyas have, Hoya ruthiae has clear sap and is one of only two Hoyas in all of Malaysia that has clear sap; the other being H. monetteae.
Hoya ruthiae was named after Dr. Ruth Kiew, a tropical botanist based at the Forest Institute of Malaysia. It was described in 2015 by Michele Rodda. Below my first flower photos of this very interesting plant:
I received Hoya ruthiae way back when it was called Hoya sp. UT-168 from Aleagarden in Thailand. It has never been an easy grower. Below the buds of Hoya ruthiae:
I know that this is kind of a weedy Hoya that is clearly not going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but I just seem to have a fancy for it. It is a Hoya that I never thought in a million years could be happy, grow, and flower all through a Vermont winter in the regular house. The bottom leaves are full to teeth marks where our cats like to chomp on it, but it keeps on chugging along and now has numerous seed pods once again. Here is a photo from this morning:
I think that this is a good Hoya to pick up if you can find it, as the flowers are sweet smelling and it flowers extremely early. Just remember to be careful not to over water and keep the humidity high for best results. I hope to bring this plant back in the future with a video, if I am successful in growing a decent sized plant.
I find that this plant is one of the few Hoyas that I have that actually prefers growing outside in the greenhouse over the summer.