Hoya desvoeuxensis

Hoya desvoeuxensis was discovered by Ted Green and published by Dale Kloppenburg and Ted in 2011. It was named for Des Voeux Peak, Taveuni Island, Fiji where it was first collected. The plant was found in a Cloud forest with dwarf trees at high elevations covered with large epiphytes.

As you all know, I desperately tried to flower a plant that I believed to be Hoya desvoeuxensis for three years, and when I finally pulled it off, the plant turned out to be Hoya vitiensis Yellow. My good friend, and Hoya grower extraordinaire Julie Kennedy felt badly, and sent me a rooted 3 leaf cutting in sphagnum from someone who had actually flowered it, and knew for sure that it was the correct plant. The cutting arrived on my doorstep in late July of last year (2022). I gently transplanted the plant into a 7oz clear cup and filled in around the sphagnum with coconut husk chips.

After transplanting my little cutting grew steadily, but was somewhat chlorotic. I was surprised that it put on its first peduncle very early after I had had the plant for less than a month. I did not want to get too excited as I know that many of these plants can have peduncles for years and never flower. I did however get somewhat more jazzed when it started to bud up with only a few leaves. I initially had 3 buds but after a watering that was somewhat too enthusiastic, 2 of the buds yellowed and fell off. One bud however did hold on and made it to term.

Here are some general observations about my solitary Hoya desvoeuxensis bloom from December 2022: The flower surprised me and smelled exceptionally strongly of caramel. The bloom does not fully open until about 24 hours has passed. The flower hung one for around 10 days, which was way longer than expected. As happy as I was to have finally flowered Hoya desvoeuxensis, what I was really after was an umbel of flowers rather than a single bloom. I was not to have to wait too long, as the plant put on a 2nd peduncle in December and by January 2023, I had seven flowers! This plant while not really growing nice, dark, green, leaves was definitely a quick and ready bloomer!

I have not been growing this one long enough to feel like I really have a handle on its cultivation requirements. I know that it is supposed to be a cool grower that likes lots of humidity. My conditions for it were temps that dipped to 60 F at night and went up to 75 F during the day. It sat on the perimeter of a large LED fixture where it did not receive a great deal of light. It seems to be exceptionally easy to flower, but more difficult to grow well. As of this date, I still can’t get rid of the slightly chlorotic leaves, and it could very well have to do with the sphagnum moss that it came rooted in that is still wrapped around its roots. This is a Hoya with an exceptionally attractive flower and a wonderful fragrance. I recommend it highly if you can locate it. If you do find it, make sure that you buy it from someone who has already bloomed it so that you can be assured that you have the right plant as the leaves mimic that of too many other Hoyas.