Hoya onychoides was first collected on the Boana Road, Morobe Provence, Papua New Guinea in October of 1990. It is funny that while researching Morobe Provence, I learned that there are 101 languages spoken there. Communication must be difficult to say the least!
I had grown Hoya macgillivrayi and Hoya archboldiana for years before finally picking up a cutting of Hoya onychoides from Aleasgarden in Thailand in 2013. I figured no big deal to grow and flower this one, as its close relatives were so easy for me to cultivate; nothing could be further from the truth of what happened. My cutting rooted quickly enough, but then the roots rotted for no apparent reason. When it had done nothing for about 6 months I started it over. It grew slowly with stops and starts and after 2 years it quit growing all together. I was forced to start it over yet again!
Three times was the charm as far as starting over this plant. It finally took off and made steady, albeit slow, progress. It grew almost exclusively in the same artificial conditions that would bring my Mac and Archie into flower in 12-18 months, but it took 3 years with onychoides. Why – I just don’t know?
I had read on Christina Karlsson’s site that her Hoya onychoides had a strong scent of gardenias, which both my Mac and Archie have as well. The strange thing about my Hoya onychoides is that the flowers had no scent at all. It has now flowered twice for me and still no scent. We must have different clones. This is a plant that presented me with unexpected challenges, but I think the extra effort was well worth the results, but if I could only grow one plant between H. macgillivrayi, H. archboldiana and Hoya onychoides, I believe that I would choose H. macgillivrayi, because of its heavenly scent and easier flowering ability – at least for me!