Observation Series
Hoya Seed Pod

I wrote this observation due to the discovery of a seed pod on my Hoya plant. There were not many pictures of Hoya seed pod seen in the Internet. For this particular Hoya that I was going to describe, the picture of its seed pod was even rarer. So, the story of my Hoya seed pod may be of interest to some of you.

photophotoI bought two pots of Hoya, commonly known as Wax plant, Hoya pachyclada and Hoya pubicalyx as I was attracted by their unique and beautiful flowers. I brought both of them home at around the same period in July 2009.

The pictures of Hoya pubicalyx seen in my photo deck was taken at the nursery where I got the plant while that of Hoya pachyclada was the actual plant that I bought. From the shape of the leaves, you should be able to differentiate the two plants.

Unfortunately, Hoya pubicalyx did not do well. It only attempted to flower once in January 2010 (first 2 photos) but did not complete the cycle. After a week (last 2 photos), all flower buds dropped off. The plant looked rather pale and I decided to let it go. That was the end of my venture with Hoya pubicalyx.

photophotophoto photo

Hoya pachyclada was a different story. It did very well except for sun burns on its leaves. It flowered at several occasions. The time between the appearance of the young flower buds and the full bloom was about 3 weeks. The flowers usually last for a week before they dropped off.

photophotophoto photophoto photo

Here was the exciting part --- a seed pod of H. pachyclada. I actually did not notice it even after all the flowers were gone as that particular branch was facing the exterior of the balcony. photo

photophoto photo
The photo on the far left showed the size of the seed pod when I first noticed it on 12 June 2010. The subsequent two photos were taken on 15 June and 20 June respectively. After this stage, it took more than a month for the seed pod to mature. I almost missed it if I had not taken a peep at the seed pod in the early morning of 29 July.

photoI actually did not take much care of the plant except watering it daily. Ferns started finding their way in the pot of Hoya. The Hoya plant seemed to enjoy the company of the ferns since they help to shield it from direct sunlight in the morning. As the ferns looked pretty nice, I had left them alone. Two fern species were found in the pot, namely Giant Sword Fern (Nephrolepis biserrata) and Miding Fern (Stenochlaena palustris).

On 29 July, the seed pod split open while still hanging on to the plant. As it was early in the morning and I had to make a move soon. I decided to detach the seed pod from the plant, take some photos and keep it in a container for examination later when I had some time. On 1 August, when I took out the container, all the seeds seemed to have matured.


After keeping the seeds for about 2 weeks, I decided to start growing some of them. I had read that Hoya seeds should not be kept for too long. Let me do some experiments to check whether this saying was true.

photoOn 15 August 2010, 12 seeds were placed in a cultivation plate. Two weeks later, it was clear that only 2 of the seedlings will survive although 50% of the seeds did germinate or showed some sign of life. You can probably pick out the 2 survivals from the picture on the right. The 2 survivals were moved to individual pots.

photoAnother 2 weeks gone by and I was down to one surviving plant. The last survival persisted and got its third leaf about 2 weeks later (left picture). It growth seemed to be very slow. With the appearance of the third leaf, I was quite sure that it will continue to survive. On 9 October 2010, the 4th leaf appeared.

Based on the current experience, the survival of the seeds appeared to be very low --- only one out of 12 seeds made it.

Last updated: 16 October 2010

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