She asked me if we would take it. She didn’t want it anymore, it was too much trouble. I assured her it would have a good home, maybe even my home. She smiled and said she would be back. The elderly lady returned a few days later with her Hoya plant. She apologized due to its appearance. It was hot that day and she had left it in the car a little too long. I reached out to it in rescue fashion, and thanked her as I received the sad little plant.
She (I had taken to calling her a she) was in a pot in a pot in a pot. She was staked up to about 15 inches high, in an 8”pot(s). She sat calmly for over a week waiting for me to return.
That morning she called out to me as I passed her, asking "please !" for attention. I scooped her up and headed to a potting bench. Upon closer inspection, I could see the damage that had been done to her leaves from the excess heat when she sat in the hot car, and began to trim them off. They had already yellowed. They had protected the inner leaves in this tangled cone that had been created to stake her up. I apologized to her, and told her to be patient and I would have her feeling better soon.
At this point I decided she needed a name, so I decided quickly on “Dita”(pronounced Dee-tah). In my childhood, I had occasionally visited my Tante Dita, my father’s Aunt from Austria. I remember admiring a long hanging plant she had with the sweetest smelling flowers. She had told me it was a Hoya. I continued inspecting Dita. She was supported up by 7 stakes. 3 different kinds. She was tied to those stakes by 2- 2 foot pieces of green floral wire, and a shoe string. She was weaved and tucked to keep her in the wanted-forced upright position.
I understood more why the lady who had orphaned her felt it was “too much trouble.” The lady had created the maintenance, not the plant! Dita should have been a in a hanging basket, gracefully cascading down.
I cooed to her as I carefully pulled out each stake, and continued releasing and unwinding her from her bondage. When I finished, her branches hung down nearly 4 feet! She seemed to take a deep breath of relief! On to some fresh potting soil, and she was on her way. I could feel her happiness. I could feel my kinship as she traveled home with me, and joy as I introduced her to the other plants in my garden. Sometimes we mean well, and we trim and prune, clip and force. Sometimes we might simply choose to step back, and let growth occur. We absently mindedly try to make things be the way we think they *should* be, often creating issues. Stop, think, listen! When are we creating the work/frustration and blaming it on the "other"? How can we navigate in balanced right-relationship with the "other"? Is there more to see, more information to gather?
Here she is, 10 years later, a prized and beautiful lovely Goddess Hoya, thriving as she was meant to BE. Yay! Freedom and flowing growth!
~ Erica Jo