Looking for help with this hoya

August 13, 2019
I've been lurking and reading everything I can find on container gardening in this forum and I've learned so much!! I think I have a basic understanding of principles related to the gritty and 511 mix, watering/flushing and repotting vs potting up. I've ordered the necessary components for the potting mix and I'm excited to give it a try. I just have some logistical questions related to this specific hoya. When I bought this house 3 years ago the 2 hoyas were part of the deal. They were in 4 inch pots with roots growing out the top and bottom of the pot. They were also covered in blue crystals from excess fertilizer. The plants are not growing in the hanging pots because I wasnt sure how much weight the rope could handle, so the pots are sitting on top of a shelf with the vines growing over the ropes. They obviously needed some TLC but I didn't know what, exactly at the time so I just pulled up the whole root ball and put it in an 8 inch pot and filled it with 1/2 orchid bark and 1/2 cactus mix and cut back everything that didn't look healthy, about 1/3 of the original plants. It's been doing well, lots of new growth and has been blooming since June. Part of me thinks to leave well enough alone, but the rest knows that the sad, fertilizer caked root ball has likely never been repotted and I'd love to see this plant at its best! Whatever I do has to be done from a ladder and in a very cramped space. So before I dig in I'd like some advice. 1. How aggressive should I be in loosening and trimming roots? I think I read somewhere that I should attempt to remove all the old soil in and around the root ball, is that accurate? 2. I have supplies for both the gritty and the 511 mix. I have read that the gritty mix is suitable for most houseplants and that makes sense. But... Watering requires a ladder and isn't exactly convenient so I don't want to set myself up for failure by creating a situation that calls for more time and effort than I can realistically offer. I understand the theory behind adjusting the ingredients for desired effect, but because I've never used either of the mixes I'm not sure what baseline watering requirements would be. Right now I water about one a week. In the winter only once every 3 weeks or so. Ha! Basically, after all my reading and attempts to understand... I just want someone to tell me exactly what to do! And #3...If anyone has any helpful tips for dusting this guy I'd love to hear them. I've tried climbing the ladder with a backpack sprayer and made a fantastic mess but I'm not sure the leaves are any less dusty. I did find a nursery tag in the original pot dated 1985 so we're talking 80s dust... not feather duster dust

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