The Q&A Archives: hostas

Question: I have pods on some of the flower stems on my Hostas. The flowers have gone but I now have what look like seed pods on the stems. Are these seeds? Can I start new Hostas from these pods?

Answer: Yes, what you have are seed pods. If you allow them to turn tan, the seeds will ripen. In October, collect the pods and when you open them, the seeds should be black. If so, you can grow new plants from the seeds. Hosta seeds germinate readily when sown on moistened potting mix and kept at about 70F. You can expect about only about 40-50 percent germination from your seed collection.

Soil temperature plays an important role as to how long it will take the seed to sprout and whether the seed will sprout at all. Soil temperatures tend to run 5 to 10 degrees cooler than the air temperature in a room. In temperatures of 60? to 70?F (20?C), the germination time for hosta seed will be about two weeks. Cooler rooms will greatly increase the germination period.

Hosta seed does not require light to assist sprouting; therefore, you can place your flats in a warm, dark area of your house. When you see sprouts showing and breaking the soil surface, place the containers under fluorescent lights. Your plants should be ready for transplant outside in your garden next spring. Wait until your garden hostas begin to grow before setting your seedlings outdoors. New growth on established hostas will indicate the soil temperatures are warm enough to plant your new hostas. Enjoy your project!

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