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Growing Hostas from Seed and Watching for Sports

By Paul2032
January 8, 2013

Growing your own hosta plants from seed can be a fun winter project. All you need is the seed, some soil for seedlings and a little patience. In the summer you can watch for sports on your mature plants.

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Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
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valleylynn
Jan 7, 2013 9:28 PM CST
Love that blue sport coming from the variegated hosta.

I planted seed 3 years ago by winter sowing in gallon milk jugs. It truly was very easy and carefree. I planted them out on the north side of the house that summer.
Unfortunately a gopher came along and devoured all 6 plants. Sad
I have since eradicated the gopher, I will have to give it a try again.
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
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SongofJoy
Jan 8, 2013 4:25 AM CST
Good info, Paul. And nice results too. Thumbs up
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Name: Caroline Scott
Calgary (Zone 4a)
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CarolineScott
Jan 8, 2013 6:11 AM CST
Good information! I will try one of these years and come back to this article.
Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
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Paul2032
Jan 8, 2013 7:31 AM CST
I remembered that I had pictures of some streaked seedlings......
Thumb of 2013-01-08/Paul2032/979467
Thumb of 2013-01-08/Paul2032/3d04c2
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah
Name: Carole
Clarksville, TN (Zone 6b)
Cherish today
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar
Garden Ideas: Master Level Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Cat Lover Avid Green Pages Reviewer Lover of wildlife (Raccoon badge) Birds
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SongofJoy
Jan 8, 2013 7:37 AM CST
Very nice. nodding
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart. ~ Helen Keller
Name: Lynn
Dallas, OR (Zone 8b)
Charter ATP Member Garden Sages I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I helped beta test the Garden Planting Calendar I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Database Moderator
Forum moderator I helped beta test the first seed swap Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant and/or Seed Trader Garden Ideas: Master Level Sempervivums
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valleylynn
Jan 8, 2013 9:21 AM CST
I agree
Name: Sharon
Calvert City, KY (Zone 7a)
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Sharon
Jan 8, 2013 5:14 PM CST
I never ever collected hosta seed, but I just have to try this.
Thanks Paul!
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Name: Renée
Northern KY
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KyWoods
Jan 9, 2013 1:13 PM CST
Now I'm excited about the hosta seeds I collected in the fall! Thanks, I hope I'm lucky enough to get a sport!
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
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ViolaAnn
Jan 12, 2013 7:04 AM CST
Interesting article, but I believe it contains an error. It says the "pollen parent must be streaked" if you wish to have streaked or variegated seedlings. I believe it should be the POD parent that needs to be streaked.

And yes, the vast majority of the seedlings will be green, but even from other non-streaked plants, you can occasionally get nice surprises. I have one variegated seedling that is a reverse colour variegation from the pod parent. And you can get other attributes such as frilly leaves and red petioles.

One other thing, if you plan your own crosses rather than letting the insects do it, be prepared to rise early to beat the insects to the flowers.
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
[Last edited by ViolaAnn - Jan 13, 2013 9:32 PM (+)]
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Name: Paul
Utah (Zone 5b)
Grandchildren are my greatest joy.
Charter ATP Member Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Annuals Echinacea Vegetable Grower Hybridizer
Tomato Heads Garden Photography Birds Cut Flowers Foliage Fan Plays in the sandbox
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Paul2032
Jan 12, 2013 8:52 AM CST
Ann...you are absolutely correct. The pod parent must be streaked. The first year I tried planned crosses I made the cross incorrectly and was disappointed with the results. I'm sorry for the error.
Paul Smith Pleasant Grove, Utah

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