Hostas forum: Planting Bare Roots?

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Name: Mike
Anaheim Hills, CA (Zone 10a)
Plumerias
SoCalDawg
Sep 9, 2013 10:29 PM CST
Can somebody PLEASE tell me what this means?

All I want to know is how to plant bare roots. They arrived in little clear sandwich bags of soil, but I have no idea of how to handle them or plant them up.

Any help would be greatly appreciated. When I asked this question from the seller, this was the response:


PLANTING AND CARE OF HOSTAS
Hostas prefer a shady or partially shady, well drained, permeable soil. Each variety of Hosta has a different light requirement, making it possible to fit Hostas into any light situation. The blues tend to lose color in the sun, but the golds tolerate sun quite well. Most Hostas prefer only 25% shade in the form of high filtered trees.

WHO SHOULD PLANT HOSTAS?

Every home owner has a shade location somewhere, or can provide a proper site by planting a tree or group of plants that cast shade. Every commercial planting, whether it be an office building, apartment or condominium complex, park, golf course, or municipal building, has just the right place for a certain type of Hosta.

WHEN TO PLANT:

Plant Hostas in March through November 20. Potted Hostas grow better than bare root crowns, but excellent success is possible with bare root Hostas, with the proper care. We do not wish to crown cut tender, newly leafed Hostas in May and June, and may suggest waiting until foliage matures on certain varieties of Hostas. We do not wish to crown cut tender newly leafed Hostas in May & June, and may suggest waiting until foliage matures on certain Hostas.
Better still , in the SOUTH we suggest planting Hostas in the FALL for a longer period of adjustment, the freezes and the 40 degrees weather … and a more established plant.


WHERE TO PLANT:

Prepare the planting location where proper shade conditions exist. Select a site with good drainage (deep soil permeability, not necessarily surface drainage). The soil should be able to retain moisture, so organic matter, such as Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss, dehydrated or well composted manure, or compost from gardening, should be mixed into the soil. A ration of 1/3 to 1/2 organic matter to 2/3 to 1/2 soil is best. We are now using up to 30% coarse sand in all plant beds, gardens and potting mixes for Hostas.

HOW TO PLANT:

Each plant should have a prepared hole about the size of a half bushel basket to that of a full size bushel basket.

Before planting a one or more bare root crown division of Hosta, soak the entire plant for at least 1 hour, but no more, in water with a good soluble fertilizer such as Peters with Iron or Rapid-Gro with Iron. To this solution a small application of Benlate or any other good garden fungicide might be of benefit.
Potted Hostas cost more, but the extra rewards are that they establish faster, grow better, and usually are larger, older plants to start with. These may also be soaked, but is it not necessary to do so.
Hostas are available (1) as small tissue cultured plants in 21/4 to 21/2 to 3" pots; (2) one quart tissue culture grown plants; (3) bare root one to two crown division; (4) one gallon tissue cultured or field clump divisions grown in containers; (5) two gallon landscape sized plants containing 2 to 5 crown divisions.
Bare Root one or more crown plants need not have the leaves trimmed when transplanting.
Fertilizer mixed into the soil mix should be in the form of predominantly a phosphorous and potash mix, and low in nitrogen.
For the best results, we are using about one handful of Sierra or Osmocote fertilizer, a handful of alfalfa meal, thoroughly mixed into the full one-half bushel or full bushel area.
Plant the center of the crown just slightly above soil level, and water slowly and thoroughly. When water has soaked in a mulch of shredded hardwood bark, pine needles, or Canadian Spaghnum Peat Moss, 2 to 3 inches deep should be applied, especially for overwintering the first year. (We prefer, Pinus strobus, Eastern White Pine needles).

BUYING BARE ROOT VS. CONTAINER GROWN HOSTAS

A. Both grow and transplant very well if handled properly. In general, more care is required prior to planting Bare Root Hostas.
B. Container Grown Hostas contain all the plants roots, whereas Bare Root Hostasare often Crown Cut, and generally have fewer roots.
C. Some growers offer field grown,1or 2 year plants withf ull sets of roots and these are often equal to Container Grown plants.
D. Hostas are sold in different sized containers. They generally are available in 1 quart, 2 quart or Number 1 Containers, which are generally regarded to be a 1 gallon, but are not, or No.1.5 or No.2 Container plant. The smaller the container, generally the smaller and younger the plant is.
E. We generally like to see plants have a good set of roots, equally divided around the eye or eyes (crown) of the plant.
F. Bare Root Hostas generally are clean washed prior to shipment, wrapped and labeled. From here they come from container grown plants or are dug from the Gardens, or are from our field rows.
EYES, CROWNS AND MOTHER HOSTA PLANTS
Hostas multiply by growth eyes called crowns. When you buy a Hosta, most often the buyer will receive one or two eye plants. Many sellers prefer to sell two or more eyed plants, but, inventory and available plants of a particular variety may be in short supply. Many new selections expect to receive only a single eye or crown. Each eye will grow into a full plant and may grow to 2 to 3" in the first season, but not assuredly. Generally the smaller ones multiply faster than the larger ones. Some of the larger Hostas may only multiply an eye or two per year. Most often we prefer to ship two eye or crown plants.
1. Mother plants are older plants that contain 2, 3, or more eyes. A 5 year old Hosta may contain 4, 5, maybe 10 eyes. Each variety has different looking eyes or crowns.
2. Eyes form at the base of leaves. They can usually be first observed in August of each year on a plant and continue to enlarge daily through the Winter. Then in Spring, each eye will continue to grow and lengthen and eventually grow leaves in May and June, then blossom and become a grown plant in late June and July.
You will be amazed, as Every Hosta Leaf is a Miracle!

Confused
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Thumb of 2013-09-10/SoCalDawg/742b05

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."
- Russel Baker
[Last edited by SoCalDawg - Sep 9, 2013 10:34 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #480755 (1)
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Sep 10, 2013 5:39 AM CST
First get them out of the plastic bags before they get fungus. They usually do get fungus you can use 10% bleach or peroxide water and dip each one before you plant them. Since you are in zone 10, I would plant in pots according to size. The big hostas start off in a three gallon pot, plant with the crown at or just above the soil to prevent rot. The smaller ones you can do one or two gallon pots. By planting in pots you allow more cold air to the roots in winter because they need a cold spell, they are dormant. Sometimes you can do everything right and some will not come back in spring because they need a good cold spell, some more than others. I try to choose Hosta that have a low chill requirement. The following article helped me a lot and remember hostas like a lot of water, also in zone 10 you will need total shade. Hope this helps!

http://www.plantdelights.com/Hostas-Summer-Perennials-for-Wa...
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Mike
Anaheim Hills, CA (Zone 10a)
Plumerias
SoCalDawg
Sep 10, 2013 8:00 PM CST
Susan,

Most of what you said I understand, thank you. But, "plant with the crown at or just above the soil to prevent rot"...? Yeah, I have no idea what that means. To be honest, I don't even no what the darn things look like! They're still in their bags because I'm not home from work yet.

I'm quite new to this (as I'm sure you can tell) and I'd really hate to do this wrong because they weren't cheap.

Care to break-it-down even further? (Don't worry about offending - talk to me like I'm 5 yrs old).

Thanks,
Mike

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."
- Russel Baker
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Sep 10, 2013 8:31 PM CST
Thumbs up Sure thing Mike. If they are still in the bags you might want to remove one at a time and tag it so you can soak it overnight or at least a few hours. The crown is at the tip top of the roots. I will find you a picture soon. When you plant them just make sure the roots are in the dirt. Here is a pretty good video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOeSAuE65Tc



Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Christine
Southeastern MN (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Heucheras I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 2 I sent a postcard to Randy! Keeps Horses
Region: Minnesota Birds Raises cows Cat Lover Hostas Farmer
Image
Christine27360
Sep 11, 2013 8:46 AM CST
I agree with Susan.... I have lots of hostas (over 350)... so just soak for at least an hour... then plant and make sure the level of the dirt is up to the bottom of the "green" of the plant -- so just covering up the roots (the crown is where the roots meet the plant)... basically just dont bury the Hosta!! Thumbs up

They are pretty resiliant -- they can tolerate dry conditions once rooted. Hurray!
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: Mike
Anaheim Hills, CA (Zone 10a)
Plumerias
SoCalDawg
Sep 11, 2013 7:10 PM CST
Thanks Christine and Susan. That's the kind of info I've been looking for, said the way I can understand. I don't know one end of a root from the other, so everything you said helps! Thumbs up

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."
- Russel Baker
Name: Mike
Anaheim Hills, CA (Zone 10a)
Plumerias
SoCalDawg
Sep 11, 2013 7:14 PM CST
So, how long can / should they stay in the bags they were shipped in? And soak them all in water? Plain water? Do you soak them all in different pots to keep like-for-like?

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."
- Russel Baker
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Sep 11, 2013 8:23 PM CST
Take them out of the bags immediately, you can add a little Mir Grow if you wish. If you have each one tagged you can just throw them in to the same tub, like a large dish pan or something. How big is your pan? If it is regular sized just maybe a fourth teaspoon of Mir Grow. Just the all purpose kind if you got it. if not plain water is better than nothing!
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Mike
Anaheim Hills, CA (Zone 10a)
Plumerias
SoCalDawg
Sep 11, 2013 9:21 PM CST
Susan,
So let them soak for ....? I assume this is right up until you put them in a pot?

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."
- Russel Baker
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Sep 11, 2013 9:25 PM CST
Over night or a few hours. They rot easily so don't leave them in too long, and please don't forget them. Thumbs up
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Mike
Anaheim Hills, CA (Zone 10a)
Plumerias
SoCalDawg
Sep 12, 2013 8:47 PM CST
Ok. Here's what I have going on...

I've got them soaking tonight, then tomorrow evening when I get home from work, I'll plant them. Do I fertilize them when I plant them in pots? If so, with what? How much do I water them when I pot them? And there shouldn't be any problem potting them this close to the end of summer, right?

I can see how this could become fun / addicting!

Thanks,
Mike



Thumb of 2013-09-13/SoCalDawg/1ceef7
Thumbs up

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."
- Russel Baker
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Sep 13, 2013 3:44 AM CST
Mike, you sure are organized. I love the way each plant has it's own plastic shoe box. The good thing about potting them is that you can control their environment a little better. They still need a cold spell and because you are in zone 10 you want to maximize the amount of cold air getting to the roots, plus you will have them in complete shade. Even with these precautions you might loose a few because of the chill requirements. We will have to evaluate things as we go along. I actually know of people who dig theirs up and put them into the refrigerator. That is fine if you have a separate refrigerator, like in the garage but I do not and have accepted that I do loose a few every year and simply replace them with hostas that are better suited for the south. I am use to that because we always store bulbs in the refrigerator because there is not a good cold spell, they have to be dug up each year and stored in frig. Bummer isn't it.
After you pot them all up you can water them with some peroxide water. Just half a cup(3%) in a gal of water, wash them down good to make sure all the air pockets are gone. If the soil washes down to where you see roots just add a little more soil. The peroxide water will help keep the fungus down and prevent root rot.
Here is a chart you can use for other things around the house and garden.

http://www.using-hydrogen-peroxide.com/gardening-with-hydrog...
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Mike
Anaheim Hills, CA (Zone 10a)
Plumerias
SoCalDawg
Sep 15, 2013 11:11 PM CST
Susan,
Being in zone 10 what should my watering schedule look like for these hostas? It's been pretty warm here the last several weeks (85-95) and I'm afraid they will dry out.

Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Mike

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."
- Russel Baker
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Sep 16, 2013 5:01 AM CST
You might need to water everyday just keep an eye on them. They are in pots so it is hard to say depending on the drainage. (they are in shade, right?)..They cannot be wet but not dried out either. Keep them moist and during the winter you will see them go dormant so you will not water hardly any then. I never water over the winter or mulch because they will rot. Also some people lay the pots on their side to keep them from filling with water when it rains. I don't know where you have them but just keep that in mind.
I haven't had any rain in almost two weeks, that is a first for this year. We have been in the 90's all during Aug and up till last Friday when a cold front came through. We were 92° last Thursday and then Friday 82° then Saturday 72° but no rain with this one.
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Christine
Southeastern MN (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Heucheras I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 2 I sent a postcard to Randy! Keeps Horses
Region: Minnesota Birds Raises cows Cat Lover Hostas Farmer
Image
Christine27360
Sep 16, 2013 7:52 AM CST
First off _ WOW _ on the soaking arrangement!!! All mine are gonna wanna leave my place and head to yours!! Rolling my eyes.

Susan's got the right advice on everything!! Since she is closer to your zone she definitely knows!! Water in the beginning but remember not to get them soaking wet every day cause they are susceptible to rot. ENJOY!!
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Sep 16, 2013 9:46 AM CST
@christine27360 - First off _ WOW _ on the soaking arrangement!!! All mine are gonna wanna leave my place and head to yours!!

Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing Rolling on the floor laughing (mine too!!)
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Christine
Southeastern MN (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Heucheras I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 2 I sent a postcard to Randy! Keeps Horses
Region: Minnesota Birds Raises cows Cat Lover Hostas Farmer
Image
Christine27360
Sep 16, 2013 2:41 PM CST
Sticking tongue out
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: Mike
Anaheim Hills, CA (Zone 10a)
Plumerias
SoCalDawg
Sep 16, 2013 5:03 PM CST
Thank you both!

If you think that's bad, you should see my sock drawer! Rolling on the floor laughing But, that's just the way God made me!

Anyways...thank you for the advice. I just wasn't sure how to handle them at this stage (bare roots) and with this heat. This is my first time planting a bare root. I figured I'd buy 6 or 7 to increase my odds of success!

I'll keep the dumb questions coming if you have the time to answer!
Rolling my eyes.

"Ah, summer, what power you have to make us suffer and like it."
- Russel Baker
Name: virginiarose
Virginia
Money talks but Chocolate Sings!
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 1 Avid Green Pages Reviewer Hibiscus Dragonflies Daylilies
Bee Lover Dahlias Butterflies Hostas Birds Lilies
virginiarose
Sep 16, 2013 5:51 PM CST
Yes, but they are not dumb. Keep us posted for sure! Thumbs up
Susan

In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.....Margaret Atwood
Name: Christine
Southeastern MN (Zone 4a)
Charter ATP Member Heucheras I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Level 2 I sent a postcard to Randy! Keeps Horses
Region: Minnesota Birds Raises cows Cat Lover Hostas Farmer
Image
Christine27360
Sep 17, 2013 7:14 AM CST
Mike you will have to show us pics of your newly planted babies!!! nodding
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6

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