Hostas forum: Draw String Effect on hostas

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springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Aug 10, 2014 2:41 PM CST
I just bought a small Snowcap Hosta. I tried to look it up on the database but couldn't find it. I did find some info on a google search on another site and it says that Snowcap suffers from the draw string effect. That is where the green portion of the leaf grows faster than the white. It tears all the leaves. I have never heard of this. How can a person choose hosta that are white marginned, is there a way to know which ones are like this?
I think I will dig out my reciept and return the little one I bought because I do not want to spend my time on it if it is like that. I have had a hard time with the white hosta.
I bought one labeled Night Before Christmas, but after researching it, I think it is something else, maybe White Elephant, but anyway, it was white when I bought it and slowly over the summer it has turned a speckled like light green and it just looks washed out to me and I'm not pleased with it. It has not grown any, may be smaller now than when I bought it this spring. But just a couple weeks ago I started sitting it in the morning sun stronger because I realized it doesn't have enough chlorophyll to survive in more shade. Of course the down side is-too much sun and it burns up! What a pain! I'm thinking of just spritzing some of my plain ol green hostas with white spray paint (kidding!) ...

So does anyone have any favorite white hostas that actually stay white, don't tear, and will increase?


Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
Canning and food preservation Container Gardener Annuals Herbs Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
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ViolaAnn
Aug 10, 2014 3:41 PM CST
Do you want white margins or white leaf centres or all white? And do you want ones that emerge white and stay white or is emerging yellow and turning white OK?

Check out Don Rawson's hosta lists. They aren't perfect, but they will give you some good ideas. You'll find them at http://www.hostalists.org/

And the one listing hostas subject to drawstring effect lists the following:

'Brim Cup'
'Captain's Adventure'
'Carnival'
'Christmas Tree'
'Crème de Menthe'
'Crown Jewel'
'Dew Drop'
'Exotic Frances Williams'
'Fair Maiden'
'Frosted Mini-muffins'
'Hoosier Homecoming'
'Lollapalooza'
'Lunar Eclipse'
'May T. Watts'
'Northern Halo'
'Nutty Husband'
'Patriot'
'Saint Elmo's Fire'
'Silver Spray'
'Sugar Daddy'
'Whirling Dervish'

Mind you, I have 'Karin' and feel that it is occasionally affected (not on the list) and I have 'Patriot' (on the list) and have never seen any sign of drawstring effect. The severity of the drawstring will also vary with the kind of weather you have when they are emerging and will not be consistent.
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Aug 11, 2014 3:19 PM CST
Thank you so much for the info and the link, I am going to check that out. I have Patriot also and have not ever noticed it either. I don't have any of the others on that list though, but now I know not to get them either! Smiling


I wonder if some are more apt to do that if they are fertilized more often or have richer soil that causes it to grow faster? I am just looking for some with with on them, and ones that have pretty consistent coloring all the time. I don't care for the ones that start out one color and then change over the summer. Maybe most of them do? I don't know.


Name: Larry
Enterprise, Al. 36330 (Zone 8b)
Region: Alabama Composter Garden Photography Garden Ideas: Master Level Plant Identifier Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Seedfork
Aug 11, 2014 6:42 PM CST
I also have Patriot and have never seen the drawstring effect on it.
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
Canning and food preservation Container Gardener Annuals Herbs Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Image
ViolaAnn
Aug 11, 2014 9:34 PM CST
After having written that, I looked up 'Patriot' in my SmugMug pictures and lo and behold, I mentioned mild drawstringing a couple of years ago. Must have been very mild because I didn't remember it.
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
Image
riverman123
Apr 17, 2015 4:54 AM CST
older post I know, sorry, I just joined the site and I just now saw it...

we suffer from the dreaded "drawstring effect" here in Seattle as well. we actually dug up and got rid of many of our hostas because of it. "Patriot" being a variety that gets it really bad, for us at least. I posted a question about it yesterday and no one has responded yet. drives us nuts! most of our solid color hostas are ok, but the ones with stark contrasts between the center of the leaf and the outer edge of the leaf are so bad that the leaves split and tear. anyone know how to prevent this? or at least do you know how to remedy this once its taken control of a plant?
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
Hostas Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Composter Region: Canadian Clematis
Canning and food preservation Container Gardener Annuals Herbs Seed Starter Vegetable Grower
Image
ViolaAnn
Apr 17, 2015 5:47 AM CST
riverman - welcome.

As far as preventing drawstring effect, it may be more difficult in your climate because of the amount of rain you get. The time-honoured solutions are to go really easy on water and fertilizer until after the plant has leafed out as both tend to make it grow faster and, of course, the green part grows faster than the white. I've also heard that you can simply removed the earliest growth if it's really unsightly. And finally, grow varieties that are not as subject to drawstring.
Ann

Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/Garden/Hostas/Hostas-in-my-gard...
Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
Image
riverman123
Apr 19, 2015 8:37 AM CST
Thanks Ann!! Great advice. i'll give it a try this season.

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