Hostas forum: Chit Chat - growing Hostas the right way

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Name: Cinda
Indiana Zone 5b
Dances with Dirt
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gardengus
May 10, 2010 10:12 AM CST
Yes , inquiring minds want to know , what is the secret?
Keep believing ,hoping,and loving
all else is just existing.
Name: Susan
Zone 5b (Zone 5b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Hummingbirder Butterflies
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gardenersdetective
May 10, 2010 10:12 AM CST
Hi fellow hostaholics. My local society had a fundraiser and enrolled all our members in the American Hosta Society. Nice perk huh.

Ok inquiring minds, this is what I learned and did. I didn't have a regular watering schedule in the past. Hosta are like balloons. When they first emerge until they fully leaf out give them plenty of water and they become bigger, better, stronger. When you buy a hosta that is a big full pot, never divide for the first full year, and if you buy the really big hosta and want them to get humungous never divide them.

This is what I did....the second I saw the hosta emerge I began to water my hosta every other day unless it rained really hard. The first week of april (no more threat of frost) I threw a handful of Osmocote slow release fertilizer 14-14-14 on each hosta. I will definately follow up with some water soluable fertilizer. If you follow the water regiment, all but the blue hosta can take a lot more sun than I realized. I pruned a few branches to let in more sun and planted some more hosta in full morning sun/afternoon shade. So far they look better, stronger and healthier and I finally have achieved success in my hosta beds. I have been adding two inches of compost and mulch in the beds for the last 15 years. You will smother roots and sacrafice the health of your trees by piling on too much at once. I do not have deer (hosta = deer candy) There are very effective but expensive products you can use but you must follow the directions and never miss an application or the deer will feast.

Read the tips from this link and go to the home page. There will be more tips under links side bar, read those also http://www.hostahosta.com/tips.html
Name: Susan
Zone 5b (Zone 5b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Hummingbirder Butterflies
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gardenersdetective
May 10, 2010 10:12 AM CST
Just So great to find you

Thumb of 2010-05-08/gardenersdetective/1f8028
Name: Diann
Iowa (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover Region: Iowa Hostas
Lilies Peonies
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Ticker
May 10, 2010 10:12 AM CST

Moderator

We're glad you did, Susan. :)
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
May 10, 2010 10:12 AM CST
Hi Susan, I thought I had welcomed you but it appears that I just thought about it. I'm also glad you found us.
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: 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
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Christine27360
May 10, 2010 10:12 AM CST
Hi Susan ... and WELCOME!!

Thanks so much for the tips!

1. Water every other day.... check
2. Slow release fertilizer (14-14-14) after threat of frost..... check
3. Do not divide from purchased pot... check
4. Mulch 2 inches... check
5 ENJOY!!!!!

I think I can handle that!!!
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: Susan
Zone 5b (Zone 5b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Hummingbirder Butterflies
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gardenersdetective
May 10, 2010 10:12 AM CST
Christine hope it works as well for you as it did for me. It's so exciting after years of killing hosta to have big beautiful hosta. In the past I tried alfalfa and tomatoe fertilizer but they weren't nearly as effective as the gardens of people who recommended them. Don't know, just didn't work for me. This year I bought Sagae, June, and Lemon Lime. Next year I would like to add some nice companion plants. Does anybody have a favorite fern that doesn't spread? What are your favorite deep shade plants to coordinate with hosta?
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
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Christine27360
May 10, 2010 10:20 AM CST
Susan -
I have Lady Ferns in my garden and those seem to do the best in Zone 4... I have tried Burgundy Lace and the Christmas Fern with no luck up here.

Now on to my favorite deep shade plants... I have very little sunny if any after the leaves pop and I just found these plants below that are the best!!

--- Yellow Archangel 'Variegatum' -- yellow blooms in the spring and very pretty leave (a leaf like Jack Frost) btu it grown in a 12-18inch clump. Very Hardy in FULL shade.
--- Varigated Soloman's Seal - very Hardy
--- Bugbane
--- Japanese Spurge is interesting
--- Turtlehead 'hotlips' (blooms in the fall - pink - more like a bush I guess but mine is only 4 years old and has only gotten about 24 inches tall)
--- Corral Bells ( I love the variety - I have about 10 different varieties).

Enjoy!!!
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: Diann
Iowa (Zone 5a)
Forum moderator Charter ATP Member Enjoys or suffers cold winters Cat Lover Region: Iowa Hostas
Lilies Peonies
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Ticker
May 10, 2010 10:34 AM CST

Moderator

I like Pulminaria, Ligularia and Snakeroot in with mine... :)
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
May 10, 2010 3:24 PM CST
Hosta are like balloons. When they first emerge until they fully leaf out give them plenty of water and they become bigger, better, stronger.


I don't disagree, but I don't fully agree either. If a hosta has a white margin and green centre to the leaves, and thus is possibly prone to drawstring effect, they will be better if you don't over water them too early in the season. The white margin will not grow as fast as the green centre and will look like a drawstring has been pulled up around the leaf and will eventually split. They are not as badly affected if both watering and fertilizing are put off until the plant unfurls.

Ann
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: 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
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Christine27360
May 11, 2010 4:25 PM CST
Thanks for the tip Ann -- not too much water for the Green with White margin. I gravitate towards the blues and greens with a "cream/yellow" margin... is the not too much water rule apply to those kinds of hostas? (ie: Sweet Innocence)
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
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
May 11, 2010 5:08 PM CST
I've not had any problem with 'Sweet Innocence' nor have I limited the water although I'm not so sure the plant is gonna last in my garden. it's just not doing much of anything.
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: 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
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Christine27360
May 11, 2010 5:28 PM CST
hmmm - so far mine is doing well - however, I only got it last year. I only have dapple sun light at best and it seemed to do okay last year. It's just peaking thru this year.... I suppose I should track how many buds appear each year to see how much it grows from year to year... ahhh something else to add to my tracking list!
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: Susan
Zone 5b (Zone 5b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Hummingbirder Butterflies
Image
gardenersdetective
May 12, 2010 6:54 AM CST
I already lost everything green with white to alfalfa compost, tomatoe fertilizer and poor and inconsistant watering habits. Recommended by someone with gorgeous hosta (except for the watering part) but that combo didn't work for me.
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
May 13, 2010 9:46 AM CST
Do you mean you lost the plants completely - or did they drawstring or what? If the latter, the second flush of leaves might be better. I know that I recommend all of the above except the inconsistent watering habits, but I don't use tomato fertilizer very strong, not do I use it throughout the season. It IS useful with seedlings when they need something to supplement what is in the growing medium or when transplanting.

I quit tracking buds once I've got 15-20 on each plant.
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: Susan
Zone 5b (Zone 5b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Hummingbirder Butterflies
Image
gardenersdetective
May 13, 2010 12:18 PM CST
Patriots, White Christmas and any other green and whites are no longer in my garden, not even a trace. Greens, Blues, Chartruece, & Yellows hosta doing great. I seem to also do better with large hosta than with the medium and small border hosta but not really sure why.
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
May 13, 2010 2:34 PM CST
That's really strange. Have you had a plant napper?
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: Susan
Zone 5b (Zone 5b)

Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hibiscus Hummingbirder Butterflies
Image
gardenersdetective
May 14, 2010 2:40 PM CST
Might have been my hosta pulling, I mean weed pulling weedwacking husband.
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
May 15, 2010 8:20 PM CST
My hubby took the weed wacker out last weekend and wacked about 4 corral bells I had planted in the back yard in the "grass".... he thought they were some new nasty weed (LOL) Rolling on the floor laughing
"Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
2 Corinthians 9:6
Name: Karen
Watertown, WI (Zone 5a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hostas Dog Lover
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kaylyred
May 16, 2010 11:19 AM CST
Christine27360 said:My hubby took the weed wacker out last weekend and wacked about 4 corral bells I had planted in the back yard in the "grass".... he thought they were some new nasty weed (LOL) Rolling on the floor laughing


I wouldn't be laughing--I'd be threatening bodily harm with a trowel. Glare
Check out Petiole Junction, my garden blog! (I'd love your comments.)

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