Hostas forum: Hosta under a mature Maple tree. I need advice?

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Name: Teresa
South central KY (Zone 6b)
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bluegrassmom
Sep 21, 2015 6:03 PM CST
Hello,
At my mother's house there is a raised hosta bed. It rings out about 6 feet from the trunk. Problem, the hosta look like they are getting smaller than last yr. Help what can I do? Any suggestions? Should I move them? This is at a very good place where they can be seen by traffic and our front porch swing. Angry
Name: Ann
Ottawa, ON Canada (Zone 5a)
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ViolaAnn
Oct 5, 2015 1:58 PM CST
Maple trees tend to have shallow, spreading roots which can definitely interfere with hostas. You might have success growing those hostas in large pots around the tree. Otherwise, they would benefit from being moved.
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)
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riverman123
Nov 28, 2015 1:13 AM CST
more water. with the shallow roots of the maple as being in competition with the roots of the hostas, it sounds to me like theres not enough water to go around. we have a raised bed of hostas around one of our very mature Japanese maples and they do fine with the help of soaker hoses.
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
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Frillylily
Dec 30, 2015 1:47 PM CST
they will keep getting smaller and smaller as the tree roots choke it out. You basically cannot grow much of anything well under a maple. They are far too invasive. Raised planters would work.
Name: Jason
Gold Bar, Washington (Zone 8b)
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riverman123
Feb 13, 2016 5:23 PM CST
Would Japanese Maples be considered in this thread? Because we have two very large, very mature Japanese Maples in our yard, each having at least 7-8 hostas completely surrounding them. along with ferns, coral bells, and the like. the hostas are doing great! haven't experienced any of the problems spoken about above. in fact, the hostas are thriving there. the biggest problem we had regarding this issue was getting past the roots of the maple in order to get the hostas in the ground. they made digging holes for the hostas a real pain. but once we were able to locate the gaps between the roots it was all good. cant say the dreaded "maple effect" has done anything to hamper the performance of our hostas beneath it. my two cents.
Name: Linda
southern Minn. (Zone 4b)
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alwaysbehindMN
Feb 17, 2016 12:37 PM CST
I have been growing hostas under a very large maple tree for about 15 years. I would have moved them all to a new area except I am stubborn and REALLY wanted them there. So I just dig them up about every 3 years (one by one as I have a few minutes), remove the roots that are entangled with the hosta roots, remove the surface maple roots from the hole area, and put the hosta back in the same spot. Of course I will have to do the same thing in another 3 years, but it's worth doing in my opinion! I do this for each hosta even if it isn't showing a problem...yet. I had the same problem under a cottonwood tree, but for those hostas I moved them to a new location, where I thought they would not only thrive, but look better. I don't grow any perennials in pots because of our cold winter temperatures. I did plant a seedling hosta in a hollow of a 3 ft. long chunk of a branch, and last fall I covered the whole branch with a foot of mulch. It will be interesting to see this spring if the hosta survives!
springfield MO area (Zone 6a)
I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Plant Identifier
Frillylily
Feb 17, 2016 12:53 PM CST
Linda do the hosta actually increase in size? Mine just sit there never growing.
Name: Linda
southern Minn. (Zone 4b)
Hostas Peonies Cat Lover Daylilies Garden Procrastinator Region: Minnesota
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alwaysbehindMN
Feb 18, 2016 1:36 PM CST
Frillylily said:Linda do the hosta actually increase in size? Mine just sit there never growing.

I know some of the "newer" ones are definitely increasing, like my own 'Winning Colors'... I have a couple dozen plants that would be too crowded if I didn't keep taking divisions for friends/guests. But the older mature plants like 'Elegans' or 'Paradigm', I'm not sure if they're continuing to increase in size or not. I have one plant that I don't know what it is... I purchased it as 'Venus', but when it first bloomed the flowers were lavender and not fragrant! I love the plant for its form and vigor, definitely increasing, but I hope to be able to identify it some day! For years now I have been calling it 'Vee-not'!
I'll have to take photos of every hosta there this summer and compare to older pictures... works better than memory!

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