Hostas forum: Questions on Growing Hosta

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Name: 🌺
(Zone 6b)
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SpringGreenThumb
Aug 16, 2016 11:05 PM CST
If I cut off the blossom scape will the eyes and leaves grow faster and stronger?
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Hostas Ferns
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RickM
Aug 17, 2016 6:29 AM CST
Betsy, like any blooming plant, the energy required to produce seed is significant. All of those great multi-colored hosta with all of the neat shapes and textures are all hybrids. A large proportion of them are sterile and won't produce any seed. Those that do produce seed most likely will not grow true to their parent. Cut the top off, just below the flower head. Leave the rest there to die off naturally. Because it is still green, it can contribute to the energy collection for the base plant.

Otherwise, it's more a factor of adequate water and soil nutrients.

What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it. Charles Dudley Warner
[Last edited by RickM - Aug 17, 2016 6:33 AM (+)]
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Name: Rose
Oquawka, IL (Zone 5a)
Garden Photography Echinacea Dahlias Clematis Region: Illinois Hibiscus
Heucheras Charter ATP Member Birds Hummingbirder Hostas Celebrating Gardening: 2015
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Rose1656
Aug 17, 2016 7:27 AM CST
When I first started collecting I cut the blooms off. Now I leave them on for the hummingbirds to enjoy, and I'm lazy!
Name: 🌺
(Zone 6b)
Image
SpringGreenThumb
Aug 17, 2016 10:38 AM CST
My plants are young. Today I want them to grow fast and establish for winter.
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Hostas Ferns
Image
RickM
Aug 17, 2016 10:50 AM CST
Sorry Rose, I think you misunderstood. I did use the term flower head, but I neglected to say "after they're done blooming". The bees and butterflies are always around my hosta. My Lancifolia are coming in to bloom now. As I have several large areas of it, the bees are starting to stop by more often.

Betsy, even once the foliage is gone, the roots will continue to develop until the ground freezes.
What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it. Charles Dudley Warner
Name: 🌺
(Zone 6b)
Image
SpringGreenThumb
Aug 17, 2016 11:00 AM CST
Thank you. When will the foilage start dying back?
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Hostas Ferns
Image
RickM
Aug 17, 2016 5:25 PM CST
Mine has already started. It really depends a lot on your local weather. We've been hot and dry here, and it's taken it's toll. Usually though, once the weather starts to cool down and chill at night you'll start to notice a difference. Of course, like all other types of plants, it depends on the variety. I have some that look good into October while others have completely disappeared.
What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it. Charles Dudley Warner
Name: 🌺
(Zone 6b)
Image
SpringGreenThumb
Aug 18, 2016 1:56 AM CST
And you are in 7b.

That means whatever else I'm going to do this year I best do it quick. 😊😊
Name: 🌺
(Zone 6b)
Image
SpringGreenThumb
Aug 18, 2016 3:41 AM CST
Is the cultivar "Goodness Gracious' a strong grower?
Name: 🌺
(Zone 6b)
Image
SpringGreenThumb
Aug 18, 2016 5:29 AM CST
@RickM

If the deer munch on your Hosta leaves does it harm the roots?
Name: Rick Moses
Derwood, MD (Zone 7b)
Region: Mid-Atlantic Region: Maryland Hostas Ferns
Image
RickM
Aug 18, 2016 7:02 AM CST
Tough question with several answers.

Several things are involved: time of season, how hungry are the deer and whether or not the plant has had enough time to get established.

If early in the season and the crown isn't chewed up, the roots should be ok and continue to do their thing. It's possible that a second flush of leaves will appear. But, if the deer are really hungry, they will keep coming back to much on the new growth.

If the plant hasn't become established, it may be pulled out of the ground while being eaten. I have yet to meet a deer, or squirrel, that will replant something that was pulled up. If the plant is pulled out of the ground, and you notice it right away, replant it. If you don't notice it, it make get confused and go dormant. If early in the season, replant in a pot and keep an eye on it.

There are a number of products on the market, both organic and not, that can be put around the plants to keep the deer out. Check with your hosta guy at the nursery and see what he recommends.

Something that I've had to resort to is actually putting a fence or cage around the plants. This will depend on the terrain and plant location as to what will work best. I use a combination of things. For example, the tall plastic coated wire plant support panels. They are usually 3 panels connected to each other. You can use a set to encircle a plant or several sets to put a barrier up. Keep in mind that deer can and will jump the barrier if they are able to see enough space for landing. And they can jump high.

Another, less obvious deterrent is nylon net or tulle. We had a fabric store close earlier this year. I literally bought all of the black, brown and dark green net they had left. (The dark colors won't stick out like a bright beacon in your gardens.) Use one or more pieces to lay over the plants and anchor the ends in some fashion. When the deer stop by for breakfast, they will get a mouthful of netting and wonder what's going on. After a couple of tries, they'll move along.

Incidentally, I have also started to use the netting to cover the ground after planting bulbs and seed. It keeps the squirrel and chipmunk from digging things up while still allowing free circulation of air and water.
What a man needs in gardening is a cast-iron back, with a hinge in it. Charles Dudley Warner
[Last edited by RickM - Aug 18, 2016 4:55 PM (+)]
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Name: 🌺
(Zone 6b)
Image
SpringGreenThumb
Aug 18, 2016 10:43 AM CST
RickM said:Tough question with several answers.

Several things are involved: time of season, how hungry are the deer and whether or not the plant has had enough time to get established.

If early in the season and the crown isn't chewed up, the roots should be ok and continue to do their thing. It's possibly that a second flush of leaves will appear. But, if the deer are really hungry, they will keep coming back to much on the new growth.

If the plant hasn't become established, it may be pulled out of the ground while being eaten. I have yet to meet a deer, or squirrel, that will replant something that was pulled up. If the plant is pulled out of the ground, and you notice it right away, replant it. If you don't notice it, it make get confused and go dormant. If early in the season, replant in a pot and keep an eye on it.

There are a number of products on the market, both organic and not, that can be put around the plants to keep the deer out. Check with your hosta guy at the nursery and see what he recommends.

Something that I've had to resort to is actually putting a fence or cage around the plants. This will depend on the terrain and plant location as to what will work best. I use a combination of things. For example, the tall plastic coated wire plant support panels. They are usually 3 panels connected to each other. You can use a set to encircle a plant or several sets to put a barrier up. Keep in mind that deer can and will jump the barrier if they are able to see enough space for landing. And they can jump high.

Another, less obvious deterrent is nylon net or tulle. We had a fabric store close earlier this year. I literally bought all of the black, brown and dark green net they had left. (The dark colors won't stick out like a bright beacon in your gardens.) Use one or more pieces to lay over the plants and anchor the ends in some fashion. When the deer stop by for breakfast, they will get a mouthful of netting and wonder what's going on. After a couple of tries, they'll move along.

Incidentally, I have also started to use the netting to cover the ground after planting bulbs and seed. It keeps the squirrel and chipmunk from digging things up while still allowing free circulation of air and water.

That's a fabulous idea. Can you post a picture for me?
Name: Rj
Just S of the twin cities of M (Zone 4b)
Garden Ideas: Level 1 Plant Identifier
Image
crawgarden
Aug 18, 2016 4:43 PM CST
SpringGreenThumb said:Is the cultivar "Goodness Gracious' a strong grower?


Yes I think Goodness Gracious is a good grower, really enjoy the color


Thumb of 2016-08-18/crawgarden/d1bffe




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