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Aug 1, 2016 11:53 AM CST
|I am new to the Hosta plant. I have several wonderful shaded spots that I concluded I could fill with beautiful Hosta. I thought it would be useful to other Hosta Newbies to record and talk about my experience. Others are welcome to chime in with suggestions, recommendations, and stories.|
One of my reasons for concluding Hosta would do well for me is because of this little guy...
This Hosta was here when I moved in. I don't know it's name but it suffered a lot of abuse. Not being aware that it was even there I piled rocks and bricks on it and buried it completely while Landscaping. Last spring I noticed leaves were trying poke up through the dirt and bricks so I uncovered it and transplanted it to this safer location where it has since put up two sections.
This plant took the beating and still just wants to be happy. I also learned that Hosta leaves are edible to humans (which is why deer love them).
Aug 1, 2016 12:11 PM CST
|My next step was to visit my local nursery and take note of the prices and plant sizes. And also to lurk and read the Hosta threads to see which Hosta the Old Timers were in favor of with looks and growth appeal. Obviously I wanted to spend my money on something I would be happy with.|
I took note that "Liberty" was a favorite and also "sun tolerant". I preferred the variagated leaves so I spent about 3 hours looking at pictures, reading info, and visiting vendor sights online to get a good idea of prices. I really had no clue where to begin but I couldn't find anything negative about "Liberty"
I chose to purchase 2 large 2 gallon potted "Liberty" Hosta from NH Hosta due to the good reviews on Dave's garden about NH Hosta. They were priced at $37.50 each which SEEMED a better value than what the local nursery was trying to sell for a 2 gallons Hosta at the time. There were only two left so I snagged them up immediately.
I called NH to make sure I was buying Hosta with multiple sections the young man on the line assured me each Liberty had 3 plus sections.
They arrived in the mail 11 days after I purchased them in good condition. One had 3 sections and the other had 2 sections. I was not disappointed in the beauty of the foliage but I was slightly disappointed that the plants had less sections than I had been told. Also they looked about the same size as the plants in the local nursery which were in 1 gallon pots and priced between $9 and $27 dollars. There was no "Liberty" at the local nursery to compare it with... I know that different varieties come with different prices.
Aug 1, 2016 12:29 PM CST
|While waiting for Liberty I picked Ivory queen and Loyalist up from a Walmart %50 percent off sale. They were 4 inch pots with one plant section. I paid $2:35 for each. |
This is 'Ivory Queen'
Aug 1, 2016 12:32 PM CST
Loyalist is soooo beautiful but not doing well. It's leaves are drying up so I'm increasing water. The others are doing well.
Aug 1, 2016 12:51 PM CST
|On my way home from Walmart I stopped at the local nursery to look at names again because after all my reading I had a better idea... Most of the plants didn't seem to look as pretty as the pictures I saw online but certainly I recognized a few names. Some were marked down on sale. |
One large beautiful one caught my eye.
'Sum and Substance" It was in a 1 gallon pot with 3 sections and priced at $9. So I put it in my basket.
I slowly browsed through all the Hosta and put 5 more Hosta in my basket.
"Francis Williams" 1 gallon (2 sections) $7
A second Francis Williams 1 gal (1 section) $5
And the last three were "Minuteman" 4" pot with 1 section, ready to bloom on discount sale for 4.89 each.
Here a pics of comparison of the plant sizes of 2 Liberty (2 gallon) and 3 Minuteman... 3 4" pots.
Aug 1, 2016 1:03 PM CST
|As of today I have purchased|
12 Hosta plants... and spent...
$46 dollars plus tax buying 10 plants local and. $75 plus shipping for 2 Liberty.
$146 dollars. TOTAL.
(It appears at this point buying local at a seasonal sale is the best value but you never know what stock will be left or the quality at end of season sales. You can get lucky though... be sure and check it out.) 😊😊)
I am still hoping to buy a few more Hosta this season then perhaps start again next spring and go on from there until I have filled my space with the desired Hosta.
My choices of Hosta were based upon the location I wanted to put them and the color of the foliage. I selected sun tolerant plants for the most part because a few areas are receiving up to 3 hours of unfiltered sunlight.
Now I'll guard them everyday and take note if any of them look like they want to be moved.
Aug 1, 2016 1:39 PM CST
|Betsy - do you know about Hosta Virus X (HVX)? If not, please Google it and read carefully. You may have healthy plants from Walmart, but plants from there have a high incidence of HVX infection. The problem with HVX is that it can be in a plant and not show symptoms for several years or even ever for some varieties, but it can be spread to other healthy plants. |
It is a wise idea to treat any new plant as potentially infected, but especially ones from box stores, many of which have no idea what HVX is. Meanwhile, it would be a good idea to grow the plants in pots for a season or two (because the current advice should you have a plant infected with HVX is never to grow another hosta there again) and to develop a habit of disinfecting your tools between plants. (Using a Clorox wipe and rubbing them down thoroughly should work).
Most of your new plants look healthy enough except the second Francis Williams. It may be just the picture you got of it, but it doesn't look great to me; so I'd keep a careful eye on it.
Good luck with your new plants. If you do mail order again, check out Hallson Gardens in MI. Chris Wilson is an acknowledged expert about HVX and you can be sure to get good plants from them. And do try to avoid Walmart unless you plan to isolate the plants.
Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/G...
Aug 1, 2016 2:35 PM CST
ViolaAnn said:Betsy - do you know about Hosta Virus X (HVX)? If not, please Google it and read carefully. You may have healthy plants from Walmart, but plants from there have a high incidence of HVX infection. The problem with HVX is that it can be in a plant and not show symptoms for several years or even ever for some varieties, but it can be spread to other healthy plants.
Thank you very much for that sdvise. I'll pot immediately. I have not heard of that virus.
How do I disinfect the soil?
Do I need to worry about the Hosta from the Nursery?
I just thought that second one looked bad because they had it in the sun.
Aug 1, 2016 2:44 PM CST
Aug 1, 2016 2:53 PM CST
This second Francis Hosta I pulled....
According to the Hosta x virus info in the Library it looks like I should be ok pulling this one out as no leaves have been broken and no intra plant contact has been made.
No Hosta have ever been planted in these gardens they were raw forest before I cleared them.
Aug 1, 2016 3:55 PM CST
Ok so I moved this troubled looking Hosta to its own spot far away from all others. The new young leaves on it look great. Hoping the plant was just looking bad because the Nursery had it in the sun.
According to the information on Hosta X Virus the virus can only survive in living Hosta plant tissue. It cannot survive in the soil alone and once it leaves the living plant tissue it dies.
The virus only spreads by cutting leaves or cutting the roots of an infected plant (mowing down) then having the infected plant tissue come in direct contact with a healthy plant such as using the same knife to cut both plants. Or picking them with your hands. It is not air born so it cannot travel between plants that are not touching each other.
Looks like the goal here is to plant each Hosta in a location where its roots and leaves will not be Nestled with other Hosta.
****( Which is probably why some growers or gardeners have it rampant in their stock.)
Thankyou for letting me know about the virus so I can garden in a way that doesn't spread any problems that might be hiding.
Aug 1, 2016 4:01 PM CST
|Now I'm afraid to buy Hosta from just about anyone...|
*** We know Walmart's Hosta MUST be coming from Commercial Growers. 😉😉
Aug 1, 2016 5:59 PM CST
Just keep an eye on your new plants and enjoy the beauty of them. It's just part of gardening. I've found 3 infected hosta over the years in my gardens and disposed of them carefully. I fight Southern Blight every year. Moles and voles love to do damage to my collection. It can be a challenge, but it's well worth it when you're out walking around a beautiful display of colorful foliage!
Aug 1, 2016 6:08 PM CST
Thank you for the reassurance!
Aug 1, 2016 8:51 PM CST
Some of the information on the Hosta Library is getting rather old. They used to say a year but later research indicates that perhaps the time frame should be much longer and maybe never. Check out http://www.perennialnursery.co... You'll have to join to participate in the forums, but there's no charge to do so.
If you plants have been in soil for only a very short time, you are unlikely to have a problem and most of your plants are probably OK. It's only the Frances Williams that looks possibly suspicious to me. Isolating it and cleaning your tools well should keep your other plants safe while you assess it in future.
I've had 4 HVX infected plants over the years. The first was a 'Lakeside Looking Glass' that did not have typical symptoms but I sent it back to the nursery from where it came and they tested it and told me it tested positive for HVX. It just looked very sick to me. The next two, 'Gypsy Rose' and 'Mountain Snow' had typical symptoms. And the last was probably infected when I got it in 2006, but didn't show symptoms that caused me to test it until 2013 and even then I was rather surprised when it tested positive. All my infected plants came from a quality nursery but at the height of the infection in 2006-2007. Now, most quality nurseries are testing their stock or buying only from suppliers that test regularly. The stock from box stores is quite different and the rate of infection is much higher. You can still get nice plants from such stores, but it's wise to watch them carefully for a couple of years.
Pictures of all my hostas, updated annually and tracked since 2008 begin at: https://violaann.smugmug.com/G...
Aug 1, 2016 10:25 PM CST
|So where is the affordable place to by Hosta test strips?|
Aug 1, 2016 10:50 PM CST
|Good grief.... |
This sure took the wind out of my sails.
Aug 2, 2016 8:32 AM CST
Don't panic! Chances are you'll be fine with your purchases. Just keep a close eye on them while enjoying your walk through your gardens! I forgot to mention that I have more trouble with the hostas with a larger white center like Loyalist. Sometimes I just put mine in pots and move them around to see where they're going to be happiest! Good luck with them and enjoy!
Aug 2, 2016 8:44 AM CST
|Now this logic is making me sad... |
A few articles I read have mentioned "The big box stores" I assume they are referring to places like Walmart... and blaming stupid Walmart Employees.
I'm going to say it straight. Walmart is buying their Hosta from Commercial Growers. It would be the same Commercial Vendors that have been recommended to me.
Supposedly they are testing their stock for the virus...
If the virus is rampant in big box stores but not in private sales... that means the Commercial Growers would be negligently selling their tainted stock ***which they have tested.*** to let Walmart or the big box stores take the loss or blame for it. And Walmart customers to take the financial loss for it...
I am going to take this article about the virus into the Walmart Garden Center Managers in my area to let them know...
Hopefully they will write up an article about it to their purchasing dept. newsletter. They guarantee their stock with replacement so they need to know if their supplier is hustling them.
All WALMART has to do is threaten the grower to terminate the contract unless he guarantees virus free stock...
losing such a customer as WALMART or HOME DEPOT would be devastating to the
I want to be able to shop at WALMART with confidence and I can't do that.