Re: Great Expectations
- Subject: Re: Great Expectations
- From: "Kirsten O'Dell" firstname.lastname@example.org
- Date: Mon, 12 Aug 2002 10:52:45 -0500
It is possible that the problems I have experienced with GE could be a
combination of everything talked about here. My first two attempts, in two
different locations were met with gradual decline during their 3 and 4
years. But this last attempt is what confuses me. It had been in the ground
for 4 years, last year being the most beautiful. Full size, strong healty
leaves and very little of the burning that I have seen on GE. But this year
it didnt even come up at all! I checked where it had been planted to see if
it had been pilched! Only found the dead remnents of last years roots...Last
year must have been a final hurrah! I am sure that I will find a place for
From: "Bill Meyer" <email@example.com>
To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>, <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Great Expectations
Date: Sat, 10 Aug 2002 09:33:28 -0400
Hi Freddy and Kirsten,
Ever since they first started tissue culturing 'Great
Expectations' there have been problems with it. The first batch came from
Klehm and was a mix of growers and non-growers. Other batches from
different labs proved to be even worse. One batch was so bad, it was almost
incredible. I visited a retail nursery in Maryland where I know the owners
in May and a batch of small GE liners had just come in. Towards the end of
the season, I went back and they told me they were disgusted with them and
were throwing them all out. After almost four months they weren't much
bigger than they were when they had arrived. I asked for one, took it home
and planted it, and the next spring it came back up at the same size. After
a whole year it still had leaves about an inch long. I lost track of it
after that and at some point it died. The TC lab they got it from refunded
the money, but didn't understand what went wrong.
To this day, I don't think anybody does know why this happens
with GE, but newer batches do seem better. It may be a mutation to a less
vigorous form, but it seems more likely it is an adverse reaction to the
treatment it receives in the tissue culture process, in which it is
subjected to the use of plant hormones. Most hosta do consistantly well in
TC, but some just seem more difficult, especially the white-centered ones.
These often start out with a very narrow edge and have difficulty getting
themselves going when they're small.
If getting a good one growing in the garden is your aim, my
advice is to go find a big strong one in a nursery. I've seen them for sale
in retail nurseries and garden centers with 5-6 inch leaves in 2 gallon
pots. These always seem to do very well when planted out. As near as I can
tell, the center area of the leaf seems largely devoid of chlorophyll, and
hence it behaves like a white-centered plant in the garden. Only the
blue-green edge area is producing any food, so it will not grow at anywhere
near the pace of an all-green version. Giving it a spot with a good amount
of sun seems to improve its performance a lot. It's so attractive that it
merits one of those "good" spots with 3-4 hours of direct morning sunlight.
As with many sieboldiana derivatives, it is not especially fond of too much
heat, and should be kept from drying out too badly during the summer
months. Whatever you do, don't give up on it, because you'll always want
one every time you see one growing well somewhere else.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Friday, August 09, 2002 8:49 AM
Subject: Great Expectations
My Great Expectations is not living upto my great expectations of it. It
has been getting smaller and smaller, and really struggling. This summer I
had a couple groups visit my garden, and several others remarked that their
Great Expectations was also doing badly. I asked our local nursery about
it, and the reply I got from them was as follows, " I recently talked to
one of our perennial suppliers who had an answer to our questions
concerning the hosta Great Expectations. He told me that several years ago
an inferior stock made its way into the market and was widely distributed
before it was discovered to have a genetic defect causing a stunted and
declining growth habit. In spite of the fact that it was caught rather
quickly there was enough marketed and sold before anyone realized what was
happening to them. He said they were sold in our state (Ohio).
I have been trying to purchase a new one, but it seems nobody in this
area has one that is healthy enough they wish to sell it.
Anyone else having Great Expectations troubles?
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