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Re: Great Expectations

  • Subject: Re: Great Expectations
  • From: "W. George Schmid" <hostahill@Bellsouth.net>
  • Date: Tue, 3 Aug 2004 10:51:26 -0400

Hi All,
Re the discussion on GE, I have the following:
I have grown GE since 1989. The first one is shown in my book, Plate 100
with Color Glory that has long since expired. I lost my first GE to shade.
It was a great clump at the 1994 Atlanta Convention. The pin oak it was
planted under asserted itself and shaded it out. I simply lost it to too
much shade. That white tissue just dissolves in shade.
The second one I got in 1997 and I still have you can see in THJ No. 34/3
opposite page 30 planted with a bunch of Disporosis fusca-picta. I still
have this one. Its leaves are between 9 inches and a foot long and now, in
August, the white leaf centers are still viable. By the way, these plants
were started from small, single divisions. GE is a slow grower so don't
expect it to make a clump in two seasons. It takes at least 5 years or more.
GE needs a deep soil, my current one is in 18 inches of gardeners gold mixed
with pine bark nature's helper. It is protected from direct sun in spring
(when FW always burns in the margins) and when the sun angle is low, but by
June with the sun high in the sky it gets full sun from 10:00 AM until 2:00
PM and filtered sun after that. I don't fertilize it a lot and it seems to
do better in organic soils where the fertilizer is organic. The only "made"
fertilizer I use in my garden is Osmocote, 9-month formula with minors, and
apply that very, very sparingly after growth starts in spring. Less is
better. Other than that, GE gets lots of water using a trickler.
My advice is lots of sun, more in the North, lots of water, don't
over-fertilize and use mild, slow-release organics only (how about compost
tea!). Never leave fertilizer pellets or grains on the leaves. That white
tissue is very sensitive. With GE, patience is a virtue (well, it always
Also be advised that not all TC explants are exactly alike. Most, if not all
of the problems are most likely
the result of transposible elements jumping around. That results in numbers
of slightly off-types hitting the market. When hostas are propagated
vegetatively you will see that some hostas will have a range of minor
variation. Just think of the many different forms of Francee and Patriot.
Likewise, GE has a number of different forms that are out there. Some TC
labs sell to the mass market and you can see the quality (or non-quality) of
the work when you find some streaked plants among the plants. I have seen
some that had all-white leaves. So a combination of transposable elements
and careless culling can cause off-forms to be marketed. I am not accusing
anyone. I am just telling you what I know. All it takes is for someone to
take an off-type clone and use it as a TC starter clone and it is easy to
see how the quality of the starting clone can deteriorate. Add to that the
uncontrollable transposable elements and you have a situation where some GEs
just don't have it. Don't blame anyone, that is just the way it is.

W. George Schmid
Hosta Hill - Tucker Georgia USA
Zone 7a - 1188 feet AMSL
84-12'-30" West_33-51' North
Outgoing e-mail virus checked by NAV
----- Original Message -----
From: "John Lanier" <jlanier@yancey.main.nc.us>
To: <hosta-open@hort.net>
Sent: Tuesday, August 03, 2004 12:46 AM
Subject: Great Expectations

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