Some hostas heave because they literally grow out of the ground. As the rhizome expands (and particularly in heavy soils) it expands out and up. The new roots grow from the top of the rhizome so become exposed. In old clumps, the rhizome becomes ring-shaped as the center dies out. You can take a posthole digger and remove the dead part and fill it with a division of the same plant and good soil. That "fills out or in" the plant. A friend of mine planted a two-colored hosta this way. This one is a real show stopper, but a gimmick nevertheless: Blue hosta suroounded by a yellow one. To each his own.
So there is winter heave caused by freezing soil as it expand AND there is growth heave caused by an upward and outward expanding rhizome. A lot of other perennials "grow out of the ground." Winter heave can be avoided to some degree by plenty of mulch but in some cold areas the soil freezes anyway and my mother (in Detroit) had to replant some plants in spring to get them back into the ground. I have found no cure for growth heave other than replanting the clump. It seems that growth heave does not show itself as much in loose soil and on younger plants. My clumps usually show it after ten years or so, provided they can maintain a normal growth rate.
Never a dull moment!
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Wednesday, February 06, 2002 5:49 PM
Subject: Re: old hostas heaving
In a message dated 2/6/2002 3:40:02 PM Eastern Standard Time, SECK138@aol.com writes:
I noticed recently while walking around the yard that some of my hostas are showing their roots.
Some varieties just do it. I never do anything about it Stiletto comes to mind as doing it all the time.
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