Re: Hosta Growth
Unless the plant is very root bound, banging the root ball on something
hard will generally loosen the soil so that the roots can be separated.
.>>>>>There is some anecdotal evidence that messing with hosta
Well now, come spring I can fill you in on an experience I had this past
summer/fall. A local nursery was selling potted plants at 60% off their
price. That maybe should have been my clue. They had a very nice
Gold Regal, large, and since I had wanted another one I purchased it.
Really cheap! Not sure it was cheap after I took it out of the pot to put
it into the ground. Never saw so many roots so congested. The most
complicated network of interstate couldn't compete! Dirt was nonexistant
and I proceeded to try to untangle the mass, banging it on the back of the
shovel. I just finally gave up with little success and put it in the
ground. I really don't expect this plant to live but I can tell you I will
look in the future at those bargins more closely. I have done similar
things to root bound plants but this was like nothing I have ever seen
Peoria Illinois Zone
All right! Finally a subject with a bunch of
messages I disagree with. Things were getting boring.
A couple of messages have recommended slicing the root ball, which is
common practice when planting potted shrubs when their roots have circled
the pot. Since hostas do not have a fibrous root system, root pruning,
which this essentially is, will not induce root growth as it does with
shrubs and trees. Since spiraling roots grow primarily at the outside
of the root ball, slicing them, especially on all four sides, can sever the
majority of the root mass. Since hostas don't initiate root growth
until late spring and summer, after leaf growth, I think the root loss will
cause a lot of stress. I think it is far better, though harder, to try to
unwind the roots. Unless the plant is very root bound, banging the
root ball on something hard will generally loosen the soil so that the roots
can be separated.
There is some anecdotal evidence that messing with hosta roots stimulates
the plant and causes increased growth. I would like to see this
addressed by our more scientifically inclined.
There were a couple of subtle slams at container grown plants, and while
I agree that there are pros and cons to container grown and bare root
plants, I can't let them slide by. Having grown hostas in containers
for 20 years, I have a hard time accepting that the roots on container grown
plants "in the main, however, are incapable of functioning in most
soils." Come on Ran. That's akin to me stating flatly that
bare root plants arrive all shriveled and dried up and are so stressed that
it takes them so long to recover that they seldom bloom the first year and
everybody knows that if a hosta doesn't bloom it won't multiply. (Now
there's a sentence that my high school English teacher would have
loved). And you know I'd never say anything to disparage bare root
plants like that. I and several other growers have been growing plants
in pots for several years now and I can assure you that their roots work.
I can also assure our audience that not all growers over-fertilize
container grown plants, and though I've never tried, I suspect that it is
just as easy to over-fertilize in the ground. I suspect that whether
you buy bare root or container grown, what you get sometimes depends on who
you buy from.
"You also need to be very careful about tissue cultured plugs
transfered to larger pots. Most growers just take
the plug and put it
into a pot. If you buy those pots and
leave them in the pot you may
discover the following year that
the root system hasn't penetrated
into the additional planting
mix." Boy, am I starting to feel persecuted! If nothing
else, I would at least change "most growers" to some growers, and
typically those growers selling to mass marketers, who wouldn't know a well
grown plant if it was shoved up their nose. Mass marketers insist on
buying plants at prices than simply don't justify growing a quality
plant. If that's what you're buying, then you get what you pay
for. If you're getting plants like that from a reputable seller, then
the reputation is undeserved and you are buying from the wrong person.
It's just my opinion.
sign-off this list, send email to email@example.com with the message
text UNSUBSCRIBE HOSTA-OPEN