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Re: Frost Heaved Hostas

In a message dated 2/13/99 11:05:37 PM Central Standard Time,
sussextreeinc@ce.net writes:

 Usually I try to plant Hostas so that the top of the crown is 1 inch below
 soil grade. Sometimes I think I go a little shallow when I plant a plant that
 in full leaf.
 Is there anyone out there with an opinion as to the correct planting depth
 Hostas in the soil?
 the one thing that I have seen with my pesky Hosta is that they will work
their 'eyes' up the surface no matter how deep you plant them.  Let me see-it
was two years ago we had our late deep freeze...I had a bed were all the Hosta
were at or just above ground, I do not know why -- just happened that way?
Well, we had a bad freeze in April.
I went to work at 3PM and it was 48F(it had been warm for a week with day
temps in the upper 30's and 40's and the night temps around F 33). When I got
home at 11pm it was F 20 and by 3 Am it was F 11. The Hosta in this bed had
all there new buds killed off. I also completely lost 300 potted iris and 130
Daylilies plus 300 Daylilies were set so far back that I could do nothing with
them that year, even the sedum's died.  My misfortune in that I had just
uncovered every thing two days before the big freeze. 
Besides the loss of the Iris the biggest problem for me was the loss of 300
Pulmonaria. The lung work do not  like tempter changes but when grown in a pot
and covered with plastic for the winter -  it's a hard call when to uncover.
To soon and they freeze and to late they have grown and are flowering already
... but I have been distracted from my story.
OK the Hosta eyes were at or just above the soil line, they had not grown any
yet but were starting to get that nice fat look they get in the spring. The
cold temps lasted for 3 days with the temps around 10-18F.  After the freeze
the Hosta eyes were just mush. I thought I had killed my Hosta - But they took
a few more weeks to grow than normal but they did come back and grow into nice
thick clumps that year.

To me some Hosta are worse than others about growing up to and out of the
ground. But I just cover them with more dirt in the fall these days and let
them take care of them selves.  Some of them just do not have the good sense
to stay planted deep!!

Did I say how deep I plant my Hosta--let me see-No I did not! 
OK enough babbling.
I Like one inch planting depth too, unless it's some very large 'woody' Hosta
that I am moving around the yard-then maybe 1.5 deep. But Like I have noticed
in two years there they are at the surface again. this might be a problem if
you have a soil that decays into nothing and you are not adding new material
on top of it. Under most conditions the 'eyes' are not adversely effected,
even in very cold weather,- 25 to -35 is not uncommon around here and the only
Hosta I have problems with are the plain old undulata variegata forms. Their
eyes seem to always want to grow above the soil line and they freeze off in
late winter/early spring.  

Paul Henjum

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