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RE: Q &A for THJ


"I saw an interesting documentary on a valley in Alaska where
they routinely grow huge vegetables and fruit. This was reputedly caused
by
the 24-hour sunlight they have there in summer. I don't think sunlight
intensity is an important factor."

Bill-

I had seen the same documentary.  That is what initally spiked my
interest.  I'm wondering for the sake of 'Science' if those 24hr
sunlight conditions could be duplicated in a controlled environment if
the same results would be accomplished.  Keep climate cool and 24hrs of
midlevel intensity light maybe vs low level light.  I'm wondering if
this would be a best way to grow hosta for leaf comp's.?.?

I don't know.  Just wondering how far North I'm going to have to move to
really enjoy the hosta.

Mike

-----Original Message-----
From: njhosta@hotmail.com [mailto:njhosta@hotmail.com]
Sent: Thursday, January 02, 2003 11:39 AM
To: hosta-open@hort.net
Subject: Re: Q &A for THJ


Hi Mike,
        That is an interesting question. Like most things in nature,
there are
probably several factors at work with leaf size. It is generally
accepted that
growing hostas in more shade will cause them to produce larger leaves.
This
makes sense if you think about it, because for the purpose of this
discussion
the leaf is essentially a light-collector. Because there is less light,
the
plant responds by increasing the surface area of the collector to gather
more
light for photosynthesis. I would think the tendency to turn the face of
the
leaf towards the sun is increased too. I would guess that this in turn
causes
slower division and leaf production because the plants resources are
directed
to larger leaf production.
        Moving from southern latitudes to northern ones, I think two
things
come into play.
        First is the evolutionary development of the plant. It evolved
in
climates that are not especially warm in the summers, so it's tolerance
to
heat is limited, and it requires cold dormancy in winter to thrive. At
high
temperatures, plant functions seem to greatly slow down to the point
where
southern growers start using the term "heat dormancy". The further north
you
go, the less time a plant has to endure these temperatures, so it can
spend
more of the growing season increasing its size.
        Second is that the further north, the more hours of daylight
there are
in the summer. I saw an interesting documentary on a valley in Alaska
where
they routinely grow huge vegetables and fruit. This was reputedly caused
by
the 24-hour sunlight they have there in summer. I don't think sunlight
intensity is an important factor.
        Of course there is a wide range of hosta characteristics with
all the
species involved, so this is just a general theory. Sieboldiana-related
plants
are more sensitive to heat, while plantagenia-related ones are more
tolerant.
 
........Bill
Meyer

> 2) Size.  Here is a question or a theory or something along those
lines
> that I would love an anwser to.
>
> I like'em big.  I like hosta leaves to be as big and full and
wonderful
> as possible.  I want to know the best way to get them big.  I know
that
> hosta seem to grow bigger the farther north you go.  Why is this?  And
> how far north is too far north?  What is the effect of the # of hours
of
> daylight a hosta receives???  I've seen shows that have stated that
> produce grown in the far north lattitudes get much bigger than they do
> further south.  Does this have an impact on hosta leaves?
>
> I believe that in the south leaves will be smaller and divisions
higher
> than hosta grown in the north..... anybody want to throw out some
> theories?

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