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Re: Hosta Question (4-glen williams?)

  • Subject: Re: Hosta Question (4-glen williams?)
  • From: Larry McLain olemacdee@yahoo.com
  • Date: Wed, 29 Jan 2003 09:39:47 -0800 (PST)

Bill, I  have a thought! When a person buys cut roses for the better half, the florist sends along a packet of powder to add to the water to extend the life of the cut rose. I have never thought to look to see what the ingredients are, but I am wondering if adding this powder to the water would extend the life of the scape longer? I found that wether I added the sugar to the water or not, the scapes lasted the same amount of time. I did not do any controlled experiments to see. The water with sugar, clouded up a lot faster than just water alone. I believe I read somewhere on this forum, that Alex Summers only used water. Not sure if it was treated water or possibly rain water. My memory comes and goes, so I could be wrong. I believe I also read where soaking willow sticks in water will work the same way as those rooting powders. Maybe adding pieces of willow sticks to the scapes would make them last longer? Could be I took too much medicine this morning too! LOL! Larry
 Bill Nash <raffi@sympatico.ca> wrote:At 09:37 AM 01/29/2003, Glen Williams wrote:
<< " Would it be possible to cut some hosta flower scapes, put them in 
water with sugar (fertilizer)on the window sill, and hybridize them more 
conviently?" I have heard rumors of people who have had a lot of luck 
doing this. Has anyone out there done this with regularity and a lot of 
>>-------- Glen et al ----------->> RE: CUT OFF SCAPES; seed-spike soaking 
in a water + nutrient solution:

Several of us (I won't mention names tho'?) have been trying the above 
procedure, for going on three maybe four years now. The good news is that 
it definately works! The bad news is: this only works on a short term 
basis; that is to say, less than two months and hence, you ideas to 
pollinate blooming; and cut off, flower-scapes does seem impossible IMHO 
(in my honest opinion?).

The main problem, and which, only provides for a short term ripening time 
frame of the seed pods; and not perhaps, the full time-needed-factor 
related to how long a time is needed to ripen a seed; IS THAT: the 
water-nutrient solution gets very polluted rather quickly, and the flower 
stems rot unless the growth solution is changed often. Not to mention, the 
solution gets very stinky. This problem appears to stem from the fungus 
virus/spores growing; which thrives in a sugary watery solution?

To try to stop this early fungus-growth-condition, happening within in the 
solution; I've tried using distilled water plus an added bit of bleach to 
the sugary water; which did result in a cleaner scape-soaking solution for 
a longer time frame, but at the five to six week time period of soaking, 
the flower stems still rotted away. I've also tried using SUPER'thrive 
nutrient fertilizer, instead of sugar, but this did not provide for any 
better results either.

On a short term basis; and this is pertaining to, those late flowering 
hosta-types, which already do have seed pods on them -- not for the purpose 
as you mentioned (of pollinating cut-scapes indoors; ripening the seeds, 
etcetera?). Cutting seed-spikes, say when and a heavy frost and/or ground 
freeze-up is moving in then: the seed ripening process can be extended by 
say another month, possibly longer even via cutting scpes and soaking in a 
water + nutrient solution. Myself and others have done this several times 
over and obtained viable seed-sprouting by this.

I see that the 'Farmer's 2003 Almanac' has one paragraph in it, which I 
found interesting. It states that adding 2 ounces of Listerine to 1 gallon 
of water, and for the purpose of using this solution to soak cut 
flower-scapes in. It goes on to state, that Listerine contains 
sucrose-nutrient as well as a bactericide which will provide for longevity 
in this process. The acidity in the Listerine, is noted to promote for a 
quicker uptake of nutrients/water and keep the cut-spikes full of 
life. I've not tried a seed ripening procedure, using Listerine: however?

In closing, I would like to mention, that I've had great success with 
late-season hosta bloomers, by simply potting them up; and bringing them 
indoors, to ripen their seeds. I placed these on a sunny window-sill; and 
also having, fluorescent light fixtures over top, to extend the photo/light 
period into a non-stop continual basis. By doing this, the earliest 
seed-ripening I've seen is eight weeks after pollination; and this is 
related to, cutting the seed-pods, upon their showing slits in same.

I still have one potted hosta, sitting on the window sill behind me, in 
this computer room. This is Cinammon Sticks hosta (self-pollinated) and 
the three flower stems/pods are still very green hence, I'm not collecting 
this seed until I see slits in the pods. There is only one green leaf left 
on this plant via it's having stopped growing and gone dormant, but 
notwithstanding, I do expect to get viable seed from it. As an example to 
this, in one previous year, H. longipes var. latifolia 'Grand Slam' (self 
pollinated?) <> took until the end 
of February, for it's seed to look ripened via seed-pod splitting; and that 
seed, provided excellent germination results -- bar none!

Final: I don't know of anyone, whom may have successfully pollinated 
cut-flowering-spikes; and ripened the seed via scape-soaking, but then, who 
really knows for sure -- perhaps someone has?

"Bill Nash Guelph Ontario Canada Zone 4" AND/OR 

"PEACE! -- in our time?" (somebody wrote?) AND Yes!!! -- at the point of a 
gun? /B>))

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