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Re[2]: Heavie-Jeebies

Paul: I understand your planting the little ones deeper, but in most of my
garden visits to diagnose "what's wrong with my hosta, they are dying, they
don't grow, they are lopsided, they grow crooked", 99% of the time they are
planted 2-3 inches too deep. This even happens if you plant them higher up
but put mulch on the crowns over several years.

Seems to be a carryover into the nursery trade as well - often I visit with
nurserymen who complain their workers pot their perennials too deep, then
add soil mix to fill the pot and the plants suffer.

Yes, it does take more time and dirt to backfill. But seeing as many dying
plants from being planted too deep, I would rather plant them up.

Alex Summers had a thought years ago that hosta roots need air, that is why
the tips will grow out of the ground with old clumps. Likewise, if they are
kept too moist, they will drown or rot due to low aeration. Subsequent
research on the air needs of perennial plant roots seems to have confirmed
his observation.

Note: in clay soil, hosta roots stay right at the surface, while in sandy
or loose soil they can get quite deep.

______________________________ Reply Separator _________________________________
Subject: Re: Heavie-Jeebies
Author:  hosta-open@mallorn.com (owner-hosta-open@mallorn.com) at HERCULES
Date:    03/21/2000 5:00 PM

In a message dated Tue, 21 Mar 2000  6:59:33 AM Eastern Standard Time,
"Gerry/Bob O'Neill" <eoneill@ibm.net> writes:

> Thank goodness here in Tennessee I don't normally have heaving problems.
> But I do have another related problem with the same results:
> boo-boo. Last year I planted several hostas too high, anticipating
> settling. It wasn't til this spring that I noticed their hairy
> crowns showing above ground. In most cases, the roots are covered,
> some of them have roots showing right where they join the crown.
> Should I dig these up and replant them deeper? (She asks with fear
> trepidation, thinking about here aching back and the 20+ hostas from
> year that still need planting)
> Gerry

If your landscaping allows you to do it- Just add an inch or two dirt on
top of the crowns.  No need to redig them if you can add soil on top of
them- but I would do it before the leaves unfold  - much easier and less
likely to do any damage.

The first year I try to always plant my Hosta at least two to three inches
deep, even the small babies.
This is not because I fear that the eyes will be damaged because of the
cold- but because I do not want them popping out of the ground in the
spring. It also promotes better root growth.

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