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Re: 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,>>

I have not had any problems with planting depth with Hosta except when planted to shallow.
Hosta in a few years will grow to the depth they want to be, They do like to have their roots near the surface.

I believe that the condition you descried above about Hosta ""what's wrong with my Hosta, they are dying, they don't grow, they are lopsided, they grow crooked"," is an incidental observation.  Since Most Hosta are planted deeper than their eyes in pots and when the plants are planted in the ground they end up being planted even deeper. Most of these Hosta in a few years grow into satisfactory plants.   My observation on why Hosta to do thrive include: lack of water, too much shade, to much sun, traffic over the crowns in the spring or fall, ground to hard for good root growth or expecting to much the first year or two. 

The number one reason that I have seen why a plant does not thrive the first few years is that the plant was a large multi-eyed division cut from a mature clump.  The crown tissue has no connections to any roots but still large eyes, as the eyes expand out the plant can not supply the new leaves with water and nutrients. Thus resulting in stunted leaves. The clump might have 6 or more eyes but will take a few years to grow new roots and new crowns while at the same time it has to grow around the dead crown tissue.

I have also noticed this problem with those plants that were dug in the fall and stored over winter in a cooler and then potted up in a green house in late winter.  The plants will have thin etiolated leaves but the roots will be dead and new root growth will not start until late summer or fall. or even till the next year.

What I like about planting the eyes a few inches deep (1-2 inches is just perfect for most types) is that as the eyes expand from the crown the areas at the base of the shoots will grow roots.  These new roots will spread out much faster and be larger and healthier than the roots formed from the bottom of the crowns.
You are so right that it is hard to find good help when it comes to the nursery business, planting in a pot is a learned skill that also take a bit of natural skill.  Many people just can not learn it.

One problem is the artificial medium used is light and settles out after planting.

You are right again that if you have very heavy soils it  is best not to plant too deep. 
Mulches, as long as they are light,should be safe on those plants that are large, but not ontop of small plants.

I do not use mulches my self-just do not like them. 
An inch or two of composted leaves/straw and twigs each fall is about as close as I get to a mulch.  


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