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Re: Forcing Hostas

  • Subject: Re: Forcing Hostas
  • From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Wed, 31 Mar 2004 18:12:49 -0500

Hi Glen,
      Part of the answer to this question is whether you care about the
hostas. The fastest way would be bad for the plants. Basically faster means
warmer, and warm might be OK to get them up but will be bad in the long run.
      If they're plants you don't want to hurt, start out warm, but go to a
cooler location once the spears are up most of the way but not yet
unfurling. Keep them dry when they are warm, or you will be risking rotting
them off. Indoor temperatures are not good for forcing. They will do best
(but not fastest) if they are kept to 60F or less during the day and 45F or
so at night. Forcing them at indoor temps of 70F or so will cause them to
stretch out the leaves so that they are thin and weak. This will be even
worse with a lot of water and less than full sun. Speaking of sun, do you
see the sun at all this time of year so far north? These leaves will end up
collapsing by mid-Summer, forcing the plant to either go dormant really
early or waste energy on putting new leaves up. Assuming the plant survives
all that torture, it will be smaller the next year.
       With only a month to get them up you are going to have to keep them
pretty warm. Six weeks would have been better. Few hostas will "color-up"
that fast so I would suggest you choose by those which have good color upon
emergence. Spring yellows like 'Sea Fire' would be good, as would variegated
plants like 'Sagae' and 'Patriot' that have good color when they unfurl.  It
will be hard to get any really blue color in the time you have, but put any
blue ones in direct sun.
        If you're going to push them really hard to get them up, don't use
anything you wouldn't mind losing.

...........Bill Meyer

> Hi Guys:
> My niece and nephew are going to fill in at a flower show for a friend
> hostas. (Last minute of course). The show will be the first of May.
> I don't have a clue what to recommend for plants (not H. 'On Stage'
> though). What moves out of the ground fast when forced. The plants are
> already in pots in the ground outside. Any special instructions for having
> them ready for May first?  Fertilizers, light, warmth, music:-), cattle
> prods, readings from Thompson Morgan....
> Any and all suggestions would be appreiciated.   thx glen
> "A book is a mirror. If an ass peers into it, you can't expect an apostle
> to look out." Lichtenberg
> Glen Williams
> 20 Dewey St.
> Springfield , Vermont
> 05156
> Tel: 802-885-2839
> ---------------------------------------------------------------------
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