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Re: Some Grow---Some Don't

  • Subject: Re: Some Grow---Some Don't
  • From: "Bill Meyer" <njhosta@hotmail.com>
  • Date: Thu, 3 May 2001 22:08:47 -0400

Hi Ray and All,
         This seems to happen to almost everyone. There are several things which might cause this that I can think of, but you would have to dig the plants and examine them to try to narrow it down. Sometimes voles or other pests have eaten away the rhizome. Other times they appear to have rotted over the winter. I have seen in plants dug in fall in which crown rot gets going in the area where the flower scape meets the rhizome. Possibly, given the right conditions, this could destroy a smaller plant, but would seem unlikely as the culprit in a large mature one. Still other times they appear to be intact (not chewed or rotted) and dead as a doornail. I have no idea what might be the cause for that. Rarely they will appear healthy underground but refuse to send up any shoots. That one's a mystery to me too. Any of these situations can disappear after a few weeks as the dead or near-dead plant begins rotting away, taking with it these clues to what might have happened. If a plant has failed to do what is expected, it would be a good idea to dig it as soon as you are sure something's wrong. It might not be too late too apply fungicides and save it. Leaving it too "sink or swim" will usually result in your buying a new one.
        I suggest that all who are now experiencing this dig the plants and report here on what you find. Some questions to answer are: Is it rotten? Wet rot or dry? All or part? Unusual smell? Has it been eaten? How deep was the rhizome? Does it look like it rotted away last year? What do the buds look like?
        If we compare notes, maybe we can work together to get somewhere.
                                                                                               .......Bill Meyer

In a message dated 05/01/2001 11:30:18 PM Central Daylight Time,
CCREDUX@aol.com writes:

This has been so far a great year for some of my hostas; BUT have you
that some that were growing beautifully last year are rather puny this
These are growing next to ones that are exuberant in growth.
Anyone else notice the same?

Yes, and I hope someone explains this situation. I don't think what has
happened in my garden is from lack of water, as Clyde pointed out, these
stunted plants have appeared right next to others that are doing great.

My stunted plants from 2000 (Blue Angel, Summer Music, and Hadspen Blue) did
not come back this spring. At least 2 of the 3 are considered good growers.
Last year, I believe Bruce Banyai thought some of the stunted plants may be
planted too deep. I am guessing this would included plants that were planted
at the correct level but settled too low.  

Bruce is very knowledgeable, so I'm sure this would be an explanation for at
least some of the problems, but I think there may still be other
explanations. I hope other knowledgeable persons will offer their thoughts
and suggestions.

Ray Rodgers, Bartonville, IL, CIHS, Zone 5

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