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Re: Treating shipped Hosta

  • Subject: Re: Treating shipped Hosta
  • From: BanyaiHsta@aol.com
  • Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 14:02:40 EDT

Joe, I hope I can answer part of your question. Having seen the way the Dutch treat their hostas about 15 years ago, yes, you can store, divide and ship bare root hosta IF and a big IF you and your customer have a common way of handling. If you would receive a dormant plant and know to keep it sufficiently cool dark and dry but not bone dry, it will keep for a season. If temp or moisture or light change, all bets are off. 

What we are seeing in Walmart/Home Depot boxed hosta is the poor way of putting these in a small amount of sawdust, keeping cool and shipping fast, trusting the ambient moisture to keep them alive. When they are mishahndled or dry out, they are history. But LOW COST, and now you know why. 

A lot of these boxed and bagged hostas are put together the previous fall. In the late 1970's before my trip to Holland, I saw in KMart bagged hostas in Chicago area for $0.99 each, 2-3 eyes: ventricosa, und Albo Marginata, erromena, hyacynthina, common ones. Think about it - can't be much cost for that price.

I am one wholesale (field-grown only) grower - would do retail the same in the summer, but send very few retail in summer heat - who prefers and asks my customers if I can cut the leaves off before shipping. 

Since the 1950's, whenever we commercially divide after May 31, off come the leaves as a way of preserving the plant vitality. Never a hesitation - water for a couple of days to get them established and new leaves in a couple of weeks. Sieboldiana/plantaginea are notoriously slow to releaf. They like to be kept fresh with shade and moisture until the leaves return. Fortunei and smaller ones come back in a flash. 

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