Re: Treating shipped Hosta
- Subject: Re: Treating shipped Hosta
- From: Andrew Lietzow <email@example.com>
- Date: Fri, 11 May 2001 12:41:34 -0500
Hi Joe and Hosta-openers,
Lots of good food for thought here. As a practical matter, people
who purchase mail order CAN receive them in good condition, leaves intact,
but only IF the grower is willing to go to a lot of trouble to preserve
the plant. I found that by purchasing from a variety of vendors,
one can determine what are the best practices for various times of the
season and then just emulate what is the best. It's not rocket science
and so I certainly agree with you--companies that just throw the plants
in a box don't get repeat business because they don't care enough to do
even the simplest of things correctly. Even under the best
of circumstances, some plants will die but I like to know that the shipper
is at least TRYING to excel in their practices.
I would agree that probably one of the best things a grower can do (FOR THE PLANT,
not for the purchaser) is to cut the tops off. When I first heard
of this, I was kind of appalled. I thought, "what a violent act against
the poor plant". However, once again I WAS WRONG!!!.
Instead of it being violent, it's actually an altruistic and practical
practice. When the plants are received and planted into a more permanent
location, they "feel" motivated to get back to growing. The roots
consume the initial energy to get established while the leaves begin to
renew themselves. Within a few weeks, voila--nice new plant with
even more bud divisions. I can understand, however, why some folks
would like the shipper to try to save the leaves as they want to stick
it in the ground and see instant beauty.
One vendor that I purchased Astilbe from sent them VERY late in
the season with the rhizomes? tubers? still in the bag, just
as he had received them probably from Europe. This was late July
or early August. I planted them immediately but probably lost 25%
of them this spring just because they had not had a good growing season
the year before. Or at least this is on whom I'm blaming the blame.
:-) Certainly it wouldn't be my rigorous torture chambers than would have
If a plant does come with wilted leaves, Bruce Banyai had the best tonic.
Simply stick them in a bucket of very cool water for 24-48 hours and the
leaves will perk right up. (Could be preceeded by a nice rinsing
bath in 10% clorox). Then the proud new owner can plant them and
not have the leaves making the plant "think" it's been to hell and just
barely made it back...
Finally, I hope Bruce will post again that story about rolling the non-performing
Hosta around on a concrete drive. I love reading it and am
sure I kept it, but it is indeed a classic. LIke hitting an apple
tree with a rolled up newspaper, sometimes we have to show these plants
just who is boss...
Hosta la Vista!
Andrew C. Lietzow, Hacker - The ACL Group, Inc.
..Also #1 Plantsman at http://hostahaven.com ...
...1250-41st St Des Moines, IA 50311-2516 ......
....515-274-0300 V/F 515-238-6558 Cell .........