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water needs of Hosta

  • Subject: water needs of Hosta
  • From: ctuttle39@juno.com
  • Date: Thu, 31 May 2001 08:07:21 -0400


It seems to me that the amount of water necessary for good Hosta growth
is relative to the type of soil your Hosta grow in - sand, organic
matter, and clay and all the combinations and permutations imaginable of
these three factors identify the soil.  Across the country we have such
different soils - and perhaps we need to consider the background of the
cultivar in the Hosta's native habitat - well, as it is most likely a
hybrid bred here, consider the background of the breeding, e.g.
sieboldiana, montana, longipes....  Does your soil drain well or is it
tight and retain water?

For example, Ken Marek, in southern Mich, has soil that is almost total
sand, little if any clay and minimum organic matter - and water goes
through like a sieve.  Toward the other end of the spectrum, my Hosta
beds are raised (read: drain well) but are high in clay and organic
matter and retain moisture fairly well.  The water needs for these two
situations are entirely different.

One of the critical factors for you is what is your soil makeup and how
well does the soil drain (percolation, in hydrologist terms - perhaps
those with septic tanks have heard the term "perc rate").  Once you know
that, then supplemental watering (i.e. over and above what nature
furnishes) can be determined.

Your idea of matching a cultivar's water needs to a location (read soil
type) is a good one.

Charles Tuttle
Columbus  OH

PS:  For those in Ohio, a great guide to understanding soils can be got
from "Ohio Agronomy Guide" (Bulletin 472) available from your county's
Extension Service for a nominal charge.  In fact, it may give you more
information that you wanted to know - but I always have believed that we
can never know too much about soils.  Other states may have similar
information available through their county agricultural extension
service.  Call them
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