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Re: Summer Heat


I have a few hostas also that don't seem to grow...that seem to go
backwards at times, becoming smaller and smaller. I decided I would go
out and dig a few to see what may be happening below ground level.

I selected about four different cultivars  where some of the plants
appeared normal but beside them were one or two plants  that were
stunted, dwarfed or call it what you will. In the case of all stunted
plants I dug up, the root mass consisted of about half fiberous tree
roots entangled with the smaller volume of hosta roots. By washing the
roots one can see how many tree roots are really there. It became
obvious to me what was causing the problerm in MY garden...tree root
competion for moisture ( and also nutrients) was the culprit. It is a
soil micro-environmental phenomenon. Hosta plants two feet away from
this condition were normal and vigorous. No roots penetrated into their
root mass and they were growing well.

I dug up representative dwarf plants of several cultivars where I had
normal and dwarf plants growing close together. In all cases, the
dwarfism seemed to be a result of tree roots penetrating the hosta root

What to do about it? Cut away all tree roots possible, redig the hole
and make it larger, add soil amendments to the hole, replant the dwarf
plant, use good soil for backfilling the hole after planting, fertilize
and water well and see if this rescues the dwarf plant in a state of
decline to one with  improved, renewed vigor. Now that I have
experienced this myself, I plan to re-prepare the planting holes and
replant all those dwarf plants so affected. Why don't you try this on a
few plants to see if it works for you? I'll bet it will.


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