.. Ran wrote.... "Just as Hostas in the south, tend to go dormant after
bloom stage has been reached, so will your " early starts" they will be
likely to finish blooming, ahead of the normal time,
and then just sort of go on "hold" untill the cool weather again returns"
Ran I believe it depends on the length of growing time that is available and
the amount of water etc. I have seedlings that were planted last Oct that
are in their second bloom season and have not been dormant. I grew them
under lights until April. Many of them flowered before they were moved but
others just after. A lot of them have just finished the second flowering for
this year. Of course they will go dormant this winter.
I also have flower scapes on the second flush of growth on mature plants that
are in the display garden. Our season has been very long this year. Some of
these plants were up in Feb. They begin flowering in late May and some are
still trying. We have had a very hot dry summer. In fact we still have no
rain and the forecast for the rest of the month does not look promising. It
has been forecast to be possible be the first Oct ever without any rain. The
conditions are the very thing that started my work to improve hostas. If the
plant goes down in our climate it goes out of my garden. So what is left is
Zone 7 TN
I'm wondering if I know the definition of "dormant" or am using the term
correctly.... I tend to use the term as that period when hosta have lost
their foliage, as in winter.
Cornelia, I feel that this is probably the correct definition but often we
talk of heat dormancy. This is caused from too little moisture and hot
temperatures. The plant does not necessarily turn yellow and prepare for the
winter months but it is just there and not really performing. I often wonder
if this does not contribute to the fact that our plants in the South tend to
be smaller that the same plant grown farther north. Maybe we don't get the
root growth needed to support the larger plants.
The period in the summer when there is little growth activity seems to be
more of a "resting" period.... the hosta preparing for the next stage of
growth. Here, that usually is the growing of roots and storing of
nutrients for next season's growth. I don't see many second flushes of
foliage in the summer.... Perhaps the energy stored for this activity is
usually lost to producing new growth after a late spring frost.
I also have thought that the summer inactivity , that may occur in hosta
grown in the south, was a result of the heat, and not a function of bloom
stage.. I have hosta that rarely bloom (presumilly because of the deep
shade) yet they don't exhibit any significant growth when compared with the
The deep shade will certainly play a big part in the amount of growth and
flowers that are produced. Our plants in our garden tend to rest for a while
after flowering but at that time they are setting the new buds that will
produce shoots for the coming year. Some varieties are so vigorous that the
new shoots will spring forth the same season. The growing season has been so
long this year that those new shoots have also had time to flower. I hope
they will have enough time to set new buds before the cold stops all
development. I also wonder how this may affect the size of the plants next
season. I have discovered that new shoots as a result of BAP cause the plant
to be much smaller the following year. Will this have the same effect? Just
have to keep tuned till next year.
As Ran has said, we are stretching the limits by growing hosta in the South.
Perhaps some other southern growers can comment on what they have observed
in their hosta's seasonal cycles and then those comments can be compared to
what is seen in northern growers.
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