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RE: Fall Gold Hostas

No botanist here but one thing I noticed this year
was that once we got some cold weather, near hard 
freeze conditions.... the hosta remained fairly even.
No major signs of decline.  Whole garden looked almost
untouched by the cold.

Then we had our much anticipated Indian Summer and temps
spiked up in to the upper 70's low 80's.... Once it got
warm.... every tree in the area, every hosta in my garden
(with few exceptions) snapped to fall color.  All of my
hosta except for the late bloomers, was aflame with yellow.
The exceptions are and remain till this date: Grand Slam 
(still blooming), Christmas Pageant, rupifraga, pycnophylla,
Urajiro Hachijo, Ogon Amagi.

There are a few others that are very close to the house
that are unaffected, or show no sign of decline.  But those
beyond the protection of the house.... 90% are ready for 
mulch.  The yard looks barren.

-----Original Message-----
From: gw1944@vermontel.net [mailto:gw1944@vermontel.net]
Sent: Tuesday, October 14, 2003 10:22 AM
Subject: Fall Gold Hostas

Greetings All:

 Over the last 10 or 12 days we have had perhaps a couple of nights that
have hit 31 degrees. Mostly it's in the the 40s. The hostas seem to be
"going down" in slow motion. About 2/3 are gold/orange clumps of tissue
paper now. Quite attractive if you don't look too cloasely. None have
down to ground yet.

The other 1/3 of my hostas are amazingly green with very few signs of
inevitable gold/brown edges. What I can't seem to sort out is just why
are now on life support while others are looking so good. Logic would
it that thicker leaves might still be green while tissue paper hostas
now be on the ground. Not true, there are too many exceptions to the
of thickness and thinness of a leaf, to seem to be a reliable guage of
goes first.

There is also the question of the plantagenea species (our tropical
which is not exactly fond of colder climates); these leaves are still
green, if not quite as healthy looking as some of the others.I haven't
looked at all the species and collected information, but if plantagenea
an indicator of species staying power this time of year, then the
becomes moot.

Amongst the hostas that are still up and green are Mary Chastain's
which were bred in Tennesse...no exactly a yankee state. So the
factor,  if not eliminated, is at least in question.

So, I am asking you botanists out there, what factors are at work here
keeping some hostas looking good, while other are on the way to their
fall oblivion?Perhaps some hosta names have greater staying power? Or
inexpensive hostas last longer? Just what perversity may be at work?

Hebdomad  n: a week; seven days
Glen Williams
20 Dewey St.
Springfield , Vermont
Tel: 802-885-2839 

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